A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Placid Day on Old South Side

Yesterday, as every year since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, the Sicilians of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Easton PA have manned up and hoisted a 200-pound statue on their shoulders and paraded around South Side with an Italian oom-pah band while people run out from their houses and pin money to the banner. Go figure. It's enough to give Baptists conniption fits.

When TOF was the TOFling, they would stop at a house across the street from his and oom-pah until Mr. or Mrs. Bosco would come out and do the honors. South Side has changed since then. It was once called German Hill, and the Germans were none too happy about Italians moving in. Now, on TOF's block are blacks and Arabs, Irish and left-over Germans. But last year the Lebanese family -- which attends Our Lady of Lebanon -- went out and pinned money, so who knows? Anybody can play!

The parade starts at the Castel di Lucio club a couple blocks from TOF's stone-built fortress of solitude. It sat on the edge of the Projects for many a year, but the projectors generally left the Sicilians alone.

St. Placido, a sixth century monk, is the patron of Castel di Lucio, Sicily, "from which many Easton area residents trace their ancestry."

He ain't heavy. He's my ancestral patron saint.

San Placido, looking especially placid.

For those interested, there are additional photos here.


  1. 200 lbs statue; 400 lbs rig to carry it on. Manly-men.

    Give me that old time religion! It was good enough for St. Placido, it's good enough for me!

  2. The Spanish Foreign Legion does something similar during Holy Week with an effigy of The Christ of the Good Death, as one would expect of the Bridegrooms of Death. However, they don't carry it on their shoulders; it is held on their extended arms. in accordance with the Legion's traditions.


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