Saturday, September 26, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
North Carolina’s own …
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
“FANTASIA” at the Radio City Music Hall…1941
The movie portrayed cartoon characters performing their skits to classical music. Leopold Stokowski conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra and I sat entranced as the music wrapped around me. It literally felt like I was being carried up and into the movie that was enfolding.
I particularly remember “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” featuring Mickey Mouse as an aspiring magician who gets himself into and out of a bunch of predicaments. “Fantasia” never became a box office success but it was an enormous treat for me and I loved it.
How shocking! How crude! How DELIGHTFUL!! My virgin 8-year-old ears were burning but I thrilled to the naughtiness of it all. I couldn’t wait to get home to share the experience (in great detail and with many embellishments) with all my young friends.
Friday, September 11, 2015
14 years … but never forgotten.
On September first 2001 my dream of a lifetime was starting. My friend Douglas and I were on a plane leaving Newark and heading to Italy. He was a retired architect and a world traveler so it was a great treat for me to be able to tap into his expertise. He was also not at all interested in expensive hotels & over-priced restaurants...so we were well matched. I had read an informative book entitled “Lodging in Italy’s Monasteries” and realized I could afford a month’s stay if we traveled this way. It sounded great to Douglas too and he was happy to have me do all the arranging…which I thoroughly enjoyed. (The picture above is where we lodged in Florence.)
On September 11th we had spent the day in Assisi and returned to the small town of Bavagna, where we were staying, at around 4:30. The first inkling that something was wrong was when the people in the Piazza called to us and pointed to the little bar/coffee shop/ice cream parlor, insisting that we go there. The shop boasted the only TV in the square and it was just recording the horrific events of 9-11.
I can hardly put into words how this affected me. I felt totally shocked and helpless. A nice couple from Canada took us to their hotel and we tried to make calls to our family members in the U.S., but it would be 4 days before we could get through. When we left them and returned to the piazza a nun was waiting for us. She was probably from the monastery where we were staying although I didn’t recognize her. She motioned us to follow her and led the way to an ancient church in the center of the town. She unlocked the side door and beckoned us to enter.
The interior of the church was cool and musty and we were
completely alone. It didn’t seem to matter that neither Douglas nor I practiced
any type of formal religion. We sat quietly absorbing the atmosphere, each lost
in our own thoughts, and in about an hour the little nun came back. We tried to
show our appreciation although we knew very little Italian and it was hard to
speak without crying. She kept nodding her head to show that she understood and
then gave Douglas a pat on the back and me a warm hug.
Now it is 14 years later and that day still haunts me, as I know it does for so many others. It also reminds me of the compassion and love that were shown to us...not only by the townspeople of Bavagna, but from all the Italians that we encountered during our month’s stay in their wonderful country. It is a memory that I will cherish forever.
Sunday, September 06, 2015
No longer a laughing matter:
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
NY City memories continue, 1959 …
We knew many of the locals by sight and that night a lot of them were seated around the bar when we entered. These were elderly Italian men from the neighborhood and their eyes lit up when they saw our baby. “Whatsa ees name?” they asked and of course our Mark became “L’il Marco” to them. They insisted that we leave him with them. “Go…Go”, they said, “…you eat, we play!”
So that’s what we did. We felt very secure leaving Mark with these men since we’d often seen them lovingly care for other children ... and, even sitting a room away we could hear them “oohing” and “ahhing” over “L’il Marco” as they passed him gently around the bar.
A wonderful memory that probably wouldn’t be possible in today’s world.