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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Thought for 2012

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." -The Dalai Lama

Saturday, December 24, 2011

R.I.P. Dad

Cornelius M. DiLauro (1921 -2011) Aviator, farmer, father of 12, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away Saturday December 24 after a short battle with lung cancer. He was surrounded by members of his family at home in Sarasota, Florida.

He grew up in upstate New York on a fruit farm, the son of Italian immigrants. In the Second World War, he flew a P-38 Lightning fighter plane in the North Africa and Italian campaigns. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusters, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and the Purple Heart.

He often told the story of how, after he was shot at the poker table in a tent when a German plane strafed his airfield, he was in the triage tent for almost 3 weeks with a .50 caliber machine gun bullet in his gut. There were initials found scratched on the bullet when finally it was removed – the initials of the surgeon..

After the war he worked at odd jobs and for awhile promoted Dixieland jazz concerts at the local grange. Eventually, he joined Capitol Airlines, which became part of United Airlines, as a pilot. In January 1949 he married Ellen Ferrin, who survives him. This writer, born in January 1950, was their first child.

Cornelius DiLauro carried on the family tradition of fruit farming by planting 60 acres of cherry, peach and apple trees with his sons and brothers, outside Albion, NY during the 1950s. Due to his job he moved to Clinton Township, New Jersey, in the 1960s, where he grew raspberries on 17 acres.

He will always be remembered for his wit, sense of humor, and toughness in the face of any and all adversity. He was affectionately known as Corny by friends and family. He is survived by, in addition to my mother, 9 children, several grandchildren, and a great-grand-daughter. R.I.P., Dad. Love you. See you on the other side.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Tribute To Horowitz: Lola Astanova, Piano Debut

A Tribute To Horowitz: Lola Astanova, Piano Debut

Benefit Concert for American Cancer Society
Donald J. Trump, Gala Chairman
Julie Andrews, Special Guest Artist Host
Thursday, January, 19, 2012- 8pm

New York, NY – On Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 8:00pm, piano virtuoso Lola Astanova makes her Carnegie Hall debut in “A Tribute to Horowitz” performing the works of Chopin, Scriabin and Rachmaninov at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.
The evening is a benefit for the American Cancer Society. The gala chairman is Donald Trump. Julie Andrews will appear as the special guest artist host to introduce Ms. Astanova on stage. The event is being executive produced by Misha Levintas and sponsored by Tiffany & Co. Tickets for $100 – 20 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box office, Carnegie Charge 212-247-7800, Further information at
As you might imagine, for a young piano virtuoso from Russia, now a U.S. citizen residing in Manhattan, this evening is an astounding milestone in Ms. Astanova’s career. Lola is a mashup of a classically trained piano virtuoso and a modern musician who uses her 2.5 million You Tube views and Twitter to reach her fans.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Message from the Delaware Riverkeeper

Clean Water: A Priceless Gift that Future Generations Will Thank You For

Healthy rivers are the lifeblood that sustains healthy communities. The protection of our rivers should be a top priority for us all. But rather than making the protection of our rivers a priority, there are those who would take advantage of our public waters for personal profit. They hire high-priced lawyers to find new ways around already weakened environmental laws. They hire “experts” willing to dispute established science. They tell us we must choose between the environment our children will inherit and the economy.

In truth, protected environments are an investment in a sustainable and nourishing future.  We documented this in our River Values report. We’re not stopping there; the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is working to make sure agencies charged with protecting the environment are doing their jobs. We go to court to enforce environmental laws when they don’t. And we train citizen scientists to help monitor the watershed when the agencies aren’t watching.

But we need your help. I am turning to you today to ask you to invest in the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. We need your help to raise $100,000 before the end of the year to ensure that the Delaware Riverkeeper Network remains the strong advocacy organization that the River and the communities that depend upon it need.

Your donation will give you the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting the only grassroots river advocacy organization operating throughout the 13,539 square miles of the Delaware River watershed.  Your contribution is critical to the number of threats to the River we will be able to take on as we moveinto 2012. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is a not for profit organization entitled to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.  Your generous gift will be deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Make your secure donation online at Please give as generously as you can afford.

Thank you for investing in the Delaware Riverkeeper Network now so that future generations may have the priceless gift of clean water.

Maya K. van Rossum
the Delaware Riverkeeper

George Whitman Remembered by Eddie Woods

I received the following missive from the poet and international litterateur Eddie Woods in Amsterdam this morning and have re-posted it with his permission:


Anyone who manages to survive as long and wonderfully as George Whitman did,
surely deserves more than a mere RIP when they pass on.

George, the iconic proprietor of Paris’ legendary Shakespeare & Co. bookshop,
died yesterday just two days after celebrating his 98th birthday!

Here’s the Guardian’s obituary:

And for those of you who have not yet read it,
here is the story I wrote about my experiences with George,
as published in the online magazine Parisiana:
“A Place to Change Trains”

Along with my condolences to his lovely daughter Sylvia,
and his very many close friends,
there’s nothing else to say other than:
Bon voyage, mon ami.
When the good Lord made thee,
he certainly did break the proverbial mold!



Shakespeare & Co. website

Eddie Woods website

Inside Shakespeare & Co.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Mele Kalikimaka" songwriter video

R. Alex Anderson -- songwriter who composed "Mele Kalikimaka" and "Lovely Hula Hands".

And here's Bing's version:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gifts Made in America

I just watched a segment on Dylan Ratigan's show and they were lamenting a deficit of Christmas gift items made in America. BUY A BOOK!

Buy my books on Amazon. (click here) The books are printed in South Carolina. Amazon is an American company.. (Yes, There are Kindle editions around the planet, too, thanks to Amazon.)

Do e-readers so command the attention of the media elite and hip youth that no one even mentions books anymore? Most books are printed and manufactured in America. Some people still read them.

Books make great gifts. Think how rare they will someday be.


The Bookstore Speakeasy tonight

Friday, December 9, The Bookstore Speakeasy

Ginseng Roots Trio
9pm - 1 am
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015-1661

(610) 867-1100

Uke Jackson on ukulele, vocals, and the Grand Contraption
Johnny Peppers on saxophones
David Winograd on tuba and bass fiddle

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Save the Delaware River!

Over 20 Groups Petition PA Dept of Environmental Protection for a Regional Upgrade of the Delaware River and Tributaries
to Exceptional Value Status
12/8/11, Bristol, PA – Delaware Riverkeeper Network, American Rivers, Clean Water Action, Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited and over twenty local, state, and national organizations are submitting a regional stream upgrade petition to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to urge the Commonwealth to redesignate the Upper and Middle Delaware River and all tributary streams flowing into the River in these reaches on the Pennsylvania side to “Exceptional Value” status.  This designation is reserved for the cleanest streams of the Commonwealth and only about 4% or 3,076 miles of Pennsylvania’s 86,000 miles of streams have received this designation (2009 data).  Many of the streams of the proposed upgrade area have High Quality designation because of the clean streams in this region. The petitioners are submitting a 70-plus page petition that highlights water quality data from agency and non-agency sources and other qualifiers that they say, make this watershed deserving of an upgrade to Exceptional Value - the highest designation available to Pennsylvania streams.  With this designation should come stronger protections to ensure this region’s water quality does not degrade in health over time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Gigs

NOTE: Yesterday evening, after posting this, another gig came in -- for Christmas Eve. Still waiting and hoping some classy rich folks to decide they want live music on New Year's Eve.

So far on New Year's Eve, we have an early evening one hour gig for the full band at a senior living community in New Jersey. If you know anyone craving some New Orleans jazz and blues while bringing in the New Year, we'll be all dressed up and ready to swing!

Meanwhile, here are the gigs that we DO have booked this month:

Friday, December 9, The Bookstore Speakeasy

Ginseng Roots Trio
Uke Jackson on reso uke and vocals

Johnny Peppers on saxophones
David Winograd on tuba and string bass

9pm - 1 am
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015-1661

(610) 867-1100

Friday, December 16, Porter's Pub

Ginseng Roots Band
Uke Jackson on reso uke and vocals

Johnny Peppers on saxophones
Pete Reichlin on tuba, electric bass, and trombone
with special guests
Arlene Schar on fiddle
Chris Centrella on washboard

9 pm - Midnight

Porter's Pub
700 Northampton Street
Easton PA

Saturday, December 24, The Bookstore Speakeasy

Ginseng Roots Trio
9pm - 1 am
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015-1661

(610) 867-1100

Friday, December 2, 2011

R.I.P. Bill Tapia

The planet's oldest touring musician has left the building. Bill Tapia passed away peacefully in his sleep last night at the age of 103.Thanks for the music!