Tag Archives: Marie

Well, do you? ~ by Marie…

Buongiorno a tutti!!¬† ūüôā

(posting a wee bit early this morning!)

Way, way, way, way back

Flashback Friday!

While we are¬†waiting for Marie to return to her seat (we really must take those pictures of Igna out of the cockpit!), “Ok, come on, good girl, follow the dimple….” I thought I’d repost a poem she wrote many years ago….

– Do you “one click” order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble?

– Do you hum Their music at Walmart? The Doctors office? Work?

– Do you know the location of Abruzzo, Marsala and Naro?

РDid you pay $400.00+* just for a closer look?  *price updated for 2017!

– Do you know what the letters “TLUC” stand for?

– Do you feel the need to use words like Buonanotte, Grazie and Bravo?

– Do you look for that freckle on the end of Ignazio’s nose?

– The small scar on¬†Gianluca’s right cheek? Piero’s little cross?

– Do you plan to spend the rest of your life celebrating Their lives?

Well, do you?

I already knew you did.

Welcome, this is exactly where you belong.



Meet and Greet with Marie

There’s nothing like the first time you see them live and on stage! No jittery camera video from row Q. ¬†No people talking as the camera rolls. ¬†No song ending early because someone is out of time or iPhone space! ¬†There they are…in front of your face! They are more beautiful than you even dreamed they would be. ¬†No matter how many times you’ve listened to their Cd’s, they sound like something from heaven you’ve never heard before! ¬†Then the Meet and Greet happens!

M&G 11 tippy

Many of you will be attending your first Meet and Greet and have asked about the process. I am no¬†expert on M&G’s, but I’ve attended six¬†of them and can tell you what I know. Let’s start with walking in the venue door…Look around and ask at the ticket booth where to go to wait for the M&G after the concert. Usually you stay around your seat while the rest of the audience leaves. A staff member will tell you where to congregate from there. It use to be that there was a table set up in the lobby as you walk in and there were¬†gifts for you, like a tote and scarf with Il Volo written on them. Lately there hasn’t been a table. In fact, many¬†times they don’t have merchandise to sell. ¬†Take full advantage of this if they do! I have 16 t-shirts. I only wear the one’s that have a twin.

Find your seat there are staff to help. Also, if you have a walker or etc. a staff person will be there to gently assist.

M&G 16
Oh come on Allene. You can smile bigger than that! Well..maybe not!

The Concert:¬†Not what this post is about. To answer one on-going question…Taking pictures during the performance is a rule of the venue, not the Il Volo Team. Piero personally told me this, he said pictures do not bother them at all while they’re singing (you may pause here because the “personally told me” part impressed you so much.) Best I remember of the seven concerts I’ve attended three did not allow photo’s. The concert is merely two hours of heaven and you won’t be crying¬†when it’s over. Because…YOU HAVE MEET AND GREET TICKETS!

M&G 10
That’s Prese’s bold hand on Gianluca

You will have about a 30 minute wait while the Guys shower and dress in more casual clothing. Usually you and about 20 of the hundred or so M&G ticket holders are given a paper bracelet ID and are led into a space/room and there THEY are!

M&G 5
Meet & Greet 2013

You look at them and the first thing you will think is that they look like normal people (I have heard this from others too). If you’ve been to one you know what I mean. It’s not like you expect them to be 20 feet tall with sparks emanating from their finger tips, but they surprisingly look like three normal young men. Like Jim Douglas said a while back, “they must tuck in their wings.”

M&G 13
Allene, Mary B. and Jane. I think you know the others. You can tell that Jane doesn’t mind the line up!

Gifts for Il Volo: I don’t take gifts. Many people do and some are amazing! I wonder what they could possibly do with them all, plus I think they should give me one. You are usually asked to put your gift and purse on a table before greeting them.

M&G 15
What a fun pose of Suzy and the Guys

Now you get to watch the people in front of you greet Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero. This is so fun! ¬†Surely you don’t think your going to be the only one who looks like a star struck fool, do you? ¬†You are now a little¬†shaky, but hang in there.

M&G 19
Jeannette, Greek Theater, 6/7/14

OK…now the person in front of you is with them. You are next. I always find that this is a good¬†time to make deals with God, like..you promise to go to church more often if He lets you get¬†through this without throwing up on Piero’s shoes. Breathe! I am proud to say that I have never¬†chosen the next moment to cry, faint or wet my pants… at least until I think about it later. (Thank¬†you God.)

M&G 14
Remember this? Got caught going for an extra dimple!  I gave him fair warning.

The Next Moment: Now it’s your turn! You may go up to them alone or with your group. You¬†have been waiting for this moment for a long time! Take it! Hug each one of them and/or shake¬†their hands. Cheek kisses are also in order. Try to remember what you planned to briefly say. Of¬†course they’ve heard all of the praise words before, but not from YOU! And they will love hearing¬†them. By-the-way, they hug back really well! ¬†

We all saw them on stage with our gift of the Book last summer, “Love, From The Flight Crew”. ¬†Let’s ask them how they liked it. Maybe they¬†will remember your greeting!

M&G 8
While Mary and Loretta were getting ready for our group shot I had a conversation with Gianluca. Yeah, I knew Ignazio was listening and touching!

I must take a moment to talk about SMELL!!!¬†The guys have just showered and applied cologne! ¬†Take a sniff! After a hug, if you’re lucky, you can still smell them on your clothes. Happened to¬†me in Chicago. I could smell Ignazio for hours. ¬†Alas, by morning the smell was gone. I swear to¬†you I know someone who, as soon as she got back to her hotel, ripped off her blouse and put it in a¬†plastic bag to preserve the smell. That’s creepy. I, on the other hand,¬†ordered Acqua Di Gio by Georgio¬†Armani (Ignazio’s scent) from Amazon. Not at all creepy.

Bring one thing for them to sign, a CD cover, a picture from a prior concert or M&G, your Flight¬†Crew badge. I’ve had them all signed.

Mary's daughter took this when Piero jumped in our cab. I had him sign it in July. It says, "With love, Grande Amore, Piero."
Mary’s daughter took this when Piero jumped in our cab. I had him sign it in July. It says, “With love, Grande Amore, Piero.”

M&G 18
During one M&G this year I will ask¬†them to autograph¬†the “Grande Amore” CD cover. Don’t worry, they will each have their own permanent Sharpie in¬†hand. Take your time, but don’t overstay your welcome. Remember, they may not love you quite¬†as much as you love them. ¬†

They Don’t mind “set-ups”. In fact they think it’s fun… Like when Linda couldn’t make the concert.

They were happy to do this. It has much meaning for me now.
They were happy to do this. It has much meaning for me now. The Boys were important to Linda and her family used this picture at her memorial.

Or when I “pretended” to steal Ignazio. They are such good sports.

Note that he's holding both of my hands!
He may look scared,  but he is holding both of my hands with one of his!

Be sure to have the friend behind you snapping pictures with THEIR OWN¬†camera, as fast and as¬†many as possible of your moment with the Boys. When your time is over, turn and do the same for¬†your friend. When it’s your turn a staff person will take your camera from you and snap a shot or¬†two for you. ¬†Also, usually there is a professional photographer who will take two posed pictures. After you pose, it’s your time to leave. ¬†(Yes, you have to do it eventually)¬† The photographer will hand you a card with his email address. In a day or two you can log on and buy the¬†pictures. Last concert season I think they were 10 or 12 dollars. Didn’t matter…I bought them.

At a M&G Mary gave Piero a 21st birthday gift. I love the expression on all their faces when he "blew out" the candle.
At this M&G Mary B. gave Piero a 21st birthday gift. I love the expression on all their faces when he “blew out” the candle.

Do not forget your Flight Crew Badge! It is distinctive enough for the guys to recognize and they¬†will usually smile and/or nod at it! Yay! ¬†Afterwards is a good time to look around to see if Barb or a parent is around receiving accolades. ¬†You can tell if they seem to be approachable at the time or if they’re working. If approachable, be¬†quick while telling them how grateful you are that Il Volo is in the world and that you think they¬†are taking good care of them.

Got this beauty of Barb and Mrs. Ginoble at a M&G. I also have one of me with each of them!
Got this beauty of Mrs. Genoble and Barb at a M&G. I also have one of me with each of them!

Then you leave….. You forget half of what you said and 75% of what they said, but it was a moment¬†you will never forget.

Well there it is. That’s all I can remember for this post. Please keep in mind that it could all be¬†different at your venue. What I have given you is the usual way as I know it. I’m sure I’ve left out¬†important things and others will give you more clues in the comments below.

We’ll be looking forward to seeing your pictures, video’s and stories!

One last shot. You all know this one. It's cropped from a M&G in 2014.
One last shot. You all know this one. It’s cropped from a M&G in 2014.

Yikes this is long, but so fun to have relived my own memories while writing!


“Love From The Flight Crew” ~~ Keepsake Book

Finished Book1



Hey Everyone!

Here it is: our gift to Il Volo this summer!

(note: the pink text on each photo does not appear in the actual book)


Finished Book6



"Dedicated to The Guys of Il Volo...because we love them..."
“Dedicated to The Guys of Il Volo…because we love them…”

I have to say, Il Volo has the best fans in the world!¬† I know they know that; we know that.¬† But, I’m just amazed each time we ask, you guys deliver.¬† ūüôā¬† So many beautiful sentiments/pictures were sent, and so many monetary donations.¬† Thank you for your generosity!

I can’t take a picture of every page, but if you sent me something, I put it into the book — even the things people sent to my home.¬† Every comment and picture was included.¬† Finished, the book is 31 pages long, an additional 11 pages to the 20 it came with.


We also included some posts from the site.¬† I have to thank Marie for doing the lion’s share of work on that piece of the project.¬† She went through all of our posts (do you know that we have over 700?!) and then emailed me her top 50.¬† I have no idea how she narrowed it down even that much.¬† ūüėĬ† You all have been so prolific and engaging here that there were so many that we wanted to include.

In the end, I narrowed it down to 10 and then further when I received the converted .pdf files (thanks to WordPress for helping me figure out how to do that).¬† Some of the posts were much too long when converted into documents (some were 20 pages by themselves), and on others, the integrity of the formatting/text was actually compromised, so they couldn’t be used.¬† The posts that were included are:

  • Il Volo is a Phenomenon ~~ by Jeannette
  • Music Notes; Myron’s Take on Eurovision ~~ by Myron
  • Indescribable ~~ Flight Crew game to use every letter of the alphabet to describe Il Volo
  • Grande Amore; The Wait is Over ~~ by Jana
  • Coming Home ~~ by Marie
  • One Soul With Love for the Holidays


I will ship the books to our wonderful news contributor, LiJoy this week.¬† She graciously agreed to carry our gift with her to Italy.¬† I have not included pictures of gift wrapping since…well I haven’t bought it yet.¬† ūüôā¬† But, LiJoy has asked that they be gift bags; they will be easy to pack, easy to use when it’s time to give them to The Guys and will still allow her to get through security and customs during her journey since the books won’t already be wrapped.

Now down to brass tacks.  I promised that I would be up front with you about how your donations were being spent, so here we go:

  • Over $200 was given for this project.¬† Our order for 3 books (one for each of them) with shipping came to just over $100 during Shutterfly’s 4th of July sale.
  • The package will be sent UPS to allow me to receive a tracking number, have insurance provided and insure that it is taken care of better than when it goes through the post office.¬† The gift bags will also be purchased out of this money.
  • The remainder of the money has been saved.¬† We can use that for another project or for something else.¬† We will “talk” with you before using any of it to get your input.

I hope this meets with your approval.  Thank you again for participating and your generous help in providing this gift for Our Guys.  I hope they love it!  And thank you, LiJoy, for taking it to them!


Detroit – My Story (book) ~ Marie

Dreams do come true and Fairytales are real! Here is my story of an evening with those Three Italian Sweethearts.

Photo DPTV
Photo DPTV

I Didn’t get much sleep in the days prior. How could I knowing I was soon to see and possibly TOUCH those amazing faces? To even anticipate being in their presence gives me chills and insomnia. ¬†My in-person meetings have¬†always been sweeter than I even hope. ¬†Not better than my embarrassingly wonderful dreams, but better than I hoped. This gathering was no exception.

On Sunday, July 5th, my sister and I drove 5 1/2 hours to Detroit. The 7 hours it took to get home through flooding storms was nothing. I would have pulled over in Toledo, Ohio and fought a dragon to have been with THEM.

After meeting Jana (what a treat to finally meet my “adopted” daughter) and seeing my friends from Minnesota, (meeting Mary 3 years in a row and 2 years for Suzy, Jane and Allene) all of whom I love dearly, we were looking forward to dinner. We were joined by 2 of Jana’s Pals, Ginny and Chris. I knew the Boys had special friends who owned Antonio’s Italian Restaurant, so we thought since the Boys were coming in early

The fibbing manager, Suzy and Mary.  Suzy is uncontrollable!
Antonio’s – The fibbing manager, Suzy and Mary. Suzy is uncontrollable! That’s her hand not Mary’s.

in the afternoon, we might meet them there. No luck. The manager, who fell in love with Ginny, told us the Boys were at the boss’s house for dinner that night. We found out a little later that the Boys were still in New York due to flight delays and didn’t get in until after 10. Don’t go back there Ginny, he lies! ¬†Antonio’s had newspaper articles about Il Volo framed on the wall. Allene even had “Il Volo Pollo” from the menu.

Back at the hotel I was prepared for a Pre-Il Volo Night Party in mine and sister Debbie‘s room! I brought Italian¬†flags, Cardboard cutouts of Pisa’s Leaning Tower, Gondolas, The Coliseum, and a map of Italy. ¬†I also brought a couple bottles of Italian¬†Moscato, Crystal (or was it plastic) wine glasses and my computer which held EVERYTHING Il Volo. Oh…and I brought speakers. I can not tell you how proud I was when someone knocked on the door and complained. I mean the youngest person in the room was 50! ¬†I thought about tearing up the room like a rock star but I didn’t want to scare Jana since I had just met her. The Minnesota Ladies would have forgiven me. ¬†Just like they forgave my stunts at the end of this story. No..don’t peek! ¬† Note: ¬†Only sweet Mary calls me an angel.

My new nightshirt - a gift from Jana
My new nightshirt – a gift from Jana
The back of my new Nightshirt - I'll let you translate it!
The back of our¬†Nightshirt – I’ll let you translate it!

I didn’t do anything much the next morning after breakfast except run from room to room annoying everyone in nervous anticipation of THIS NIGHT! Sorry about your nap Mary, but I was going to see Ignazio and his friends later!


Yummy. Prime Rib and wine for me.

Other friends at dinner
Other friends at dinner

This, not being my first Il Volo Rodeo of extreme fans, I had either met or recognized about half of the 50 people there. Hello to all of you, especially Emilia, (wait until I tell you about Emilia!) from whom I received three hugs. My most proud moment at the dinner table was when one woman pointed my way¬†and said, “That’s Marie Crider.” I turned around to tell Marie how unusual it was that we would have the same name, but no one was there. The other woman looked confused until the first one said, “Flight Crew”. I could see the light go on. She said, “Oh, I’ve read that.” another woman sitting next to the first one, not to be outdone, said, “I get their emails every day.” I politely thanked them all, but on the inside I was trying to decide if the Queen’s wave was the one from just the wrist. I am happy to tell you¬†that there were several people who came up to meet me¬†because I was a member of The Flight Crew! Never forget your Flight Crew Badge!

Michelle Gaisser, Mgr.¬†Member Engagement, Detroit Public TV, (to whom I am forever grateful for my invitation to the event) brought James Lewis over to my table. He asked to join The Flight Crew. ¬†Jim, if you’re reading this I’m sorry I forgot your title with DPTV (marketing?) ¬† I was probably distracted by your good looks. Welcome!

Michell and I
Michelle and I

Everyone was having a nice time and trying to act calm until the first spotting of that Dimpled One and 50 people erupted like there were 500.

The Guys did not eat with us. Meet and Greet was next:

Me and those Guys - DPTV Photo
Me and those Guys – DPTV Photo

I watched as Jana was anointed by Ignazio. He is so sweet! I didn’t know if I wanted to pinch his cheek or genuflect. Then it was my turn!!! Being second to last I wasn’t hurried. I told them how happy and proud I was for them for¬†becoming so successful at home. You can only guess which one makes me stutter the most, so I tend to speak to him the least. I hugged him (he hugged back!) then I kissed those dimples. I try to be fair to them both and do really good, yet equal, kisses on each dimple. ¬†Jim Lewis had my camera and got me sneaking DSCN0662 - Mariethis extra one before the photographer took our group picture. Hey, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I had heard our Gianluca was ill and had a fever. Sure enough he had to step aside and use a tissue several times. As I was kissing cheeks I lingered on his to see if I could tell if he had a fever. (Well, my mom used to do that!) ¬†I think he did. I also wispered a secret in his ear. He smiled. I was kinda hoping I would catch his cold. Didn’t. They all signed my Sanremo DVD insert. I can’t tell you what else was said, it’s a total blank. Did you ever see a dog rub his back in the grass¬†in ecstasy? That’s pretty much how I felt so, no chance¬†to remember mere words. ¬†I was just trying not to smile like a fool. As you can see in the picture, I failed that goal. When I got to Piero I asked him to sign a picture Mary’s daughter took of he and I in 2013 when he jumped in our cab. He remembered! He told me when and where it was. He signed it, “With Love. Grande Amore, Piero”. Then he looked at me and tilted his head. Was he trying to remember me from our conversation last year? or did he just notice my really bad hair day? Then Security thought I had had enough time. ¬†OK, but not before I get my hug!

DSC N0664 s face - marie
Emilia greeting Gianluca. Look at Ignazio’s face. How do they stay so “normal”?

Now to Emilia. I had met sweet Emilia before. They call her “cupcake” not only because she makes them, but because she is so cute and sweet! She’s around 18. She was immediately behind me at the meet and greet. Emilia went directly to Piero and said, “I wanted you to dance with me at my prom.” That Prince of Princes, that gentle man of gentlemen pulled her to him, started singing and waltzed with Emilia tucked snugly into his chest! I wish all of you could have seen her face. I wish I had taken a picture, but I just stood there reveling in the moment. She has a treasured video of that dance on FB. I hope you get to see it!

I know this is long. It will be here. You can finish later if you like. I’ll mark the spot.
‚áź HERE ‚áí

We went back to the dining room for dessert. Dessert? Like Jane said in her story, the “real dessert of the evening” was yet to come! ¬†I had chocolate covered strawberries. The Boys were in hair and makeup. ¬†

The Studio:

DSCN0680 yes copy marie

Shortly, we were ushered into the studio. The Guys also came in.¬†You have to know how astonished and elated I was to realize that we would be spending the next few hours in a small studio with THEM!¬† Oh, Joy of Joys! ¬†First of all I have to tell you that our Anges did not act like angels all the time off the air! They played like three young brothers. They filmed some. They went live-on-air some. They spent time with us during filming breaks. They played three stooges with each other. Remember the night before last they were singing for 60,000 people at a free concert in Napoli and then spent yesterday waiting for a delayed flight that didn’t get to Detroit until after 10 pm. They were tired and probably a little slap-happy, but they had fun!!! And, OH MY GOSH! So did we! Here are just a few of their antics besides dancing and singing silly songs. Sorry that some are blurry, but they were swift in their play and hard to catch.

Such cards!
  DPTV Photo

Such Cards!


“Not doing anything, might as well flick an ear.”

Ignazio and I both saw this one coming. Piero didn’t! ¬†Ouch!

DSCN0699 shoe  marie

How do you think Piero would react to a dirty tennis shoe? Yeah, that’s what Gianluca thought too!

DSCN0689 hit - marie

Don’t laugh Gianluca. ¬†Piero passed it on!


I missed photo’s of some really funny moments too. Like when Ignazio stuck his little finger up Piero’s nose. Thank God he didn’t try that with Gianluca!¬†

More Photo’s:

DPTV photo
DPTV photo

These are our Guys. ¬†These are our Guys with Security. ¬†Do you see the really big guy beside Ignazio? ¬†Nice Guy! ¬†He and I had several long¬†conversations. ¬†Went something like this: ¬†Him: “Ma’am, you can’t go in there” Me: “Yes, Sir.” ¬†Him: Ma’am, please move on.” ¬†Me: ” Yes, Sir.” ¬†Him: “Ma’am, Please stop texting. ¬†The sound is being picked-up by the microphones.” ¬†Me: (oops)¬†“Yes, Sir.” ¬†Him: ¬†“Put HIM down!” ¬†Me: “Nope“. Only that last one is¬†a lie.


DSCN0704 n - marieThe Pompeii Concert was on this screen to my front and right.  No one watched this.  We all knew the show happening right in front of us would never be sold on Amazon!  So, I have yet to see the actual concert!


DSCN0697 marie

Piero wandering around us.  I think he was looking at the tv monitor I just showed you.
DSCN0707 yes jana circled cropped
Jana!  Pledge Phone Volunteer Extraordinaire


DSCN0701 - marie

 Its Piero with two young happy ladies in hand just walking around.

DSCN0663 s - Marie

Whatcha doin’ Big Guy? ¬†Checkin’ to see if Little Bro has a fever? ¬†I won’t tell…ya big softie!

I was able to step back and have a brief conversation with Barb Vitali. ¬†We’re women. ¬†We talked about weight. ¬†We spoke just a few minutes longer then we had to get to our seats and be quiet again for another taping session. ¬†Luckily we were allowed to take pictures the whole time if we didn’t use flash.

If I had half a brain, I would stop my story here by telling you how much I enjoyed our Il Volo Gentlemen and the wonderful men and women with whom I shared the experience. ¬†But no… Some of you may never read this site again…. ¬†

While Ignazio was wandering through the audience the people in front of me asked him to take a selfie with them. ¬†So, he bent over directly in front of my face, not a foot away there it was! ¬†What could I do? I poked it! ¬†I looked at Jane and said, “Oh no! I touched his butt!” ¬†When I looked up there he was looking down at me with one eyebrow up to his hairline! ¬†He¬†tried to give me a stern look. ¬†Didn’t last long and he broke out in a gorgeous smile and said “oooo”. ¬†Whew! ¬†I had just traumatized myself and have no idea if he said anything else. ¬†I only know I did not have another conversation with Big Security Guy. ¬†Should have. ¬†It would have kept Allene on my left and Jane on my right from trying to rip off their Flight Crew Badges while¬†crawling under their chairs a few minutes later. ¬†

The people in front of me did not learn their lesson. ¬†I blame them. ¬†So, when Piero came walking by they asked for a selfie with¬†him too. ¬†Only in his compliance he bent over even further than Ignazio had. ¬†To my astonishment¬†I saw two claw-like hands, reach up and… Oh No!…They were my hands! ¬†Of course he jumped! ¬†He turned around and to my great relief said, “Oh, Thank You!”. ¬†I’ll bet you think I sat there in complete humiliation. ¬†I didn’t. ¬†Jane and Allene did. ¬†I was smiling. ¬†I am still smiling. ¬†It was soft, yet muscular and I’m not sorry I know that.


Marie’s Excellent Adventure ~ Piero ~ The Final Chapter

You know, the whole day before your life changes forever, it’s just an ordinary day.

Here is what started that next day (Grab a cup of tea. Pull up a chair. This is going to take a while.)

After seeing that hotel room view (Chap. 3) and thinking there was a possibility that The Boys really were just above me, I noticed the gym was merely 10 steps from my door. I took that as an omen. I know the Boys work out mornings. I got up at 6:30 a.m., threw on a t-shirt, sweat shorts and tennis shoes (no makeup – hair, well bad) and headed for the gym. No one there – Left.

7:00 – no one in the gym.
7:30 – no one in the gym.
8:00 – Two guys in the corner. Neither looked familiar.

I figured The Boys took off the night before if they were ever really there at all. I had been either sitting in a car or sitting at a concert for the better part of two weeks. At home I walk everyday. I was stiff and crampy so I hopped on a treadmill. Within five minutes someone jumped on the one beside mine. IT WAS PIERO!

Even writing that made my heart thump!

I took a deep breath and wondered why, since the place was almost empty and there were plenty of machines, he hopped on one less than six inches away. I vowed not to do a fan thing and just kept walking. He immediately said, “I see you.” I said, “Yeah? Well, I saw you too.” He laughed. I made Piero laugh! I will never forget that exchange! At this point I was walking to the pace of, “Oh Boy, Oh Boy, pause. Oh Boy, Oh Boy.”

Later, when I got back to my room I immediately wrote down everything I could remember. Michele made me run it all by her, word for word, in case I remembered more. Thanks Michele! I wrote a few more notes on a couple of envelopes in my purse in the car.

Here’s what I remember:

I told him I enjoyed the concert last night. He must have been in a chatty mood ’cause he kept talking. He asked what my favorite part of the concert was. I told him “everything” (my momma didn’t raise no fool!). I did say that I really liked the solo’s and the new Caruso arrangement. I asked him what his favorite part was. He said the big orchestra and the really nice indoor theater. He asked what I didn’t like. I told him the only thing I didn’t like was not being able to take pictures. He said that it was not their request, it was a rule of the theater. I asked him what he didn’t like. He honestly told me a few things. Think I’ll keep them to myself.

I had an easier time remaining sane then you might think. My nervous energy was lessened by the fact that I was on a treadmill the entire time. However, about this time I had a thought – “I can’t believe you’re walking beside me talking like a normal person when last night 4,000 people were screaming your name.” That made me pretty nervous and I tried not to think those thoughts again!

I asked him if there were sound problems last night. I said I thought I saw Ignazio giving hand signals to the sound guy. He agreed and said that it was only in the beginning of the show though.

I told him I thought I saw him drinking more water than usual during the performance. He said, “Not really. When I do this a lot. I need much water.” It’s hard to describe what he did, but he opened his mouth and made a hard whooshing sound out of his mouth and nose at the same time. I don’t think the average person could do this with such amazing force! He showed me this several times in a row. I said that I could see how it would make his mouth and throat dry. He said it did. He then told me that his solo “No Puede Ser” was the hardest song he ever sang.

Piero said he was glad they had two days off and could get some “good sleep.” I told him I thought his voice was sounding a little tired this morning. He said, “No, I always sound like Barry White in the morning.” Wouldn’t you love for me to say he serenaded me with a Barry White tune right then and there? He didn’t. Hey, a girl can only get so lucky and I was currently thanking my lucky stars, God, my parents, his parents, the treadmill manufacturer and everyone and everything within a hundred mile radius! All I said was, “that’s not a very bad thing, Piero.” He laughed again!

He asked how many concerts I had been to. I told him four. He asked which ones. I said Vienna, Virginia first. He said, “Oh yes, rain at first.” We talked a little about Sterling Heights and Elgin, but I don’t recall what was said. I know he talked about them being outdoors. I told him that last night was my last concert. He said he had 3 more concerts in the U.S. and Canada. I asked if he then would get to go home. He said no, they will leave the U.S. and go to… He has a heavy Italian accent you know and I had trouble understanding the word “Cannes.” At one point I said, “Canada?” He said, “No Cannes. Kah-inn-zzz.” I got it. I asked when he would get home. He said not until July 6th or 8th. I had another thought here. “I’m awake, right? No one is going to believe this. Not even me!”

He asked where I lived. I told him Ohio. He said, “I know Ohio,” but looked doubtful. I said, “You’ve been to Cleveland Ohio.” He said, “Oh Yes.” I could see the light go on in his eyes.

Keep in mind we were side by side this whole time. I’m still walking and he’s started some serious running. I wanted a brief full body view, so I slid back a little on the treadmill. My sneaker hit the side and made a squeaking noise. He grabbed my upper arm and said, “be very careful.” I said, “Thank you. I can’t believe you’re running so fast and still talking.” He said, “I run like this every morning.”

I noted the timer on my treadmill said 30.58 minutes.

Piero soon stopped running and talking (darn). He got on some leg machine behind me. I was still walking and trying hard to remember every word of our conversation. Pretty soon I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked around and it was Piero. He said, “Will you stop please? (WHAT?!!)¬† “Sure.” Of course, I couldn’t find the off switch and I pulled that plug people use to attach themselves to the machine (Michele is still laughing about that). He said,“Can I take a picture of your tattoo?” Ok, right then I thought I might get sick. He knew who I was! He could not have read the small tattoo on my ankle while I was walking on the treadmill! Now was my chance for proof of our meeting! I said, “Sure, if I can get my camera and take one of you.” He said, “sure”. He got down and took a couple of pictures. I flew to my room got my camera and called Michele.

When I returned he was back on the leg machine. He got up and asked me to join him in the picture. No make-up and dripping with sweat, I refused. He grabbed a barbel and posed for these:

DSCN0337 - marie

DSCN0338 marie


After I took those two pictures do you know what he said? “Is that enough?” What a man! Then I said, “Piero, I’m with the Flight Crew.” He said, “I know.” (Oh yes he did!) I said, “then you know I will probably write about this.” He said, “Yes, certainly.”

I got back on the treadmill. Pretty soon, tap-tap again! (Swear to God!) This time I was sure he was going to invite me aboard that big black bus headed for Italy. I know there’s water. I would paddle! I pulled the plug (stop it Michele) and got down. He took my right hand in both of his and said, “I’m happy you enjoyed the concerts. I hope I see you again next year.” I said, “Oh, you will!”

He put his towel around his neck, picked up his water bottle and went out the door. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at the door wearing a t-shirt that I hoped was wet from sweat and not drool or tears.

My Dear Piero,

If by chance you’re reading this and I now think there’s a good chance you are, I tried to tell this as accurately as I could. I hope you agree.

You are not only in possession of one of the three greatest voices alive, but you are one of the nicest people I’ve met anywhere. You have surely raised my expectations of you. Next year and the year after that and ten years after that, after you receive much more deserved notoriety, I expect you to be as honest and real with as much kindness and grace as you showed me on that most unforgettable morning.


Yeah, the day before was so ordinary.