Friday, February 28, 2014

Counting beans and Nazi criminals

There are so many things things that happen in a lifetime, writing it all down would be a bit overwhelming. But there are a couple events that are totally random and worth mentioning, for example, in August of 1977 our little apartment was searched by the Italian police because Herbert Kappler, a war criminal, had apparently been smuggled out of his jail cell by his wife. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer weighing only 105lb making it relatively easy for her to pack him up in a suitcase and carry him our to her car assisted by the helpful carabinieri (guards). (Kappler was portrayed by Christopher Plummer in the 1983 TV movie The Scarlet and The Black)

Another interesting factoid is that my mom was really into the Montessori method of teaching. Everything was flash cards and all day long she flashed them in front of me, some were different species of birds, others were words (both English and Italian), or cards with nothing but several red dots all over them in random messes, then were cars make and model, house hold appliances, tools, electrical equipment, etc. all names and words called out loud and clear as they were flashed in front of my little nose.

This flashing started before I was born and I was the strangest little 2 year old in the park, calling out the names of each bird that landed in the trees, the flowers, as well as what wood was used on the little picket fence. And if I was near a street where I could see cars....well I'd get all excited and shout out the make and model...I was a weird little kid.

Sadly this is why I suck at spelling, because I learned to read by recognizing a word on sight, rather then sounding it out. I was a very fast reader both Italian and English. There is a tape out there somewhere that I last heard when I was 15, it has a recording of me reading the New York Times, then switching to the Italian News Paper of the day...I was 3 years old.

The math dots were the coolest thing, because it taught me how to count on sight, for example my mom would dump a bag of beans on the floor and I would glance down then yell out "271!" the stupid part was that I'd have to count all the dumb beans to prove I was right.

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