by Sam Di Bella

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The strange diary of Sam

of Salvatore (Sam) Di Bella

Memories, curiosity, reflections,.. by a young …nonagenarian from Bronte


XXV - The manager of Bondi Beach

For some years I had built villas in the most prestigious areas of Sydney and several blocks of apartments for doctors, lawyers and various investors.

One day, when I invited the manager of my bank at Bondi Beach, (famous as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world), to have a pizza with me, he tells me: “You know, Sam, you're enriching a lot of people while you are satisfied with the crumbs?”

- “With the crumbs?, I reply, I gain 10% on the cost of all the things I do”.

- “Yes, he said, but those are still crumbs!” “Why don’t you build apartments on your own?”

- “And where am I going to find the money to buy land so dear in the areas in which I work?”

- “And what are we here for?” He says.

To make it short, the bank offered me a loan of seventy thousand sterlings with which I bought some land in the Vaucluse area and built twelve elegant apartments, six with two and six with three bedrooms.

When the construction was almost completed, I invited real estate agents of the area to visit the apartments and put them up for sale. My cost for a unit of two rooms was around twenty-two thousand sterlings, and for that of three rooms, around twenty-five thousand.

The agents calculated prices ranging from ninety thousand to one hundred and thirty thousand. I was stunned and said: “But where could you find buyers who pay so much money?”

They told me not to worry about it. A few weeks later, while the painters had not yet finished their work, the apartments were all sold. I was in disbelief and amazement. Effectively you could earn even too much money.

Then the taxation in Australia was reasonable and I have never tried or even thought to evade it. Also because, in Australia, when they catch a tax evader, they don't put him in jail, but they confiscate absolutely everything he owns.

In Australia, all expenses are deductible, even those that are made to improve everything that is produced. To reduce some of the huge ammounts of taxes I had to pay, I bought a property of one thousand eight hundred acres, so I could deduct, from my taxes, what I spent there for improvements.

Why in Italy these systems are not copied?

Dearest Uncle Sam

Gaetano and I were discussing our move­ments on the weekend for our trip to Italy next year.

He is very keen to meet you and we will be coming through Bronte to do just that! We went onto your Bronteinsieme page on the weekend too!

We loved it!

And you would be
pleased to know that in honour of Bronte (and you) we noted with some excitement that we will try every possible thing we possibly can that has anything to do with pistacchi!!!

Hahaha!! We loved moving around your site!! And it got us very excited about coming to see you!

Gaetano e Dianna
September 2013

XXVI - The pick up truck

After about six months after my arrival in Australia, already speaking an English, more or less macaronic , and , albeit sluggish, could figure out a good portion of what people were telling me. Having accumulated enough money, I decided to buy a second-hand means of transport. My choice fell on a pickup truck of English manufacture: Vangard, whose body was quite presentable, but everything else was in a state that would be an understatement to call it disastrous.

I had to take with me a bin of water to be added, from time to time, to the radiator because, after a few kilometers, everything was boiling and puffing like a locomotive of past centuries. However, with this machine I showed up at a company that made fluorescent lamps and was looking for people who would sell them. I was hired to earn fifteen pounds a week with a commitment to sell at least fifteen lamps at the price of twelve pounds each. I've never managed to sell more than ten or eleven in one week and I felt terribly guilty about it, but the boss was overjoyed. Infact, as I later learned from one of his English workmen, a lamp to him costed two pounds and a few shillings.

One day he asked me to change my pickup truck with his van that, for some reason was so hard to start. The van was like new and I warned him that my pickup was not as good as it looked. He wanted to make the exchange, with 100 extra pounds that I could give him in two installments within three months. I signed two post-dated checks, we exchanged the documents of the machines and completed the deal.

After a few days he sent one of his employees, with the truck loaded with fluorescent lamps, in a town near Sydney. The vehicle's engine melted due to lack of water and remained on the road.

I can’t tell you the anger of the master ... I then had to leave that job but I had previously convinced the English worker to come and work with me in a garage that I had just rented, where he had to mount the lamps after having bought the components, and I would have to sell them. We made that way quite a lot of money and afterwards we had to engage many other sellers as I had started making and selling neon signs with letters and body made of Plexiglas with fluorescent lamps inside. I had called this new activity Vivalight Co. and used to put this name, with my phone number, on all the many signs that I was selling.

I remember a very strange thing about this. Many years later, when I had stopped working even as a constructor, I still received calls from builders of commercial buildings because the architects who had designed the projects had ordered: Plastic lettering to be supplied by Vivalight Co.


XXVII - The Queen in Australia

In 1952, the young Queen Elizabeth came to visit Australia with her handsome prince consort. We are talking about sixty two years ago. I was doing at that time models for the mannequin factory and at the same time, I had started another business. I applied a product called Flock to sacred statues and statuettes that, after the procedure, appeared to be dressed in clothes of velvet.

For this process, I had obtained a provisional patent for a period of nine months. The visual effect was spectacular and when I submitted samples to the largest distributor of sacred statues of Sydney, the managers of the company were thrilled. However, the orders never came through as they guessed the way I was realizing my product and began to make appeals against my patent. When this expired, they begun to produce statues with my system. However, the initiative was not successful and after a few years the sacred statues with velvet suits had completely disappeared from circulation.

I continued to apply this product on animal figurines, rabbits, koalas and the like, which appeared covered with hair, and we were selling these things to operators of stalls and shops of toys.

A few months prior the arrival of the young queen, I had bought a medallion made of plastic, which depicted in bas-relief the image of the young Queen. I proposed to the owner of the mannequins factory, where I worked, to reproduce that medallion in plaster, I would have colored and treated it with my Flock, and that we would equally divide the money made from sales. He agreed and we prepared several hundred of these medallions. My partner had a representative for the sale of its mannequins and gave him also the sale of our medallions.

This gentleman, a real crook, gave us less than a pound for each medallion, but he sold them for eight or ten pounds each, so he was selling very few of them.

Then I said to my partner that I would have bought and sold all of them by myself. And so I did. Every morning I used to fill my van with medallions and went to the shopping centers in nearly all the suburbs of Sydney to sell them at four or five pounds a piece, emptying the van, often during the morning only, and when the queen arrived I did not have a single sample left of that blessed medallion that I had enriched with the color of the face and the clothes of the queen and with that straordinary background wich looked like velvet of an extremely brilliant red.

I'm sorry not to have retained at least one copy of that blessed medagllion. However, at that time I gained a lot, but a lot of money.


XXVIII - Antonietta

During my first year at university, one of my good friends was Gigi, who commented all my poems and all that I wrote. One day, walking through the corso, we meet a very tall lady, covered with a black shawl that covered her from head to knees, and next to her two girls that reached her shoulder.

After having passed us, one of the girls, a unique beauty, turned and look at us with a strange insistence. I, at first thought that they could be my relatives or Gigi’s, completely unknown to us. However, we decided to follow them through to the church of the Capuchins and sit a few rows behind them. The girl continued to turn and look at us intensely as before. At the exit of the Mass we still follow them up to theyr house which was near the Maugeri Coffe shop.

I then took a piece of paper and wrote: Baby, I do not know who you are but I'm crazy about you. Toto di bella.

I went then alongside the door of her house and when she appeared, I showed the note that she accepted and ran away. I went back to the cafe, where Gigi was waiting for me and I was somehow disappointed.

The following Sunday the story was repeated with all the details and I said to Gigi, “Maybe this girl is more interested in you than in me”. So, Gigi went to buy a sheet of paper, which seemed a Charter bun, on the tobacconist fronting the College, and begins to write a polished and long love letter with references to classical figures of Botticelli, Raphael and others. Then took what he had written to the girl who accepted it as she had done with me.

Gigi was absolutely over the moon or perhaps much higher. The following evening we are still at the Maugeri’s cafe and Gigi goes on to see if the girl gives him an answer.

It was in a state of extraordinary excitement while I was sitting at the coffee a little incredulous and somehow disappointed. After a few minutes he comes back to the cafe walking like a man under a load of trouble. I ask him what had happened and he gives me the letter he had written the night before, saying: “I have mail for you!” Behind the paper in which he had written with such fervor was : “I 'm fond of toto di bella. Many kisses to toto di bella. Antoinette.”

I did not know how to comfort my friend Gigi, to whom I was so very close. So I promised him that I would not continue any relationship with this girl that looked as beautiful as silly.

After a few weeks I went to Catania and I did not see that girl again, but, after the war I learned that she had married an accountant named Di Bella


XXIX - I was also a hypochondriac

Berlusconi has decayed. Good. Berlusconi goes to social services. Good. Berlusconi decides to vote confidence in the Letta government. Good. But when this left shall stop talking about Berlusconi? To hear the deafening chatter of television these days, despite the fact that in Italy the economic problems, and not only, continue to deteriorate, we still talk, almost exclusively, of Berlusconi.

I am not aware that Italians are so interested in whether the Alfaniani, the Fittoniani or any other ani, shall prevail, but the Democratic Party, should stop talking about Berlusconi and care, while has the power to govern, to help the implementation of those reforms that the country urgently needs. The only way to put things in place in Italy is to cut all the unnecessary spending that often is also harmful. Since we have a mouthy and unproductive parliament, Letta should govern by decrees, so as to have a profound effect on all those obsolete state structures and bureaucratic procedures that hamper the performance and the smooth running of our enterprises. Even medical care, in my opinion, should be deeply reformed.

To let all Italian doctors, become civil servants who can not do more than simply write prescriptions and order, mostly useless blood tests, or other tests, often just as useless, was an unforgivable mistake. All this, certainly made very wealthy many pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and analytical enterprises, but also made of the Italians a nation of hypochondriacs.

Up to the age of 48 years I was also a hypochondriac. I used to read many articles on medicine and was convinced to have symptoms of many diseases. I was submitting myself to frequent checkups and often I was really sick. One day, at the bowls club where I belonged, joined a retired professor of the University of Sydney who had taught medicine all his life. I was always asking him questions related to my ailments, and one day he said to me: “Sam, if you want to get really well, stay away from doctors and, above all, from pharmacists. When you don’t feel well, sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, think of something that gave you much pleasure and you will see that, after ten or fifteen minutes, the illness disappears. Remember that the best doctor in the world is your own body.”

I have been following this advice for 45 years and, oddly enough, I'm still here, not only that, but I can still play chess, surf in internet for several hours a day and even find the time to write this nonsense.


XXX - My father in America

In 1968 my father was 86 years old. I had come to Italy to visit and I did not find him in good condition. The loss of his wife, a couple of months before, had, in some way, weakened his normal good humor. He seemed even smaller, as he was six feet tall and very sturdy.
When he saw me and hugged me said, “Thank you for coming, but, certainly, I will not see your brother Zino again”. “And why not?” I replied. “If he does not come here, we will go to see him in America”.

He smiled incredulously and said, “You're always joking ...”. But I was not joking at all, and in the following days I got for him a passport, issued by the City Council and booked a flight from Palermo to New York for my father and me. Arriving at the airport of Palermo we got on the plane and while we were waiting to take off, my father, tired from his journey in the car, fell fast asleep. The airplane left and, after about an hour, my father wakes up and asks me: “When are we leaving?”

I tell him that we were already flying for about an hour, but he says: “You're always joking. Why don't we go down for a while to stretch our legs?”

All the young flight attendants wore miniskirts that were then beginning to be all the rage. When one of them comes close to my father to check the seat belt, my father told me: “These girls have a rather high skirting… Don't they?”

My brother and his wife were waiting for us at the airport. After the usual hugs, they took us to their house, where my father, who still could not believe to be in America, wanted to go to bed to try to make sense of what was going on.

The house of my brother Vincent consisted of 2 floors plus an attic that my brother had leased to a rather nice middle-aged lady who lived alone. After several days of knowledge between her and my father, had been established, as it were, a stream of sympathy. The lady, almost caressing my father, used to say: “What a lovely old man!” And my father would answer: “You are so brilliant to hurt my eyes”.

Meanwhile he had already forgotten that my mother had died, and, from time to time, was asking me: “When are we going back home? By now, your mom ...”

Many people in Bronte knew my father, and when word spread in Brooklyn and Long Island, among the people from Bronte, that Don Alexander was in America, my brother's house became the spot where all these villagers came to pay homage to my father.

He absolutely did not know any of them, but he welcomed them all, with his natural warmth, asking them news of their relatives in Bronte and so on. But when the visitors left he was asking us: “Who were these people?” He had not the slightest idea.

After a few weeks I had to return to Sydney for work commitments, but my father remained in America, with my brother, for about three years, and, they tell me that, when he returned home, was looking for his wife and when they reminded him that she had died almost 4 years ago, he, weeping, kept on asking “But why no one told me ...”

Since then he never recovered. I again went to Italy to see him before his death, but he did not recognize me. He looked at me for a long time and asked me: “Excuse me, who are you?”

My father was a great man. He was well liked by everyone for his goodness, fairness and kindness towards everybody.


XXXI - Trowels about 40 centimeters long

I confess I do not understand much of the productivity of the Italian workers. However, I did observe some cases that may shed light on the reasons why many Italian workers might seem unproductive.

During my travel to Australia I met a mason who, in his own country town, in Sicily, was considered an excellent craftsman, very good at his job.

Well, arrived in Australia, he was a guest of his brother in law who was building some appartments and hired him as bricklayer. He had brought from Italy a small trowel and could not, in a day's work, lay more than three or four hundred bricks per day. In the evening he was very tired and complained of his hard work.

One day, his brother in law said to him: “Look, my friend, you do not earn even the water you drink!”
God help me! The mason went on a rampage and said: “If you find someone who can do more than me I will work for you gratis for a month.” The brother in law replied, “I'll give you that satisfaction!”

The next day he engaged three local masons, one Italian, for many years in Australia, and the other two of Irish origin. These people had trowels about 40 centimeters long, and, on continuous walls, could lay up to two thousand bricks per day, perfectly aligned and without even getting tired. The Sicilian mason was stunned and, with that team, he was used only as a laborer. But when he went to work with them permanently, after some months, he also could lay, on continuous walls, up to two thousand bricks per day.

I made a similar experience with an extremely good cabinetmaker of my country town and of my same age. When this craftsman arrived, with his family in Australia, perhaps around the late sixties or early seventies, he came looking for me and asked me for a job. I had then a carpenter from Friuli who was finishing the installation of doors, windows and baseboards in a block of flats that I had just built. I thought proper to make him work there to overcome language problems. After a day of work, the carpenter of Friuli had installed six doors, in a workmanlike manner, while my villager had installed only one. The reason was that he did not know how to use all the supports available and suitable to speed up the operation.

The low productivity of the workers or artisans, especially in southern Italy, in my opinion, is not because they don’t want to be productive but because they don’t know how to be.


XXXII - Cecily Freezers

When I stopped building and devoted myself only to buy and sell properties, my brother in law came to ask me to have a look at a property that he was thinking of buying in company with one of his friends.

The property consisted of a considerable number of refrigerating chambers and offices in a very large site in Leicchardt. The property belonged to an American company that produced and distributed cakes and other sweets.

The conditions in the refrigerant section was not in good condition and from the condenser element were coming ouy ammonia fumes that disturbed all the neighborhood. I had recommended to my brother in law to buy the complex immediately as it was very promising, but after two or three weeks, when I learned that they no longer wished to buy the property I told him, that I was willing to buy it.
I went to see the American manager of the property and I asked him what was the last price he would accept. He told me, almost shyly, 250.000 dollars.

Without thinking twice, I gave him a check for twenty-five thousand dollars and we continued to finalize the sales contract as quickly as possible. As soon as I came into possession of the property, I called technical refrigeration experts who adviced me to immediately change the ammonia’s capacitor which was terribly old and rusty and was leaking small amounts of gas that caused all the problems with the City council and the neighbors.

With one of the technicians I ment to buy a second-hand condenser more modern and in excellent condition that I bought for 2,000 dollori.

A collector of old iron demolished and took away the old capacitor and in the same place we installed the new one. This single operation eliminated all the protests of the Council and the neighborhood. However, I continued to carry out all necessary repairs to the refrigeration plant and the complete renovation of the electrical system. To make a long story short, I spent a total of about 70,000 dollars to put the property in order and, with the help of one only employee, after having rented all the refrigerating chambers, for the following three or four years, this property was giving me an excellent annual income.

When I decided to come to Italy to stay, my son ln law sold this property for a million and two hundred thousand dollars that I invested in Italian shares assuring for me an adequate income for all these years.


XXXIII - Poor Italy!!!

The Letta government seems to be entering again into fibrillation due to this new law of stability that has managed only not to please anyone. The unions were were quick to proclaim a mini general strike.

To what this may serve, to me is absolutely incomprehensible and even ridicule. On television they talk of anything and everything, and this new dispute between The Fatto Quotidiano and President Napolitano is becoming the joke of the month. The President made some reference to the tall tales of Fatto Quotidiano and the great Padellaro, director of Fatto Quotidiano, says that the tall tales are told only by Napolitano. So the Italians waver between a canard and the other. Between Fitto and Alfano there is bad blood and the situation of the Letta government is likely again to shatter.

Personally, I do not know with whom to be. This threatened split in the PDL can have deleterious consequences on the future of our Italy.

On the other hand, the PD, which has several fractures, with the four presidential candidates and with the countless currents congenital to its doctrine, remains mired in a series of ideologies ranging from Christian democracy to communism.

In the other part of the government, the Scelta Civica of Monti, so many incredible things are happening. Monti has resigned accusing of treason the most important members of his party. Mauro and Casini don’t know which way to turn, and all other components of Scelta Civica have such different ideas, between them, to practically eliminate any common political line in that group of MPs.

The grillini finally begin to express themselves in some of the many television programs of political nature, but, up to now, they don’t seem to know much and they talk, or rather, gossip about Berlusconi or Napolitano. What do these new occupants of parliamentary seats do? Not much. Perhaps it would be much better if they would keep quiet.

At this point I can only say: poor Letta! and poor Italy!!!

XXXIV - My first job in Italy

Soon as graduated, I immediately went back to Milan, where an official of the Corriere della Sera had promised to employ me as a proofreader. Of course, I went to live in the apartment of Beppe Milazzotto, and I kept calling, almost every week, this official asking news about my assumption that, fortunately, did never materialize.

I say fortunately because this would have completely changed my life, and I'm so much in love with my life that, if I could relive it, I would not change a single comma from it.

One day one of our countryman, employed in the Milan police, came to visit us and told me that there was a company that engaged only graduates as his representatives in the purchase of scrap iron and sale of rebar and sheet metal of all types. It was the O.F.E.I. (Organization Furnishing Edile Industrial). My cop friend convinced me to go with him to meet the director of this company, the accountant Contorni.

This gentleman did not make me too many questions and after a few minutes of conversation he told me that he would give me 15,000 lire per month plus a few cents on each kilogram of scrap that I would be able to buy in the Veneto, from Verona, to Trieste, and finally asked me when I could start.

I informed him that, most likely, I would not have been able to distinguish between a piece of wood and a piece of iron, but he said that did not matter. He asked me to make a subscription for all trains from Milan to the Veneto and gave me a long list of addresses of companies that collected or possessed scrap and with whom I had to confer.

After that we said goodbye, but going away, I did take numerous sheets of paper with the letterhead OFEI, which showed branches of the company in almost every region of Italiy and was presented as particularly important.

In Milan I got typed the next letter and I sent it to all the companies whose addresses mr Contorni had given me: Dear Sirs, we are pleased to inform you that in the coming days or weeks, our Dr. Di Bella is going to offer you a possible business relationship between our companies. Please welcome him with sympathy and listen to our proposals. We thank you very much and send our best regards... For O.F.E.I … and the usual doodle.

So when I went to knock on the door of one of those companies, they, not only welcomed me with kindness, but I was taken immediately to speak with the principal of the company. To him I proposed to buy not only the scrap iron they had available then, but also that they would have in the future. Somehow, I could, from the first meeting, establish a friendly relationship with these people and that allowed me, with inexplicable ease, to purchase all of their scrap iron available then and in the future.

Our company, I learned later, had an exchange contract with the Electric or Falks steel mills, I forget which. Against five kilos of scrap, would have in exchange one kilio of iron for construction and could get similar exchanges with various other types of ferrous products.

In a very short time I was able to make flow to the OFEI site vagons and wagons of scrap and make the amount of my commissions grow up to about one hundred thousand lire a month. For the accountant Contorni I became so his preferred representative and when there was some problem in one of its branches he sent me to solve it.

XXXV - Murray house, in Bronte

There were five of us in the office of my construction company, an excellent accountant, two employees who followed the works and conferred with our site foremen, a young Indonesian, majoring in construction sciences, dealing particularly with feasibility plans and contracts and I as General Manager.

One day, a realtor in the area of Bronte, a rather seedy neighborhood of Waverley, came to propose the purchase of an old wooden house in Murray Road, in Bronte, which, according to him, could be a good deal for us. I told him that I was not interested and sent him away.

The next day he came back and insisted that I go and see what he proposed and I, to get rid of him, sent him with my Indonesian young employee who returned soon after and actually forced me to go and have a look at the land which contained the old house. I went with him and saw a huge piece of land, a little steep but with views of Bronte's beach and obvious development opportunities.

Since the price was more than reasonable, I immediately bought the land and removed the house. Afterwards I transferred part of the land to the municipality of Waverley in exchange for permission to build on the site eight floors of apartments and two floors of parking space.

I prepared a sketch of the plan and I gave it to an architect, for whom I had built many villas, and asked him to draw the plans for the town hall and to improve the sketch that I had given him. After two weeks he tells me that he could not find a better layout of what I had prepared.

We then began to build the block entrusting the supervision to that young Indonesian who had convinced me to buy that property, and he turned out to be capable and efficient. The block consisted of sixteen apartments with three bedrooms and great views of the sea and the beach of Bronte, and sixteen with two bedrooms. All units had ampie kitchens, facilities and a large living-dining room with balcony.

It was a pity that my Indonesian young employee was not able to see the work completed because his father, an industrialist in Singa­pore, had called him home. But he continued to write to me for a few years and made me know that, in company with his father, had started to build skyscrapers in Singapore and neighboring towns.

Meanwhile, I rented all the apartments through the realtor Salvatore Paino, for whom I built the Gemini Hotel of Randwick and I could very well pay off the debt with the bank and also get a sizable annuity.

However, stupidly, I've done a lot of stupid things in my life, after a few years, I had still a debt with the bank of about three hundred thousand dollars and this bothered me, so somebody convinced me to sell the property as a block, because that way I could take advantage of a law that exempted me from taxes. I sold it for one million eight hundred thousand dollars. A tidy sum in those days, but crumbs as my banker friend would have said.

And I tell you why. About twelve years ago, as I was coming down from the terrace of the Cultural Circle, a gentleman unknown to me said: “Hello, Mr. Di Bella!” I say, “Do you know me?” He tells me then that he used to live in Murray Road, right in front of my property and that he used to see me nearly every day during the construction of the flats. And finally informed me that one of the apartments of two bedrooms, with no particular views, had just been sold for a million dollars.

Most likely my block of flats in Bronte was one of the reasons why all land and homes throughout that area, have become as expensive as the more sought after areas of the city of Sydney.


XXXVI - The segrets of life

A very dear Australian friend of mine, a girl I knew when she was a child and used to play with my daughters of the same age, asked me to write something about the secrets of life. Beautiful request! To tell you the truth I'm unsure where to start. To me, life is one of the results of the continuous and relentless transformations of nature, the essence of which can not be other than an eternal and almighty power.

I believe that the mover of the universe may be something outside the possibility of what we are able to conceive with our limited intelligence. All founders of religions on earth have given human characteristics to their creators. The earth is only a little grain of dust in the infinite universal space and I find it rather presumptuous to put ourselves at the center and in control of the universe.

I also believe that before scrutinizing the secrets of life we should ask ourselves what life is. On our planet it is an aggregation of organic cells that make up living things in the fauna and flora. No one really knows what could have developed this process that we call evolution and no one knows if processes of this kind may exist in planets of other stars. I have often heard it said that everything that you can imagine is also possible. Is it true? We say so many stupid things on this planet that even this could be accepted as incontrovertible truth.

In the course of my long life I have always considered the importance of curiosity. That unquenchable desire to discover the reason for our existence, and of all things. To find out what we are and where we are going and if there is a specific reason of going towards a future of which we perceive the essence only as a dream. Possibly it was my curiosity to determine my psychological profile.

As a boy I read everything I could get my hands on and I loved to experiment on anything. Already at the age of twelve I started to paint pictures creating my colors with the things that I found in the shop of my brother Nunzio. I used to mix colored powders withh glues or linseed oil and even olive oil or any other means that I could find. I painted on small scraps of plywood, small landscapes, terrible figures of dogs, donkeys, birds ... the design was terrible but the color match was such that the excellent sculptor Simone Ronsisvalle, who for years worked in my brother' shop, told me one day: “Turillo, if I had your eyes I would have become a millionaire!”.

He was a master at drawing and sculpture in wood, with a few strokes of gouge could change a piece of wood in a marvelous decoration with roses almost alive, but it was not good at putting together colors. For me, instead, it was a spontaneous thing that no one had taught me. I also was experimenting with clay to mold rather strange things and I had a mad wish to do things with electricity. When, in the hot summer afternoons all my relatives used to go and have rest, I went down in a room that we called the warehouse and, there, I was working with wire, wires for electricity, etc., and almost every day I was blowing up the life-saving electrical switch of my house, often several times a day. I had made up my mind to try to invent a magnetic field that could reduce or eliminate the force of gravity. Of course this is a dream that undoubtedly has involved several generations but I am still convinced that in the future someone will be able to realize this dream.

I'm beginning to get tired of this cheap philosophizing. Of one thing I am sure: death, in my case, proves to be a rather latecomer. However you look at life, it is normally a pleasant experience, but when you are sick or when you are suffering from this damn senile pruritus that turns every night into a continued nightmare, one could frankly do without. Of course this is a strictly personal thought.


(it follows


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