Category Archives: Blog

Is It The Beginning, Or Is It The End?

Once upon a time, a virus named COVID19 turned up on planet Earth. It may have touched down on some of the neighboring planets. Since I am an earthling, I have no firsthand knowledge to confirm or deny that possibility. Due to the absence of any extraterrestrial communications, I remain uninformed.

The best I can aspire to is recounting what life on earth has morphed into since its arrival. Humans are required to wear masks when entering stores, restaurants, etc. Of course, that is IF the restaurant or store can afford to remain open with such little foot traffic.

People are encouraged to stay home and to leave only to retrieve essentials. Shopping for food is essential. Shopping for clothing is NOT. Dining rooms are unnecessary. Dining at home is confined to the people living at the same address.

We recently celebrated Thanksgiving. I use the word “celebrate” rather loosely. In some states, people were asked to report any neighbors who had visitors showing up that day. I am not certain what state agencies were tasked to take a count, but word was that someone would be dispatched to investigate any Thanksgiving violators of the mandate.

I am not minimizing the seriousness of what my grandson calls “The Corona.” The Corona is dangerous and highly contagious. It spreads easily and randomly. The Corona appears to be very finicky choosing which person to infect. In some households, everyone becomes infected. In others, only one of a husband-and- wife team is chosen as a host. I was exposed weeks ago, Apparently, I did not meet The Corona’s standards and remained uninfected. Thank, God! Unfortunately, many of my friends and family were up to snuff and did become infected.

People no longer shake hands, kiss friends on the cheek or hug anyone. As I was taking my morning walk today, I passed a car with an open trunk. The homeowner waited for me to pass the car. Once I did, he removed the carton of water to transport into his garage. The walkers and joggers will step into the street to remain six feet apart from any passerby.

Life on earth certainly is not what we were accustomed to. Perhaps, The Corona previously inhabited another planet. I am imagining life there is now what life on earth was like. People are kissing, hugging, shaking hands and leaving their masks at home.

A new year is knocking on our doorstep. We will be ringing in 2021 shortly. Well, we may not be ringing it in the manner to which we are accustomed. Times Square will not be bursting at the seams when 2021 arrives, but it WILL arrive. Even the Corona cannot stop the passing of time.

I am imagining that we will return to our old way of life and kick The Corona into outer space. Perhaps it will inhabit some other planet where the people would not consider it such a hardship. Mr. Spock’s Vulcan comes to mind.

Out with the old. May we all live long and prosper.

December 7, 1941 – “A Day That Will Live in Infamy”


The USS Arizona after the bombing

President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke those words seventy-nine years ago today. At 7:55AM Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber was spotted above the clouds in Pearl Harbor. On December 8, the USA entered WWII. We would be involved in that war until the Japanese formally surrendered aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.


September 2, 1945 – The Chief of the Japanese army’s general staff signs the Instrument of Surrender.

My dad, along with about 3,000 other sailors, had departed from the Brooklyn Navy Yard aboard the USS Missouri after she had been commissioned. They were starting their war experience. How could they have imagined the significant part they would play at he end of WWII? On Sunday, September 2, 1945, John and his crewmates were on deck as they witnessed the iconic event effectively ending the war.

Whenever I see a picture of that renowned day, I Iook at the rows and rows of lean young sailors in their dress whites. As I search their faces, I am always hoping I spot my dad. I never have.

Here is a copy of the book I wrote about my father. It is entitled, “A Life Well Lived – Accompany My Father, a First-generation Italian American, as he Journeys Through the Great Depression, World War II, Fatherhood, Mentorship, Widowhood, to Family Patriarch in his First Ninety-Four Years.” His Navy days aboard “his ship” play a significant part of his journey.

You can purchase the book, or just read the first chapter here:

Be Safe,


Happy Labor Day

This weekend happy-labor-day-snoopymay be our last opportunity for a big barbecue. Summer may not have met its official end, but autumn is definitely breathing down her neck. Today is September 1, a new month. Another chance to get it right! Happy Labor Day. Enjoy the warm weather before we trade our summer clothing for those that will keep us warm as the weather turns colder.

Back in the day, Labor Day meant that we would put aside our white pants, shoes, and handbags to hibernate for fall and winter. We would retrieve them on June 21, the official start of summer. 

Labor Day also meant that we were about to start school – usually the first Wednesday after the holiday. Labor Day is always the first Monday of September. We would recoup on Tuesday and start school on Wednesday. Of course, none of that is true these days. 

Today, all bets are off. Most people wear whatever they want, whenever they want. If you are under the age of thirty, you may not have any familiarity whatsoever about the “no white after Labor Day rule.” Most kids have already returned to school. Perhaps in white clothing!

Enjoy your weekend!

Good Afternoon, Moon

Good Afternoon, Moon
On Sunday, June 20, 1969, my family was taking a ride to see my grandparents in East Boston, MA. They had moved from the second-floor tenement they had lived in on Federal Hill in Providence, RI. They had lived there practically their entire married life, but the state had plans to develop a highway. The old three-decker was slated for demolition, so they moved to a three-decker in East Boston that had been in the family for many, many years. My grandparents now occupied the third-floor tenement where I had visited my great uncle and great aunt throughout my childhood.
On this particular Sunday, my parents, three brothers, sister, and I bounded into the family station wagon. It didn’t have a third-row seat, but it did have a “way back”. I don’t think third-row seats had been invented, yet. They certainly did not exist in my world. All the families I knew had a “way back” to transport the extra kids who didn’t fit on the seats. These extra kids were not strapped in with any type of safety restraint, but neither were the kids on the seats. For that matter, neither were the adults. Safety belts hadn’t been invented yet!
As we had done so many countless times throughout my childhood, we headed for East Boston. When we drove through the tunnel, we knew we were close.
However, this was no ordinary Sunday. This was the day Apollo 11 was due to land on the moon. Even though I was a “cool” college kid about to enter my junior year, this was a very big deal. President Kennedy had promised us that we would put a man on the moon before the decade was over. Barring any catastrophes, this was the day it was going to happen. The whole nation was waiting with bated breath. It was sobering to remember how emphatic JFK was when he made that promise, and remarkable that the promise would be fulfilled today even though he would not be here to see it.
My father made sure that we arrived with plenty of time to spare to watch the landing live on television. My grandmother’s two sisters occupied the other two tenements in the building. That afternoon, no one was roaming around between floors. Everyone had finished dinner and was glued to the television sets. All you could hear were the newscasters and the static. Remember, it was 1969. There was tin foil on makeshift antennas. Technology was putting a man on the moon, but television, after all, was a whole other story!
We all watched in amazement along with the rest of the country as Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon. There was not a sound in the entire building as he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  You could hear the country’s collective sigh of relief.
It had happened. Everyone was safe. The whole country seemed to be on the same page. How refreshing!
As I write this, we are celebrating the 50-year anniversary of that landing. I vividly remember that moment. Although I frequently use “google science” to check my memory, I did not have to check much here. I checked to see if I had recalled Neil’s words correctly. I had.
This was a true American moment that jumps out at me as I recall the sixties!

A THANK YOU to Veterans

This is a THANK YOU to all American veterans.
I am giving additional heartfelt recognition to everyone who traveled to foreign and dangerous
Veterans-Thank-YouTo all those men and women who weren’t relaxing on commercial flights waiting for the movie to begin, but were being transported to faraway places to participate in battles that we will never understand.
To those who were told before they deplaned, “Welcome to (Vietnam or wherever); we look forward to bringing you home at the end of your tour.”
To the men and the women who heard “Welcome home”, and to all those who never did, we salute you.
We are forever grateful for all of your sacrifices, and we recognize the price paid by your families. We acknowledge a debt that we can never repay. We  are forever wounded by the ultimate sacrifice paid by all who never returned. We recognize the emotion of those returning vets who bend down to kiss the ground when they return to American soil. We lament the loss of so many who never set foot again on the land they fought to protect.
For any disrespect, insult, or indifference you may have endured at the hands of an ungrateful citizen who couldn’t separate personal philosophy from your sacrifice, we apologize.
For the shame of not taking better care of you on your return, we promise to do all that we can to correct that injustice.