139 - Waiting for Joe DiMaggio
April 1993: A small village in Sicily prepares for the first visit of 78-year-old baseball legend Joe DiMaggio to the town where his parents were born and raised. Fishermen, artisans, grandmothers — some 3,000 villagers brush up on The Yankee and Marilyn Monroe. Italian and American flags are strung from the buildings, two thousand baseballs are purchased for Joltin’ Joe to autograph. A feast of sea urchins, calamari, pasta sarda and marzipan is cooked in his honor. Nearly the entire annual budget of the town is spent preparing to celebrate the homecoming of the Yankee Clipper. The Mayor, the City Council, the Police Commissioner and hundreds of other Sicilian well-wishers gather at the airport in Palermo waiting to greet their “native son.” But he never comes.