Thursday, January 29, 2009

Into the big ring

Today is the day I step into the movies. Today the legendary Buffalo actor and filmmaker and musician Joey Giambra is going to interview me for the sequel he is making to "La Terra Promessa," his film about Buffalo's Italian immigrants. I am going to be talking about Leonard Pennario.

That is Joey Giambra pictured at left. He is legend in the boxing world! (Editor's note: We have since learned that Joey Giambra the Buffalo boxer is no relation to Joey Giambra the Buffalo filmmaker. Please see next day's post.)

It is bittersweet for me to be appearing in Joey Giambra's movie because last summer, just two weeks or so before Pennario died, I told Pennario about it. The old man loved the movies and he loved the idea of my being in this movie talking about him. He said something very beautiful to me about that and I treasure that memory. It was about how happy he was that we had met each other.

Back then I was hoping that Pennario could be in the movie himself. Alas, that was not to be. Still it is nice to know I have his blessing as I step before the cameras! I am grateful to Joey Giambra for giving me this opportunity.

What about Joel Giambra, our former county executive?

Focus, Saul, focus! There is work to be done! I have to decide what things of Pennario's I should bring to this interview which will take place later today at Buffalo State College. The interview is at Buff State but here is how high maintenance I am: Mr. Giambra will be picking me up behind the Albright-Knox and shuttling me to Buff State.

Here is how sweet and old-fashioned Joey Giambra is. He never says simply "Leonard Pennario."

He always says "Leonard Pennario, God rest his soul."

Even if it is in the middle of a sentence. He will say: "Mary, and maybe you could bring along items pertaining to Leonard Pennario, God rest his soul, and we can show them on the film."

This is old-guard Catholicism and, you know me, that is the type I love. Anyway, I am really looking forward to today. I imagine myself sitting with Joey Giambra for hours, answering hundreds of questions about Pennario. Bliss!

What about Sir Arthur Bliss? Pennario played his Piano Concerto. There are letters Bliss wrote that showed his great admiration for Pennario. Here is a picture of Sir Arthur Bliss with the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Andrew Lloyd Webber's brother.

Wow, look at this video of Sir Arthur Bliss that I found! It is from 1975.

Back to the present day. As I said I have to figure out what to bring. Probably I should bring some pictures of Pennario. Perhaps some publicity brochures. There is a coffee cup of his that I have. I could bring that. Here is an idea. Maybe I should bring his bathrobe! That would be a unique show-and-tell item.

Speaking of his bathrobe, I am still in it. On a workday morning, that is not good news!

I had better get moving.

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