Wednesday, May 09, 2007

REMINDER OF GUEST APPEARANCE IN SANTA CRUZ

Costantino "Augie" Gemignani ------------------'Old Rancere'
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THIS IS A REMINDER TO ALL ‘BLAGGATORI’ THAT YOUR ‘GRAN BLAGGATORE’ WILL BE MAKING A GUEST APPEARANCE AT THE SANTA CRUZ LIBRARY, 224 CHURCH STREET, DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ, ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 AT 1:00 PM. BRING YOUR CAMERAS IF YOU WISH TO TAKE PICTURES WITH “THE OLD RANCERE”. HE SAYS THAT HE WILL BE THERE.

The above photo is of Costantino (Augie) Gemignani and the ‘Old Rancere’ aka Ivano Franco Comelli. The photo was taken by Roger ‘Ruggero’ Princevalle at a visit to Augie’s house in Santa Cruz, last year. You notice that Augie swiped the ‘Old Rancere’s’ hat and placed it on his head. This is indeed a great compliment to the ‘Old Rancere’ because the hat belonged to ‘Bronco’ (my father) who worked with Augie on the Gulch Ranch “su per la costa”. The photo on the right (below) is of Augie with his wife Victoria (Ghio). Augie is holding their one year old (?) daughter Donna. This photo appears to have been taken circa 1950. (Photo found in the La Nostra Costa Archives.)

I believe that Augie is the last of the original ranceri still alive that actually worked with Bronco. I was privileged to have worked with Augie and Bronco on the Gulch Ranch in the Summer of 1953. I was 16 years old at the time and it was my first summer job. The old ‘cooka housa’ in ‘Il Buco’ was still in operation so I actually got to eat with the ‘ranceri’. Reminiscing on this, I thought it might be fun to go around the boarding room table in an attempt to identify those who sat there in the summer of 1953. Many of these ranceri, I do describe in ‘La Nostra Costa”.

The table was set facing east to west. At the head of the table (east end) a place was reserved for “La Cuoca”, ‘Sunta’ Ramaciotti. As I recall ‘Sunta’, for what ever reason, never eat with the ranceri, so the chair remained empty. Seated on what would have been her right, was Pietro “Pete” Rinaldi, ‘Il Bosso”. Almost directly across from Pete sat Bronco. Ironically, this meant that the two faced each other at every meal. (In “La Nostra Costa”, I explain that the two often did not get along.) On Pete’s right sat Dante Ramaciotti. (He of shotgun toting fame and Sunta’s husband.) On his right, sat my brother, John,who also was working a summer job on the Gulch. A rancere named Paolo sat on my brother’s right at the extreme west end of the table. (Paolo was a day laborer; I do not recall is last name.)

Across the table from Paolo (still at the west end) sat “Baffi” Campioni with his bowl of minestrone soup and French bread. (“Baffi” for some reason, insisted on eating the same thing, minestrone and French bread at every meal.) Next to “Baffi”, on his right, sat Costantino (Augie) Gemignani who appears in the photos above. (Augie was in his early 40s during this time period.) On Augie’s right sat that grizzly old rancere, Louis Scannoni. Louis was a day laborer and as described in the book, loved to soak his biscotti cookies into his red wine. (Hmmmm. Buono, Buono!!) Next to him sat Jimmy Corno, another day laborer. Jimmy operated and maintained all the mechanical farm equipment (such as the ‘carapilla') on the Gulch Ranch. Next to Jimmy, sat my father and I sat next to Bronco (far east end, next to Sunta’s vacant chair, on what would have been her left.)

All of these ranceri (except for my brother) have crossed “Il Ultimo Ponte”. All, that is, except for Costantino “Augie’ Gemingani. The “Old Rancere” tells me that Augie might even show up at the Santa Cruz Library, Wednesday. Now that would really be something. If he does show, the "Old Rancere” might have to relinquish his title for the day. ivn0

4 comments:

gino said...

From: Gino Campioni
To: Ivano Franco Comelli
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 3:00 PM
Subject: Saluti


Hei Ivano,

Thanks for putting the photo with Costantino Gemignani on your website. (note the given name spelling)

Baffi always used to argue that "Augie" should be the nickname for "Augusto", not for Costantino. Augie never listened to that.

Gino: I got this from Costantino himself. "Augie" was a nickname that was given him because as a baby he would make an "oggi" sound when he tried to talk. How about them apples. ivn0

dianna degli-esposti said...

Ivan,

Robeto thinks that Paulo ( the day laborer) last name might have been Maletesta.

The canel (Fosso) flowed from the place where Gino;s mother washed clothes is the same place as Bob's mother (Vanda) went also.It has
many places to wash clothes. Bob remembers seeing at least 6 or more people, for sure women, at a time along the canel washing clothes. (I even saw this place when we went back to Italy after he retired) It was a canel that started at La Presa that ran thru Ponte into Lucca for the farmers to water their crops.
>
Regarding Jerry Mungai comments.................Wonderful.................
>
Bob and his brother Fabby ( aka Lancy Egan) are prefect examples of coming to America. Talk about struggles, no bi-linguel education,they learned it
from their cousins,none of this special classes as a 2nd language. All done on their own.They family wasn't on welfare, or affordable housing, or food stamps, or free healthcare.

They lived in a house on the Rodoni ranch (Dante) for awhile and saved their hard earned money and bought their house on Seaside Steet close to where
Ivan's parents lived.

I'm so very proud of being a member of the Degli-Esposti by marriagefor all
these years..

LNC: Thanks Dianna for your insightful comments. I will be doing an article on the Degli-Espostis for the Blagga soon. Ivno

ivan dodson said...

Hi Ivan, thanks for the info. Good luck on your guest appearance.
The other Ivan

LNC: Ivan Dodson joined us at Laurel School around the fourth or fifth grade. Since I was there first he got dubbed the 'other' or 'second' Ivan. They could of made it easier on him him if the teachers would have given back my real name--------don't you think??
Ivano

glenn kimmel said...

Thank you for the notice. I'll attempt to make that date.
I appreciate you staying in touch
Glenn