Kissed by the Vice President
Do you know the fairytale about the princess who kisses a frog that turns into prince?
I do, but I never thought I would be treated like a princess and kissed on the cheek by the Vice President of the United States at the Sons of Italy in America gala in Washington, D.C!
Vice President Biden and I attended the gala to pick up awards, and he could not have been more down to earth. It turns out he grew up surrounded by Italians. He reminisced about his childhood friends, the moms in the neighborhood who invited him to eat Italian food, teachers he had in school, his football teammates, and many other Italian-Americans in his life.
He seemed very reflective and moved by the award meaning we had a lot in common!
The Vice President was gracious enough to pose for pictures and stay for dinner with his wife and granddaughter (and more secret service agents than I could count). As the night wore on, speeches were made, including one by yours truly, about the importance of preserving our Italian heritage for the next generation. There was wonderful Italian music and Joe Mantegna hosted as master of ceremonies for the evening.
All through the dinner I was thinking about how I could give a copy of my latest book (Ciao Italia Slow and Easy) to the Vice President. The moment presented itself just as he was about to leave and one of the guests at my table, Judge Michael Jones, sprang to his feet and managed to present it to Jill Biden, the Vice President’s wife.
I have visions of her paging through the book and dog-earing it for recipes she would love to try, if only she had the time. Because I know that deep down the Vice President is wishing for a nice home cooked Italian meal!