Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Looking For Miracles in All the Wrong Places???

 I have been wanting to write this blog for some time and didn't know quite how to get into it.   Well, dear old things, just to prove that procrastination doesn't really pay off,  I still don't.  However, when has that ever stopped me before?......my life often gives a different meaning to the phrase "Ignorance Is Bliss"......if I said it once, I've said it a thousand times....."oy, had I but known what I was getting myself into I would have duct taped myself to the chair till the impulse passed by:")

I never cease to marvel at (and be grateful for)  how some of my unplanned, spontaneous and accidental  and even foolish actions have resulted in the most amazing outcomes.   If you have been reading me for some time you know about some of the things I am talking about.  (i.e. meeting my hero, Magic Johnson, on my BD and, what's more, accidentally having my camera with me so I can prove to myself that I didn't dream it).  You may not agree but I call them my small (and not so small) miracles and no one will ever convince me that they aren't.  Well, I offer up the following story and if you don't agree with me that it is a blooming miracle..........well, I have to just feel sorry for you.  And regardless of whether you agree with me or not, there is a reward waiting for you at the end of this thing.

I  really do not have many friends.  (I truly believe that the blog world has changed that a bit, but let's not get bogged down in semantics here......)  From the time I was a child I have not had a huge circle of friends, but the ones I have had and the few that are still hanging in there are more precious than rubies etc.  When I lost my ultra - shyness some time back and became the intrepid talker to strangers, you might think that that might have changed, but when I became more outgoing I think I also became much more particular and consequently my precious circle has remained small....and that is OK with me because I find it hard to spread myself too thinly.......I mean,  there is only so much Lois to go around, ya' know?

Anyway,  one of the things that I love to do is to offer, nay, slather,  praise unreservedly where it is deserved.  I deplore the fact that so much goodness goes unthanked, so much brilliance goes unlauded and unrecognized.  It really breaks my heart that mediocrity barely one step removed from dog dung gets all the medals and true genius so often does not even get a superficial pat on the head for trying.  Now, if I were running things......sob....but I digress.

So, where was I?  Ah, yes......so in my old age I have taken to not only thanking every dear soul who holds a door open for me, I have taken to...... shamelessly writing fan letters.  (there, I've confessed).

Some years ago I happened upon some animation gems created by one of God's gifts to the world, a real genius named Bruno Bozzetto.  I had never heard of him but as soon as I saw a few samples of his work I immediately found my way to his website and gobbled up all the goodies he had set forth and I was totally overwhelmed.  I found that in Europe he was sort of the Italian Walt Disney but with a huge difference.  His art and humor was for adults and, thank heaven, was being properly appreciated  by garnering  every award offered.  (In fact, I found that he was nominated for an Academy Award  in the U.S a few years ago, but lost to.....well, I am not going to go there....just let me say....he wuz robbed).

After  a few days of replaying all of the bits of his work I could get my hands on thru the Internet, I calmed down enough to collect my thoughts and sat down and wrote him a fan email.  I truly do not remember if I included a sketch of myself worshiping at his feet in that first letter, but I blathered on endlessly in my usual unreserved fashion heaping mounds of praise on the poor man's unprotected head and finally ended with "Love, Lo" when I ran out of superlatives.  

I  felt good at having at least made this already recognized genius aware that one more person in the world appreciated his talents.  Then I wiped my sweaty hands on my jeans and went back to my important tasks of making the north hollywood humming birds too fat to fly and really forgot about the whole thing..

You can never know my amazement and joy a few days later when I saw in my email the name "Bruno Bozzetto" and found an utterly adorable and charming email in slightly broken English thanking me for my kind words.  (He apologized for his English with lovely self-deprecating humor describing it as  being in the category of "Me Tarzan....You Jane".)  (It was NOT). 

Since that moment we have been in constant touch........he writes to me about his current activities and family stories.   We send each other hand drawn greetings for different occasions.  He has showered me with gifts of his works....some original Cells from his movies, tapes and a full set of CD's of many of his productions.  I have been lucky enough to be able to reciprocate by sending him some things he wanted and it has been altogether wonderful.  A few years ago when I was planning a trip to Venice I checked on the map and found that there was Italian rail service from Venice to Milan and Bergamo (his base).  I cheekily wrote and told him of my trip and asked, if I were to take the train up to his area, if he would meet me and let me buy him a cup of coffee.  He wrote back excited and enthused, told me his (adult) twin daughters also  wanted to meet me and the 3 of them would drive to Milan from Bergamo  and take me to lunch.

And it happened just like that and it was heavenly.

I remember it like it was a dream......3 gorgeous Bozzettos and me having Risotto and salad and expresso (though I cannot remember eating at all).  He is a handsome and charming  and amazingly humble man and his girls are exquisite and delightful.....I hope I can find the photos we took so I can post them here.  (if I cannot find them now I promise to publish them soon.)

And we still keep in touch....the girls just wrote to me and have involved me in helping them and Bruno critique some English translations of a new script they are working on and, of course, I am honored to hell.  Who would  believe? And all I intended was to say "thank you" to someone who brought me some joy. What a reward!I am thrilled and honored beyond words to have this remarkable man and his family for my friends.

Now, I ask you......is not that whole thing a goddamned miracle or what ?

And now, for an encore I present you with a website which offers 8 little 5 or so minute works of the fabulous Bruno Bozzetto.  I believe there were 13 in all....I do not know what they were meant for.  They are wonderful little gems that just show a bit of his whimsical humor and vision of the world.  Enjoy.