As I promised in my last blog, I will tell you a bit about my adventure last week in which I had a real live meeting with my idol., Bruno Bozzetto, the Walt Disney/Steven Spielberg of Italy.
To briefly recap the relationship, about 10 years ago some wonderful person whom I cannot identify sent me a link to some of Bruno's animated videos and I went totally bonkers over them. To compare him to Disney is totally unfair to Bruno because his works are not for children, but for adults and the material is so witty, profound, ironic and sophisticated that he relates more to Spielberg or perhaps Billy Wilder. And his animation style is gorgeous and closer to, perhaps, Miro or Matisse. As you can tell, I am an extreme admirer.
Anyhoo, after I stopped bouncing off the walls and ceiling I sat down and wrote him a fan letter....by now you know a bit about me and the fan letters I write .....judging from the results I have had, I must conclude that they are pretty good. I swear I never expected a response, but to may amazement, a few days later I received a simple, charming reply thanking me in his inimitible English (which he describes as of the "me Tarzan - you Jane" variety. Not so...his English is very good. Well, after I stopped bouncing off the walls and ceiling I responded with my thanks for his thanks and before we knew what had happened we were steady correspondents and long distance friends.
Then on my last trip to Italy about 8 or 9 years ago I wrote and asked him if I were to make my way up from Venice to Milan (his home base) whether it would be possible for me to lure him out and buy him a cup of coffee. He was tickled with the idea and countered with his wish to take me to lunch along with his twin daughters (gorgeous adults) who wanted to meet me. So I hopped on the train from Venice up to Milan and we met and had a wonderful day together. From that point our relationship continued via email and many precious gifts exchanged......He was a huge fan of Disney and I was able to send him some material and books I had acquired while I worked at Disney Studios and he sent me several original Cells from some of his films. We also exchanged a lot of wonderful hand drawn greeting cards over the years there were marriages and grandchildren and all in all, he and his family became very dear to me and I have considered myself privileged beyond words to have such a close and intimate relationship with such a brilliant and exalted person.
Of course he is frequently honored with invitations from all over the world and with special exhibitions of his work etc. (one of his animated shorts was nominated for an Academy Award....did not win....he wuz robbed....absolutely should have won) but this spring he wrote to me with great excitement because he had been invited by the head of Pixar Studios (now owned by Disney I believe) to come to the studios here in Burbank for a tour and honorary ceremony. How far from Burbank, was I located, he wanted to know, because he and the family wanted to get together with me. It happens that on a good day I could spit and hit Burbank so it was arranged that Florence would take me to their hotel in BRB for a brief visit on their last day before they flew out. They had wanted me to join them for lunch with some Studio bigwigs, but I declined politely. for one thing, I still recall that, during our lunch together in Milan, I was hardly able to eat a mouthful of my gorgeous mushroom risotto because I was so overwhelmed. Also, the complications of my having to take my oxygen with me now just made it all too difficult to be gone for a prolonged period, but the hour we had together was wonderful and I got to meet another member of his family.....his youngest son, Fabio, who was traveling with them.
So here you can view the Bozzettos and Lo.......Bruno, the twins Anita and Irene, and son Fabio. I am almost recovered from the excitement of the day and still feel warm all over from the warmth and charm of this incredible man and his family. He emailed me this morning with these photos that they took and promised more when they were processed. (among other virtues he is a man of his word).
So, that is the story of my latest adventure. Am I a lucky so and so or what?
Maverick of a weird, but wonderful family. Have managed to stay alive for an astounding 86+ years kept alive by a passionate interest in many things and a sense of humor.
Have led 2 or 3 separate lives,the first 40 years as a starving artist, ceramist, and graphic designer. At age 40 a matchbook cover that said "Be A Computer Programmer" inspired me to go back to school and emerge as a binary fanatic. Loved my work, had a wonderful 20 year career as programmer and trouble shooter. At the same time I had the chance to meet, befriend and marry Jazz Cornetist Pete Daily,an idol of my youth, whom I had worshipped in my young life. Lost him to cancer after 11 wonderful (and sometimes awful) years. Retired in 1989 and had 20 years of fantastic travel adventures all over the world. Now I crochet afghans, tend my garden, my 3 cats, the neighborhood birds and squirrels, a flock of voracious hummingbirds and assorted wildlife like possums and raccoon families who come nightly to my Porch Buffet. A great life, and it ain't over yet !....(after all, I have just discovered Blogging....)