A Christmas Carol

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King_of_Diamonds_stock_xchng_royalty_free-1Sett’ e mezz’!” roared my grandfather as he rose from his seat. He towered over my meek ten-year old body like a grizzly bear rearing above its prey.

I saw hunger in his ferocious eyes. But I wasn’t afraid. I knew the next lesson was about to begin.

“Sam!” yelled my grandmother, instinctively and in that terse disapproving way it seemed she could summon up from nowhere. Immediately the aggressiveness vanished from my grandfather’s countenance and he obediently shrank back into his chair.

“What do you want me to do, Flo? Those are the rules,” he said, timidly trying to justify his actions. Sensing his own reticence, he tried to counter it by continuing with a voice rising in intensity and ending with a tone of self-assured purpose. “He dealt me the King of Diamonds. The rule is you have to let the dealer know as soon as you get it. You’re supposed to shout ‘Sette e la mezza,’ too. Do you expect me to treat him any different than anyone else? Sooner or later he’s gonna go out in the real world. You think they’re gonna treat him nice? No. Look at him. If he doesn’t toughen up, they’re gonna eat him alive.”

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A Personal Reflection of A. Bartlett Giamatti

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the September 7, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I sat in Woolsey Hall with 1,300 other Freshmen nearly 11 years ago to the day. At the podium stood the newly ordained University President, who’s very pompous pontification my Gates-Chili classmates had earlier warned me to be wary of. “Remember, Chris,” they advised me prior to my departure in early September, “don’t let their fancy words and snobby accents intimidate you. After all, they’re only Continue Reading “A Personal Reflection of A. Bartlett Giamatti”