Monday, May 23, 2022

Our “L’il Marco” at the Bocce Restaurant, 1959


Dick and I were married in 1958 and living in New York city. Our favorite Italian restaurant was a place where you entered through a neighborhood bar and then into the back room which featured an indoor Bocce court. It was so much fun to enjoy a magnificent Italian dinner while watching the men compete.

About 2 months after our first son Mark was  born we decided to treat ourselves to a night out at "il Vagabondo" and we took him with us. The bar was very crowded that night and we knew many of the locals by sight. Many of them were elderly Italian men and their eyes lit up when they saw Mark and they wanted to know what we had named him. Of course he became “L’il Marco” to them and they insisted that we leave him with them and go in and enjoy our dinner.

I suppose that sounds a bit shocking in today’s world, but we felt very secure leaving Mark with them. Even when we were seated at a table in the next room we could hear them “ooing” and “ahhing” over “L’il Marco” as they passed him gently around the bar. When it was time to leave I remember that our usually good baby started to cry and I was amazed. In a very short time he had come to love those rough old men and he hated to leave. I felt the same way.

In 2008 Mark and I actually took a trip to Italy and we often enjoyed watching and listening as the elderly Italians laughed and gestured their way through a conversation. I told Mark how it reminded me of the magical night when he became "L'il Marco" and was held in the loving arms of the same type of old Italian men just like these.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Great story. Such couldn’t happen today. So sad we have lost our innocence.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What a sweet story about a trust that is sadly gone today.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a sweet memory — another of the many that you have unearthed from your eventful life.

4:54 AM  
Blogger Linda P. said...

I loved this story, both for the local color and for the evidence of how essentially good humans can be. I needed that today.

5:46 PM  

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