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Tuscan Mushroom

Daisy does not say ahead of time what she will play. This is her one incontrovertible condition for accepting an engagement. She decides on the spot. She plays mostly in the evening and begins to feel the music only when darkness begins to fall and she finds herself in the space of the music  Read More 
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TUSCANY (continued)

On the drive into Abbadia San Salvatore we pass a stadium of boccie courts. It is closed and gated in preparation for The Feast of the Chestnut which is tomorrow. Italians give the chestnut its own feast day because the chestnut is shaped like a heart. Through the gate and beyond you could see  Read More 
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Daisy invited to play the Gofreddo Mamelli rhapsody at an old enoteca in a Tuscan town named Abbadia San Salvatore. We drive there in a Fiat, standard shift. Daisy decides to be adventuresome at the same time fearful of male Italian drivers. Nothing automatic about Daisy.
“Stay in the right lane,” I say dully.  Read More 
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Pappardelle con il cinghiale. Pasta with boar sauce.

(siena is divided into contrade, or, roughly, neighborhoods. Bensonhurst is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York)

In our Bensonhurst contrada it is always fall. Our trees are always shedding their leaves. Our young ones kick up these leaves walking through. They are orange-yellow and yellow. Our contrada is a bright one. Our women are  Read More 
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The Crow, an Italian Sojourn

Mon. Oct. 28, '13

“There’s something very pleasant about a language you don’t understand…It’s like a fog swirling around in your thoughts…It’s nice, It’s like a dream, there’s really nothing better…it’s nice as long as the words stay in the dream .”—Death on the Installment  Read More 
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BART: a Life of A. Bartlett Giamatti

Radio spot Sunday May 5, Detroit. Major points: the man loved bseball, loved it in the same way he loved Renaissance epic poetry, perhaps same part of his brain & heart. One great irony is that he will be known more for his life in baseball, president of National League then Commissioner, than his life in academe & his academic books. His essay The Green Fields of the Mind will remain as a classic. "It breaks your heart because it was meant to..."  Read More 
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Shel Silverstein & John Dante, 1976, in their prime

Shel Silverstein & John Dante lived together in the Playboy Mansion for at least two decades. They remained great friends after John left the Mansion in 1993. You could see how much they respected one another, states Noel Cunningham in JOHN DANTE'S INFERNO, a Playboy's Life. Noel was master chef of The Touch Club, a private  Read More 
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John Dante's Polaroids

John Dante termed taking Polaroid snapshots of his lovers a “nefarious hobby.” He wrote in his last letter to me: "“I know that it must seem perverse (and I hope Victoria [my special lady] doesn’t think me a ‘pig’ before meeting me) but no harm was ever done—it was very errotic and stimulating fore-play–and the ladies actually enjoyed doing it—because it aroused me so much—and I was able to preserve these ‘fantasy nights’. With the pictures I was able to re-call a particular night with a particular person.” Read More 
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View from Tiber River, Florence
Soon a virtual book tour commences re JOHN DANTE'S INFERNO, a Playboy's Life
"Virtual": everywhere & nowhere.

Original photo by Anthony Valerio:
View from Tiber River, Florence

“How could you want to spend your last years in a place where you’ve never been?--from JOHN DANTE’S INFERNO, a Playboy’s Life. pg. 21 (print ed.)

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Work & Play

“In her most intimate moments with her killer, in their most intense
throes of sexual ecstasy, she (Dorothy Stratten) may have divined his capacity for extreme violence, even murder.”
—from JOHN DANTE’S INFERNO, a Playboy’s Life. pg. 169 (print ed.)
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