Tag Archives: Italy

A Suede Jacket From Florence, Italy, Reminds a Nobody of Days Gone By and…Fashion?

A memory found me the other day.

Nothing too earth-shattering, but just…well…a memory from March of 1995.

See, at the time I was studying in Scotland and for Spring break a group of us traveled to Greece and Italy.  I bought a suede jacket.

I really didn’t want to, but you know how it is when your friends pressure you.  So, I bought it.  Wore it for a while, but eventually outgrew it.

The other day, going through a closet, I happened upon that jacket.  I checked the pocket and lo and behold!  There it was.  The receipt from that purchase.  From what I can tell from the old-time credit card receipt, it cost 200,000 lira and came from a place in Florence called “Florence’s Moon.”

Well, it brought back some great memories of friends I’d made, awkward moments, the beauty of Florence, and a nice time in my life.

Unfortunately, I lost track of the folks who goaded me into that purchase, as we’ve all melted into the scenery of life.  It’s now almost 20 years later and the jacket is now at a Goodwill store, but that receipt.  For some reason I just couldn’t part with it.

As a die hard Nobody, I thought back to roaming those European streets, ducking into cafes, huddling under umbrellas, and exploring whatever life had to offer.  We had budgets (definitely didn’t budget for that jacket!), a will to travel, and each other.  When we got short with each other, it was generally not too long afterward that the fence was mended and life was good again.

There was no Riviera, no throngs of fans.  We pooled our money, stayed in one room, and now?  Well, many of the memories don’t reside in magazines or movie screens but in crumpled up receipts that in a moment splash a bygone era in front of the mind’s eye.

If you’re part of Nobody Nation and you’re reading this, think back…what memories lie in your mind?  What quiet moments, lost people, or old places stir your emotions…even for a second?

And as for that jacket?  Hey, even a Nobody needs to donate old things to make room for new fashion!  Just not anything from Florence!


Film Fest is Louder Than a Bomb and a Reminder of Precious Life


I was at a film festival in California and it was just great.  Saw almost 30 films (not as many as in past years), and it really was nice.

And I don’t just mean the weather.

It’s always great to go to a film festival.  As a loved one says, “It’s like seeing the world in a week!”

And she’s right.

I saw India through Peepli Live and Next Year in Bombay.

I had my faith in humanity restored through documentary films such as My So-Called Enemy and Louder Than a Bomb (you rock Adam Gottlieb).

I was challenged in Israeli/Palestinian relations through Precious Life.

I was introduced to Greenland movie-making through Nuummioq and watched Ethiopia represent through The Athlete (the story of marathoner and Olympic champion Abebe Bikila).

There were the great French and Italian comedies including The Names of Love and Loose Cannons and the BRILLIANT Romanian romantic comedy (yes, a Romanian romcom — the first ever, actually) — Hello!  How Are You? — a brilliant and perfect mix of sex and the malaise of growing old in love and life.

Sweden’s Oscar submission Simple Simon was also in the mix — a beautiful blend of whimsy, social commentary, and family ties in an homage to Napoleon Dynamite.

The thrill of a film festival is the shock of the new and the ring of the familiar.  We have our favorites (Bollywood, French/Spanish/Italian comedy, Mongolian epics), but there is always a pleasant surprise, like this year’s Leading Ladies (a small USA toe-tapper that would make a BRILLIANT musical on Broadway).

And, of course, there was an unfortunate USA offering which I won’t name here that was a pathetic reminder that nepotism is alive, well, and occasionally horribly detrimental to the art world.  Shame.

Standing in line and seeing old friends at new movies is a treat.  Yes, there are those who will always work the system to find ways to cut the line, sneak in, and just be general malcontents, but for the rest of us?  Well, for the rest of us there is a blessed reunion with culture, friends, family, and cinema.

You don’t have to be a celluloid expert to love a film festival (I sure as heck am not).  You just need to have a love for perspective, a love for the new, and an appreciation for the odd.

Then again, maybe you just need an appreciation for life itself — life that brings us the good, the bad, and the ugly…life that brings us the best in human nature, as well as the worst…

And if all else fails, there’s always popcorn.