Watching Ukranians migrate daily and listening to my mother-in-law’s story last week; both re-inforce the fact history is a story of migration.
I’ve known Rita’s story but it was time to interview her for my next book. My husband’s mother was the one Piemontese who left and lived abroad. She was also the reason we chose to live in Piemonte and spent 7 yrears living in Loazzolo.
Her story is extraordinary, including the time she and her husband left Europe, and landed in Manhattan. Living in a studio, sleeping on the floor, Rita decided to knock on some doors. She didn’t speak much English but the following month she found herself head seamstress for the legendary designer Arnold Scaasi (originally from Canada) in NY. Soon thereafter Rita was flying to Washington DC with Scaasi and hand delivering dresses to Maimi Eisenhower at the White House. And she has the pics to prove it.
Flash forward, Rita’s now 88, pictured above; thankfully, she’s slowed down, a bit.
Rita’s story is extraordinary but you’ll have to read all about her in my next book, “Once Upon a time in Loazzolo”. She was the girl from Piemonte who left and managed to create her own personal legend. Rita’s always been a force of nature.
The remaining 11 interviews in the book are equally extraordinary in their own way. This cast of characters from the northern region of Italy are pretty unique. Rita had talent for sewing without a pattern, she could visualize it in her head – yet one could say I located a galazy of talent while living in Loazzolo.
The Piemontese produce a lot of Italy’s finest products. They also have a particular testa dura, a hard headedness, a stubborn quality that propels them forward, lending to this ability to create their own personal legend.
Rita’s story is about talent and energy, and it’s also about showing up. An awful lot of Ukranians are showing up in Poland and all over the place. I hope these Ukranians have plenty of energy. I hope they travel with a trade. Historically Italians have travelled well because they have a trade.
Like Gore Vidal said, history is a story of migration. Understanding this concept and knowing how hard it can be, it must be hard as hell for them.
I wish them well….