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Lunedi Senza Parole #33

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

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The Mad Dash To Cles

I was looking in the mirror the other day and noticed there was nothing to notice. It’s not that the guy looking back wasn’t good looking, it was just there was no noticeable scar on the chin. Let me explain.

Some 13 years ago, I had decided to install a safe under the soffito of our house in the Val di Non, Italy. I had built a respitillio (storage area) above the entry the year before and decided it would be the perfect place for a safe. I purchased a medium sized but extremely heavy safe locally and finally the day for the installation arrived.

I’m pretty good at handyman projects so I decided to install the safe myself. I had a very sturdy latter and so after making some measurements, I started up the latter with the safe in my hands. Well of course, the inevitable happened. The weight of the safe (75 pounds or so) shifted ever so slightly as I approached the top of the latter. I knew I was going to fall so I held the safe closely to my chest so I would absorb the crash and not damage our wonderful tile flooring. (Yeah dumb, right?)

Boom! I came crashing down from about nine feet up and landed with the safe on my chest as planned. What was not planned was a huge gaping cut under my chin as a result of the heavy safe bouncing off my arms. I finally got up from the floor a little dazed and inspected the floor area for damage. There was none. But then I noticed a mighty trail of heavy blood where I had walked. What the hell? I went into the bathroom for a look and sure enough, my chin was cut severely and to the bone. “I’ll just put a Band-Aid on it,”  I thought. Wrong! The wound was opening swiftly and the skin was pulling back about an inch on each side. Yep, I could definitely see the bone.

Finally, I reluctantly decided to go to the local hospital in Cles, some 12 miles away. That small distance entails just short of an hour’s drive in these steep, curvy mountain roads. To complicate matters, my wife didn’t (still doesn’t) drive a stick shift. I had two problems combined into one: How to drive the car and not bleed to death. I fashioned a huge compress out of an old towel and off we went on the mad dash to Cles.

Shifting gears with a manual transmission is no delight when your left hand is occupied with a compress. I had to take my right hand off the steering wheel with every shift. That’s about a hundred times on the twisting road from our home to Cles. I made it in record time: 48 minutes. I finally found a parking spot after another 15 minutes and walked into the emergency room as blood stained as a butchered pig. A nurse finally approached and said I would have to take a seat and wait for about 45 minutes.

I decided to play the blood card. I moved the bloody compress from my face and an open artery spurted blood onto the poor nurse who was two feet away. A horrified look was followed by, “Prossimo!” (Next!) I was then escorted directly into an operating theater. Two doctors put me on a table and surveyed the damage.

“Si’, è proprio profundo.” Yep, I knew it was deep. I asked what they had in mind. One smiled back and said calmly, “Facciamo un punto.” (That would be one stitch). After that was accomplished, both doctors increasingly panicked as they discovered that more and more stitches were needed. When they got to five or six, I blurted out. “Basta – Non mi fate come Frankenstein, prego.” They got the joke but kept on stitching away. Finally, they were both satisfied and released me to my waiting car and the relative safety of my home. The bill? Zero. Remember we are in a Socialist country with “free” healthcare. Well, it’s not free of course; the 23% VAT pays for something after all.


The Scarless Trubador

The bottom of my chin looked like the lacing on a football and I had many worries that the scar would stay with me forever. Well today I looked into that mirror and I cannot see where the cut was no less any scar. I wish I could say the same for the endarterectomy scar that now occupies my entire right neck after a surgery three years ago. That one’s probably a keeper! For laughs, see https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/endarterectomy-this-ones-straight-off-personal/

The mad dash to Cles – It’s something you probably don’t want to do if you’re wounded.

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The Best Dog Ever

Remembering Smokey this morning as I often do.

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People often ask me and my wife why we don’t have a dog. The answer is simple really: We had the best dog ever and that was more than enough for a lifetime.

It was May, 1986 when my wife and I visited the animal shelter in Agoura, California. We spotted a dog that was among 13 sired by a Labrador Retriever. There were two mothers involved, both Australian Shepherds. Of the 13, my wife immediately lit on one because he was “spunky.” We took the 8 week old pup home and were asked by our son if we had rescued a Harbor Seal. We named him Smokey. The color fit and so did the name. Little did we know that our blue merle Australian Shepherd mix Smokey would be our companion for nearly 17 years.

In the first weeks with our new dog, we would have to walk him…

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Cretino Oppure Maleducato?

Dopo quattro anni non è cambiato nulla… 😞

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Domenica scorsa Io andato colla moglie a Senale in Val di Non per una festa. Era proprio bella! Incontrato molti amici della zona e mi sembrava un giorno straordinario.

Dopo siamo entrati un negozio vicino la chiesa dove abbiamo comprato regali e vestiti fra i anni. Il proprietario arrivata con una faccia brutta. Ci ha chiesto, “Cercate qualcosa?” Io detto, “No, ma guardiamo…. grazie.”

Lui diventata subito cattivo e diceva, “Sempre venite in mio negozio… vattene in un altro negozio. Vi non mi piace!” Ho pensato, “Perché?” Ero imbarazzato e con niente di dire, uscito la porta con un “fan cullo” al’labbra.

Ma perché dopo 15 anni quel’uomo mi tratta cosi? Forse un cretino che non piace stranieri? Forse solo un maleducato? Non lo so ma sicuramente lui aveva un grande problema con i Americani. Volevo parlare con il sindaco di questo paese ma mi sembrava inutile. Niente di fare…

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Lunedi Senza Parole #32

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

I have to add that this capella was constructed before 1900 by my grandmother’s brother, Valentino Flor, in front of the house they owned in Meran, Austria (Now Italy). It has been an important historical landmark in Meran for over a century. The house was replaced last year by condos but the capella is still there. I have been working with city officials to insure that it remains.

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Black Cats Matter

#Caturday – Post Script – Black Mama died last year.

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I live in a world of cats. High in the Italian Alps, my home is also the abode of many feral cats. Ten years ago, our cat population was 22. These were all “forest cats” who were largely left to fend for themselves during our harsh winters. Like typical Americans, we adopted them all.

Most all of these cats were gray. But the grandmother of them all was a black Manx. She is still alive at almost 15 years, a very tidy sum for a wild cat. We call her “Black Mama.” She is matriarch of most of our entire cat world.

Of all her offspring, our favorite was a gray female we called “Cione” (ciccione means fatty in Italian.) She trusted us the most and was a frequent visitor in our house. She was smarter than most and knew the value of a warm bed and hand-fed sausage. She…

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Four And Twenty

One of the songs that I remember well from back in the day (1970) was Stephen Stills’ Four And Twenty. For years I’ve been dragging around a CD copy taken from an ancient cassette tape I bought five decades ago. Recently, I popped for the $1.29 and downloaded a digital copy that sounds much better.

I played this song regularly when I performed publicly back in the 1970’s. It’s not a great song by most measures but it does have an unusual chord progression and unusual rhyme scheme that both please the soul despite the song’s stressful theme. The lyrics wander more than a bit but that was the style back then. It paints a great picture of loneliness and desolation. I still love it and still play it!

You have to be lyrically alert to catch some of the transitions and it also helps to be in a good mood when listening to this track as it can be depressing. Listening to this song brings me back to the fine old days when Ray Allopena and I played the hell out of this song and others at a bar called The Loading Zone. To call it a club would be a stretch. We were a bit down living in our little apartments but every Friday and Saturday we played from 9 PM until closing and it lifted our spirits. This song was often used in the last set. Who knew I’d turn into such a happy guy years later?

For those interested, the chord progression in each verse goes like this (There is no chorus.):

D5 Dsus4 D
D5 Dsus4 D
F G D7
F G D7
F G D7

(Note: I prefer to play the D5 Dsus4 D at multiple frets.)

Give it a listen and tell me what you think. I love comments from both musicians and listeners, especially those of you of the same vintage as me.

Here are the lyrics:

Four and twenty years ago
I come into this life
The son of a woman
And a man who lived in strife
He was tired of being poor
And he wasn’t into selling door to door
And he worked like a devil to be more

A different kind of poverty now upsets me so
Night after sleepless night
I walk the floor and want to know
Why am I so alone?
Where is my woman, can I bring her home?
Have I driven her away?
Is she gone?

Morning comes the sunrise
And I’m driven to my bed
I see that it is empty
And there’s devils in my head
I embrace the many colored beast
I grow weary of the torment
Can there be no peace?
And I find myself just wishing that my life would simply cease

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BrightFarms To Build Next World-Class Sustainable Greenhouse Farm in Henderson County, North Carolina — The Chestnut Post

Some good news for our tiny town of Etowah, NC

BrightFarms will expand into North Carolina with a new 280,000 sq. ft. hydroponic greenhouse. Today’s consumers are searching for produce that’s fresher, safer and responsibly grown. It’s the reason that locally grown food has become the #1 purchase driver in produce for supermarkets. HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (PRWEB) October 31, 2019 BrightFarms, the No. 1 brand of locally grown packaged salads, will expand into North Carolina with a new 280,000 sq. ft. hydroponic greenhouse. Once complete, the farm will create 54 “green-collar” sustainable agriculture jobs that all pay a living wage and offer industry-leading health benefits and training. The new greenhouse will grow a variety of salad greens and herbs including spring mix, spinach, baby kale, romaine, arugula and a variety of other innovative greens not typically seen in traditional supermarkets. By growing produce close to its consumers, BrightFarms delivers its local, pesticide-free baby greens to supermarkets in as little as 24 hours of harvest, about a week faster than leafy greens grown on the West Coast. By growing indoors, the farms create ideal growing environments for plants to thrive and to maximize food safety. The new greenhouse will add to BrightFarms’ network of local, sustainable greenhouse farms; serving local markets including Charlotte, N.C.; Winston-Salem, N.C; Greenville, S.C.; Spartanburg, S.C.; and Atlanta. Existing farms already in operation are in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. “Today’s consumers are searching for produce that’s fresher, safer and responsibly grown. It’s the reason that locally grown food has become the #1 purchase driver in produce for supermarkets,” said Steve Platt, BrightFarms CEO. “We are incredibly grateful for the support from Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Commerce and look forward to bringing local, pesticide-free leafy greens to North Carolina and neighboring states.” “This is exciting news for Henderson County,” said N.C. Senator Chuck Edwards. “We welcome BrightFarms’ new jobs and investment to Appalachia’s agricultural community.” “BrightFarms has made a tremendous investment in our state,” said N.C. Representative Jake Johnson. “I know they will be very successful in Henderson County and the workforce is ready to support them.” In addition to the North Carolina Commerce and Economic Development Partnership, key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County, Agribusiness Henderson County, City of Hendersonville and Conserving Carolina. To learn more about BrightFarms’ greenhouses and its fresh, local produce visit http://www.brightfarms.com About BrightFarmsBrightFarms is the No. 1 brand of locally grown packaged salads, serving the freshest, tastiest and most responsibly grown produce to consumers nationwide. BrightFarms operates hydroponic greenhouse farms in the communities it serves, enabling it to eliminate time, distance, and costs from the food supply chain. BrightFarms’ growing methods, a model for the future of scalable, sustainable local farming, use far less energy, land and water than long distance, field-grown agriculture. Forbes has recognized BrightFarms as one of the “100 Most Consumer Centric Companies” and Fast Company has recognized BrightFarms as “One of World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” and one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food.” BrightFarms is funded by leading investors Cox Enterprises, Catalyst Investors, WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners. For more information, please visit http://www.brightfarms.com. Share article on social media or email:

via BrightFarms To Build Next World-Class Sustainable Greenhouse Farm in Henderson County, North Carolina — The Chestnut Post

Reading The Label

Music History – Name that tune!

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When I was a boy of perhaps 13 or 14 years old, I developed a unique habit of carefully studying the labels on the many 45 rpm records that I owned. Fortunately, I had a girlfriend whose father owned a jukebox supply business and I was set free in an endless inventory of 45’s to pick and choose at a nickel a record. In time, this gave me a large inventory of my own. I spent many a long afternoon dodging my school homework and quietly going through these records and learning the artists, writers and arrangers. The labels themselves intrigued me. Names that have since vanished were the standard stock in those days: Sun, Laurie, Decca and the like. I learned a great deal about their catalogs, artists and writers.

The first great fact that I discovered was that Dion did indeed have a last name just like the…

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Lunedi Senza Parole #31

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

1999AdigeValley

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