February 18, 2011 at 05:15 | Posted in Amore di Italia, memories | 3 Comments

Tu Sei Matta! (You Are Crazy!)

Bonnie had been married before, but he was a drunk and would beat her when drunk. There did not need to be a reason, being drunk was the excuse. Finally it was enough and she knew he would not change. She began to save money to move and for a lawyer. Life was sad and lonely for her. She lost herself in work. One evening girlfriends decided she needed to go out and forget everything else for an evening.

A group of twenty some friends met at a local club to dance and listen to music. The girlfriends wanted to introduce her to some of the men in hopes that she would consider dating for fun. As everyone else got up to dance, Bonnie chose to sit it out and watch. Every time she looked up, Valentino was standing at the far end of the long table. He would catch her eye and she would laugh and look away. Finally Valentino walked over to her and asked permission to sit down. She replied of course because it was all of his friends there. Then he asked if he could ask another question. She laughed and told him alright. He wanted to know why she laughed at him every time he caught her eye. She replied, “Everyone needs a gimmick!” “What?” “You ignore all the girls flirting so my gimmick must have worked!” Valentino laughed too but told her she was crazy! They laughed and talked until the club closed in the wee hours of the morning. Everyone went out to the parking lot where her girlfriends said they were all going down to the local diner for breakfast and cheesecake. Some of the girls hustled Bonnie into the car with Valentino but then they jumped out and left in a waiting car. So there she was alone at 2AM with Valentino and not happy at all. When he asked why she was so upset, she angrily told him she was not in the habit of being in a car at 2AM with a man whose name she did not know! He was very insulted and told her they had been introduced by their friends. She then told him no one listens to names in a bar because no decent woman goes to pick up anyone that way! He put the car in drive and sped to the restaurant at top speed. Everyone friend and stranger knew they were both furious when they arrived! She doubted they would ever speak again.

A day later she went to work at the store she managed in Cranston. One of her employees was a young woman Lina from Naples in Italy. She told Lina how foolish she had been and how sorry she was. That Italian was one of the most handsome men she had ever met and his eyes were beguiling! His smile was sweet too. Lina finally asked if he was by any chance about 5 foot 7 and brown hair and eyes. Bonnie was totally exasperated – after all just about every man in Italy had dark hair and eyes. “Sure”, Lina replied. “But not all of them are right here with a rose in hand!” Bonnie turned around to see Valentino with a long stem red rose – he leaned over to place a small kiss on her cheek as he handed her the rose. He told her she was about the most beautiful woman he had met and would she please go to dinner with him to start over! Every now and then Valentino would still tell Bonnie she was crazy but even after thirty years they laugh together in memory as she would remind him she had always been crazy from the first night on!





And now this weekend it is thirty four years later and it is just as if it was yesterday! Four sons, five precious granddaughters later, it is still Valentino. Through good times and bad, he has been her rock, her anchor in all storms. When the world seems set to fall apart it is he who holds her hand and her heart. They still laugh and Valentino still tells her she is crazy – but now instead of only one red rose, it is always 3 – for “I love you”. And for Bonnie it is a true love story, a life-long story. This precious man who still makes her heart sing, her heart burst with love and joy each time he laughs with her. Io ti amo amore mi! She truly is Valentinoswife….. per sempre.






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  1. Thank you for quite an interesting website and pictures. I’m descended from the Pannozzo family, originally from Campodimele and they moved to Fondi around 1840. Also, I grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, my father’s house was a small cottage at the start of Sabra St., near Twin Oaks. The Sepe family, who lived nearby were, I think, from Itri.
    I’ve learned that two of my father’s missing brothers, Antonio and Pasquale, were still living in Fondi at the time a third brother, Joseph Pannozza of Danbury passed away in 1964. My father was Vincenzo Pannozzi (last name spelling was changed at Ellis Island) and his parents were Salvatore Pannozzo (1844-18??) and Rafaela Filomena Carroccia. My father and some of his brothers had unusually colored blue-gray eye color and some of the Pannozzo women had green colored eyes which is a genetic marker for our branch of the family. Another brother, Luigi Pannozza of Danbury Connecticut, worked in a hat factory for 60 years and had numerous children. He had a twin brother Andre Pannozzo but I have no info on him. Anyway, thanks for the excellent pictures and blog they are quite interesting and informative.

  2. wonderful love story. Ironically, I found this today, on my 33rd Wedding Anniversary! 🙂

    • Thanks – I appreciate it! And happy anniversary to you too!

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