One of the most stimulating aspects in this research activity among our countrymen abroad is the opportunity to learn about surprising characters. This time we refer to Marco Capoccia from Alvito. A young man of just over forty years who some twenty years ago decided to look for better life opportunities in the United States.
We were surprised by its normality, its imperturbability. Nothing already seen among the clichés of our compatriots abroad. He is tied to Italy but sees the big problems, he venerates America but he is not bewitched, he loves the family but he keeps his spaces, he knows the mechanisms of business but he is not a prisoner, he lives the frenzies of social relations , because of his professional activity and entertainment, but continues calm and detached on his way, with his load of humanity and sensitivity that governs as a sage. This is not a blatant apology of a character, but only a precise description of what we caught in two meetings of just over a couple of hours with Marco ... ..
So in the early 2000s Marco left Alvito for the USA. Of course, the fact that he had been born in the States during a previous stay of the family coincided, but having returned as soon as he was a child there was nothing left of those places, the presence in the United States of some of his relatives coincided, the possession of a good diploma in accountancy obtained at the Baronio di Atina, coincided its versatility and its availability to any experience ... but it was still a leaving a quiet "den", even if perhaps not very satisfying, for a port with many promises but with few certainties.
Another need had prompted the young man to leave: the need for an environment where knowing how to do things and not "knowing how to do", the need to put oneself to the test without parachutes, without family comforts, which protect you, but can imprison you , the need "of Ulisse" to travel and learn.
Marco hides nothing: he does not hide hopes and disappointments, physical efforts and depressions, joys and tears. "After a few months and after stealing hospitality from my relatives, I had come to do anything, I had come to do three jobs in a week that never ended, but I could only scrape together a thousand dollars per month ... I had to give myself even more to do .... ". Moments of depression alternate with moments of enthusiasm, as when, near a Christmas, he invented the packaging and sale of Christmas baskets with different products. As a madman he mills offices and stores, stairs and subscales to place his baskets. It's good for him, he had as much to earn as the entire previous year. This comforts him and increases his determination and he is relentless with himself, repeating himself like a mantra to the mind and heart: "I must succeed, I cannot fail ...
A formidable push towards this determination Marco finds it in the girl he falls in love with and who will become his wife. Her name is Maria, he will marry her soon enough. We are in Columbus, Ohio, Marco is always in contact with many from Alvito and Valle that live in that city, but he did not imagine for sure that that sparkling dark-eyed girl met at a dance had grandparents in Rio Molle and grandparents in Val of Rio, in short, he did not imagine that what "the Atlantic had separated, the Atlantic had brought together ...". Marriage and the family that is going to be established will function as a strong psychological propellant-
Calllus and chilblains on his hands
He asks for advice on how to improve his financial condition and gets an answer. Then Marco knows the calluses and chilblains caused by the use of hot and cold American shovels ... In the homeland of Fordism and the exasperated division of labor to increase productivity, even cement casting becomes an independent specialization in construction. As there is the plumber and the carpenter, the tiler and the plasterer, so there is the cementist to build exclusively pitches, lanes and terraces. It is not particularly complicated, there is a great need for "elbow grease" and few initial investments, at least for the simplest jobs. Confidently familiar with the techniques of cement casting, but above all "learned" the mechanisms for procuring contracts, he decided to set up on his own, to look for orders and to carry them out in a workmanlike manner. He involves his brother Mariano in this adventure. The Capoccia brothers start calm, but then they accelerate the pace, more and more committed, more and more business, and more and more effort.
An effort that manages to be a winner even during tears in American construction, the years between 2008 and 2009. The invention of a take 4 and pay 3, obviously reserved for the few big manufacturers resistant to the crisis, that is, a free tender every three paid, allows Marco and Mariano to overcome the great crisis well.
The "avalanche" mechanism takes over from the Capoccias: dozens of employees and a fleet of systems. What is even more important is that from managing the cement castings to the possibility of treating the marketing of apartments is only one step. Marco learned one of the fundamental laws of the capitalist economy: Buy when everyone sells, sell when everyone buys.
It is obvious that the persistent crisis in construction favors it, but we must always know how to understand, evaluate, buy, manage and sell.
The American way of life according to the Italian style ...
However, the story of Marco's experience is not only marked by time and personal and occupational events, but is sprinkled with reflections and reasoning of a broader scope, references to the values of American society, and the human perspectives that flow from them. This ability to rise and reflect has aroused our sympathy for him. The rosary of events, with causes, effects and circumstances, always crumbles in a concept that Marco repeatedly repeats: "I work for a living, and I don't live to work ... and if I work I want to work for myself and my family ...". A concept that does not close in the fence of selfishness, he has only metabolized "the american way of life" and shapes it, adapts it, adapts it with his (our) lifestyle, with the deep breath of our history, of our culture and our humanity (yes .. once ...).
What do you find most inspiring in American society?
"The possibility of working hard, the value of merit, the breadth of opportunities".
What do you find most depressing?
"The profound loneliness, the exasperation of individual value, the difficulty and the occasionality of friendship".
Columbus is located in Ohio, in the northwestern state of the USA, between Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana.
Right in the center of Ohio (Ohio comes from an Iroquois word meaning "great river") is the largest city in the state, the capital Columbus, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_(Ohio) . It is the 15th largest city in America. It is a metropolitan concentration of just under one million inhabitants but with important industrial and commercial settlements. The major attractions of the city, rightly twinned with Genoa because of the name, are: the Huntington Park, a stadium dedicated to baseball, the Art Museum, with some of Picasso's first Cubist paintings, some works by Ingres, Degas, Monet , Edward Hopper, the Brewery District, which has a history that goes back over almost 200 years when a German immigrant opened the first brewery here in 1836, the Ohio State Fair, one of the largest fairs in the United States, Columbus Crew Stadium, for American football, the Ohio Stadium, also known as the Horseshoe.
There are more than three hundred original citizens of Alvito who live in Columbus. Funerals and weddings are their obligatory meetings: we see each other, we exchange information, we check the existence in life, in a kind of general appeal. And then we meet at the next event, happy or sad. Without forms of associationism, without forms of continuity. This is America, everyone on their own ... But this is the space in which Alvito's administrators can enter and re-propose their country as a destination for a good periodic return, as a recovery and discovery of their origins. And for this operation Marco, with his wisdom, with his enthusiasm would be a perfect ambassador.
Music in the blood
But Marco does not passively adapt to this standard. He is also a musician, he plays the trumpet since he was a teenager, in the wake of the excellent musical tradition of Alvito, the only town in the Valley that is still holding a glorious musical band. And he played in the nineties with a band from San Donato Vc, Mystic Puppet, with Andrea Pesce, Antonio Leone, Giancarlo Cedrone, Eva La Rocca and Alessandro Decina, Donato De Rubeis and Anthony Ranaldi, gym of experiences and youthful enthusiasm. .
Thus it becomes an integral part of a musical group, "Ray Massa and Eurorhythms" which, largely formed by musicians from distant or near Italian origin, proposes precisely that repertoire of bel canto that distinguishes Italy in the world: the most famous Italian melodrama arias , of the Neapolitan song etc. The public of the group is above all the public of the Italian communities in all the states of the union. Religious faith, music, the flag and football are the cornerstones of Italian cultural identity, (culture, art and history unfortunately do not make too much audience !!!), why not propose songs that drag, that cause enthusiasm and emotions? It is absolutely a good idea, even from an economic point of view.
The group is overwhelming, and by virtue of its skill is called to perform in all cities of the United States, because in every city there is an Italian community. Marco becomes one of the leaders of this group, and manages to combine work-family and music, albeit with a swirling rhythm. Travel, and travel continuously, from one state to another, from one city to another. He knows and becomes friends with so many people, so that when, as he says, he once flew in the west of the country, the plane was diverted to a different city from its destination for atmospheric reasons. Having to spend many hours in that city, he decided to launch a post on facebook "I'm at the airport for a flight variation, will I find someone to drink a beer?" He quickly received more than twenty responses from friends who offered to host him. Good reason to be satisfied.
But business is business
However, music and tours do not distract Marco from his real estate affairs, with a quick progression, after selling the company "cementiera" "cementers", it constitutes a small real estate empire: buy, sell, rent or medium sale of apartments, villas, buildings, land, golf courses.
But as often foresees the constant transience of the "American way of life" in 2013 Marco and his family decide to leave Ohio and move to Florida. The city chosen for the transfer is Boca Raton, a city on the Atlantic coast of Florida, with a great tourist vocation but also with important technological and industrial facilities. The climate is obviously tropical. Ohio's businesses have not been abandoned, but Marco intends to face a new challenge: to engage in the direct construction of buildings. As evidence that America is the land of opportunities and know-how, the Accountant Marco Capoccia faces the exams to take the License of General Contractor. Technically it would be a specific qualification for Engineers, Architects, at most surveyors, but everyone can access and pass this test, demonstrating a solid preparation regardless of previous qualifications. The function of the General Contractor - General Contractor -, a figure also assumed in Italy in the field of specific building qualifications, is to coordinate the various specializations necessary for the construction of buildings, in fact it is the usual process of optimization in the timing, in the quality and economy of the process. And this is precisely Marco's new bet: a license which, under his personal responsibility, allows the construction of any type of property and plant, from shopping centers to skyscrapers, on behalf of third parties. This additional activity does not replace the activity of real estate agent that Marco carries out by relying on a large Real Estate Agency and television media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXmSjBdyaik a festival that has enjoyed considerable public success over the three years.
The Italian day in Florida
But does all this exhaust the vitality of Marco Capoccia? No way. He left the group "Ray Massa and Eurorhythms" in Columbus for obvious problems of time and logistics, but it is the music and the Italian spirit that do not leave him. So three years ago, thanks to his exuberance and his love for music and entertainment, but above all of his infinite knowledge in the field, he decided to organize the Italian Day, an event of culture, music, Italian gastronomy in Boca Raton http://www.genteditalia.org/2018/02/07/boca-raton-adesso-ce-litalian-day/ a festival that has enjoyed considerable public success over the three years.
The Italian day 2019 at Deerfield Beach
Once again Marco's organizational skills have been successful, and all without any form of economic interest, moved only great passion for music and for Italianness. This year the Italian day moves a few kilometers and the next Saturday, April 6th will take place on the beach of DEERFIELD BEACH. The deep affection for Alvito and for the Valley from Marco emerges from the incursions to this Italian day by different Italian artists, from Nino Viglietta with his accordion, to the singer Rito Giammattei Giamattei, under the appearance of Pulcinella, to “The Club Swing Band”, the famous band from Alvita “swing rhythms faced with punk intentions”
Already on other occasions Marco has hired the band's boys on American tours: an experience told in an affectionate testimony of Marco Iacobone that we add to this "service .." ,.
The Club Swing Band and Marco Capoccia
By Marco Iacobone
of our US tour. We all knew his passion for music, his commitment to Italianness in the world, his great nostalgia for Alvito, his success in the business world. So it was that in the summer of 2010, Marco, in Alvito for the holidays, after a concert of ours told us: "You guys are too good, next year I'll take you to the States". We started laughing, imagining just what a tour in the United States could mean. We provincial bands, that toured Italy between festivals and weddings, but that never would have dreamed of crossing the ocean wearing the instruments.
So that phrase said by Marco in the late evening was not taken too seriously by anyone in the band.
Marco in the meantime in America had started playing the trumpet and singing with the band "Ray Massa and Eurorhythms", touring the United States with them, and he had met many people in the entertainment world and in the incredible tour of Italian festivals abroad.
Well, a few months later a phone call came from Marco: "Guys, I told you, in September come and play here in America, give me all the info I buy tickets". That promise became concrete and unbelief only increased. So it was that we knew one of Marco's peculiar characteristics, tenacity, closely. A person who promises something, then does everything to achieve it.
And so it was: September / October 2011, 30 days in the States: three festivals, a wedding, and a dozen concerts between clubs and restaurants.
A dream. Difficult to share the emotions felt in that experience. Difficult to tell the thousand anecdotes and adventures faced in that month in the United States. Pampered and hosted by the great Alvitan family in Ohio and treated in concerts as Italian stars. With Marco always acting as a glue in all situations. It was not a simple tour, but a dip in the great community of Alvita Alvito and Ciociaria abroad. A reality in some ways stops in the time of our origins, but within the American avant-garde. A surreal mix.
At the end of the concert, people from San Donato, Sora and Casalvieri arrived to greet this band of 7 boys, to whom they enthusiastically recounted all the entangled relationships and nostalgia for their countries left many years ago.
As mentioned before, it is difficult to tell the many experiences lived on that tour, but perhaps to describe Marco an episode can be emblematic.
Marco is a unique person, an incredible energy, a big heart. He does not stop for a moment, while talking to you about something he is already thinking about ten more, and at the same time he is doing four more. But he is above all an excellent entertainer.
One evening in Virginia Beach, in the afternoon we played in a festival on the ocean. After dinner walking around the city on a minibus rented for the occasion, Marco is driving. Victim of a distraction slips into a street against traffic. Immediate the sound of the siren and the arrival of a police car that joined us, we don't know where it came from, like in the best films. Terrified, in an instant we saw in front of us the fine, the seized vehicle and the many troubles we could meet given the high alcohol level inside that van (not of the driver eh, but of the rest of the group for sure!). The policeman threateningly approached the car, Marco said "Stay silent and leave it to me". And from then on he showed off all his skills as an entertainer and showman, with a dialectic that included perfect English mixed with effective Italian expressions. Marco motionless with his hands on the wheel and with all tranquility, he began a monologue of at least 10 minutes in which he told our whole story. The policeman tried to interrupt that endless flow of words but could not pronounce a single sentence. He was hypnotized. In the end, exhausted and smiling, he showed us a couple of places to continue the evening, wishing us good luck on the continuation of the tour.
We can do Marco with words, just think of the hundreds of CDs and t-shirts sold during our concerts while tirelessly wandering through the crowd promoting the band.
But many other times Marco had intervened to save us from the difficult situations in which we had set ourselves, like when we slipped into a double room in Brooklyn, or when we struggled to try to camouflage cigarette burns on the van seat, or when he snatched us from the hands of two big marines jealous of the chatter made with their friends at the end of the concert.
Surely Marco gave us a dream and continues to give it to us every time he takes us back to playing in the United States, such as for the Florida tour in February 2018. Also for us to see Marco as a singer and showman on stage with Eurorhythms is It was a great resource and a great lesson. A true entertainer.
At the moment Marco left his band to devote himself to work and family, and his "goodbye" to music culminated with a great show in Piazza della Vittoria in Alvito, where he took great musicians to the stage, in addition to us Americans such as the tenor Aaron Caruso or accordionist Cory Pesaturo. But as he was remembered that evening, he left the music but the music will not leave him. In fact, he continues to be a protagonist in the organization of Italian festivals abroad, particularly in Florida, his new home after the cold Ohio. Where is one of the main organizers of the Italian festival that takes place every year in Boca Raton.
The Club Swing Band
How to say as an informal representative of Italy Marco seems to be more effective and more valid than many who are officially ...
Every occasion is good to return to Alvito: let it be the summer holidays, be it the golden wedding of the parents, or to design a small nest for his family enriched by two lovely girls, to recover times, panoramas and sounds, words and flavors .... between a real estate negotiation and another, between a concert and another ...
AND IF SOMEONE ASKS: "BUT HOW ABOUT MARCO’S FLAWS?", WE INVITE YOU TO REFER TO HIS WIFE MARIA, WHO KNOWS THEM ALL !!!!!!