Gloria Del Bianco (GDB): I remember when he got older, he had dust in the lungs from carving, and he would have to go to the hospital. And they’d have to put my father on the stretcher because he couldn’t breathe. And as he’s trying to leave, he’d stop them. ”Just a minute he used to say to the guy, just a minute.”
He wanted his slippers, and he wasn’t leaving until he had them. And my brother Vincent would go to pick him up, and the lady at the hospital would say, ”Mr. Del Bianco’s not here, he left.”
My brother would say, ”What do you mean he left? He wasn’t discharged.” ”Oh well that doesn’t matter, your father, when he’s ready to leave he just got up and left, that was it.”
Lou Del Bianco (LDB): (laughs)
GDB: And they did an autopsy on my father, and they looked at his lungs. And the doctors were amazed that he lived as long as he lived, because the dust in his lungs was like a rock.
LDB: I remember him almost leaning on me as a little kid for support, he was so—he was so tired. And then he would always say the same thing, and I remember it like it was yesterday. He would say, ”I am Luigi, you are Luigi.”
So there was just this unmistakable bond. And, I just remember in second grade, my mother—she’s the one that said, ”Oh, Grandpa carved Lincoln’s eyes.”
GDB: You know, my father did not talk about Mount Rushmore that much. He was a very modest man. And when I was little, my father wanted to carve me, but being the rambunctious, impatient child that I was, I wouldn’t sit for him. And my mother would say, ”Please go sit for your father, he won’t keep you long, just a little bit.”
Of course I regret it terribly today. I would have loved to have had a bust. You know, I didn’t realize the importance of my father’s work on Mount Rushmore ’til I was much older.