The initial contact with
Sferraza's initial request to have Martin perform at the town's annual Italian festival were turned aside because Martin and Griffeth just couldn't fit it into their schedule at the time. But when Sferraza met Martin after her performance at the
"He came by and he introduced himself," Griffeth said to a crowd of hundreds at the
Pasta fagioli, a meatless Italian dish, is famously one of
"As he's leaving," Griffeth continued, "he comes around and says, 'John, it was very nice to meet you. By the way, she said yes.'"
That encounter is what began an unlikely relationship between a performer who performs in
"We said yes and this is the fifth year,"
Griffeth, who does his wife's tour booking, said he likes to cultivate good relationships.
"We believe in developing long-term relationships," Griffeth said. "We want to work with people we enjoy being with and communities that come out and support. [Sferraza] said, 'This is the place.' It has been wonderful for us to come back every year."
Throughout the hour-long talk that
"He worked so hard," Martin said about her father. "He was always going through his music. I'm proud to be named after my father."
On the topic of "The Dean Martin Show," the television series that ran for nearly 10 years,
"He wanted to keep everything spontaneous. That's the way he was," Martin said. "He always made me feel so great. I have so many memories."
The conversation that afternoon covered his famous partners, too, including
"People don't want to believe that people can be celebrities and treat people the way these folks treat me," Sferraza said.
Martin said she is already looking forward to next year's Italian festival and that she might even bring a big band along to celebrate its 90th anniversary.
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