It was Sunday, and we were invited to Uncle Eddy's for Sunday dinner. Uncle Eddy was the chief of police - a big deal. Even though they lived in the same village, I had never been to their house. There were five of us, and five of them, so, ten altogether.
Uncle Eddy was my father's uncle, so he was my great uncle. He didn't seem much older than my dad, though, and had the same black hair. Aunt Annabelle had strawberry blonde hair and was a bustler. She did a kind of short-step half-run all around the house. Much later, I saw this same exact kind of movement by Edith Bunker, on All in the Family.
My Aunt Annabelle had outdone herself. I had never seen so much food served for one meal before. There was a white cloth on the table and fancy glasses and plates. We were on our best behavior.
On the table in the dinig room was an entire electric roaster of rigatone with meat sauce, a whole rump roast of beef, which smelled delicious, a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes with a little ocean of melted butter on the top, two sliced loaves of Italian bread, a pound of butter, and a salad of lettuce, tomato, and black olives.
I don't know why we were invited that one and only time. My brothers and I ate heartily, as did my father, Uncle Eddy, Aunt Annabelle, and the three of their four children present - Young Eddy, Christina, and Little Johnny. My mom ate little while keeping her eagle eye on us AND my father, to make sure we didn't embarass her.
My father and Uncle Eddy were telling stories of the old days, before there was running water in the houses. There was a knock at the kitchen door. My Aunt Annabelle went to answer it. I heard her excited whispering in the kitchen.
The priest had come - to collect money, my father said later. This was more delicious novelty - we were protestants, and I had never seen a real priest up close before! I could see him through the dining room door. He was dressed in the black and white priests' costume, and had his hair cut in a bowl cut like the Beatles. He looked friendly.
Aunt Annabelle closed the door between the kitchen and the dining room, came quickly into the room, and fell on Uncle Eddy's feet. Aunt Annabelle was a big woman.
"Father is here," she said to Uncle Eddy's shoes. Then, looking up into his eyes, she spoke ferverently and quietly. "Please," she whispered, "please, don't shame me!"