The Journey to My Father

The trip to see where my father was killed and to visit his grave had been postponed once because of the combined impact of 9/11, the failure of SwissAir, and medical difficulties experienced by my host. The trip did, however, finally get underway on July 21, 2002. The flight was uneventful, with smooth security, and on schedule. We were descending for Paris' De Gaule Airport before I realized that the moment had finally arrived. This was my first trip out of the U.S. as a civilian, first use of a passport (only clue was 40's movies showing passport use), first trip to Dad's grave, and to the place where he died. Not unusual for some but a large portion for me. Contrary to what young folks might think, we old folks have our apprehensions, too. We are as nervous about a new experience as anyone and are wary of things going wrong (wrong flight, wrong time, missed connections, etc.).

Charles DeGaul Airport
Left: On tarmac, Right: in terminal

A place I didn't care much for. Few places to eat real food,
and they lost my luggage twice.

The trip was to prove hectic as my friend Marcello was in training for his commission in the Italian Army and only had one day to spend with Frank and me. Because of that, some of the details may be inaccurate. My mind was fairly spinning by the time we got to Rome. The help we received from Marcello's family and friends was heartwarming and helped get us through some difficulties like late arrivals due to aircraft mechanical difficulties (causing arrival at Genoa to be 6 hours late) and lost luggage. Our first morning in Italy was spent not, as planned in the city of Santa Margherita, but in the port city of Genoa. Steeped in history and a busy merchant city today, Genoa clings tightly to the coastal rocks, defying the sea to pull it in. I'm now grateful that we had a chance to visit here. A special thing...ice cream. The absolute best!

Left: The port city of Genoa and
Right: One of its historic Gates.

Frank and I had an opportunity to visit downtown Genoa briefly while waiting for Marcello's day off. The city is a compact mixture of new and old and somehow, with all the crowding, the people move about easily in a fast and complex rhythm of social interaction and commerce. It is hectic, to say the least, but only to the tourist.

Left: The many scooters of Genoa and,
Right: This guy is everywhere!

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