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 Joseph DiBona

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$15.00 plus shipping

                                        

                                                                                       

When Joe Di Bona was in his twenties, he traveled for fourteen months in France and Italy.  Di Bona kept a journal during this time.  In it he jotted down what he saw, how he felt and his observations of human nature.  Fifty years later he un-earthed these writings, dusted them off and had them published.  A Wayward Journey of Love and Dreams is the end result. 

Because this book is the reproduction of a journal, the usual elements of a novel are missing. There is no story line that provides the continuity between one event and another. No effort was made to identify his traveling companions. There is no real beginning and the books just quits as if the author was interrupted mid sentence.  This makes for a somewhat choppy read.   

What Di Bona excels in is his observations of human nature.  For example: Di Bona quotes a priest who (in the 1950’s) is sad over the lack of men entering the priesthood. I can only imagine how that priest would feel today.      Having just got back from a vacation of my own, I enjoyed the pronouncement  “Every guide, followed by a crowd of sheep, surges around the famous Pisano work, and, when he points out the self portrait of the artist, they lurch forward as if someone were giving out free chewing gum on 42nd street.”  The description of 1954 Naples is heart wrenching.  Di Bona is not content with stating that everyone is poor.  He notes that “The children are dirty, covered with only the barest rags and often suffering from skin diseases.  They eat their pasta on the sidewalk because there is no place elsewhere.” 

Di Bona’s commentaries about art stand the test of time.  Fifty years later his pointers on viewing paintings are still valid.  Di Bona urges, the next time you visit a museum, to notice how some of the paintings have eyes that are just on a face.  Some artists have painted eyes that can see. Other artists have learned to paint eyes that fill up with tears, terror, pleasure or pain. 

Captured within the pages of the journal is a snapshot of what it was like to travel in the 1950’s.  Today’s travelers will marvel at the casual attitude taken over missed connections and lack of hot water for daily showers.  These glimpses into the past, plus Di Bona’s observations make this book a refreshing combination of a way of life that’s gone forever and proof that some things never change.

Judy Jacobs

 

 

 

 

$15.00 per copy plus shipping 

 

Joe Di Bona was already an army veteran in post-WWII America, he had completed college and worked in industry two years, and, yet he remains unfulfilled. He quit his job and traveled to France to study Chinese in one of France’s Grand Ecoles. This caused him to hunger for some great sacred unknown and the urge takes him to the great spiritual centers in India and Japan. This great journey produces in him a lifelong spiritual transformation. Travel with him down this path of discovery and you, too, may glimpse nirvana.