Page 13 - Trapped in a Diamond

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Chapter 1
Beaten But Not Defeated
I was born in
Italy in 1946, just after World War II. It was an
exciting time in Italy. Free elections were held for the first time and de-
mocracy had triumphed. On June 2 of that year, the king was ousted,
and Italy became a republic. I was born eight days later. I was born in a
little town in the south of Italy close to a major city, Taranto. Our town
had about 7,000 inhabitants including three to four prominent fami-
lies, land-owners, and professional people. My uncle, the town doctor,
and my grandfather, together with his brothers and a couple of other
families, were the major land-owners. My grandmother’s family was a
prominent family of doctors and professionals. The rest of the people in
town, with the exception of some artisans, were the workers of the land,
the vineyards, and the olive groves.
My home town was located a few kilometers from the seaside town of
Torre Colimena, where for a long time, we were the only family that
enjoyed the free clams we dug on the beach. I fondly remember the days
spent in the sun, wearing padded gloves, catching the sea urchins hiding
between the rocks. We would eagerly go to our father for him to open
them for us; we would then squeeze lemon juice on them and eat them,
savoring the flavor of the sea.