Greetings from Belleville,
by Anthony Buccino
"I’m thankful for growing up in old Belleville. New Jersey, that is, not Belleville, Ontario, or Belleville, Illinois, or Belleville, Michigan, or Belleville, Kansas or even Belleville, Paris. I’m thankful for growing up in good old Belleville, New Jersey."
Anthony Buccino has created a time machine through words and stories of growing up the 1950s, 1960s and beyond based on life and growing up in Belleville, New Jersey.
You don't have to be from New Jersey to enjoy this book, you just need an inclination to remember when chasing the mosquito man and his big blue DDT cloud was a great thrill for kids on their bikes or running in their Keds!
And who can forget the excitement on hearing the bells of the approaching ice cream truck to the neighborhood?
If you remember defrosting refrigerators or the simpler things of times past, you'll enjoy Buccino's essay collection.
More than forty essays and reflections on everything from junior high school bullies to selling pretzels for Ed Strat at Belleville High School football games at Municipal Stadium. This collection includes the Excellence in Journalism award-winning Don the TV man.
You don't have to be from Belleville, New Jersey, to enjoy this book!
You'll just wish you were ... after you've read it.
Greetings From Belleville, New Jersey - Collected writings
Buccino writes about those duck-and-cover drills in elementary school, junior high school bullies, and high school joy rides to Monk's Castle and Albino Village. Spanning six decades, this collection shares the bitter and the sweet, all in an ultimate tribute to growing up in this middle class township in northern New Jersey.
This is Buccino's fourth collection of essays but the first wholly dedicated to his collected writings about Belleville. The author attended Holy Family School in Nutley while living down the street in Belleville. He also attended School 10, Belleville Junior High School and was graduated from Belleville High School where he also wrote for the student page in The Belleville Times.
In 1990, he served as editor of The Belleville Times and in the mid-1990s he was the managing editor of The Belleville Post. That experience provided a deeper insight into his home town along with the opportunity to write about growing up in the ever-evolving town.
Buccino writes with clarity and humor about growing up in the second half of the 20th century. He has been called “New Jersey’s Garrison Keillor or something to that effect.” His writing about life in northern New Jersey has been published in area newspapers, Belleville Patch, NJ Voices, Baristanet and other publications.
"The cover design is attractive, though I wish there was more information as to the book’s content, as this book would have appeal for stores, museums, and the like in Nutley as well as throughout New Jersey, I would like to see some copy on the back cover that shows potential buyers what’s inside and why they would enjoy this book. This would make a great gift book. You have compiled a diverse collection of mini-biographies here; it certainly is interesting to see how many famous and noteworthy people were born or lived in your town. You have clearly done a lot of research in putting this book together; I would prefer to see more usage of authoritative books, newspapers, etc., and less reliance on web sites like Wikipedia. Good job with grammar and proofreading, though I did catch occasional errors. The formatting and layout of the interior of the book is excellent. I appreciated the many photographs you included, though I wish a few of them could be reproduced a bit more clearly. You have a good web site to market this and your other work; you might want to hire a designer to give it more visual appeal."
-- Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
"The author gives a heartfelt glimpse into life in his hometown. It will appeal most to others from similar places, but the nostalgia and reminiscence will appeal to all readers who long for the home and life of their youth....
"The author's writing is friendly and easy to relate to, but sometimes he spends too long discussing things in depth that most readers are already familiar with (like defrosting early electric freezers). The author's friendly voice sounds like a neighbor swapping great stories on the back porch. Readers feel like they know the author, his family, and his town.
"The author's casual voice occasionally lends itself to informal grammar and word usage. While many, many details have the ring of familiarity, the author also brings out the unique aspects of his own experience. The author's humor, thankfulness, and openness are the book's greatest assets. The cover image suggests a more rural life than the small town setting depicted in the book."
-- Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Table of contents
Waiting for Jerry the ice cream man
The pipeline under the power lines
Rainy day children of the summer
Chasing the mosquito man
Air raid drill memories
After the Titanic
Moving down Meacham hill
Pizza for dinner, so very rare
The first robin of spring
Bellwood Crier has-been
Summer peaches in the Rambler
Billy Newtner's bus rides
Yellow cracker school days
Selling pretzels at high school football
Job rock in prose
Peter Pan Revisited, again
Back to school, institutional green
Just another day on Police Beat
Memories of Brookdale soda
Brown bagging lunch through the years
Bob Dylan in Belleville
Flashback, summers and Suntan Lake
How many hammers is enough?
A father's place
On outliving two classmates
Monk's castle joyrides
Do we ever stop missing our folks?
Married to a Christmas nut
Of Taylor ham, skorpers and Ashtabula
Who is Brother, who is Uncle Bim?
At Spatola's Home for funerals
Strangers in old photos
Editor imprisoned in Town Hall
School 10 students surprise Belleville scribe
Remembering a Belleville 'Red Tail' pilot
Italian American roots in Belleville, Nutley
Thankful for growing up in old Belleville
Some columns are included in other Buccino books.
Links subject to change
Covers vary by edition
Anthony Buccino earned a prize in the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards in the Media-Affiliated Blog category. The entry included these three essays:
“Don the TV Man”
“Penny Candy from the Corner Store”
“Gary’s English Racer vs. My Schwinn”
Anthony Buccino is the moderator of the Facebook group You Know You're from Belleville, N.J., if you
Please visit Old Belleville
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''New Jersey's 'Garrison Keillor' '' **
** "... or something to that effect"
New Jersey author Anthony Buccino published eighteen books. His stories of the 1960s earned a 2011 Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism award. His transit writing on NJ.com earned a 2010 SPJ Excellence in Journalism award and two 2014 SPJ Excellence in Journalism awards. The Pushcart Prize-nominated writer has been called ' “New Jersey’s ‘Garrison Keillor” or something to that effect.’
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