A Young Couple
About the Filmmaker
A Young Couple
Vicky Gardella glanced at the pictures that adorned her nightstand; most of them were pictures of her grandchildren, but there was one that seemed that seemed to be her focus. A young couple with their arms thrown around each other and smiles plastered against their lips in black in white, the edges faded from wear and tear throughout the ages.
Vicky slowly pulled herself from the bed as she went over, fingers brushing at the frame. “This is my late husband, Louis Gardella.”
She seemed to stare at the picture for a moment, contemplating if she should pick it up and continue. She did.
“I first met him in the Mediterranean. I was living with my brother on a visa, but in order to stay and get my visa extended, I had to work for the government. I worked for the Chief of the Federal Police [in Lybia].” She slowly grinned as she finished that sentence; her back straightened as she took a seat once more in the chair, her fingers wrapping around the edge of the frame that was now face up in her lap. “I was the only girl in the Libyan force, and I was so spoiled there – I would do anything I wanted to do.”
Vicky went to explain how they had their offices in a castle that was on the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, so every single castle window had a view of the blue waters. Her tone became louder as she spoke of this instance, a delicate smile appearing on her lips, but as she continued to speak, it appeared to become more genuine. Happier.
“My brother and my husband had been in the field together, so they were hot, and sweaty, so they had come in to get a glass of iced tea.” She let out a laugh, as if imagining their initial meeting.
“I saw him there, and he saw me there, and he instantly said 'that's the girl I'm going to marry.' I didn't know it of course. I didn't think much of him. I just wanted him to go home, so we could go home and start eating!”
Rolls of laughter echoed throughout the bedroom. Vicky handed the picture to me, and as I looked at it, I couldn't help but smile myself. The same love she held in her eyes in the photo was the same love she held in her eyes now. ◊
Many Languages Vicky Gardella attended the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic School in Palestine from her elementary to her high-school years. The school lessons were taught in the language of French, so she became fluent during these years. Because Palestine still had many Arabs and Jews attending school, each child was required to learn the language of their heritage – Arabs learned Arabic, while the Jewish children learned Hebrew. All students were all also required to take English due to the British mandate and her father believed it would benefit her if she learned Arabic. Therefore she took, and became fluent, in it; Arabic was also the official “street language” of Palestine during this time. Vicky also learned several other languages throughout her lifetime. Her mother's side of the family originated from Greece – and many of her siblings can be found living there to this day – so she learned Greek from a private tutor after her schooling was over for the day. Greek was the official language inside their home, and she was discouraged from speaking any other languages in the house. If they spoke any other languages at home, they were hit over the head. After she graduated school, she moved to Libya, where she learned how to speak Italian, because it was the official language of where she lived. Vicky learned to speak a little bit of German during night classes in her college years. Later in life, after marrying her husband, who was in the navy, they were stationed in Paraguay where she learned to speak Spanish. She learned to speak the language fluently in three months. Although she is now 84 years old, Vicky has retained most of these languages; she can still speak in English, French, Arabic, Greek, Spanish and Italian.◊
MICHELE FISHER is a sophomore studying English Education. She dreams about becoming an elementary school teacher in Colorado, where she lived for 10 years. She spends most of her free time writing, or plotting novel ideas. She enjoys writing mostly fiction, although nonfiction can make its way onto her page on certain occasions. When she's not, she can be seen hanging out with friends, reading or napping. You can reach her at email@example.com
"Born A Survivor: Vicky Gardella"
films by Michele Fisher
A woman of many languages and international memories of childhood and the man she would marry.
“I saw him there, and he saw me there, and he instantly said 'that's the girl I'm going to marry.' I didn't know it of course. I didn't think much of him."
"Born A Survivor: Part 1" (3:37)
"Born A Survivor: Part 2" (1:28)
How Many Languages Does Vicky Gardella Know? (1:08)
"Thirty-Three Candles" (3:25)