We were raised in an Italian-American household, although we didn’t speak Italian in the house. My father was a musician, so we were very proud of being Italian, and had Italian music. We ate Italian food, and pizza, when no one knew what pizza was really.
But I remember very vividly, when I was a little boy, my mother would say to me, “America is the greatest country in the world.” And there was a sense, as Italian-Americans, that it was a great privilege to live in America and be Americans. Most Italians who came to this country are, you know, very patriotic. And what that meant was just that there was this exciting possibility that if you worked real hard, and you loved something, that you could become successful, and wouldn’t be held down, due to who your family was and what have you. And certainly, in my case, I found that to be true. I became quite successful very young, and it was mainly because I was — I would have to say — because I was so enthusiastic and I just worked so hard at it.