After a night back at home in our own bed after the long and crazy Thanksgiving weekend in Connecticut, we had a surprise visitor Sunday morning.  Alberto Basso, our patron in Genoa who graciously put us up on behalf of Franco, was in Los Angeles to visit his daughter Valeria.  Those who saw my presentation at HGG8 may recall us loading an incorrect, older PowerPoint file.  The first slide was a text placeholder reading “Valeria.”

Because that’s how our trip started – meeting Valeria and her mother Luisella (visiting at that time), and establishing a line of communication and translation, which would soon prove indispensible as we juggled flights and struggled to get out of the States (that d*** volcano, remember?).

Her parents take turns visiting during the year, and we were thrilled that our various vacation schedules gave us this hour or two to see Alberto again – especially now that Valeria has made plans to move to Chicago after the first of the year.

Our San Gabriel Mountains view was as clear and beautiful as it gets (yes, there are many smog-free days in L.A.!), and Alberto snapped many a picture for the gang back home.  He then got Franco on the phone, who asked us how soon we could come back, and when could he get a DVD of my two HGG8 presentations of our adventures.  Luckily, Brad has good quality video and audio of the event, now another thing on our agenda.

So that reminds me; this blog would probably be a good place to archive the slide show In Search of Genoese Harp Guitars, don’t you think?  There are many out there who didn’t see it, and of course, my endless stories and finds could not be contained in that short 90-minute segment, so I had to rush through the last half.

Perhaps a chapter a week, interspersed with more Gathering stuff and latest breaking news.  Don’t miss it!