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Important People

January 31, 2023

We all have people in our lives who we consider truly important. They stand out in our lives life rock pillars in a sea of Jello. They usually have helped shape our lives for the better in some dramatic fashion. We think of them occasionally with a smile while we are all alone but we often decline to name them publicly and say thank you.

I originally posted this to start a new year off right by feeling it was important to name the important people in my life. Here they are in the order I’ve known them:

1. My mother, Barbara Lee Allen. She is ever my intellectual inspiration and half of my soul forever. My mother was the most well read, literate person that I’ve ever known.  She had the most complex simplicity of being that I have ever known. Thanks mom for just being you.  I think of you every day. RIP

2. My father, Eugenio Valentino Rizzi. He was the best example of a father that ever was despite the fact that he never met his own father who died 8 months before he was born. He gave me my courage, my competence and half my soul. He was Concert Master for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at age 20 and could cast a fly line better than anyone I’ve ever met. Thanks dad. You’re with me always. RIP

3. Mr. Samuels, my 6th grade teacher who taught me how to speed read at over 3,600 words per minute. That sounds ridiculous but it’s true. Reading super fast with total comprehension helped me get through high school and college easily. He was rigorous, tough and demanded a lot of me. I have learned to ask the same of others around me. RIP

4. Albert Mogg, my high school journalism teacher. Thanks for dealing with “youth misunderstood” in such a positive manner and showing me what and who I could be with a little application of will. He taught me that writing was a true art that needed to be applied in delicate but firm brush strokes. RIP

5. Karen Eckert, high school girl friend and good friend for over half a century. Thanks for keeping me guessing all these years. I remember your father busting the window in my ’56 Chevy when we were inside just talking. You are a sweetheart and have always been an inspiration.

6. Faye Louise Grindstaff, my college graduate adviser. You believed in me and helped me plant my standard in the teaching community. I always enjoyed your professional and personal friendship. I am sorry I left teaching but I had an infant son to raise by myself. Sometimes life throws you curve balls that you still have to catch.

7. Ray Allopena, friend, guitar player and good buddy when times were tough. Thanks for showing me I had the talent and the pair to carry on. I always promised myself that we would play one last song together after all those sets from long ago. I guess it will have to wait a bit. See you soon. RIP

8. Mary Ann LaFleur White, my post-first-marriage girl friend and life-long friend and supporter. You gave me the maturity, the space and the support I needed when I was coming out of some dark times. I love you always. Congratulations again on your recent marriage!

9. Geri Wiesneth, friend, lover and co-writer. Wow, I wouldn’t be the songwriter I am today without your constant support and fierce belief in my talent. I miss you so much. RIP

10. Ed LaFata, business partner and friend. We were quite the pair running Italia Productions in the 1970’s. You are a true professional musician with endless talent and energy. I am so glad you are still going strong. You are an inspiration to all of us!

11. All of you in the music and writing industries who have supported me through the years with the “attaboys” that we all need so much. Your collective support has been what has gotten me up in the morning for decades  and makes me want to do it all over again. Professional songwriters need the support of their peers as the music listening public rarely even knows their names. Thanks especially to Carol, Snuff, Sheila, Rita, Anne, Al, Crystal and Johnny (Mr. Apropos).

12. Last but always first,  Rachel, my beloved wife of 40 years. Above all, you are who I cherish every day with a love and gratitude that escapes words. You have put-up with my dreams, ego and type A personality for so many years and have loved me without fail. In return I have loved you for decades with a passion of a true believer. We are perfect together! Hope we have many more happy anniversaries my love!

Those are my top twelve. They are many others too numerous to list here. To all of you important people: I love you all and will remember you with distinct affection for all of my days.

Who are the important people in your life?

Photo: The happy Tiroleans on our 25th wedding anniversary (tanti anni fa).

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

All of these books were inspired by some of the people mentioned above.

Read author Allen E Rizzi 3

  1. What a lovely list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s good to keep the people who’ve been a good influence on your life in mind. Thanks for reminding me, Allen.

    Liked by 1 person

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