Recollections of Marcello Truzzi

Rosemarie Pilkington

    I met Marcello Truzzi more than 20 years ago at a PA meeting.  We were not friends but acquaintances.  Sometimes after a reception or the banquet I would play the piano and a small crowd would gather around and sing.  We had fun with all kinds of songs, pop tunes, ethnic melodies and occasionally something from opera or operetta.  I discovered one such time that Marcello, like me, was an operaphile.  He was quite knowledgable about the genre and especially about male singers.

    We really became friends after I was initiated into the world of e-mail.  As Prof. Daryl Bem remarked recently, "Before there was Google, there was Marcello."

    When I would hear or see something interesting about some little-known ancient tenor or bass I'd write to Marcello.  Usually he knew of the person and often he would have an example of his singing in his vast collection of tapes and recordings.  When I asked him why the particular interest he confessed to being a "frustrated singer."

    Recently when I saw a lovely musical play I wanted to sit down and write him all about it.  There was an emptiness when I realized I could no longer share these theatrical pleasures with him, nor would I received a film or book review from him again. Other even closer friends have expressed the same feelings.  We all miss him.

    Marcello had an enormous e-list of correspondents made up of a wide assortment of people:  skeptics and scoffers, survivalists and agnostics, psychics and scientists, musicians and magicians, family and just folks.

    We were kindred spirits regarding politics as well as music and I soon learned to recognize those others on his list who shared our left-of-center point of view. We were the ones who got the pro-Liberal mailings and jokes.

    I was also in the subcategory of musicians so I was the happy recipient of musician jokes as well.  Marcello had a wonderful, bubbly sense of humor.  He loved puns, especially long shaggy-dog "groaners."  He sent out many very clever word-plays.  Some of the musical ones I remember were definitions such as:

"Prestisimo" . . .a fast cappuccino maker; 
"andante". . .a lecture on infernos; 
"andantino" a lecture on tiny infernos; or
"cabaletta"  a taxi for midgets
    But Marcello was always the gentleman.  He never sent anything vulgar or offensive to anyone.  There might be something a little suggestive but nothing you'd be embarrassed to send on to others.  Sometimes he would label them "silly" but more often they reflected his literary bent.  A couple of typical clever ones:
"Atheism is a non-prophet organization." 
"He who laughs last thinks slowest." 
There would be little ironic phrases such as: 
"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines." 
"The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
    I'll close with one of my favorite examples of the funnies Marcello sent me because I think it is so typical of his humor.  It was labeled "Favorite Contemporary Latin Phrases:" 
Nunc Tutus Exitur Computaris 
(It is now safe to turn off your computer.) 

Veni, Vidi, Velcro
(I came, I saw, I stuck around.) 

Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carborata descendum pantorum. 
(A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.)

Presented at the  46th  Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association.  Vancouver, British Columbia.  August 2 - 4, 2003.
Rosemarie Pilkington is compiler and editor of Men and Women of Parapsychology (McFarland, 1987).