Mike Ponzo was a nice guy and my best friend.
Everybody loved him.
He taught me a lot, a most important lesson was that all of your partners must make money.
Must come out whole from their relationship with you.
We engaged in a lot of enterprises together and we adhered to that principle.
Mike Ponzo was a nice guy and my best friend.
He knew that whatever money I was holding was his to use.
And I knew the reverse.
He was a nicer guy than I.
One day Mike hit the number for $5,000.
I had nothing to do with it and refused the taste of the money he offered me.
Later that night, when business was over, we sat with a drink to talk about the night.
In the course of the conversation he said that he needed $3,000.00.
I looked at the sheepish grin on his face and counted out the money.
He shoved it into his front pocket.
We sipped our drinks.
“Mike. I mean, you just collected $5,000.00. Where did that go?”
Mike’s face defined chagrin.
“I should have never told them I hit.”
“My mother. She thought half for her was good. I live in her house and I don’t pay rent.”
“Mike, you own that house. You pay the mortgage.”
“So what do you want me to do? Tell an old lady I’m losing rent because of her?”
He took a drink.
”Makes sense,” I agreed.
“Well,” he said, “It’s worth it. She treats me like a god.”
“When does she treat you like a God? She won’t even do your laundry.”
“Every night. She makes dinner for me. She feeds me burnt offerings.”
We laughed and took a sip.
“So you gave her $2500.00?”
“Gave her? She went through my pockets while I was napping, counted out half, and hid the $2500.00.”
“That leaves you with $5500.00.”
“Pat heard I gave my mother $2500.00”
Pat was Mike’s wife, separated they. Two children.
We waited, swirling our glasses, he wanting me to ask; me comfortable waiting, knowing the answer, at least generically.
One of his sisters-in-law thought his hitting the number was an appropriate time to ask Mike for a $3,000.00. deposit so her family could buy an apartment full of furniture that Mike’s no-good brother was always promising, never delivering.
Refusal might mean precipitating a long and loud family argument.
Explanation totally inappropriate to the expectant woman.
Note that a loan from Mike to that family was defined as gift.
In the hole for $3000.
What a good guy!
Two friends, we.
Good cop, bad cop.
Friday, January 18, 2019
My 281th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Friday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 39* with a feels-like temperature of 37* under cloudy skies with occasional sun.
Weather for coming week is unpredictable.
Permit me to offer this thought:
According to the Blog’s Winter Calendar, Jan2 to Feb13, we have only 27 days remaining to our winter.
We can get through this short period.
Dinner is Roast goose for a group of seven or eight.
Question of the Day:
What are the Neapolitan Novels?
Love your notes.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
From my beautiful cousin Linda:
I was planning to send the mushroom email to my long-time friend.
My Mom always searched for mushrooms as she knew where to find them and the safe ones to pick. Loved your story and the mycologist's knowledge.
I also enjoyed your auto trip especially Grand Canyon. I visited there too but didn't have a great camera at the time to capture those views.
I would have loved to take a trip years ago such as yours but never had the courage to do it alone so I was able to enjoy through your eyes as many others too.
I did travel years ago to Europe and Africa but usually in groups.
I cherished the moments and was thrilled that I was able to take those trips but one doesn't have the freedom to go wherever they want.
I loved Florence and loved the pix that you have shown.
When I came home from most countries, I carried books that I purchased instead of 'trinkets'.
They are loaded with gorgeous pix of art work and architecture.
By any chance would you know what date the Chinese parade is held in Boston.
I have never gone either because I did not know the date or it was too cold.
Would have enjoyed attending a Japanese celebration too.
Take care, Dom
Ciao and cherish each day!
Web Meister Responds: Hi my dear. So nice to hear from you.
The Boston Chinese new year parade this year is scheduled for Sunday 17th February.
Chinese New Year itself is on the 5th February in 2019 and this year welcomes the start of the Year of the Pig.
Answer to Question of Day:
What are the Neapolitan Novels?
The Neapolitan Novels are a 4-part series by the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions (New York).
It includes the following novels: My Brilliant Friend (2012), The Story of a New Name (2013), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2014), and The Story of the Lost Child (2015). The series has been characterized as a bildungsroman, or coming-of-age story.
In an interview for the Harper's Magazine, Elena Ferrante stated that she considers the four books to be "a single novel", published serially for reasons of length and duration.
The series has sold over 10 million copies in 40 countries.
The series follows the lives of two perceptive and intelligent girls, Elena (sometimes called “Lenù”) Greco and Raffaella (“Lila”) Cerullo, from childhood to adulthood and old age, as they try to create lives for themselves amidst the violent and stultifying culture of their home – a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Italy.
The novels are narrated by Elena Greco.
The series was adapted into a play by April De Angelis that opened at the Rose Theatre, Kingston in March 2017.
The first book in the series has also been adopted into an HBO television series entitled, "My Brilliant Friend."
My Brilliant Friend
Wikipedia summarizes the novels below:
The Neapolitan Novels begin in 2010 when the son of an old friend telephones the main character, a woman in her 60s named Elena (familiarly called “Lenù”). Elena's childhood friend Lila has disappeared, and her son is unable to find her.
Elena recognizes this behavior as something Lila, in her later years, has always talked about doing, and believes her disappearance to be a conscious decision.
In the spirit of their loving but ambivalent ways towards each other, Elena begins to put on paper everything she can remember about Lila, beginning in 1950s Naples.
Here is the first of the four novels.
A summary of the other three will follow in quick order.
“My Brilliant Friend.”
Elena and Lila grow up in a poor neighborhood full of violence and strife, where Lila alone realizes that an innocent man has been framed for murder by local gangsters, the Solara family.
No one expects the girls to be educated beyond elementary school.
Elena is diligent and captures the attention of Maestra Oliviero, one of her grade-school teachers, a spinster who encourages her to escape the life of the plebeian class—impoverished in more ways than one.
To everyone's surprise, the very rebellious Lila is a prodigy who has taught herself to read and write.
She quickly earns the highest grades in the class, seemingly without effort.
Elena is both fascinated and intimidated by Lila, especially after Lila writes a story which Elena feels shows real genius.
She begins to push herself to keep up with Lila and ignores her teacher's warning not to associate with "plebs."
Once, when Lila throws Elena's doll into the basement chute of the local loan shark, Elena does the same to Lila's doll, as proof that she can be as bold as her friend.
When Lila fearlessly goes the loan shark to ask for the return of the dolls, Elena goes with her, though they are ultimately unable to retrieve them.
The paths of the two girls diverge when Lila's parents refuse to pay for continued schooling after elementary school.
Elena's father, however, agrees to pay for Elena to continue after being pressured by the concerned teacher, to the aggravation of her bitter, jealous mother.
To prove her worthiness, Lila secretly takes the middle school exam, which so enrages her father that he throws her through a glass window, crashing onto the pavement below.
After recovering from her injuries, Lila encourages Elena to skip school in an attempt to get Elena's parents to withdraw their support for her education.
But Elena forgives Lila, knowing how hard it is for Lila to be left behind while she moves forward.
Elena attends middle school and eventually high school. Lila insists that Elena, being Lila's brilliant friend, should never stop studying.
With Elena studying, Lila occupies herself with her father's shoe shop.
Much to his irritation, she dreams of designing new types of shoes to make them rich.
She also grows very beautiful, attracting most of the neighborhood's young men including Marcello Solara, the young son of the powerful local Camorra leader.
Despite her family's pressuring her to marry a rich man, Lila considers the Solaras to be fundamentally evil.
To escape Marcello, she accepts Stefano, the owner of the local grocery, when he asks her to marry him. After Stefano's family sweeten the deal by agreeing to finance the Cerullo's shoe project, her family agree to the marriage.
Lila and Stefano marry when she is sixteen.
At the wedding, Elena, who has been dating a car mechanic, is repelled by the boisterous behavior of the "plebs."
Stefano breaks two promises to Lila, by inviting the Solara brothers to attend their wedding reception dinner and by selling them the shoes she and her brother handcrafted, and that Stefano told her he would treasure forever.
Lila considers the marriage over as soon as it begins.
Good morning on this Friday, January 18.
We opened with a true story concerning best friend, Mike Ponzo.
We heard from cousin Linda and learned when the Chinese New Year’s occurs and when the parade will be held.
And we summarized the first of four Neapolitan Novels.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.