October 6th Weekend
Basso, Ficano, and Columbus Day Celebrations

The weekend of October the 6th was a very busy one for us. Friday started off with an interview with John Basso Sr., the CEO of Superior Cam, Inc. The interview was shot in his warehouse, with the massive presses in the background. He had a very successful story. He came to America with no money, no friends, but a willingness to learn and work. He was only 15, and underage, so he wasn’t allowed to work in the mines. He spent the next three years in school, learning English along the way. When he was 18 he went to go work in the mines, just like his father. After a couple years of that, he started working in a tool and die shop. He learned the business, and eventually started his own company in 1976, Superior Cam, Inc. That business grew today into the Diversified Tooling Group, an international operation representing four sectors of the tool and die industry. John Basso’s story from having nothing, to being the head of his own international operation is a great testament to his work ethic and the ambition to improve his own life and the life of his family.

Next we were off to Detroit to meet with Robert Ficano, the Wayne County Executive. A Michigan State grad, and proud Italian, Mr. Ficano agreed to give us a snippit of his Italian heritage while standing in front of the Historical Wayne County Building. His family hails from Sicily and Abruzze, and he showed an old picture of some of them standing in front of a house in their home town dating back to circa 1915. Incredibly enough, he had another picture taken only a few years ago when he traveled back to Italy, to that same exact spot, where that building is still in existence!

Saturday, we filmed the Columbus Day parade in Clinton Township. Starting at Erie Elementary on Romeo Plank Road, there were many exciting things to see! The bands were there, from the high school and a traditional Italian band with singers. There was a Columbus float shaped like one of his boats. We even saw a dachshund in a Columbus costume!

Sunday the Columbus Day festivities continued with a special Columbus Day mass at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Detroit. Some of the participants of the mass were the Knights of Columbus, the winner of the Miss Columbus Day pageant, and the same Italian band that was present in the parade. After the mass, there was a gathering at the Columbus Bust on Jefferson Road, across from the Renaissance Center. There was a dedication, a wreath was hung, and songs were sung, honoring Columbus and Italians everywhere.