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Raccogli e passa

July 8, 2012

The “Naive Wooden Sculptures” of Theodore Santoro

Laura E. Ruberto
Theodore Santoro's "naive wooden sculptures"

An Italian American self-taught artist from Oakland, California, adds yet another chapter in the story of Italian Americans and material culture.

October 12, 2011

Il Fanciullo del West: Shorty Joe Quartuccio’s Country Western Sound

Laura E. Ruberto
Shorty Joe and his Red Rock Canyon Cowboys - 1947 (Shorty Joe Quartuccio, Bob Simas, & Jim Franchina)

A Few Notes on California’s Sicilian American country music history.

March 17, 2011

Leo Politi, Saint Joseph, and Las Golondrinas

Laura E. Ruberto
Leo Politi
cover of "Song of the Swallow," 1948

Children’s literature, the Watts Towers, and Italian-Californian celebrations of Saint Joseph’s Day.

March 2, 2011

The Case of the Missing Fasanella Painting

Laura E. Ruberto
Ralph Fasanella
"Welcome Home Boys" (1953)

How I uncovered that the City of Oakland, the Oakland Public Library, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Oakland International Airport have misplaced Ralph Fasanella’s...

December 24, 2010

Vince Guaraldi--“the sound of Yuletide on these shores”

Laura E. Ruberto
Charles M. Schulz/Vince Guaraldi
Italian version of Charlie Brown's Christmas Album, 1979

Some Italian-American notes about the man behind the music of Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

November 21, 2010

Remembering the Irpinia Earthquake Thirty Years Later

Laura E. Ruberto
Laura E. Ruberto
Cairano (AV), buildings damaged in the 1980 Irpinia Earthquake and never repaired (photo taken June, 2010)

Marking the material culture of one of Southern Italy’s worst natural disasters, the Irpinia Earthquake of November 23, 1980.

October 8, 2010

Italian America’s Eureka Moment

Laura E. Ruberto
Laura E. Ruberto
Romano Gabriel's Wooden Sculpture Garden, Eureka, CA

Finding Romano Gabriel’s Wooden Sculpture Garden along the Italy-California border.

July 30, 2010

Hollywood, Italian Americans, and the Golden Coast

Laura E. Ruberto
"Full of Life" Movie Poster, Richard Quine, 1956 (written by John Fante)

John Fante’s and Richard Quine’s 1956 film, "Full of Life," constructs California Italian culture, one brick at a time.

June 1, 2010

The Über-Country: Italy at 150 Years

Laura E. Ruberto
"The Contribution of a Great Race" 1924
cover of the THE CONTRIBUTION OF A GREAT RACE, published in San Francisco, 1924, by “The Italians of California to their American Brothers"

Some thoughts on Italy’s mythical status, migrating identities, and the creation of an online salon to talk about it all.

April 23, 2010

“And so we left leaving Italy and all of my dear ones”

Laura E. Ruberto
Bordighera Press
"Such Is Life" Cover, Bordighera Press, 2010

Introducing "Such Is Life" ("Ma la vita è fatta cosi"), an immigrant woman’s memoir about her life between Italy and America.

March 21, 2010

Photographs of Jack Salvatori, the British Valentino

Laura E. Ruberto
photo courtesy of Ray Holland
Jack Salvatori, possibly in the United States

On having received an envelope mailed to Berkeley, California from Cornwall, England with photographs of the Italo-British filmmaker and actor, Giovanni “Jack” Salvatori.

March 8, 2010

Re-reading Diane Di Prima, in Honor of International Women's Day

Laura E. Ruberto
Cover of Diane Di Prima's "Memoirs of a Beatnik" (first published in 1969)

San Francisco’s Current Poet Laureate, Diane Di Prima, moves Italian American Identity Above, Below, and Beyond.

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