Diane at her Birthday Party

A Birthday party and a bittersweet story


Submitted 2 months ago
Created by
Demo sofronas

A lady reconnects with her family on her birthday

Yesterday morning, I went to get my "back to school" haircut and was a bit surprised at what I found. Diane's Casual Cuts Hair Salon was decorated like an Italian festival! It was Diane's birthday today and this was to be her birthday party.  It appears that her co-worker Laura and Diane's daughter decorated the place in the wee hours of the night, so that Diane would be surprised.

I asked why the decorations and the Italian theme and was told that Diane just discovered she had family in Italy that she never knew about.  At this point Laura told me that Diane learned of this on her birthday.
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I thought this would be a great occasion to take some photos and include this in my "About Norwich" column.  And all I wanted was a haircut.

Here is the story as told by Diane in her own words.

This is her story in her own words  Page 1



Page 2 of story


    My name is Diane Coley.  I own Diane's Casual Cuts in Norwich, VT.  We have been in Norwich since 1982 or so, when it was first Hilde's Salon.  Laura Fraser and I have been here for over 30 years.  My birthday is this week (a BIG one) so my daughter Alexa and Laura decorated the shop in an Italian theme, And so my story continues - bare with me, I'll make it short and to the point.

    My mother, Imperia Josephine Mainetti, was raised in Grosseto, Italy.  She met my father, Donald Frail, during the war and they were married in Pisa, Italy in 1945.  They moved to Vermont in 1946.  My mother was somehow disowned by her family.  She never spoke of them ever.

    Fast forward to now - After my last sibling died in 2014, I felt I needed to find my mother's family.  I wanted to have some answers to what caused my mother to be forgotten.  Social media can be a wonderful thing.  Laura Googled (she's the Google queen) my mother's name.  Up popped different things only one stood out.  Sandra Mainetti from Grosseto, Italy!!  I instant messaged her and wondered for days if she would answer.  4 days later, she did.  

    Her father was my mother's brother.  She also told me my mother was one of 10 children.  3 of whom are still alive and live near Grosseto.  I have found out I have many, many cousins.  

    My daughter and I will be going to Italy in June.  Needless to say it will be an exciting and emotional time.  Definitely bittersweet.  As I was telling my story to a customer, she told me that she believes my mother is smiling down at me.  I'm hoping that's true.  Ciao, for now.


Laura,Dick, and Diane

Nice display

Same great food but different view

I was greeted at the door and thought I was in Italy

Oh and you bet I did

And even dessert?

Diane escorting a customer  "with a new  hair do" to the Advance Transit Bus station

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