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Lorenzo Madalena
Lawrence (Lorenzo) Madalena (1919-1983) was born and grew up in the same San Diego Italian community that he writes about in Confetti for Gino. He attended San Diego State, where he edited the school paper and was class president. Soon after graduating, he was drafted into the Army, where he served until 1946 "in anti-aircraft squadron in the Quartermaster Unit." During that time he served in various locations and spent "six wonderful months in Trinidad, British West Indies, serving with a Negro battalion [...]." He then served "in Casablanca and Oran, North Africa, and in Italy, where [he] earned three battle stars for combat action." Following his discharge, he attended UC Berkeley, where he received his teaching certification, and then a Master's Degree from the Claremont Graduate School. He was "involuntarily recalled into the U.S. Army during the Korean War" in 1951, but this time he was stationed in New York, where he fought "the battle of Times Square, as the head of a Quartermaster School for Army Inspectors." Madalena returned to Italy in 1957 with a Fulbright Grant, teaching English in Naples and Sardinia. Madalena also recounts how Confetti emerged from "a series of short stories on the Italian fishing colony," out of which grew "a set of characters that became the nucleus of the novel [...]." The writing of Confetti took four years, during which time he "sent sample chapters out to various publishers and invariably received rejection notices." Upon his return to the U.S., Madalena sent the manuscript to Doubleday, where it was finally accepted. As to what he enjoyed in his life, Madalena listed, among other things, "Bullfights -- I go weekly to the exhibitions at nearby Tijuana [...] Las Vegas -- where I regularly deposit several hundred dollars yearly [...] Italian food -- particularly ravioli, gnocchi, cannelloni [...] Dancing -- especially with brunettes [...]" and he names his original inspiration as a writer as Max Miller's I Cover the Waterfront.