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Max and Francesco

August 11, 2008

“We know the Iowa’s state, it’s in the Midwest, it’s true? We know very well the U.S.A. geography! We love America very much!! your country is very wonderful!!” –Max and Francesco

When my brother was in high school, he took a summer trip to Italy with some classmates. While he was hanging out on his hotel balcony in Salerno, he heard cries of “oo-sa, oo-sa!” coming from across the way. He looked up to see two young Italian men pointing at Andrew’s USA shirt and screaming gleefully.

This is how Max and Francesco entered our world.

Andrew befriended these two Italians (who turned out to be brothers) during the few days he was in Salerno. When they parted ways, they traded e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Over the next few years, Max and Francesco would call our home and wish us a merry Christmas or a happy July 4 or pleasant State’s Rights Consideration Day (always through a translator). Andrew exchanged e-mails with them from time to time.

One thing became clear through these brief conversations: Max and Francesco loved America. Far more than any American, in fact. And apparently far more than they liked Italy, despite their devotion to their home country.

And yet they’ve never been here. They’ve said that they don’t like airplanes. So instead they stay in their small town, which they call a “touristic village.”

A few years ago, Andrew sent Max and Francesco my e-mail address. No big deal. They e-mailed (and still e-mail) from time to time—I’d write them back after about a month.

As I learned this past weekend, Andrew told the two Italians—who were always eager to correspond with other Americans—that we was in an a capella group in college. Soon afterwards, all of the other members of the group got e-mails from Max and Francesco.

Not too long after that, a friend of Andrew’s was looking at an a capella board on a website when he noticed some notes from a group in Wisconsin about Max and Francesco. When he told Andrew about it, he looked around and found that other groups had been contacted by the Italians. College a capella groups across America were corresponding with the brothers.

To top it all off, a group called The Carleton Singers named their 2006 album “Max and Francesco Two Brothers.” That’s right. You can buy it here.

Max and Francesco, if you’re reading this blog, congratulations. You may be the most well-known Italian brothers from Salerno in America.

“We wish you and to Carolina and your Family a Happy 4th of July!! God Bless America!Take care. Your friends, Max and Francesco”

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