"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
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
- 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
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head at Pelham High School, has written four unpublished novels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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.