Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I spent some time visiting an all male Italian club in Kensington, Ct over the summer. The club house has six full scale bocce courts in the back, complete with regulation clay surfaces and divided and marked lanes. The guys get together most evenings and even on the weekend, and play. They hold tournaments on certain nights during the summer, with a mix of men and women on Monday nights, a serious group of men who play on Tuesday nights, and a more casual group of men who play and mingle on Wednesday nights. The men are a mix of old Italian-speaking-only men to young Americanized men who have one thing in common: they all enjoy a good game of bocce.

There is a bar adjacent to the courts where they can get a cold alchoholic or soft drink, and a large outdoor grill is always ready to grill the hotdogs or hamburger meat that they keep on hand and cook as they please.

When I watch them, it takes me back to when, as a child, I watched my grandfather and father and uncles and their male friends gather in our back yard to throw some balls. My grandfather had a monogrammed set, made of granite or marble, in various natural stone colors, so unlike the commercial sets that you see in the stores. I decided to paint the scene of the men playing bocce, taking into account their concentration and attention to the details of the game. I'm hoping to do a series next year.

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