Hasta Siempre Marcelo!

4 aprile 2023

Our Marcello - Don Marcelo, Tullio, Marcelito - Barberis has left us on the night between 1 and 2 April. It was a great loss for Velier but most of all for all of us who loved, love and will always love him dearly. We'd like to commemorate him with Luca Gargano’s memories of him.

"What hurts the most is that a boy has died. Because after all, of all the people I know, Marcelo was the one who always showed the greatest curiosity, enthusiasm, passion, dreams and ideals, and he was until the last time I saw him.

A real Triple A, he started out in the fifties, he lived in the countryside before the advent of chemicals and knew every aspect of it, including hard work.

After moving to Genoa he started working for Olivetti, then became a bartender, then an area manager and sales agent. He's done all kinds of jobs, until he was hired as a manager here at Velier. I remember when he started working here, I would say to him, "Marcelo, you're costing me too much," and he would tell me not to worry, always ending with "Velier is going to boom, just wait and see." It seemed impossible, until it happened.

Marcelo was a great writer and had an extraordinary memory right until the end. He could remember every detail, names and last names, and was also a great storyteller.

He was a true communist, one who would have put to shame every member of the Italian Communist Party, including those who came later. I think he wasn't so much a communist as a true anarchist. He always treated everyone with respect and could have perfectly lived without the rules of the State.

He was ironic and had the ability to always see the funny side of things, with his somewhat old-fashioned irony.

He was a great pilot and a great drinker, and he really was the youngest of the old guard, with those extraordinary physiques they had - he could drink enormous amounts of alcohol, yet I never saw Marcelo drunk.

I spent many nights with him, shared with him many a tasting until two, three in the morning, in Ravenna, Pordenone, Milan, everywhere. Many times we would go on and on, and while everyone would just leave me there, Marcelo never did, he was always there for me, he was always the one who took me home. On those long nights we could really talk about anything – politics, spirituality, work.

I also did a lot of travelling with Macelo, he was always a great traveler and so was Marinella, whom he had saved on his phone as "Rondine", swallow - as he always called her. They've been everywhere, they travelled to Russia when no one would have dreamed of going there, and with me they explored the Caribbean, especially Cuba. I remember one morning I went to the office and started looking for him, but he wasn't there; Fidel Castro had died and they had left at 4 in the morning to go to his funeral.

He ended his career giving lectures at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and teaching middle school math at our small school. It was only for three months, yet he won everyone over to the point that one of the children decided to use Marcelito as his nickname.

We have lost this boy who was truly a life mentor and companion for me, always there and ready to help.

I'm not sure the world will ever see men like Marcelo again.”

Hasta siempre, Marcelo!