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“Did you see any Mafia in Sicily?”

“Did you see any mafia?” people asked when we returned from Sicily. “You’ll see signs they’re still around, like villages with piles of garbage at their entrances,” said those who had travelled there recently. “You don’t see the Cosa Nostra in Sicily,” others said. “The power’s shifted to new mobs in Calabria and Naples.”

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When Dennis Met Ricardo

Suppose your father was Ray Stanton Avery who, with $100 borrowed from his future wife and machinery he developed, created the world’s first self-adhesive label, made multimillions and you, his son Dennis, inherited a bundle: What would you do with your wealth? Magellan and I were in Borrego Springs, California, for the Super Bloom—a profusion […]



“One thing we would never change is macaroni and cheese,” she assures us. “Our customers demand it at every meal.” Exemplary macaroni and cheese it is: buttery noodles in a cream-smooth béchamel hefted by the ladleful from a serving pan, each portion containing a few dark orange patches of chewy Cheddar from the top of […]

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The Pebble: A Love Story

Is there somebody you know who has been characterized in a love story? For us, ‘tis Liz (Chute) O’Carroll, proprietress of The Pebble, a renowned B&B in Halifax. Liz and her husband David’s love story is immortalized in the short story “The Pebble” by Ireland’s Bryan MacMahon, writer, teacher, novelist and playwright from the literary […]

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The Leopard

It was almost a decade ago our book club started so I don’t recall whether gratitude goes to Teresa, Anna, Susan or Ed (or me?) for suggesting our first read: The Leopard, by Sicily’s Giuseppe di Lampedusa, a classic gathering no dust on my bookshelf so often is it in my hands. Little did I […]