This time the story is driven by three things from Michigan. Then next time the “things” will be from the greater DC area. I’m delighted to have gotten two sets of three during the past week. So I’ll use the new words in the order received. Don’t forget, you can do catch-up reading at the page where the serial lives. And now, episode twelve of our little 1920’s story.
12. Italy, Family, Thunderstorm
I thought Mona and I looked real spiffy as we headed down the stairs. Though I had to admit, Mona always looked prettier. Since she was an aspiring actress, she had to have nice clothes. She wore a light green dress with a dropped waist. It had wide ivory lace gathered at the waist and at the hem, with strip of similar lace at the fluttery sleeves. Mona finished the ensemble with a scarf-hat of the same fabric and lace. I pushed my pink cloche hat further onto my head to make sure it didn’t come off. It looked kind of breezy outside, and I hoped we didn’t end up with a thunderstorm ruining the party.
The “movie star” had kept up a nonstop stream of chatter, so I hadn’t found out many details about the shindig. But one thing was really bothering me, so I interrupted her. “Hold on a sec, Mona. How are we going to get out there? Santa Rosa Sound is not exactly around the corner.”
By then we were in the building’s foyer. I heard the sound of a big motor right outside. Mona grabbed my hand and we went out the door. I was stunned. Mona waived her arm grandly, bowed and said, “Madame, your chariot awaits!”
Our ride was a fire truck? Granted, it was the old one that was mostly used in parades. It wasn’t the main truck the department would use for a fire. But a fire truck? “How…? Err, why?” I sputtered.
“If I want a big part in a film, then I need to make a big entrance!” Mona cried gleefully.
“But who…?” I began, the cat still having a firm hold on my tongue.
Then a familiar looking guy jumped down from the fire engine. At first I thought it was Frankie, but then I spotted his broad shoulders as he backed away from a couple of other guys that were still on the truck. He caught up with the first guy. There was quite a resemblance between the two young men. I knew they must be family. A moment later Frankie introduced me to his cousin Flavio. I squinted looking at the two guys remaining on the truck as they climbed down. There was more than a resemblance between the last two — they were twins.
“Hey Flavio!” one called as they walked. Then he elbowed his twin for the low whistle he made at Mona. “Cut it out. Be a gentleman.” Then he urged Flavio, “Aren’t you going to introduce us to these dolls? I mean ladies?”
Frankie made as if to swat the two younger guys with his hat. “Grandma would have you by the ear,” he muttered and the two quickly straightened up.
Flavio seemed to be the eldest of the group. “These two mugs are my brothers, Fedel and Frediano. Don’t mind them. They’re partin’ company with us here and going into town.”
I tilted my head, and looked a question at Frankie because my thoughts were as flipping with all the “F” names. He seemed to get what was on my mind. Fedel and Frediano gave me matching crooked grins. Then the fireman said, “A lot of Fabros came over from Italy. Every different branch of the family seems to favor a particular letter of the alphabet for names. It’s sort of a tradition with the Fabros.”
“Betcha can’t guess which letter our branch of the family tree uses,” Flavio added, and Mona and I laughed.
I learned that Mona had met Flavio when she went down to the fire station with her big plan to use the old truck. When Frankie learned about the shindig he’d asked to come along. It actually wasn’t hard to believe my friend had secured a fire engine as transportation. Regular guys just couldn’t say no to Mona.
As the boys help us up into the cab of the fire engine, I commented about the large bag Mona carried. I had thought it was a bathing suit but it sounded like there was paper inside. Sure enough she pulled out a brightly colored end. “Streamers!” she said. “When we’re nearly at Santa Rosa Sound, we’ll stop and decorate the truck!”
All I could do was shake my head. She thought of everything when it came to being noticed.