Cacciatore de Chinghiale
Winner: First Place, Ayden, NC Collard Fest. 2011

Italy: During a road trip to La Verna (where tradition says that S. Frances received his stigmata) a winding turn around a hillside brought my car shockingly close to roadside where a group of hunters surrounded by dogs had a massive dead boar trophy in their midst. Though the view was quick it lingered and produced an image in my head that fueled an adventure. Passing through Italian art galleries will most likely offer a few examples of painting, mosaic, and sculpture that demonstrate the timeless and enduring tradition of boar hunting from antiquity to present. I knew i had to get out there and find the boar hunters and see a live (hopefully) boar. The boar as it turns out is also my zodiac symbol on the Chinese calendar ( prone to marital strife and a has life long friendships: lucky number 4,5,6,7,8...) After some research and help from friends managed to locate the Squadra S. Umberto in Norcia, Italy who agreed to allow me to accompany a hunt as a spectator. The hard faced Italian hunter was not as easy to get to know as many of the urban socialites i had met in Florence, in fact it was like traversing a maze! Today It has been five years since i first went hunting and i have been back many times I know all of the hunters by name and i would say that we are friends, whereas i have maintained few friendships with the urban socialites i knew...(peccato) The hunter seems less fickle, more superstitious, and rooted in the acidy fertile soil than most people i have met previously. The painting is the "scontrino" of our relationship. I once went to Norcia with an Italian girl i was dating...when we arrived there was a buzz about town the the hunters had bagged a big boy... i walked across the circle piazza s. Benedetto to "Salumi da Marco" where my friend Mauro asked me if i wanted to go to a party where the boar would be decapitated! i took one look at my female companion and could tell that it would be easier to sell a beach house in Idaho! peccato!
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