In Italian, the word dona is the third person singular of the verb DONARE, which means to give. She gives!

And give she did!

How back in 1942, her parents, who spoke Italian at home, knew to give her that name instead of the more common Donna, is a mystery. How did they know she’d become the most giving person in the world?

And give she did!

Ask anyone who ever met her and they’ll all tell you how she immediately took them into her heart and pronounced them BFF (Best Friend Forever).

Continue Reading →
Continue Reading

My First Flight

This story is probably the best example, taken from my youth, that demonstrates my character. When I decide to do something, it gets done. I seldom give in and, with few exceptions (my divorce being the most glaring), I generally persevere to the end of whatever I undertake. I’ll even finish a book that I’ve started even if I don’t like it. I suppose I’ve a bit of a stubborn streak. My mother would have said I was Pig-Headed. Anyway, that’s a little introduction for those who don’t know me well.

If you’re thinking that, because of the title of this little story I taught myself to fly, you’re wrong. Read on. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

I Do Solemnly Swear

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

I have taken this oath a number of times as it was required at each promotion during my naval career. Since I was a “Mustang” (being promoted from the enlisted to the officer ranks), the oath I took as an enlisted member has some different wording, which includes swearing to obey the orders of the President of the US. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Off to the Races

The Horse-Racing Festival previously known as Glorious Goodwood (now unfortunately known as Qatar Goodwood) takes place every year around the end of July or beginning of August. It features five days of the best thoroughbreds and jockeys competing for some of the highest purses in horse-racing.

Dante, being the passionate horse-racing fan that he is, chose this year to go to Goodwood. I like the horses too and occasionally place a small bet. But I only enjoy going to the races if the weather is nice. We’ve been to Royal Ascot, where the queen makes an appearance in her horse-drawn carriage. We’ve been to Sandown in England, and Fairyhouse in Ireland for the Irish National Championship.

People get dressed up for these festivals and the men must wear jackets and ties unless they want to sit with the riff-raff (which we did, not because of the dress code but because of the price of the tickets). The women get all gussied up and there are contests and prizes for the best ladies hat. In the past, I have never bothered getting spruced up but this year I made an effort with the help of my friend, Dona, a fashion guru, who re-configured a hat and lent me some jewelry and Dante brought his white suit and Panama hat (see photo above). Continue Reading →

Continue Reading


The other day I was having a conversation with a German-Italian friend of mine who began telling me a story of how she had encountered a snag in cell phone service while she was at a Turkish airport awaiting a flight to Cyprus. The problem, it seems, stemmed from a misunderstanding by the Turkish representative of her cell phone company. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading