Delicious Villainy: Donald Pleasance remembered

Donald Pleasance“My father was Italian; he provided the wine. My mother was English; she provided the breeding.”   These delicious lines were murmured by that wonderful British actor Donald Pleasance (1919-1995) in “Any Old Port in a Storm”, a 1973 episode of the Colombo television series.

Moments later, Pleasance’s character (California wine grower Adrian Carsini) bashes in the head of his wastrel brother Rick (actor Gary Conway), leaving viewers to speculate from which side of the family this bit of violence arose. Pleasance (Carsini) then leaves the body in his study while he polishes off a bottle of rare Bordeaux with a group of fellow wine enthusiasts.

Running in the footsteps of Hemingway

It seems that everyone and his or her brother or sister has written an article or book about walking in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, in Key West.

Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, in Key West.

So I decided to kick it up a notch. Literally.

What Donald Trump could have said: A real Brooklyn speech

The bombastic Donald Trump deserves to be roundly criticized for using the Yiddish* epithet ‘schlang’ in referring to Hillary Clinton.  Criticized not for its vulgarity but because its use betrays Mr. Trump’s lack of knowledge of the Yiddish language, so rich in phrases that it begs to be used on the campaign trail.  If he had been brought up in Brooklyn instead of Queens, New York and had gone to Midwood or Abraham Lincoln High School instead of a reform school for rich brats, perhaps he might have been more colorful.Trump Fuehrer 2

I can’t believe it’s December: A weekend run on the shore

View from the Frosty 5K turnaround point.

View from the Frosty 5K turnaround point.

 

It is hard to believe that it is December here on the Connecticut shoreline. No Arctic Express snow; no Nor’easters off the Atlantic; just bright, bold sun, clear and calm skies and temperatures in the mid-50’s.

In other words, perfect running weather.

And that is just what I did, opting to drive over to Guilford and jogging from the Guilford Green down to the harbor and back over the course mapped out for the Frosty 5-K race set for New Year’s Day.

Abreuve nos sillons

La peur écrasait la ville. Une peur crue, presque cruelle. Elle repoussait vers les rues sombres et fraîches, les avenues, les places ombragées et les terrasses des cafés. C’était l’heure où l’on baladait pour prendre les petits plaisirs: un ballon de rouge, une tasse de café.   C’était aussi dans Paris une heure des murmures obscures qui fleuvaient noir et profond comme le grand fleuve; une heure où les prières mutes ascendaient vers le ciel avec la lumière de dix milles petites bougies et une oraison solennel et metallique claquait contre les murs décoraient avecs raies du sang, une oraison qui bavardait comme les mitraillettes des hiers et des demains.–Stan Trybulski, 16 November, 2015

Stan Trybulski's photo.

An autumn run in the New England woods

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic… 
So began Henry Wordsworth Longfellow’s epic poem Evangeline. 
The Druids of old

The Druids of old

When in 1846 and 1847, Longfellow wrote his saga of tragic love set ninety years earlier during the forced expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, much of New England was heavily forested and familiar to the Maine born and bred poet.

Jack’s Back: A review of Green Hell by Ken Bruen

Kid, I never fuck around with murder.—Jack Taylor.Green Hell

The other morning I returned home from a four-mile run to find a copy of Ken Bruen’s Green Hell in my battered mailbox. I knew I would be spending the afternoon turning the pages of multiple-award winning Irish noir master Bruen’s eleventh and latest twisted tale of Galway bad boy Jack Taylor.

I immediately turned my car around and drove down the hill to the wine and beer store and picked up a sixer of Guinness extra stout. It would be a good start. If you’re going read Bruen, is there any better way than on the piss?

Hemingway Code Heroes, the real and the fictional: John McCain and Jim Prideaux

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.-Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.

The only good thing that has come out of Donald Trump’s scurrilous attack on Senator John McCain’s Vietnam War experience was to bring that experience back into the public eye.

And that is a very good thing.

The badly injured John McCain as a POW in a Hanoi hospital

The badly injured John McCain as a POW in a Hanoi hospital

‘Forgive them and forget’ Mummy said- A poem for this Memorial Day

On past Memorial Days, I have written about the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend freedom and democracy. But what about the innocents who also died?   Those who are also casualties of war.  Like eight-year-old Martin Richards, who only wanted a world of love and peace and who was cruelly murdered in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Is he not also a hero?Martin Richards

Should not America today remember and honor little Martin and all the victims who fall in the savage and mindless attacks against the values of modern civilization?

Behind Every Successful Man

The Second Mrs. Wilson
Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT through May 31

Setting: American President Woodrow Wilson, the new leader of the free world, returns home in 1919 from the Versailles Peace Conference where the world has been made safe for democracy. Then he has a debilitating stroke and his second wife, Edith, seizes the reins of power…or at least some of them.

Margaret Colin and John Glover, photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Margaret Colin and John Glover, photo by T. Charles Erickson.