Growing up in Italy during the 1950s was quiet a fascinating experience.
I can still remember the conversation I had with a stone mason when I was about eight years old. I noticed that he had always been singing while working in his sleeveless undershirt.
I asked him why he was so happy and his reply that morning was that he had eaten half a panino with a single pass of butter on it together with one anchovy and that he was glad that the war was over.
That was what made him happy.
He was also proud to have a unique status symbol of an Italian worker – a new sleeveless undershirt all of his own. Owning an undershirt gave him a great feeling of security and satisfaction. If defined where he was economically in life. He had something of his own that was new and that he had purchased.
Soon after the end of the Second World War everyone in Italy was thankful and grateful and no one had to be told or asked to work.
No one had to be told to be content; everyone was.
The joy throughout Italy was so great that wherever you went along the streets working men were whistling or singing.
All rejoiced that the war was now over with and everywhere there was a great surge of confidence and hope.
It was the beginning of a new life for Italians and they were all filled with overwhelming enthusiasm. No more danger and trouble.
The happiness of Italians came not so much from what they now had, for they still had very little, but from their new found freedom and gratitude to God that they were no longer condemned to suffer and maybe even die.
Everyone knew well that they had good reason to thank God for their new found condition in life.
Fear and uncertainty had been replaced with great economic opportunity. The sun was rising once again on Italy and everyone could feel its warmth.
That was the Italy that I grew up in and the Italians that God used to teach me many different things that I will share on this website.