A Writing on the Net SM
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"Website provides seniors with an outlet for poetry"
Column in The Journal News, Westchester County NY daily newspaper, 10/12/2000, page 5 E
By Bill Bookman
Copyright 2000 Bill Bookman
A newspaper column about the SeniorMusings.com website
and several of its poets.

"I never liked poetry," Charlotte Wald confesses.
But since she retired as an editor and proofreader, she has read a lot for pleasure. "And sometimes," she admits, "a word catches me and I say, "Hey, I'm going to write about this," and in 15 minutes, I have a poem."

That might be just another uh-huh statement, with her verses consigned to a desk drawer. But Wald, who's 71 and lives in Mamaroneck, happens to have as her financial adviser Frank Sisco of New Rochelle, an estate planner-CPA who also happens to have a strong interest in unrecognized senior authors.

In fact, Sisco manages to find time in his 60-to-70-hour work week to tap out a new Web site, www.seniormusings.com, which showcases poems (including Wald's) as well as some essays and short stories.

Sisco, 51, says some of his affinity with seniors stems from his grandfather, who died when Sisco was 11. "It was the main-guy-in- my-life type of thing," Sisco told me. '" probably never got the proper closure."

I visited Sisco in his Harrison office, where a desktop computer for the Web site shares working space with a business laptop and esoterics of the fiscal world. Darkening the room, Sisco clicked the desktop's mouse. Background music (Beethoven) issued from the speakers and tastefully-framed headings came up on the screen. In a tinted column on the left of the screen, photographs and biographical information of the senior writers appeared as Sisco scrolled down.

In the main area of the screen were the writings, copyrighted in the authors' names and occasionally illustrated. Poets' own recorded voices were heard, reciting their verses as they appeared in
print. You caught every nuance of feeling.

One of the voices is that of Joseph DiCarlo of Pelham, a poet and painter, to whom Sisco. has dedicated the Web site. Sisco calls DiCarlo "one of the most prolific poets I've ever known."

Hearing DiCarlo's voice, which was recorded at a poetry reading 'a few years ago,' has a sad context. 'Before the Web site was started,' DiCarlo suffered a stroke which left him unable to speak. Nathaniel Goldberg of Ossining, who conducts poetry groups in Westchester, wrote in the dedication that the stroke "took away his voice but not his wisdom."
Jean Busatti, 67, of Mamaroneck, a retired teacher and department head at Pelham High School, has written four unpublished novels and is a contributor to the Web site. "Seniors have so much to tell about their past," she told me. "These are people who have strong feelings, so their poetry usually is very beautiful. I don't know whether appearing on the Web site will ever amount to fame for anyone, but certainly it's something the seniors should do."

At present, Senior Musings is limited to about 100 offerings. Contributions 'of poems and other writings' can be sent by mail to Frank Sisco, 550 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 103, Harrison, N,Y 10528, or by e-mail to seniormusings@aol.com. There is no fee at any time.
Send comments to Bill Bookman in care of Living Section, The Journal News, I Gannett Drive, White Plains, NY 10604.