John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise.......

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him. C.S. Lewis 

Passing thoughts........................

In regard to the merciless murders in California this week, don’t hate, but do recall the words of Isaac Asimov “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”. Yet I could not understand the mindlessness of the act and then I understood that while I was trying to clear my head and what I really should have doing was clearing my heart because I know that within my heart truth is found and the truth is that within every awful, painful and unacceptable moment we must live through, the heart knows what the heart doesn’t; that goodness is concealed in that pain and beneath that goodness there is a seed of grace.


 One cannot better examine the depth of a man’s musical knowledge than by attempting to learn how far he has come in his admiration for the works of Bach Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus


Woodward/Newman Drama Award 2016
NOTE: The fee will be waived for Dramatist Guild members with an enclosed photocopy of a membership card.
The BPP is accepting submissions for the 2015-16 Woodward/Newman Drama Award. Submissions are due by March 1, 2016. The top 10 finalists will be announced at the end of May with the winner announced in June 2016.
"Full-length" plays will have a complete running time of between 1 hour 15 minutes (75 minutes) to 2 hours 15 minutes (135 minutes).
Plays submitted must be unpublished at the time of submission. Plays that have received developmental readings, workshop productions, or productions at small theatre companies are acceptable. No scripts with previous productions at major regional theaters will be accepted. Once entered, subsequent activity does not change the acceptability of the script.
Each submission must include a synopsis (1 page or less) including the cast size. A separate page should include a brief bio of the playwright, and production/development history if applicable.


Taboo is looking for submissions again! We have wanted to do this for a while and we are very excited that now is the time. This year, instead of Grand Guignol plays, we are looking for original adult fairy tales, exploring diverse taboos. Our showcase will have the theme “The Uncanny: When the Fantasy is Too Real.”
Here are the requirements:
–Submissions must be accompanied by a 150-250 word description of which taboo your work is exploring and how.
–The plays can be either completely original, adaptations of classical works or other material that fits the requirements of this genre.
–The plays must be 10-25 minutes long.
–The plays should not require elaborate sets, pro


The Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, in its ongoing mission to explore the intersection science and art, announces a CALL FOR PLAYS for the 2015-16 SBU Science Playwriting Competition. The event is made possible by the generous support of the Simons Center, the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, and the SBU Department of Theatre Arts.
Calling all talented playwrights with an interest in the sciences, and talented scientists with an interest in the theatre to compose a ten-minute play with a substantial science component. This contest is open to the general public:
First Prize Winner: $500
Second Prize Winner: $200
3rd Prize Winner: $100

Bringing science and theatre together can provide the inspiration for a play of exceptional artistic merit and lead to exciting new ways of learning about science. Indeed, we believe the best science plays can be great works of art because of the science they contain and great educational tools because of their artistic value. We are recruiting Stony Brook University’™s brightest minds to write great plays that make science accessible to a wide audience.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site athttp://www.nycplaywrights.org ***

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WHERE THE ART DOLLARS GO.......................


Edouard Manet 

Edouard Manet (1832-1883) was a study in contradictions. A Parisian bourgeois flaneur, he became associated with the avant-garde painters known now as the impressionists. He had a traditional art education and admired the old masters, but he developed a loose, painterly technique and preferred to paint scenes of everyday urban life.
Viewed as a trailblazer of the impressionist movement, he was influenced by fellow artists Monet, Renoir, Degas, and supported by art critics like Emile Zola. But he turned down invitations to exhibit at the impressionists’ group shows, and pursued success through the more traditional Paris Salon. It was a frustrating choice, as there seemed to be no way to predict the Salon jury reaction’s to his submissions.

Manet’s final work, A Bar at the Folies Bergere, was shown at the Salon of 1882; he died the next year. It was a masterpiece that clearly trumpeted Manet as a premier painter of modern life who chose to follow his own vision to the end.

Black and White Photo from Warhols Factory in New York


Winter Winds, Cold and Bleak
by John Clare

Winter winds cold and blea
Chilly blows o'er the lea:
Wander not out to me,
    Jenny so fair,
Wait in thy cottage free.
    I will be there.
Wait in thy cushioned chair
Wi' thy white bosom bare.
Kisses are sweetest there:
    Leave it for me.
Free from the chilly air
    I will meet thee.
How sweet can courting prove,
How can I kiss my love
Muffled in hat and glove
    From the chill air?
Quaking beneath the grove,
    What love is there!
Lay by thy woollen vest,
Drape no cloak o'er thy breast:
Where my hand oft hath pressed,
    Pin nothing there:
Where my head droops to rest,
    Leave its bed bare.

John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm laborer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century, and he is now often considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets.
His biographer Jonathan Bate states that Clare was "the greatest laboring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self".

In his time, Clare was commonly known as "the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet". His formal education was brief, his other employment and class-origins were lowly. Clare resisted the use of the increasingly standardized English grammar and orthography in his poetry and prose, alluding to political reasoning in comparing "grammar" (in a wider sense of orthography) to tyrannical government and slavery, personifying it in jocular fashion as a "bitch".
He wrote in his Northamptonshire dialect, introducing local words to the literary canon such as "pooty" (snail), "lady-cow" (ladybird), "crizzle" (to crisp) and "throstle" (song thrush).
In his early life he struggled to find a place for his poetry in the changing literary fashions of the day. He also felt that he did not belong with other peasants.

 Clare once wrote: "I live here among the ignorant like a lost man in fact like one whom the rest seems careless of having anything to do with—they hardly dare talk in my company for fear I should mention them in my writings and I find more pleasure in wandering the fields than in musing among my silent neighbors who are insensible to everything but toiling and talking of it and that to no purpose."

It is common to see an absence of punctuation in many of Clare's original writings, although many publishers felt the need to remedy this practice in the majority of his work. Clare argued with his editors about how it should be presented to the public.

Clare grew up during a period of massive changes in both town and countryside as the Industrial Revolution swept Europe. Many former agricultural workers, including children, moved away from the countryside to over-crowded cities, following factory work. The Agricultural Revolution saw pastures ploughed up, trees and hedges uprooted, the fens drained and the common land enclosed. This destruction of a centuries-old way of life distressed Clare deeply. His political and social views were predominantly conservative ("I am as far as my politics reaches 'King and Country'—no Innovations in Religion and Government say I."). He refused even to complain about the subordinate position to which English society relegated him, swearing that "with the old dish that was served to my forefathers I am content.”

His early work delights both in nature and the cycle of the rural year. Poems such as "Winter Evening", "Haymaking" and "Wood Pictures in summer" celebrate the beauty of the world and the certainties of rural life, where animals must be fed and crops harvested. Poems such as "Little Trotty Wagtail" show his sharp observation of wildlife, though The Badgershows his lack of sentiment about the place of animals in the countryside. At this time, he often used poetic forms such as the sonnet and the rhyming couplet. His later poetry tends to be more meditative and uses forms similar to the folk songs and ballads of his youth. An example of this is Evening.

His knowledge of the natural world went far beyond that of the major Romantic poets. However, poems such as "I Am" show a metaphysical depth on a par with his contemporary poets and many of his pre-asylum poems deal with intricate play on the nature of linguistics. His "bird's nest poems", it can be argued, illustrate the self-awareness, and obsession with the creative process that captivated the romantics. Clare was the most influential poet, aside from Wordsworth, to practice in an older style.


Gramarye: (GRAM-uh-ree) Occult learning; magic. From Old French gramaire (grammar, book of magic), from Greek gramma (letter). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gerbh- (to scratch), which also gave us crab, crayfish, carve, crawl, grammar, program, graphite, glamor, anagram, paraph, andgraffiti.

Paragon   \PAIR-uh-gahn\ A model of excellence or perfection. Paragon derives from the Old Italian word paragone, which literally means "touchstone." A touchstone is a black stone that was formerly used to judge the purity of gold or silver. The metal was rubbed on the stone and the color of the streak it left indicated its quality. In modern English, both touchstone and paragon have come to signify a standard against which something should be judged. Ultimately, paragon comes from the Greek parakonan, meaning "to sharpen," from the prefixpara- ("alongside of") and akonē, meaning "whetstone."

Emeritus  \ih-MEH-ruh-tus\ 1: title corresponding to that held last during active service 2 : retired from an office or position — converted to emeriti after a pluralThe adjective emeritus is unusual in two ways: it's frequently used postpositively (that is, after the noun it modifies), and it has a plural form—emeriti—when it modifies a plural noun in its second sense. If you've surmised from these qualities that the word is Latin in origin, you are correct. Emeritus, which is the Latin past participle of the verb emereri, meaning "to serve out one's term," was originally used to describe soldiers who had completed their duty. (Emereri is from the prefix e-, meaning "out," and merēre, meaning "to earn, deserve, or serve"—also the source of our English word merit.) By the beginning of the early 18th century, English speakers were using emeritus as an adjective to refer to professors who had retired from office. The word eventually became applied to other professions where a retired member may continue to hold a title in an honorary capacity.

Colligate  \KAH-luh-gayt\ 1 : to bind, unite, or group together 2 :to subsume (isolated facts) under a general concept 3 :  to be or become a member of a group or unitColligate (not to be confused with collocate or collegiate) is a technical term that descends from Latin colligare, itself fromcom- ("with") plus ligare ("to tie"). Ligature, ligament, lien, rely, ally, oblige, furl, and league (in the sense of "an association of persons, groups, or teams") can all be traced back along varying paths to ligare. That leaves only collogue (meaning "to confer")—whose origin is unknown. (Collocate and collegiate are also unrelated via ligare.)

Minatory \MIN-uh-tor-ee\ having a menacing quality. Knowing that minatory means "threatening," can you take a guess at a related word? If you're familiar with mythology, perhaps you guessed Minotaur, the name of the bull-headed, people-eating monster of Crete. Minotaur is a good guess, but as terrifying as the monster sounds, its name isn't related to today's word. The relative we're searching for is actuallymenace. Minatory and menace both come from derivatives of the Latin verb minari, which means "to threaten." Minatorywas borrowed directly from Late Latin minatorius. Menace came to English via Anglo-French manace, menace, which came from Latin minac-, minax, meaning "threatening."

Bibulous: (BIB-yuh-luhs1. Excessively fond of drinking. 2. Highly absorbent. From Latin bibere (to drink). Ultimately from the Indo-European root poi- (to drink), which also gave us potion, poison, potable, beverage, and Sanskrit paatram (pot). Earliest documented use: 1676.


Gordon Parks photographs a Harlem family (1960s)

The Observation and Appreciation of Architecture

The Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers is a castle at the town of Les Trois-Moutiers in the Poitou-Charentes region of France. It was abandoned after a fire in 1932. It has been abandoned ever since. Located in the midst of a large wood stands the Château de la Motte-Chandeniers a former stronghold of the illustrious Bauçay family, lords of Loudun. The stronghold dates to the thirteenth century and was originally called Motte Bauçay (or Baussay). 

The Motte Baussay was taken twice by the English in the middle ages and devastated during the French Revolution. It was bought in 1809 by François Hennecart, a wealthy business man who undertook to restore its former glory. But it passed in 1857, to BaronLejeune Edgar, Esquire of Napoleon III, son of the famous general and Amable Clary, niece of the Queen of Sweden, Désirée Clary. A group of preservationists in France are trying to save a 13th century castle that is slowly being reclaimed by nature. 

Lost Ancient Greek Island Has Been Found

 By Toni Aravadinos

 Archaeologists believe they may have discovered the lost city of Kane, the site of the epic sea battle of Arginusae, which saw Athens crush Sparta in 406 BC. Archaeologists weren’t exactly sure where this island was located, until now.
An international team of archaeologists working with the German Archeological Institute think they may have found Kane in the Aegean Sea, just off the coast of Turkey. The ancient sea battle between the Athenians and Spartans is estimated to have happened towards the end of the 27-year Peloponnesian War.
It was a bittersweet win for the Athenians. Due to a storm the commanders abandoned thousands of their shipwrecked men after the war, something that was considered very dishonorable in the ancient times, as punishment six of them were executed and two were sent into exile on their return to Athens.
The Battle of Arginusae got its name due to its close proximity to the “Arginus” islands, which are now called the Garip islands. Ancient texts always cited the Arginus islands as having three land masses, though they are only two located where the Garip islands are today. What happened to the third island has been a mystery.
Researchers wondered if a nearby peninsula was perhaps the missing island, so they drilled into it and they made an interesting discovery, they found evidence that what is now a peninsula was once an island.
- See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/11/25/lost-ancient-greek-island-has-been-found/#sthash.ARN4s646.dpuf

(NOTE:) The naval Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BC during the Peloponnesian War near the city of Canae in the Arginusae islands, east of the island of Lesbos. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by eight strategoi defeated a Spartan fleet under Callicratidas. The battle was precipitated by a Spartan victory which led to the Athenian fleet under Conon being blockaded at Mytilene; to relieve Conon, the Athenians assembled a scratch force composed largely of newly constructed ships manned by inexperienced crews. This inexperienced fleet was thus tactically inferior to the Spartans, but its commanders were able to circumvent this problem by employing new and unorthodox tactics, which allowed the Athenians to secure a dramatic and unexpected victory.
The news of the victory itself was met with jubilation at Athens, and the grateful Athenian public voted to bestow citizenship on the slaves and metics who had fought in the battle. Their joy was tempered, however, by the aftermath of the battle, in which a storm prevented the ships assigned to rescue the survivors of the 25 disabled or sunken Athenian triremes from performing their duties, and a great number of sailors drowned. A fury erupted at Athens when the public learned of this, and after a bitter struggle in the assembly six of the eight generals who had commanded the fleet were tried as a group and executed.
At Sparta, meanwhile, traditionalists who had supported Callicratidas pressed for peace with Athens, knowing that a continuation of the war would lead to the re-ascendence of their opponent Lysander. This party initially prevailed, and a delegation was dispatched to Athens to make an offer of peace; the Athenians, however, rejected this offer, and Lysander departed to the Aegean to take command of the fleet for the remainder of the war, which would be decided less than a year later by his total victory at Aegospotami.)


Beat poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York City and on the west coast, although San Francisco became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning mainstream politics and culture. A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets | Academy of American Poets https://www.poets.org/poetsorg

On soft Spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars - Something good will come out of all things yet - And it will be golden and eternal just like that - There’s no need to say another word. Jack Kerouac 

“I’m an idealist
who has outgrown
my idealism
I have nothing to do
the rest of my life
and the rest of my life
to do it”
Jack Kerouac, Mexico City Blues

“‘We gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there.’ 'Where we going, man?’ 'I don’t know but we gotta go.’” Jack Kerouac, 'On the Road’

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.”Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

“Dean’s California–wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends, fads, or popular opinion.” Jack Keruoac

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere. So just keep on rolling under the stars.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“Love is only a recognition of our own guilt and imperfection, and a supplication for forgiveness to the perfect beloved. This is why we love those who are more beautiful than ourselves, why we fear them, and why we must be unhappy lovers. When we make ourselves high priests of art we deceive ourselves again, art is like a genie. It is more powerful than ourselves, but only by virtue of ourselves does it exist and create.” From a letter from Allen Ginsberg to Jack Kerouac, September, 1945


MISH MOSH..........................................

Mish Mash: noun \ˈmish-ˌmash, -ˌmäsh\ A : hodgepodge, jumble The painting was just a mishmash of colors and abstract shapes as far as we could tell. Origin Middle English & Yiddish; Middle English mysse masche, perhaps reduplication of mash mash; Yiddish mish-mash, perhaps reduplication of mishn to mix. First Known Use: 15th century

An 18 year old Mahatma Gandhi, 1887 



Then he starts hauling and mauling and talking to him in Irish and the old towser growling, letting on to answer, like a duet in the opera. Such growling you never heard as they let off between them. Someone that has nothing better to do ought to write a letter _pro bono publico_ to the papers about the muzzling order for a dog the like of that. Growling and grousing and his eye all bloodshot from the drouth is in it and the hydrophobia dropping out of his jaws. James Joyce, Ulysses

He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


Against an autumn sunset the steel skeleton of a twenty-story office
building in process of construction stood out black and bizarre. It
flung up its beams and girders like stern and yet airy music, orderly,
miraculously strong, and delicately powerful. From the lower stories,
where masons made their music of trowel and hammer, to the top, where
steam-riveters rapped out their chorus like giant locusts in a summer
field, the great building lived and breathed as if all those human
energies that went to its making flowed warm through its steel veins.

In the west window of a womans' club next door one of the members stood
looking out at this building. Behind her at a tea-table three other
women sat talking. For some moments their conversation had had a
plaintive if not an actually rebellious tone. They were discussing the
relative advantages of a man's work and a woman's, and they had arrived
at the conclusion that a man has much the best of it when it comes to a
matter of the day's work.

"Take a man's work," said Mrs. Van Vechten, pouring herself a second cup
of tea. "He chooses it; then he is allowed to go at it with absolute
freedom. He isn't hampered by the dull, petty details of life that
hamper us. He----"

"Details! My dear, there you are right," broke in Mrs. Bullen. Two men,
first Mrs. Bullen's father and then her husband, had seen to it that
neither the biting wind of adversity nor the bracing air of experience
should ever touch her. "Details! Sometimes I feel as if I were
smothered by them. Servants, and the house, and now these relief

She was in her turn interrupted by Cornelia Blair. Cornelia was a
spinster with more freedom than most human beings ever attain, her
father having worked himself to death to leave her well provided for.
"The whole fault is the social system," she declared. "Because of it men
have been able to take the really interesting work of the world for
themselves. They've pushed the dull jobs off onto us."

"You're right, Cornelia," cried Mrs. Bullen. She really had nothing to
say, but she hated not saying it. "I've always thought," she went on
pensively, "that it would be so much easier just to go to an office in
the morning and have nothing but business to think of. Don't you feel
that way sometimes, Mrs. Trask?"

The woman in the west window turned. There was a quizzical gleam in her
eyes as she looked at the other three. "The trouble with us women is
we're blind and deaf," she said slowly. "We talk a lot about men's work
and how they have the best of things in power and freedom, but does it
occur to one of us that a man _pays_ for power and freedom? Sometimes I
think that not one of the women of our comfortable class would be
willing to pay what our men pay for the power and freedom they get."

"What do they pay?" asked Mrs. Van Vechten, her lip curling.

Mrs. Trask turned back to the window. "There's something rather
wonderful going on out here," she called. "I wish you'd all come and

Just outside the club window the steel-workers pursued their dangerous
task with leisurely and indifferent competence, while over their head a
great derrick served their needs with uncanny intelligence. It dropped
its chain and picked a girder from the floor. As it rose into space two
figures sprang astride either end of it. The long arm swung up and out;
the two "bronco-busters of the sky" were black against the flame of the
sunset. Some one shouted; the signalman pulled at his rope; the
derrick-arm swung in a little with the girder teetering at the end of
the chain. The most interesting moment of the steel-man's job had come,
when a girder was to be jockeyed into place. The iron arm swung the
girder above two upright columns, lowered it, and the girder began to
groove into place. It wedged a little. One of the men inched along,
leaned against space, and wielded his bar. The women stared, for the
moment taken out of themselves. Then, as the girder settled into place
and the two men slid down the column to the floor, the spectators turned
back to their tea-table.

"Very interesting," murmured Mrs. Van Vechten; "but I hardly see how it
concerns us."

A flame leaped in Mary Trask's face. "It's what we've just been talking
about, one of men's jobs. I tell you, men are working miracles all the
time that women never see. We envy them their power and freedom, but we
seldom open our eyes to see what they pay for them. Look here, I'd like
to tell you about an ordinary man and one of his jobs." She stopped and
looked from Mrs. Bullen's perplexity to Cornelia Blair's superior smile,
and her eyes came last to Sally Van Vechten's rebellious frown. "I'm
going to bore you, maybe," she laughed grimly. "But it will do you good
to listen once in a while to something _real_."

She sat down and leaned her elbows on the table. "I said that he is an
ordinary man," she began; "what I meant is that he started in like the
average, without any great amount of special training, without money,
and without pull of any kind. He had good health, good stock back of
him, an attractive personality, and two years at a technical
school--those were his total assets. He was twenty when he came to New
York to make a place for himself, and he had already got himself engaged
to a girl back home. 

He had enough money to keep him for about three
weeks, if he lived very economically. But that didn't prevent his
feeling a heady exhilaration that day when he walked up Fifth Avenue for
the first time and looked over his battle-field. He has told me often,
with a chuckle at the audacity of it, how he picked out his employer.
All day he walked about with his eyes open for contractors' signs.
Whenever he came upon a building in the process of construction he
looked it over critically, and if he liked the look of the job he made a
note of the contractor's name and address in a little green book. For he
was to be a builder--of big buildings, of course! And that night, when
he turned out of the avenue to go to the cheap boarding-house where he
had sent his trunk, he told himself that he'd give himself five years to
set up an office of his own within a block of Fifth Avenue.

"Next day he walked into the offices of Weil & Street--the first that
headed the list in the little green book--asked to see Mr. Weil, and,
strangely enough, got him, too. Even in those raw days Robert had a
cheerful assurance tempered with rather a nice deference that often got
him what he wanted from older men. When he left the offices of Weil &
Street he had been given a job in the estimating-room, at a salary that
would just keep him from starving. 

He grew lean and lost his country color that winter, but he was learning, 
learning all the time, not only in the office of Weil & Street, but at night school,
where he studied architecture. 

When he decided he had got all he could get out of the
estimating and drawing rooms he asked to be transferred to one of the
jobs. They gave him the position of timekeeper on one of the contracts,
at a slight advance in salary.

"A man can get as much or as little out of being timekeeper as he
chooses. Robert got a lot out of it. He formulated that summer a working
theory of the length of time it should take to finish every detail of a
building. He talked with bricklayers, he timed them and watched them,
until he knew how many bricks could be laid in an hour; and it was the
same way with carpenters, fireproofers, painters, plasterers. He soaked
in a thousand practical details of building: he picked out the best
workman in each gang, watched him, talked with him, learned all he could
of that man's particular trick; and it all went down in the little green

 For at the back of his head was always the thought of the time
when he should use all this knowledge in his own business. Then one day
when he had learned all he could learn from being timekeeper, he walked
into Weil's office again and proposed that they make him one of the
firm's superintendents of construction.

"Old Weil fairly stuttered with the surprise of this audacious
proposition. He demanded to know what qualifications the young man could
show for so important a position, and Robert told him about the year he
had had with the country builder and the three summer vacations with the
country surveyor--which made no impression whatever on Mr. Weil until
Robert produced the little green book. Mr. Weil glanced at some of the
figures in the book, snorted, looked hard at his ambitious timekeeper,
who looked back at him with his keen young eyes and waited. When he left
the office he had been promised a tryout on a small job near the
offices, where, as old Weil said, they could keep an eye on him. That
night he wrote to the girl back home that she must get ready to marry
him at a moment's notice."

Mrs. Trask leaned back in her chair and smiled with a touch of sadness.
"The wonder of youth! I can see him writing that letter, exuberant,
ambitious, his brain full of dreams and plans--and a very inadequate
supper in his stomach. The place where he lived--he pointed it out to me
once--was awful. No girl of Rob's class--back home his folks were
'nice'--would have stood that lodging-house for a night, would have
eaten the food he did, or gone without the pleasures of life as he had
gone without them for two years. But there, right at the beginning, is
the difference between what a boy is willing to go through to get what
he wants and what a girl would or could put up with. And along with a
better position came a man's responsibility, which he shouldered alone.

"'I was horribly afraid I'd fall down on the job,' he told me long
afterward. 'And there wasn't a living soul I could turn to for help. The
thing was up to me alone!'"

Mrs. Trask looked from Mrs. Bullen to Mrs. Van Vechten. "Mostly they
fight alone," she said, as if she thought aloud. "That's one thing about
men we don't always grasp--the business of existence is up to the
average man alone. If he fails or gets into a tight place he has no one
to fall back on, as a woman almost always has. Our men have a prejudice
against taking their business difficulties home with them. I've a
suspicion it's because we're so ignorant they'd have to do too much
explaining! So in most cases they haven't even a sympathetic
understanding to help them over the bad places. It was so with Robert
even after he had married the girl back home and brought her to the

His idea was to keep her from all worry and anxiety, and so, when
he came home at night and she asked him if he had had a good day, or if
the work had gone well, he always replied cheerfully that things had
gone about the same as usual, even though the day had been a
particularly bad one. This was only at first, however. The girl happened
to be the kind that likes to know things. One night, when she wakened to
find him staring sleepless at the ceiling, the thought struck her that,
after all, she knew nothing of his particular problems, and if they were
partners in the business of living why shouldn't she be an intelligent
member of the firm, even if only a silent one?

"So she began to read everything she could lay her hands on about the
business of building construction, and very soon when she asked a
question it was a fairly intelligent one, because it had some knowledge
back of it. She didn't make the mistake of pestering him with questions
before she had any groundwork of technical knowledge to build on, and
I'm not sure that he ever guessed what she was up to, but I do know that
gradually, as he found that he did not, for instance, have to draw a
diagram and explain laboriously what a caisson was because she already
knew a good deal about caissons, he fell into the habit of talking out
to her a great many of the situations he would have to meet next day.
Not that she offered her advice nor that he wanted it, but what helped
was the fact of her sympathy--I should say her intelligent sympathy, for
that is the only kind that can really help.

"So when his big chance came along she was ready to meet it with him. If
he succeeded she would be all the better able to appreciate his success;
and if he failed she would never blame him from ignorance. You must
understand that his advance was no meteoric thing. He somehow, by dint
of sitting up nights poring over blueprints and text-books and by day
using his wits and his eyes and his native shrewdness, managed to pull
off with fair success his first job as superintendent; was given other
contracts to oversee; and gradually, through three years of hard work,
learning, learning all the time, worked up to superintending some of the
firm's important jobs. Then he struck out for himself."

Mrs. Trask turned to look out of the west window. "It sounds so easy,"
she mused. "'Struck out for himself.' But I think only a man can quite
appreciate how much courage that takes. Probably, if the girl had not
understood where he was trying to get to, he would have hesitated longer
to give up his good, safe salary; but they talked it over, she
understood the hazards of the game, and she was willing to take a
chance. They had saved a tiny capital, and only a little over five years
from the day he had come to New York he opened an office within a block
of Fifth Avenue.

"I won't bore you with the details of the next two years, when he was
getting together his organization, teaching himself the details of
office work, stalking architects and owners for contracts. He acquired a
slight stoop to his shoulders in those two years and there were days
when there was nothing left of his boyishness but the inextinguishable
twinkle in his hazel eyes. There were times when it seemed to him as if
he had put to sea in a rowboat; as if he could never make port; but
after a while small contracts began to come in, and then came along the
big opportunity. Up in a New England city a large bank building was to
be built; one of the directors was a friend of Rob's father, and Rob was
given a chance to put in an estimate. It meant so much to him that he
would not let himself count on getting the contract; he did not even
tell the partner at home that he had been asked to put in an estimate
until one day he came tearing in to tell her that he had been given the
job. It seemed too wonderful to be true. The future looked so dazzling
that they were almost afraid to contemplate it. Only something wildly
extravagant would express their emotion, so they chartered a hansom cab
and went gayly sailing up-town on the late afternoon tide of Fifth
Avenue; and as they passed the building on which Robert had got his job
as timekeeper he took off his hat to it, and she blew a kiss to it, and
a dreary old clubman in a window next door brightened visibly!"

Mrs. Trask turned her face toward the steel skeleton springing up across
the way like the magic beanstalk in the fairy-tale. "The things men have
taught themselves to do!" she cried. "The endurance and skill, the
inventiveness, the precision of science, the daring of human wits, the
poetry and fire that go into the making of great buildings! We women
walk in and out of them day after day, blindly--and this indifference is
symbolical, I think, of the way we walk in and out of our men's
lives.... I wish I could make you see that job of young Robert's so that
you would feel in it what I do--the patience of men, the strain of the
responsibility they carry night and day, the things life puts up to
them, which they have to meet alone, the dogged endurance of them...."

Mrs. Trask leaned forward and traced a complicated diagram on the
table-cloth with the point of a fork. "It was his first big job, you
understand, and he had got it in competition with several older
builders. From the first they were all watching him, and he knew it,
which put a fine edge to his determination to put the job through with
credit. To be sure, he was handicapped by lack of capital, but his past
record had established his credit, and when the foundation work was
begun it was a very hopeful young man that watched the first shovelful
of earth taken out. 

But when they had gone down about twelve feet, with
a trench for a retaining-wall, they discovered that the owners' boring
plan was not a trustworthy representation of conditions; the job was
going to be a soft-ground proposition. Where, according to the owners'
preliminary borings, he should have found firm sand with a normal amount
of moisture, Rob discovered sand that was like saturated oatmeal, and
beyond that quicksand and water. Water! Why, it was like a subterranean
lake fed by a young river! With the pulsometer pumps working night and
day they couldn't keep the water out of the test pier he had sunk. It
bubbled in as cheerfully as if it had eternal springs behind it, and
drove the men out of the pier in spite of every effort. Rob knew then
what he was up against. But he still hoped that he could sink the
foundations without compressed air, which would be an immense expense he
had not figured on in his estimate, of course. 

So he devised a certain kind of concrete crib, the first one was driven--and when they got it
down beneath quicksand and water about twenty-five feet, it hung up on a
boulder! You see, below the stratum of sand like saturated oatmeal,
below the water and quicksand, they had come upon something like a New
England pasture, as thick with big boulders as a bun with currants! If
he had spent weeks hunting for trouble he couldn't have found more than
was offered him right there. It was at this point that he went out and
wired a big New York engineer, who happened to be a friend of his, to
come up. In a day or two the engineer arrived, took a look at the job,
and then advised Rob to quit.

"'It's a nasty job,' he told him. 'It will swallow every penny of your
profits and probably set you back a few thousands. It's one of the worst
soft-ground propositions I ever looked over.'

"Well that night young Robert went home with a sleep-walking expression
in his eyes. He and the partner at home had moved up to Rockford to be
near the job while the foundation work was going on, so the girl saw
exactly what he was up against and what he had to decide between.

"'I could quit,' he said that night, after the engineer had taken his
train back to New York, 'throw up the job, and the owners couldn't hold
me because of their defective boring plans. But if I quit there'll be
twenty competitors to say I've bit off more than I can chew. And if I
go on I lose money; probably go into the hole so deep I'll be a long
time getting out.'

"You see, where his estimates had covered only the expense of normal
foundation work he now found himself up against the most difficult
conditions a builder can face. When the girl asked him if the owners
would not make up the additional cost he grinned ruefully. The owners
were going to hold him to his original estimate; they knew that with his
name to make he would hate to give up; and they were inclined to be
almost as nasty as the job.

"'Then you'll have all this work and difficulty for nothing?' the girl
asked. 'You may actually lose money on the job?'

"'Looks that way,' he admitted.

"'Then why do you go on?' she cried.

"His answer taught the girl a lot about the way a man looks at his job.
'If I take up the cards I can't be a quitter,' he said. 'It would hurt
my record. And my record is the equivalent of credit and capital. I
can't afford to have any weak spots in it. I'll take the gaff rather
than have it said about me that I've lain down on a job. I'm going on
with this thing to the end.'"

Little shrewd, reminiscent lines gathered about Mrs. Trask's eyes.
"There's something exhilarating about a good fight. I've always thought
that if I couldn't be a gunner I could get a lot of thrills out of just
handing up the ammunition.... Well, Rob went on with the contract. With
the first crib hung up on a boulder and the water coming in so fast they
couldn't pump it out fast enough to dynamite, he was driven to use
compressed air, and that meant the hiring of a compressor, locks,
shafting--a terribly costly business--as well as bringing up to the job
a gang of the high-priced labor that works under air. But this was done,
and the first crib for the foundation piers went down slowly, with the
sand-hogs--men that work in the caissons--drilling and blasting their
way week after week through that underground New England pasture. Then,
below this boulder-strewn stratum, instead of the ledge they expected
they struck four feet of rotten rock, so porous that when air was put on
it to force the water back great air bubbles blew up all through the
lot, forcing the men out of the other caissons and trenches. But this
was a mere dull detail, to be met by care and ingenuity like the others.
And at last, forty feet below street level, they reached bed-rock.
Forty-six piers had to be driven to this ledge.

"Rob knew now exactly what kind of a job was cut out for him. He knew he
had not only the natural difficulties to overcome, but he was going to
have to fight the owners for additional compensation. So one day he went
into Boston and interviewed a famous old lawyer.

"'Would you object,' he asked the lawyer, 'to taking a case against
personal friends of yours, the owners of the Rockford bank building?'

"'Not at all--and if you're right, I'll lick 'em! What's your case?'

"Rob told him the whole story. When he finished the famous man refused
to commit himself one way or the other; but he said that he would be in
Rockford in a few days, and perhaps he'd look at Robert's little job. So
one day, unannounced, the lawyer appeared. The compressor plant was hard
at work forcing the water back in the caissons, the pulsometer pumps
were sucking up streams of water that flowed without ceasing into the
settling tank and off into the city sewers, the men in the caissons were
sending up buckets full of silt-like gruel. The lawyer watched
operations for a few minutes, then he asked for the owners' boring plan.
When he had examined this he grunted twice, twitched his lower lip
humorously, and said: 'I'll put you out of this. If the owners wanted a
deep-water lighthouse they should have specified one--not a bank

"So the battle of legal wits began. Before the building was done Joshua
Kent had succeeded in making the owners meet part of the additional cost
of the foundation, and Robert had developed an acumen that stood by him
the rest of his life. But there was something for him in this job bigger
than financial gain or loss. Week after week, as he overcame one
difficulty after another, he was learning, learning, just as he had done
at Weil & Street's. His hazel eyes grew keener, his face thinner. For
the job began to develop every freak and whimsy possible to a growing
building. The owner of the department store next door refused to permit
access through his basement, and that added many hundred dollars to the
cost of building the party wall; the fire and telephone companies were
continually fussing around and demanding indemnity because their poles
and hydrants got knocked out of plumb; the thousands of gallons of dirty
water pumped from the job into the city sewers clogged them up, and the
city sued for several thousand dollars' damages; one day the car-tracks
in front of the lot settled and valuable time was lost while the men
shored them up; now and then the pulsometer engines broke down; the
sand-hogs all got drunk and lost much time; an untimely frost spoiled a
thousand dollars' worth of concrete one night. But the detail that
required the most handling was the psychological effect on Rob's

These men, observing the expensive preliminary
operations, and knowing that Rob was losing money every day the
foundation work lasted, began to ask one another if the young boss would
be able to put the job through. If he failed, of course they who had
signed up with him for various stages of the work would lose heavily.
Panic began to spread among all the little army that goes to the making
of a big building. The terra-cotta-floor men, the steel men,
electricians and painters began to hang about the job with gloom in
their eyes; they wore a path to the architect's door, and he, never
having quite approved of so young a man being given the contract, did
little to allay their apprehensions. Rob knew that if this kept up
they'd hurt his credit, so he promptly served notice on the architect
that if his credit was impaired by false rumors he'd hold him
responsible; and he gave each subcontractor five minutes in which to
make up his mind whether he wanted to quit or look cheerful. To a man
they chose to stick by the job; so that detail was disposed of. In the
meantime the sinking of piers for one of the retaining-walls was giving

One morning at daylight Rob's superintendent telephoned him to
announce that the street was caving in and the buildings across the way
were cracking. When Rob got there he found the men standing about scared
and helpless, while the plate-glass windows of the store opposite were
cracking like pistols and the building settled. It appeared that when
the trench for the south wall had gone down a certain distance water
began to rush in under the sheeting as if from an underground river,
and, of course, undermined the street and the store opposite. The pumps
were started like mad, two gangs were put at work, with the
superintendent swearing, threatening, and pleading to make them dig
faster, and at last concrete was poured and the water stopped. That day
Rob and his superintendent had neither breakfast nor lunch; but they had
scarcely finished shoring up the threatened store when the owner of the
store notified Rob that he would sue for damages, and the secretary of
the Y. W. C. A. next door attempted to have the superintendent arrested
for profanity. Rob said that when this happened he and his
superintendent solemnly debated whether they should go and get drunk or
start a fight with the sand-hogs; it did seem as if they were entitled
to some emotional outlet, all the circumstances considered!

"So after months of difficulties the foundation work was at last
finished. I've forgotten to mention that there was some little
difficulty with the eccentricities of the sub-basement floor. The wet
clay ruined the first concrete poured, and little springs had a way of
gushing up in the boiler-room. Also, one night a concrete shell for the
elevator pit completely disappeared--sank out of sight in the soft
bottom. But by digging the trench again and jacking down the bottom and
putting hay under the concrete, the floor was finished; and that detail
was settled.

"The remainder of the job was by comparison uneventful. The things that
happened were all more or less in the day's work, such as a carload of
stone for the fourth story arriving when what the masons desperately
needed was the carload for the second, and the carload for the third
getting lost and being discovered after three days' search among the
cripples in a Buffalo freight-yard. And there was a strike of
structural-steel work workers which snarled up everything for a while;
and always, of course, there were the small obstacles and differences
owners and architects are in the habit of hatching up to keep a builder
from getting indifferent. But these things were what every builder
encounters and expects. What Rob's wife could not reconcile herself to
was the fact that all those days of hard work, all those days and nights
of strain and responsibility, were all for nothing. Profits had long
since been drowned in the foundation work; Robert would actually have to
pay several thousand dollars for the privilege of putting up that
building! When the girl could not keep back one wail over this detail
her husband looked at her in genuine surprise.

"'Why, it's been worth the money to me, what I've learned,' he said.
'I've got an education out of that old hoodoo that some men go through
Tech and work twenty years without getting; I've learned a new wrinkle
in every one of the building trades; I've learned men and I've learned
law, and I've delivered the goods. It's been hell, but I wouldn't have
missed it!'"

Mrs. Trask looked eagerly and a little wistfully at the three faces in
front of her. Her own face was alight. "Don't you see--that's the way a
real man looks at his work; but that man's wife would never have
understood it if she hadn't been interested enough to watch his job. She
saw him grow older and harder under that job; she saw him often haggard
from the strain and sleepless because of a dozen intricate problems; but
she never heard him complain and she never saw him any way but
courageous and often boyishly gay when he'd got the best of some
difficulty. And furthermore, she knew that if she had been the kind of a
woman who is not interested in her husband's work he would have kept it
to himself, as most American husbands do. If he had, she would have
missed a chance to learn a lot of things that winter, and she probably
wouldn't have known anything about the final chapter in the history of
the job that the two of them had fallen into the habit of referring to
as the White Elephant. They had moved back to New York then, and the
Rockford bank building was within two weeks of its completion, when at
seven o'clock one morning their telephone rang. Rob answered it and his
wife heard him say sharply: 'Well, what are you doing about it?' And
then: 'Keep it up. I'll catch the next train.'

"'What is it?' she asked, as he turned away from the telephone and she
saw his face.

"'The department store next to the Elephant is burning,' he told her.
'Fireproof? Well, I'm supposed to have built a fireproof building--but
you never can tell.'

"His wife's next thought was of insurance, for she knew that Robert had
to insure the building himself up to the time he turned it over to the
owners. 'The insurance is all right?' she asked him.

"But she knew by the way he turned away from her that the worst of all
their bad luck with the Elephant had happened, and she made him tell
her. The insurance had lapsed about a week before. Rob had not renewed
the policy because its renewal would have meant adding several hundreds
to his already serious deficit, and, as he put it, it seemed to him that
everything that could happen to that job had already happened. But now
the last stupendous, malicious catastrophe threatened him. Both of them
knew when he said good-by that morning and hurried out to catch his
train that he was facing ruin. His wife begged him to let her go with
him; at least she would be some one to talk to on that interminable
journey; but he said that was absurd; and, anyway, he had a lot of
thinking to do. So he started off alone.

"At the station before he left he tried to get the Rockford bank
building on the telephone. He got Rockford and tried for five minutes to
make a connection with his superintendent's telephone in the bank
building, until the operator's voice came to him over the wire: 'I tell
you, you can't get that building, mister. It's burning down!'

"'How do you know?' he besought her.

"'I just went past there and I seen it,' her voice came back at him.

"He got on the train. At first he felt nothing but a queer dizzy vacuum
where his brain should have been; the landscape outside the windows
jumbled together like a nightmare landscape thrown up on a
moving-picture screen. For fifty miles he merely sat rigidly still, but
in reality he was plunging down like a drowning man to the very bottom
of despair. And then, like the drowning man, he began to come up to the
surface again. 

The instinct for self-preservation stirred in him and
broke the grip of that hypnotizing despair. At first slowly and
painfully, but at last with quickening facility, he began to think, to
plan. Stations went past; a man he knew spoke to him and then walked on,
staring; but he was deaf and blind. He was planning for the future.
Already he had plumbed, measured, and put behind him the fact of the
fire; what he occupied himself with now was what he could save from the
ashes to make a new start with. And he told me afterwards that actually,
at the end of two hours of the liveliest thinking he had ever done in
his life, he began to enjoy himself! His fighting blood began to tingle;
his head steadied and grew cool; his mind reached out and examined every
aspect of his stupendous failure, not to indulge himself in the weakness
of regret, but to find out the surest and quickest way to get on his
feet again. Figuring on the margins of timetables, going over the
contracts he had in hand, weighing every asset he possessed in the
world, he worked out in minute detail a plan to save his credit and his

When he got off the train at Boston he was a man that had
already begun life over again; he was a general that was about to make
the first move in a long campaign, every move and counter-move of which
he carried in his brain. Even as he crossed the station he was
rehearsing the speech he was going to make at the meeting of his
creditors he intended to hold that afternoon. Then, as he hastened
toward a telephone-booth, he ran into a newsboy. A headline caught his
eye. He snatched at the paper, read the headlines, standing there in the
middle of the room. And then he suddenly sat down on the nearest bench,
weak and shaking.

"On the front page of the paper was a half-page picture of the Rockford
bank building with the flames curling up against its west wall, and
underneath it a caption that he read over and over before he could grasp
what it meant to him. The White Elephant had not burned; in fact, at the
last it had turned into a good elephant, for it had not only not burned
but it had stopped the progress of what threatened to be a very
disastrous conflagration, according to a jubilant despatch from
Rockford. And Robert, reading these lines over and over, felt an amazing
sort of indignant disappointment to think that now he would not have a
chance to put to the test those plans he had so minutely worked out. He
was in the position of a man that has gone through the painful process
of readjusting his whole life; who has mentally met and conquered a
catastrophe that fails to come off. He felt quite angry and cheated for
a few minutes, until he regained his mental balance and saw how absurd
he was, and then, feeling rather foolish and more than a little shaky,
he caught a train and went up to Rockford.

"There he found out that the report had been right; beyond a few cracked
wire-glass windows--for which, as one last painful detail, he had to
pay--and a blackened side wall, the Elephant was unharmed. The men
putting the finishing touches to the inside had not lost an hour's work.
All that dreadful journey up from New York had been merely one last turn
of the screw.

"Two weeks later he turned the Elephant over to the owners, finished, a
good, workmanlike job from roof to foundation-piers. He had lost money
on it; for months he had worked overtime his courage, his ingenuity, his
nerve, and his strength. But that did not matter. He had delivered the
goods. I believe he treated himself to an afternoon off and went to a
ball-game; but that was all, for by this time other jobs were under way,
a whole batch of new problems were waiting to be solved; in a week the
Elephant was forgotten."

Mrs. Trask pushed back her chair and walked to the west window. A
strange quiet had fallen upon the sky-scraper now; the workmen had gone
down the ladders, the steam-riveters had ceased their tapping. Mrs.
Trask opened the window and leaned out a little.

Behind her the three women at the tea-table gathered up their furs in
silence. Cornelia Blair looked relieved and prepared to go on to dinner
at another club, Mrs. Bullen avoided Mrs. Van Vechten's eye. In her rosy
face faint lines had traced themselves, as if vaguely some new
perceptiveness troubled her. She looked at her wristwatch and rose from
the table hastily.

"I must run along," she said. "I like to get home before John does. You
going my way, Sally?"

Mrs. Van Vechten shook her head absently. There was a frown between her
dark brows; but as she stood fastening her furs her eyes went to the
west window, with an expression in them that was almost wistful. For an
instant she looked as if she were going over to the window beside Mary
Trask; then she gathered up her gloves and muff and went out without a

Mary Trask was unaware of her going. She had forgotten the room behind
her and her friends at the tea-table, as well as the other women
drifting in from the adjoining room. She was contemplating, with her
little, absent-minded smile, her husband's name on the builder's sign
halfway up the unfinished sky-scraper opposite.

"Good work, old Rob," she murmured. Then her hand went up in a quaint
gesture that was like a salute. "To all good jobs and the men behind

them!" she added.

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Antonio Canova (Italian pronunciation:  November 1 1757 – October 13 1822) was an Italian neoclassical sculptor, famous for his marble sculptures. Often regarded as the greatest of the neoclassical artists, his artwork was inspired by the Baroque and the classical revival, but avoided the melodramatics of the former, and the cold artificiality of the latter.
Cupid and Psyche (1808)

                                  “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss“ - 1787

You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth.
You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean
by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.
Kahlil Gibran


THE ART OF WAR............


Giorgio Basile AKA Angel Face is an alleged hit man for the 'Ndrangheta. 

The New England Mafia.

Good book about the New England mafia with some nice rare pictures

Coming from RI - The book was great

This held my interest, read it in two sittings, quite late at night. Most of the main characters were familiar to me, being a born and bred New Englander, got a kick out of some of the descriptions. A good easy read with lots of history and Mafia insight.

 Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photos: The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. 


A detailed photographic account of the murders that shocked the underworld, the St. Valentine's Day massacre. The author tells the story of what happened and how it happened on that fateful day for the Northside gang and demonstrates with photos. Good book.

Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photographs. Dutch Schultz. Paperback


Dutch Schultz continues to capture and fascinate and his story, including his last words, are detailed here with dozens of photographs from Schultz early days in crime until the bitter end.

Dutch Schultz (Arthur Flegenheimer) was the problem child of organized crime in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s who made his fortune in bootlegging alcohol and the numbers racket. The book gives a quick but accurate account of the Dutchman's rise and his battle in two tax evasions trials led by prosecutor Thomas Dewey. It covers his murder, probably on the orders of fellow mobster Lucky Luciano. In an effort to avert his conviction, Schultz asked the Commission for permission to kill Dewey, which they declined. After Schultz disobeyed the Commission and attempted to carry out the hit, they ordered his assassination in 1935. The book has a very fine series of photographs. Good reading at a fair price.

Shooting the mob. Organized crime in photos. Dead Mobsters, Gangsters and Hoods.


This book covers the full gamut of gangsters with many excellent photos. The story accompanying each slain hoodlum varies from a few pages to one or two lines. The book suffers from atrocious editing of the text. Words are frequently mispelled or missing, sentences often end half way through only to resume as a new sentence and paragraphs sometimes end midsentence. There are also no sources for anything. If not for this, the book would have received five stars. 


Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobsters in Photos Paperback – December 20, 2011


This is a funny book, okay a little bloody in places but believe it or not, the recipes are actually pretty good and there are several good stories about mobsters and meals. The mob stories are mixted with authentic Italian recipes and other Outfit anecdotes and all of it makes for fun reading and actually some pretty good cooking.(Including the meat sauce recipe from the prison scene in "Gooodfellas") Most of the recipes are very simple fare, quick to make and include classic dishes like Shrimp Scampi, a simple Tomato Sauce, Veal Piccata, Asparagus with Prosciutto, Baked Stuffed Clams, Veal Chops Milanese, Caponata and Lobster. The book has about 50 something photos of dead mobsters followed by a recipe.The bloody scenes aside, this book would make compliment most cooking libraries and will works especially well for the novice cook.

There is no shortage of corpses in this book. Its page after page of dead hoodlums from the underworld with a passage on how they got that way and by whom. Gory but I must say, fascinating as the violence of the underworld so often is. The book is a guilty pleasure.

The Salerno Report. The Mafia and the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: The report by Mafia expert Ralph Salerno Consultant to the Select Committee on Assassinations


A must read for anyone studying the Kennedy assassination. Among the many conspiracy theories is the possible involvement of Mafia. As we all know there are no definite conclusions, and history may never resolve the issue, but this report is engaging and captive reading..

The Salerno Report is far more accurate than the Warren Report

Evidence mounted in a certain direction. The truth is still discoverable, and this ghastly event in our history deserves still more examination. This book contributes to the eventual revelation of what really happened.


Rosenthal murder case


"The old Metropole. The old Metropole," brooded Mr. Wolfshiem gloomily. "Filled with faces dead and gone. Filled with friends gone now forever. I can't forget so long as I live the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal there. It was six of us at the table, and Rosy had eat and drunk a lot all evening. When it was almost morning the waiter came up to him with a funny look and says somebody wants to speak to him
outside. 'all right,' says Rosy, and begins to get up, and I pulled him down in his chair. "'Let the bastards in here if they want you, Rosy, but don't you, so help me, move outside this room.' "It was four o'clock in the morning then, and if we'd of raised the blinds we'd of seen daylight."
"Did he go?" I asked innocently.
'Sure he went." Mr. Wolfshiem's nose flashed at me indignantly. "He turned around in the door and says: 'Don't let that waiter take away my coffee!' Then he went out on the sidewalk, and they shot him three times in his full belly and drove away."
"Four of them were electrocuted,"
I said, remembering. "Five, with Becker"
The Great Gatsby

The Becker-Rosenthal trial was a 1912 trial for the murder of Herman Rosenthal by Charles Becker and members of the Lenox Avenue Gang. The trial ran from October 7, 1912 to October 30, 1912 and restarted on May 2, 1914 to May 22, 1914. Other procedural events took place in 1915.
 In July 1912, Lieutenant Charles Becker was named in the New York World as one of three senior police officials involved in the case of Herman Rosenthal, a small time bookmaker who had complained to the press that his illegal casinos had been badly damaged by the greed of Becker and his associates. On July 16, two days after the story appeared, Rosenthal walked out of the Hotel Metropole at 147 West 43rd Street, just off Times Square. He was gunned down by a crew of Jewish gangsters from the Lower East Side, Manhattan. In the aftermath, Manhattan District Attorney Charles S. Whitman, who had made an appointment with Rosenthal before his death, made no secret of his belief that the gangsters had committed the murder at Charles Becker's behest.
 At first, John J. Reisler, also known as "John the barber," told the police that he'd seen "Bridgey" Webber running away from the crime scene directly following the killing. He recanted under duress from gangsters the next week, and was charged with perjury.
 The investigation was covered on the front page of the New York Times for months. It was so complex that the NYPD recalled thirty retired detectives to help investigate; they were said "to know most of the gangsters."
One of these old-timers, Detective Upton, formerly of the NYPD "Italian Squad," was instrumental in the July 25, 1912, arrest of "Dago" Frank Cirofici, one of the suspected killers. He and his companion, Regina Gorden (formerly known as "Rose Harris"), were "so stupefied by opium that they offered no objection to their arrests," according to the New York Times.

Joe Petrosino


Any book about Joe Petrosino can't be all bad. Far too little attention is paid to Petrosino these days. The foolish Public remembers names of scumbags like Capone, Gotti, Valachi, Tony Soprano, etc. Far too few people remember New York Cop Joe Petrosino. In a time when Italians were segregated, harassed by Cops and treated as second class citizens, Petrosino arose as the first Italian anti-gangster Cop. Then, as now, gangsters claimed they were the victims of prejudice, discrimination and profiling. Petrosino rose above his times to become a Pioneer in anti-Mafia police work. Tough as nails, un-corruptible, and utterly fearless, Petrosino was assassinated by the Mafia in their usual cowardly style.

This book is a welcome bit of scholarship on the great Petrosino. Tuohy's book does contain an, apparent, misprint. There is a lone word, without authority, regarding Petrosino being "corrupt," perhaps a reference to his tough police tactics. Corruption, however, implies a personal power or profit motive. Tuohy provides no evidence or argument of any such motive or activity on Petrosino's part. On the contrary, the only evidence is that Petrosino was a good, honest Cop. Petrosino is a role model for young and old alike, oppressed immigrants, and even whining minority gangsters and their sympathizers, such as Sharpton, Obama, Jackson, and Holder.

I have several books from The Mob Files Series and I have really enjoyed reading them. The Joe Petrosino story is definitely one worth reading. He had an interesting life working against the mafia. I enjoyed seeing the pictures in the book and they helped bring the story to life.

AND HERE'S SOME ANIMALS FOR YOU................... 

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