Friday, September 1, 2017

For about 15 years, I helped feed my family by writing a stream of freelance articles for newspapers and magazines. A few books in there too.

They are not waterlogged, like some peoples' lifelong mementos at the moment, but I am confronted with boxes and boxes of bylined clippings as a result of doing what freelancers do.

Namely, you save your clippings, make copies of the best ones, in the event that a potential future editor wants to read samples. That's your lifeline to future stories--- your reputation for past ones.
That was the era of print.

And this is the era of boxes and boxes of bylined clippings, safely preserved for.....?

If I listed some of the places I wrote for, this would start to look like a resumé. I'm proud of that list, but I'm not looking for work.

I was just wondering what to do with the boxes of clippings.

As I carefully prepared them for destruction, I read some of them. Feature stories on a teenager's first cigarette, a teenager's first car. My annual review of the most reliable tax filing guides. Stories about the emergence of audio books. Interviews with best selling authors. Reviews of films, books, performances and CDs by the hundreds. Lengthy features on subjects of then-notoriety. On and on.

I recalled the care that had been put into these works, and the paltry sums they contributed to our checking account. Did I sell myself cheap? Yes.  Did I like seeing my name in print? Yes.

Did I think these pieces might lead to better work? They did, up to a point. I was good but not that good.

In the course of dumping this stuff, a penny for my thoughts.  Not much of the writing was actually worth saving. Much of it was not worth writing. There was always a deadline followed by a check. It put things into a kind of routine. Kept me from being attached to any one employer.

The bulk is amazing. It's going out the door. The term "by Michael Pellecchia" is completely outdated. Now I mostly say it to myself when I put care into things.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dave opened a record store on Main Street in a small New England town, during most unlikely times. The three pictures above are from Dan who visited Dave there. These show when Dave was re-arranging the shop to have more live music in the store, something many record stores do now.

The others are a few pix from Dave's files. We lost Dave Pellecchia on President's Day 2017 around 5:45 a.m. Torrential rains had pummeled San Antonio staring at 11 p.m. or so, and by around 2 a.m., 4 tornados came through within minutes wreaking havoc a few miles from where Dave was under 24 hour nursing care.
Dave is survived by his daughter Angela, her mother Myra,  Dave's three brothers Dan, Mike and Mitch, several nephews, his aunt Carmella, and many cousins.
Schooled in New Britain and Southington, Dave went on to live in Vermont, Texas, North Carolina, Massachusetts (Martha's Vineyard, Buzzards Bay, Eastham), Connecticut and New Hampshire. He loved being near the mountains or ocean. In the picture above, he's standing in front of our parents' car with his friend and next door neighbor Ralphie.

His found his professional home in service industries, from food preparation to youth hostel and motel management, to being one of the pioneers in online sales of collectible vinyl records. He was also a private chef, chauffeur, advocate for the homeless, blogger, expert in all forms of popular music, and developed his own style of singing with baritone ukelele, and other ukes, with a resonant baritone voice that had heard a lot of Taj, Ry, Mose, et al and be all!

 The picture to the right is a property Dave managed in the Wellfleet area of Cape Cod. As an American Youth Hostel it attracted many European travelers. Dave bonded with many international travelers over their fondness for American jazz music.

Dave is to the far right in this picture. He managed the youth hostel here in the shadow of the White Mountains, and this group of Alpine travelers came through more than once, a tribute to Dave's flair for old fashioned hospitality.
Here's Angela who still looks the same a few years older :-)

this above postcard is the municipal swimming hole where we grew up.

Also, I wrote this song and made this video for Dave today: