The stories represent a kind of odyssey, a pursuit fraught with small victories and large defeats--love, honor, rejection, in all, an effort to contend with the mystery of forces often beyond our control--especially the impact of early church, borderline poverty which fueled dreams of escape via an unrelenting addiction to work, own property, pursue education as the answer to mediocrity. The delusions, small and large fabrications prompted by unrequited love, it's residue of scorn, sorrow, as well as the magic of forgiveness.
Product of early twentieth century, WW1, educated by nuns, part-time altar boy who'd occasionally nip priest's wine, segued to high school basketball captaincy and subsequent scholarship to St. John's University, fell in love with books, history while running the boards under coach Joe Lapchick, all of it ending when knee refused to make any more quick stops and turns.
After a series of nondescript jobs, found self singing with big bands, radio, theaters till the incursion of rock music. Wound up as a headwaiter at Guy Lombardo's Freeport L.I. restaurant.
Tired of saying "Good evening sir," returned to St. John's, degree, landed English teacher's position at Sayville L.I. high school and spent the next twenty-odd glorious years teaching a rounded English program--composition, poetry, novels, plays to a politically conscious youth, not to exclude, though, those who'd nod out after a lunch period of pot.