Saturday, November 24, 2007


Top Photo: Tre Famiglie Furlani taken on the Gulch Ranch,'su per la costa',c.1947. ' (LNC: Page 139). Standing (L-R)Guido Cantarutti,Evelina Cantarutti,'Bronco'Comelli, Mario (Rosso) Taurian and Valentina Comelli. Seated (L-R)Lido Cantarutti,Reno Cantarutti, Elso Taurian, Felicino (Phil)Taurian,Giovanni Primo (John) Comelli, and Ivano Franco Comelli. My brother Johln is holding "Copi" our third family dog. Unknown if he was a Furlan.

Bottom Photo: My Aunt Lina (Bressani)Gemignani taken in Italy,c.1942. This was prior to being taken prisoner by the Nazi SS. (LNC: P.187)


I just finished reading your awesome book "La Nostra Costa". My rating is 10 out of 10. You can be rest assured that I will honourably advertise your book. You can be guaranteed of that.

There were a few sections of the book that greatly impressed me. The section regarding your Aunt Lina Bressani (Gemignani) I am guessing Lina is about my Father's age born in 1924? Well her experiences after the war were not uncommon. My mother recalled in her home town of Bressa di Campoformido Udine, many local girls had their hair cropped off by the Partisans because they were seen even speaking to a German Soldier. Also, it was also well known that there were numerous individuals within the ranks of the Partigiani that were also devious and felt they were above the law,stealing and pilfering from their neighbours. There were numerous reported incidences that certain individuals of the Partigiani also tortured German Soldiers as well as their own people in the local towns. Just because they were Partigiani did not make them holy.

There were some real characters in their ranks as well. My Mother's two older brothers were both Police Officers during the War, as a matter of fact Amelio the oldest was one of the many selected to guard Mussolini when he was imprisoned after 1943 when King Emanuel ordered Benito interned and Italy formed an alliance with the Allies. Well my Uncles were always threatened by the local, lower ranking Partigiani, because being Police Officers they were automatically perceived to be Fascists since it was a state held position. However, no-one knew this at the time but both my Uncles joined the Partigiani prior to 1941, they were all given the orders to do so, since the demise of Italy was seen by all ,except for Benito and his band of merry hoodlums.

And as your Father Bronco mentions many times what the Partigiani did to Mussolini was not well received. Bronco was correct "Che brutta figura che questi Italiani fanno" the Allies certainly were not in favour of this sickly display of law and order. Again as was evidently seen after the war the Partigiani themselves were not united, this was evident during the after war referendum and subsequent interim democratic government elections. There were two facets of Partigiani, the Communist facet and the Christian Democratic facet. Italy was divided well after the War and did not truly find it's bases until the 1970's, economically this was very evident. And I can attest to this having lived in Italy from 1967 - 1968, the economy was still in a restructuring mode, and did not compare to the rich productive North American example.

By the way your Aunt Lina still lives in California? It would be interesting to meet her, I know my Father and Mother would love it.

The other most impressive part of La Costa Nostra is your thorough recollection of all your family friends and the various outings. They are similar to my experiences. Also, what Bronco experienced with Peter Rinaldi(LNC: P.98), was similar to what my father experienced. One thing for certain and this holds true anywhere in the World where Furlans live, Furlans are hard working non pretentious honest people. And they are basic, not showing off what they have even if they have $1million dollars.

Excellent reading, thoroughly enjoyed it... keep in touch !!!

Ciao e Mandi

Doriano "The Canadian Furlan"


Saturday, November 17, 2007



Ciao, Ivano

Last night I made this list of Italians living in or around Santa Cruz when we also lived there, or who served us in various ways. I include brief remembrances of some. Of several I can recall only the surname.

Perhaps in your further writings, you might recall significant things about some of them:

Allegretti. This couple had a son about my age, and lived in the Seabright district.
Allegrini, Aldo Elio Dr. Physician and surgeon with an office on Soquel Ave. and a home in Pasatiempo.(167)
Antonetti, Joe and wife Noemi lived near Holy Cross Church and had a daughter (Virginia) whose name I have forgotten.Owner-partner in the Gulch Ranch.(100)

Anzilotti, Alex "Sprouts": . He had a produce trucking company that went from Portland to Santa Cruz, the biggest at that time. He took on a partner and lost his share in a card game to his partner, Joe Antonetti, I think. He was a field buyer for John Ingalls frozen foods, we would go to Stockton or Salinas in the late 50's.
Anzilotti, Julia (Foster):  Daughter of Alex "Sprouts" Anzilotti. 
My name is David Raymond Brown (Auricchio) 
My family has been in Santa Cruz since before I was even a thought. 
It would be great to see the name Auricchio added. Today we are the Brown's, Bortz's , and Franco's.
We came here from Huntington island, Olean, and Buffalo NY. 
our family back in IT make cheese,
Auricchio provolone is most well known, we're all cooks. I said cooks not kooks, although a few of us have been given that label as well.
Thank you 

Bandoni, Armando, frequent visitor who drove an artichoke green colored Dodge coupe.
Bandini, Leo, worked his tail off for Pino Pyffer. Ivano used to see him working on his tractor, Sundays and Holidays. Didn't seem he ever took a day off.
Bardoni, Gina. Wife of Henry Costella. (See Costella, below.)
Bargiacchi, Giulio and Emma, parents of Donald Don graduated from SCHS in 1952 with John Comelli. (337)
Bargiacchi,Pietro and Ida, parents of Flora and Leo. (213)
Basso,Vittorio, Also known as Vittorio 'Del Belvedere'. John Comelli's Godfather (Confirmation). Furlan (355)
Battistini, John and Angie who helped many Italians with insurances.(259)
Bazzali, (given name forgotten) who cut and delivered firewood.
Bella,Charlie and Carmelina, owners of the Ocean View Hotel in Davenport. Famous for their 'Wild Game Feasts." (112)
Belli, a couple living on Toledo St. with a son Ennio.
Beltrami,Battista and Serafina, mother of Ebbe and Angie. Managed 'Beltrami's' a Bar/Cafe/Gasoline Station, mid-way between Davenport and Santa Cruz.(221)
Beltrami, Luigi was a partner with Herman Mortara in the grocery on Pacific Ave.
Benedetti, Eraldo and Emma, parents of Jeanette. Rancere on a farm just north of the Gulch Ranch. Jeanette attended Laurel School with Ivano. (273)
Bertacca,Teresa, Aunt to Patty Morelli. Co-Plaintiff in civil suit against the Portland Cement Plant in Davenport. (26)
Bertorelli, Nello who had a grocery at the corner of Younglove Ave. and Mission St.
Bianchi, an officer in Bank of America on Pacific Ave.
Bianco, Edorado and Mary. Parents of Florence Bianco Bell. Edorado ranched with brother-in-law Michaele Conrado in a place the Italiani della costa called "Siberia" (located in Swanton-'su per la costa').

Bianco, Florence (see above), went to school with Ivano. (324).
Bianconi.Guido and Irene,parents of Diane. Operated Bianconi Produce. Irene helped run resturant in family home in Swanton. Known as the Red House on Swanton Road it later was converted into the 'Seaside School' were Reno Cantarutti once attended
(355). The building still stands today.
Bianconi, Rosie and Tony, Grandparents to Diane (above). Lived on Laurel St. SC.

Binsacca,Sam, Esteemed Santa Cruz High School Teacher. Taught many Future Farmers 'su per la costa'. Father to Bob and Don. Don graduated from SCHS in 1955, with Ivano.
Boggero,Joe,Music Teacher and Piolet of Piper Family Cruiser. Thought accordion lessons.
Bosso,Lina, worked at Bosso Bros. Hardware at the foot of Mission St. before Costella and Caiocca acquired it.
Braida, G. and Marcellina, parents of Lina.
Bragazzi,Francesco (Carabiniere), Part owner and manager of the Hotel D'Italia in Davenport. At one time also managed the Laguna Inn. His stature,(he stood over 6'6"tall,and weighed well over 260 lbs.)and menacing looks made him the ideal 'peacemaker' for the bars he worked.  (107)
Bregante, Maureen, attended grade school with Gino
Bressani, Angelina,(Furlana) Mother of Valentina and Lina;grandmother to John and Ivano

Bucchi: Umberto and Derna . He had a share of the ranch for a short time in the 50s. They had two children, Roberto who worked for my Father at Lucca Lunch and later had his own bar. I believe it was called Gi Gi's. He had a sister who's name is Elvera.  Virginia Antonetti Silva

Comelli. Immigrate from Italy to the US circa 1955 at the age of 68. Died and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetary, Santa Cruz in 1980 at the age of 93. (3)(317)
Bressani,Lina, (Furlana)Nazi prisoner of war, war bride. Youngest sister of Valentina Comelli. Aunt to Ivano and John. Married Joe Gemignani in 1948. (187)(199)
Brovia, Pietro and Maria, parents of 'The Davenport Destroyer' Joe 'Pino' Brovia and his twin sister, Virgina, and younger sister Lena. Lived in Newtown (Davenport)and later in Santa Cruz (119)
Brovia,Joe, Pacific Coast League Baseball Hall of Famer. Played for the San Francisco Seals,Oakland Oaks,Portland Beavers and Sacramento Solons. Also played for the Cincinati Reds in the Majors.(119)
Busticchi, A member of Holy Cross High

Caiocca,Gilbert and Mary. Parents of William and Leo. Own and managed the Davenport Bakery and later the Mirmar Cafe in Davenport. (111)
Caiocca, Wm. a partner of Joe Costella in a hardware store on Mission St. and a TV & appliance store on Soquel Ave. (111)
Campioni,Gulielmo (Baffi) and Ada, parents of Gino 'Bobby'Campioni. Baffi,a rather eccentric rancere, was a partner on the Gulch Ranch with 'Bronco' Comelli. He loved his minestroni soup.(91)
Campioni,Gino "Bobby'. Son of 'Baffi' ed Ada. Famous author of the "Itanglish" Dictionary.
Capone,Alphonso (Al). Chicago Gangster (1920s 1930s). Associated 'su per la costa' with "Bootlegged booze". (5)

Cardoza, Zelma, wife or Raymond Fambrini
Carcello,Fred, Owner operator of Mission Pharmacy, cornor of Mission and Bay.
Carmarlinghi Family. Own and managed 'Adolphs' a popular Resturant and Bar in Santa Cruz. (75)
Cantarutti,Guido and Evelina,parents of Reno,Lido and Norma. Rancere on the Venturini Ranch 'su per la Costa'. During the War he moved his family to Richmond. Good friends of the Comelli Family. Furlans. (140)
Carnera, Primo (Furlan), Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World 1933-34. (90) Hero to 'Bronco' Comelli and other ranceri, 'su per la costa'.
Carniglia, Mary who prepared income tax returns for many Italians.
Cavalli,(Charlie and Prince) Two of the hardest working 'ranceri' on the Gulch Ranch. Unknown for sure if they were Italian. (71-74)
Ceragioli,Raymond and Zelda, parents of Rudy,Jim and Barbara. Lived on the Lorenzi Ranch then on Escalona Drive in Santa Cruz. Zelda was one of 6 Fistolera Sisters who were born and raised "su per la Costa": Inez,Lena,Nora,Vivian,Winnie,Zelda. (248)
Cerri,Tony and Albina. Parents of Gloria. Lived on the Lorenzi Ranch (245)
Cerri,Gloria. As a teenager she kept us informed as to the happenings 'su per la costa". Later married Sam Torrisi and moved to San Jose.(246)
Cecchini,Alma. A member of my grade school,later a teller at Bank of America on Mission St.
Chiorini,J.L.,Accountant,Mayor of Santa Cruz,c.1950.
Cimarelli,Luigi. Owner of a plumbing business in Santa Cruz.
Cirincione, Domenico. I'm not sure if he represented "L'Italia" newspaper or if he was the olive oil vender.
Cirrone, "il calzolaio" operated a shoe repair shop on Pacific Ave.
Comelli, Gervasio (Bronco) and Valentina (Furlans), parents of Giovanni and Ivano.(3)
Comelli, 'Garrasio', name assigned to Gervasio at Ellis Island in 1923.(4)
Comelli, Giovanni (John)and Donna, parents of Denise and Christine,elder brother to Ivano. Lived on the Gulch Ranch and in Santa Cruz. (7)
Comelli, Ivano Franco, Policeman, 'Famous' Author. (all)
Conrado, Michele and Caterina, parents to Attilio, John and Angela (also see Bianco, Edorado, above.)

Conrado, Paul*
Corno,Jimmy, mechanically enclined rancere who worked on the Gulch Ranch (67)
Costella, Amedeo operated The Workingman's Store on Front St.

Costella, Egidio and Lucia (Bertorelli). Grandparents to Bonnie and Carol Costella, etc. Father to John ( Carol's, Jacks's and Patricia's father) Malfada and Henry (Bonnie's and Betty's Father).
Tranquillo (Frank) brother to Egdio. Cement contractors, lived on Emeline St. Santa Cruz . Children: Reno, Adolfph, and Irene (Penniman)
Costella, Henry (see above). Married Gina Bardoni
Costella, Joe, partner with Wm. Caiocca in businesses.(111)

Grossi,Settimo and Inez (Fistolera). Parents of Lea. Had ranch just north of the Gulch.((252)

Dal Porto,Jimmy, Famous 'su per la costa' for playing his accordion at weddings,Laguna Picnics and major Italin Festivals. (235)
DeBenedetti,John (Jack),esteemed rancere and land owner 'su per la costa'. Son Jay graduated from SCHS in 1955 with Ivano. (54)
Del Chiaro, Lisandro and Effie, parents of Marvin and Dolores. Own a small farm on North-end of Santa Cruz. Marvin was Ivano's room mate at SJS. (273)
Degli Esposti, Luigi and Vanda, parents of Roberto and Fabrizio.(204)
Del Piero,Timo and Catharina, parents, of Rita,Aurura,and Richard. Good friends of the Comelli Family. Timo started farming 'su per la Costa' then moved to Castroville and finally to Watsonville where he farmed on an Apple Ranch near Pinto Lake. (Furlans)
Della Santina,Dominico (Lambari) and Nora (Fistolera). Parents to Louis,Ricco and Paul. A partner with Pina Micossi,managing the Mirmar Cafe in Davenport.(111)

DellaMora, Joseph 'Joey', beloved son of Steve and Anne (Freeman) DellaMora, Grandson of Joe DellaMora, died tragically in a drowning accident on the Family Ranch (The Old Lorenzi Property} "su per la costa" 7-21-2011, age 18.
DeLucca,Amerigo and Matilda (Brovia),parents to Marie, Anthony ,Dolores,and Madonna (Donna).
Entire family envolved in Traffic Accident with Fire Truck just north of Davenport. Amerigo,Anthony,and Madonna were killed. Others seriously injured. (291)
DiMaggio,Joe; New York Yankee Hall of Fame Baseball player. Hero to Joe Brovia and other youngsters growing up 'su per la costa'. (146)
Dimeo,Fred. Original member of the "Figli di Ferro" . Good Friend to Joe Gemignani. Dimeo Lane 'su per la costa' bears his family name. (178) (184-5)
Dinelli,Dante and Diana, parents of Norma. Ranceri on the Lorenzi Ranch,off the Coast Rd., 5mi north of Santa Cruz.(249)

Dogliotti, Bartolomeo "Pete" and Maria, parents of Attilio Joseph. Attilio lost his life while serving as a Flight Lieutenant in WW II.
Dughi,Silvio and Catherina, parents of Guiliano. Worked for the Salz Tannery in Santa Cruz.
Facelli,Lou,owner operator of "Facelli's" a popular Santa Cruz Resturant (formally 'Micossi's'), located off of Mission Street near Natural Bridges.
Fadelli, Battista and Candida, parents of John who was a high ranking officer in the Merchant Marine. After the passing of Battista, Candida
moved to Bay St. and had a house full of priceless furnishings sent from the Far East by John.
Fambrini,John and Margaret (Dimeo). Parents of Raymond and Nadine. Foreman of the Gulch Ranch for awhile, then managed family (Dimeo)ranch near "Il Dumpo". (39)

'Fava', nickname of man on "La Nostra Costa Book Cover" standing alongside 'Carabiniere'. Unknown what is real name was. (116)
Ferlizza,Maria and 'Pepo'. Furlans. Part owners of the Hotel D'Italia (107)
Ferrari,Battista (John)and Antonietta,parents to Effie, maternal grand parents to Marvin and Delores Del Chiaro
Ferrari,Dave, "Il Fiorista" of Santa Cruz. Also one of the best accordionist ever heard by Gino. The other being Attilio Dogliotti.
Fraboni, a jeweler with a shop on Pacific Ave. Gino showed him a ring that he had bought in Italy,and from across the room he identified it as having been made on the Ponte Vecchio in Firenze.
Franceschini,Francesco and Nuncia, parents to Tony and Rita. Foreman of the Marina Ranch,'su per la costa'. Francesco was severely burned in 1940 in farming mishap.
Frizza, Esther. Went to school with Ivano. Unknown to Ivano at the time she had family ties to "La Nostra Costa".
Fumetto: Nickname of a 'cookahousa' cook 'su per la costa' Married to 'Fumetta'. Real names unknowned.
Garbini, Mike and Rose who lived on Otis St. Rose was a very saintly lady.
Garibotti, Enrico Dr. who had a medical office on Pacific Ave. opposite the town clock. Died after eating poisoned mushrooms.
Gemignani,Aladino and Argentina,parents of Constantino,Lido and Joe. Aladino was a partner with 'Bronco' Comelli on the Gulch Ranch. Famous for his 'cookahousa' cusine. (18)
Gemignani,Costantino (Augie) and Victoria(Ghio),parents to Aladina and Donna. Augie is the oldest of the Gemignani Brothers and is still living today in Santa Cruz.(176)

Gemignani,Joe and Lina , parents of Dino and Joanne. Ivano's Uncle by marriage to Valentina's youngest sister, Lina Bressani. Original member of the 'Figli di Ferro' a motorcycle group 'su per la Costa". (175)

Ghio, Teresa, a member of my grade school classes.
Guerino,last name unknown. Killed in traffic accident on Gianone Hill (Swanton),c.1927. Ivano's father 'Bronco'Comelli who was a passenger in the vehicle,survived the accident. (355)

GREGORY, FRANCIS AND ALVIN. Operated Gregory Country Store and Gas Station in Davenport (359)

Iacopetti, Luigi and Mary, owned property in Bonny Doon where 'Italiani della Costa' used to picnic and socialize. Managed small grocery store and bar which now houses the Bonny Doon Vineyard Tasting Room. (149)

LaBarba, Fidel, Flyweight Boxing Champion, c.1930. Contemporary of Primo Carnera, Heavyweight Champion of the world. Submitted by son, F. John LaBarba of Santa Cruz.

Landino, John  Owner of Landino Construction Company. Cut the Comelli family home "su per la costa", and transported it to 1505 Bulb Ave in Capitola were it still stands today. (102)

Landino, Gene, John Landino's son. Went to Laurel School with Ivano.
Landino, Tony, brother of John Landino.
Lazzarini,Mario, rancere, cacciatore. Used to hang around 'Serafina's'(234)
Locatelli,Sal, Santa Cruz Woodsman Supreme. Father of Richard,Danieland Sal J.
Lucchesi,Amedeo and wife Mary (Modolo). Amedeo was killed on the Normandy Front in 1944.
Luchetti, Arcangelo "Tato" and Pia whose sons Carlo and Henry (Enrico) became chemical engineers, and worked at Aames Research Center at Moffet Field. They lived in Mountain View, but visited Santa Cruz frequently (Ada once stated that if she had married Tato Linstead of Baffi she would have had some great children, instead of this "barbagianni".) (that's me)
Lunardini, P.

Maceo,E.J., Grower and Shipper, 'su per la costa' , Father of Ralph Maceo.
Maceo, Ralph (see above). Brussel Sprouts, etc. Shipper 'su per la costa. Bought out the Santa Cruz Sprout Growers' Facility on the North Side of Santa Cruz.

Manildi, Barbara

Maranta, Patricia*
Marciano,Rocky, Heayweight Boxing Champion of the Word c.1955. (152) Boyhood hero of Ivano and many Italian American youths "su per la costa".
Marcuzzi,Tony and Alvira. Tony worked many years for Phyffer Bros. He was Ivano's godfather (confirmation). Made his own wine in his garage. Furlan (70)

Marenghi, Ernest, Santa Cruz Police Officer
Marenghi, Joe, Cement Business
Marenghi, Louie, Grocery Business, Camp Evers (Scotts Valley)
Martini, Paul and Frances, who lived on Toledo St.
Mazza (Sledgehammer). Nickname of rancere on the Gulch Ranch who was wrongly accused of messing up Argentina Gemignani's zucchini garden. (271)
Mazzei,Ottavio and Pia, parents of Eugene,and a daughter whose name I have forgotten. Eugene went to Laurel School with Ivano. (172)
Meschi, Italo and Bianca, parents of Ida who lived at 19 Baldwin St. Ida later married Donald Mungai.
Micossi,Frank and Pina, parents of Thelma. Furlans who managed the Hotel D'Italia, in Davenport. Pina was Godmother to Ivano Comelli. (4)
Micossi,Tony(Furlan)and Rosie (Fusari), parents of Frank and Rina. Operated the Elkhorn Resturant in Pescadero. Also the Swiss Hotel and Micossi's in Santa Cruz. Tony was Ivano Comelli's BaptismalGodfather. (129)
Micossi,Frank, son of Tony and Rosie (Fusari),brother to Rina. Captain who served in Italy during WWII (132)
Micossi,Nardin and Carolina; parents to Rosina. Nardin was the brother of Tony Micossi. Carolina was John Comelli's, baptismal god-mother.

Mondo, Mario. A sarto? (tailor)
Modina,Charlie and Theresa (Dimeo). Live in the old Dimeo "ccokahouse" located on Dimeo Lane, just before you get to 'Il Dumpo'(209)(214). Theresa was Margret Fambrini and Fred Dimeo's sister. Charlie ran a Trucking Firm located near his home near Dimeo Lane.
Modolo, Frank and Rozina, parents of Johnny and Mary. Johnny was killed (age 20) when he was thrown from a cow he was riding. The whole Coast mourned. (356)
Moro Lou and Enes (Peracchi),parents of Donna and Sandy. Donna married John Comelli in 1962. (329)
Moro,Silvio and Elena,parents of Ferd,Freddie Moro,Mary and Yoli. Furlans. (143)
Moro, Ferd, original member or the motorcycle group "Figli Di Ferro". (186)
Moro, Fred, Past President of the Marconi Club in Santa Cruz. (143)
Mortara, Herman who operated a grocery on Pacific Ave. with Beltrami.
Morelli,Mac and Evelyn. Parents of Mac and Patty. Once managed the Mirmar Cafe in Davenport with Pina Micossi. (111)

Morotti,Laurence. He and Gino worked at picking blue berries together, until Gino got fed up with the very slow progress and little pay. A girl, Gino refuses to name, tried to beat the system by filling up her baskets with dirt,then covering them with berries,thus making much faster progress. She did not know that the baskets were weighed. She was quickly sent home. Gino and Laurence were driven to the blueberry fields in a post-war Hudson "Terraplane" (driver unknown); the car you step down into, which was wider at the top than the bottom, and had an electric gear shifter with a ridiculously small lever mounted on the steering column.

Mosso & Puccinelli, automobile dealers.
Mungai,Dino and Edith. Parents of Jerry and Donald. Lived and worked on the Mungai Ranch. (272)

Mungai, Antonietta, sister of Albert, Angelo, Bartolomeo, Giovanni, Joe, Leo Tambellini. Raised her family in Santa Cruz: Eugene (Gene) Mungai, Dino Mungai, Fred Mungai, Nina Vaggioli, Josephine Ghio, Angelo Mungai and Albert Mungai.

Mussolini,Benito. Italian Dictator, 1922-45. Sided with Adolph Hitler in WWII. His decision negatively effected many Italians living 'su per la costa'. (133)(146)(187)(197)

Neri, Quinto and Elvira, parents of Laura. Part-owner of the Gulch Ranch. (229)

Netto, Manuel and Edith (Portuguese), Father and Mother of Phil, Lori and Dave. Lived across the Street from Ivano on Seaside Street in Santa Cruz. (307)
Nicolosi,  Paul and Elliei, and their son Paul. Ellie was the younger sister of Gina Tori and Noemi Antonetti.
Oddone, Alfonso and Lorenza. They lived on Trescony St. and our (Gino's) back yards were separated by a wooden fence. She made the best ravioli in the world. Alfonso was another who helped me (Gino) learn to drive, besides Augie, Mark Olsen, and Bianca Meschi.
Ottaviano, Johnny, the Studebaker dealer whose son Johnny (chachie) was in my class at Holy Cross High School
Panattoni, Dolores, went to grade school with Gino.
Parodi, a barber. The first to cut my hair.

Paterni, Angelo "Nino" and Helen (Tambellini). For many years, Nino worked a brussel sprouts ranch near Davenport, then at the Cement Plant. Raised five daughters (Terri Gregory, Toni Schwab, Jerri Tupper, Jacki Pipolo and Lorri Evans).
Pesce, Shirley*
Peracchi,Emo, Son of Velia Peracchi,brother to Enes Moro. Former Santa Cruz Policeman and Harbor Master at Santa Cruz Harbor.(330)
Perlino. Mr. Perlino raised chickens and sold them from his place on California Ave.
Petrocchi, Arcangelo and Niccolina who had a cherry orchard and also raised pigs East of town.
Petroni, Salvatore and Alaide, parents of Anna, who lived on Soquel Ave.
Pianavilla,Pete,famous for his 'booming' voice and his verbal assaults on the Game Warden, Forrest McDermott.(223)
Pini, Gino, the chief of police
Podio. I can't remember any more about him.
Poletti, Luigi and various member of the Poletti family.
Pori, Carlo who had a shoe repair business on Pacific Ave. near the plaza. (father of Merle Janet in my kindergarten and grade school classes)
Presepi, Amerigo (Piccino) and Luisa. She worked as a telephone operator. Piccino was a partner with Bronco Comelli on the Gulch Ranch. Under his leadership (c.1940) the ranch became known as "Il Rancio dei Pompieri." "The Ranch of the Fireman". (38)

Prolo,Eugene,owner manager of Prolo Chevrolet in Santa Cruz. The Comelli Family bought a brand new gun-metal grey' 1949 Chevrolet from his dealership.(96)

Pfyffer, Fred. Swiss entrepreneur, land owner, former President of Coast Dairies and Land Company. Along with brother Pino, owned and operated Pyffer Bros. Packing and Shipping Company located off of Mission Street on the north end of Santa Cruz. (75)
Pfyffer, Pino (see above). Was foreman of the Pfyffer Ranches "su per la Costa" .

Quartararo : add the Quartararos'   My grandfather, Vincent, had quite a history in rum/booze smuggling during Prohibition, was part of a a fish processing operation (Santa Cruz Processors) along with my Uncle Lou and his 11 children (there are 7 kids on our side of the family.  My Dad "Vince" was a Podiatrist in SC for probably 50 years (he died in 2008(?) at the age of 92 and our family is still in the phone book.  Jeff Dunne knows the history....we proudly would see my grandfather's picture on the wall at Gilda's  titled A Day on the Bay....  >> Rod Quartararo

Quilici, Emilio and Elena.

Raffin,Frederico,a Furlan and Norma (Rocchi),parents of Peter and Richard. In a very distressing incident, which occurred in 1947, Frederico shot and killed his wife Norma. (290)
Raffanti, Enrico Dr. a dentist.
Ramacciotti, Dante and Assunta. He worked on the Gulch Ranch and she was the cook for a time.(181)
Reggiarda, Luisa. She lived on Trescony St.
Rinaldi, Giovacchino and Amelia, parents of Vasco, Velia, Evelina, and Martino (Raymond) who lived on Mission St. near Olive St.
Rinaldi, Pietro and Rina, parents of Alma, Sally, and Giulio.(98)
Rinaldi, Rinaldo and Maria, parents of Reno and Neva.(234)
Rinaldi, Ulisse
Rodoni, Dante and Andreina, parents of Mario, Elio, and Jeannie.(202)

Rossi, Albie; Member of the Figli di Ferro" motorcycle group. Later a rancher and land owner 'su per la costa'. Once owned "IL Buco" on the Gulch Ranch. (178)(368)
Rossi, Matilde, a clerk in the county courthouse.

Santos,Don, father of Don Jr., Betty and Alice. Dairy man, Coastal Milk Man.(P.19;24). Non-Italian.
Scannoni,Louie. A 'grizzly' rancere who loved his wine soaked biscotti. (88)
Scaroni,Arnold,Katie and Johnny, operated and managed ranch and dairy farm, 'su per la costa' some 5 miles north of Santa Cruz. Gateway to one of the best beaches on the rugged coast. (250)
Scoppettone, James J., judge of the superior court, parent of one of the members of "Harpers Bizarre" boys' band. (259)
Smerigli,rancere noted for his strength and hard work. Also noted for his violent escapades after drinking too much vino rosso.((66)
Stagnaro,Gilda, "Queen of the Santa Cruz Wharf". Operated 'Gilda's" Resturant on the Wharf, with brother Robert "Big Boy" Stagnaro and nephews,Malio and Dino.
Stagnaro, Malio J. "Stago", owner of fishing fleet, restaurant, the speed boat, and personality on Radio KSCO.
Stagnaro,Yolanda (Dunn), older sister of Gilda and "Big Boy". Mother to Geoffrey Dunn,Santa Cruz Author and Historian.
Terrini, Edward and Irene. Grandparents to Diane Bianconi. (See Bianconi, above).

Taurian,Mario (Rosso) and 'Giga',parents of Felicino (Phil)and Elso. Rancere on a ranch just north of Davenport. In 1940's moved his family to San Francisco. Good Friends of the Comelli Family. Furlans. (142)

Tambellini, Gianni.

Tambellini, Albert,brother of Angelo, Antonietta (Mungai), Bartolomeo, Giovanni, Joe and Leo.
Tambellini, Angelo, (see above)Moved to Santa Cruz in early 1970s after years as a Castroville artichoke grower.
Tambellini, Bartolomeo (see above). Raised his family in Santa Cruz: Landa Dell'Orfonello, Leda Riparetti, Nello Tambellini and Nelli Gibson Sr.
Tambellini, Giovanni, (see above). Moved to Santa Cruz in 1960s after years as an apricot grower in Palo Alto.
Tambellini, Joe (see above). Raised family in Santa Cruz: Silvio Tambellini, Victoria White and Ray Tambellini.
Tambellini, Leo and Josephine (see above) Retired to Santa Cruz in 1949 along with two daugthers, Helen Paterni and Mary Tambellini from Pittsburgh, Penn.
Tambellini, Silvio and Rosemarie, raised their family in Santa Cruz: Diane, Dennis, David and Debbie. For many years, Silvio worked a brussel sprouts ranch on the Coast near Davenport alongside Nino Paterni.
Tomada,Attilio, (Furlan)better known as "Massimo". Godfather to Giovanni Primo (John) Comelli. Deported back to Italy in the early 1940s,because he lacked the proper papers.(4)
Tori, Pietro and Gina, owners of Il Trovatore Hotel, where the banquet for newly naturalized citizens was held.

Valentino, Rudolph, Silent Movie Star in 1920's. A particular favorite of Valentina and other young girls growing up during this time periond.
Venturini Bros., Elmer,Ernie and Francis. Mother Julia. (See Comments for added details.)
Villa. Mr. and Mrs. Villa had one son about 2 years older than me.

Wilson, Jeanie, Aunt to Diane Bianconi, married to Claude Wilson.
Zoccoli, Robert, who took over operation of Red and White Grocery and ran it until Robert Jr. carried on with it.
Zolezzi, Mike

Note: Chief Gino Pini visited my mother one day, asking to see the olive oil she had been buying from a travelling salesman. Upon checking the oil in the bottom of the 5 gallon can in which she bought it, he determined that it was not pure olive oil as it had been represented to be. He asked to keep the can for analysis. On checking the salesman's car, a hidden handgun was also found. The oil salesman was not heard from any further.

Ecco fatto, Ivano. Perhaps something in the above list may trigger some recollection in the far reaches of your memory. If so, it would be great if you could write
about it, and add it to the growing lists of your great stories.

Distinti saluti,


* Indicates member of Gino's High School Class
( )Indicates number of a page in "La Nostra Costa" where name(s) or photo appears.

And this bonus from Len Klempnauer:

Hi, Ivan,
In reference to your blog posting on Nov. 5, 2006, about the death of Lou Moro, I remember well the L&F mom-and-pop grocery store at Sixth and Williams in San Jose. I lived on Fourth near Reed while attending San Jose State in the 1956-57 and 1957-58 school years and would stop by that store almost every day after class.
Eight of us from Santa Cruz rented both sides of a duplex: John Maranta, Frank Sherrill and Jim Scoppettone (Holy Cross High '54), Sam Zuckswert (Holy Cross '55), and fellow Santa Cruz High '54 grads Bob Branstetter, Don Samuelson and Butch Walters.
Occasionally I would see Marv Del Chiaro (SCHS '55) on campus, usually training with his San Jose State ROTC unit.
Then I, too, received Uncle Sam's invitation to serve the government. After my two years were up in 1960, I was put into the local Army Reserve company, the 442nd MP unit. And there was Marv, serving as one of our officers.
Today's Santa Cruzans probably cannot understand exactly how close-knit our community was then. In addition to 2nd Lt. Marv, whom I've known since Mission Hill Jr. High, the 442nd's other officers were the commanding officer, Capt. Ken Silva, who owned the Chevron Station at Pacific Avenue and Center Street across from my parents' restaurant, the Cross Roads Drive-in; 1st Lt. Jim Baker, who was the assistant ad director at the Sentinel, where I worked, and who was a long-time Cross Roads customer; 1st Lt. Jim Kosinski, one of my drinking buddies before we both went into the service in '58 and whose parents owned a motel near Murray Street; and some other lieutenant I didn't know.
Incidentally, for all those "old-timers" who remember the Cross Roads, I have a web site about it at:
I don't know whether the "farmer" Italians up the Coast ever frequented the Cross Roads, but the "fishermen" Italians certainly did, usually before going home after a night fishing on Monterey Bay. Not that I didn't know some of the "farmer" Italians quite well. Both Ralph Moceo (Holy Cross Elementary School/Bellarmine High '54) and Don Bargiacchi (SCHS '52) were roommates of mine in the early 1960s.
-- Len Klempnauer, Capitola

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Ivano Franco Comelli says: In answer to some of your questions, the posting on Lou Moro: Furlan,Figlio Della Costa, American, was a eulogy to Lou, that I delivered at the Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. My good friend Gino Campioni was good enough to translate it into Italian. I originally posted it as a comment to the original article, however, I was so impressed with Gino's translation (my writting always reads better in his Italian) that I decided to publish it at the top of the "Blagga".
I think Lou would have been pleased. ivn0

LOUIE MORO: FURLAN, FIGLIO DELLA COSTA, AMERICANO: (Traduzione in Italiano per Gino Campioni)

Incontrai Lou Moro nel 1955. Era piu di mezzo secolo da questo tempo. Dwight D. Eisenhower ere il presidente degli stati uniti. La guerra coreana era appena finita e certi noialtri non avevamo ma sentito rammentare Vietnam. La vita era buona. Anzi tutto, un italiano, Rocky Marciano era il campione mondiale dei pesi massimi.

Avevo soltanto 18 anno, e avevo appena matricolato da Santa Cruz High School. Quel autunno entrai nel collegio San Jose State. A quel tempo vivevo con mio amico Marvin Del Chiaro, in un'appartamento sulla sesta strada sud, à pochi passi dalla scuola. Per causa della fede, un piccolo mercato era situato alle strade Sesta e Williams, una camminata corta. Piu tardi conobbi che si chiamava L & F Mercato, indicando Lou e Frank (Moro).

La, per la prima volta, incontrai la famiglia Moro. Frank, il padre di Lou Moro ed Enes, per solito si trovavano lavorando al banco. A tempi si poteva trovare anche le giovane figlie di Enes, Donna e Sandy. Dietro il negozio, dietro il banco del macellaio c'era un bel giovane, energico e con un grande sorriso.

"Quello è Lou, il mio marito", Enes mi ha informato con scintillio nei suoi occhi..Se non mi sbaglio, Lou Moro avrebbe avuto 35 anni.

Per quei anni mentre studiavo al collegio, andavo spesso à quel mercato, comprando cosette necessarie come biscotti, gelato, affettato, pane, e cetera. Ho cominciato di conoscere la famiglia Moro molto bene. Enes mi disse che era originaria di Santa Cruz, che sua madre Velia stava là sempre. Ho scoperto che Lou nacque nella regione di Friuli in Italia. Lou insieme con Frank, suo padre e Lisa, sua madre erano Furlani. Miei genitori furono nati nello stesso posto ed erano Furlani. Questa era una cosa straordinaria, perche Furlani sono rari in questa zona.

Nel 1959 mi aggiunsi con la polizia di San Jose. Nel 1960 Presidente Eisenhower, che era vicino alla fine di suo secondo tempo in ufficio mi invitò d'entrare nel esercito.
Naturalmente, un'offerta che non potevo rifuitare. (Si, fui arruollato nell esercito.) Avanti la mia partita per entrare nelle armi, la famiglia Moro è venuta in Santa Cruz e fecero conoscenza con miei genitori, Bronco e Valentina. In casa era anche mio fratello Giovanni Primo (John) così per caso Donna incontrò John per la prima volta.

Nel 1962, sempre soldato, ricebbi unaltro invito. Questa volta era per essere tistimone allo sposalizio di John e Donna. Unaltra offerta che non potei rifiutare.

Cioè Donna e John si sposarono e comiciarono loro famiglia in Santa Cruz. Poco dopo, Lou ed Enes, con Sandy insieme sono venuti è vivere in Santa Cruz per essere piu vicini à loro figliola maggiore e la nipotina Denise che arrivava presto. (La seconda nipotina Christine ariverebbe pochi anni dopo.) Così Lou Moro si piantò in Santa Cruz, vivendo la per il restante di sua vita.

Per cittadino di Santa Cruz, Lou Moro fece tante buone opere. Vorrei dire che fece tante cose grandi, però penso che egli sarebbe embarazzato se trattassi di sua vita in parole grosse. Lou Moro era un uomo buono che faceva cose buone. Suo maggiore dono per sue figlie, i generi, suoi nipotini, e per noialtri era suo esempio di come fare una buona vita facendo buone cose. Perdonami se uso vecchie clichè: Lou Moro sapeva "come parlare e come agire".

Lou Moro era una cosa di costanza nella mia vita. Era sempre pronto per guidarmi ed avvisarmi. Pare che Lou Moro non diventò mai vecchio. Nella mia mente Lou Moro è sempre giovane, energetico, con sorrisi per tutti. Naturalmente, Lou Moro invecchiò, e la settimana scorsa Donna mi informò che suo amato padre era morto.

In italano abbiamo un dittaggio vecchio, à tempi nella voce di uno moribondo. " Per lui è finita la cuccagna." Paragonando, vol dire, "Per lui il pranzo è finito." Però se veramente crediamo in Gesu Cristo, Nostro Signore, allora dobbiamo credere Sue promesse per noi. La morte non è la fine, è soltanto il comincio.

Cioè, ora vedo Lou Moro in un prato pieno di fiori di lavanda ed oro, godendo il sole, circondato da tutti suoi parenti amati ed amici che andarono avanti di lui. Che meraviglia che tutti suoi parenti sono giovani, forti, e liberi da malattia ed infermità. E per Lou Moro......esso sta la fra di loro, sembrando come apparve à me quel giorno piu di mezzo secolo fa, à quel piccolo mercato in Sixth Street, giovane e forte con suo famoso sorriso. Cara famiglia ed amici nella mia mente Lou Moro è andato ad un posto dove sara per sempre giovane. Un posto dove "la cuccagna non finisce mai piu". Un posto dove la vita è buona ed il pranzo non fnisce mai.

Addio, Louie Moro


Monday, November 05, 2007


I met Lou Moro in 1955. That was over a half century ago. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the United States. The Korean War had just ended and some of us had never even heard of Vietnam. Life was good. After all an Italian, Rocky Marciano, was the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

I was 18 years old, and had just graduated from Santa Cruz High School; that fall I enrolled at San Jose State College. At the time, I was living with my friend Marvin Del Chiaro, at a rooming house on South Sixth Street, located a few blocks south of the College. As faith would have it, a small market was located at Sixth and Williams, a short distance away. I later was to learn that it was called the L&F Market which stood for Lou and Frank (Moro).

There, for the first time, I met the Moro Family. Frank, Lou Moro’s Father and Enes, could usually be found at the front counter. At times Enes’s young daughters, Donna and Sandy also could be found there. To the rear of the store, behind a small butcher counter, stood a young, very good looking man, full of energy with a big smile on his face.

“That’s my husband Lou”, Enes informed me with a glint in her eye.. If my calculations are correct, Lou Moro would have been 35 years old.

For the next few years as I attended the College I frequented the market, buying small food essentials such as cookies, ice cream, lunch meat, bread, etc. I got to know the Moros pretty well. Enes told me she was from Santa Cruz and that her mother Velia, still lived there. I also found out that Lou was born in the Friuli Region of Italy. Lou along with his father Frank and his mother Lisa, were Furlans. My mother and father were born in the same region and were also Furlans. This was extra-ordinary, because Furlans in this area are few an far between.

In 1959, I joined the San Jose Police Force. In 1960, President Eisenhower, who was nearing the end of his second term in office, sent me an invitation to join the United States Army. This of course, was an offer that I could not refuse…literally. (Yes, I was drafted into the Army.) Before leaving for the Army, the Moro family came to Santa Cruz and I introduced them to my parents, Bronco and Valentina. Also hanging around the house was my brother Giovanni Primo(John). So by chance, Donna met John for the first time.

In 1962, while still in the Army, I got another invitation. This time it was an invitation to be Best Man at John and Donna’s wedding. Another offer I could not refuse.

Thus, Donna and John got married and started their family in Santa Cruz. Shortly thereafter, Lou and Enes, with Sandy tagging along came to live in Santa Cruz to be closer to their eldest daughter and their soon to be born granddaughter, Denise. (Christine, their second granddaughter would be born a few years later.) So it happened that Lou Moro became and established Santa Cruzan, living the rest of his life in Santa Cruz.

As a Santa Cruzan, Lou Moro did many good things. I would like to say that he did many great things, however, I believe Lou Moro would be embarrassed if I described his life with superlatives. Lou Moro was a good man who did good things. His greatest gift to his daughters, his sons-in-law, his grandchildren,his great-grandchildren and to us, was his example on how to live a good life doing good things. Forgive me if I use and old and worn out cliché: Lou Moro knew how to "talk the talk and walk the walk.”.

Lou More was a constant in my life. He was always there to give me guidance and advice. And it seemed to me that Lou Moro never got old. In my mind Lou Moro was forever young, full of pep and energy and smiles for everyone. But of course, Lou Moro did get old and last week Donna informed me that her beloved father had passed away.

In Italian there is an old saying, sometimes uttered about a dying man. “Per lui e finita la cuccagna”. Figuratively speaking it means “For him, the party is over”. However, if we truly believe in Jesus Christ, Our Lord, then we must believe in his promise to us. Death is not the end; it is just the beginning.

Thus, now I envision, Lou Moro, standing in a field laden in flowers of lavender and gold, basking in sunlight, and surrounded by all his loving relatives and friends that have gone before him. Amazing enough, all his relatives and friends are young and strong and free from sickness and crippling infirmities. As for Lou Moro …….he stands there in there midst’s, appearing as he appeared to me that day more than a half century ago, at that small market on Sixth Street, young and strong with his famous smile on his face. Dear family and friends, in my mind, Lou Moro has gone to a place were he will be forever young. A place where “la cuccagna no finisce mai piu”. A place where life is good and the party never ends.

Adio, Louie Moro