Barbara Sinatra summed it up when she spoke of her late husband, Frank. "I can feel him here. He is here tonight. He was my backbone. He was my strength."
That's what Saturday night's National Italian American Foundation's awards dinner was all about: remembering fallen stars such as Frank Sinatra and Sonny Bono, and honoring ancestors, such as grandparents who left Italy to seek new lives in America. Not even the Roman gods were forgotten: Faux marble columns symbolizing a Roman temple formed the backdrop of the head table in the Washington Hilton's International Ballroom.
Another honoree, actress Anjelica Huston, remarked that she has always been identified by her paternal Irish ancestry -- the impressive Huston name. But, for once, it was her mother's Italian heritage that was being recognized. She told of a skill she had learned from her maternal grandfather, who "taught me to stand on my head and sing Italian opera."
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.