Recently, my friends Giuliano and Karlheinz invited me for breakfast at a brand-new local eatery called The Gathering Place. Giuliano was excited to tell me that I would have something in common with the owner. “He comes from Torino, just like you and your family!” I was amazed and happy since there are not so many piemontesi (people from northern Italy at the foot of the Alps) in my area.
As we were enjoying tea and coffee, Daniele Russo came to our table to welcome us. His tall handsome presence was a plus in the already beautiful Mediterranean ambience of the historic home. After discussing the Italian community and how to target business, Daniele seemed grateful for the suggested connections.
As I handed him my business card, I told him he could contact me if he needed any more information. He read my card and then looked up at me saying, “I see you’re a speaker. Do you speak on the Andrea Doria?” When I explained that I was a survivor, he was intrigued, and added his connection to the Andrea Doria; “My friend Rick Roost from Ann Arbor died diving the Doria,” Daniele explained with sadness in his eyes. I told him that Rick’s name has come up many times during speaking events and shipwreck festivals. To turn the subject into something positive, I added, “I’ve been told that Rick was a fantastic deep-sea diver.” Daniele agreed and explaining that he himself is a diver and would love to have an Andrea Doria event at The Gathering Place.
What wonderful discoveries: a new eatery, its Italian owner, a diver, and someone who offered another curious and endless Andrea Doria connection.
NB The dinner event will take place on September 25 at the Gathering Place, in quaint Northville, Michigan. The menu will be the same as one of the dinners offered on the Andrea Doria.