Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bocce Anniversary


Over a year ago this now almost defunct blog dedicated its words the the forgotten histories of forgotten men, woman and inanimate objects. Today we celebrate a year with another story about our first post, Bocce! And what better way to ring in the spring with the consummate gentleman's sport of the vernal equinox.

This time we travel to Montorosso in the Cinque Terre area of Italy. In 1953 an epic match of Bocce took place along the shore of the tiny, but strategically important fishing village. Two grizzled, but kindly, older fisherman - Giacomo Porti and Paulo Dandolo had been rivals since their early twenties. There acumen for fishing had never faltered and the men, although in their early sixties now, had come to the end of their fishing careers. Ever competitive, the two men decided on a friendly game of Bocce. The games were best of 3. This soon turned into best of 5 and so on and so forth. The reason for this unreasonable end was the wager. The men had bet that the winner would be crowned the greatest fisherman in Montorosso's history and the deed to their respective boats.

Day and night for two weeks the men carried on a marathon match, only stopping for bathroom breaks and wine. On the last evening of the fortnight, Dandolo could take no more. We simply ran out of steam. As he folded in defeat, Porti threw up his hands and a great shiver over came him. He dropped to the ground clenching his heart and asking if anyone else could taste iron in their mouth's?

Dandolo stood their shocked and saddened by this unfortunate event. He decided that he would still give the title of greatest fisherman to Porti, but continued to claim he was the greatest living fisherman in Montorosso.

2 comments:

  1. This story made me laugh, then cry, alternately. The sporting bonds forged through bocce remain among the primary lures of the sport to this day.

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