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A Sicilian Adventure

September 18, 1988

The Shaw article on Sicily brought back a sackful of memories. I was in an Air Corps squadron stationed there in 1943. I, too, got married overseas a year later. I was lucky to have a vehicle to use and covered a lot of territory. I'd lead a convoy from Messina or go on weekly ration runs to Palermo--driving through Monreale. I was impressed with the gold leaf on the pillars in the abbey. Richness there and poverty--cattle walking in and out of the homes--in the town.

I got a kick out of watching the "milkman"--I was on the road at 6 a.m. and the milkman with his cow was walking from house to house. He would milk the cow at the front doors, using a vegetable tin as a measure. No sanitation in those days!

Having been in the liquor business before World War II, I was entrusted with the business of purchasing liquor for the officers' club and the enlisted men's club. I found a distillery in Palermo in the basement of a castle, where they would bottle anything ordered overnight. Half the champagne would be "dead" by the time I would get back to camp.

IRVING BRAND

Long Beach

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