The article below was written by Tessie Kennedy, who writes a column (Tessie's People) for the Banner and Valley Press , www.pressbanner.com , which covers Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley, Jim Reed, Editor.
Tessie, unlike some reviewers, actually read the book from cover to cover. Being from the mid-west, she found the history of Santa Cruz and "La Costa" of particular interest to her. Her comment that the book read like a novel, was particularly gratifying to me.
"Former Scotts Valley resident, Ivano Franco Comelli, is the author of La Nostra Costa (Our Coast), newly published in March. It tells of his growing up years on the coast along Highway 1 as a member of an Italian immigrant ranching family and then as a police officer. He graduated from San Jose State and worked there in the San Jose Police Department while living in Scotts Valley. His wife, Mildred was a real estate agent and later a broker. She worked briefly for Coldwell Banker in Scotts Valley. They had three daughters and lived in Scotts Valley almost 20 years. It was while living in Scotts Valley, that then Police Sgt. Comelli, received a devastating phone call informing him of the killing of his best friend, Officer Richard Huerta, while he was writing a traffic citation. He dedicated his book to his seven grandsons and his nieces and nephews
A book signing and reading will be held on Tuesday June 27 from 1-4 at Agnes Dei Christian Bookshop, 134 Walnut Avenue. Ivano Comelli graduated from Santa Cruz High with the part-owner Esther Wilson.
Friends from Olympia,Washington and Maryland are attending the book signing and Ivan Comelli, as he was known in Scotts Valley, hopes to see more friends from his past. He is still gathering material.
Since being published Comelli has been on the radio, TV and in the newspaper. He has been contacted by News Italia, a paper in Italy, by a 2nd cousin in Italy he hadn't seen since '78, and by a police officer he hadn't seen in 20 years. It took four years to write this interesting life story which tells the hardships of being Italian here during World War II. There are interesting local history items. Comelli's father immigrated to the United States when he was 23. His father, called Bronco, was a Brussels sprout rancher and his mother, Valentina, worked cleaning sprouts and for a time as a cook at the ranch. Ivano Franco Comelli attended Laurel School, now the Louden Nelson Community Center. One summer the family rented a vacation house in Felton by Henry Cowell Parek. Any local history buffs will find this a great book. The arcade at the Boardwalk used to be called the Penny Arcade. Although a true life story, I found this book to read like a novel. I read it in three and a half days. The history in the book is fascinating. The daily life details of the 40's kept my interest. I related to his mother who he says was a great cook.
Now Ivano Franco Comelli, is known as Ivan Comelli or Grandpa and is busy going to Little League games and promoting his book.
"La Nostra Costa"(Our Coast is published by Authorhouse, and is available through their website, www.authorhouse.com ,or order by phone 1-888-280-7715. It is available at the Agnes Dei Christian Bookshop and the Capitola Book-Cafe."
Thanks Tessie for a great article. 'Con Un Bacin D'Mor. ivn0