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CHRIS MADAIO
Francisco without Horse (Tarragona 1970)

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One of Chris Madaios memories is of a boy who might be called a scugnizzo. Scugnizzo translates as “street urchin” and in the English-speaking world, that has connotations of poverty but also of charm due to Charles Dickens’ humanistic portrayals. In Italy, however, the expression has a more pejorative meaning.

About the boy pictured above, Madaio remembers the following:

"I was hiking/backpacking through Tarragona Spain, on leave from the U.S. Navy (I did that often). I believe it was 1970 and I was 23 years old … I slept in an open meadow that night. When I got up the next morning, Francisco was hanging around. He told me he lived in a trash dump nearby (presumably with his parents), and he had a horse. I assume he told me the latter because it was painfully obvious how poor he was, so I guess that was his way of saying he had something of value. Then we split up and went our separate ways."

This picture appeared in Newsday and the Penn Stater.

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More information about Chris Madaio can be found in the article "A Kinder, Gentler Nation? Chris Madaio Revisited" on the weblog "Pigtails in Paint".


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