Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

The Day Santa Died

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It was Christmas Eve. We got to the butcher and picked up our gallantina for Christmas Eve and lasagna for Christmas dinner. Gallantina is a local tradition – a chicken is de-boned and stuffed with everything from prosciutto to pistascios and hard-boiled eggs to eggplant and then pressed and cooked, sliced and eaten cold. Got chores done in way home – bank ATM, started the car, checked out last-minute grocery list as a warm sirocco-like but  humid wind moved in and made the town almost summery.  Lou dropped by for a grappa and headed home for a shower. Riccardo dropped by and said he’d skip tonight because he won’t be able to find a parking space because of midnight mass at the church. Then we found out. “Bobbie died,” he said

Bobbie Natale, the true Santa from Sweden, died while walking his dog this morning. Santa died. The whole world had to be told. Headed down to the piazza with Lou following to scout out the facts. We ran into Simone’s wife and Lou got our foto and she told us “Babbo Natale e morta.” I asked if they found an alternate and she nodded her head and said, “Qualqu’ uno” (somebody).

I asked if her osteria’s Christmas Eve dinner (E30) was full and she said no, they didn’t start planning/advertising early enough. I said they’ll start earlier next year and she nodded yes.

Then she said Santa was due to land on the piazza at 3:30 so we came back to the apartment and sipped a few until it was time to return to the piazza. It was still warm and humid. And it started to drizzle on the dozen or so kids and their parents in the piazza. So the small trope moved into club rooms below the street level across the alley from the osteria. Guillermo said the club room was made available after it started to rain. Santa and his jingling sled were greeted about 4:20 by applauding parents and wide-eyed children. And everyone got something. Even adults received little packages of candy from each of the kids.

But no one seemed to miss Bobbie.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 25, 2009 at 5:13 am

Posted in Europe, Travel

Tagged with , , ,

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