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Lunedi Senza Parole #67

Indovina dove! Guess where!
Foto © Allen E. Rizzi

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Read my latest novel – Hey, Mister Publisher Available in paperback or e-book.

Follow songwriter Al Sapetello as he takes you through the back streets of the 1970’s music business on his way to the top. Where will the road lead him?The 1970’s music industry is explored from the inside out, exposing both the beauty and the ugly underbelly of the business. Presented with authority by veteran songwriter Allen E. Rizzi, Hey, Mister Publisher will give you a new understanding of music and the people who make it.

Tales from the Tirol – Part 6 of 6

Hope you read this one!

allenrizzi

This is the last installment, 6 of 6, of Tales from the Tirol.

If you have heard the term horse whisperer, chances are that you saw the 1998 Robert Redford film. However, there was a time when there were real horse whisperers and they were certainly a breed apart from most of us today. Their ghosts still linger in our modern world. Fact and fiction are often siblings of the same parents.

While living in Italy, I spent a great deal of time exploring my father’s side of the family in an effort to learn all I could about our family’s Tirolean roots. I learned the local languages, learned how to prepare local meals and generally immersed myself in a rich Tirolean heritage for over 12 years. I even researched and compiled a complete genealogy of the Rizzi family back to the year 1145. I came away from…

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Cedar Thieves

I’ve always loved the west in so many ways. Although I now live in the east, I still have a great fondness for the people of the west and their direct approach to life. I guess I inherited this love from my grandfather, who was a true pioneer and unapologetic for his stern pioneering ways.

When you wander through life’s alley ways as much as I have, you sometimes forget your roots a bit. I was a music producer for years and as such, lulled into the soft Hollywood life a bit. The people there are like marshmallows: Soft, fluffy, sweet and full of air. Although I was successful in this environment, I never felt that it was “my bag” as we used to say. Sycophants rarely said what they felt, hoping only to score another track or writing credit. It was far from the world that I knew and loved and there was no sagebrush in the air in Hollywood.

When I was remarried in 1982, my life returned to its prior orbit. I was me again and with it came a new energy from the past, that of being from the west and all of its directness in purpose. We moved to Oregon and there we found the type of folks we could identify with. These were plain spoken people with a love for the outdoors. We lived on the southern Oregon Coast before moving inland to Eugene. Throughout that corridor, we always found nice, plain spoken folks who had a genuine appreciation for nature and the outdoors.

Sometimes on life’s bumpy highway you need a little reminder of which direction you truly seek. As if a great affirmation from above, we encountered the above sign on a walk through the woods on the Oregon coast. Ah, it was so refreshing to see someone put their real feelings into words. I like honesty and direct speech so very much!

  • A little side note: On the Oregon coast there has always been an alarming amount of cedar tree thieves who steal the trees to make clocks and other tourist items. This has been a problem since the hippie invasion in the 1970’s. Local ranchers and farmers aren’t kidding. They will shoot!

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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Tales from the Tirol – Part 5 of 6

Part 5…

allenrizzi

This is the fifth installment of Tales from the Tirol.

If you have been following this blog, you already know that I write poetry. My first poem was published professionally (yes I got a check) when I was 14 years old. I have been writing verse for well over 50 years. During the 1960s, both in high school and college, I wrote a large volume of poetry before focusing the poetry into a living as a song writing lyricist in the 1970s. I often still actually think in iambic pentameter and as such I have embraced poetry my entire life.

However, when we moved to the Tirol in 2002, I found that I needed to write in local languages to have a readership of any kind. And so I began writing poems in Italian and German as well as my native English. Our place in Italy is high in…

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Of Dice And Men

Come on seven!

allenrizzi

And the winner is….

Everywhere in America, we are literally gambling our lives away. There is sports betting, track betting, off-track betting, online gambling and of course, everyone’s favorite, the plethora of lottery games.

The latter is especially hurtful in that the people least able to spend money on gambling often are the largest purchaser of lottery tickets. Yes, it can even become an addiction. South Carolina regularly runs ads offering to help those with gambling addictions. In true southern fashion, they claim it’s impor-dant to help people with gambling addictions in their advertisements on television. Of course, they turn right back around and encourage everyone to buy more tickets: It’s the money honey!

Gambling seems to be in our blood and we can’t get enough of blood sports. Boxing, football – you name it and there is a way to wager on it. What do you win off…

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Lunedi Senza Parole #66

Indovina dove! Guess where!
Foto © Allen E. Rizzi

Please follow this blog by clicking  follow below. Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Image -- 7254

Read my latest novel – Hey, Mister Publisher Available in paperback or e-book.

Follow songwriter Al Sapetello as he takes you through the back streets of the 1970’s music business on his way to the top. Where will the road lead him?The 1970’s music industry is explored from the inside out, exposing both the beauty and the ugly underbelly of the business. Presented with authority by veteran songwriter Allen E. Rizzi, Hey, Mister Publisher will give you a new understanding of music and the people who make it.

Tales from the Tirol – Part 4 of 6

Fifty years later the spirit is still alive!

allenrizzi

This is the fourth installment of Tales from the Tirol.

Book ideas come from strange places. Venturing out of the South Tirol region of Italy, we found ourselves more than now and again on the shores of Italy’s Lake Garda. This is a huge lake that sits a mere hour and one half to the south of our home in the Val di Non. Its loveliness simply escapes words; one has to visit it personally to even begin to understand its many nuances. It is a place composed of many cultures, both past and present and is one of the biggest tourist destinations in all of Europe.

Book ideas come from strange places. On one of our many trips to the lake, we visited the lakeside town of Campione in 2005, which can only be reached through a series of tunneled roadways. It is a small town that has…

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The 1982 Agoura Fire

When you live in Southern California, you get used to wildfires. They come with great regularity every fall with the Santa Anna winds. I had seen more than my share as a youngster growing up in San Fernando, California. At one point, I was even the head of a volunteer mountain rescue squad and a volunteer firefighter. It was just a part of growing up in Southern California.

However, after graduating college I moved out of the immediate fire zone just enough to feel assured I wouldn’t get burned out of my house in an instant. It was a relief. I spent several years in the relative comfort of Granada Hills as I gazed at the yearly wildfires from afar. Yep, I was still a volunteer but at least the flames weren’t licking at my door.

In 1982 I was remarried to the love of my life. We immediately bought a new home in the tiny community of Oak Park, which in fact was a Ventura County borough near Agoura, California. We moved into our house in October of that year and we were struggling to get the place furnished. One morning my wife found that she had just bought some milk that was already sour. I suggested that she return it to the market and off she went in her car.

When she exchanged the bad milk at the market, she looked south and saw a great wall of flames leaping over the hills. She raced home and by then we both could see flames advancing from the south and the east. We were quickly being surrounded and to make matters worse, there was only one exit road to the west toward Agoura and the 405 Freeway.

We had to think quickly. My wife threw our cat Peeper into a pillow case, grabbed the deed to our new house and raced off toward Agoura with my son.  As she left our neighborhood, trees were exploding on each side of her car as she sped down our narrow street. My son was scared, the cat was hysterical but finally everyone was gathered safely in the supermarket parking lot along with most of our neighbors. Ah, but what of me?

Because I had received so much fire fighting training in my youth, I elected to stay behind and attempt to save our house along with one other neighbor who decided to do the same. We helped each other as we were wetting down our houses with hoses that barely had any pressure. The roofs were fairly safe as they were made of terracotta tile but the rest of the fascia was vulnerable. We hosed down those portions extremely and hoped for the best.

The Santa Anna winds finally delivered the flames in one great burst. The fire swept over our houses so fast that the only damage was the occasional paint blister. We were very fortunate. The fire crews arrived and set back fires right in our garden. The sky was a ghastly color and I saw a hawk fall to the ground, overcome with smoke and heat. What seemed like days passed within an hour.

My wife returned safely with child and cat in tow and we sighed in relief together. It was only then that we looked around to survey the damage. Every single tree had been burnt to the ground, the grass was gone and the whole neighborhood resembled a moonscape in its ashen appearance. The stench of smoke was everywhere. What had been our dream two days before now became our despair. However, our house was still standing and everyone was unharmed.

As we settled into our smoke laden abode in the next two days we heard the news: The fire had been started by an arsonist who was in custody. They would not release his name in fear that one of the owners of over two hundred houses that were burnt to the ground might kill him, To this day, I don’t know the arsonist’s identity.

Within a day of the fire, they dropped grass seed out of low flying helicopters and within months everything was green on the ground. Only the burnt trees were left as a reminder of what had passed months before.

My wife and I have long since moved from Oak Park but we think often upon that fearful day when our new life almost went up in smoke.

Please follow this blog by clicking follow below. Your comments are always welcome.

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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A Euro For Your Thoughts

This was written in 2014. The math has changed but today it still works out to $7.76 per gallon in U.S. dollars.😲

allenrizzi

A dozen or so years ago, most of Europe gave up their individual currencies in favor of the common Euro. With a stroke of the pen, gone were the Franc, Schilling, Lira, etc. A good thing? Not so fast!

Here in Italy, the introduction of the Euro literally doubled the price of everything overnight. A pizza used to be 10,000 Lira (about $5 US); it became 10 Euro (about $13.60 today).

The problem for would-be expatriates is best explained by a simple example. A liter of cheap gas costs 1.76 Euro. Multiply that by 3.78 (liters to gallons) and you get 6.65 Euro per gallon of gas. Ah yes, now you must apply that pesky exchange rate: today it is 1.36188. What you get in the end (literally) is $9.06 (yes, nine dollars and six cents) as a price per gallon of gas paid in U.S. dollars. Still feel like…

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Tales from the Tirol – Part 3 of 6

Third Installment.

allenrizzi

This is the third installment of Tales from the Tirol.

If you follow this blog, you know I am not a one trick pony; that is to say, I do not write continuously and exclusively in one genre. My fifty-five plus years as a  professional author have produced diverse material that has included poetry, music lyrics, drama, short stories and non-fiction pieces spanning subjects from ancient coins to surfing. However, all of this writing has had one thing in common: it has all been presented in the English language to a largely American readership.

When my wife Rachel and I moved to the South Tirol region of Italy, our first task was to gain linguistic parity, or at least competency in our new languages of Italian, German and Nones. German was no sweat as I had been a bilingual English-German reader, speaker and writer for decades. Italian and…

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