On October 7, 2017, approximately forty friends and relatives gathered at Ciccanti’s Italian Restaurant in Clairton PA to celebrate both the public release of Part I of Gennebar Rising, and my wonderful wife Maria’s sixty seventh birthday. There was great food, an open bar, and a scrumptious birthday cake from Moio’s Italian Bakery. Three first cousins, the gold star daughters of my Uncle Bernard, whose name inspired that of one of the main characters in my novels, came in from Boston, from Princeton, New Jersey, and from rural New Mexico to join me. (My cousin Felice from New Jersey was expected. Her two sisters, Barbara and Joyce, were a complete and delightful surprise!) Maria got her favorite birthday present: the company of our daughter Annie, who came in from Louisville, Kentucky to spend the weekend with us. Annie is behind my left shoulder in the picture below, talking to her boyfriend Mike, who came in from DC to join us. I signed many copies of Part I at the party.
Like myself, many of my friends are Old Time musicians. They came with their instruments – fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars, a dulcimer and a bass fiddle – and we had us a terrific jam. Here is a picture from the party. That’s me with the banjo next to my friend Bill, who is playing the guitar. A great time was had by all.