Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Ciao, bella! Hello, my children! Mamma is back from her well-deserved, if overly-long, visit to her homeland; the proud, lovely isle of Sicily. Perhaps her  relatives were not quite as thrilled to see her extend the vacation an extra six months (is 3.5 years really that long?)… but that’s water under the bridge (or across the pond) now. Mamma is back, so all is well.


Mamma was so very excited to be returning to her beloved Pittsburg that the flight’s turbulent touch-down in San Francisco, the semi-hazardous BART ride, and the 20 minute wait for a “5 minute away” Uber car were distant memories upon casting her eyes upon her beautiful Pittsburg, sister city of Isola delle Femmine, Sicily. Despite the 19 hour trip home, Mamma was looking forward to setting foot upon familiar ground and breathing in the air of proud Pittsburg.


One of Mamma’s first tasks was to catch up on what has been happening in her favorite waterfront city while she was relaxing in the Mediterranean. Much to her surprise, our sleepy little hamlet, our suburb of the Big City, has not been the most well behaved in recent months. Now Mamma is not one to frown upon child-like fun and innocent tomfoolery, but she left a few “trusted” people in charge while she was away and, in retrospect, it seems that she did not choose them wisely.


Let Mamma digress for a moment. Before Mamma left for the mother-country, she gave specific instructions to her darling children running Pittsburg: 1) Do only good, 2) Fix Pittsburg’s image, 3) Keep your nose clean.


Simple enough rules that really weren’t much to ask of a city with 68,000 of her precious children, was it?


Well, gentle readers, Mamma is not pleased. Apparently Mamma’s trust in her children was misplaced. It seems that the boys and girls left in charge ignored her every instruction. Mamma does not take kindly to children who disobey her. Although they may be too big to put over her knee for a good spanking, Mamma can certainly give them a tongue-lashing like no other; and, it seems, a well deserved one at that.


Let Mamma explain what has been going on over the last 18 months while she was relaxing on her beloved Sicilian island paradise.


  1. Her young boy Giuseppe Sbranti has been misbehaving terribly. Apparently the poor boy is in way over his head and is unable to handle the job responsibilities of City Manager without causing terrible things to happen in our beloved Pittsburg. (More on this later.)
  2. The boys and girl Mamma put in charge of oversight (Benjamin, Dwaine, Marilyn, Salvatore and Willis) have apparently been off playing house and not taking their responsibility seriously. Mamma cannot abide the thought of her children being less than upstanding citizens in the very city they run.
  3. One of Mamma’s most promising sons, Brian, has suddenly found himself embroiled in a scandal that could not only shake the very core of Pittsburg’s crime prevention department, but could find my poor boy ousted from his top-dog position altogether. A distressing state of affairs for Mamma, indeed.


What is a mother to do? Well, it may be time for Mamma to take a swig (or two) of the Limoncello she smuggled back from Sicily in her voluminous undergarments. Or to take matters into her own hands.


Mamma was so very proud of what her beloved Pittsburg had become over the last ten years. But now she finds that the very people who were to take care of the city in her absence have been failing to achieve the three simple goals with which they were tasked. A distressing state of affairs, indeed.


There is so much more to tell, but Mamma must run now, it’s time for her Zumba class. Never fear, however, Mamma has another chapter in this story to tell, and it only gets juicer (or more distressing, depending on whether you find yourself looking in or out of the Glass-and-Steel Castle.)


Ciao for now, my darlings,

~ Mamma.

[Look for another chapter from Mamma Leone every other Monday, only on PittsburgVoice.org.]