Roma Slideshow

Pages

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BERGAMO GIORNI 21: ALPINI

THEY CAME!

WOW...DID THEY COME!

"WHO...CHI SONO?"

NOT BY THE HUNDREDS..

"WHO "...YOU ASK?

THEY CAME BY FOOT

"WHO"??

THEY CAME BY AUTOMACHINA

NOT BY THE THOUSANDS...NO NO NO NO...NOT THIS GRUPO

THEY CAME BY MULE...THEY CAME BY JOHN DEERE TRACTORS...THEY CAME BY VOLO..

"IO DICO...A DOMANDE"...I DEMAND TO KNOW

THEY EVEN CAME BY BICICLETA



                              ALPINI....TRAVELLED BY ANY..AND..ALL MEANS

AND THEY CAME FROM THE NORTH..FROM THE SOUTH...EAST AND WEST...LORO VENGIAMO TUTTI



                            THROUGH THE SMALL TOWNS THEY CAME

DID I MENTION THEY CAME YET?

THEY CAME ..NOT BY HUNDREDS...NOT BY THOUSANDS...NO NO......THEY CAME BY THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS...

BENVENUTI ALPINI!!!!!....WELCOME ALPINI


                              THEY CAME BY JOHN DEERE TRACTOR

THIS WAS AN EVENT

A 3 DAY EVENT

ALPINI...ENGLISH..THE ALPINES...THEY ARE MONTAIN GOATS IN A MILITARY UNIFORM WITH FUNNY SHAPED HATS...THEY ARE ELITE MOUNTAIN WARFARE SOLDIERS OF THE ITALIAN ARMY...THEY ARE THE OLDEST MOUNTAIN INFANTRY IN THE WORLD..THEIR ORIGINAL MISSION WAS TO PROTECT ITALY'S NORTHERN BORDER WITH FRANCE AND AUSTRIA...THEY DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES IN WW1 WHEN THEY FOUGHT A THREE YEAR WAR WITH THE AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE AND WITH GERMANY..IT IS KNOWN FAMOUSLY HERE AS THE WAR OF SNOW AND ICE


                ALPINI...MOUNTAIN FIGHTERS OF ITALIAN ARMY

PERHAPS THATS WHY THEY WERE UNFAZED BY THE NOT SO KIND RAINY DAMP AND COLD CONDITIONS THAT MET THE HALF MILLION PARTGOERS THIS WEEKEND..IN FACT THESE ARE THE VERY SAME CONDITIONS THAT THEY ARE MOST FAMILIAR WITH..

EACH YEAR THEY PICK A DIFFERENT CITY IN ITALY TO COME AND CELEBRATE THEIR HERITAGE..THIS YEAR IT WAS BERGAMO...IF YOU HAVE BEEN ATTENTIVELY FOLLOWING THIS WORLD FAMOUS BLOG YOU NOW KNOW GEOGRAPHICALLY THAT BERGAMO IS A WEALTHY INDUSTRIAL CITY 40 CLICKS TO THE EAST OF MILAN..MILANO IS KNOWN FOR BANKING AND FASHION..BERGAMO IS KNOWN FOR FACTORIES..BLUE COLLAR DIRT AND GRIT..AND THEIR ESTEEMED CITTA' ALTA..THE CITY AT THE TOP BUILT BY VENETIAN HANDS 500 YEARS AGO AND A POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATION FOR PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD..

IT WAS ALSO THE DESTINATION OF THE 500000 PEOPLE THAT DESCENDED UPON BERGAMO THIS WEEKEND TO HONOR THEIR BILLY GOATS...BERGAMO WASN'T BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD THE CROWD...SO IN EVERY TONY AND RURAL HAMLET THAT SURROUNDS BERGAMO THE FESTIVE CROWD CAME..AND PARTIED..AND CELEBRATED..AND SHOWED THEIR APPRECIATION FOR THE WORK THAT THE ALPINI HAVE DONE


                                       ALPINI..A 3 DAY GRANDE FESIVA

IN STEZZANO..IN COLOGNOLO..AND MOZZO....IN PONTE SAN PIETRO..AND TREVIOLO..AND SERIATE.....AND EVERY OTHER SMALL RURAL TOWN IN A 20 CLICK RADIUS TO BERGAMO YOU COULD FIND THE ALPINI AND THE LEGION OF FRIENDS AND  WORSHIPERS


                                  RAGAZZI WITH MIKE BRAD AND TRAVELDOG

WOW!!!...WHAT A CELEBRAZIONE...FANTASTICO..IT WAS A FESTIVAL THAT RIVALED ANYTHING I HAVE BEEN TOO..CARNIVAL IN BRAZIL.MARDI GRAS IN NAWLINS'..SAN FERMIN IN PAMPLONA...CARNEVALE IN VENEZIA...AND ON AND ON.

BEER..AND VINO FLOWED..MAYBE EVEN SOME VODKA AS WELL..MIXED WITH A FEW RED BULLS TO KEEP THE BLEARY EYES OPEN A LITTLE LONGER..BUT JUGS AND JUGS OF VINO FOR SURE..AND MUSIC..AND PARADES..AND COSTUMES AND FLAGS...DECORAZIONE..BIG AND SMALL AND COLORFUL FLAGS EVERYWHERE HONORING THE MOUNTAIN BOYS


                                    ITALIAN  FLAGS    TUTTI

GOT TO THINKING DURING THE CELEBRATION ABOUT WHAT WE DO IN THE STATES TOWARDS OUR MILITARY..WE DO THE PARADES..WE DO THE FLAGS AND THE SALUTES AND THE FLY OVERS..WE HONOR ON HOLIDAYS LIKE VETERANS DAY AND DURING OUR INDEPENCIA ON JULY4TH...BUT WE DON'T HAVE AND EVENT LIKE ALPINI.


                         ALPINI IN WHOOLY MAMOUTH CAMAFLOUGE


WHERE THE SOLDIERS THAT HAVE SACRIFICED FOR OUR FREEDOMS..FOR OUR PROTECTED BORDERS..FOR OUR NATIONAL SECURITY..WE REALLY DON'T GO ALL OUT AND STAGE A CELEBRATION THE WAY BERGAMO DID FOR THEIR ALPINI...JUST A TREMENDOUS NATIONAL OUTPOURING OF APPRECIATION

AND MAYBE WE SHOULD..MAYBE WE SHOULD PICK A CITY EVERY YEAR AND HONOR ALL 4 MAJOR BRANCHES OF OUR SERVICE AND ALL OF THE SPECIALTY FORCES...AND MAKE THEM FEEL SPECIAL..OVER THE TOP SPECIAL..DRINKS ARE ON THE HOUSE KIND OF SPECIAL..AND PHOTOS AND UNIFORMS..AND CRAZINESS...AND LET THE FESTIVAL BE THEIR FESTIVAL....JUST NAME IT..."ARMED FORCES!!!IT COVERS ALL BRANCHES AND SAYS IT ALL..

MAYBE I SAW WHAT I WANTED TO SEE..IT WAS OVER THE TOP..AND DRUNKENNESS WAS ON DISPLAY...LIKE IN THE BOB MARLEY SONG WHERE HE SINGS.."THE COLD GROUND WAS MY BED LAST NIGHT AND A ROCK MY PILLOW."..TRULY THE GROUND WAS MANY A SOLDIERS BED THIS PAST WEEKEND..TENTS AND SLEEPING BAGS AND WINNEBAGOS LINED THE STREETS AND THE SIDEWALKS AND THE PASTURES FOR MILES AROUND



                          ALPINI...... A PARTY TO REMEMBER...

BUT THE FUNNY HATS AND THE MEN THAT WORE THEM WILL BE REMEMBERED..I RATHER ENJOYED THE WEEKEND...PROBABLY CAN'T REMEMBER EVERYTHING BUT THATS WHY WE TAKE THE PHOTOS AND SHOOT THE VIDEOS...SO WE CAN PIECE ACTIVITIES TOGETHER THE MORNING AFTER

LOST IN ALL OF THIS 72 HOURS OF FRENZIED CELEBRATION WAS THE LIONS VICORY OVER THE BOLOGNA WARRIORS BY THE CLOSE SCORE OF 38-33...VICTORY WAS CLOSER TO THE JAWS OF DEFEAT FOR MOST OF POMMERIGIO DOMENICA...IN FACT WE WERE ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION ALL DAY AND INTO THE EARLY EVENING..

YOU SEE, WE HAD OUR "ITALIAN MOMENT" THAT SUSPENDED THE ACTION FOR WELL OVER TRENTI MINUTI...FOOTBALL IS A VIOLENT GAME AND THATS WHY AT EVEY NFL GAME THEIR ARE 2 AMBULANCES...ITS A REALITY SHOCKER THAT DEFINES THE BRUTALITY OF THE SPORT..


                            PREGAME....TAPING THE WING DOWN

WHEN A DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WARRIORS WENT DOWN THERE WAS A HUSH THAT FELL OVER THE SPARSE CROWD...HE MAY HAVE BEEN KNOCKED OUT...CONCUSSION PERHAPS?..MOMENT OF POSSIBLE PARALYSIS??..ALL CAUTION WOULD BE TAKEN..THE STRETCHER AND AMBULANCE WERE HAILED..A TEAM OF MEDICS AND ADVISORS CAREFULLY LAID THE WARRIOR INSIDE THE AMBULANCE AND MOMENTS LATER THE SIRENS AND FLASHING RED LIGHTS WERE HEADED TO THE OSPEDALE.

THE PROBLEM WAS WE ONLY HAD ONE AMBULANCE...PERHAPS THE OTHER WAS BEING USED TO TAKE CARE OF ALPINI..WHO KNOWS??..BUT WE WERE SHORT AN AMBULANCE..  .PLAY COULD NOT RESUME UNTIL THE AMBULANCE RETURNED..THE TEAMS EMPTIED THE FIELD AND HEADED TO THE LOCKERROOMS..SIDE BY SIDE THE LIONS AND THE WARRIORS MINGLED..NERVOUSLY..WITH ADRENALIN SUSPENDED RIGHT IN THE VERY VEINS THAT HAD THE WARRIORS UP BY 5 POINTS WITH A FULL 4TH QUARTER LEFT TO PLAY

WHAT TO DO??..ASPETI ASPETI..WAIT AND WAIT...NERVOUSLY WAITING..THEN TO DISCOVER AN ITALIAN RULE THAT IS NOT EXECUTED OFTEN,  IF EVER AT ALL..IF THE AMBULANCE WOULD NOT RETURN IN UNDER 30 MINUTES THEN THE GAME WOULD BE CALLED.AS IN ENDED...AS IN FINISHED


                       POSTGAME .....WEREN'T SURE IF WE WOULD FINISH


AND IF THAT LAW WAS INVOKED THE LIONS WOULD HAVE LOST AND WE WOULD BE FINISHED..

DRAMA AND SUSPENSE FELL UPON US...JUST AS THE RAIN THAT HAD THREATENED ALL DAY BEGAN TO FALL UPON US..THIS IS NO WAY TO LOSE..DOVE AND QUANDO WOULD THE DAMN AMBULANCE RETURN??

MEANWHILE PLAYS..NEW PLAYS WERE BEING DRAWN UP IN THE CROWDED LOCKERROMS..ASSIGNMENTS PASSED AROUND..INSTANT REVIEWS CALCULATED TO PREPARE FOR THE ANTICIPATED 4TH QUARTER TO RESUME

AND RESUME IT DID..A MAGICAL CATCH BY T-MAZE GOT US INTO POSITION TO SCORE THE GO AHEAD TD..THE DEFENSE WOULD PREVAIL AND WE SNATCHED A MUCH NEEDED WIN TO STAY IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION..IT ALSO STOPPED THE HEMORRAGING OF A 3 GAME SLIDE

AS FOR T-MAZE..IT WAS HIS FINAL GAME WITH US..HE IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE NOT NAMED VAN PELT..HE IS HEADED TO OMAHA, NEBRASKA OF THE 2ND YEAR UFL WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO EARN A GOOD SALARY..HE IS A VERY TALENTED PLAYER AND AN ALL AROUND GOOD GUY..QUIET..UNASSUMING..HUMBLE..HE WAS A DIFFERENCE MAKER EACH TIME HE TOUCHED A BALL,  OR DEFENDED A PASS..HE WAS IN THE TRAINING CAMP OF THE BALTIMORE RAVENS IN 2007..ALTHOUGH HE DIDN'T EARN A ROSTER SPOT ON THE TALENTED REX RYAN DEFENSIVE FRONT,  HE DID OCCUPY A LOCKER NEXT TO RAY LEWIS...HE LEARNED MUCH ABOUT PREPARATION AND HOW TO BE A PROFESSIOANL FROM RAY RAY..AND IT SHOWED DURING THE 6 WEEK STINT THAT HE WAS HERE

WE WILL MISS HIM...


                           ANDREA' AND T-MAZE....LAST GOOD-BYES

AS FOR THE ALPINI..THE CELEBRATION IS FINISHED..THE SMALL TOWNS ARE BACK TO BEING SLEEPY HAMLETS...THE ACTIVE ALPINI ARE BACK PATROLLING THE RUGGED MOUNTAIN TOPS OF AFGHANISTAN WHERE THEY ARE PRESENTLY DEPLOYED HUNTING DOWN TALIBAN..THE CELEBRATION GOES TO VERONA NEXT YEAR...THE HISTORICAL ROMANESQUE TOWN POPULARIZED BY SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO AND JULIET...STOP BY..THE MEN IN FUNNY HATS  ARE A FUN AND LIKEABLE BREED..AS ARE THEIR ADMIRING FANS AND FRIENDS..





ALPINI IN FUNNY HAT LEFT THEIR MARK

1 comment:

  1. great story...you must be having a blast.

    ReplyDelete