Tags: family, honeymoon, Italy, Itri, wedding
Valentino and Bonnie were married February 19, 1977. The evening was bitter cold in Providence, Rhode Island but excitement was high! Bonnie’s parents had come from Connecticut to help with all of the preparations. The day had been spent shopping for last minute items such as extra flowers and ribbons. Lillian wanted to add her personal expertise and love to all the arrangements and bouquets.
That evening the photographer had his car towed by the police and he was over an hour late for the reception. One of the bridesmaids, Doris, had spilled a glass of red wine all over the front of her pale blue gown. Fortunately Lillian was able to use club soda to rinse all traces from the gown before the photographer arrived for photos. No one was the wiser!
In the morning Valentino and Bonnie drove to Connecticut to stay with Lillian and Norman until a Monday night flight would take them to Rome! They all went shopping Monday because Norman and Lillian wanted to be sure nothing was forgotten for the month long honeymoon including gifts for family!
Bonnie packed her wedding dress and carried it on board the plane where the flight crew greeted her warmly! All the women wanted to see the dress of course and mid-flight surprised the couple with an announcement from the captain! His copilot presented the couple with a bottle of champagne as the captain wished them well to the applause of all the passengers!
After Bonnie and Valentino each had a small glass, Bonnie cleverly re-corked the bottle to take with them. It fit in her carryon bag with the neck protruding out slightly from one end. There was a long pedestrian escalator in the Rome airport that took passengers to customs and immigration checkpoints. Up two stories or more were long metal catwalks where armed soldiers patrolled. They held their machine guns in the ready position with the safety unlocked! The agents were in bulletproof booths that one would slide in passports to be checked. Suddenly a huge explosion was heard and the guards dove under their desks for protection. The soldiers were anxiously scanning the crowd seeking the person responsible. Bonnie began laughing so hard, tears were running down her face while other passengers began to giggle with her. One of the soldiers noticed a metal light fixture swinging on the long chains – and dust was billowing from its top. “The light must have exploded!” he declared. Bonnie and Val certainly had no intention of correcting him with the information that the explosion was her champagne cork hitting the metal light! She was more afraid of calling her father to bail her out of a Roman jail!