I guess I should have seen it coming long before now, but when you love someone as much as I loved Sophia, then I think I turned a blind eye to some things, or maybe it's that I just didn't see things quite as clearly as I should have. We all kind of wear rose-colored glasses where our loved one is concerned. It takes a major monkey wrench thrown into the works for us to see the truth for what it is.
My name is Roger Moore, yeah like the Bond guy and Simon Templar, the Saint. I'm 67 years old now, and I was a cryptologist during the cold war. I was stationed at a USAF Security Services installation that had originally been a WWII Italian Air Base when what I am going to relate to you, happened. It was San Vito dei Normanni Air Station near Brindisi, Italy. This is down on the heel of the boot of Italy. I understand it is a popular cruise ship port now. This incident happened in 1967 when I was married to the former Sophia Todaro. I met and subsequently married the beautiful Sophia shortly after I arrived in Italy from my crypto school. Sophia is of Sicilian descent. However, as far as I know, not part of the bent nose group, if you know what I mean.
We met in 1963 when I was 19, and she was 17. By '67, we had three wonderful children, and I felt we had had enough so I secretly went TDY to Ramstein in Germany and had a vasectomy. Let's face it, a good Italian Catholic girl would never approve of me being snipped. I had to stay two extra days there, and I came back to Brindisi to my loving wife. She was just about to get out from the local hospital from having Giovanni, our first son and third child. We already had Rosy and Kyara. Rosy was four now and Kyara was two; almost three. As you can see I had very little input with our children's names, although Rosario was Rosario Helen Moore after my mother and Kyara was Kyara Margaret Moore after my maternal grandmother. Giovanni was Giovanni James Moore after my father. Somehow, with Sophia's family, I was never allowed to name the babies except for the middle names and the last name, of course. Sophia wanted Gio's name to be Stefano instead of James, but I balked at that as well as her mother.
I had just gotten back from running my PT test for my annual physical. I went in to work and was still a little out of breath and a little sore from running. I had worn a jock strap for my running since I was only a few days out from the vasectomy, but had changed back into my boxers and fatigues from my running shorts and tee shirt. When I got to work I went into the break area to have a soda and cool off.
Now our break area was in the middle of the building, and all our separate translation and signal desks were scattered all around us. This was a very secure area with picture ID badges and everything as this was a ultra top secret installation. So I plopped down in a chair across from my friend Dave Pinceiotti and promptly passed out.
Everything after that until I woke up in the ambulance going to the local hospital is what Dave told me afterwards.
Dave's story as told to me a few days later:
When Roger came into the break area, I could see that he had been running and since his wife, Sophia is such a good cook, he had put a little weight on and was close to being overweight for our annual PT Test. He had slimmed down some and just got back from a week's TDY to Germany for something. We usually had to go there when we had translated something really interesting or maybe broken some code where we had a debriefing by the headquarters bigwigs.
My Italian background and fluency in Italian, Sicilian, and Latin gave me an edge here, but Roger was more into the Slavic languages originating out of Yugoslavia or actually, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (or SFRY) under President for Life, Marshall Tito. Roger's grandfather was an English diplomat to the Slavic nations. He married a local girl from Zagreb, and that is how the languages came to him. Roger's grandfather immigrated to the US during the war (WW II) where Roger's father, James, was born. Anyway, back to the story about Roger and the day he passed out.
Roger came into the break area, and sat down and then just passed out. I immediately thought heart attack because I knew he had finished running the required two miles for the PT Test. I called the security team and had them call for an ambulance to take him to the local hospital. We just had a small clinic on the base, but there was a very good hospital in Brindisi. So once security was called, we had somehow to get Roger out of the sensitive secure area to the lobby of the building where the local medics could get to him. Now Roger was a big guy, 6'-4" and probably 200 pounds. Moving that much dead weight is no picnic, believe me. Several guys and I tried to manhandle Roger down on the floor from his chair. It was like a skit from the old Keystone Cops. Everyone running around in a panic and bumping into each other, we ended up dropping Roger on his ass and legs as he slipped out of a couple of guy's hands. I had a hold of his shoulders and could get him to the floor without bumping his head too many times.
Then the AP's [Air Police] came in, they were panicked along with everyone else. Finally, the ambulance arrived and a stretcher was brought into the break area. Now seven guys try to lift Roger onto the stretcher. It took five tries to get him on it and strapped down. Needless to say, he was dropped several times in the process. Once on the stretcher and wheeled out to the lobby, the ambulance people loaded him into the ambulance, managing to bang his head into the metal partition, since he was so tall. It was quite the episode.
Once I woke up in the ambulance on the way to the Brindisi hospital, I realized what had happened. When I plopped down in that seat, one of my testicles had moved, and I sat on one of them and passed out from the pain. That pain was actually mild compared to the pain in my head, my ass, and my back. Needless to say, I didn't mention my vasectomy, and I was checked for heart problems and subsequent back and head injuries.
My loving wife Sophia was still in the same hospital, although she was being checked out with Giovanni that afternoon, and this happened in the morning. Once lying in that hospital bed for observation, I could feel three goose egg bumps on my head, one big one on the very back, and one on the top of my head and one on my left side above my ear. My tail bone (coccyx) was a fiery center of pain, and my whole ass was sore to the touch. I had all kinds of wires attached to my body to monitor my heart and brain waves.
Sophia came to see me with Giovanni when she was released and tried to love on me, and she even let me hold my son for the second time. Wow what a feeling, holding a little part of yourself in your hands. Another you; I wondered if he would grow tall like me or be short like our girls. The girls took after their mother in the size respect, but Rosy had light brown hair like mine and a dark completion like Sophie. At four, Rosy is like 3'-4" tall and weighs about 40 pounds. She is kind of short and a little chunky. Kyara is like 3' high and weighs just 28 pounds. Kyara I think will be tall like me; she is 14 months younger than her sister but only 4 inches shorter. I love my girls to death, and Kyara has me wrapped around her finger already - much like her mother.
Anyway, I explained that I had passed out from running too much, and that I must have gotten dropped several times while they were trying to get me on the stretcher. I told her I was fine, and that I would be released tomorrow. Because of the hits to the head I had taken, they wanted to keep me overnight for observation to make sure I didn't have a concussion. Sophie stayed until they forced her to leave. Her mother had come for Gio about an hour after I had arrived. Stephana, my mother-in-law, was still nursing her latest one, Benedetto, who was two, so she could feed Gio when needed. Sophia was their first child, and Benedetto was their fourteenth, there was about two to three years apart between children. Stephana was only 16 when Sophia was born and is now just 37. She had said that this would be her last as she had some complications and the doctors did a hysterectomy to save her life. Rodolfo, her husband, was not happy about that, but the doctor gave him a choice: the hysterectomy or no wife. After talking to the local priest, it was decided that she could have the operation. From what I have gathered from Sophia, it was almost a year before Rodolfo and Stephana resumed intimate relations again.
We fast forward two years: Anyway, life went on. I loved my wife and my children. Gio was growing into a smart young man. I was so proud of my children. There was a school there on the base for military children, almost like a one-room schoolhouse, but more like five rooms with grades kindergarten through third; fourth through sixth; seventh through ninth, and tenth to twelfth, and an office.
.... There is more of this story ...