OPINION: Looking at old family albums ... that’s amore

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Alf and Greta Fiorenza on their wedding day 1962.
Camera IconAlf and Greta Fiorenza on their wedding day 1962. Credit: Supplied

You often come across pleasant surprises on social media.

Recently, something popped up on Facebook that made me smile.

It was a clip from 1953 of American crooner Dean Martin singing his classic, That’s Amore.

The song has become synonymous with Martin, and it has brought plenty of joy to many over time.

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When I was a youngster, I simply loved watching Martin in his old movies with comedian Jerry Lewis, and his weekly television program.

A lot of people have told me my dad looked a lot like Dean Martin when he was younger, so I decided to investigate by pulling out some old family photos.

Visiting my parents, I started by retrieving a large plastic tub that was tucked away in the backyard shed.

After removing the lid, at the top of the huge pile was an old biscuit tin filled with an assortment of images in both colour and black-and- white.

These included pictures of my brother and me, from babies to toddlers to teenagers, and quite a few of my parents with members of their families when they were very young.

Underneath the tin was a series of albums, one being a beautiful collection of my parents’ wedding photos.

Looking through the pages, it didn’t take me long to uncover evidence that Dad looked a lot like Dean Martin.

Actor Dean Martin, left, with Jerry Lewis in 1956.
Camera IconActor Dean Martin, left, with Jerry Lewis in 1956. Credit: AP

Both my parents look very glamorous, and Dad certainly resembled the Hollywood star, with dark hair and Italian looks, all capped off in a classic black dinner suit and bow tie.

I couldn’t wait to post it on Facebook and see the reaction. And they came thick and fast:


“Dean Martin to a T”.

“I think you might be right there”.

But my photo browse didn’t stop there — joined by both my parents, my brother and his two teenage boys, we all spent about an hour looking at, and talking about the past.

“Who is this, Dad?”, “How old were you then, Nanna?”, “Look at Dad and Uncle Pete!”, “Was that your car, Pop?”.

And it was great family time — sharing memories and laughter. For some reason, life, today, doesn’t throw up many opportunities like this.

I reckon we spend far too much time looking at our phones or laptops and, sometimes sitting in the same house, even in the same room, but not uttering a word to each other.

I really enjoyed looking through the old photos.

And you know what?

Dad does look a hell of a lot like Dean Martin...

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