Now there’s an oxy-moronic term if I ever heard one… Do you know any sixteen-year-olds that are sweet? (They’re too busy playing Pokemon Go!) When I was a teenager we spent our time more wisely — reading. (Mainly Playboy and National Geographic Magazine.) In any case, the blog title is not meant as a reference to juvenile delinquents, but as a reference to the fact that I recently received my 16th literary award. While I was traipsing around Italy, my history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, won the “Honorable Mention Award,” (third place) at the 2016 New York Book Festival.
The awards ceremony is going to be held at the (in) famous Algonquin Hotel in midtown Manhattan. I may attend the ceremony, mainly out of respect for all the incredible writers who made the hotel famous back in the 20’s and 30’s. Back in the day, a group of editors, book authors, and playwrights gathered at the Round Table Restaurant and spent countless hours engaged in brilliant repartee. The group included such literary geniuses as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood (winner of 4 Pulitzer Prizes!), Alexander Woolcott, Edna Ferber, and my personal playwriting idol, George S. Kaufman. (who also wrote some of the movie scripts for the Marx Brothers.)
For those of you concerned about my mental well-being, fear not, I have finally caught up with my emails and have returned to my (semi) normal routine as a (semi) famous author and bon vivant. I am thrilled to report that we now have close to 30,000 blog followers, and that most of them actually speak a version of the English language. (Those folks from Gozo are a bit problematic.)
Several of my curious blog followers have requested a little more information about my archaeological stop in the Sicilian port of Agrigento. So, for your educational edification, allow me to add that the town was originally founded by the Greeks, overtaken by the Romans, conquered by the Muslim Arabs, and preserved by the Normans. (Whew, what a cast of characters!) In other words, there was an incredible mix of cultures, adding to the overall charm and mystique of the city. (At the end of this blog, I will post some photos of our stop in Agrigento, so please remain awake… I know it’s a little early for some of you!)
On the home front, I would like to congratulate the Princess of Portugal (and her hubby, Baron Lee) for sponsoring the soccer team of Portugal, which recently won the 2016 Euro Championship. (Their frequent trips to the Azores paid for the uniforms and the foot powder used by the players!)
Also close to home (actually, just inside our house) we were honored to wine and dine with Judge Susan, the (semi) notorious “Hanging Judge” of Central Texas. She got that moniker not for sentencing scofflaws to hang, but for “hanging around” the courthouse with a pair of crutches and beating unprepared lawyers over the head. (with the soft end of the crutches) I am happy to report that her Honor is on the mend, and will soon resume her flagging tap-dancing career.
And since we are on the subject of friends, allow me to thank Mr. Robert Todaro for sending me a lovely Maltese poem as a remembrance of my visit to Malta and Gozo. (Robert actually speaks and understands their language, which is remarkable. Only a handful of human beings have conquered that challenge!) Nonetheless, I would like to leave you with this poem, which I hope you enjoy:
“Il-bjuda taz-zahar u l-hegga tat-tfulija huma I-poezija tal-holm.”
Translation: (roughly) “The whiteness of blossoms and the enthusiasm of boyhood are the poetry of dreams.”
I apologize for leaving out some of the symbols above the words, but my ancient computer doesn’t seem to have any of these in stock. (or perhaps I just can’t find them) Still, you get the idea. So, with that, allow me to say goodbye until next Sunday. I hope all of you have a wondrous week. Love to all,
*** Stay tuned for some enchanting photographs!