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A Conversation with J. E. ‘Ted’ Lendon Author of “Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins”. August 11, 2011

August 20, 2015


Hope you enjoy this show that orginally aired back in August of 2011.

Originally posted on Just My Eyes:

Back in 2005 I interviewed J.E. ‘Ted’ Lendon about his new book Soldiers and Ghosts a fascinating study about the crucial role culture played in ancient Greek warfare. At the end of our conversation Ted mentioned that he was working on a new book about the Peloponnesian War. Earlier this year as I was wandering through my library’s “New Titles” section and saw the name J.E. Lendon on the spine of a book. The books title:  Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins. It took half a decade but there it was.

Click here to listen to the 2005 conversation about Soldiers and Ghosts.

Click here to listen to our conversation on August 11, 2011 about Ted Lendon’s newest book: Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins

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A Conversation with Jeff Siger, author of “Sons of Sparta”, October 16, 2014

August 6, 2015

Originally posted on Just My Eyes:


For Chief Insp. Andreas Kaldis, interacting with known crime boss Orestes is just another day at the office in Siger’s perfectly plotted sixth mystery set in Greece (after 2013’s Mykonos After Midnight). But for Special Crimes Division detective Yianni Kouros things get a little too personal when a beloved relative, Uncle, drives his car off a cliff on the road to Cape Tenaro. Even though Uncle had “retired” from running his own crime syndicate for a decade, he was knee-deep in a land deal that’s beginning to smell fishier than a net full of sunbaked sea bass. Of course, Uncle’s demise puts the kibosh on that deal, and the intrepid detectives must figure out who benefits from the old man’s death before Kouros’s cousins revive ancient family feuds. Siger’s paints travelogue-worthy pictures of a breathtakingly beautiful—if politically corrupt—Greece. (Oct.)    From the Publishers Weekly starred review.

Tonight Jeff and I will be…

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A Conversation with Barbara Graziosi, author of “The Gods of Olympus”, November 27, 2014

July 23, 2015


Hope you enjoy the program.


Originally posted on Just My Eyes:



Let me start by apologizing for this rather skimpy blog tonight. My original plan was to leave tomorrow (Wednesday) so I could spend the holiday with my friends up in the far reaches of New Hampshire but decided instead to try to beat the storm that’s headed for us. So I’m just going to whip this off, then throw whatever comes to hand into the car, and hit the road. I should be there by 3am…I hope.

So here’s a number of sites you can go to to learn more about The Gods of Olympus and Barbara Graziosi.

CLICK HERE for Barbara’s bio.StaffBG

CLICK HERE for for her Durham University home page.

CLICK HERE for the publisher’s page for The Gods of Olympus.

CLICK HERE for for a great review from the Science Christian Monitor.

CLICK HERE for Barbara’s twitter feed.

Tune in…

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A Conversation with Penelope Karageorge, about The Neon Suitcase, a new collection of her poems, July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

The best poems surprise us, touch us, move us, crash into our consciousness, set something vibrating—call it artistic sensibility—and even make a difference. Author Franz Kafka wrote: “What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be an axe for the frozen sea within us.”

                          Penelope Karageorge writing in her introduction to The Neon Suitcase

PenelopeCLICK HERE for information concerning The Neon Suitcase at the Somerset Hall Press website

Please tune in tonight at 7pm to my radio program Graffiti to listen to my conversation with Penelope on Hellenic Public Radio, WNYE, 91.5 fm. Or click here to listen on-line at the HPR website.

A Conversation with Meg Cotner, author of Food Lovers’ Guide to® Queens about things to do in Astoria and nearby during the summer. June 11, 2015

June 11, 2015


First, without Meg Cotner‘s invaluable help, tonight’s show and this blog entry would not have been possible.

Let’s get right into it. Below you’ll find many links that will help you to find out what’s happening in Astoria and environs this summer.

Here are a number websites that may interest you:

CLICK HERE for what will be your most important guide: We Heart Astoria’s post: 50+ Things To Do This Summer in Astoria & Long Island City

CLICK HERE for Astoria Park Pool

CLICK HERE for Astoria Park FestivalAstoria_Park_Carnival-e1432216798991-522x658

CLICK HERE for Movies on the Waterfront at Astoria Park

CLICK HERE for Concerts on the Waterfront at Astoria Park

CLICK HERE for Astoria’s Annual Independence Celebration (FIREWORKS!!) will be held on Tuesday, June 30

CLICK HERE for information about seeing the Macy’s firework display on July 4th

street-fairCLICK HERE for information about STREET FAIRS

CLICK HERE for information about Queens Night Market

CLICK HERE for information about SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK Greenmarket

CLICK HERE for general information concerning Socrates Sculpture Parks other programs including Yoga, Tai Chi, Composting, Classes for young and the less young and other programs

CLICK HERE for The Noguchi Museum

CLICK HERE for The LIC Community Boathouse

CLICK HERE for Kayaking and Canoeing at Socrates Sculpture Park Beach at Movies-on-the-Waterfront-2015-522x793Hallets Cove

CLICK HERE for The East River Ferry

CLICK HERE for Summer Solstice Celebration @ SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK

CLICK HERE for Socrates Sculpture Park Metropolitan Opera Recital

Waterfront-Concert-Series-2015-522x810CLICK HERE for information on a public reading of Queens-based writers at Socrates Sculpture Park on July 11, 2015

CLICK HERE for Summer Solstice Live Music @ Astoria Heights Playground

CLICK HERE for MoMA PS1’s Warm Up Dance Party Every Saturday 6/27—9/5/15

CLICK HERE for events at Uke Hut 36-01 36th Avenue, Astoria

CLICK HERE for WEDNESDAY NITE Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park


CLICK HERE for MMI The Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience

CLICK HERE for MMI general film information

CLICK HERE for MMI Sensory Stories Related Programs: The Storytelling Screen-Shot-2015-05-24-at-5.46.08-PM-522x537Renaissance: New Tools, Platforms, and Experiences

CLICK HERE for at Movies on LIC’s Waterfront Movies start at sunset, 2015 SEASON

CLICK HERE for ROOFTOP FILMS with venues in Manhattan, Astoria, Brooklyn and even Chicago!

CLICK HERE for the 5th annual Pie Eating Contest, June 28th @ The Astor Bake Shop (scroll down)

CLICK HERE for Find Waldo in Astoria July 2015

Some past (or sold out) events that seemed of interest:

Crab-Boil-960x400CLICK HERE for the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Butcher Paper Dinners

CLICK HERE for the 11th Annual Saw Music Festival2015SawFest_1up-232x300

CLICK HERE for the American Folk Art Museum Block Party

Please tune in tonight at 7pm to my radio program Graffiti to listen to my conversation with Meg Cotner on Hellenic Public Radio, WNYE, 91.5 fm. Or click here to listen on-line at the HPR website.

A Conversation with Joan Holub, about her books for children including the Goddess Girls Series and the Heroes in Training Series, May 28, 2015

May 28, 2015

I was brought up in a bookstore and spent most of my first 40 Unknown-5years in and around one. Books are in my blood…especially children’s books. My happiest memories of the book business have to do with the time I was the buyerimages for the children’s department. I once said, and still believe in large part, that if you can’t find “it” in a children’s book then it probably isn’t worth knowing.

Unknown-6I left the business nearly 25 years ago and had pretty much forgotten that adage until I started reading the work of Joan Holub in preparation for tonight’s conversation. I only had time to read about a dozen of her books—that’s only scratching the surface of her catalog that stands somewhere near 140images-3 books published—but I found the books enjoyable and educational. I love it when I learn something during the course of preparing for one of these conversations. That’s why I keep coming back.

Tune in to WNYE, 91.5 fm, tonight at 7pm to listen to our conversation. Or click here to listen to it as it streams live over the internet.

Here are a number websites that may interest you:

CLICK HERE for Joan Holub’s website

CLICK HERE for the publisher Simon & Schuster’s page for JoanMini Myths board books Joan Holub Leslie Patricellie board books

CLICK HERE for Joan’s Blog

CLICK HERE for the Simon & Schuster link to the Mt. Olympus Academy books

images-1CLICK HERE for the link to Joan’s entry at

CLICK HERE for link to the Goddess Girls series at

CLICK HERE for Joan’s listing at OCLC

CLICK HERE for Joan’s Wickipedia entry

CLICK HERE for a look at Joan at work at her office

A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors Sent to My Uncle 71 Years Ago Finally Reaches Him

May 21, 2015


Early in the spring on 1944 the Reverend James V. 100_1411Knapp picked up a small brown volume known as The Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors opened it and wrote: To Richard W. Buschel with the
best wishes of all his friends at All Saints’ Church. Then he signed it and added: Harrison N.Y., March 23, 1944.

What was going through the minds of these two men as Rev. Knapp penned those100_1431 words on March 23, 1944? I imagine Rev. Knapp in sending his and the congregants best wishes was also praying for my uncle’s safe return and the return of all the other young men who had been sent to insure the defeat of the Axis powers and the resumption and continuation of the “American Way of Life.” How many of those little books did the reverend inscribe that day? The next? And the day after that? Was my father sent one? My uncle’s twin brother, Stan? Or the two other Buschel brothers who also served in WWII?

100_1408Earlier, when I asked what was going through the minds of these two men, maybe the better question would have been: What was on the minds of this man and this boy, since on March 23, 1944, my uncle was hardly a man having turned 18 only a few months before those words were written. Desperate times called for desperate measures as millions of boy-men were shipped off around the world to fight.

100_1394As for answers, I doubt we’ll ever know. It’s amazing enough that the book even turned up to prompt the asking. My Uncle Dick, now 89 and in failing health, claims he never received the Prayer Book. Who knows? His mind certainly isn’t as sharp as it was 71 years ago or even 7 years ago.

And what of this little book’s odyssey? We’ll probably never know the story behind100_1427 its journey. We know where it began: March 23, 1944 at All Saints’ Church in Harrison, and how it ended on March 18, 2015—nearly 71 years to the day—when I received an e-mail from Millie Noskov, the Parish Administrative Assistant at All Saints’ Church, that opened with: An Army Veteran from California would like return a prayer book belonging to Mr. Richard W. Buschel.

100_1426We know the Veteran from California was given a WWII bible by his son who bought it on e-bay and when that Vet opened it he found the little prayer book tucked away in its pages, and upon seeing the name and picture of the 18 year old Richard, felt it his duty to track my uncle down, and if still alive, make sure it was returned to him.

When I finally gave it to my uncle (I delayed for a bit because he suffered a broken his leg shortly after the book arrived) he, as I stated earlier, said he didn’t remember ever receiving it, but up100_1399on opening it it opened many doors to the past. He began talking about leaving home for basic training, his time in France, his buddies, a losing streak at poker and the long, long road he had to travel before he got back home.

In the end, though I’d like to know where it’s been for the last 71 years, it doesn’t really matter. What matters are the memories, good and bad, but mostly good, that it helped bring back to my uncle.

100_1412And in case you were wondering, all five brothers came home from the war and led productive lives. All married and had children except for Uncle Dick whose two children died in infancy. My father even taught Sunday school for a while at All Saints’ and nearly all nine brothers and sisters had their funeral services at All Saints’. My uncle is the last of that generation’s Buschels.

At one time you couldn’t throw a stone in Harrison and not, in all likelihood, hit a Buschel. Today there are only two left, cousins, and strangely we’re both named Bill Buschel.

If you’d like to write to my uncle I’m sure he’d welcome any stories you may have about Harrison, or All Saints’ or anything else for that matter.
His address:
Richard Buschel100_1432
22 Masonic Avenue
Ramage #409
Wallingford, CT 06492

Finally I’d like to thank Millie Noskov for her heartfelt interest in seeing that the Prayer Book find its way to my uncle after 71 years. I’d also like to thank the WWII Veteran out in California who knew the importance of seeing to the safe return of the Prayer Book.


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