In this episode of The Italian American Podcast, we are changing it up. I will be taking you on a trip with me and we will be heading to the black hills of South Dakota to attend a ceremony where Luigi del Bianco will be named the Chief Carver of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
We will also speak with Lou Del Bianco about the role he played in helping to pursue this recognition for his grandfather. We will then attend Lou Del Bianco’s performance where he will dress up like his grandfather and put on a play at the memorial, and then immediately after that we’ll attend the official ceremony and hear from some of the speakers including Gloria Del Bianco, Luigi’s daughter.
In the Stories Segment of the episode, we’ll reflect with Lou, the day after the ceremony about his 30-year journey of dedication and perseverance to garner this rightful place in history for his grandfather Luigi Del Bianco.
“He is worth any three men I could find in America, for this particular type of work.” – Gutzon Borglum, Designer of Mount Rushmore
- “I feel a great burden lifted from me.” – Lou Del Bianco on his grandfather being named Chief Carver of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- “Luigi is the only man besides myself who has been on the work and knows the problems and how to solve them.” – Gutzon Borglum
- “The loss of Bianco will probably prevent the finishing of the Washington and Jefferson heads this year.” – Gutzon Borglum
- “Our ancestors came from the United States to create better lives for themselves and most importantly for their families.” – Anthony Fasano
- “Luigi del Bianco shaped the face of one of our most important symbols.” – Anthony Fasano
- “It was a privilege granted to me to work on Mount Rushmore.” – Luigi Del Bianco
- “It takes a unique, brave, courageous, skilled and talented man to do such magnificent detailed work on the faces of these presidents.” – Gloria Del Bianco
- “I never knew how much I loved you and how proud I am of you until I spoke about you yesterday,” – Lou Del Bianco on his grandfather Luigi Del Bianco, Chief Carver of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial
About our Guest…
Lou’s dramatic approach to storytelling “puts pow into passivity!” The Parents Choice foundation states that “few performers excel as both storyteller and musician, but Lou Del Bianco is one who does.”
Lou Del Bianco has been working with children of all ages since 1982. According to the New York Times,
Lou has performed all over the country, from the Tastes of Chicago to the Kravis Center to Carnegie Hall. His music video, “A Little Bit Clumsy”, is presently playing on the Learning Channel.
Lou’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln has been endorsed by the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. His grandfather, Luigi, chief carver on Mount Rushmore was recently honored by TLC’s CAKE BOSS with a remarkable lifelike cake of the American icon. Lou’s one-man show about his grandfather has received rave reviews from schools, libraries, and historical groups.
|Out of Rushmore’s Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story – An Italian Immigrant’s Unsung Role as Chief Carver||Love Letters from Mount Rushmore: The Story of a Marriage, a Monument, and a Moment in History||The Carving of Mount Rushmore|
Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri
Co-Hosts, The Italian American Podcast