Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

A Successful Experiment, posted February 1, 2009 at 07:17 PM

You might not know this, but this blog's raison d'etre is the little corner of cyberspace called "Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side."

You see, before DAVIDZAZA.COM existed, I blogged in secret on one of those journal sites where everyone posts under a fake name and tells the whole world all their secrets. I loved it, and I made a number of friends there--people who actually became real life friends. But it seemed somewhat ridiculous to be posting all the comings and goings of my life for just those few friends and a whole universe of strangers--mostly angst-ridden teens who are the people that populate those journal sites. So the DAVIDZAZA domain was purchased, the site was designed by a friend with mad skillz at all things interweb, and this little site was born.

But underlying all of that was a long-time goal of mine to get my dad to write down the family stories he often told. They were always entertaining, and given their very personal nature, they were part of our family's collective history and heritage. My sister, my cousins, and I all wanted to be able to keep them long into the future. And Dad had always hinted that he'd like to write them down. In fact, he already had a title in mind--"Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side."

Various ideas were mentioned, and plenty of cajoling was offered, but no stories appeared. Finally, I thought I might get a better response if I myself organized the project, to basically take the pressure off of Dad having to figure out what to write, when to write it, how to write it, how to distribute it, etc. So, I more or less took this bull by the horns, created a subdomain of DAVIDZAZA.COM in the form of CONCETTINA.DAVIDZAZA.COM and --eccola-- the new repository of Marco Zaza's stories was born. Dad wrote his stories, and I acted as his editor.

After producing over twenty entries, Dad's frequency started to slow. He told me he'd pretty much finished with what he wanted to write. I arm-twisted him into a few more by asking him to commit the immigration stories of my four grandparents to paper. (Uh, screen.) He agreed. In the midst of those four requested stories he added two or three more of his own.

And now for an announcement: I'm working on a new design and structure for this blog. Nothing is forever, not even Big Pink. But as soon as I started working on DAVIDZAZA.COM v2.0, I realized that only three of those four immigration stories had been written. So at long last, Dad has produced Grandpa LoBasso's story. How wonderful to have a new story again over in that section of the site! Here it is.

So my little experiment was a success. I got Dad to write out his stories. My sister and cousins and I (and the kids in the generations after us) get to keep them forever. Thanks, Dad!

But you know, isn't it true that an experiment is really only successful if it can be replicated?! I mean, it would be a shame, wouldn't it, if in version 2.0 of this blog mine was the only voice. So yeah, I've got a bunch of ideas about the content of the new blog. Don't worry, Dad, I won't be making any demands--and in fact, yours is not the only voice that is going to be tapped for these alleged future experiments. But more about that later. It will take me a good long while to get the new site up and running. So for now, enjoy my now daily (!) updates, enjoy Marco's new story, and take, if you will, a minute to go back and re-read all of the stories posted in the CONCETTINA section--I did last night and can say with confidence that they're all worth another look....

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