April 13, 2014

Spring in Jersey

When cherry blossoms bloom in Belleville Park, it’s time to put away the snow blower. Usually by this time of April, in Belleville and Nutley, we watch the falling cherry blossoms and think, oh, they’re like little pink snowflakes. But this year, things have changed.
Continue reading: Hold the Flowers, It Might Snow

March 14, 2014

The Stuff of My Stuff

Whatever happened to George Carlin's stuff?

Actually, I don’t care what happened to the entertainer’s stuff. His stuff was crap. My crap is stuff. He would say so himself, except he’s gone, and as an atheist, probably not far. But as for me I’ve been thinking about my stuff as I sit here in my man cave/bunker/warehouse with about 60 of those white storage boxes full of my stuff.

I’m not a pack rat. I’ve been writing for more than 40 years, and I don’t have any notes from before 1971, more or less. So, I’ve got a lot of notes about stuff I wrote about, and probably a lot more notes about stuff I wanted to write about but haven’t done so yet. And boxes of books that I used in my research. And more boxes of books I intend to read when I get some time. I can’t bear to part with any of them.

Continue reading

January 22, 2014

This Seat Taken? now on Kindle

This Seat Taken? Notes of a Hapless Commuter
By Anthony Buccino

If you ever commuted to work, you'll enjoy your ride reading Anthony Buccino's latest collection "THIS SEAT TAKEN? Notes of a Hapless Commuter" about the joys and follies of getting to and from work in the city using public transit. 

Buccino's bus and rail commuting tales and observations are collected in this new 224-page book which is available on Amazon and Nook, and now on Kindle.

December 29, 2013

D-Day Ohio,

The German soldier is rolling down the hill, another is falling – dead – down the hill, the smoke is clearing, the gunfire dissipating. 'Wounded' and 'dead' are scattered along the 250 yards of beach and incline where Army Rangers and the Big Red One have taken the hill. The Wehrmacht gives up this beach, these guns, this hill representing the enormous undertaking 69 years ago on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. 
Anthony Buccino joined nearly 20,000 re-enactors and visitors at 2013's gathering on Aug. 16 and Aug. 17 on the shore of Lake Erie at Conneaut Township Park in Conneaut, Ohio.

The re-enactors recreated the camps, the training and carnage of the D-Day landing on Normandy beaches in France on June 6, 1944.

November 26, 2013

My 14-Year-Old Self Came in the Mail

Should I Open?

A large brown envelope arrived recently in snail mail from Ashtabula, Ohio. It contained copies of letters I wrote to a young woman named Mary when we were 14. We met in the northeastern Ohio township, and decided to keep in touch when my summer vacation ended.
I found her on Facebook, and we got in touch after four decades. When she realized I’d become a writer, she mentioned my letters in a box in her attic. Would I like copies? What could I have possible said in those letters to a relative stranger 300 miles away? And why would she save them into this millennium?
“They’re about what you’d expect a 14 year old to write about,” she said.
Would I like to meet myself at 14? Not that I could go back and talk some sense into my head, but what I think about those times now and what I was actually saying at the time, well, they’re mountains apart.

October 27, 2013

Time to Change the Air Conditioner

Every year here in New Jersey when we change our clocks to save time, there's another chore around our house. About the last week of April when we spring ahead, it's time to break out the window air conditioners from their closet hibernation In October, it's time to rip off the sealing tape and bring in the units without dropping them on an innocent foot or to the pavement below.

The two bedroom air conditioners need only cross from the closet to the window. It's the monster dining room air conditioner that has been stored in the basement that elicits the most grunts and groans as it travels up a flight of stairs, through the kitchen to rest and catch its breath in front of the window.

It wasn't always like this. When I grew up in the second floor cold water flat upstairs from grandma, we didn't even have screens outside our windows. We had these sliding screens that adjusted to the width of the window and let in a hot summer breeze through about ten inches of metal panels.

October 17, 2013

Riding Under the PATH Train

We are gliding under the Witt Penn Bridge in Jersey City. There on the north side naked trestles await the next generation bridge. The thunder we hear riding under the PATH train bridge! We are clear soon enough to see the commuter train exit the bridge heading west to Harrison and Newark.

Buccino_Path_trainDistance.jpgPATH commuter train travels parallel to the Passaic River in northern New Jersey. 
How many times have I been on that PATH train while we stopped as the bridges were drawn to let some tall masted ship pass by? 

From where we stood, sardine-like, in the tin can rail car, we could only ever guess at the holdup outside. 

How many times have riders looked north from those trains and guessed at the real name of Fraternity Rock rising from the swamps.

October 2, 2013

Vacuuming My Way into Clarity

By Anthony Buccino

It’s the same story every week: “Ant, the house is all dusted. You can vacuum when you’re ready.”
“Aw, I got to vacuum the whole house,” I mutter under my breath.
When I’m ready, I grab the vacuum from the upstairs closet, plug it in and click it on. While the noise drowns out the rest of the world, I focus on specks of dust and lint challenging me to a duel they will lose.
Before I know it, my head is cleared of everyday life. My mind is fogged by memories of Mom and her Electrolux that slid on metal blades across our old rug in the four-room cold water flat.
There was that time when the neighborhood version of “Benny Miller-from-Cucamonga” tried to sell Mom a new vacuum. “Would you let your eight-year-old son pick up a handful of dirt outside and eat it?”
“Of course NOT!”
“But, Mrs. Buccino,” he said, “the rug inside your house is much worse than the dirt outside.”
Hey, I was eight. I wouldn’t eat dirt in the yard. Anymore. What was this guy talking about? ...

Continue Reading