08 December 2023

About books

 Reading Chris Knopf's December 4th SleuthSayer's Column "Book, books, books. And more books." took me back to how I became a prolific reader.

In 1960, my army father was assigned to the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) in Verona, Italy, which began a three-year adventure for me in Italy. I was ten and wish I had been older to better appreciate the experience of living in Europe. I've so many vivid memories of the red tile roofs of Verona, the Bolla vineyards, the castles, the heart-wrenching battlefields of San Martino and Solferino, the art in nearby Florence, the canals of Venice, the magnificence of Rome and the Vatican, the narrow streets of Naples.

 Camp Passalaqua, Verona, Italy 1960s

Verona, Italy

L'Arena, Verona, Italy

Beyond those wonders came an everlasting wonder for me. Books. Coming from TV America, there was no TV for us in Italy. There was Italian television shows but we didn't even have a TV. I went to see a lot of moves at the post theater (went into that in my SleuthSayer's July 26, 2019 post "Movies 1960-1963)

However, it was the libraries which drew me. The post library and especially the school library.

I attended a wonderful school in 5th, 6th and 7th grade – Verona American Junior High & Elememtary School. We called it Borgo Milano School as it was on the street Borgo Milano. The teachers were first rate and the classes inspiring.

My fifth grade class in 1960. I'm first row. Fifth from the left. Teacher was Mr. Gamberoni.

The playground in 1960s

The librarian was a New Zealander or maybe Australian, with a cool accent. She guided me to so many great books for youngsters and I fell into the spell of reading and reading and reading. When school was closed for the summer, the post library at Camp Passalaqua had great books, more adult books and I kept on reading. It became a life-long love. Reading.

Juliet's balcony, Verona, Italy

Nice short film about Verona:


That's all for now,



  1. You have some really nice photographs. And, a great article.

  2. What fun! My mother was Italian, and although I''m a little younger than you, your photos bring back good memories of visits. I know the south (Naples/Palermo/Messina) better than the north, but you do bring back memories of lovely Verona.


Welcome. Please feel free to comment.

Our corporate secretary is notoriously lax when it comes to comments trapped in the spam folder. It may take Velma a few days to notice, usually after digging in a bottom drawer for a packet of seamed hose, a .38, her flask, or a cigarette.

She’s also sarcastically flip-lipped, but where else can a P.I. find a gal who can wield a candlestick phone, a typewriter, and a gat all at the same time? So bear with us, we value your comment. Once she finishes her Fatima Long Gold.

You can format HTML codes of <b>bold</b>, <i>italics</i>, and links: <a href="https://about.me/SleuthSayers">SleuthSayers</a>