top of page

Chapter 1

My Story

 

My father Frank

(Francis, means "Free Man")

served in the last battle of

the Second World War,

then the Korean Conflict,

after which he was stationed at

the Army base in

Butzbach, Germany,

when I was born,

first daughter,

third child of six. 

 

We were moved to

New Jersey that same year

until I turned six

and we were moved to

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania,

when my dad,

thankfully, 

opted out of Vietnam.

 

I remember the trees in my first yard. 

They bloomed a luscious white fragrant flower that tasted as sweet as they smelled! 

Around age 4,

I would swing as high as I could 

and sing my heart out to the sky. 

I’m still doing this!!! 

Yay! 

My mom, Delores

(mother of sorrows)  

taught me my first song, 

“Don’t Fence Me In”  

 

From here I see that’s been

my life’s mantra. ​

My dad,

a very tough soldier from age 17, 

loved Mario Lanza, 

a famous operatic tenor

in those years. 

 

 

Watching my dad’s expression

of bliss 

while listening to Mario 

is where I first became aware

that  contradistinction is intriguing; 

tough soldier

meets operatic tenor. 

I observed being “out of the box”as an enjoyable mystery. 

 

My father wanted all of us kids to

play music, 

although he did not, 

and couldn't

"carry a tune in a bucket".

His constant whistling

was contagious to me. 

Yes, I'm a fantastic whistler.

In my childhood, 

Julie Andrews with her crystal clear, 

bell-like voice and most elegant,

earthy, and exuberant expression

of her art gave music to

all my senses. 

 

Then, it was the Byrds. 

Oh yes,

softening the slicing words

of Dylan 

with their 12 string guitars 

and fluid harmonies. 

 

Crosby, Stills, and Nash

with their valiant voices

and heartfelt insights,

decrying the government

killing of peaceful war protestors

and glorying in the power of

a Woodstock (Joni’s song).  

I wasn’t even old enough

to see the movie. 

 

Buffy Sainte Marie

with her Native American

war torn heart

“Universal Soldier” ,

singing about the grunge FBI

killing Indians and energy companies stealing uranium from their lands……

and real love,

“Lift Us Up Where We Belong”

and

“Until it’s time for you to go”

more contradistinctions. 

 

Waves of LSD flooded our streets and seemed to end the war protests.

Pink Floyd……LSD…..Dead Heads, LSD...Moody Blues, 

and Jefferson Starship. 

Hitchhiking to New York City at 15 whenever my favorite bands played; 

losing friends to heroine overdoses 

because their number came up 

for the draft. 

 

Then Joni. Mitchell. 

Deep stuff.Soul moving.

I barely knew what I was hearing, and I loved it. 

We have a similar vocal range and it was easy for me to sing her songs. 

Nothing syrupy, 

straight up observation articulation, 

opalescent and complete. 

I love Joni. My sister heart. 

 

Then disco but nothing stuck to me there. 

I lost my brother Danny to suicide. 

My younger brother Ernie to a maximum security prison (he was about 14)

and my sanity itself hung in the balance often. 

I had a son. A beloved son. 

Then I became an on fire Christian. 

Then I married a Persian...... 

 

Oh the story! 

........to be continued

bottom of page