Posts Tagged ‘pulgas and back’



Its been a year since Cuchessi passed and although the initial shock is gone, you still wonder about what happened.  This would be where anyone thinking about how it is that loved ones are taken so young, say whatever it is that means something to them, but to me its just that they are gone.

I have been working on a small narrative about Cuchessi for the last year now and I don’t want to give it away until its done but I want to refer to it in some small way.  How many times we had a week in the shop with some event that had passed the week before and we dissected every possible point of view on what took place.  

Like a Supreme Court Justice, Cuchessi would hear the case with the entrance and testimony of witnesses and those willing to detail their opinion.  Afterwards he would evaluate each fact and filter out the exaggeration and truth for what it meant to our small town.  The theorems and co-theorems would stack up until it was obvious that all the info was in and after it all the final decree would come.

Sometimes it might be a single sentence of fact or a paragraph of Cuchessi truths with some mix of Italian wisdom that only his DNA could deliver.  He would apply  and  cross apply other “cases”, comparing them in some way to the web of small town occurrences that archeologically fell on top of one another and never ended; we had a constant presentation of new facts and information.

Cuchessi was not always right but like most small town characters, he was never confused.  The inevitable news would arrive, providing more details of what might have occurred, and Cuchessi would weigh each morsel; usually, wordlessly, he would glance up from the sales counter to the mechanics bay and smile wisely at the confirmation of his intuition and sometimes commenting with “Too Funny…”,  “…what’d I tell you?” or  simply stating, the predictable nickname of whomever just left that, with his inflection, indicating disbeleif, astonishment or confirmation.

This was mostly done in the late afternoon, with the Sun Post News spread across the glassed case that held the steel, durex plastic and aluminum jewels from which he made his living.  Cuchessi had memorized the sayings of the cycling greats that stared down at all of us from the posters on the walls; he would sagely quote them in a way that would in some way apply to the case at hand.

“…I accept the challenge!!!(French accent/Jaques Anquetil)…When I am in question I…ATTACK!!!(Belgian accent/Mercyx)…Haa!!!…I scoff at you!!!(italian accent/Felice Gimondi)” or “…alo, baby…(Flemish accent/Freddy Maertens)”

I can imagine that anyone in the shop the last few weeks and talking to Sue, Andrew and the mechanics about what the last year has been like and what it all means, that if you really carefully listened hard you might hear John’s voice above it all.

“…Don’ worrr’ ’bout it!!!(San Clemente accent/John Cuchessi)”


I wrote this for the OC Register:










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