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On this page we want to remember a group of people who, especially in the 60s, 70s and 80s, were very well known in Moschiano and Vallo and as well as being the precursors of the most modern chains such as Amazon or services such as "raiders ", constituted an integral part of the customs, habits and sociology of our village and consequently of our culture.

We are talking about the various street vendors or other people who on a periodic basis, often daily or weekly or sometimes monthly, roamed our streets (okay then there was only one) and often knocked on the doors of our homes.

We want to remember them as they were, humble people, workers, friends of all and available to all who earned their living honestly and whom we all treated like family and called by name and the category to which they belonged

 

 

  'Ntonio o'piattaro  

  Ferdinand or virdummaro  

  Mario or pesceaiuolo

  Zi Vicienzo 'co ccienso  

  Guerino  

  A gypsy  

  O Capillary and capera  

'Ntonio o piattaro

'Ntonio o'piattaro  

Perhaps the best known of all. Born Antonio and anyone who knows his surname is good. For everyone it was simply "'Ntonio o piataro" or the Amazon of the 60s and 70s with the advantage however that not only could the goods be ordered but seen up close and touched and furthermore there was the " same day delivery"  or rather immediate delivery for 90% of things.

Ntonio was short with a slight baldness that became more pronounced over the years.  At the beginning of the 60s he came from Palma Campania to Moschiano punctually every Monday and Thursday with an Ape 50, we believe also because it was unrecognizable  it was so full of provisions and other stuff that he sold. There was barely room for him in the cabin to drive it. 

Over time, Ntonio grew in popularity and his means of transport, which also served as a street shop, changed. but still remaining a van but a larger one so as to carry more stuff inside, outside, next to him in the cabin, on the roof. 

From him you could find everything: from aluminum pots to plastic basins (the "bagnarole"), from espresso coffee machines (Bialetti or Napoletane) to the set of cups, plates, ladles and more. And if he didn't have the required goods you could always order it there in his "shop". It would be delivered promptly within 3-4 days..

His presence was signaled by the unmistakable songs that came from a recorder or cassette (it was never clear what it was) placed in the cabin of his vehicle and which were broadcast at full volume from speakers placed on the roof of his vehicle.

Ntonio continued to supply the Moschianesi on a weekly basis until the early 1990s when unfortunately he too had to surrender to the inexorable passage of time. But his was more than a "profession" or a job. His coming to Moschiano was a tradition and a social fact that marked an era in which life was simpler, human contact more sought after, ingenuity and the art of making do, a way of life of all of us.

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Ferdinando

Ferdinando o' virdummaro  

"I have the friends of your husbands" was perhaps the most famous phrase and call that resonated from Ferdinando. With his Ape 50' of which he had modified the back so as to create two "levels" for the fruit boxes, he arrived early in the morning every day from Monday to Friday and stopped like everyone else in the small space where he started Via Pistiello (now Via De Filippo).

It may seem strange but even if he came to his mobile shop every day there were always a lot of people.

On his van there were lots of fruit and vegetables. Coming as Ntonio from Palma Campania, one was sure that his goods were very fresh, often harvested the day before in the countryside of the Nocerino-Sarnese countryside.

Depending on the season you could find peppers or eggplants, oranges and mandarins or peaches or pears, broccoli and artichokes, spinach or lettuce. And he was there to keep everyone at bay and please everyone, often having difficulty keeping away people who reached out to touch the fruit and see if it was ripe. No problem. He guaranteed.

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Mario

  Mario the fishseller 

 

Mario sold fish and naturally came on Fridays. His approach could be sensed from afar because he too, like "Ntonio", had a small recorder with a speaker from which he literally 'fired' at full volume a list of songs, often Neapolitan, which were a bit like his "advertising spot".

As soon as I arrived at the usual space in Via Pistiello, a small community of people formed ready to grab the freshest fish or simply to take a look. He knew all his customers one by one and did not disdain having a chat with everyone or he became the protagonist of hilarious squabbles with some of them who he had just served and who wanted to be 'smart', perhaps by slipping a few more anchovies into the " cuoppo" after it had been weighed. He usually satisfied them. Often you would see people tasting the fish, which was always very fresh, raw there directly from the motorcycle, perhaps washing it under the public fountain which was a stone's throw away. 

And then the inevitable complaints from the customer on duty and the seller: "would you give it to me at a good price? I'll get two kilos" and the other: "But I'm going to lose money". "Then we won't get away with it. I'll take it all at the drop of a hat for two thousand lire." "But you look at this guy. It's a good start to the day." In the end, whether the deal was made or not, everyone was happy. The ladies returned home, we children went to play or study, Mario continued to the next stop: Il Chiaio. Who knows who in the end had really gained from those transactions. We certainly saw that they left indelible memories in our minds.

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Zi Vicienzo

  Zi Vicienzo with incense  

 

We don't remember well the cadence with which "Zi Vicienzo" came to the houses with the main mission of "casting out the evil eye" regardless of who had it or not and was superstitious or not. Maybe he came every couple of months or maybe more rarely. He certainly wandered around Moschiano and showed up at the doors or gates of our homes with his "do it yourself" censer. 

It was built in a very, very artisanal way with a simple metal can (of those commonly used for tomatoes or other vegetables which are now very common but at the time rare especially in Moschiano where fresh stuff was rightly preferred) with a wire to from sleeve. Inside some lit charcoal and incense.

He wore a taxido-style jacket adorned with figurines of various saints, and frames of various sizes, invariably red. On his head was a tuba which rose from time to time to greet people.

He muttered often incomprehensible words, perhaps prayers or blessings, or perhaps just sentences with meaningless but superstitious content. It was a bit reminiscent of the "pazziarielli" made famous by Toto' (Antonio De Curtis) and which can still sometimes be found around Naples today.

Many really believed in his supernatural abilities, others instead simply supported him and still others looked at him between seriously and half-jokingly as if to say: "it's not true but I believe it" but everyone had enormous respect for him because everyone knows : we Neapolitans don't joke with superstition. 

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Guerino

  Guerino  

Guerino was from Quindici and starting from the 70s you could see him every Sunday morning throughout the year walking around Moschiano with his long basket but with low edges (the so-called 'spasella') hanging on the front around the neck full of roasted peanuts.

The kids were waiting for him because at the time peanuts in Moschiano and Vallo were almost a rarity. He sold them in small packages (cups) at a price that was accessible to everyone, aware that his basic clientele was made up of kids and teenagers who didn't have much money. Perhaps today's great marketing strategists would have had something to learn from Guerino. We remember Guerino when, tired of his wandering or waiting for 'customers', he sat on the wall of the church of the Immaculate Conception right under the large black cross affixed to the walls of the bell tower and for the occasion did not disdain having a chat with some old man or pensioner he too sat there almost like De Andre's fisherman "in the shadow of the last sun".

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Guerino.jpg
'A Zingara

  A gypsy  

For years in Nola. often in the huge space near the Vesuvian railway, where once there was a military complex commonly called "Camp", the presence of a nomad camp was a regular thing rather than an exception.

However, we want to point out that at the time, even if the nomads who lived there were looked at with a certain distrust, we do not remember  there had been no episode of intolerance or xenophobia on the part of our people, indeed our parents and grandparents taught us to be tolerant and generous especially towards them.

From time to time a lady sometimes accompanied by a little girl would knock on the doors of our houses to ask for alms. We don't remember her name. We know that over time she came more and more rarely and in her place we were visited by another woman whom the children affectionately called 'zi Maria'. Perhaps the little girl of the past. Their words: "volit 'ra caccosa a zingeralla vosta" (do you want to give anything to your gypsy) still ring in our ears. They were satisfied with little. A few coins, a piece of bread, a small bottle of oil and if you told them that unfortunately this wasn't the case today, maybe they insisted a little but then they didn't leave. without, however, having left a final blessing regardless of what they had received or not: "blessed your soul and everyone who died in your family". 

Maybe today that lady and that little girl are no longer there. If so, we want to return the blessing: "blessed your soul, lady gypsy". You taught us and gave us the opportunity to be proud of belonging to humanity. The real one. And to call ourselves "Christians".

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O Capillaro

  O Capillaro and  a capera  

That of the "capillaro" (not to be confused with "the capera") was a very ancient profession but which unfortunately was already very difficult to find at the beginning of the 1960s.

Those of us born in the mid-1950s have blurred memories that do not allow us to remember the names and even the faces of the people who did this job. For sure there were some in Moschiano. We vaguely remember some of them with a basket (a "spasella") with hair and fake jewelry inside which were used as barter in addition to money.

O capillaro was a gentleman who went from town to town and house to house asking if anyone was interested in selling his/her hair (usually a woman's) or buying some object (often combs (or "pettenesse") perhaps made of tortoise bone, pins or other). Naturally, those most interested were young girls or even mature women with long, thick hair. Generally the compensation paid was commensurate with the quality and length of the hair, often already sold in braided form. This, especially in southern Italy where the economy was purely agricultural, constituted an immediate and unexpected form of additional income.

If necessary, the capillary took care of cutting the hair on the spot and then selling it (perhaps for wigs). He paid in cash but sometimes also by bartering for pots or by integrating the compensation with jewelery or other objects that he had in the basket.

The term 'Capera' instead identified those women who already at the beginning of the 19th century went from house to house (usually in the houses of nobles but they could also be found in the houses of the humblest people or in the alleys of Naples ) to fix women's hair, a bit like a "home hairdresser".

Obviously they didn't have shampoo, hairdryer, conditioner etc. at their disposal. Yet using very simple tools such as hairpins,  (often made of bone) and various tongs, they were able to curl or straighten their hair as they pleased and with great skill.

Naturally, since they went from house to house and had a lot of time available and since there were no magazines to entertain the customers, the time required to fix the hair was occupied by reporting the facts and confessions of the other customers or of the neighborhood, that is "njuciando". Hence the famous saying "me pare na capera" a person who knows everything about everyone and has no qualms about making it public knowledge.

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