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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Another Book Launch...

Last Thursday night I went with some friends to the Mary Ryan Bookstore in Park Rd, Milton. The occasion was the book launch for Zoe Boccabella's second book, 'Joe's Fruitshop and Milkbar'.


 Zoe is my friend Maddie's cousin and Zoe's father was a teacher at Everton Park High for a number of decades, so he also has known DH and his girls for many years. 
Zoe's books tell the story of her grandparents who were immigrants to Australia from Italy...like my father. Many of the memories/traditions/customs/rituals/foods etc that Zoe recalls are also just like my memories of growing up in a two culture family in the 1950s and 60s. Zoe's grandparents followed a similar path to that of my father; north Queensland cane fields, the Granite Belt and finally Brisbane. 
 
The fruit shop and milk bar of the title was right in the middle of the CBD in Brisbane (Ann St, not far from St John's Cathedral...people younger than me cannot believe that such things existed in the city...and fruit shops and milk bars are long gone. The old buildings that housed such shops have all been demolished and replaced with high rises. The evening started with Zoe reading to the crowd and then some of the stories that had been told to her by her grandparents. Then some mingling with the crowd...

I took this photo of Zoe with her cousin Maddalena (my friend Maddie)
There was a little Italian man who played the zufulo and the piano accordion...


While I queued to get 2 books signed ( one for me and one for my brother whose birth name was Rosario), I noticed a sign...and asked the staff if I could take a photo...

I reached the head of the line and got my books signed...

And after Zoe signed for me I quickly showed her a photo that I had taken with me...

It's a photo taken in the early 1950s, of the staff at another fruit shop and milk bar in the CBD...this time in Edward St. My father is on the left at the front. The man on the right is Jimmy, whose parents owned the shop...it was he who gave me this photo in 2001...actually this is the restored version, the originally was badly torn. Most of these people were part of my life in the early years. 

For more photos of the evening check out Zoe's website here...http://zoeboccabella.com/latest/

I also loved Zoe's first book, Mezza Italiana...well worth a read.

3 comments:

Christine M said...

Sounds like an interesting book, Maria. It's even more special when you have some connection to the people in it.

doodles n daydreams said...

What a lovely evening, all the more so because it brought back memories for you.

Diana

Susan said...

I reckon we all grew up with great memories of fruit shops and milk bars (threepence of mixed lollies please).
The free piece of fruit thrown in as well.
How lovely to see the Fruit Shop and Milk Bar being celebrated in this way, and to read of your connections with it as well.
I could imagine how happy Zoe would've been to receive that precious photo.
There was always a cheery welcome and lots of happy jokes when we'd walk into such a shop...
A great post Maria, thank you for sharing it with us :D)