Gruppo Italiano

Gruppo Italiano

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

This post could be subtitled “Why I Started Studying Italian Again”. It was a fortuitous sequence of events that led me to take up Italian again. My wife (the lovely D) has a client who had started studying Italian because of her love of Italy. I believe the connection from that point was a familial one, i.e. a language teacher was organizing an informal group to meet in a local cafe to speak Italian. Thus was I led to the lovely Mira. You can see her website here. So I started attending and stumbling along in my very rusty Italian with Mira and Victor. After some weeks we were joined by others and the core group now typical includes a total of five. The members are Mira, who is from somewhere in the Midwest but speaks several languages.  I think Italian is the best other than English. Then there is Victor. He is quite a character as well as an inspiration. He started studying Italian about a year ago at 69. The goal was to be able to talk to the locals during his long planned stay in Italy for his 50th wedding anniversary. So anyone that thinks that they are too old to take up the study of a new language should consider Victor. Also he wrote the original “Friday the 13th” movie script and has ever since been accumulating enough good karma to cancel that out. He also has a website that you can find here.  The next regular to join was Angela who is a reporter and has done a number of articles on local topics as well as having work in broader based publications.  Finally there is Doak. Yes, Doak, is not a typo. Apparently there was some famous football player about the time that Doak was born with that name and he has had to explain both the spelling and the story ever since. He’s an elected union official and seems addicted to the study of Italian.  There is another participant who I have only seen a couple of times and really don’t know much about him. His name is Jackson and he is a student at San Diego when he’s not here for the summer.

Aside from meeting at the cafe we recently had a dinner together at Angela’s house. Spouses were not invited so that we could speak Italian for the whole evening without apology and we almost did it. In a moment of excitement (and fueled by wine) I had to break the English barrier to discuss a point that I just couldn’t muddle through with my Italian. In any case it was a great evening and I think that we all were perhaps a little surprised that we could speak Italian almost the whole time and have real conversations. I could even understand Mira a couple of times when she spoke more rapidly than she usually does. Here is a photo of the evening. From the left: Angela, the lovely Mira, Victor, me and Doak.

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4 Responses to “Gruppo Italiano”

  1. Victor Miller Says:

    Great Gruppo, great dinner and a really top-flite blog. I am now hooked up via RSS.

  2. Joe Says:


    I’m glad that you like the blog and are using RSS. I started doing that recently because I started looking at other Italy oriented blogs. It’s a handy way of viewing blogs in particular.


  3. Mira Says:

    What a great blog and wonderful post! It was indeed a lovely evening.

    I’m actually from the Bay Area, although I did graduate from Oberlin College in Ohio.

    A presto,


  4. Joe Says:


    Ah, that was the confusion. I understand that Oberlin is quite a good school. One thing about California in general is that the natives are perhaps fewer than the transplants such as myself. I don’t detect either a California or Ohio accent in your italian :^)


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