Sunday, March 08, 2009

MICHAEL NANNA REMEMBERS SANTA CRUZ



IVANO SAYS: RECEIVED THE ABOVE PHOTO AND E-MAIL (BELOW) FROM MICHAEL NANNA. THE SANTA CRUZ HOSPITAL (WHERE 'LITTLE IVANO' AND MICHAEL WERE BORN) IS NOW PART OF THE BRANCIFORTE PLAZA ON SOQUEL AVENUE.


Signor Ivano,

I just received your book 'La Nostra Costa (Our Coast) Wednesday (a paperback copy). Now I am looking forward to getting a hardback copy of this book. I'm still digesting much of what you say (and don't say). I will write a comprehensive sketch sometime in the future. I will say this….. your book speaks straight to my heart.

Please note that my wife Tania (of 20-years this April), and I left California over 10-years ago. The last time I visited the Santa Cruz area was in 1997, to see my maternal Grandmother, Ruby Violet Strong (only weeks before her death). She was born in San Fransisco in 1906. Needless to say, I've been out of the area for quite a spell now. Your book, however, does bring back sweet memories.

A little about me. I was born at Santa Cruz Hospital in 1956. Of course this is the same hospital that you were born in (only 19-1/2 years apart). I am the grandson of Ermanno Vincenzo Nanna ( Herman Vincent Nanna Sr.) who was born in 1906 in Massa Cararra (Commune di Fivizanno, Italia.) I am the second son of Herman Vincent Nanna Jr. who was born 1932 in Hollister California. My Grandfather was a Santa Cruz Police Officer. My Great-Grandfather, Gustavo Nanna worked at the cement plant in Davenport and lived with his wife Maria on Garden St., Santa Cruz in the 1950s and 60s.

Gusatvo was also from Fivizanno, however; (for some unknown reason) he was not deemed to be an Italian citizen. Of coarse, this is a matter of interest to me and I am still investigating. A possibility is that Nanna was not his real surname, rather a Catholic name given to him as a newly converted immigrant.
Today, my wife and I live in Alexandria, Louisiana (located near the center of the State). My wife is from Brazil (Brasileira, della estado de Parana, a cidade de Curitiba) and speaks fluent Portugues. I do enjoy the colloquial Italian expressions in your book -che bello- they are so much like Portuguese from the south of Brazil. By the way nice touch with the off-color Italian expressions. I think that you are making a statement here.


BTW: Do you remember the Locatelli's Mahia ranch just up the road from the CHP office…. off of Soquel Ave. (I can't remember the name of the street).Old man Locatelli had the best cherries and apricots this side of heaven.


Tchau,

Michael Nanna
---------------------------------
IVANO FURTHER SAYS:
My credentials for being born at the Old Santa Cruz Hospital are recorded in "La Nostra Costa" (Our Coast), Page 3:

"I was born Ivano Franco Comelli on April 19, 1937, at the old Santa Cruz Hospital on Soquel Avenue. (Presently, this is the site of the Branciforte Plaza.) Dr. Norman R. Sullivan was the doctor in charge, and it was he who suggested the name Ivano [ee vah no] to my mother.)
Also, please visit the La Nostra Costa Website:

7 comments:

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

THANKS MICHAEL FOR YOUR POSTING AND PHOTO. JUDGING FROM THE CARS PARKED IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL, THE PHOTO WAS PROBABLY TAKEN IN THE MID 1940S. (I DON'T SEE ANY OF THE NEWER MODEL CARS THAT CAME OUT IN 1949-50). THERE ARE SO MANY LOCATELLI FAMILY NAMES ASSOCIATED WITH SANTA CRUZ, THAT I AM NOT SURE WHICH LOCATELLI YOU ARE REFERRING TO. ALL OF THE LOCATELLI'S I KNEW WERE GREAT AT GROWING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES...AND MAKING THEIR OWN WINE AND GRAPPA.
SEMPRE AVANTI. ivn0

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you were born in SC Hospital. I was born in the old Sisters Hospital near the beach. I think it was known as the Hanley Hospital back then.

I saw your brother (John) at Joe Bertoli's wake on the day before his funeral. He is looking good. I couldn't belive it when my brother called me to tell me the sad news. I last saw Joe sometime last fall; he looked great at that time.

Re citizenship classes, I recall going to the Garibaldi Hotel for my grandparents' citizenship celebration; so the newspaper article about your mom's party was extra special. I read where my dad's uncle, Giovanni Tambellini, was one of the "vocalists". I do recall he enjoyed singing a bit a wedding receptions after a few drinks.

Jerry M.

michael n said...

Signor Ivano,

Just finished the book last night, can't tell you how much i enjoyed it, what a delightful story. What an undertaking this must have been, what a beautiful delivery, finely thought through and well documented. This does great honor to the Italian people of Santa Cruz, to the many who have passed away and who are no longer with us, and the many who remain yet have a need to feel and touch them -quasi in cielo.

It's not easy to put forth such a thesis as you have done, so well documented, so comprehensive and with such a melodious theme; you never let your reader down -alegre ma non troppo. It might be surmised and undoubtedly has occurred that there will be those who disagree with your focus and interpretation, people like that usually hold a grudge. There will most certainly be those who feel at a loss with your interpretation and express this loss to you, my heart goes out to you in support of the emotional impact they might inflict.

It might be hard for those who have never worked on a farm to understand, what it means to have spent summers days working a field nurturing the land, straining their muscles and might to deliver an intuitive dose of TLC to each and every bit of life held to a plot of soil. Your accounts of Bronco e i ranceri nei campi speak to the heart of anyone who has ever come home with soiled clothes, fingernails packed with dirt, a nail or two half-lifted from the quick, a body in need of a bath; however, a well nurtured soul filled with content.

Michael N

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

THANKS AGAIN MICHAEL FOR YOUR COMMENTS. I AM GLAD THAT YOU ENJOYED THE 'LA NOSTRA COSTA' STORY. MY INTENT WAS FOR THE BOOK (ALTHOUGH FACTUAL IN NATURE) TO READ LIKE A NOVEL. I HOPE I SUCCEDED. IVNO

TV REPAIR GUY said...

Ciao Ivano,

Thanks for posting that picture of the Santa Cruz Hospital. It brings back many memories.

On a few occasions I visited that place on service calls. I was asked to repair a spectro-photometer. I had no idea what that was nor what it was supposed to do. Nevertheless, I looked into it, and found a hollow-state device (opposite of solid state) which lacked the familiar glow of a lit filament. I happened to have such a tube, and put one into its socket. A hospital employee tried the machine, and it was now working! You could have fooled me.

Apparently a photometer puts light of adjustable spectrum range onto certain specimen on glass slides, giving some sort of information to medical people.

At least this was a legitimate medical device. On another occasion I had to work in my shop on a thing that we used to call "the Electric Fly Swatter". It was the invention of some "Space Cadet" sort of customer, and no doubt useless. Strange events in the life of a TV repair guy. I'm glad those days are long behind me.

Migliori auguri,

Gino

Anonymous said...

hi Michael Nanna

Im not sure if you are the right Michael Nanna but my father has been trying to make contactg with you if you are. I was wondering if You knew a Gerrit Mes from you childhood, If so please make contact with him gerritmes@gmail.com, he would love to hear from U

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

To annonymous above. I tried to forward your comment to Michael, however, the e-mail did not go thru. (Possible he change e-mail provider.)I'm not sure that he checks his blog articles. All I know about the Nanna family is what Michael has written. Hopefully he will make contact with you. And thanks for reading the LNostra-Costa Blog. Sempre Avanti. Ivano