From Christening to Retirement in One Day

As I have posted in this space many times… I feel its such a  blessing to be in the Ducati Family. I arrived in Bologna yesterday once again for my annual training pilgrimage. While the Model Year Training is the focus – there is so much more Ducatista Culture to absorb.

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This afternoon, my boss grabs me from training and says “You wanna go to a party?!?!” Off we wisk. As we begin to walk toward the factory, he discloses that the Assembly line for the newly announced xDiavel is about to start. They are hosting a launch party. As the entire factory gathers around the assembly line, a poem is read, cheers and claps are given… then the CEO – Claudio speaks about the motorcycle and the people that build them. Champagne is splashed and the kiss is given to the first xDiavel as its revs shake the building.

IMG_2447[1]As all of this is happening, I am shaking hands and patting shoulders of those that I have met over the years — how stinking cool?!?!

I went back to training for the afternoon. As the day wrapped up, I had a meeting to lead then a brisk walk back to the hotel in the overcast winter freshness that is Bologna in December. The dinner we were invited to was at 8:30pm, giving us precious little time to get to the center of town. I got to practice my poor Italiano on the taxi driver but hey… we got there.

IMG_2466[1]To my surprise, there was a huge room with about 80 seats for the dinner. It was a Mexican Restaurant. Really?? Who would have thought that great Mexican food was to be had at the Piedra Del Sol? The chips and salsa paved the way for pitchers of Margaritas and Sangria. Then came refried beans and cheese, then a deliciously spicy meat chile, tortillas and jalapeno poppers ala Italiano. The smell of fajitas filled the room as pitchers of beer hit the tables… it was a full blown frenzy. After dessert and coffee – it was time to go … but what of the festivity?

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Well it was Nadia’s (sp?) retirement party. They had her stuffed in the corner with a big sign “Finalamente Pensionato”. The cheers, clapping, toasts and love shown to this woman was awesome. Suddenly the lights go out – the cheers re-errupt – the clapping picks up pace and the staff enters with a cake lit of candles. Was it a retirement cake — no! Happy Birthday!! One of the ladies on the other side of the room had a birthday with song… followed by another light show, shots and a sombrero for Nadia.

IMG_2474[1]As the three Americans made their way to the door trying to figure out how to order a taxi, a young lady volunteered her services and called one in for us… babysitting the transaction as it uses SMS technology to find the fare. A great day shared with loving, giving, happy people … Welcome to Bologna.

 

My regret is that my family doesn’t have the opportunity to come and share in these events yet. What a day — from a Christening to a Retirement.

 

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