Mothers inspire. Mothers teach. Mothers help. Moms are special and their children know why. A hug between a mother and child warms the soul. What’s special about your mom?
My mom had her domestic ways but as you can see by her picture above, she had a glamorous side too. She was a sought-after singer around the Philadelphia area. In between singing engagements, she gave birth to nine children. Both mom (Lee Alberici) and dad (Al Alberici) raised us as vegetarians and made sure we all ate a natural diet and exercised daily. A few times a week, mom used a machine to grind and press juice from raw vegetables and created special candy made out of raw nuts and honey. On Easter, our baskets were filled with home-made delights. I loved her Coconut Cream Eggs the best!
In the 60’s, mom appeared on American Bandstand as Lee Richie. I remember watching her singing on TV while fans cheered and danced. I was a young girl and seeing her like this was a curiosity. Was this the same mom who changed diapers and took care of us? Her performance took place before Dick Clark became the host. As I got a little older, I began watching Dick Clark charmingly host American Bandstand and I thought he was kind of cute! Little did I know I would be performing in several TV Specials for Dick Clark Productions when I became part of the Hollywood scene, myself.
“If you want to stay young-looking, pick your parents very carefully.” ~ Dick Clark
Family has always been important to me and I was lucky to have a sister to join me in the Hollywood experience! My sister, Linda (Alberici) Eichberg and I wrote a book about our show biz journey called, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams. In our book, we describe our unusual family up-bringing and our entry into the world of entertainment where the Rat Pack ruled! It’s now selling on-line at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and contains over 300 pictures and lots of stories about the “Stars!” Here’s a book excerpt about watching our mom transform from “housewife” to “entertainer”:
“Maria: Who inspired us to be entertainers? Our mom was our first inspiration. I loved hearing about the stars and their shows from my mom. I especially remember my mom going on and on about Sammy Davis Jr. and how he sang, danced and played musical instruments. My mom seemed amazed at how talented he was and how hard he worked during his performances. I knew my mom was not easily impressed by entertainers, so I made a mental note. I wanted to be an entertainer and hearing about Sammy let me know at a young age that I had to do more than just sing to gain the respect of an audience, I had to be able to wow them too.”
“When mom put on a sequined gown she looked like Cinderella. She’d be around the house and just be mom doing the housework and then she would put on what we called her ‘equipment.’ She had a waist cincher, it made your waistline about four inches smaller, like Mae West. She had elegant gowns, and these hairpieces that she sometimes put on; it was definitely a startling transformation.” ~ Beyond Our Wildest Dreams (Copyright)
Enjoy this book preview of Beyond Our Wildest Dreams.
My sister and I certainly learned glamour and practical values from our mom. Both my mom and dad taught us the value of family, hard work and a healthy lifestyle. Coming from a large family there was always lots of chores to do but this prepared us for the rigors of showbiz with the opportunity of singing and dancing on television and touring with celebrities like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Great ideas originate in the muscles.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
During April, we celebrate Earth Day! Will you recycle, plant trees, grow vegetables…? Doing some gardening is good exercise too. It’s the little things that add up like taking your own bag to the grocery store. What are you doing to keep our “Earth Home” healthy? Don’t forget to keep your “Body Home” fit and healthy too!
It’s also time to prepare for Mothers Day! Take a few moments to remember how important your mom has been in your life and share this legacy with your children.
“I love you mommy.” These words are music to a mothers ears. Growing in Love (That’s What a Women Does), is a song which starts out with those precious words. A few years ago, my daughter, Marianna Riccio and I wrote Growing in Love and did a TV performance. Here’s a video clip to get you in the Mothers Day mood.
Wishing my readers and my WONDERFUL MOM much love and happiness!
A special thank you to my family for your comments about our mom. I know some of you are very private people but I appreciate reading your sentiments and stories and participating in my Mothers Day blog party!
Maria Lauren, aka: Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio
Your Powerful LIFE blog
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Maria Lauren’s entertainment and fitness website: www.MariaLauren.com