A Poetic View of Nutley, Old and New
Cherry Blossom Press presents YOUNTAKAH COUNTRY A Poetic View Of Nutley Old And New by Nutley writer Anthony Buccino.
Buccino's own take on the township mixes history, tales and observations in a rich mix of what may or may not be the true history of Annie Oakley, the ITT tower, Leni Lenape, a Valium breeze, not to mention the Velodrome and the headless rider or the parlous water that rage through town on rainy days.
Knowing some of Nutley's history, readers will appreciate the twists and turns and maybe even learn something about the quiet little "Norman Rockwell town" in northern New Jersey.
For instance, did you know that the quiet little river that runs through Nutley was called Yountakah by Lenni Lenape, and so was their annual autumn feast - a predecessor to the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving? The name was also used by a large country club and golf course that bordered the Passaic River in town.
Buccino's verse also tackles a few local customs, including the senior high grads swimming in pool across town, and the rite of crossing the perilous rail overpass at Memorial Park.
And, of course, Buccino would never write about Nutley without homage to the men who paid the price for our freedom. Four poems recall the men who died in service and the veterans who lived in town and made it what it is today.
In other nostalgic verse, Buccino recalls summers at Booth Park, ice skating at ITT tower, school air raid drills at Holy Family School, pieces of an airplane landing on a Nutley lawn one night, the Nutley Museum and the Nutley Little Theatre.
Buccino weaves his poem Wonderful Life around Frances Goodrich, who grew up in town and went on to write the “Thin Man” film series and later won a Pulitzer Prize for the play “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
Buccino’s poem suggests Goodrich’s screenplay for the popular Christmas film “It’s A Wonderful Life” has hints of old Nutley, and that the scene of the angel and George on the bridge may have been inspired by the Lyndhurst bridge over the Passaic River, not far from where Goodrich grew up.
In recalling Nutley of about 100 years ago, Buccino cites Guthrie’s Dry Good Store and some of our famous residents and visitors, including Mark Twain, Annie Oakley and Richard Stockton lining up for that new invention called ice cream.
Goodrich was inducted into the Nutley Hall of Fame in 2005. Buccino stood in for the writer and her family at the ceremony.
Copyright © 2010-2016 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
Yountakah Country is available in print, with 40 illustrations.
Check out Anthony Buccino's poetry and essay collections
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