Tuesday, June 05, 2012


                                              Signore GINO CAMPIONI
IVANO SAYS: I received this interesting e-mail from Gino Campioni. He starts out by remembering the name of his (our) kindergarten teacher at Laurel School (now the Louden Nelson Community Center) in Santa Cruz, then adds his remembrances of Spiro Mellis who owned Mellis Market on Mission Street. 
Ciao, Ivano,
After all these many weeks, the name of the Kindergarten teacher that you, your brother and I had, came to me. (must be a case of brain
getting low on fuel)
Miss Fischer (or was it Fisher?) was the one who tried to restrain Donald “Buster” Jones by tying him to his chair with yarn. That lasted
less than ten seconds. She gave up and probably took another aspirin break.
Why do I remember this now? Funny you should ask. I sometimes reply to Publishers’ Clearing House stuff, including using their search
feature. Today I looked up Spiro Mellis. Did you ever meet him? He attended Santa Cruz H.S. and was my age. (3 years older than you.)
He was Greek, of course, and had that marvelous hair which was dense and curly, giving the appearance of his wearing a brown football helmet.
He was constantly bothered by classmates wanting to mash his hair down, and watch it spring right back into shape when released.
To my regret, I found that Spiro, who was my best friend in 1945-6
went “back home to his ancestors” in 2008. He was such an outstanding student that our principal and 6th grade teacher, Mr. Brown
coached Spiro so he could skip the 7th grade. For that reason, I never saw him in school again, but on occasion at the beautiful market
that his father had established at the corner of Mission St. and Van Ness Ave. and the running of which he took over when his father
Foti Mellis retired. Looking on data found about Spiro, there is much of what he has done for Santa Cruz, including serving on the city
council, founding an annual Greek celebration with traditional Greek foods, etc. I had wanted to find his E-mail address, to tell him how
much I appreciated his friendship and the fun times we had together. Now that will have to wait.
So, Ivano, I guess if I want to remember something of the past, I should remember to work around the subject. Eventually the lamp
will light up.
Trusting all is well with you,
ti auguro tutte le cose migliori.
Saluti, Gino

By the way: We have a new full-time missionary in our group whose name is Migliori. Seeing it on his badge, I greeted him with,
“Buon giorno, Anziano Migliori!” “You know of course that it means, THE BEST?” He turned to the other three elders, and said,
“See? I told you so!” Unfortunately, as most third generation offspring of Italians won’t pronounce their names right. “Mig-Lorry”
is what he says. ARRGHH!
IVANO SAYS (CONT'D):  Thanks Gino. Now you know how I feel when some people pronounce my name "Eye-vano".  Double ARRGGHH!  

BTW: If you have not had the pleasure of viewing Gino's ITANGLISH DICTIONARY please "clicca" on this link:

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