Saturday, January 27, 2007

JANET'S ELOQUENCE

AT MY BOOK SIGNING AT THE CAPITOLA CAFE BOOK STORE ON JANUARY 17, I WAS VERY FORTUNE TO HAVE JANET LEIMEISTER, THE EVENTS COORDINATOR FOR THE STORE, INTRODUCE ME TO THE AUDIENCE. FOR THOSE WHO WERE UNABLE TO ATTEND AND ALSO FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO REMEMBER THAT SPECIAL NIGHT, I NOW PUBLISH JANET'S ELOQUENT INTRODUCTION BELOW.


Capitola Book Café
Janet Leimeister

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Introduction:
IVANO COMELLI, author of

LA NOSTRA COSTA: OUR COAST—A FAMILY’S JOURNEY TO AND FROM THE NORTH COAST OF SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA (1923-1983)

Family stories—and thus entire cultural and personal histories—can be lost so easily, connections to the past slipping away while we look steadily towards our future. Ivano Comelli has saved a story, captured a history, and recreated both a time and a place just a bit removed from us here tonight.

In his memoir La Nostra Costa, he tells the tales of his family, beginning with their immigration to our own Central Coast from Italy in the early 1900s.

From armies of Mussolini in the homeland to brussel sprouts in America, the change was a dramatic one. The Comelli’s were hardworking farmhands in their new home along Santa Cruz’s rugged coast line, but they were also fathers, mothers, potential enemy aliens, school children, lovers, mourners, and always Italians at heart.

The Comelli family had joys and fears all their own, but when brought together and written down, their lives become another thread of local history that is woven into our community fabric.

Ivano Comelli has given his family a great gift with the publishing of La Nostra Costa. He has also delivered to all of us an important connection to the greater history of our beloved hometown.

Capitola Book Cafe
1475 41st Ave, Capitola CA
831-462-4415 www.capitolabookcafe.com

6 comments:

gino 'di Baffi' Campioni said...

Hello Ivano,
I am just reaching the last two chapters of your book in my second and more careful reading of the whole thing. I am getting lots more out of it this time. This has resulted in many tearful moments. I see what many people endured as well as what they accomplished.

That man sitting with his arm draped over his head (in the photo I sent you)is Baffi(my father). This was Sept. 1956, just 35 months before his death.

He spent a lot of time in those days, sitting in that red recliner with feet resting on the matching ottoman in front of the TV.
As you probably know, he had suffered some sort of attack and was no longer working. He worked full time from age 7 (1894) until that physical problem. Somewhat before that event, he came home and handed me $15,000 in one thousand dollar bills. He said, "Take a good look at this. You will never see anything like it again." He was right. He had just sold his share in the Gulch Ranch, the only year it made significant profit. With the help of some savvy friend, perhaps Pete Rinaldi or John Battistini, he invested it all in blue chip stocks. By the time he died, it had risen to about $50,000. This took care of his final expenses and the nursing home care for Ada until she joined him where they are now.

LNC: Thanks Gino. Yes, I am sure that Ada and 'Baffi' are together once again, young and strong and so glad to alive, across
"Il Ultimo Ponte". ivn0

alverda orlando said...

Ivan
Heard from Nara Caiocca. She bought several of your books and gave one to her brother-in-law William. Bill (William) and his brother Leo owned the Davenport Bakery. Bill is not well but the one thing he does do is hang onto your book. Nara says nobody can get it away from him. He happily reads a little bit each day. Good work Ivan for making an old man happy.
A

patty morelli said...

Just wanted to thank you for a great evening at Book Cafe. For 30 years I have shopped there and attended many books signings. I think yours was the most fun, hands down!

Have you ever thought of sending your book to a movie producer, script writer, or director...... perhaps one who is associated with independent films? I see such a good movie in your story. Maybe check the IFC channel. http://ifc.com/news to pick up some names of producers, etc. Right now they are getting ready for the Spirit Awards....Oscars for independent films.....always fun to watch. Just a thought.
Take care.
Patty

LNC: Thanks Patty. Great Ideas.
I have thought about a doing a "screen script". However, who would play "Carabiniere" or "Mr. Brown". ivn0

alverda said...

Hi (again) Ivan
Just to let you know that more than Italians are watching your program. This last Saturday there was a glitch in the machinery that runs the Davenport Oral History program and after one minute of introduction the screen turned blue and then community advertising came on. Within 15 minutes I received several phone calls from genealogists who seemed to think I could do something about the problem. None of them were Italian or had lived on the coast.
I called the station, but of course it was Saturday night and everything was on automatic. It was Sunday before anyone got back to me, but it will be cleared up for next week.
Onward
Alverda

bonnnie costella mikesell said...

Well I finally finished the book. It's hard to explain, but I felt as if I was reliving my childhood. I either knew the all people or heard of them. I don't remember the Comelli family, but I'm sure my parents did. For instance, the DeBenedetti family -- we used to have dinner at their home and they would come to ours. Jeanette had a glass eye, as we called it then.

I use to play with Norma Dinelli at the Laguna bar-b-ques. She was in my class of "58 and she had children at Vine Hill School when I was secretary there, so I use to see her quite often. The owner of the Laguna Inn, Lena Viviani , was the sister of my godmother, Nellie Stagi, that lived in Davenport. They were the sisters of Don Stefani that owned the Colonial Inn and Don was also in my parent's wedding. I'm telling you, I can relate to almost everything in this book. Also, when my grandfather (Bardoni) died, my grandmother moved to S.C. with my uncle and they lived on Seaside St. near Phil Netto. I went to school with Julio Rinaldi since first grade. And the Fambrini's were really close friends of the family.

ivano della costa said...

The following is an e-mail from Robert Lemmon Jr. and my response. All in fun----don't you think??

Ivano,
Congrats on your successful book signing at the Capitola Book Cafe.
--
Last Friday as I lugged 11.26 # of oranges purchased for $3.72 [what freeze?] home along Seaside St I passed in front of 729 Seaside -- formerly casa d'Valentina.
I thought about your comment that JR wud have a hard time this week following IC. While you apparently can sing, can you catch a pass with a defensive back reaching over your shoulder? And can you catch one on a short crossing route where a foaming-at-the-mouth linebacker will try to separate your head from the remainder of your body if he has the chance? Bob L Jr

Bob the Webmaster. The answers to your questions, obviously, is no to both. However, the jury is still out as to who can best write.(One of the better compliments I have gotten so far is that I can write better than I can sing.) When I say write I mean without major professional assistance. BTW: I heard a certain Sports Talk Announcer criticize Jerry's Book as being revisionist sports history ala Jerry Rice.( Fortunately, I haven't heard that about "La Nostra Costa".) The only way to find out for sure is to go to the Capitola Book Store and buy his book. (All of this, of course, is said with tongue in cheek, except for buying the book.). Ivano della Costa