Memories From Luigi’s Children
In this 10 minute piece, Gloria, Vincent and Caesar Del Bianco share thoughts and memories about their father.
Meeting George Rumple
George was one of the many workers trained by Luigi. In this video he remembers Bianco with great affection. Gloria Del Bianco discovered Mr. Rumple during Rushmore’s 50 anniversary and conducted this great interview.
George Rumple Remembers Luigi Del Bianco – Part 1
George Rumple Remembers Luigi Del Bianco – Part 2
While I was at the dedication ceremony for The Mount Rushmore National Monument in 1991, I had the pleasure of meeting Sandy Borglum Fawcett (grand-niece of Gutzon Borglum) and her husband, Darryl Watson. After our initial meeting, we decided to visit the sites the following day.
We were at the Mount Rushmore Museum when I noticed an elderly man surrounded by and talking with people about Mount Rushmore. He had a t-shirt on emblazoned with the Mount Rushmore image on it. I waited until he was free and Sandy and I approached him. I introduced us and asked if he knew my father, Luigi Del Bianco. He said, “Your father?” I replied yes and he paused, looked at me awhile and blurted out, “L Del, you can’t really be his daughter.” He choked up and with that both Sandy and I also began to cry. It was a very emotional moment for all of us and one that I will never forget!
He proceeded to tell us how happy he was to meet Sandy and me. We talked a little longer, and I asked him if he could come again tomorrow so I could video tape him and have a conversation about Mount Rushmore and my father. He said, “Of course I’ll be here.” I arrived early the next morning, and he was already waiting for me. I proceeded with this taped video. I was so happy and touched to run into George Rumple, such a special man. What a great and unusual opportunity this was. He was alive, knew my father, called him “friend”. As it turned out the event was more timely than I realized as George Rumple passed away not too long after that chance encounter.
-Gloria Del Bianco
POINTER MATT REILLY AND “BIANCO”
In 1991 my Uncle Caesar and I visited Matt in his Stamford home. Matt’s memories of Luigi only reinforce his importance on the mountain.
Caesar: The men on Mt. Rushmore, when you were there in 33, 34, 35, 36- those years; did he get along with the men?
Matt: Oh yes- because…he could get along with the men because he had the ability…to fall in with the crowd.
Caesar: Did he hang around with the men, did he drink with the men, talk with them?
Matt: No, he wasn’t around like that-
Caesar: He was a loner, wasn’t he?
Matt: Loner, pertaining to, uh, the work- the men were all whiskey drinkers.
Caesar: He what?
Matt: I said the men were all whiskey drinkers, mostly.
Caesar: He was a wine drinker-
Matt: Yeah, well, he had his own wine, there- he didn’t mix it (Caesar laughs)
Caesar: Did you know him very well? Did you-
Matt: Well, I know him well enough to sleep with him-
Caesar: (Chuckles) you slept with him- that’s pretty good! Did you get along- did you like my father? Not because I’m here- did you, uh, get along very well with my father?
Matt: Oh, yes, because he took me under his wing to make a pointer out of me.
Caesar: He taught you how to point, my father?
Caesar: My father was a very outgoing personality, wasn’t he? Bianco; he spoke a lot, didn’t he?
Matt: No, I wouldn’t say too much.
Caesar: Not too much, eh?
Matt: No, he was, he was…he knew what…it was just like being a sculptor. He knew what to say and when to say it. He could get along very well with people. He had a mind of his own, too. You could tell when you were talking to him, when you give him an order whether it’d ring or not. If the bell didn’t ring right, he let you know it-
Caesar: (Laughs) True. (Laughs again) You got along very well with him, eh?
Matt: Oh, yes.
Caesar: Now, did these guys like Merle Peterson, Red Anderson, the so called carvers, but they’re not skilled- did they work on the eyes?
Matt: The…the eyes were finished by- by, uh, Borglum- and usually, with, uh, with uh, Bianco.
Caesar: That’s right…that’s right.
Matt: Cause Bianco he would, uh, take the orders from Borglum of how much to take off, how much to-
Caesar: And did Bianco- was Bianco- would you say-would you say that Bianco was the main carver, taking orders from Borglum, rather than Anderson and Peterson who weren’t as skilled?
Matt: Oh, yes- Bianco was-
Caesar: Probably the main carver-
Matt: He was the main carver-
Caesar: (Pause) you don’t know how good this makes me feel…
Lou: So just like you, Borglum had respect for Bianco.
Matt: Oh, yes, he respected Bianco.
Caesar: So would you say Bianco probably, was the uh-
Matt: He was the main carver.
Caesar: You would say he was the best carver?
Matt: Oh, yes. You can see what ya got up there.