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May 17, 2013

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- . . . -.- . . POST-GAZETTE, MAY 17, 2013 Page 5 by Claude Marsilia SCIATU MIO Soft Cover * 425 Pages This book is more deliber- ate to me because I critiqued Pennisi's previous book -- The Prince of Sackett Street. It is packed with people, events and drama that reflect the varied power that each individual possessed. It covers three generations of the Pennisi family (1850- 1985). I suspect Pennisi, on numerous occasions, hesi- tated, before revealing some of the most intimate and se- cretive moments his char- acters beheld. Pennisi wastes no time, he charges head on explaining how the Italian immigrant in particular, the Sicilians, were looked upon with disdain. This attitude was not new. For centuries it was widely practiced, in their homeland by the northern Italians. Giuseppe, Pennisi's father who immi- grated to America was different he was al- ways looked upon as a gentleman. He was educated. Michael was Giuseppe's brother. He was hard core, nothing like Giuseppe. The Pennisi family established themselves in the Red Hook area in New York. It was a cauldron, gangsters were in control, and the area was over populated. The people lived in desperation. "Red Hook, Brooklyn was eighty- five percent Italians with probably fifty per- cent from Sicily and the rest from southern Italy." Today the illustrious cruise line Cunard moors their ships there. Once again Pen- nisi elaborates on the continuing battle between the Italian and Irish longshoremen for control of the piers. In his initial novel Pennisi tells how the Italians won the dock wars however, a pending strike required the attention of the dock leaders. Giuseppe who was acknowledged by the shipping magnates as the respected voice of the longshoremen was being groomed by By Frank Pennisi * Published by Frank Pennisi Author Frank Pennisi them. It was during one of these sessions that Giuseppe meets shipping magnate Harold Wilson's daughter the beautiful Elizabeth. As the reader gets deeper into the story they learn about Giuseppe's prowess and extensive knowledge. Pennisi throughout the book makes it clear how proud he is of his Sicilian heritage, which includes the royal family of his great grand- father, Barone Salvatore from Sicily. At times despite my praise of Pennisi's engaging writing I find it difficult to keep his numer- Pennisi's book is filled with unforgettable characters. His writing skills bring them to Mrs. Murphy... As I See It life creating a remarkable understanding of the events. One character in particular was ~ ~ Hats off to Executive Director Madeleine Pennsi's grandmother, Santa, she was no ~ Steczynski who has successfully headed the saint. "And nobody messed with Santa, notafter school program ZUMIX for over 20 years even Carlo Genovese or Big Tony." Madeleine is passionate about teaching the Pennisi writes about the related incidents that occurred in Sicily as well as in America. For example the sulfur mines in Sicily that were owned by the elite in Sicily and northern Italians were mined by 6 to 7 year old boys who worked from daylight to sun- down. This was one of the reasons for the mass immigration to America. Their "Red Hook, Brooklyn was eighty-five percent Italians with probably fifty percent from Sicily and the rest from southern Italy." Today the illustrious cruise line Cunard moors their ships there. while others lived in cold water fiats. As the second-generation grew-up they began ask- ing, why? Hovering over these social events was a score of criminals that influenced the every day life of these immigrant families. These criminals who were terrorizing these poor families in Sicily followed these immigrants to America to continue their subjective terrorization. In the midst of all this degradation Pennisi narrates with complete pride, historical Sicily. Read this, "In ancient times, Sicily was the center of trade in the Mediterra- nean world." And this, "Sicily existed one thousand years before the birth of Rome." And more, "Many more Greek ruins in Sicily are standing today than in all of Greece." This adds credence to the fact that Sicil- ians have a great deal of Greek blood in their heritage. I find it intriguing how Pennisi inserts Italian words with English explanations in ideal places in the book including swear words. Also, throughout the book Pennisi adds the endearing term, "Sciatu Mio (I breathe for you) which was used affection- ately. His intimate writing of several love affairs is classic and will live long in your heart: especially the romance between Giuseppe and Anglo Elizabeth Wilson. The power of the longshoremen was re- duced upon the introduction of the shipping containers. As we arrive at the end of the story Pennisi writes about his historical visit to Sicily to learn more about his Sicilian family that includes noble traits. As you read this enthralling histor- ical narrative you realize the pride and joy that author Frank Pennisi has in his Sicilian ancestry. I understand his deep feelings because I was fortunate enough to have Sicilian friends. My best Sicilian friend was Joseph Sciortino, never to be forgotten. meager life is difficult to believe but apparently sadly true. Pennisi makes the point that some of the early immigrants lived exceedingly well children the importance of the arts and won the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Pro- gram Award recently. She's top of the list in dedication, and I'm told enjoys her work ... From "Hero" by winning a second presidential election to "Zero" because of alleged lies and deceit. I'm talking about the smooth tongued Presi- dent Barack Obama. Finally the American people and the media are finding out the truth about his administration. Lies, deceit and more lies and deceit. A smooth operator with a silver tongue that is quickly becoming tarnished by his cover-ups. Obama's outrageous handling of the Benghazi tragedy, coupled with the IRS scandal among other impro- prieties has dropped his image from Hero to Zero! You can't take a community.organizer with very little experience in politics and make him a leader of the Free World. Obama is now being compared to dimwit Jimmy Carter ... Hope everyone enjoyed Mother's Dayl This holiday is no longer reserved for women only. Many men have taken the place of "Mom." Many baby carriages are no longer being pushed by women exclusively ... Suffolk Downs planners held a meeting at the St. George Condo Complex in Revere on May 15th. It appeared the meeting went well for casino advocates who answered questions of concern to people. The most asked question of the evening was traffic control and how managers proposed to keep streets from being impacted with traffic. Suffolk Downs managers assured the people they had solid plans to keep casino traffic at a mini- mum ... Revere residents living on the boulevard are disgusted at the amount of time it takes to get through the lights at the corner of Revere Street and North Shore Bou- levard. There is a solution if the City of Revere, Traffic Division were to extend the green light a little longer to let more than three to four cars cross the lights before turn- ing red. It would help considerable! ... The controversy over illegal immigrants continues. Many people are for illegals becoming legal and start paying taxes. (The no-tax free ride will be over). It's not fair to citizens of this country that these people suck up our resources without having to invest a dime into this country. They're already a part of our economy and many work jobs Americans refuse. Some illegals have foufld the ways and means to own property. Illegals are enjoying the American dream, it's about time they become Americans ... It was a fiasco when no city or town was willing ito except the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, (rightfully so)I So a suggestion was made by the public. Burn his body on the Fourth of July and send the ashes to his beloved evil terrorist mother. Another suggestion made by Gabriel Gomez, candidate for the U.S. Senate was "Bury the body at sea with Osama bin Laden." Both great ideas. However, we all know that a mosque in Virginia claimed the body much to Virginians dismay ... Margery Eagen who wrote a column in the Herald recently upset some people with her bold comments berating politicians for not step- ping in to give Tamerlan a proper burial. She knocked Cam- bridge officials for refusing burial rights to a man that not only received free housing and welfare, but bombed the Boston Marathon as a "Thank You to Boston and Massa- chusetts"I ... It was great news to learn the three women held hostage for ten years by a deranged man in Ohio are finally free ... Till next time! ous relations clear. WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM