This past week I officiated at the wedding of a friend, Emilio Arturi.
Here Emilio if pleading with Helene to marry him.
Gosh! she said yes.
They tried to practice the kiss before the ceremony. Emilio sees eager but Helene is a little reluctant.
Well I think they are ready. Can't say I like the tie but I am not there as a fashion consultant.
I have know Emilio for about 20 years. He is a charming and witty fellow with a fairly pronounced accent. I used to do the electrical work on the house in built in the North Bay area.
He always called me a "wiseguy". (He also pointed out the head of the Mafia in North Bay, for whom I later came to do some work. Well, that is another story.) Emilio always teased me about the romantic relationship he thought I had for my guard goat, Bernadette.
Emilio was a cabinet maker in Italy and when he came to Canada he worked hard for many years as a framing carpenter. Eventually, he formed his own small business with which he built custom houses.
He knows how to make money. He would buy an odd fill-in lot cheap from the city and from a small assortment of plans he would select a house design that would fit the lot that worked around the defect in the property, often an outcropping of rock. He built these houses by himself with a trainee student from the Youth Employment Center, which paid the students wages. He came to master all trades except mine, electrical.
All his houses were distinctive as they would have an arch somewhere which gave them a hint of Italy. I got so I could drive around town and spot the houses he had built.
Besides building houses he bought some larger properties in which he built small apartments. Eventually he had about 25 small apartments in three building he owned which he rented out.
Emilio's real passion was music. He had a disc jockey business, Arturi, The Music Man, which played records at private and public occasions. He loved to entertain.
I first met Helene when I was working on one of Emilio houses in which he also installed a beauty salon in the basement.
I became aware that Helene was more than a client. She was in fact his paramour!
Emilio was married and had two children. He built this house only a couple of blocks from his wife's house. How continental! Just like a French politician.
The wife is now gone and after being together for 20 years, Emilio and Helene are married. It seems patience pays off for Helene. They are both about to retire, sell all his property, buy a condo, in North Bay and spend half the year here and half in Rome, Italy.
Life seems to have worked out for the two of them. La dolce vita! (the sweet life)