After five years of life spent in an orphanage to be ripped out of that world with no warning and forced into a completely different world would be a shock for any child. No matter how rough life may have been in the orphanage it was the only life I knew. Once again I would be asked to accept a new reality without understanding why. Moving to a new country not able to speak the language.
So I came to America the land of opportunity with no limits on what you can become. My earliest memories were of course tv. A five-year old italian who can’t speak english watching television for the first time. I remember being sick a lot . I had sore throats and ear aches seemingly constantly. I had three different types of measles. My new mother was a retired nurse. So she would take care of me and treat me through all my illnesses. My adopted father was italian and could understand me so he was my translator. But he refused to speak italian to me. His reasoning was that I would learn english quicker and have less of an accent. I guess ultimately he was right.
It turned out that I wasn’t very healthy. I had several physical problems. I was suffering from malnutrition. I had slight curvature of the spine. I walked with my toes out at almost a ninety degree angle and on my ankles. The specialist said I walked like that because I never wore hard soled shoes. I only ever wore slippers. I had to where corrective shoes until I was twelve years old. When I finally refused to wear them because I was tired of the other kids making fun of me.