What's it like to sit in a WWII Sherman tank?

They wouldn't let me take it home but ...

"... I sit in the commander seat. The five-man crew is a loader, gunner, driver and assistant driver. Tankers are known to carry a sidearm in case of a Zippo event. These seats around me are empty save for the spirit of the men who rode this beast, the men who saved the world.
 "The war is more than seventy years gone and I am a civilian immersed in World War II. This Draftee smells of fresh paint and grease but not gun powder. My battle station inside this restored, drivable WWII Sherman tank — donated by the West Bank Optimist Club — is the highlight of my daylong tour at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans...."
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Joan Baez - NJ PAC October 28, 2005

Silver-haired Sweetheart of the SDS

NEWARK, N.J. (Oct. 31, 2005) - - No one ever told Joan Baez's voice that it's in its seventh decade. Ms. Baez' vocals during her Dark Chords Tour performance were as strong as ever on Friday night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

From her opening The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, an audience-participation La-La-La, to her second encore, the signature of Diamonds & Rust, the classic and classy folk singer filled the hall with her golden (vocal) chords and the air with a salvo at Washington.

Collage Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Joan Baez - NJPAC Profile; ticket stub

Addressing the graying audience, Ms. Baez sang a song from her 'first album' and asked if anyone out there knew what an 'album' was.

Of course, everybody in this audience of women and men with balding pates and gray pony tails did.

They knew almost all the words to her songs, and forgave the repeated line during A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall. Or did she repeat the "I saw a young child beside a dead pony" line on purpose?

Of course, Baez was chagrinned that that song would be so 'apropos' 42 years later.

And yes, those old Bob Dylan songs fit well into Baez' repertoire, with God On Our Side, Hard Rain, and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue sounding as fresh as ever.

Another sign of the years showed itself during Diamonds & Rust when Baez struggled for a chord that she could see but her hands just couldn't reach. The hall sympathized with the years.

In her rendition of the Steve Earle song Christmas In Washington, she seemed to channel Woody Guthrie and Martin Luther King in calling them in song.

Oddly, she quoted a bumper sticker she saw recently, 'After the rapture, can I have your stuff?'

Baez was not overly talkative between songs, but she noted that antiwar activist and Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan's favorite song was Joe Hill. 

Baez said she sang it in Crawford, Texas, where there were only two gift shops. Both stores resented the protesters but didn't shy away from selling them souvenirs.

After a beautiful a cappella rendition of Finlandia, "from my newest album," Bowery Songs, Baez mentioned that at one show, a few citizens of Finland came up after the show and said, 'Those aren't the words' to their national anthem.

Collage Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.Dark Chords Tour Clockwise: Joan Baez: Bowery Songs CD; Dark Chords Tour souvenir booklet; Liner notes for Joan Baez: The Complete A&M Recordings.

As she encouraged applause, Baez said "it was never the money, it was the adulation." After all these years, the truth comes out.

The fit-and-trim 64-year-old singer never introduced her band during her hour and twenty minutes on stage. Maybe she figured everyone knew who they were, or that no one was all that interested in the two young men accompanying her on stage.

Introducing Long Black Veil, Baez said she first heard it from Johnny Cash. At the time he introduced Baez to his first wife, and, she said, that's just what he called her.Collage Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.NJPAC Show Booklet, ticket stub Limited view did not affect the sounds in the hall.

Another note on the years rose to the top when during Diamonds & Rust, Baez changed the lyric to '40 years ago I bought you some cuff links, and ended it with, not "I've already paid," or the more recent, "I'll take the diamonds," but with the updated "I'll take the Grammy."

In the lobby at the merchandise booth, the Merchandise Manager fielded questions about the array of CDs available. Someone asked him about CD that was for sale at a show in London. "I was there," he acknowledged, quickly pointing out that Baez has over 50 recordings available and they weren't all available at the small booth.

So as the tourists fled into the Newark night, through the construction detours, the echoes of the music in their smiles, quite a few must have bemoaned a favorite song unsung.

But with such a repertoire from which to choose, the dozen or so songs sung reaffirmed our questions about ourselves, and Baez too, in a classic unsung that night, You're Aging Well.

We should all look and sound so good when it comes time for our Dark Chords Tour.

Approximate Set List

  1. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  2. ?
  3. With God On Our Side
  4. Stand By Me
  5. Christmas In Washington
  6. Joe Hill
  7. It's All Over Now Baby Blue
  8. Finlandia
  9. Sir Galahad
  10. Jesse
  11. Hard Rain
  12. Encore
  13. 2nd Encore - Diamonds & Rust

Copyright © 2005 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.
First published Oct. 31, 2005


Joan Baez Web Site

Wikpedia - Joan Baez

Richard and Mimi Farina
Joan Baez: The Complete A&M Recordings
Joan Baez: Rare, Live Recordings (Vanguard)

Joan Baez: Bowery Songs

Joan Baez: Dark Chords On A Big Guitar
Joan Baez - Ring Them Bells

Bob Dylan -No Direction Home

PBS Soundstage

Grammy Magazine

Dar Williams

Dar Williams, review, at Monmouth University

Dar Williams - My Better Self

Patch Drops Buccino's Blog Archives

Hey, folks, I looked at the Belleville-Nutley Patch for my blog posts that everybody liked so much and they seem to be gone.

Maybe you can find them, but I can't. 

Perhaps they needed the storage space for less local stories. I don't know. But I can tell you what that means. That means that you won't be able to find my blog posts about growing up in Belleville in the 1960s on Patch.

You'll either have to look on Anthony's World to see if any are archived there, or you'll need to read them in Greetings From Belleville, N.J. -Collected Writings.

Anthony Buccino, Belleville Patch columns, “Don the TV Man,” “Penny Candy from the Corner Store,” and “Gary’s English Racer vs. My Schwinn” earned the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists award for media affiliated blog..

UPDATE: We found the link to Anthony Buccino's archives.

UPDATE UPDATE: They are gone again.

I Work From Home and You Don't

There are always too many people milling around the station. They have time to sit around, read a newspaper, have coffee or breakfast, or wait in line to buy a magazine or a winning lottery ticket out of this rat race. Well, that is what it's all about. I mean we all want to get out of this rat race. 
We know the rats are winning. Remember that ugly blue-striped building? We go to work every day so we can some day stay home and not go to work. There are plenty of good jobs in the city, plenty for us to leave when we get tired of the crowds, the endless walks, the broken sidewalks, tripping potholes, sudden-stopping tourists, Bible spouting commuters. 
If we look long enough we'll see Murray the groundhog frolicking in the safe zone under the catenary wires. Murray is fat, dumb and happy. He doesn't have to commute to work in the city. Neither these days does Proud Mary, nor I. I write from home.... 

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My Friends in Nigeria

I can't believe it's been so long since I've heard from my friends in Nigeria.
But, hey, I can sure use the money now.

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220


On Behalf of the U.S.A Government in conjunction with NIGERIA Government, I wish 
to inform you of your selection as

one of the Beneficiary for the on going 2014 Second Batch USA Government Poverty 
Alleviation and Financial

Empowerment Program worldwide. All participants/beneficiaries were selected 
randomly from worldwide online networks

Directories as a beneficiary of $20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million, USD).

All those boxes of forgotten stuff

Trying to cut down all the boxes of stored stuff I come across many hand-written drafts of stories I wrote so long ago, and notes to stories I've yet to write.

Well, it's good to see someone else has a sense of humor about my tie. I was famous for my ties for many years. Then one day I stopped wearing ties. It wasn't like I was going out and meeting people anymore, and no one was coming to look for me, either. Plus Casual Friday just seemed to spread everywhere. 

I look at the tear sheets and photocopies and try to remember which of my books held the piece. Some of the hand-written notes are in those collected Reporter's Notebooks that I found so handy to fill as I rode the PATH or walked around during my lunch hour. 

I was editor of Modern Food Service some time in the mid-to-late 1990s. The main office was in Massachusetts and we emailed stories from our office in Hackensack to the Cape. I do remember a huge food show I attended at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Had my first taste of ostrich meat. It's a lot like filet mignon. I can't say the taste spread across the New York area. I don't remember the alligator fad catching on here, either.

© 2015 Anthony Buccino/AnthonysWorld.com

Read more: Whatever happened to George Carlin's stuff?


POETRY IN THE WOODS - Part 4 Open Readings

In the gristmill, poets come and go,
none thinking of Michaelangelo

Just a few of the poets who read during the open reading at the Gristmill at the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival include: Max Smart, Michael Berman, Duane, Bill Schatzabel, Charlotte Caprino, David Roschack, Craig Grossman and Anthony Buccino, plus earlier there were Darcey, Greg and Daniel who read.

I couldn't tell you the last time I read my poetry out loud, but, beleive me, it was a long time ago.

Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved

On Saturday morning we were huddled in the dusty Gristmill, sitting on hand-hewn benches, under floors supported by hand-hewn beams, just a few feet away from the ancient equipment that took in the grist for the mill.

Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved

Below us, right under the building, the water ran in the same path it ran when it powered this old mill.
The light in the Gristmill wasn't the best for old poets' eyes and one fellow prefered to read his work near the window rather than in the dark recesses.

Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved-blurry on purpose!

Darcey said the name of her high school was Hell - because they wouldn't put together a bus load of students to come to the festival. She said she shoved a $50 bill in the principal's face to help pay for the bus, but it was all a no-go. Or, in her case, go on your own. She read PULSE.

Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved

One young poet first read NEW SAUNA built on portmanteau words. He offered to read his own creation, a half-paradelle 49 LOW LEADERS OF TEARS. Someone asked the poet if he had a chance to read it to Billy Collins - who had invented the poetic device as a parody - but the young poet said no.
Buccino read CLOSETS at the morning open reading. At the afternoon open reading, he read the unpublished MONEY IN NEWSPAPERS and NEEDLE.
One fellow, in photo, read a poem he wrote at the festival and had on his Apple laptop.
In the back of the room I ran into one of my former reporters, Al Sullivan who is lately working the Hudson County scene from Bayonne.
Sullivan had earlier this month written about poet Jack Wiler and his latest book FUN BEING ME. Wiler has been a featured poet at the Dodge festival and is a visiting poet for the foundation.
Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
Afraid of the Water

Yountakah Country

Poet Mom
Steve's 2 Cents
Myth of Arrival
Bud Bloom
Cruelist Month
Dr Pretentious
Poetry Evolution
The Wandering Mind
Channel Surfing
Late Night Meanderings
Pop Scholar
Steve Urena

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The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival 2006