Tag Archives: New York

Happy Birthday, Dianna!

Dianna Cardillo, Sally Ettari a/k/a Sally Atari, Singer and Song Writer, Blog, Music, Guitar Twelve Step RecoveryIt’s Dianna’s thirtieth birthday and as you can see,

she’s got personality!

Dianna was born in a snow storm. As her dad and I drove to the hospital, in the middle of the night, the roads were empty and it was beautiful and quiet and this adorable 6.5 ounce little girl came into the world (at the hospital) in a winter wonderland. She shrunk to 5.15 ounces before gaining any weight, as many  babies do. There was one other baby born that day and it was a strapping boy, over ten pounds. He looked like a stuffed turkey in the nursery next to my daughter. I have so many wonderful memories of this tiny person now all  grown up.

When I was pregnant with Dianna, I had it in my head that she was a boy. I told everyone that I was having a boy. No, there was no sonogram to provide proof. With her brother and sister, I guessed correctly and so, because of my perfect track record, I told every one, I was even confident, “I’m having a boy!” I had an entire wardrobe of boys clothes ready and waiting. When she was born, the doctor said, it’s a girl. I said, “What? Come on, you’re kidding me.” I argued with him until he said, “Look!” I was so shocked and even cried for joy; I was so happy! She was a birthday present to me on her birthday and I was thrilled! Watching her life unfold has been a series of surprises; in retrospect, she was a surprise from the get go!

The trip home from the hospital was also in a snow storm. Leaving rather abruptly because my room-mate wanted to smoke and I didn’t want my baby exposed, it was in the dark that we traveled home.

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Filed under Family Tree

Mom’s Song

Sally Ettari a/k/a Sally Atari, Martha Leone, Artist, Singer and Song Writer, Twelve Step RecoveryMartha Leone, my mother, inspired ‘Mom’s Song‘. My mom was born to a New York, Italian family. Her father was a demolition expert with his own company during the depression years.  At the age of 55, he retired and picked up his first guitar. By the time he was 65, he was playing, both the guitar and mandolin in an orchestra. My Mother had two brothers and one sister. She would tell stories of climbing out of  the second story and, hanging by a wire outside her window, escaping into the night with her brother and best friend, Michael.  My mother was an artist, an impressionist. She studied at the Art Students League in New York City. Hot summers were spent in Madison, Connecticut where she studied with Robert Brackman. You can find many of his paintings  hanging in a large room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.  She was his student and the monitor for his classes.

My mother was a very troubled soul for most of her life.  Her first-born, my brother John, was a hemophiliac and very sickly.  She grew up watching her own  brother with the same disease. She also lost a five-year-old child in a house fire.  She would talk to me about living in the 60’s and 70’s  and the feminist movement and how that shaped many of her decisions and affected her marriage of 25 years. After her divorce, she was involved in ‘Parents without Partners’ (PWP) which my brother John would call, ‘Parents without principles’. My mother was very lost. In 1978, I was ‘born again’. It was not long after my conversion that my mother gave her heart to the Lord. She was a very different person after that.


Filed under Original Songs