Skip to content

Chiara (Revisited)

Often, late at night, I think of Chiara.

allenrizzi

This is a re-post of Chiara, originally published on June 19, 2014. I still feel the same as I did back then. If only the years would allow me….

When you arrive in the midst of my years, you reflect upon what was done and what was not done and of the quality of your life. I have lived a very rich, full life and I have done, in the main, everything that I wanted to do. Most of my goals have been achieved without regret through hard work and perseverance.

When I was 14 years old, my goal was to become a writer and teacher. I became both at an early age. I also wanted to see the world and so I traveled extensively and even lived in Europe for many years. I wanted the best of wives and after two tries I achieved that goal as well…

View original post 180 more words

Lunedi Senza Parole #57

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.

What Is Your Limit?

We all have to accept a certain amount of aggravation in life. It cannot be avoided. However each of us has a limit of how much nonsense we will accept.

Me, I used to be in the middle somewhere. My Catholic and Tirolean upbringing taught me to turn the other cheek and have patience with everybody and everything. On the whole, I suppose it worked well enough for me for most of my life. Yes, I would blow-up at times but for the main, I was even tempered and accepted all most of the BS that was thrown at me from time to time.

However, age does funny things to a person. After about the age of 55, I started being less and less able to handle aggravation, especially of the bureaucratic kind. It started off slowly and built into the limit I have today, which is practically zero. I have become bullshit intolerant. Let me explain.

To be sure, my BS quotient was elevated by moving to Italy years ago. Here people are expected to put up and shut up. That never really was my style to start with so I found that putting up with total nonsense was actually having the reverse affect. Some things like closing all stores each Monday, Thursday afternoon and between the hours of noon and 3:30 just don’t make any sense so my frustration slowly grew. If I was a kid of 20, I suppose I would have simply gone to sleep for those three and a half hours but again, I’m not a kid.

When I moved back to the states several years ago, I found that I had the same intolerance for nonsense there as well. Why did I have to pay for utilities all year when I spent half that time in Italy? Why couldn’t a millennial at the market make change without a smart phone to guide them through it?  Why had everything doubled in price in my absence? Why did my bank have to run me through Interpol just to buy a house? All of these questions and many more finally took their toll to the point where my patience was nil.

When you combine such things with the need to see doctors way more often, you become a little grumpy to put it delicately. I have found my limit and it is precisely zero.

So what is your limit?

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

Read author Allen E Rizzi 3

 

Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

Did you ever have to make up your mind?

allenrizzi

It’s a great line from the The Lovin’ Spoonful’s song of the same title. It’s kept me on the straight and narrow for years. Why? Because early on, I learned that you can’t have everything and that you need to constantly make decisions: Smart decisions that benefit your life and don’t destroy it. It seems simple enough yet there are millions of people who just can’t say ….”pick up on one and leave the other behind.” This includes everything from a spouse to a job to a way of living. It can’t all be done in a life time so some real critical thinking has to be employed and decisions have to be made straight away.

Here’s the complete lyrics written by John Sebastian:

Did You Ever Had To Make Up Your Mind?

Did you ever have to make up your mind?
And pick up on one and leave the…

View original post 249 more words

Everyday Is Payday

A long time ago, I heard the words but being young, perhaps I did not understand them. I hear them still but now I am able to smile.

Sixty years ago, the man at the Safeway market was standing in line to checkout his groceries. When his items were tallied, he presented the cashier with a personal check as he had done for many years. The cashier looked blankly at the piece of paper and rudely tossed it back at the man. “This is no good!” The man was puzzled and shyly asked, “Why not?” The young man behind the counter was well prepared to do verbal battle and said in the snidest of voices, “Because you wrote a check here once, and you did not have sufficient funds in the bank!” The man sat his groceries down and tried to explain that yes, on one occasion he did not have a full checking account due to loosing his job. However, the situation had passed, he had the money in his account, and he wished to purchase groceries for his family. However, the youngster insisted that he would not accept the check. This middle-aged man calmly put his groceries back into the empty cart, retrieved his check, and tipped his 1950’s hat with a smile. “I’m sorry” is all that he said and with the same smile and congeniality, he left the store. That man was my father.

Some weeks had passed after this embarrassing incident, when I finally found the courage to ask my father what had happened and why. He explained that he indeed had been embarrassed in the market. I then asked, “But why weren’t you angry with the boy in the store?” My father replied that, yes indeed, he had been angry but moreover embarrassed, and that in the end it does not cost anything to be nice. I found this explanation odd and I did not accept it at the time. However, I remembered this incident all of my life.

As the years moved on, I watched my father more closely for the ways in which he interacted with other people. He most always maintained the simple dignity of being pleasant, even when things seemed very much not to be going his way. There is a blur of half-recalled days when I can remember my father being pleasant to people who were not. These days were on the city streets of Los Angeles and along the mountain streams of the Sierra Mountains. I began to write-off this behavior to the fact that my father grew up in Europe. Hence, he must have been European to a fault, kind of old worldly like some character out of an old Sherlock Holmes film. I just didn’t see that kind of attitude paying off and so I did not adopt it as my own.

Like many of my time, I spent much of my youth angry at many things. After engaging in one endeavor or another without success, I always seemed to have found that I was being too nice. I would say with exasperation, “It just doesn’t pay to be nice anymore!” The world had become too rough. This became my mantra for much of my youth, for poised as I was to “be nice,” it always seemed to me in the end not to pay. And, so I tried for a while not to be too nice; I reserved a bit of myself to be taken out of the public array and tried to be more forceful. I would bargain hard in business and when I was confronted by adversity, I would strike out, never tipping my hat in defeat. Life had taught me the mother of cliché lessons: nice guys finish last. Certainly, I did not intend to finish any race at the end.

My mother was a great fan of old movies. She had the uncanny talent for not only recognizing most of the character actors and bit players from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, but she almost always found some little quote in every film to call her own. One such favorite film was Harvey with James Stewart. There is a part in the film where Stewart’s character, Elwood P. Dowd, is being confronted about reality while speaking with the director of  a psychiatric hospital to which his sister has tried to commit him. He has been told about the virtues of being smart and successful by his sister. While speaking to Dr. Chumley, he says pensively, “My mother used to say to me…. In this world Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. For years I was smart… I recommend pleasant. You may quote me!” My mother adopted this little bit of philosophy from a man whose best friend was a six foot (actually 6 foot, three and one-half inches) high rabbit pooka and she tried to pass it on to her children. She repeated this scene often with her three children, hoping that some of the moral would stick.

They say that having your own children makes you sane and makes you finally understand what it was that your parents were trying to say. Perhaps this is true or perhaps it is only the reflection of lessons learned. I began to realize that I did not have the power to change the world. I began to accept fate as a partner of sorts. My world slowed a bit and I began to experiment with some old ideas. The very first time, I actually tried being pleasant for a joke of sorts, I was dealing with a world-class jerk in the business world of oil and gas. As I listened to this demon drone on and on, I thought to myself, “Why not kill this guy with kindness like out of some old Beatles tune?” I poured on an extra dose of honey to soften the sarcasm. It actually worked and over time our working relationship actually became quite good. This initial experiment turned more and more into habit and after some years a way of doing things, as we say. It also became genuine over the years.

Time shapes all things and a man is no exception. Perhaps I have learned to see a bit of that big white rabbit peaking over James Stewart’s right shoulder myself. Perhaps I still hear my father’s voice. Nice guys don’t always finish last. I have learned too to believe that it costs nothing to be pleasant, that no loose change is lost in the transaction and that in the end indeed, with a smile, everyday is payday.

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

Books JPG

Lunedi Senza Parole #56

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.

Rising Sons Surf Club

Looking back to the 1960’s.

allenrizzi

Back in the day (the day being the 1960s), I was a member and one time president of the Rising Sons Surf Club of Sylmar, California. For over 50 years I have been proud of my association with both the organization and its many members. I still keep in touch with many of the guys I surfed with from 1963 to 1970.

My memories are so strong and fond of those distant days that I wrote a book a couple of years ago to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of our club. I recently expanded the book to include more short stories from the surfing world of long ago. If you are a surfer from either the present or the past, you may want to give it a read. There are many vintage photos from the days I spent surfing on the California coast. The name of the…

View original post 89 more words

The Face That Remains

For years I have had a strong relationship with the town of Cloz, located in the Val di Non of Northern Italy. I have done much work with this town, including writing a book describing their antique cemetery and the work needed for its restoration. (See: In The Shadow of Saint Stephen.) From time to time, I have also contributed to their end of year magazine called El Comun. I wrote the following article for El Comun for their 2017 edition in connection with two of the gravestones in that old cemetery: Those of my grandfather and aunt. I have included it in both Italian and English. Let me know what you think, Thanks! (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

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

Read author Allen E Rizzi 3

Benvenuti a Fondo?

Flashback to 2014.

allenrizzi

IMG_20140807_104237_20140818103951415

Sul consiglio dello nostro buon amico di Fondo, ho scritto questo blog.

We live in a lovely part of northern Italy known as the Val di Non, between tall mountains, lush green forests, lakes and streams. Our home is located in the midst of this paradise in a small village known as Tret, which is a suburb of the larger village of Fondo. Having lived here for many years, we have learned quite a lot, not all of it good.

Of the 38 villages that dot our valley, the village of Fondo has the worst local government with the worst services and poorest rapport with its residents, especially those in our suburb (frazione) of Tret. Representatives from Fondo come to Tret very infrequently. Local Fondo politicians do arrive promptly before local elections to pander for votes. This aside, our small village of Tret is largely ignored except for the annual…

View original post 241 more words

Ennio Morricone

Today was a sad day for me and many other music professionals. In addition to losing Charlie Daniels, we also lost Ennio Morricone. These two men, different in almost every way, were absolute giants in the world of music.

Morricone composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. His filmography includes over 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone’s films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore’s films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, Once Upon A Time In America, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley’s Game and The Hateful Eight.

Morricone was born in Rome, the son of Libera Ridolfi and Mario Morricone, a musician. His family came from Arpino, near Frosinone. Morricone, who had four siblings, Adriana, Aldo (who died accidentally before turning four years old, owing to his nanny’s mistakenly feeding him cherries, to which he was severely allergic), Maria and Franca, lived in Trastevere, in the center of Rome, with his parents. Mario, his father, was a trumpet player who worked professionally in different light-music orchestras, while his mother Libera set up a small textile business.

Although I am familiar with most all of his work, one piece always stands out. MorriconeHe wrote “Deborah’s Theme” for the movie Once Upon A Time In America. This is possibly the best music written for the best film ever made. (This author’s opinion.) I have often noted that any “normal person” cannot help but break down in tears during the scene where Deborah is removing her “Cleopatra” makeup backstage with this music playing. The combination of story, filmography and music is simply amazing.

Please give this video a watch and listen and tell me you didn’t sneek a Kleenex into your eye.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuyYc0gINbU

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

”Read