Richard Zampella – Classic Films – Study the Past if you wish to Define the Future

Richard Zampella: Why study and focus on Classic Hollywood?
“Study the Past if you wish to Define the Future”

Discussions with John Mulholland

Having a singular vision and unique passion: To bring back into the mainstream the legendary entertainment names of yesteryear – actors, directors, writers, producers defining for contemporary audiences both why and how these remarkable legends are still relevant in our fractious, highly charged and diverse world.
Classic Hollywood matters.

Yes, it’s been covered, exhaustively so; seven ways from Sunday, as they say.

And, certainly, it is well known indeed to its ‘ limited (read: aging) audience. Those fabled stars, those legendary directors, producers, writers, editors, cinematographers, what possibly can they have to do with today? With CGI, hyper-editing, Imax, sex, violence, slasher, computer animation, the net, hell, the sheer global breadth of pop culture, what matters classic Hollywood?!?

Well, how about, say, without John Garfield, there’d be no DeNiro?

Watch Meg Ryan, Anne Heche or Reese Witherspoon, then watch Jean Arthur, Carole Lombard or Irene Dunne.
Want to understand whence came Pacino? Watch Cagney.

Meryl Streep? Bette Davis.

Without Gary Cooper, would there be Clint Eastwood (Who once asked his friend and biographer, Richard Schickel: “Think I’m Coop?”)?

And while we’re on Eastwood, check out his stately pacing as director, then watch the works of Fred Zinnemann, William Wyler and George Stevens.

Today’s feisty independent women – Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellwigger – are direct descendants of Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford and Myrna Loy.

And speaking of Stanwyck, what are femme fatales Kathleen Turner (Body Heat) and Linda Fiorentino (The Last Seduction) but mirrors of Stanwyck’s double-dealing femme fatale in Double Indemnity?

Check out 1957’s Zero Hour, and then watch Airplane.

Notting Hill = Roman Holiday.

Watch Gene Hackman, watch Spencer Tracy.

Gangsters: Before The Godfather I and II, there were Public Enemy, Roaring Twenties and White Heat.
Musical bios: Yankee Doodle Dandy and Walk The Line, while cultivating the same territory, both reflect the times they were made.

Before the remarkable Hugh Jackman, there was the remarkable Gene Kelly.

Without cinematographers Floyd Crosby and Ted McCord, would Jack Green and Janusz Kaminski be the artists they are?
Conjure up a John Williams score and then listen to the works of Dimitri Tiomkin, Victor Young and Miklos Rozsa.
Trend setters in fashion? Familiar with Katherine Hepburn, circa 1934?

Do films reflect their times? Watch 1940’s Pride And Prejudice and 2005’s Pride And Prejudice. Or, measure War Of The Worlds 1953 against War Of The Worlds 2005. To understand the existential urban loner of 2007, just watch Bogart from the 1940s. Want to define courage and masculinity in the face of impossible odds, 1952’s High Noon nails it like nothing else. How do we feel about war – Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949) vs. Flags Of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima (2007). To understand where the U. S. was in the late 30s, early 40s, with isolationists battling interventionists, study the making of 1941’s Sergeant York. Both versions of The Manchurian Candidate (1962, 2004) contain the same basic plot, yet both are crystal-clear reflections of the times they were made.

What do Scarface (32) and Scarface (83) say about who we are, where we are, what kind of world we live in?
Is Johnny Depp’s effete pirate a total original? Or the inevitable next step after Errol Flynn’s dashing Captain Blood in the 30s and Burt Lancaster’s openly comic Crimson Pirate in the 50s?

If today’s stars think they’re the first to be hammered by the tabloid press, perhaps a look at Errol Flynn’s career might enlighten them.

Classic Hollywood matters. Very much.

Producing documentaries on classic films explore why – seven ways from Sunday. For in exploring that so-called Golden Era from a refreshingly original prism of vision, through various comparisons and idea also offer a fresh POV on today’s complex global era.

Richard Zampella, Preserving history
Film Documentaries:
Sergeant York: Of God and Country Narrated by Liam Neeson
Inside High Noon Narrated by Frank Langella


Richard Zampella – Tribute to John D MacDonald – lifetime of dedication & preservation to the community

The Long Beach Herald

John MacDonald Honored
Point Lookout Chamber of Commerce Honors John D. MacDonald

I had the opportunity to speak with our honoree, John MacDonald Sr., on Saturday, April 20, for about two hours. It was not long before it became obvious to me that he has a deep-rooted love and affection for this community. His service and dedication to our business community for the last eight decades is unmatched. He will say the there is no other community like Point Lookout, N.Y He will say it is a rare and unique jewel remaining virtually untouched by the outside world.

We honored MacDonald Sr., who celebrated his 91st birthday in January, with the chamber’s Lifelong Achievement Award on April 24. If you have ever wondered how it is that our “little community by the sea” has maintained its charm and remains free of the urban sprawl of surrounding areas, you would need to thank our honoree. His selfless efforts and quiet service to this community has resulted in an improved quality life for all in Point Lookout.

MacDonald came here with his family in 1929, from Oceanside; via Salem, Massachusetts, at the tender age of 9. At that time, there were approximately 43 families that lived in town year round. It was the height of the Depression, and he will tell you emphatically, “times were tough.”

He will tell you that the family business had its humble beginning with a building boom that occurred on Inwood Avenue around 1935, which was only intended to be a temporary street at one time. The land beyond it was a series of dunes that ebbed and flowed with the tides.

Our honoree recalled how he cut the rumble seat of the back of the chassis of his Model A Ford and retrofitted it as an improvised pickup truck. He will also recall how he used to take that Model A out on the ice of Reynolds Channel when it froze over in the winter.

In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and businessmen, MacDonald has been a quiet servant of this community for many years. He is a two-time chief of the Point Lookout Volunteer Fire Company Inc., and he will politely remind you not to confuse it with the current day Pt. Lookout Fire Department.

It’s first chief was Joe Scully and the 15 members moved the original engine room with Old Sam’s Horses on block and tackle to it’s current location that we know as Ye Ole Firehouse.

The community banded together and raised funds themselves by selling bonds and volunteering their work to build the all purpose hall and the east wing on the firehouse. The family business put in the plumbing. This early group of local leaders and businessmen were never intimidated by the daunting initiatives that they tackled. They were motivated with a can-do spirit. This group of merchants did not need to rely on local government for support. If they saw a need, they did it.

Together they built a community center that saw grand evenings, theater productions, dinner dances, weddings and it was the meeting spot for both Churches before they had their own buildings. It was the heartbeat of the community and.a monument to civic cooperation.

MacDonald erected the first public Christmas tree in town on Lido Boulevard. He will probably not tell you how much trouble he got into when he shorted out the family fuse box as a result. He would go on to organize the decoration of holiday lights on Lido Boulevard each year with the local electrician.

MacDonald also helped form the first Boy Scout troop in Point Lookout, along with Ludwig Meier. At the time Point Lookout was all sand and no trees. Troop 525 planted the trees that adorn town so they could all attend the international Boy Scout jamboree that was held in Switzerland that year. If you appreciate the shade during the summer around town, you may want to thank MacDonald.

For 17 years, MacDonald served as the chairman of the zoning committee of the civic association, and served for 20 years on its board of directors. His tenure saw the elimination of two-family housing, which has maintained the character of the community to this day. He hung the first halyard on the top of the Coast Guard Station Flag Pole. He erected Point Lookout’s first ice skating rink.

In the 1950’s his father saw to it that the special parks district and beaches were protected for generations to come and in 1954 the-beach and the parks were protected.

In the 1960s, he served as a Republican committeeman responsible for numerous legislative changes to protect the community including spearheading the purchase of the Vest Park Property that is adjacent to Merola’s.

In the ’70s, he once again came to the assistance of his firehouse. When the Board of Fire Commissioners threatened demolition, he made sure violations in the building were corrected in order to ensure its survival. He will ask you to reflect that no other community in Nassau County really has anything like it and even today it’s very existence continues to be threatened by the Board of Fire Commissioners.

Today he continues to play an active role with local legislators: It is not unusual to see him leading an entourage of dignitaries through town with suggestions for community improvements.

It is with great pride that the Point Lookout Chamber of Commerce, his friends and professional associates salute and celebrate master plumber McDonald Sr., with a lifelong achievement award for his outstanding service and dedication to our business community and civic contributions to his beloved town of Point Lookout.

Richard Zampella is the president of the Point Lookout Chamber of Commerce.

May 29, 2013 – Point Lookout Historical Society – Pt. Lookout Chamber Honors MacDonald
May 29, 2013 – Point Lookout Chamber of Commerce – Long Beach Herald Runs John D MacDonald Tribute

Preserving A Town Classic – Ye Olde Firehouse

Ye Old Firehouse Sketch (c) Richard Zampella

Ye Olde Firehouse
Point Lookout, NY 11569
Sketch Rendition (c) Richard Zampella

Ye Olde Firehouse – Trying to preserve a town classic. Richard Zampella

June 13, 2013 Long Beach Herald: Point Lookout-Lido F.D. floats $7M bond initiative
July 4, 2013 Newsday: Lido, Point Lookout residents split on firehouse plan
July 10, 2013 Point Lookout Voters Turn Down Fire Commissioner’s $7M Bond Proposal
November 11, 2013 Newsday: Lido-Point Lookout fire officials set community meeting
December 09, 2013  Long Beach Patch: Lido-Pt. Lookout Fire Dist. Seeks Public Input for Plan B

Richard Zampella | Definition – Preservation, To Preserve


Preservation is defined as the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials of an historic property in all forms.
-Richard Zampella

Definition: pre·serve (pr-zûrv)

1.To maintain in safety from injury, peril, or harm; protect.
2. To keep in perfect or unaltered condition; maintain unchanged.
3. To keep or maintain intact
– Richard Zampella

Richard Zampella | Preserving the Past for the Future

Working to preserve the past in many facets.
Remembering history makes a path for the future.

I, Richard Zampella, would like to think that what is universal to us all, is our common link to our past. History provides context and guides us to our aspiration for the future. Preservation is a key factor providing the underlying theme of our universal connections. It gives us a point of reference for all things and provides context to the common thread that binds us all together. Our past relates to all aspects of where we have been, who we are. and who we hope to be.
– “Richard Zampella”


Richard Zampella – Starting a New Year understanding & preserving history

By Richard Zampella

In October 2012 I traveled to Santomenna a province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. It was the ancestral birth place of Pietro Zampella my Great Grandfather. He was a demolitions expert and dynamite handler who blasted foundations for construction and cultivated olive trees for local farmers.

On my pilgrimage to the mountains high above the Adriatic Sea, I would connect to a distant family past that I had little knowledge of. I was first introduced to Jospehina, a talkative octogenarian that was convinced that I spoke the native dialect of the region. My inability to understand the Italian language did not dissuade her from recanting the stories buried deep within the recesses of her mind. Luckily there was a translator, she was the last living connection to my family history. Josephina would make sure that I would understand my family history regardless of the language barrier. Over the course of several hours she would bring me to many places and explain the significance of my “familia” history in the late 19th century. The friendly town clerk produced documents tracing my family’s humble beginnings to 1841 when Pietro Zampella of Barila, Italy was born and eventually would meet and marry Rosaria Salandra in the picturesque village of Santommena.

In the afternoon after a big Italian meal and many stories all in Italian, Josephina took to an olive grove nestled at the rocky base of town. For the first time that afternoon Josephina grew silent. I glanced at the translator, who raised her hand indicating that Josephina would speak when she was ready. Slowly Josephina spoke in drawn out syllables. The translator began to speak. We at the very spot where my Great Grandfather had nearly lost his life in a blasting accident. Pietro Zampella had been on his knees placing sticks of dynamite in the root system of an olive tree when the blast occurred. The explosion nearly killed him and would disfigure him for life. He would loose the hearing in his left ear and rob him of the sight in his left eye. Amazingly he would survive, because had he not, I would not be recanting this story.

History makes the path. What happens decides the future.
– “Richard Zampella”