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Amarcord 70s
The Decade that shaped us
Preamble

(Published 29 July 2020)

This (long) post (and the others that will follow) are mainly addressed to my friends of Moschiano origin or who have some affinity with Moschiano.

I learned that this year too, despite everything, there will be religious celebrations in Moschiano in honor of the Madonna della Carita' and San Gerardo. Beautiful initiative even if, in some respects, I have a slightly different opinion about it but there is no need to argue. However, initiatives such as Missionary Summer and the ACR gatherings are to be praised.

A summer without a "celebration" (especially a civil one because for me the religious one always remains Pentecost) brought my mind back to the period when there was no celebration and in the summer we worked hard to invent something else.

I take this opportunity then to make an "amarcord" (I remember) of the 70s in Moschiano. What does this have to do with the party you will say. It has something to do with it because in those years the party in Moschiano was no longer held but on the other hand (or perhaps above all for this reason), there was a reborn enthusiasm to "do something" especially in the second half of the decade. The lack of a "feast" was perhaps fortunate because it gave us the opportunity to be creative and probably make ourselves more useful.  We will remember how this period was experienced by us young people from Moschiano (and by all the people of Moschiano), the events that characterized it and how we "got our hands dirty". Literally.

This is not intended to be a self-celebration or a "see how good we were" but rather a launching platform for today's young people and an incentive to continue to do even more by building on the foundations that we lay as we did using that as an example that "the young people" of the 50s and 60s did in turn and so on.

Given the long period covered and the numerous events to be told, we will divide this story into (4-5) parts to be published over the next few weeks, starting today with a general description of the decade and then moving on to what was done year by year.

Let's start by saying that that decade was both fascinating and painful for us Moschianesi (young and old), and for Italy and perhaps for the world.

At the basis of everything that happened in Moschiano, however, there were two fundamental pillars that our parents and teachers instilled in us: Culture and Faith. These virtues were intrinsically connected for good and evil.

This was for us the decade of certainties and contradictions. Of hopes and illusions of dreams and sudden awakenings.

This in Italy was the decade of political and ideological battles such as the historical compromise and divorce, but for us in Moschiano also the decade of pain, friendship, social commitment, great loves. All things that would shape our lives.

The world was still absorbing the student revolution of 1968 but perhaps not everyone was ready for such a radical change. The world moved forward and Moschiano tried to keep up with the times, but with a few years of delay and perhaps still held back by a subculture and false sense of well-being and progress also dominated by certain clientelistic reverences that he would have alleged and at the same time generated great regrets and nefarious events but also glorious resurrections and newfound enthusiasm.

During that decade in Moschiano we suffered the painful loss of dear friends and teachers. The churches of Moschiano and Carita' suffered the devastation of repeated thefts. In Italy the decade was punctuated by numerous acts of terrorism. The world lost two Popes in the space of a few months and a statesman like few others. The decade ended with the catastrophic earthquake in our area in which thousands of people lost their lives.  Who doesn't remember those days.

But that decade also saw a rebirth of Moschiano with numerous works completed and with us young people who were called to "do something" almost to paraphrase/testify Venditti we felt that "our commitment was growing stronger and stronger within us".

These were the years that would shape us and we owe this above all to our parents who guided and encouraged us but also to the various Don Salvatore, Don Peppino, Sister Pia, the Mayor Mimi' Moschiano and to many other people who had faith in us and saw in us the future and pushed us to do more and more.

In the first half of the decade the "centre of attraction" of Moschiano had become the barbershop of that "brilliant friend" who was "Mast'Aniello". Thanks to his "knowledge" and sporting skills and his mastery as a barber, he had ensured that young people from all over Vallo and beyond arrived in Moschiano, especially on Friday and Saturday afternoons, for a shampoo, for a  haircut, to prepare for the next day's match or simply to have a chat. And Mast'Aniello satisfied everyone and distributed his wise advice. He was the equivalent of a modern FB group coordinator. Anyone who hasn't met Mast'Aniello doesn't know what they've missed.

Those who didn't go to Mast'Aniello's Salon went instead to Minuccio's Bar. Especially on Sunday. In the morning after Mass we met for a game of cards with friends (The dearest "knight" Rizziero Settembre, Lino Pacia, Michele Esposito (Known as "the accountant"), Carmine Rega, Michele Vona ("the prof"), Salvatore Aschettino, etc.). In the afternoon after the broadcast "Tutto il calcio minute by minute" we went there to comment on the matches, perhaps watch "Ninetieth Minute" or the second half of the match. And of course to tease each other a little. We certainly spent some time waiting for our girlfriend to pass by and we could talk a bit. And those endless walks up and down worthy of a peripatetic school.

Don Salvatore Pierro and Don Peppino Manfredi as well as Mimi' Moschiano tried to do something in their respective parishes and for the country but it was hard. Everyone had a dream: not to abandon us young people and re-evaluate Moschiano and the Sanctuary of Charity.

During those years many friends, family members and teachers left us. Some forever, others simply emigrated not only out of that desire to go but very often out of the need to find "a better world".  We would find some of them a few years later in America and find ourselves again and this time forever (Mast'Aniello, Benito Vona, Sebastiano Vona, Edoardo Vona  to name a few).

We began the decade as kids fresh out of middle school and ended it as young skilled workers, lawyers, engineers, farmers, professors, musicians, but all wonderfully good at our field. The boys of Don Salvatore, Don Peppino and Mimi' Moschiano had matured and were ready for the big leap of life. Ready to build a family and a life of their own. During those years we did a lot and everything. We laughed and cried together, we grew and we confronted each other with our ideas. We discussed and we acted. Always together. Now we are here to remember.

Why all this?  “The past will never be the same again” but we can always and again build together a different and better future for our children and grandchildren..

Our "future (unfortunately) has passed and we haven't even noticed it", but that of the younger ones is there. You just need to build it. The great circle of life continues. It is up to us and only us not to let it go in vain and leave a better world than the one we found.

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