Excerpt from and article about a speaking event for Ameriprise Financial Services in South Bend Indiana:
As often manifests during my speaking events, there was an Andrea Doria connection. A gentleman informed me that there had been a family from South Bend traveling on the last voyage of the doomed liner. I asked him for the family name, but he could not remember. Another person spoke up immediately and said, “The Sergio’s.” I’m no longer surprised by these curious connections to the Grande Dame of the sea—but I’m always delightfully amazed!
To recap some of the highlights of this enjoyable evening:
- Hors d’oeuvres on the terrace accompanied by the sounds of a classical string quartet and fountains
- A gourmet dinner, which included Italian dishes from an Andrea Doria voyage in 1954. Each place setting was adorned with a copy of the original menu from that voyage.
- My one-hour presentation was preceded by a six-minute video of my interview on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.
- A one-hour book signing
As I lay down my pen, Mr. Brenner remarked, “These people must’ve liked you to stay around so long!” As I looked at my watch, I realized it was the longest event I had done for Ameriprise, yet I did not feel fatigued—partially from elation to the rewarding comments.
The only slight disappointment, and perfectly understandable, was that there was no time for a Q&A segment. I know there would have been many intelligent questions, i.e. “What did the crew of the Andrea Doria see on their radar?” “Have you been on a cruise?” “Were you ever reproached by the Swedish-American line?” “Are you planning to write another book?” Perhaps I’ll be invited to do another gig in South Bend, at which time I’ll linger on queries from the audience.
One final observation is that many people remarked their surprise that a movie has not been made about this historic event that sent shockwaves around the world. I plan on changing that!