Friday, June 01, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIOVANNI PRIMO














TODAY IS MY BROTHER’S BIRTHDAY. GIOVANNI PRIMO COMELLI (JOHN),WAS BORN ON JUNE 4. SOME 73 YEARS AGO IN SANTA CRUZ. THE PHOTOS (Directly Above) ARE PROBABLY HIS FOURTH GRADE PICTURES. THE PHOTO AT THE TOP IS HIS FIRST COMMUNION PICTURE. THE GOOD LOOKING LAD ON HIS LEFT IS YOUR FUTURE 'GRAN BLAGGATORE'. (OF COURSE YOU ALL KNEW THAT I WOULD FIND SOME WAY TO 'WORM' MYSELF INTO AT LEAST ONE OF THESE PHOTOS.) VALENTINA, OUR MOTHER, ALWAYS MADE JOHN WAIT FOR ME TO CATCH UP. THUS, WE BOTH RECEIVED FIRST COMMUNION AT HOLY CROSS CHUCH IN SANTA CRUZ ON THE SAME DAY.

I have told this story several times during my presentations and I also have written about it in “La Nostra Costa” (Pgs. 89-90). In the year that my brother was born (1934), Primo Carnera was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World. Primo, who stood 6 foot 6 inches tall and weighted approximately 260 pounds, was born in the Friuli Region in Italy. This was the same Region that Bronco, my father, was born. Thus, Primo Carnera was a source of great pride for my father.

In 1934, Primo Carnera was scheduled to defend his Championship against a most formidable challenger, Max Baer. Bronco went out on a limb and vowed that if Primo successfully defended his Title, he would name his first born son, Primo Giovanni. Those of you, who by chance, might have seen the movie “Cinderella Man”, know that Max Baer floored Primo some twelve times and went on to win that fight.

Bronco was extremely disappointed, however; he still felt honor bound (somewhat)to his fellow Friulano. Primo became my brother’s middle name. Later when my brother was able to comprehend what might have been, he thanked Max Baer many times for beating the “Ambling Alp”, as Carnera was known in boxing circles. He did not relish the idea of being called Primo for the rest of his life. On the other hand Carnera’s defeat deprived me 0f a great ‘war cry’ when attacking my brother. ‘CREAM DA PREEM’ was not to be heard ‘su per la costa’....... at least not by me. ivn0


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

By the look on you guys faces in the top photo, that must have been some "First Confession". Happy Birthday, John.

Bill Cleveland 'SCHS '56" said...

I'm glad you mentioned your brother John Primo. I really never knew him very well, although I've been reading your book and about him your family and have really enjoyed your family's story. I'm only up to the '50's and you guys getting the new car. I remember that old Chevy pretty well. I'd forgotten it was a fasta-backa though. I drove my Dad's '49 Chevy for a quite a while until it "got broke" up in Seattle. I like the new cars a lot better. Bill

LNC: Bill was a Junior at Santa Cruz High School when I first met him. I think I took him on a few rides "su per la costa" in the "OLd Torpedo". Later, Bill was one of my roommates at San Jose State College. He lives in Sunnyvale with his wife Marcie (Willians). Marcie is a 1955 Grad of SCHS.
GB

carolina cariola said...

O mio 'bello'. So many wonderful memories. Happy,happy birthday. Carrie

Anonymous said...

Felice copleanno, caro Giovanni Primo! Ti recordi nostri primi tempi nella scuola della Signora Fischer? Neither you nor I knew a word of English. Do you remember some of the other kids? Carla Coats, whose father owned a music store, Donald "Buster" Jones, who acted up in class and the teacher tied him to a chair with yarn, only to have him break loose in a Superman imitation? Those were the days, amico mio.

Migliori auguri. Scrivimi se hai del tempo. Ivano ti puo dare la direzione.

Gino

len klempnauer said...

Ivan,
Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, Primo Carnera appeared in a professional "wrestling" match at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. I attended with my dad.
I also saw Max Baer in the summer of 1946 when I was age 9. He attended a boxing match at the Sierra Ordnance Depot in Herlong, Calif., about 35 miles from Susanville, where we lived before coming to Santa Cruz in September. With Baer were Frank Sinatra and a couple of other celebrities, whose names I forget.

I managed to obtain both Baer's and Sinatra's autographs, but my autograph book was thrown into the trash sometime when I was in high school or college.
Len Klempnauer, Capitola, SCHS Class of 1954

Len: I write about Primo coming to the Civic Auditorium in SC on June 20, 1949 (Pg. 90). He fought Pete Petersen who was a local favorite. Primo won the "fight" by throwing Petersen into a ring post. Pete was injured (real, not faked) and was unable to continue.
ivn0

ANDY said...

HI,

MY GREAT GRAND FATHER WAS PIO SCARONI, THE DAIRY BEFORE KATY SCARONI PLACE, MY MOTHERS MAIDEN NAME WAS DOROTHY ANNAND. I AM LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON S.K. ANNAND WHO TOOK OVER THE DAIRY AFTER PIO MOVED INTO TOWN ON LAURENT STREET - HE ALSO MARRIED MY GRAND MOTHER. COULD YOU HELP ME OUT ON WHERE I COULD FIND SUCH INFO.
THANKS,
ANDY CARCELLO
PS. MY FATHER OWNED MISSION PHARMACY FOR 57 YRS. LENA BROVIA WORKED FOR US.

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Andy: If you get this message reply to my e-mail address: ivcomelli@arilion.com . I need your e-mail to correspond with you directly.

Lena Brovia was my baby sitter in Davenport. I write about her and the Brovia Family in my book "La Nostra Costa.

My family lived on Seaside Street, directly in back of Bay View School. We use to go to the Mission Drug Store quite often when Lena Worked there. I also remember your father. As I recall the Drug Store had one of those old fashion Ice Cream Counters. Had my first Ice Cream Soda there.. What a treat.

Also Norma Dinelli Wilson has written a couple of articles for this "Blagga" on the Scaroni's.

If you go to the top of the page and type in Scaroni in the search space provided, those article should 'pop' up, or try her byline
name LaNorma.

Hope to hear from you soon. ivno

Gino Campioni said...

In 1942 my second grade teacher was a Miss Annand. I don't remember ever hearing her first name. I do remember that she was a fine teacher. Perhaps she is related to Andy.

I also remember Fred Carcello very well. The pharmacy was less that a block from our house. We went there a lot. My mother and I enjoyed the hot fudge sundaes and the cherry Cokes at the soda fountain.

There was a Herb Scaroni who became a licensed amateur radio operator in the early 1960s. His original call sign was WA6FFV. He has had that changed, and I don't know his current callsign. He and his wife and daughter lived somewhere North of the Bay St. reservoir.

Andy might want to try this site:

http://www.familysearch.org

He might find some clues there, particularly under "Advanced Search" and using U.S. Social Security Records, or other features.

Saluti, Gino