Today marks 46 years since the great flood of 1966. There are many events happening in Florence at the moment, and at one of them, Florens2012, the RFK Center Europe will host an aperitivo dedicated to the memory of Ted Kennedy, "angelo del fango nel 1966".
I am publishing below some photos and memories sent to me from a soldier in the U.S. Army who at the time was stationed at Camp Darby. He was a driver, and ended up helping to move items affected by the flood (the following has been edited a bit for spelling and grammar):
I was sent up to Florence along with another GI and we got there several days before the main group of 10-12 arrived. Signed in at the Embassy and I do not remember what we all did.
In visiting Florence prior to the flood, we met the lady who owned a pensione and enjoyed all the area around the Ponte Vecchio.
Anyway, I had and was driving a 2.5 Ton truck and somehow I was around the Uffizi (a place I knew well) and this dude dressed in black wanted me to haul some books to a dry place and he said it would take an hour or so. After a while and his continued asking, I agreed and students loaded the books and away we went. The hour turned into all afternoon and I got caught by an US army Captain and he chewed my ass out about what I had done.
The next morning at the embassy this church dude shows up wearing black but he had red stuff also. He talked with the Captain and I hauled books for the next few weeks. I was not allowed to touch the books and mostly students did the loading and unloading.
After several weeks I left Florence and took an 18 Wheeler load of sleeping bags to some place way up north, but on a Sunday when trucks where not allowed on the main roads, that was an experience.
I was one of the few soldiers (10) at Camp Darby that had driver's licenses for any vehicle and especially big trucks, therefore I got to go a lot of places like, Verona, etc.
David L. Keeble, U.S. Army Camp Darby