American Dream 
Andrew Colaruotolo, wearing his Sunday best, stepped out through his front door. The evening carried on with a magical feel to it. People hurrying to take advantage of holiday discounts, rushing from one store to another. Children playing in the first snow, dogs barking on cyclists passing by. Drawing anxiously on his cigarette, Andrew tried to spot a taxi among the endless wave of cars rushing down the street. Once he finally managed to hail one, he got in, careful not to crease his coat. His face was tired but peaceful. He was still bewildered by the great changes that the year 1978 had brought into his life. He barely registered the voice of the radio presenter going on about the thousands of colorful lights illuminating the Christmas tree traditionally placed at Rockefeller Plaza. Since he moved to the city, had never been particularly interested in sports or cultural events, and this one was no exception. Idly, he was watching the brightly illuminated shop displays, restaurants and banks his taxi passed on the way. ‘Get a move on!,’ the taxi driver suddenly snarled at the driver of the van in front of them. Andrew smiled to himself when he recognized one of his own trucks. He recalled his childhood and how he had always dreamt of running a business. He closed his eyes and thought back to the day when, with his newly received degree in architecture in his hand, he suddenly decided that he would set up a vineyard on two hectares of land he owned in the very center of Monroe Country. His ambition was to preserve the unique taste of the wine he used to drink in his home town of Gaeta, a small fishing community in the Mediterranean. The lands located between Naples and Rome offered perfect conditions for a multitude of various fruit and vegetable plantations. And while his siblings devoted themselves to growing olives and citrus fruits, he chose to focus on grapes and the production of wine. His Casa Larga, often known simply as the Vineyard, was soon widely recognized as the source of grapes of the highest quality. Unfortunately, World War II shattered his hopes and forced him to emigrate in search of employment. He worked hard as a mason during the day and spent his nights learning English. In the end it was here, in the US, that he wanted to settle down, start a family and live out his greatest dream. For his heart knew only one true ambition: to produce wines, white, red, dry or sparkling. Any and all. The taxi driver interrupted his nostalgic daydream and said they were there. Andrew paid the fare and waved dismissingly telling the driver to keep the change. He thanked the man and stepped out the car. Without hesitation he started towards the building where the annual winemaking award ceremony would soon begin. Most of the people he passed in the hallway recognized him and welcomed him cordially and respectfully. At the end of the ceremony the mayor proclaimed the winner of 1978 Wine Award. Deeply touched, Andrew walked up on stage and waited for the applause to die out before he began his speech: ‘Many of you may doubt the truth of the so called American Dream. And yet, here I stand. I came here from a small village in Italy with only one desire: to make the best wines ever to be served on your tables. It took a lot of hard work, but my effort has just been rewarded by your appreciation for the White and Red Estate, the wine whose taste can hopefully also inspire you to reflect on your lives and contemplate on dreams yet unfulfilled. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this gold medal and would like to wish all of you a particularly Merry Christmas.” Applause erupted from the audience and Andrew could take a moment to control his breath. He was very excited. And realized that he could not rest on his laurels. He would work even harder. Create. And in doing so – fulfill his dreams. Fate favors the dreamers – he thought while emphatically raising a toast with everyone else.

Madlen Namro

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