Virgilio, could it be you?

I do not remember the exact time that summer day when, buying wine came Franco Scapin with his brother and Dad. I only know that from the day that plump brother, with slow movements, with a sympathetic face, with blunt and simple ways he always came back. He returned for all the years to follow until the summer of 2006 when the disease consumed all his strength. Virgilio came from an unknown bookseller in Casa miotti, home to farmers, producers of wine.

(Franca Miotti)

“it seemed like a trivial outing” he declared in an interview on Rai 3, “a Sunday outing with friends who take you to other friends unknown to You. Instead this tour turned out to be a great circumstance: I met Firmino, his house, his barn, his cellar. I met a farmer of the kind that didn’t exist anymore, modestly speaking a total farmer, complete, who knows how to do everything and also play the Narrator. Firmino is an Fabulator.
If there had been no sign I would never have written two of my books, perhaps for me the most important: “I magnasoéte and The Carousel of Archangels“.

The friendship with Virgilio was strengthened immediately. The visits were weekly, if not daily. Virgilio was present at Firmino’s wedding (although he never appears in the few photos in front of the church because he had gone to the tavern in front to warm up during the ceremony!). He was a great consumer of Grandma’s bussolà, often dipped in Sampagna.

The simplicity, the ability to converse with the most humble people as with the most seized, allowed him to be always at ease, to be friends with All. The Sundays at our house were invaded by People. To accompany Virgilio, without license by choice, There was always someone available.
Sometimes the gathering was almost thirty people to whom were added the friends and relatives of Firmino and Pina! Firmino was always in the vineyard when Virgilio arrived, so was Virgilio to go and call his friend with stealth footsteps, with the rhythm of a Salamander.

He stopped along the way to savor the fruit until, reached Firmino, began a cheerful and frenetic conversation about plants, people, works, inventions and various explanations.
Virgilio technically knew many things, sign him instructive on manual works, told him the historical episodes of the country, the war lived and told by the grandparents and Virgilio enjoyed and “incamerava” the news in the heart and Brain. He even learned to milk and “curar soto” and the smell of manure of which the clothes were imbued was a source of pride the following day when in the bookstore some customers complained about the strange perfume. I remember a time when I was little that the visits had increased, they had an almost daily cadence.

Our house was his home, he would arrive at any time, even by taxi, with any person: he was proud to show people his “treasure”. I remember the evening he came with Marcella pobbe, she was a tall, blond and good-iooking woman, dressed in gaudy colors. Upon arriving at the door, he made her sing: the screech amplified itself in the corridor to the point where he brought my hands to my ears!
…. I remember that night when Black Puddle asked me for a paper to make a drawing. After the opera he asked me what I thought. It depicted roofs of stylized houses, but in my mind of a child the houses were not like that and I told him that I could do better! He made me draw them on another sheet and when I finished he told me “I’ll give you my drawing, if you give me yours”. I accepted.
Now, that drawing is hanging in the cellar; As for me, I know nothing more.

I have so many memories of Virgilio. He knew a lot of people and all before or after they came to know Firmino, becoming regular frequenters of the Company.

In Mountain hikes, when Virgilio stayed at the Camp-base to control the wine and food while the others tried to reach the pre-fixed peak, the part of the wine given in custody was often homage to passersbies who Knew.
One year Firmino decided that it was right that even Virgilio saw Cima Ortigara after having told him so much and after the countless years of pilgrimage.
Departed from the camp-base, small, a few kilometers from the Piazzale dei pullman, between jostling, stops and “urtoni”, after a few hours reached Cima Lozze. Worried about the fatigue of his friend, Firmino decided to stop the walk after the church where, even today, it is noticed Cima Ortigara. “here is Virgilio that is the ortigara” he pointed out to him proudly Firmino; Tired and heated, Virgil Replied: “all This trouble, all those deaths for that bleak Mount there? I am a ghanzian to the Austrians!!!! “.

Virgilio and my father were always a fixed pair in the game of cards, especially in the broom to the ace: the two against everyone! I remember that in the case of victory with the “premiera decima”, the score sheet with the name of the challengers was hung on the nail of the calendar , and it remained there for about a month.

Precisely this harmony between the two, exchanging the nice things that happened in the days that were not seen, caused Virgilio, spurted by other friends, to write stories to accompany the wines of Firmino in the Christmas giveaways.
The first was the history of Gruajo; The next Christmas continued by telling the invention of Firmino to “pull so Le Siarese”: so was born the Fiora. The following year he wrote the priest , until in a few years he finished the 5 tales that, read to a well-known publisher, who enthusiastically red it, they were collected in 1976 in a single publication entitled The Magnasoete.

Virgilio loved Breganze and the Breganzesi both directly and through Firmino. He loved to walk from the House of Firmino to the outlet of the street where he knew Everyone. He liked to stop and chat and loved to attend restaurants and shops in the centre: he adored the Toresan.
He was proud when he proposed to him the honorary citizenship of Breganze, He was proud when he was proclaimed a friend of the magnificent Torcolato fraglia, and it would be the same now to see the initiatives born in Breganze in his honour. Virgilio loved Breganze more than his Vicenza, especially in recent years, when he was forced to sell his refuge-bookstore.
With the worsening of the disease, the visits had thinned out and the time spent by Firmino’s was made shorter; he was satisfied with a few hours stolen with unusual escorts to visit Firmino and his people.
He was satisfied with the usual joke, it was enough to verify that everything was like the last time; It replaced the missed visits to long silent phone calls. Perhaps for this reason had expressed the desire to be buried in Breganze if Vicenza had not welcomed him in the cemetery “of the illustrious”.

You know Virgilio, for some time, perched on the cross overlooking the country, there is an owl and every night it gives a little reminder: “could it be you?”
Anyway, I answer her as a small “soeta da gnaro”, as you had affectionately baptized Me.

Franca Miotti

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