"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5


when i was in high school, my friends and i frequented a pizza joint, often on lunch break or after school. it was owned by an italian man and his mama, who spent her time in the kitchen making fantastic oily pizza and selling it by the slice. silvio was an artist, fashioning sculptures out of cement and stone, steel rods and junk, some anatomically correct, in stages of various ancient costume. these took up most of the store space, lining the walls to the ceiling along with posters from the homeland. we would stand at the long, low counter to order - there was a shelf that ran its length under our elbows into which was crammed what seemed to be hundreds of black records..mostly sleeveless, all italian. we'd take our greasy slices out the back door to the skinny alley garden and sit on the rickety metal chairs, setting our paper plates on the cloudy glass topped round tables. while we ate, silvio would come out to translate the scratchy strains of whatever was on the turntable, piped out into the ramshackle outdoor dining room through tiny speakers hung among the twinkling lights and green leafy vines. "hear how sad he is? he is a soldier, far from his woman. and he misses her so, and hopes that she will wait a-for him..."
once in a while we'd go and find a sign hung at a slant on the front door - "gone to italy - back in a month". he had come to america as a teenager and still had many ties back home.
for all the fond memories i have of this place, i somehow always fail to remember to run by there when i am home, which isn't all too often. on a whim, i looked it up online today, and i discovered that some art student has made a documentary about silvio and his little place! i've got one on order for me and one for my sis for christmas...check it out here. sometimes i love surprises...