Friday, September 7, 2012

Giampaolo Cardosi

Giampaolo Cardosi, the long-haired traffic cop, il vigile capellone, LivornoGiampaolo Cardosi was born on 7 September 1943, the eve of the Armistice between Italy and the Allied forces, but, as he often said, he never knew a moment of peace.
In the 1970s, when he joined the “Polizia Municipale” (Municipal Police), he was called the “vigile capellone” (long-haired traffic cop) because his kind of haircut was, and still is, a rarity in the force.
He was fired in 1979 on flimsy charges, the presumed theft of an old table and some chairs, and that was the beginning of a long legal battle for his rehabilitation. A popular figure around town, he always rode his bicycle, which he considered the true love of his life.
It took decades, but at last he was acquitted of all charges, with his hasty dismissal becoming suddenly unmotivated. A couple of years ago he refused a 300000 Euro settlement because an even purely formal reinstatement was not included. He wanted to wear again, even for a single day, his unform.
In 2010 he lost his house for a modest debt with his own lawyer and spent the last two years as a homeless, often sleeping on a chair outside the ER of the local hospital.
At the end even his true love betrayed him: Giampaolo died last Saturday for an accidental fall from his bike. He finally got to wear his uniform, but only for his funeral. Today would have been his 69th birthday.

(Photo: author unknown)

12 comments:

Lois Evensen said...

Such a sad story about a man so determined to live life his way - with long hair.

Robert Geiss said...

What a moving story, and mean to measure time and life. In my opinion, he shouldn't be forgotten and the Police should do something for his memory, as these are rare, outstanding people.

Michelle said...

What a sad end to a life. I agree with Robert, he shouldn't be forgotten.

Taken For Granted said...

VP, that is a moving story. How sad that his man's life was so compromised by a system just because he was not a conformist. This is a fine portrait of the Mr. Cardosi. Thank you for posting it.

Dina said...

Oh no! Reading this story gave me the chills.
Thank you for giving him honor in your post.

Cezar and Léia said...

You prepared a beautiful homage to him in this post!:)
Léia

Halcyon said...

What a sad story. Sounds like he was an interesting man. Too bad he died so young. :(

Randy said...

Very sad indeed.

joo said...

Very sad.

Luis Gomez said...

VP Thank you for sharing this.

Karl Demetz said...

Indeed a sad story...

Jack said...

It is a fascinating but very sad story.