Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lost Footage of Bepi Venexiano circa 1957

Lost Footage of me was recovered recently. Ah those were simpler times, I remember as a child getting milk from a cow standing on the straw covered floor of a small lagoon boat and taking a carriage ride on the Lido. How can this be Bepi? Near the Squreo San Travaso there is the well with the double eagle in a field of grass. A drink from it during the night of the "Festa della la Donna" and well... you begin to see there is more to Bepi Venexiano than meets the eye.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Venice Memories and Musings

I find myself thinking of Venice and Venetians. It usually begins when I am working on the gondola. A combination of temperature, the smell of ocean life plus a hint deisel exhaust will transport me to Venice.

One of the common themes of my Venetian musings is consideration of the real Venets, the real city dwellers who lived after Napoleon up until the recent migration of the majority of its citizens. These were the folks who, before a rain, would clean their sandolo and let it fill so they could enjoy a treat of fresh water. These were people whose Arsenale was no longer building boats. These were the people who lost everything and still remained a people. I seek the people who struggle and work to keep the art, culture, and spirit of the Lion City alive.

I have been lucky enough to meet some of these Venets. I got to sing for Gastone Sandri, composer of Venetian songs, who could tour the world with his music but won't. There's Roberto Vianello, gondolier, who endevors to keep and pass on the traditions of his trade. My rule of thumb is that the more Venetian you are the less you can understand me and no one understood me less than Roberto Dei Rossi, master gondola maker who has a very busy squero. These people are not Carnivalle fluff but the flesh and bones of a great city.

In Venice I love to take off alone and find the forgotten. The photos shown here were taken on the Lido near Diadora rowing club. I can't help but wonder who build these vessels, who rowed them, who repaired them. I can imagine the club rowers in the sandolo, or the motor boat owner, fussing because his wife's out of town visitors missed the last boat from the lido, rising from his chair to fetch her friends. Even the wood pile calls out stories of alpine loggers, river journeys, vessels banging and the ceaseless lapping of the lagoon waters.

Your comments let me know you are reading.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photos recovered from a smashed cell phone

San Marco

In late February and early March Tiberius "Bruno" Maximus and I were in Venice for two weeks to purchase a couple gondolas. As we strolled along the empty streets we, like everyone, took photos. After a lot of searching we purchased our vessels took them to the ship yard and had them loaded. While assisting a dock worker I had to jump to hand him a tool and without my knowing my cell phone lept from my pocket. A while later a fork lift operator showed me the phone, smashed, run over by his fork lift.

There were many photos on the phone, not just of Venice but also my family. Initially I was tempted to toss it but decided instead to take it home. After returning home I found we had an extra phone of the same model so I played the losing game and attempted to transfer to the circuits of one to the other. I put it all together and... it turned on! I quickly went to the picture list and there were my pictures, at least most of them, some were black, the data lost from the shock. I took the phone to the Verizon store to transfer them but no go, that part of the phone was lost.

I purchased a memory card but the phone would not recognize it and I gave up. My daughter found the phone and asked about it and I explained the problem showing where the memory card went and at that moment the phone decided to recognize it. Rapidly I scrolled until I found the command to transfer the pictures to the card. My joy was great when I sat down at our computer to upload the images. But the computer wouldn't recognize the card and my new phone didn't recognize to old picture file types. There was still a chance to I took the card to work and tried the office computer. The "bing bong" sound of a device being recognized never sounded sweeter and then there they were. Many photos were lost but these are some of the best shots.

The Erberia


The one road to Venice, and the Alps

So Nice!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Greg Mohr, Mr. Gondola

As I journey along in the gondola world there are many things I have learned and many things I have been surprised by. The most pleasant surprise has been meeting Greg Mohr, owner of Gondola Adventures in Newport Beach and two other operations. Gregs infectious enthusiasm and knowledge of Venice make him a pleasure to talk to and joke with. It is rare to find someone so motivated and organized and yet keeps the important balance of family, friends, and work.
So lift a glass to Greg! Salute!