As this is supposed to be about me, it begs the question–my little fart in the woods wouldn’t be much more than that if it wasn’t for you. So thank you for visiting the website for my trilogy ‘Venice, East & West.’ Here I will share with you the love of an amateur historian for what proved to be a ‘Magical History Tour’ of a period called the ‘Early Modern Era;’ an age when the idea of ‘balance of powers’ first came into effect on a ‘global’ scale, if limited to the colonial powers and their colonies of that time. In addition to the glossaries of nomenclature and bibliographies of sources, I hope to better serve your interests by posting articles on a regular basis now that my trilogy is written and available.
A few words about my background, then: As a boy, I was an avid reader. A Native American teacher, Richard Cherico, inspired me to look at history from a different perspective. And so, after leaving Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication to write my first book on the flute music and food of certain Native American peoples I lived with, I failed utterly. Gravitating to the west, I ended up cooking in Tucson, Arizona to pay the rent. I ultimately became a chef there, and later, in California, while supporting my family. Re-discovering my passion for writing after the turn of the century, and actually having some deep experiences to draw upon, I decided to focus on the life of a certain Piero Caesar Alberti, who lived from 1612 through 1655, and traveled from Venice to Holland, and from there to New Amsterdam, where he died. To portray his life to the utmost, I have incurred a great deal of expense (on my research) and invested the incredible amount of time it took to coax a vivid, yet relatable life out of dusty archival data.
If Mark Twain’s adage is true of our present lives, that “Reality is stranger than fiction,” then I can bear witness to it being also true about the past. For the past has certainly come to life for me: whether it was the documented voyages of eleven months of Piero Alberti. Or a Doge’s exoneration (that my Venetian researcher found in the archives with the help of my direction) of Andrea Alberti, who I knew (by my own research in Davis Ca!) deserved it.
Although I have never blogged, nor been on any social media, I will try my best. Ask anything you want about that time and I will send you what I have. Of course there is so much on the internet, but as for totally credible information, a great source for ‘Land of Tribute’ was the New Netherlands Institute. Personally, I will include the information and support I left out of my book and on what Hollywood calls the ‘cutting room floor.’ John Steinbeck spent years doing research in Mexico while writing the story of Emilio Zapata, and cut much of his research for that. And even more of his research when he wrote the screenplay for the movie. And what he cut he later salvaged in a book I enjoyed reading very much—along the lines of what the commentator Paul Harvey used to call, the “rest of the story.” It was a high school friend of mine, Scooter Smith, who said that history is really comprised of his story and his story and his story–regardless of the gender of the teller.