Francisco without Horse (Tarragona 1970)


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.


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