Ricky: Names and datesBy
Sharp-eyed reader Janys Hyde, who has lived in Venice twice as long as I have, read my report on Ricky and his mania for dropping things off the Accademia Bridge. She sent me a copy of the story as it was recounted in an article in 2011, which ran in the Nuova Venezia. I wanted to add these particulars to the sketch (it was all I knew at the time) I wrote a few days ago.
Here it is, translated by me:
May 31, 1973
Two finance officers and the folly in the Grand Canal
It’s May 31 of 1973, toward 2:50 AM, when the boat that was in service, with the Commandant of the Operative Naval Section of the Guardia di Finanza, Lieutenant Carmine Scarano, and two finanzieri, Alberto Calascione and Vincenzo Di Stefano, is traveling along the Grand Canal on their way to an intervention, passing under the Accademia Bridge.
A few individuals launch from the bridge a slab of travertine which strikes the boat and the two finanzieri dead center. They were moments of terror; the only one to remain unhurt is the Commandant who immediately realizes that the boat, without anyone steering, is heading for the embankment.
With a rapid movement he gains control of the boat and stops it, perceiving at this point the lifeless body of finanziere Calascione and hearing the cries and groans from finanziere Di Stefano who is wounded on the arm.
The Commandant manages to give the alarm and call for help, but unfortunately there is nothing that could be done for Alberto Calascione who, because of the grave injuries to his head, dies shortly after his arrival at the hospital.
Finanziere Di Stefano is kept in the hospital, his physical condition improves, but the memory of what has happened will never fade.
Alberto Calascione and Vincenzo Di Stefano were recognized as Victims of Duty (“wounded in the line of duty”) and of organized crime.
In various editions of Memory Day that have followed (I am still on the track of this commemoration; the paper uses the English phrase which is hard to back-translate into holidays I recognize), Vincenzo Di Stefano has never missed the occasion to commemorate, at the place of the attack, his colleague Alberto.