More Masi California lore on employees at the California shop in the 1970's

Jim Adney was the second American hired at Masi in Carlsbad. He was being taught to braze. He came from the Yellow Jersey Bicycle Co-op in Madison, WI. He actually had a masters degree in physics! We used to call him "Mr. Wizard" (he was the inspiration for "Wizard" Cycles). Don't know why he wanted to work for Masi, but there he was. It wasn't too long after I got there in November '73 that Jim got fed up with the whole situation and quit. Apparently Mario was difficult to work with. Jim was very smart, he didn't put up with too much monkey business, which there was a certain amount of between the Italians and the Americans. Jim felt they weren't teaching him what he wanted to know and felt they planned to keep him just brazing forks for the duration of his employment, so he left. The rest of us were bummed; he was the first to leave on his own.

Brian Baylis
La Mesa, CA


Marcel Calbourn. Marcel was one of the four original people to come over with Faliero Masi from Italy to start Masi California in 1973. This included Falerio, Mario Confente, himself and an older Italian man, Marcel didn't remember his name "he went home after a while, he became sick and decided to leave". Marcel seemed like a very nice guy, I met him a few months ago at his shop (he runs Celo Europa bike shop in Laguna Hills, California). Celo Europa has lots new bikes for sale and even a few vintage bikes and parts from the old days on display. Marcel related some of this reminences of the old Masi times in Carlsbad- "I hired Brian Baylis, we needed someone to build wheels". He said it was tough working for Faliero. Faliero, who had not built frames himself in many years wanted everything done just so, and done "the old way". "Everyone was doing everything, it was crazy. I was building frames, and every other thing you could imagine, it's what all the employees were doing at that time, Mario included. Frustrating too, as we had to go behind the old man's back to run next door to use the machine shop." "It's not that anyone was lazy, but why make your job harder than it should be?"

"Simoni?" Marcel Laughed. "Simoni was delivering bread when I meet him. He begged us for a job. The shop finally hired him and started doing the translations."

Marcel told me he became tired of the politics and the tense atmosphere at Masi. He left after a year or so and started up his own bike shop and frame building business in Manhatten Beach, California. He moved to Laguna Hills a few years ago. Marcel has some Calbourn and Celo Europa (his house lable) frames in the back for sale, I beleive these are made by Colnago. He knows Ernesto Colnago very well and has had an association with him for many years.

Greg Fletcher

 

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