Listen to the author read from two of his short stories, Scream to Me and Concetta I adore You. You’re bound to be brought immediately into his past, to feel the excitement of his unbridled youth, and hopefully, will laugh along with him on his journey. 

Kiss & Run
    I asked myself: “Could sin be blamed on hair?”

It’s My Party Line & I’ll Talk If I Want To
   " I can’t get on the line,” I countered, raising up both hands into the air for dramatic effect and annoyance.

A Funeral & a Too-Wide Tie
    It was a magical hideaway, for inside his desk were treasures like Juicy Fruit gum and other items hidden under stacks of important, albeit dusty papers. He would hand out packets of gum as if he were presenting each one of us with the Nobel Peace Prize. And our mouths salivated in anticipation.

Teddy Bears & the Fashion Police
    Daddy Paul, however, seemed to scowl at me, and when I looked up in his direction I thought I detected the dreaded D-word: disapproval. An off-key ‘uh-oh’ chimed silently in my head.

Jesus & the Pee Puddle
    I didn’t know what to do. I felt helpless. Would I be banned from the pearly gates of heaven if I left in mid-Hail Mary? I rocked heel to toe with greater frequency. I hoped that Sister would not recite a full rosary.

Catalog Boys
    I never thought of browns or blacks; I only imagined magentas, reds, lavenders; shimmering silvery colors of the night; angry tones and pulsating hues. It wasn’t apparent to the other family members that the pages of the Young Men’s Underwear Section were badly worn--and often torn--in comparison to say, the Appliance and/or Hardware Sections.

Scream To Me - Download Podcast - Listen Right Now
    It was better than shouting out: “Mary Lou, Mary Lou, Mary Lou” which seemed so puerile, and so un-Loretta Young like. Initially, I was afraid it might interfere with local TV transmission. But as long as they didn’t stop clear reception for Loretta’s program I was fine with that.

The Art of Dodging Duckpins 
   “Jim, I think this is a good opportunity,” encouraged Mama Dida. 
   “It’s time he learned that life isn’t a free ride,” added my father. 
   “But I’ll miss “The Barbara Stanwyck Show,” I cried.
General; Hospital & Other Soap Stars
    The votes had been tabulated and from a short list of categories, Granny Sol had just been overwhelmingly selected for BEST PERFORMANCE BY A WIFE AND MOTHER. She won for the 30th consecutive year, although her second daughter, my Aunt Connie, came in a very close second.

Stretched-Out Ballet Tights & a Too Big Tutu
    How could her toes support such a full-lady frame of real curves made for carrying multiple babies with an assigned steelworker partner from the Mill Works?

The Woodshop Follies
    He realized if he allowed me to take up any such task he would be writing up a report that would include the words blood, severed, and banshee-like screaming.

English 12 With Mrs. Walters

    It was the follicle intention and precise curl of her hair that gave Mrs. Walters away.

Stalking a Blonde Pigtail
    I don’t know when it started exactly but I began to fantasize about a blonde pigtail while in my senior year in high school. It just happened, like most obsessions: you get a taste and you just want more.

Irritated Voice Syndrome
    Oh, how I relished those mornings where I woke up with irritated-voice syndrome, something others simply referred to as a sore throat. It was on these blessed mornings that I would shout in a pure, unbridled baritone, although the purity resembled more the seductive sounds of a drunken Bette Davis than the always-in-the-saddle John Wayne.

Hurrah, Hurrah
    Although ice crystals were not my favorite meal, I did enjoy it when Johnny fell on top of me and held me momentarily like a lover, his arms encircling me until his fingers connected and locked me tight.

Saint Francis the Sissy
    I found out that Francis spent much of his time in lonely places, asking God for enlightenment, just like I had. He nursed lepers while I nursed my suffering ego. He claimed a mystical experience in which someone asked him three times: “Francis, Francis, go and repair My house,” they kept saying in a most nauseating, repetitive manner, until those repairs were made. This sounded just like Mama Dida’s entreaty to me: “Go and clean your room, go and clean your room, go and clean your room.”

Come On Baby, Douse My Fire
    Looking back upon the crime, I am thoroughly convinced--beyond even the short shadow of any doubt that may have surfaced on that grey morning in 1959--that it was instinct, impure and simple, that made me do a bad thing in the cellar of the third house where I was brought up.

Concetta I Adore You - Download Podcast - Listen Right Now
    And then I realized that lipstick was symbolic for other things, such as necking and the very real possibly of going all the way. I mean the next thing you know Connie might discover lipstick on her man’s zipper, and then she might say something even more profound than “man-oh-man.”

Slap Me Silly, Part I
    Mark W. and I were walking the neighborhood alleyways looking for a bit of mischief. Like two druggies, we needed a fix of mayhem and we needed it badly. Throwing stones at old lady Kolek’s place gave us a buzz, but we wanted more.

Slap Me Silly, Part II
    I learned quickly how to live amongst shadows; whenever the light of day graced my cheeks I ran for the cover of dark, heavy shade under a leafy spruce. I was no longer welcome to walk along with peers to and from school during the bright daylight. I was too glaring for them. They didn’t exactly have a formal excommunication meeting; no, they used a worse tactic, the one called “just ignore him.” Forever.

Enema Bag Mama
    In Mama Dida’s arsenal of curatives she held fast to Milk of Magnesia, Cod Liver Oil and the enema to keep her family healthy. The one that we feared the most was the dull, red-rubber enema bag.