In many of my trips to the cities of Europe, I can't help but wonder about the stories that hide among the residents. I remember a day in Rome when I was walking down a narrow, cobble-stoned street. I was in a rush to the next tourist attraction, paying little attention to the people I passed. But for some reason I noticed the elderly lady.
She was walking in the same direction as I, but slowly, along the right edge of the street. Although she didn't have a cane, she took each step carefully, staring down at the pavement in front of her. I felt almost ashamed to be in a hurry. She must have noticed my sudden change of pace because just as I pulled up beside her, she looked up at me.
I wish I could say that I stopped to introduce myself and we had a wonderful conversation. Or that she shared her stories and I learned so much about her life. But it was not until I passed her on the street, found the tourist attraction I was rushing to, finished my trip to Italy, and returned home that I thought of the stories I may have missed.
There are some, however, who stop to hear the stories. Below is a video of Noemi Loibi, a woman who grew up in Rome during the Nazi occupation of World War II, being interviewed about her experiences by Pennsylvania PBS. Thanks to their work, her stories were not left behind.
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