Thursday, August 24, 2006

IL DOMPO DI SANTA CRUZ

In my book La Nostra Costa, I describe how, as kids ,we used to play 'rubber guns' on the Rodoni Ranch. I also talk about "Il Dumpo" (the City Dump) where we used to go to fetch discarded tire inner tubes to manufacture much needed "ammunition" for our rubber guns. (LNC: Pgs. 209-212.).

Gino Campioni has some interesting memories about "Il Dumpo" and "rubber guns." Notice his spelling for "Dumpo" . He spells it with an "o". Gino should know since he is in the process of constructing a phonetic dictionary for Italianized American words.Of course, he has a bias for the Tuscano pronunciation. Thanks for the memories, Gino.


Reading La Nostra Costa has awakened a lot of memories for me. I can remember a lot of the way "il dompo" appeared
in the early 1960s. The narrow, winding road was bumpy and dusty. On reaching the level of the main area of the
dump, the road curved first left, where one had to stop at an old wooden building where the size of the load was
checked, and the appropriate fee had to be paid. Then one proceeded to drive in a curve to the right, and then
back the vehicle to the edge of the pit, where all the trash was collected and subsequently burned or buried.

One had to be very careful not to back too close to the pit, as there was nothing to stop a vehicle from going over
the edge if one wasn't careful. I remember that I had to dispose of a Frigidaire washing machine that my mother had bought
from the TV and appliance store where I worked. It was the odd type of vertical pulsating agitator, and when it began leaking oil, it was not worth repairing. I pushed it off the truck tailgate, and it went "à ruzzoloni" end over end down that abyss. Another thing I discarded was a small banjo-type ukulele that had been given to me by my music teacher. After many problems with broken strings, parts coming loose, and finally a split in the white diaphragm of the thing, I flung it as far as I could. Clang! Bong! Splat!

I remember some of the people who lived close to the dump. My parents and I once had a fine meal of roast pheasant with all the "contorni" with Gianni Fambrini, his wife, and children Nadine and Raymond, with whom I later had 4 years of high school at Holy Cross. Those were the days, friends. I think that was the last time I ever had a pheasant dinner, but it was unforgettable.
*********************************************************************
Ivano, when making those rubber guns, did you ever make a rubber machine gun? I think Kenny Olsen and I used to make those. You would make a longer than normal stock, and cut saw-tooth notches in it, Then a strip of fabric, or some sort of strap was nailed to the front end of the notches. Rubber loops were stretched (in the proper sequence) from the front of the gun to the notches. When firing, the strap was lifted, and rubber loops were launched, either singly, or in a burst like a machine gun.

Didn't we have fun with simple stuff when we were kids? Nowadays most of the young kids I see don't know how to have fun unless daddy buys them a car or something. I have showed some of our boys my radios and let them make contacts. They were all "gung ho" until I told them they had to study a book to get a license. That was the end of their interest.

Regards, Gino

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ciao, Ivano,

Last night I flipped open your book, and instantly saw the page with your account of making multi shot rubber guns.

Could that be telepathy from you telling me to read more carefully?

Distinti saluti. Gino, figlio di Baffi

Anonymous said...

Gino: For your information, Roger Princevalle (a friend) and I took a memorable trip up “Il Dompo Road” a couple of weeks ago. It is now called Dimeo Lane, (named after the Dimeo Family who used to live there) and it is paved. As we began our trip up the road, I noticed that the old Dimeo house was still standing (just barely). No one lives there of course, but it is a reminder (for now) of those “Ghost of the Coast”. Further up the road at the old Fambrini house we met up with Danny Rodoni, his wife and young daughter. They have remodeled the house (it looks great) and live there year around. Danny told us that Charlie Modina (now 93 years old) and his wife, Margarita Fambrini’s sister (I’m sorry, I just can’t recall her first name) still live in their original home across the road On ward to “Il Dompo”. .

Surprise! The open garbage pits are gone as are the piles of discarded tires and inner tubes. (Alas, no more ‘rubber gun ammo” here.) It is now a “state of the art” recycling and reclamation center. No more burning. What can not be re-cycled is buried. Thus, no more fires and no more smoke. In the “old days” the coastal winds usually blew from the north-east to the south-west. At times it would switch a round, blowing from the south-east to the north-west. When that happened our house on the Coast Road would be inundated with thick rubbish smoke from the fires at “Il Dompo”. It took days to get the smell of smoke out of our house and clothes. Thus, was life “su per la Costa” when you lived near “Il Dompo di Santa Cruz.” Ivn0

jolene (oscamou)rouse said...

ivano, what memories!!!! I TOO REMEMBER "iL DUMPO" AND "BOBBIE'S" DESCRIPTION IS RIGHT ON!!! REALLY ENJOYED HIS ARTICLE THAT YOU POSTED ON THE BLOG. HEY, JUST NOTICED THAT YOU HAVE GEORGE AND GINNY DISBROW ON YOUR E-LIST - - I KNEW THEM WELL, GEORGE IS (DIANE DISBROW'S(MONTAGUE) CLASS OF "55) BROTHER!!!

BACK TO BOBBIE'S MEMORIES OF "IL DUMPO" MY PARENTS KNEW THE FAMBRINI'S ALSO - WHAT A REALLY SMALL WORD THIS TRUELY IS!!!!!!! WELL CIAO FOR NOW AND HAVE A GREAT WEEK END. XOXO JOLENE P.S. JUST HEARD FROM MY SISTER AND LOUISE PRESEPI HAD A STROKE, SHE WAS AT DOMINICAN, BUT HAS BEEN MOVED TO DRIFTWOOD CONVELESENT FOR REHABILITATION.

IFC: Jolene: Sorry to hear that Louisa has had a stroke. Our prayers are with her. She and her husband "Piccino" (LNC: P.38-39)made so much history "su per la Costa" Indeed,they are an indelible part of that history. ivn0

derrill kerrick said...

Your rubber gun story reminds me of the "bazookas" Jerry & I made when we were kids. When we lived on Walnut Ave. there was a large vacant lot nearby (now gone...all houses). It was a bit swampy, lots of cat-tails, etc. We were always itching for a "war" but we had a hard time finding enemies. We designed bazookas. They consisted of a metal pipe that was probably a foot long and 2" in diameter. On one end we affixed (with electricians tape) a cut strip of a tire inner tube. We picked cat-tails from the swamp, took of the fluffy end and used the stem as an arrow. The arrow was inserted in the tube and fired like a bow and arrow. The problem was that the aerodynamics of the cat-tail stem were not ideal...as I recall the stem spiraled in flight. Then my brilliant brother (Jeremiah) designed the "clay-tipped arrow"...simply (but cleverly) a small blob of clay at the end (well, the end that was first out). This stabilized the flight of the arrow and we then thought we were a most formidable army. We did get in a fight and Jerry captured one of the enemy, kept him captive for an hour or so but we had no idea what to do with him so we let him go. More to follow about our subsequent defeat...the opposing army had BB guns!

Ciao a presto,

Derrill

IFC: Derrill: You guys would not had a chance against the "Big Gravel Yard" boys and their powerfully built "rubber guns" shooting "IL Dompo" aged ammo. ivn0

Anonymous said...

Ivano & gang,

Do you guys remember the "Atom Ray Gun"? It was a pistol made of cast pot metal with an adjustable nozzle and had a chamber which could be filled with water. It launched a very narrow stream for quite a distance, and with enough "power" to blast a butterfly to bits at 15 feet. One could get enough shots out of one filling to merrily soak a friend.

Memories, oh memories. Gino