An extraordinary event
In my book I included this photo of my father taken in Como in 1925 when he returned to Italy to do his national service (discipline was quite draconian in the Italian army in those days and because he unavoidably got back to Italy a couple of months later than he should have done he was sentenced to 6 months in a military prison which he had to serve before starting his military service) He is 21 in this photo.
Now for the quite incredible event. I knew that there was another photo of my father in uniform which he had sent to my mother during the war and I wanted to include it in my book. I asked my sisters to search for it and even described to them the round biscuit tin in which my mother kept all her family photos, but despite several searches neither the tin nor the photo could be found. My mother had given me several photographs in the 1960s and it was suggested that I might have it. I searched everywhere and drew a blank, the deadline for the book came and it was published without it. Whatever happened to that photograph remains a complete mystery, it is inconceivable that it would have been destroyed.
When my book was published I sent a copy to a friend in Italy who has a passion for old photographs and has an extensive archive. My book inlcludes this photo of my Dad which had appeared in a local calendar:
Pancrazio, the archivist, sent me a letter of thanks and at the end said "I include a photo of a soldier who might be your father" ... and amazingly it was a copy of the missing photo which I had never mentioned to anyone in Italy. On the back it says, in my father's neat handwriting "A Desiderio e Carolina Lazzarini - Spalato 29/5/41" and in another hand 'Ghiringhelli'.
Out of all the millions of photos ... and if that isn't amazing I don't know what is!