“America Is Where Everything Is Possible”

(p. 23) Remo Saraceni, a sculptor, toy inventor and technological fantasist best known for creating the Walking Piano that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia danced on in a beloved scene of the hit 1988 movie “Big,” died on June 3 [2024] in Swarthmore, Pa. He was 89.

. . .

Remo Saraceni was born on Jan. 15, 1935, in Fossacesia, a city on the southern coast of Italy. His father, Giuseppe, worked with relatives to make shoes and other leather goods, and his mother, Filomena Carulli, managed the home.

Remo began inventing as a boy. His father got into trouble, he told The Chestnut Hill Local, when Remo turned a poster of Mussolini into a kite.

He took classes in electronics in Milan and worked as a radar specialist in the Italian military, but as a civilian he worked as a television repairman. He also started his own brand of large portable suitcase-like turntables. He came to the United States in 1964 for the World’s Fair and to seek a better livelihood — even though he spoke no English and had no American friends and no savings.

He again found work as a TV repairman and affixed a note to his bathroom mirror: “America is where everything is possible.”

For the full obituary see:

Alex Traub. “Remo Saraceni, 89; Invented Walking Piano in ‘Big’.” The New York Times, First Section (Sunday, June 16, 2024): 23.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date June 14, 2024, and has the title “Remo Saraceni, 89, Dies; Inventor of the Walking Piano Seen in ‘Big’.”)

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