Recently I was leafing through one of my collected “coffee table” books and ran across the article about an unusual gift given to a famous Italian actress named Gina Lollobrigida.
Luigina “Gina” Lollobrigida was born in 1927 and died in her 80s. Those who may remember her in movies in the 1950s and 1960s, know that she was every man’s dream of the perfect woman, along with many other actresses of that time. She was named as one of the ten most beautiful women in the world. Men, especially in the military, may have pasted her picture on the wall for courage…but there was one man in a most unusual place that found her inspirational and sent her a special gift.
Because we are in the season of gift-giving, I thought it might be good to consider just how important a gift might be to a person, regardless of one’s station in life. After all, it is the thought and using our imagination and talents that counts. Perhaps this can guide our choices of giving this Christmas.
Gina’s unusual gift came from a prisoner in a jail in the United States. During the long days of incarceration, he made her a mandolin of appreciation… entirely made of over a thousand matchsticks. They were varnished and shaped to a full-sized instrument that could actually be played. His package was mailed to Rome with a letter that explained that she was the “Queen” to the prisoners and admired by all of them. Gina sent a thank you note and prominently displayed the mandolin in her beautiful home. (Taken from The Art of Giving by Stuart Jacobson, published in 1987)
Turn up sound: Mandolin Concert (Czardas – Mandolin :Yahui Chen & Guitar : YunChang Dong)