Mommom’s Bid for Hollywood

Mommom passed a few weeks ago.  She was the 97-year-old incarnation of independence who raised three kids by herself in the 50’s and let no one hold her back from doing what she wanted to do.

I believe all people have a story–that one event that should be made into a movie, but it never gets published. Hollywood never hears about it. And sooner or later it just disappears because no one remembers it anymore.  

Certainly her previously-blogged eye freakishness could be an interesting subplot, but I would imagine surviving a terrorist attack as the main attraction.

In 1973, Mommom, along with with her sisters and families, boarded the Sounion for a cruise to Israel.

Sounion cruise ship

While they were docked overnight in Beruit, two men set a bomb on the ship and probably set it to detonate once the ship was out to sea the next morning. I say “probably” because they botched the job and blew themselves up right then and there.  Certainly this still caused the ship to sink, but since the ship was in port, nearly all passengers made it off alive.  The newspaper reported no casualties; however, Mommom claims one couple didn’t make it off.  A man had a heart attack and his wife chose to help him instead of saving herself.


That’s not the only place her story differs from the article.  The article states all passengers spent the night in a hotel.  She told me it was a warehouse where they stayed until they could prove their US citizenship in order to return home. . And the article says everyone climbed aboard a plane the next day and continued their trip.  However, the passengers escaped in their pajamas, with little else.  Certainly, jewelry, wallets, and passports went down with the ship.  How would they be able to continue their trip? If you read the article, you’ll pick out lines that tell you this is a cleaned up account of the events.

Mommom’s version involves a lot more yelling, threats, and huddling together for comfort for days. Her perspective makes it real, makes it different than the accepted truth, makes it her story.  

So you know people.  They have stories.  You have a story.  Write it down.  Write the truth.  Don’t let it disappear when no one’s left to remember it anymore.






About tonyvarrato

I teach, write YA novels, take random pictures, and tell bad jokes. View all posts by tonyvarrato

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