Sunday, March 06, 2016


America IS Great

Yes, America IS STILL great and I can prove it. My daughter and family have just concluded an eight month trip around the world and have stopped in Florida to visit Nonna and Grandpa. Keep in mind that they have seem some terrific things. They've touched six continents, ridden camels and elephants, seen the wonders of the #Galapagos and posed for a family photo in front of the Taj Mahal. But their greatest thrill they said was seeing the #SpaceX rocket launch while on the beach in eastern Florida.  What a GREAT sight!

Friday, January 15, 2016


Only Henniker On Earth

I first met the town of Henniker when I was twelve years old. My older brother had enrolled as a freshman at the young New England College and my family made a day trip in the early fall to visit him, 1958.

It's a peaceful little town, so it was a logical choice for the setting of my novel, Schmuel's Journey. The peace and quite is often disturbed a bit by the college students, but, otherwise, it really is peaceful.  New England College opened its doors there in 1946. Henniker and I got started at about the same time.

The town is named after Sir John Henniker, a London merchant who had shipping interests in Boston and Portsmouth. Currently, there are just under five-thousand residents. The countryside is beautiful and a river runs through it, as you can see in the picture. That's the Edna Dean Procter Bridge, a solid stone arch bridge built in 1835. Looks like something out of ancient Rome.

Among the notable people who have spent time in Henniker is actress Geena Davis, who attended NEC. Henniker can also claim fame as the place where the game of paintball was invented.

The town offers skiing at Pats Peak, canoeing and kayaking in the Contookcook River, great foliage viewing in the fall and all the activities of New England College. If, for any reason, you needed to go on the lamb and hide out in plain site, this might be the town for you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Greatness in Film.

From the iconic image of Burt & Deb on the beach to Frank's career changing role as Maggio, it was simply an unforgettable film.

I was very young when it came out, but I'll always remember seeing it being promoted on the #Today Show. They showed us the aerial shot of the army base being attacked by Japanese planes while soldiers scattered about, looking like dots on the ground.
It was on TV the other night and, although I've seen it several times, I got sucked in again and was glad. It's a love story for the ages, on several counts: a love of two men and two women, as well as the love of those men and Army life.  It all takes place against the backdrop of the worst moment in America's twentieth century.
The characters are unforgettable: Ernest Borgnine as Fatso Judson, the fearsome, knife weilding Captain of the Guard at the stockade; Lancaster, as the tall, strong, straight as an arrow "TopKick" who not even Fatso dares to mess with; Sinatra as the feisty and loveable Maggio, who takes a beating in the stockade but spits in Fatso's eye each time; and Montgomery Clift, the handsome, talented boxer who won't join the boxing team even if it means getting the "Treatment."
At the risk of sounding sexist, this is a man's movie. Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed were fine actresses, but I think any actress could have done their roles well. They didn't create icons like the men.
And there were supporting actors that we all know, by face if not name: Jack Warden, George Reeves (Superman), Claude Akins, and Robert Wilke.
Just when you think you're out of #WWII, they pull you back in.

Friday, September 25, 2015


Who Is James Bond?

Ever watch #Have Gun, Will Travel? If you did, you know that the man named #Paladin was a pretty cool character. He was a West Point grad and #Army veteran. He was well read and could recite poetry and #Shakespeare at the drop of a hat. He also knew fine food and wine, was well traveled and could speak several languages and discuss the finer points of many cultures and religions. Sound familiar? Aside from being an Army man rather than Navy, as was Bond, they shared many traits.

Where Bond had a license to kill, Paladin didn't need one, for he lived in the #Wild West, where he made his living with a gun.

So who came first, Bond or Paladin?

Monday, August 03, 2015


What If?

What if things were different?

Have you ever wondered about your family history and considered what if some things happened differently?

On the left is my grandfather, Berardino Marini, as an eighteen year old in the #Italian  mountain rangers, the #Bassiglieri. He looks noble and proud. Well, he didn't turn out so well. He came to this country, met his wife, then drifted in and out, getting my grandmother (Nonna) pregnant and leaving, then coming back and repeating the process. As my ninety-four year old aunt Elena says, "he was a drunk, a bad drunk." She is the last of his children still alive (my dad, Tony, died eleven years ago, his two older sister died earlier).

Berardino was so bad as a husband and father, that his younger brother Dominic (on right), who decided to move to #Oakland, CA, wanted to adopt young Anthony and take him along with his wife. Fortunately for me, that never happened.  But what if it had? Would I have been born as a #California kid, a surfer, or a rock band star, or  hippie who became Governor of the state, or a movie star....or not?

Just wondering on a beautiful night on Cape Cod.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


She Was Cookin' With Gas

Just watched this again. What a performance by Meryl. They say that actors must never let them see you acting. I never saw her act. I just saw Julia Child and every scene made me smile. I immediately went into the kitchen to cook dinner. It turned out SOOOO Wonderful. OHOOO, Bon appetite!
Also, gotta love Amy Adams and I don't think there is a role Stanley Tucci can't handle.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Give It Up

As a kid, I learned that people give up things for a brief period called Lent.  I have no religious affiliation, so let's just look at this as something to consider doing for self betterment.  Let's consider a few things.  Here goes.

1. Golf.  I played today and realized that I should consider giving this up.  When you score ninety-seven and think it's good, it really calls for the give up, especially when that's the best you can do after ten years of the game.

2. Not blocking my ears when the TV folks give names to winter storms.  I will now cover my ears whenever the TV weather people engage in this silly practice.

3.  Assuring myself I will lose ten pounds in a month.

4.  Looking at my surgical scars in a mirror.  Some morbid curiosity commands me to look at these things, but I gain nothing from the exercise.  Give it up.

5.  Checking my email five times a day.  Most of it is junk or fraudulent emails showing names of legitimate friends when they are actually Dr. Oz trying to get me to buy his stuff, aka, JUNK.  Cut back to two or three, max.  

6.  Watching The Family Feud.  I used to like this show, but the current host, Steve Harvey, seems to be overly enamored of dirty jokes and things a parent should not have to explain to a child.  When the audience gives an answer about gifts that says "sex toys," Mr. Harvey needs to sensor his studio audience and shape up.  Click.

7.   Expecting to wear shorts every day while in Florida during the winter months.

8.  Trying to get the correct answers on Jeopardy. 

That's enough for now.  What are you going to give up?

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