Today I’ve managed to grab a moment to chat with Gianna Mancini from One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam.
Jennifer: So Gianna, you just moved back home, to South Shore Beach, NY, and you’re working at your parents’ business, Mancini Deli. Is this temporary or do you have plans to take it over one day?
Gianna: I make a fantabulous sandwich. Everyone falls in love with them. It doesn’t matter what it is, even simple PB&J. I guess I have the sandwich touch. But I have no intention on spending all of my life smelling like a side of pig, even if it is delicious. This gig is definitely temporary. I imagine my sister, Izzie, will take over one day. She has a good business sense. She’s raising her family now, but one day she’ll need something else, and I think she feels that being the oldest makes her responsible for it. I will not argue with that.
Jennifer: What are your future plans then?
Gianna: (softly sighs) Do I have to know right now? I mean, can’t I just work and try new things until I figure it all out? I don’t know why there’s so much pressure to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives by eighteen or twenty-two. I’m twenty-six, and I think it’s fine to not know.
Jennifer: I completely agree. There’s no rush. Besides, I hear that you have an ability that keeps you kinda busy. Want to share?
Gianna: Well, most people don’t know, but I guess my secret is safe here. I see and communicate with ghosts. Don’t freak out or anything. It’s perfectly safe and usually quite tame. Just dead people who are about to cross over. It started when I was eight, and I fell in the deli freezer and hit my head. I died for like a minute, and when I came to, I could see them. Most of the time I just watch them pass to the other side, through the freezer, but once in a while they hang out wanting help leaving a message to their loved ones. It’s sweet.
Jennifer: Wait, did you say ‘through the deli freezer’? How does that happen?
Gianna: Well, I’d think you of all people would know that answer, but yeah, I’m clueless. So far no one’s been able to tell me. I hope to figure it out one day.
Jennifer: Okay, well tell us more about your family. You mentioned a sister. Any other siblings?
Gianna: Yes, there’s my brother Enzo—short for Lorenzo Jr. He’s the middle child, a cop, and all around great but annoying brother. I’m the youngest, and then there’s Ma and Pop. Izzie is married to Paulie, and she has a daughter, Alice. We’re a close family. We love hanging out together every Sunday for dinner. Well, Ma says it’s mandatory, but it’s still a lot of fun.
Jennifer: What else do you do together?
Gianna: (smiles widely) We love scaring one another. It’s so much fun. We’ve been doing it all of our lives. I’ll press up against the bathroom door when Izzie or Enzo are inside and just wait. Then they’ll open the door, and I’ll whisper, “Boo.” They’ll scream, and I’ll laugh my butt off. Or how about the time Izzie and Alice were at Ma and Pop’s alone. They were in the living room watching TV. Enzo snuck into the house, went into the basement and screamed bloody murder as he turned off the
circuit breaker, shrouding the house in darkness. Enzo says Izzie screamed too and was pissed, but Alice just laughed. I wasn’t there for that one. Darn, I wish I had been.
Jennifer: (giggles) Sounds like you all have a lot of fun.
Gianna: Every chance we get.
Jennifer: What about your love life? Is there anyone special you want to mention?