My Family History: Not Your Usual Storybook

I’d like to start with some background:

After WWII, the area which is now Osor, Croatia was under the “Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.”
This simplifies down to: The government was communist.

My great uncle, Zio Antonio, and two of his other friends decided to try escaping communism…. on a row boat. Lost without compass, attempting to steer toward Italy, the boat ends up half way down the 1,104 mile long coast of Croatia. Who would imagine that a large fishing boat would have spotted them despite the fact that they were in a row boat! Further, who would imagine that that the captain of the ship was a man who lived in his hometown of Osor…… across the street from him his entire life.

So the boat drops them off in Italy and they ask for political exile and that’s that.

Another thing I learned in this conversation was that my grandma, who grew up in Ventotene, Italy (Shown above) met her husband from Osor by prank calling him for MONTHS, until, he figured out who had been calling him. All the girls who were involved in the scheme were offered to dinner so he could finally meet the girls he had wondered so much about.

After the dinner, my grandfather walked out with the “main” prank caller, who spoke to him the most, holding an umbrella over her head, and they all went to see a movie.

When the movie was over, my grandpa was holding the umbrella over my grandma instead.

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