Monday, November 05, 2007
LOU MORO: FURLAN, AMICO DELLA COSTA, AMERICAN
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