Clarksburg WV

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(Window) Dressing Up the Central Business District: The Man in the Window

Ott Meale July 2017

July 27, 2017

The City of Clarksburg recently partnered with Clarksburg Uptown to beautify our Central Business District. 

Window decals were placed at the property located at the corner of 3rd and Pike Street (former Country Kitchen).  The decals showcase some of Clarksburg’s most popular events; the Italian Heritage Festival, Black Heritage Festival, Cecil Jarvis Greater Clarksburg 10k Run as well as the soon to be opened Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center.

Our “Italian Festival Window” featured a man playing the accordion.  May we now introduce the man in the window:  Atelio “Ott” Meale who we had the pleasure of taking a walk down memory lane with for a quick question and answer session. 

Question:  Tell us a little about yourself.

Answer:  My name is Atelio Meale but everyone calls me “Ott” or “Oatmeal”.  I was born and raised in Fairmont, WV.  

Q:  What instrument are you playing?

A:  The accordion.  I started playing in the 50’s.  My father played the accordion.  We could not afford lessons, so I am self-taught.  I “play by ear”.

Q:  What’s your favorite song to play?

A:  Any Italian song especially “Eh Cumpari”  (below is the full “Eh Cumpari lyrics as well as link to video by Julius La Rosa who originally performed in 1953)

Q:  What is your favorite part of the Italian Heritage Festival? 

A:  Seeing all the people and all the excitement.  I played at the very first Festival in 1979.  My friend Sam Manno and I played together for 37 years and met a lot of nice people and had a lot of fun.  We were Parade Marshals in 2014.

Q:  Any advice for new musicians? 

A:  When you play, have fun. 

Ott still plays for nursing homes throughout the area.  And no doubt brings a smile wherever he goes. 

Side note:  Mr. Meale will turn 91 years old this Sunday.  Happy Birthday Ott!

 

Story and photo by Dominique Spatafore | City of Clarksburg 

 

EH CUMPARI (English lyrics)

Archie Bleyer / Julius La Rosa  1953

Eh cumpari, let's make some music,

What'll I play?  The piccolino!

But how do you play it, the piccolino?

Wi wi wi wi, the piccolino,

Chippity chippity tah!

Eh cumpari, let's make some music,

What'll I play?  The saxophona!

But how do you play it, the saxophone?

Toot toot toot toot, the saxophone,

Wi wi wi wi, the piccolino,

Chippity chippity tah!

Eh cumpari, let's make some music,

What'll I play?  The violino!

But how do you play it, the violino?

A zing a zing, the violin,

Toot toot toot toot, the saxophone,

Wi wi wi wi, the piccolino,

Chippity chippity tah!

Eh cumpari, let's make some music,

What'll I play?  The valchapata!

But how do you play it, the valchapata?

Pap pap pap pap, the valchapet,

A zing a zing, the violin,

Toot toot toot toot, the saxophone,

Wi wi wi wi, the piccolino,

Chippity chippity tah!

Eh cumpari, let's make some music,

What'll I play?  The slide trombona!

But how do you play it, the slide trombona?

A pume a pume, the slide trombone,

Pap pap pap pap, the valchapet,

A zing a zing, the violin,

Toot toot toot toot, the saxophone,

Wi wi wi wi, the piccolino,

Chippity chippity tah!

A pume a pume, the slide trombone,

Pap pap pap pap, the valchapet,

A zing a zing, the violin,

Toot toot toot toot, the saxophone,

Wi wi wi wi, the piccolino,

Chippity chippity,

Chippity chippity tah!