Born on Broad Street not far from where the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers ply their trades, a graduate of three local schools (Bishop Neumann High, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and Temple University), it’s hard for me to imagine anyone being more Philadelphian than I.
Nonetheless, during the 40s and 50s, if you asked me or my buddies what’s your nationality, to a man we’d say, we’re Italians. A badge of honor, we knew Italian was the way we could distinguish ourselves from other ethnic groups that surrounded our little world, our little Italy, known to us simply as South Philly. Filled with immigrants from Naples, Sicily and Calabria, we grew up eating the best Italian food, listening to the best music sung by the likes of Como, Bennett, Sinatra, and Deano; rooting for great athletes like Graziano, Marciano and DiMaggio; going to the same schools with other South Philly Italians, Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Darren, Buddy Greco, Bobby Rydell and Mario Lanza.
While growing up Italian, few if any of us kids ever aspired to visiting Italy let alone having the chance to live there for a year. Well, I did live in Italy. More accurately, Nancy and I did. The experience changed our lives. What we learned could fill a book. So, we wrote one. When you read it, we hope it will inspire you to do something exciting, something adventuresome. For us, it was Italy. For you, it might be something else. Climb a mountain. Write a book. Ask for that raise. Life is short. Find your Italy and do it. Avanti.
Visit Nancy and John at: http://NotInATuscanVilla.com
John Petralia’s books
Larry Stiles was trained as an engineer and recently retired after a long career in higher education administration. He is trying to spend his “second childhood” catching up on some of the interests that were set aside for a demanding career. These include playing around with ham radio, volunteering with the Red Cross, taking classes unrelated to a degree and, in a break with the engineer stereotype, attempting some creative writing. So far the writing has been limited to poetry, some short stories and a couple of non-fiction pieces. The next Great American Novel is still in the future.
From the first time she was handed a blank piece of paper and a crayon, Ronnie Walter knew what she wanted to do for a living–draw pictures and tell stories! After a rambling education at art school, a state university and a stint in England, she finally figured out how to do just that! She has been freelancing for over twenty years with her words and illustrations licensed on fabric, home accessories, gift items and more greeting cards than she can count.
In License to Draw–How I Built a FUN career in Art Licensing–and you can too! Ronnie writes about the business of how Art Licensing works. It’s chock full of personal experiences, tons of solid information and an arm around the shoulder message of “you can do this!”.
Ronnie’s cozy mystery, Gruesome Greetings- A Georgie Hardtman Mystery is a fun romp through the halls of an art and design trade show! Georgie, a greeting card illustrator, had high expectations for an exciting trip but she never expected to be in the middle of a murder case!
And if Ronnie wasn’t busy enough, she has taken the adult coloring world by storm with the publication of four new coloring books! The Coloring Cafe™ series is a challenging yet fun collection of illustrations, sayings and patterns to color and paint–just right for stress relief and just plain fun!
Ronnie and husband Jim Marcotte live in Cape Coral with their shelter dog, Larry.
Visit her website at: http://ronniewalter.com
Ronnie Walter’s books
I was born in Schwenningen, Germany. After my fathers died in Stalingrad, Russia, my mother moved back to her hometown in Breitenfeld, Kreis Waldshut. She remarried and toke me with her to Grimmelshofen( Blackforest).
I became the oldest of 7 girls. After High School I moved to Mannheim Germany. There I meet my husband Jerry Wilbanks. He was a Soldier in the U.S, Army. We married in Mannheim. my first daughter was born in Heidelberg.
After 2 years we moved to Benton, Arkansas. There I had 2 more children, Donna Wilbanks and Scott Wilbanks. After the Children were teenagers we moved to Dallas, Texas. I worked at the Holiday Inn as manager for 14 years.
As my retirement came around I moved to Naples, Florida, later Cape Coral, Florida. My husband died in 2002, followed by my daughter Donna. Since I went to Africa 5 times for missionary work, I finally settled down to write books .My 5th book called Rise Brother Rise became a Bestseller in November 2004. That is why I ended up at the Gulf Coast Writers Meetings.
Visit her website at: http://mkwilbanks.com
Monika Wilbanks’ books