By Barbara Ann Zippi
Ciao Bella Living Italian Style
With Philly’s love of boxing, from Joey Giardello’s statue on East Passyunk Avenue outside the History of Italian Immigration Museum to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky, boxing is part our culture. Bruno Sammartino, Rocky Graziano,
Jake LaMotta, Rocky Castellani, Ray Mancini, even Frank’s dad, Anthony Martin Sinatra, made Italians proud in the ring.
Today, strange as it may seem, boxing comforts me with thoughts of my dad, so when boxing legend Muhammad Ali died, once again Bob and I looked to Sid Mark on “Sunday with Sinatra” to help us remember with comfort and move on to tomorrow. And, once again, Sid didn’t disappoint, picking Sinatra’s recording of “Here’s to the Winners” with lyrics “Lift up your glasses!” Italians and boxing, another “knockout” tribute song choice by Sid Mark. If you would like to read the Italian-American Herald April 2016 newspaper issue farewell tribute to Frank, Jr. check out either the printed or video version on our growing website www.CiaoBellaLivingItalianStyle.World
Car washer Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. captured our hearts as “America’s Got Talent” season six winner. With his hometown in West Virginia, where my grandfather first immigrated working the coal mines, I felt an affinity with him from the start. AGT Judge Howie Mandel, a self-proclaimed huge Sinatra fan, stated at Murphy’s initial appearance, “… you talk about bringing things back, what better way to bring it back then with your look and who you are.” Murphy captured America with the musical stylings of Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the Great American Songbook with dreadlocks. Ciao Bella is looking forward to hosting him in the near future in this region.
Now, jump to AGT 2016, time to cheer on Long Island pizza deliveryman Sal Valentinetti. The charismatic crooner received the new feature “Golden Buzzer” from AGT Judge Heidi Klum launching him directly to the finals. Valentinetti credits his grandmother for his love of classics by Sinatra and Martin, hitting it out of the park with Sinatra’s “My Way.” Capturing the hearts of America and educating generations under 30 on how to appreciate this music, his AGT shower of golden confetti featured Frankie Valli’s “I love You Baby.” America, get ready to love Sal Valentinetti!
Strengthening relations with Italy and the United States, the Honorable Andrea Canepari, Consul General of Italy in Philadelphia, held a celebration of Ciao Philadelphia 2016 on June 2 Italian National Day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. During the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) received an official Italian government decoration and returned the gesture with custom-made cuff links for Canepari.
Brady shared his mother’s Italian ancestry and his first very important job as the “fork man in the family,” a task of utmost importance in the art of making the perfect ravioli. Today, he has mastered the art of representing the people in his state. Also attending: Jonathan Peri, recently elected president of Manor College in Jenkintown, Bucks County. With Italian roots from New York and ties “to the land” through marriage in Delaware County, Peri has planted a field of pear trees in hopes of harvesting homemade pear wine, an homage to his name. We’re thrilled to see these men embracing their heritage and culture. Bravo Rep. Brady & President Peri!
This fall, Ciao Bella Living Italian Style TV will host Canepari and feature guests and attractions lined up for October’s Ciao Philadelphia. Look for this two-part TV special to air on Sept. 18-19, and Sept. 25-26, then archived on YouTube.
This summer, new Ciao Bella episodes continue with The Keystone Region Rolls Royce Owners Club Tour of The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Some hiccups last month with airing, they join shows featuring Pam Mariani, retiring owner of Edgemont Golf Club family business and her future involving a children’s book series and her newest love, ceramic art! You’ll fall in love with Sicilian Italian American fashion designer Dominica Vinci who shares her love and talents for graffiti art. Stay tuned to Ciao Bella Living Italian Style TV shows and web site as details unfold.
Italian Americans are well represented at the Delaware County Veterans Memorial in Newtown Square. Recent June events brought Pat Croce and Joe Pellegrino to the Memorial. Croce welcomed the crowd to the 1st Blood, Sweat and Cheer Challenge and Pellegrino, U.S. Army Veteran and former sports director for Action News, WIP Sports Radio and WCAU NBC 10 presented the first Steve Neri Volunteer Recognition Awards. Neri, a founding member of the Memorial, is among a growing group of Italian Americans involved with this project. Ralph Galati, Bob Spano, Tony and Guy Fizzano, John Ricciutti, Linda Mattia Houldin and even Memorial benefactor Claude de Botton have Italian roots. Pellegrino, a crowd favorite, was on hand to address the crowd during services in recognition of D-Day.
Until next month — Ciao Bella!