• Michelle Fix

Prologue - Sparkle

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

JULY 2010

“Happy Birthday dear Roberta……Happy Birthday to yooooouuuuu!!!” With Italian horns bleating in the background, dinner guests hooted and clapped enthusiastically. Roberta smiled widely in acknowledgement and leaned in to blow out the candles on her sumptuous pale green, butter yellow, and lilac-frosted, towering Italian birthday cake.

Alba threw her a fiftieth birthday celebration befitting a momentous number and important business partner. Palazzo Vespucci never looked so good with the traditional Italian decor in the gardens and the ballroom transformed into a dining room for sixty special guests, all seated around six ornate tables of ten. The birthday celebration was replete with a garden cocktail party to start, Florentine traditions sprinkled throughout (including a flag-waving demonstration), a full serving staff, American music played live by one of the best duos in the city and a DJ for after dinner dancing, one of Roberta’s favorite activities.

“You look stunning, Roberta,” gushed Tootie Campbell, as she passed by on her way to get a refill of champagne. Tootie was another of Alba’s American clientele and new friend to Roberta. “I can’t believe you are fifty. You don’t look a day over 42 - must be all of that tennis!”

“Thank you, Tootie. I think it’s that and Greek yogurt,” joked Roberta.

“Well, you look fabulous. I’ll have to get some of that yogurt when we’re back in the States and we’ll definitely have to make a tennis date on Fishers!”


Tootie continued on her way to the bar, passing Linda Keller enroute. Linda was a bigwig at ABC News and Tootie had long been a fan.

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