This was written by Chris Cipollini and originally posted on his blog at www.chriscipollini.blogspot.com in memory of Rudolph Valentino. Poignant and insightful, poetic and delightful!
“As long as time should go by, like so many wilted leaves on a koi pond, may none forget the name of Rudolpho Alfonzo Raffaelo Pierre Filibert di Valentina ‘d Antonguolla, Rudolph Valentino to you and me. Though he has since lapsed into the mortal compass of space and time, into that cruel man-made delusion of death, his name lingers with a profound gaiety as someone who, by the hands of angels, brought magic and artistry to the world.
Few names of that time have since been recollected in such a fashion. The Swansons and Arbuckles, the Gishes and the Fairbanks clan reside in but a small collective consciousness by a devoted handful. Yet, in such a name, Valentino permeates the mists of the Hollywood hillsides and the memories of the entranced throngs in generations past and present. In the pervasive presence of memory, his influence lingers still.
Young men will slick their hair back and wear tailored suits and red roses in their breast pockets. Young girls will swoon over his exquisite features and impeccable manners. They will fantasize they are at the center of his lingering gaze, and beg him to go wherever he desires. A man of many talents, genuine and true to his inner aura. One who never forgot a kindness and was a true gentleman to his last breath. A man of good humor and profound wisdom. A seeker of truth; one who lived life in abundance.
Condemned by some, adored by others. His passions both romanticized and damned. His loves varied and colorful. His admirers amusing and motley.
Rudolpho. It has never fallen away. You merely passed. Your spark is undying. It is everlasting and piqued with the ferocity of a lion. Your body does indeed repose, as the opportunistic and naive trod upon its marble doorstep. Yet this is of little reverence to you in your state. In your wake, you leave a trail of icons: a Spanish cape of a beloved bullfighter, the headdress of an amorous Arab, the pipe of a nefarious cad, poetry novels, a book scrawled with intricate sketches of automobiles and musical notes. Simple, sacred leavings of a man who was on time, yet his world was late. The marvelous markings of the little boy who loved horses.
He still exists.” ~ Chris Cipollini, August 2011