Whenever I go back to Italy and speak to the elders of my small village, they all seem to understand the meaning life better than city-folks. A conversation with a town elder is always followed by a good Italian proverb. The one I liked most and lived-up to it is: “Impara l’arte e mettila d’aparte”. (Learn a trade and set it aside).
This morning, I read a blurb on our good friend Jay Leno, whose paternal ancestor’s came from Flumeri, a small town in the Province of Avellino, who said that he did not spend a penny of his salary from “The Tonight Show”, instead he made a good living from the money he earned from his stand-up routines. He explained that throughout his life he always had at least two jobs. He said that as a young man he worked at a Ford dealership and made extra money by holding on to another job at McDonald’s. He would spend the money from one job while saving the money from the other. He kept this philosophy throughout out his life, and now enjoys the fruits of his hard work and smart thinking. Now all the money he saved went to the work he enjoys most by collecting vintage cars. “Jay Leno’s Garage” is a success!
I’m certain that if Jay Leno were to return to Flumeri for a visit, an elder from the town would listen to him and say: “a un Buon Cavallo non manca Sella”. (There is always a saddle waiting for a good horse).
Italian proverbs are short but have enduring meanings!