Sometimes the Universe speaks in plain English—even if with a Trinidadian accent. Such was the case when, completely out of context, came out the mouth of my dear friend Maria deLarosa in December of 2010: “Wayne, why don’t you fly to Europe and spread your wings there for a while. And while there, you should write a book.” So a few days later, upon the advice of the Universe, via Maria, I packed a couple of leather suitcases with only the essentials and set off for Europe—after visiting New York and Rio de Janeiro, of course. And almost six years later—and nearly six pounds heavier (on account of consuming lots of excellent wine and cheese)—the completed manuscript of the Manly Manners trilogy was delivered for publication. So to Maria and the Universe, a heartfelt “thank-you!”
The impetus for writing the very first words of the very first chapter of the very first volume came in February of 2011 when my friend Francisco Soares de Sousa Neto, upon seeing my notes and outline, exclaimed: “Wayne, you should begin writing your book today! My generation needs your book now!” It was that very afternoon, after “Netto” (as he spells his nickname) and I had lunch at Fasano in Ipanema, that I began writing what would become this three-volume work.
With one chapter under my belt, and the second well on its way, I set off for Italy—after a brief visit at “Harlemshire Abbey” in Manhattan, where I sat with my childhood friend, Carmella Richards, and discussed the scope and bent of the treatise. Encouraged and then undaunted, I set off for Italy, the country that seemed most fitting for the writing of a trilogy on men’s manners. And of all the Italian peninsula, Tuscany seemed like the most logical fit.
Much of my love for Tuscany was ignited many years ago when my dear friend, Italian architect Alessandro Sonetti, invited me to his Mediterranean hometown of Livorno to show me “pure Tuscan beauty.” On that visit, the Tuscan hillsides and sea sides and wines and foods won my heart, and I have remained enchanted ever since. So to Alessandro, incalculable gratitude for making me fall in love with Italy in general and Tuscany in particular. In many ways, that visit set a new course for my life.
I would also like to thank Giampaolo Herrmann for his splendid suggestion that I write the Manly Manners trilogy at Tenuta San Jacopo, the stately 18th-century villa in the heart of Tuscany’s wine country. Upon arriving at the estate in June of 2011, I quickly became—and remain—convinced that there was no better place on Earth for me to have written Volume II (which I completed before Volume I) of this work. To look out my windows each morning onto the gentle hillsides, neatly planted with now-ancient olive trees and gnarled grapevines, was to each dawn be greeted by a Cezanne or van Gogh canvas, only on the scale of a Christo and painted by the hand of God Himself. So, of course, I must thank the Cattaneo brothers (especially Vanni), owners of Tenuta San Jacopo, for their unparalleled hospitality. At their insistence, I had the run of the villa—all to myself—“for as much time as desired” (which turned out to be one full, glorious year), so that I could “concentrate, uninterrupted, on the book.” And cognizant of the fact that I hail from St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands, a culture known for its award-winning Cruzan Rum, the Cattaneo brothers gave me unfettered access to their cantina. So trust me when I tell you that the wines of Tenuta San Jacopo inspired my lines—so much so that if this treatise meets with critical and commercial success, it will, admittedly, be due in part to the words that flowed forth after pouring glasses of the San Jacopo vineyard’s top wines: “Quarto di Luna,” a delicate, yet flavorful, white; Chianti DOCG “Poggio ai Grilli,” a jewel-colored red that is so good that it is barely distinguishable from its alleged “superior,” the Chianti DOCG “Poggio ai Grilli Riserva.” Perhaps one day—soon—a portion of that tranquil estate will be transformed into an artists’ colony, attracting writers, painters, and sculptors from all over the world to relish in the presence of God, who is so ever-evident in that beautiful land. But in the meantime, there is on the property a meticulously restored, state-of-the-art bed & breakfast—with a pool—named in honor of San Lorenzo, that accommodates guests. At Tenuta San Jacopo, divine inspiration abounds. And on those very rare occasions when there is a dearth of stimulation, there is always the wine—lots of it—to augment the creative juices! Having spent the four seasons—each more beautiful than the next—in charming Cavriglia, where good wine is almost a religion, I remain convinced that had Jesus Christ attended the Wedding of Tuscana rather than the Wedding of Cana, the Blessed Virgin would have asked Him to turn wine into water! (The fattoria’s extra-virgin olive oil also served me well: Even the traditional salt-less bread of the region tastes more heavenly when drizzled with Tenuta San Jacopo’s prize-winning oil).
I must also thank Cristina Tonelli, Professor of Fashion at the University of Florence, who would, from time to time, come to the villa to prepare wonderful Italian and Persian dishes. No food-related holiday—not even the American ones—passed without a complementary feast. For what more could a red-blooded boy ask?
Special thanks to the entire staff at Tenuta San Jacopo, especially to Emiliano Isolani, and also to Francesca Guerrera, for their occasional assistance with transportation; Thushara for his domestic service; and Lucia Moretti for her kind assistance with administrative matters. Ms. Moretti is the embodiment of Tuscan hospitality; I could count on her for anything, anytime—and oftentimes did. I extend appreciation also to Stefano Balzanelli and Silvia Moretti.
Heartfelt gratitude is expressed to the entire staff of the Cavriglia COOP for the many deliveries of wonderfully fresh produce to my door—even on the rare occasions of inclement weather. Special thanks to Beni Filippo and his farmers for all the fresh vegetables and fruits. And the prosciutto and salami Toscana, the variety of local cheeses, as well as the “porchetta” sold each Tuesday by Daniele Camaiani in the outdoor market in Piazza Berlinguer, are enough to inspire annual pilgrimages to the quiet Tuscan village of Cavriglia.
On behalf of the people of the United States Virgin Islands, I extend special thanks to the Tuscan mayors who officially and graciously welcomed me to their cities: The Honorable Giuseppe Fanfani of Arezzo; and The Honorable Stefano Benedetti of Cecina. Special thanks also to The Honorable Ghero Fontanelli, mayor of the village of Riparbella, for his extraordinary hospitality. Heartfelt thanks also to The Honorable Gian Carlo Muzzarelli, mayor of beautiful Modena, who received me in his great city with pomp and ceremony.
To all the kindhearted people of Montescudaio, Italy, I express my sincerest gratitude. During my term as Senator of the United States Virgin Islands, I formed a twin-city alliance between Montescudaio and the three historic towns of the United States Virgin Islands, namely Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, and Frederiksted, in July of 2010. And it was reassuring to have Montescudaio serve as my home away from home during much of my glorious time in “Bella Toscana.”
First and foremost, I must extend the most heartfelt of thanks to the Ciabatti family of Montescudaio, namely Luciano and his wife Laura Landi Ciabatti, along with their sons Manuele and Davide, for truly being my family in Italy. Upon them I could rely, and upon them I oftentimes did rely. With them, I celebrated life’s most joyous occasions and mourned its saddest, including the beautiful wedding of Davide and his bride Lorena, which took place on a glorious summer’s day atop a picturesque hill overlooking the mighty Adriatic Sea, and the funeral of Alvaro Landi, “Il Principe della Paese,” the family’s maternal patriarch, on a gray day in the height of the Tuscan winter. For their love and kindness, I will remain forever grateful. And the invitations to dine with them at their beautiful home remain amongst the highlights of my Italian experience.
Graziano Gianelli is blessed with an innate gentility that distinguishes him amongst men. He reminds me of my late father and treats me as a son. Most of our conversations occur without words; they would only prove distracting and redundant. We understand each other. And for Mr. Gianelli’s fatherly affection throughout my many visits to his homeland, no words of gratitude would suffice.
Special thanks also to my true friend Vittorio Bianchi and his wife Antonella Marrucci Bianchi for their unwavering support of my efforts and presence in Montescudaio. In the world of politics, friends who say what they mean and mean what they say are priceless. Special thanks also to Vittorio for the countless glasses or wine and cups of Italian espresso to which he treated me at Bar Lupo, the heart and soul of the village. (According to the locals, Bar Lupo serves the absolute best coffee in the area. And I remain convinced that Italian espresso would be more fittingly called “compresso,” on account of the drink’s potency).
Profoundest gratitude to the incomparable Roberta Valdiserri who, from the moment I first set foot in Montescudaio in 2009, has been a pure joy and a true friend! Her emphatic buongiornos and buonaseras, even in her moment of personal grief, warmed my soul on a daily basis. And her special care in ensuring that I received only the choicest cuts of meat did not go unnoticed. Because of Roberta, Montescudaio felt like home away from home.
To the late Marco D’Antilio, my first friend in Montescudaio and member of one of the village’s oldest and most revered families, who, along with his dear mother Lucia, and thereafter his companion and their young children, welcomed me at the stately Palazzo Santa Maria with a traditional glass of their Fattoria Santa Maria vin santo. I would immediately sense and later come to know that I had been treated to what is regarded as Italy’s, and therefore the world’s, finest vin santo. My time with Marco and his family is amongst my fondest memories of my Tuscan sojourn, and their hospitality will be forever cherished.
Of all the matrons of Montescudaio, Sra. Luciana Bacci Pescucci is uniquely gracious and elegant—as if from a bygone era. Always regal, perfectly coiffed, and impeccably dressed, she and I “took” to each other like rare birds of a feather. To her I extend special gratitude for her motherly interest in my work and for always, without fail—even in inclement weather—taking the time to offer a warm embrace and kind words. To Sra. Bacci Pescucci I thank also for proving what I have long maintained: that of all the forms of beauty, elegance is the most enduring.
Special thanks to Renzo Mori for enthusiastically and with effortless gentility welcoming me into the village, and for the open invitation to his vacation home on the beautiful island of Elba. It is always such a pleasure to have for a friend a true gentleman. Our many conversations—almost always encouraged by Campari soda or Tuscan wine—were a welcomed delight, as were our excursions to see Italian opera or enjoy a drink or eat an authentic meal in some neighboring village.
Silvana del Corso is, without doubt, one of the gentlest, most gracious souls to have ever walked the Earth. For her warm embraces, delicate kisses, and soft inquiries into my well-being and the progress of my project, I thank her from the bottom of my heart. Just to see her from time in the village was spiritually uplifting.
My sincerest gratitude to Mauro Modesti. From my very first visit to his ancestral village, Mauro has welcomed me with open arms and cheerful greetings—always, without fail. A genuine, simple man, his approach was genuine and simple: To invite “Il Senatore” to the occasional lunch or dinner “just to check up” on me and “to make sure that everything was OK.” For his bold hospitality and sensitivity, I will remain forever grateful. Kindness is always a gift—especially when presented in a foreign land.
To the adolescent males of Montescudaio, I extend special thanks for serving as perfect examples of what the Manly Manners treatise endeavors to achieve: Marjus Gionku, for always exhibiting a gentlemanly comportment that far exceeds his tender age; Francesco Giomi, for his effortlessly kind and gentle demeanor; Demo Castellani, for his enthusiastic greetings and genuine admiration for things gentlemanly; and to the late Florian Gregor Schmidt, to whom this trilogy is posthumously dedicated, for living a life lead by love for his fellowman.
Many thanks to Fausto Giacomelli for his constant and straightforward friendship. His echoing hellos, broad smile, and bear hugs served as welcomed reassurances of hospitality in the oftentimes silent, narrow streets of medieval Montescudaio. Special thanks also to the man of the village who could be perhaps be best described as Fausto’s opposite, the gentle, reserved Giuliano Mengozzi, who despite being typically robed in hunters’ camouflage, comports himself as if dressed in formal attire at an Italian opera. A man of few words, not once has Mr. Mengozzi not met me with a warm smile, a firm handshake, and a few words of kindness.
To Gianmarco Corradi, the young law student and son of the owner of Montescudaio’s chicest “hole in the wall,” the wine bar Il Celliere di Dante, special thanks for his gracious displays of gentlemanly comportment, his eagerness to engage in stimulating conversation, and his assurances that young men of his generation aspire towards the gentlemanly pursuits, thereby making the Manly Manners trilogy “most relevant.”
I have never been able to pay for a drink whilst in the company or vicinity of my dear friend Luciano Palladini! To him, all of Italy is his home, and all of Montescudaio is his dining table! As such, I, hailing from a faraway tropical island, am always his guest whilst on Italian soil. For his hospitality, especially at the U.S.D. Montescudaio matches, I remain forever grateful.
Special thanks to Cristina Lorenzini for her many stimulating conversations, complemented with glasses of wine, at Il Celliere di Dante. She truly welcomed me into her village and took genuine interest in the progress of my literary pursuit.
To the late Renato Londi, the nonagenarian who in his youthful prime was a celebrated goalkeeper for U.S.D. Montescudaio, I extend posthumous gratitude for his unwavering kindness towards me. Assisted by his cane as he gingerly negotiated the steep, stone-paved streets of the centuries-old village, never once did Mr. Londi not greet me with a smile and a wave, even if first being sure to steady himself against his cane. His absence within the village remains ever-present.
The Guerrieri brothers, Giulio and Elio, and their respective wives, are amongst my most cherished friends in the village. I will forever recall the New Year’s dinner to which I was treated: wild boar, rabbit, pheasant, venison, and, of course, duck. To the family Guerrieri, I say “thank you” for showing me Tuscan hospitality in in truest expression.
Sincerest gratitude to Mauro Pagliuca and his wife Manuela Marrucci, without a doubt two of the most gracious people in all of Montescudaio, for their warm embraces and genuine support of my presence in the village. Like a beacon for a ship at sea, their warmth towards me was constant and unwavering, and for that I remain forever grateful. Many thanks also to Anna Martocchia and her genteel husband Michelangelo Loiacono for their genuine interest in the progress of my seemingly never-ending literary pursuit. And, of course, I would be remiss if I did not specially thank Anna for the handful of freshly picked giuggiole, a wild fruit of the Tuscan forests that, most amazingly, grows also in the Caribbean, where it is known as jojo! To receive such an unexpected gift on a dark autumn night was to be immediately transported back to my sunny Caribbean homeland!
I extend special thanks also to Morena Santini for our many conversations accompanied by a cup of espresso or an aperitif. Her honest assessments were most appreciated. And her enthusiastic hellos and warm embraces were heartfelt.
Each Wednesday morning, my dear friend Michele Polisciano arrives from Cecina with fresh fish from the Mediterranean Sea. And on many of those occasions, the hands he so graciously unfolds in order to present me with my selections are closed tight in order to refuse payment. For Michele and his numerous random acts of kindness towards me, I will be forever grateful. I thank also Elena Cerri of Cecina, who on Wednesdays ventures to Montescudaio to work in the village’s meat market, where, always with a smile, she renders the most courteous of service and never overlooks inquiring as to the progress of the book. To her I extend the warmest of gratitude. Special thanks also to Diana Fogale, who, during the summer months, offers service with a bright smile from her post behind the counter at Bar Lupo. Wednesday mornings are also graced by the stately, official presence of carabiniere Rocco Cusano, who, in the splendor of uniform, traverses the village’s principal street, conferring a subtly dramatic authority upon the hamlet. From my very first days in Montescudaio, during the initial stages of the establishment of the twin-city alliance and throughout my literary sojourn, Mr. Cusano has been a most comforting presence. And, without fail, he has always taken special care to extended his hand for a shake, offer a smile and a wave, or give a warm embrace. To him I am eternally indebted.
Soriana Marabotti is blessed with an uplifting personality; her joie de vivre, even in the dead of winter, is infectious, and I sincerely thank her for sharing her joy for life with me on the occasions we happen upon each other in the village. Seeing her is always a delight.
Paolo Franco, from the moment of my return to Montescudaio from Valdarno in the summer of 2012, offered to assist me in any way needed. And he kept his word: Whenever I need Mr. Franco, day or night, he is always there to assist me. To him, I remain forever thankful.
Michela and Cristiano Santi have been exceedingly kind to me—from the invitation to their October 2011 wedding, to the time spent together in the bleachers of U.S.D. Montescudaio matches, to the wonderful dinner at their home in beautiful Volterra. Special thanks also to Cristiano’s mother, Graziana Biondi Santi, for her kindness during our encounters in the village and for welcoming me into her home for an authentic Italian lunch.
My special gratitude to Roberto Carbonai and his dear mother Leda, who will receive, as promised, the very first signed copy of the Manly Manners trilogy; I can always count on the family Carbonai to offer me special attention at Montescudaio’s numerous picnics and traditional gatherings. Special thanks also to Cristina Balocchi for the most unforgettable trip to Siena for the historic Palio in July of 2010 and to the victory dinner of Siena’s Contrada del Drago in October of 2014. Horse racing is in my blood, and witnessing the Palio from one of the choicest balconies overlooking the magnificent Piazza del Campo remains one the highlights of my sporting life.
Despite the “shifting winds of politics,” which, at times, blow frigidly through the narrow, crooked streets of Montescudaio, Sandro Bertini and his brother Paulo Bertini have remained steadfast in their warm greetings. To the brothers Bertini and their mother Mariella I extend my sincerest gratitude.
Thanks to Giulia Manca for the various invitations to her home for authentic Italian cuisine and the impromptu invitation to the island of Pianosa. And special mention must be made of Giulia’s dear mother, Pascalina Manca, who, when visiting Montescudaio, always invited me to the table to experience authentic Sardinian fare.
Andrea and Sandra Surbone deserve a very special thank-you for the many invitations to their eighteenth-century villa, Poggio Gagliardo, where my room was always stocked with bottles of their vineyard’s “Montescudaio bianco DOC”; “Montescudaio rosso DOC Rovo”; “I.G.T. Toscana rosso Pulena”; and “I.G.T. Toscana rosso Vel Aules.” I delighted in them all!
For two weeks in May of 2011, before heading off to the villa in Valdarno, the nuns of Montescudaio’s Piccole Missionarie Sacro Cuore (Little Missionary of the Sacred Heart) invited me into their midst and extended to me hospitality deserving of a prince. Raised Catholic and educated by Catholic nuns and priests, my short time with the gentle sisters was spiritually affirming.
Francesco Masmadi, Paolo Castellani and his young sons, Pietra “Mimo” Pertosa, Stefano Salvadore, Lucia Valdiserri, Alessandro Vignale, Luca Lascialfari, and Patrizia Trusendi are always especially kind to me, and I sincerely thank them for welcoming me into the village.
Heartfelt thanks to the folk of the village, who in their daily goings and comings, always take the time to extend a greeting, stop to answer a question, or offer assistance: Renato Burlacchini; Marzio Arzilli and his sister Marzia; Nedo Reami; Luciano Sandri, the village butcher; Fabio Modesti; Carlo Caprai and his mother Sra. Cesarina Caprai; Arben, Margarita, and Mariglen Gionku; Graziella and Giuseppe Rocchiccioli; Daniela Galluzzi; Silvia Mosna; Andrea Baccini; Tomislav Spikic; Luisa Palladini; Baldino Signorini and his son Alberto; Rita Doveri Sandri; Massimo Fulceri and Monica Spinapolice; Lucia Pellegrini; Roberto Ciompi and his son, concert pianist Federico Ciompi, for the kind invitation to their home for a most delightful private piano recital; Daniela Schöenenberg and her husband Mario Provinciali; Sergio Becuzzi; Luca Lotti; Paula Volpi; Stefano Lorenzini; Sergio Tiffanini; Emilia Baccini; Antonio Sandri; Piero Petragli; Nedo Sarti; Luana Meini; Fabrizio Landi; Marcello Burlacchini; Daniele Modesti; Francesco Pesucci, especially for the unforgettable excursion to view the magnificent floor of Siena’s cathedral; Anna Maria Bondani; Fabio Becherini; and Nunzia Fulceri.
Many thanks to Sara Gervasio for her unforgettable dinner party held in my honor; Rita Sederini for her special gifts of homemade fruit preserves; Umberto Sandri for the several fireworks displays launched in my honor and in tribute to the people of the Virgin Islands of the United States; and Simona “Solo Italiano” Vannuzzi for her administrative assistance. Thanks also to Loredana Strada for her genuine interest in my literary project and for facilitating my accommodations in the village.
Living in a relatively self-contained village, with most of life’s essentials available within walking-distance, was of critical importance to my comfortable stay in Italy during this writing-project. To the various shopkeepers and merchants of the village, I extend a heartfelt thanks—especially to Marcella Rasoini, Daniela Vallesi, and Andrea Del Nista.
A significant part of the Tuscan experience is its cuisine. “Ciao!” to the wonderful chefs and hosts at some of Montescudaio’s fine eateries and bars: Bar Lupo; Il Frantoio; La Bettola; Enoteca Biběre; Il Celliere di Dante; Il Forapaglia; BardoVino; and Pizza in Piazza.
Finally, deserving gratitude to the members of the Comitato Dei Gemellaggi of Montescudaio; The Honorable Aurelio Pellegrini, former mayor of Montescudaio; Tuscan hostess extraordinaire Marta Fedi; and The Honorable Simona Fedeli, mayor of Montescudaio for their most unforgettable displays of hospitality and international diplomacy.
Special thanks to the people of Guardistallo, especially Luciana Candela for her friendship and devoted domestic assistance; Amin Filahi; and Don Piero Burlacchini.
Many thanks to the gentle inhabitants of idyllically beautiful Casale, especially Doriano Sentieri, who, even when encountering me in Montescudaio, insists that he, not I, extend the offer of hospitality. For his unwavering generosity I remain humbled.
My sincerest gratitude to the people of Bibbona, especially Teresa Moreno Moreno, her husband Maurizio Dimarco, and their two sons. It is always comforting to have a Caribbean-born friend in the area, with a standing invitation to her home for a meal complemented by traditional red beans and rice instead of pasta, and culminated with rum rather than grappa.
I thank also the people of Castagneto Carducci, but especially my dear friends Evelyn Albert and Peter Blank, who have truly been my surrogate family here in Tuscany. With them, at their home, I celebrated many holidays. At their table, always, there was a place for me. Whatever I needed, whether transportation, technical assistance, an intellectual conversation over a glass of wine, a telephone break, or to visit a quaint neighboring village for one “sagra” or another, Evelyn and Peter were there for me and with me. And to them I will forever remain immensely grateful.
If the sitcom Cheers had been set in Cecina, the series would have been filmed at the Tanagli family’s Caffè Roma, for there, “everybody knows your name.” In my case, my name preceded me. From the very first time I visited the café in 2009, it was as if an edict had been issued in anticipation of my arrival: “Everything ‘on the house’ for Senatore James—in perpetuity!” Thus promulgated, thus implemented—until finally, five years later in late 2014 when I “promised not to return unless allowed to pay,” did the edict relax. But even now, if I for a split second am distracted from the attention of my glass (usually of some fantastic Tuscan red), my glass is quickly “refreshed,” or some friend walks in the door and treats me to “whatever Il Senatore is having.” Every artist needs a place to unwind and rewind. And Cecina’s Caffè Roma is my spot. So to Patrizio and Sandra Tanagli and the rest of the Tanagli family, I extend a wholehearted “thank-you.” Special thanks also to the café’s staff: Samuele Modica; Lara Guerrieri; Mattia Sartoni; Alessia Lorenzini; and Eva Ghilli. I must also thank the dear friends I have met at the café: Oliviero Olmi; Mario Grechi; Claudio Paternostro; Sauro Baffetti; and former staff member Erica Masci.
To Lorenzo Costagli and his daughter Laura; Davide Carli and his sister Giulia; and also to Mariia Vadovska, I offer my sincerest thanks for their administrative assistance, generosity, and patience. Other persons of Cecina must also be thanked: fellow writer and football enthusiast Sergio Ceccanti; Dr. Michele Falorni for his journalistic support; Stefano Preziosi for his kind and generous technical assistance; Tiziano Bernardeschi for his chauffeur services; thanks to my barbers Massimo Serni and Gaspare Butera for keeping me properly groomed; Rosario Diliberto for his kindness; the staff of Hotel Posta for always going beyond the call of duty to ensure my comfortable stay; and to Salvatore Mercorella for his friendship and kind assistance. Special thanks to Simona Filly and Vittorio D’Alessandro for their unparalleled display of Tuscan hospitality and for the absolute best food in all of Cecina.
The Palagi family of Livorno—Roberto, Carla, and their two princely sons Marcello and Alessio—have been most dear to me, inviting me to their city, coming to visit me in Montescudaio, and always offering encouraging words towards the completion of the trilogy. Their friendship and kindness will forever warm my heart. Special thanks also to Dr. Roberto Riu for his historical and cultural research assistance; Dr. Gianluca Giovannini for his professional services; Nicolo Cecioni for his journalistic interest in the trilogy; Maria Laterra of Teatro Goldoni; Dr. Marco Lascialfari for his generous translation services; and Michele Silvestri for his kindness and generosity.
Massimo Balzi and the entire membership of Pisa’s Circolo Mazzei have been most welcoming and kind towards me. And as promised, I look forward to presenting the trilogy to the august body at the absolute earliest opportunity.
My dear friend, Italian football legend Igor Protti, informed the entire staff at his San Martino Hotel and Health Spa in Riparbella that I should be extended complimentary accommodations whenever I had the time and opportunity to visit his chic Tuscan resort. Built in the middle of the 1800s as a private villa comprised of several buildings, the newly restored property wants for no modern amenity—a fact to which I can personally attest since I accepted my friend’s offer of hospitality on more than one occasion. For his unparalleled graciousness, I am forever appreciative. My stays at San Martino truly rejuvenated me, each time giving me renewed energy to continue writing. And when Igor acquired the equally beautiful San Ruffino Resort in Lari, also in the Province of Pisa, he informed his staff likewise. But besides offering me complimentary lodging at his resorts, he has also taken the time to personally introduce me to some of Tuscany’s most beautiful sites: Volterra and Bolgheri. So to Igor, I extend sincerest gratitude.
A most heartfelt thanks to the people of Modena for their unequalled hospitality during my visit to their great city. Special thanks to Leonardo Giacobazzi and his family; Emilio Biancardi and his family; Federico Desimoni; Dr. Andrea Galeotto; Erika Barbieri and her family; Dr. Giovanna Ferrari Amorotti and her family; Loretta Goldoni; Mirco Casari and his family; Andrea Nascimbeni; and Enrico Corsini and his family. Their reception and enduring friendship remain amongst the highlights of my Italian experience.
While conducting research on the great Italian city of Genoa as one of the stops on “The New Grand Tour,” as described in Volume III, Manly Manners: The Masculine Luxuries, I was given a guided tour of the city by some of its finest gentlemen: Franco Lizza; Lorenzo Bagnara; Stefano Spinaci; Armando Gibilaro; and Eugenio Segalerba. I am most grateful for their exemplary display of gentlemanly hospitality.
To my dear friend, Italian actor Fausto Verginelli, I owe a special debt of gratitude for his many cheerful phone calls between his performances simply to say “Ciao, amico mio!” or to verify my well-being and offer his assistance in any way possible while I was in his beautiful homeland. It is so good to have good friends all around the world.
Anyone who has ever written a book, let alone a three-volume treatise, knows that it can be a long, lonely journey. I therefore thank many of my dear friends who followed me along my path, serving as “readers,” diligently perusing each and every chapter as soon as it was completed: Mary Moore, with whom I have endured many journeys in life, the most notable being that onboard the “Young America” in 1999 as part of the Middle Passage Monument Project to lower the monument onto the floor of the Atlantic Ocean in recognition of the estimated millions of African people who perished en route to and at the hands of the Trans-Atlantic Trade of Enslaved Africans; Kathryn Jensen de Lugo, my personal “cheerleader” throughout much of this endeavor; Patrice Panis, who totally agreed with the inner-gentleman/outer-gentleman concept of this treatise from its inception; Sistah Q, also of the “Young America” adventure, for her confirmation that there is still a need for dignity and decorum in the world; Jacqueline Rhinehart, for her thought-provoking comments and shrewd marketing insights; Victoria Krauss and Olivia Crudgington, for fully agreeing with my vision for an unconventional approach to the very conventional topic of etiquette; Sonia Cordeiro of Rio de Janeiro, for her professional insights as a trained psychologist; Puerto Rican diva Nydia Caro, who has enthusiastically supported all my professional endeavors since we first met in 1989, and who read the chapters with her keen understanding of the public and its perceptions; my cousin Marie Cornelius, who read and encouraged, read and encouraged, and then read and encouraged some more; my former teaching colleagues Brenda Jackson, Faye Strunkey-Friday, Aixys Valentin, Judy Bain, and Marla Matthew, who, acutely aware of the psyche of the teenaged male in the 21st century, became more and more convinced with the reading of each chapter that this book is exactly what young men of today need; University of Pavia’s Professor of Architecture Sandro Parrinello and my gentle friend Alessandro Vacchieri, for their most delightful spur-of-the-moment visits to Tenuta San Jacopo; Carmella Richards, for serving as a sounding-board for this endeavor from its seminal stages, and for availing “Harlemshire Abbey” for my extended visits, some of which were unannounced; Nora El-Jaiek Isiksun, for her enthusiastic support, since our undergraduate years at Bradley University, of yet another of my endeavors; Megan Oldham for her insights on young men in their 20s and their need for modern approaches to etiquette; Steve Kirchof for insisting that I start a blog immediately, and then going the extra step to establish it for me; and to Georgetown Law classmate Alexis Crump for always telling me that my style of writing makes her “smile.”
Other friends and relatives read and commented as much as their busy schedules permitted: Harriet Moss; Bruce E. Smail; the late Claudia James Hessing; Elia Tasca; Jomo Simmonds; Wanda L. Morris; Veronica “Ronnie” Phillips; Rosemary West; Michelle Little (also for the care-packages); Marc Biggs; Maureen Dunn; Jill Popenhagen; Maria Dorsey; Dave Stein; Amr Mounib; Jesper Larsen; Adam Kronegh; Manuele and Davide Ciabatti; Egon Weeks; Danielle Ducrot; Mahesh Nanwani; Jean Fiore Keenan; Kevin Montgomery; Molly Johnson Campbell; Katie Tenoever; Luciana Nery of Rio de Janeiro; Jasmine Turner; Linda Colon Martinez; Marsha Geib; Lauretta Petersen; Dr. Alfred Anduze; Michelle Ritter LaCoss; Luz “Tutti” Suarez de Highfield; Clive Banfield; Grant and Jean St. Julian; Alfreida Moore DeGroot; Catherine and the late John Timmes; Lenny James (also for his care-packages and “keep-in-touch” phone calls); Louise Sackey; Sharifa James Garcia; Khalfani James Garcia; Otto James, Jr.; and Nassor James.
Much of the inspiration for this treatise derives from my years of teaching at my alma mater St. Joseph’s High School on St. Croix, between 2000 and 2009, intermittently. There, I met a generation of young men and women eager to reconcile their thoughts and feelings with religious doctrine. Many of the concepts I presented to them in my lectures are incorporated in Volume II, Manly Manners: The Cultivation of the Inner, Spiritual Gentleman. And special thanks also to the teachers who taught me the art of and appreciation for writing: Myrtle Latimer Richards; the late Veronica Simmonds Ross; Selwyn Checkley; Eden Arcamo; Luke Frederick; Debbie Merlin; and Raymond P. Ferreira. To my childhood public librarian, the late Athalie L. McFarlane Petersen, special thanks for always recommending the absolute best books; Special thanks also to Anna Merle Christensen James, Kathleen Maynard, Sarah Powell James, and the late Vivian Bennerson for their guidance during my youthful years.
Much gratitude to my dear friends Orlando Navarrete Segura de Cadiz; Luiz Bernardino de Sena of Brazil; Dr. Panagiotis Manolas; Anita Shapolksy; Herbert Mermelstein; Thelma Schade Youngblood; Laurie Y. Thomas; Melba T. Moore; Eugenie Braffith; Lorna M. Barnes; Ernest C. Phaire; Colleen Mae Williams; Aubrey Drummond; Charlene A.K. Springer; Adele Clendinen: Debra Wyatt-Brown; Sonia N. Jacobs; Lucy, Jazmin, and Heather Carty; Caryn Hodge, for imparting her invaluable insights from the inception of this endeavor; Jacqueline McNeil for her devoted friendship; Lisa Spery; Ruben de Castro Gomez, for over 50 years of unconditional friendship; Danica David and Andrew Ettienne; Dominic Scott, Amiquah Freeman, Robyn Leeling, George Thurland, and Norberto Rivera; Robert Rios, Daisy and Julio Cariño, Ingrid Bough, and Pamela Richards Samuel; Rena Brodhurst; Patsy Greenidge; Cheryl McIntosh; Stephanie McIntosh Lewis; Beverly Smith of St. Thomas; and Vegan Ellis for their loyalty, support, and assistance throughout the years and throughout this project.
Profoundest gratitude to Father Alexei A. Michalenko and Mr. Felipe Ayala for their kindness and support during this most arduous undertaking.
I can fully attest to the existence of “southern hospitality”; it is alive and well—even in the 21st century. What Tuscany was for Volume II of the Manly Manners trilogy, the state of Georgia was for Volume I. In the summer of 2012, nearing the end of my first Italian writing-sojourn, my dear friend Kimberly Alexander insisted that I do some writing at her home “in the genteel south.” And I do declare that there is no place more fitting to write a book on manners than the “Old South”: In the South, people still “mind their manners.” For 21 months, by day, I would write; and by night, Kim and I would delight in conversation, great food, and exquisite wine. True friendship is priceless. So to Kim and her family, heartfelt thanks for providing me a home away from home. Special thanks also to Mrs. Janis Bowen Alexander Perkins, Kim’s mother, for her delightful dinner parties and family gatherings. And, of course, many thanks to Kim’s centenarian grandmother, Mrs. Jean Byrd Lee Bowen Rollins, the grandame (and then some!) of the family, for her lively conversations, refreshing outlook on life, and effortless expressions of elegance. Much gratitude also to Mark Allan Jackson, Sr., for his kindness. And special thanks to his son Mark, Jr., for bringing immeasurable joy to my stay in the South; to Bowen Hardaway for serving as a prototype of the young men for whom this treatise is written; and to Alexander “Ali” Hardaway for graciously relinquishing her room for my enjoyment and convenience. Much appreciation also to Mrs. Sally J. Warner for her insights on the book and for availing me of her Hilton Head Island beach house. What an enchanting place from which to think and write!
To Baron Peter Hagemann von Troil for his creative insights regarding the cover designs of the Manly Manners trilogy. And to the Hagemann and von Troil families of Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, for our family relations and intercultural exchanges spanning three centuries.
Thanks to “The Supremes”: Beverly J. Wilbourn, Sheila Y. Thomas, and Kimberly J. Alexander, my Georgetown Law study-partners. Without saying a word or asking a question, each stepped forward to sing lead at critical junctures during this six-years-long literary odyssey. To them, I extend my most profound gratitude for their special friendship and support throughout the decades. Special thanks to Mohamadou Siby, also of my Georgetown Law days, for his brotherly support of all my endeavors. My deepest appreciation, love, and respect also for the St. Joseph High School Class of 1979.
I remain forever grateful to my dear friend Shahryar Hakimi, who for several years willingly sacrificed his legal career in order to assist me in my various endeavors. Manly Manners is the result of my fearless journey through manhood. And I am the man I am today partly because of Shahryar.
Finally, I thank my dear mother Evelyn Messer James; my dear aunt Clarissa Messer Petersen and uncle Otto James; my late aunts and uncles; my gentle godmother Therese Duval; my ever-loyal cousin The Honorable Judge Eileen Petersen; and my dear friend Hortense Sackey Milligan Rowe for their prayers, guidance, and support throughout my life and throughout this project. A very special thanks also to my sisters and brothers; and to my niece Oceana Joseph James, who, as a fellow artist, “got” this project from its inception and went above and beyond to ensure its completion.