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

Ivano

3 comments:

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano, I just read your article about Lou Moro... You certainly have a way with words. I enjoy the way you recollect the past events and the years. This is one of the main reasons why you and I have hit it off so well. You are absolutely correct there are very few Furlans that immigrated. Many did for a short period of time but returned back to Friuli and some like Bronco, Valentina and my parents remained away returning only for small visits. By the way there are a few Moro's in the Toronto area.. one fellow Ellio Moro his parents were from Friuli... Ellio is a Commercial Contractor and doing well. Just a little trivia. Ivano keep your blogg alive.. it's a great source of information...and send my condolences to your sister in law and Big Brother (Fratello)Giovanni I bet Lou must have been quite the gentlemen..
Take Care
Ciao e Mandi

Doriano

Jaio said...

Nice story like I like you count them:-)

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

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

Ivano