About His Books -
 
The Bishop’s Curse
    In 1860, with the nation on the brink of Civil War, another rebellion was taking place in the village of Carthage, NY. The Irish parishioners' revolt at St. James Church had put them in danger of losing their very souls.
    Richard Gallagher, the rebellion leader, came to America at age seven and rose to become a successful businessman, politician, and church trustee. His drive to secure regular services for St. James put him on a collision course with his bishop in Albany, who sternly warned of calamities for those in disobedience to the Church.
    As the drama unfolded, a string of tragedies gave birth to a belief that became legend—St, James Parish had fallen victim to the bishop’s curse!
     You have brought this factual event to full life in a thoroughly engaging way. Your careful historical research left me a reader feeling completely secure by your sure-handed telling. I just straight-out enjoyed the story and was held to the last page to see how it would work out. Overall, I loved it. 
Rodger Van Allen
Professor of Religious Studies.
Villanova University
   
 
Dam Foolishness -- A narrative that incorporates a series of short stories into a cohesive tale about life growing up in small town America.
   Anyone whose origins are rooted in small town America will likely recognize, or be reminded of, characters resembling those written about in this book.

     My hometown of Carthage, New York, tucked away in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, embraces no unique or remarkable attributes that would distinguish it from thousands of such hamlets all across America. Carthage is a village that reached its maturity in the late nineteenth century. It is a place that was ignored in the post- WWII suburbanization boom, bypassed by superhighways, drained of its young for lack of opportunity, and crippled by the movement of its industry to southern climes.

     It is precisely because of this history, and the continued migration of its youth, that a cadre of expatriates wistfully remember the quaintness of their hometown and the people among whom they lived.

 
Chapter 1

A man is not a stranger because you do not know him.

“Kidnapped!” she said.


“Kidnapped?” the wide-eyed boy replied.


She was my mother and I was the wide-eyed boy who filed the story away in the deep recesses of his developing memory, to be dredged up after her death many years later. The story was about her mother, a story that would be contemplated and retold many times as if the mere retelling could actually change what happened.

Back in 1895, my grandmother Adela el Khazen was a young girl who had offered herself up to serve God in a virginal life of chastity, contemplation, and prayer with the Sisters of St. Francis DeSales. She could neither have known nor realized that a chance meeting some two years before would be the force that would send her life careening in a wholly unanticipated direction. The chapel bell at the stone-walled convent had softly tolled some ten minutes before but Adela didn’t take notice. Why should she? This certainly would not concern her. The tall girl in her antiseptic white habit was busily dusting the marble statuary outside the chapel, thinking only about pending evening devotions. Her contemplation was soon interrupted by one of her sister religious aspirants who told her to go immediately to mother superior’s office. The request was unusual, and Adela wondered what she could have done to warrant the summons as she scurried to Mother Anisa’s workplace. At her knock, the reverend mother rose quickly and led the puzzled postulant* to the visitor’s room.

 

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