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"lasting friendship is the source of the deepest happiness"
April 22, 2014 7:44 AM   Subscribe

"I often think about my long-ago friend, and I wonder what happened to her," wrote children's author Eric Carle in his book "Friends", published last year, inspired by his friendship, as a 3-year-old, with a young girl growing up in Syracuse, New York. He did not know her name, just that that she was the daughter of Italian immigrants. Last Sunday, over 80 years after he last saw her, he and his long-lost friend, Florence Ciani Trovato, reconnected.
posted by beryllium (21 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

Wow. Thank you so much for posting this. What a great story.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:51 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]

Appropriately, Trovato means ‘found’ in Italian.
posted by misteraitch at 7:53 AM on April 22 [12 favorites]

Order Placed: April 22, 2014 order number: xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxx
Order Total: $14.98
Delivery estimate: April 24, 2014
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:56 AM on April 22 [8 favorites]

Hey Mandy Grey, once of McKinleyville, CA, who lived with your grandparents at the end of the rocky road, if you're out there, "Hi!"

You, too, Russel of Azusa.
posted by notyou at 7:57 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]

Pollen count must be high today.
posted by jquinby at 8:03 AM on April 22 [5 favorites]

They reportedly met for lunch where they dined on: 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries, 5 oranges, 1 piece of chocolate cake, 1 ice cream cone, 1 pickle, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 1 slice of salami, 1 lollipop, 1 piece of cherry pie, 1 sausage, 1 cupcake, and 1 slice of watermelon.

The green leaf was untouched.
posted by dr_dank at 8:09 AM on April 22 [54 favorites]

That night, they had stomachaches.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:18 AM on April 22 [15 favorites]

And now I'm wondering what possessed his parents to look at Germany in 1938 and think "that looks awesome. Let's move our 6-year-old there!" The Depression, I guess.

Anyway, it's kind of amazing that he found her, and also amazing that they're both in good enough shape at 85 to enjoy the reunion.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:20 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]

There are so many people in my life, in the past, who I've only known briefly, but who had a lasting impact on me in some way. Some of them are dead, others have long since moved to other places and I know not where to find them, but all of them are cherished dearly in my heart.

I could only hope to reconnect at some point if they're still around so far into the future.
posted by symbioid at 8:23 AM on April 22

I can't believe they only mentioned that he wrote The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar only late in the article.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:24 AM on April 22

I can't believe they only mentioned that he wrote The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar only late in the article.

Maybe the author has a child between the ages of 2 and 6 and forgot that not everyone knows who Eric Carle is.

(The Very Grouchy Ladybug is currently #1 in the Penguin household.)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:37 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]

Warning: picture accompanying article has The Very Hungry Caterpillar spoilers!
posted by Jpfed at 8:38 AM on April 22 [9 favorites]

It would be great to have a "Best Friends Reunion" website.
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 8:49 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]

The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar

That should obviously be the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:04 AM on April 22

I believe Dip Flash was referring to the rare tie-in synergy edition with Hungry Hungry Hippos product placement
posted by iotic at 9:20 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]

I read that article in the paper this morning. Sean Kirst's columns are one of the few bright spots remaining in the Syracuse Post-Standard.
posted by maurice at 9:25 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]

Mefis, Mefis, what do you see?
posted by jquinby at 9:26 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]

My daughter read a lot of his books when she was younger; I'll have to show this to her. I need to find out if she has the best friends book.

This really brightened my day!
posted by TedW at 9:52 AM on April 22

Mo Willems is a die-hard Eric Carle fan. In the background of one of the classroom photos in Knuffle Bunny Too, you'll see a familiar name and caterpillar on one of the cubbies.
posted by dr_dank at 10:32 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]

Sean is a good guy, a great writer, and a friend. We're definitely lucky to have someone of his talents in Syracuse.
posted by JimBJ9 at 11:02 AM on April 22 [5 favorites]

I live near Syracuse and have visited the lovely Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA which I recommend. This is a great story. And yes, Kirst does great work; we're lucky to have good journalists here.
posted by kinnakeet at 1:17 AM on April 23

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