The Final Round
Gannett Rochester Newspapers
November 7, 2012
On the occasion of the death of boxing great, friend and hero, Carmen Basilio
It hurts to have a good friend die. But when that good friend was also a hero to you, it gets even harder. Carmen Basilio was from my hometown of Canastota, N.Y. I was a boy listening to the radio when he won the welterweight championship in June 1955 against a very tough Tony DeMarco. We heard the fight on the radio. I was around 12 and tears welled up in my eyes — and that of my father — when Carmen took some blows that staggered him. “In the la panzia,” my father yelled at the radio. “Hit him in the breadbasket, Carmenooch!”
For The Birds
Presentation, School of the Visual Arts, NYC
October 28, 2010
Published in the Proceedings of that conference, 2011.
I have read a lot about and watched birds over the years. I have also had some very profound experiences with them which has caused me to wonder if there is still more to birds than even their beauty, gift of flight, and song. When does a pattern emerge that points to “yes”—yes, there is something recognizable in the inexplicable?
Though I am sure far-fetched to many, I believe the birds may be able to reach us in a spiritual sort of way. I am unsure if this has always been true, or with our threatened environment, they’re simply working harder at it. I believe all this with the certainty that resides in the word “faith.”