Professor Anthony Mancini, director of the journalism program of Brooklyn College, is a seasoned educator and versatile professional writer of both fiction and non-fiction works. Mancini spent his early career as a reporter and editor for 20 years at the New York Post, mostly pre-Rupert Murdoch. He started as a copy boy at age 19. He has contributed free-lance articles to many national and local newspapers and magazines. Mancini also is the author of seven novels appearing in trade hardcover and paperback editions, many of which have been reprinted in foreign lands, including Japan, Finland, Romania, Spain, France, Germany, Holland and other countries. His first novel, Minnie Santangelo’s Mortal Sin, published in 1975, was a Reader’s Digest condensed book selection. Another novel, Talons (1991) was a Literary Guild selection. His novel Menage was reissued in September, 2011, by Tolmitch Press on Kindle. Mancini, a native New Yorker, was born an identical twin to Italian immigrants.He is married to actress Maria Cellario. They live in Manhattan and have two grown children, Romy and Nicholas. Why does he write? Because it is a curse, addiction and compulsion. And, once in a while, a pure joy.
The article I wrote about our voyage to Saint Helena appears in this weekend’s travel section of the New York Times and I invite my readers to read it. It is on page four and headlined, “St. Helena, ‘Cursed Rock’ of Napoleon’s Exile.'” Home delivery customers can read it today.
My dear departed mother was fond of saying whenever she came home from anywhere, whether from a thousand-mile trip or having coffee with a neighbor, “Casa,casarella, la casa mia e la pui bella.” Roughly translated it is the Italian version of “Home Sweet Home.” I echoed this needlepoint sentiment last Thursday when the Great Trek was over and we returned to our eyrie in TriBeCa. The exotic adventures are finis, for a time at least; the homespun ones begin. And the adventures of the mind and pen will begin in earnest as I settle into my armchair with the broken left arm to come under the sway of my finger-wagging godmother, the Muse of organizing and writing my parvum opus of Napoleon Bonaparte. Wish me luck. As if luck had anything to do with it. Anyway, might I be forgiven, or applauded by some, for not posting very often in the coming days as the sweat of my brow will mostly lubricate the engine of my devotion to the saga of the Corsican hero. I also would like to link my cadre of readers to a story on the Brooklyn College Web site describing my efforts: http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/news/bcnews_120301.php.
December 24, 2011
Merry Christmas Eve to all our readers. We are off this afternoon to Casa Alberto where we will partake tonight of roast suckling pig, turkey and all the baubles, bangles and beads of a summertime holiday. It is odd to see Papa Noel riding a surf board but, hey, you Floridians and Californians see that all the time. Eight kids, two of them fairly grown up already, will keep things festive.
Meanwhile I will try to post a bunch of pix from various stages of our journey. Merry Kwaanza to all and to all a good knife. (How the hell do you spell it, anyhow?)
All quiet in the Western Hemisphere. We are bonding with Charito and Humberto We saw Mariana and Guadi yesterday and this little girl is angelic looking with a devilish streak. She took to me immediately. Of course. The napkin mustache went over big. She’s only five. She started pushing me around like she’d known me all her life. The last time I met her was at her baptism more than four years ago. We had dinner at Tia Coca’s last night and I met her son, Maria’s cousin Guillermo for the first time. Another cousin, Ricardo, dropped by. Coca, who’s about 88, still looks like a hot chick. Family stuff. No more lions and elephants, I’m afraid. But I swore not to make things up. I’ve also been paying bills and doing business online. Hope my readers don’t keel over with excitement.
Dec. 13 & 14.
We are at the Cape Town airport awaiting a Malaysia Airlines flight to Buenos Aires. Rain patters the airstrip. We awoke at the hotel at 4 a.m. and I am on my second cup of coffee, emerging from the fog of sleep. This is a physically enchanting place but the driver did nothing but rail against corruption in the African National Congress party. He said it was not the legacy of apartheid but the greediness of the black politicians. He was black. The beautiful landscape is dotted with townships, collections of hovels where they dump the poor and the unemployed. Yet even the untrained eye can detect hints of gradual progress toward economic equality. One sees affluent-looking black and colored people here and there and some interracial couples. Progress, as usual, is slow. Yesterday Maria toured Robben Island off Cape Town where Nelson Mandela spent some eighteen years of his long imprisonment. She was moved by the testimony of the guide; they are all former prisoners. How do they forgive? someone asked. “It is a process,” he said. He was happy to have a job.
Maria interrupts me to help her do some damage in the duty free shop. Duty free, maybe; high prices, definitely.
The flight is a little bumpy but we arrive safe and sound at the Federal Capital where we are picked up by Charito and Huberto, having touched down on our fifth continent in six weeks. But who’s counting? We nap to help ward off jet lag. You are now up-to-date.