Friday, July 17, 2009
As the cheese sticks tumble
Above is a picture my Facebook friend Steve Cichon posted on Facebook of me in the Celebrity Cheese-Building Competition yesterday at the, ahem, Sorrento Cheese Italian and Heritage Festival. That is me on the right in the blue dress. I always wear the splashiest dress to the Cheese-Building Competition. Last year it was orange plaid.
Ach du lieber, I tanked yesterday and all I won was $50 for my church, St. Anthony of Padua. No wonder when I got back to my house my keys were lost and Howard had to come home from Jackie Jocko and let me in. Zut alors, I felt like such a loser! I had to walk to Wilson Farms and back just to kill time until he got home.
Lots of things are going to be lost and stay lost in my life from now on. I just have that feeling.
One thing, I do love that cheese man. No, Steve Cichon, I am not talking about you! I mean that Sorrento Cheese guy. He is at far left in the picture above. I loved in last year's picture...
... how he was hovering behind us, his hands raised as if in benediction. I had no idea he was there and when I saw him in the pictures I cracked up.
Another funny thing I remember last year was one of the last conversations I had with Leonard Pennario was about this goofy cheese-building competition. We had gone out to lunch and I remember it was on my mother's birthday which is June 2. That was about three weeks before he died. And I mentioned to Leonard about the Italian Festival and that I would be doing this contest.
And I remember the old man loved that I was doing that. He assumed that I was doing the contest because of him. Because of his being Italian. Which, maybe I am! Pennario was always saying things I thought were not true and then something would happen and they would turn out to be true.
I should have asked him for pointers because for years he judged the, ahem, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and from what he told me there is sometimes not all that much difference between playing the piano in a competition and stacking cheese sticks.
One thing about the Cheese-Building Competition, in the future the cheese stick man should hug us the way Van Cliburn ...
...hugged us in the Amateur Piano Competition. I will always remember wafting across the stage into his arms. That was what it was like. He gave you this big hug.
I want Mr. Cheese Stick to say into my ear: "Oh, you're so beautiful. Oh, you're so sweet!"
That is what Van Cliburn said to me!
Well, it must have been the way I played my Schubert. I played this killer G flat impromptu and after you hear someone play it you have to hug that person.
That reminds me, I might be giving another, ahem, public performance! UNYTS wants me. They are the organ donor people. I do not want to go into too much detail about what they do or it will be like Body Worlds and I will faint!
Luckily UNYTS wants my piano playing and not my organs. They hold a party in November or something and they sent me a letter about getting up on stage this year and playing something. Which, I might do that! I did it a couple of years ago and played Chopin's Black Key Etude. If you think that clip I linked to is something you should hear Pennario play it! Pennario makes Pollini sound like a little girl.
This year for UNYTS perhaps I will play that Schubert and everyone will hug me.
I am better at playing piano than stacking cheese. That is for sure!
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Hugs? If I were there and you played the Schubert like Brendel, I think I might be crying (tears of joy) on your shoulder. That was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it.
And I can just hear, in my mind's ear, Leonard playing that Etude. Pennario did such wonderful things with Chopin.
Now, I have a burning desire to chase down the other three Schubert op.90 Impromptus as well as the four op.142 ones. And what about the three unnamed piano pieces (after his death-Klavierstücke) that were sometimes named Impromptus? Maybe if I follow the blog long enough...
I believe you entered the Sorrento contest due to Pennario's Italian heritage, just as I feel you pursue Pennario with unbending zest due to mine. My story, and I'm sticking to it.
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