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I am collecting short fragments of memory to be blogged from time to time when this website is up and running smoothly.


Epstein Barr and other Niceties like Writing Poetry
Towards the end of my years as a Jesuit scholastic, I became very ill.   I suffered severe psychological stress.  I remember feeling like I was going crazy with wild thoughts in writing poetry.  I pulled back.  Looking back after many years, it was probably the onset of what later was diagnosed as Epstein Barr virus.   Of course, the rigorous intellectual and spiritual life was also a factor.  But I was up for that part of the life.   I lost so much weight, down to 135 vs. 165, that people commented that I looked like someone from a Nazi concentration camp.   Thanks a lot!   TO BE CONTINUED


MEMOIRS aligned with poetry

I have undertaken a long form version of my memoirs, but with a twist.   There are poems in my collection that line up with various life experiences.  I place a poem at the head of the chapter as a kind of analog for the subject. So the project is not chronological but by types of experiences.

Horace Greeley didn't say  
Why our country went that way.
He just said to go along.
H.L. Mencken gleed to find
He'd destroyed our peace of mind
Because he knew what it was on.
Jim Kilgallen didn't care
For bullet holes in his underwear,
But he didn't put us on.
Who will tell us what to say,
Or keep us on the straightened way,
When the New York Times is gone?

from my Memoirs...1960's

When Jim Kilgallen was in his 70s, he showed up one day in my office at Fordham University in the Bronx.  I didn’t connect with who he was at first.   It was around the time his daughter Dorothy mysteriously died.    I never figured out why for sure, but he worked with me for several days.  Here was the guy who had been a star reporter for the Chicago Tribune, covered the mob, was an eye witness at the attack on Pearl Harbor, and had two famous daughters.  Dorothy was a star reporter in her own right and a regular on the the television program, What’s My Line?   Eleanor was a famous casting director in Hollywood.  Jim bragged about both of them.   He did this after work when he would say to me, “Let’s go have an el belto.”  So we would walk up Fordham Road, across Webster Avenue to the nearest Blarney Stone, a chain of pubs in those days.   Jim was a very elegant man, thin and lanky, his snow white hair cut and combed neatly, wearing a beautiful linen suit.   He loved recounting the stories he covered over many years, and I loved hearing them... more later.