posts on 7/29/2010 8:45:36 AM
Hi Mary Ann,
You probably don't remember me, but you were very helpful to me 15 years ago in Long Ridge Writers Group, and I have been publishin since, mostly in small magazines and enjoying writing. I am writing to you now to ask if you might know of a small agent who I might help my nephew, Joe Paulet to contact. He has written a book while he was in prison in Indiana (unjustly, I'm convinced) which incorporates his prison and some subsequent experiences, but hasn't been able to find an agent to help get it published. If you could suggest someone I would greatly appreciate it.
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
posts on 7/1/2010 11:02:11 AM
Hello Diane and the rest of you AllReaders people.
Please feel free to email me at tironesmith. That would be at aol-dot-com. I'm writing this last in code since AllReaders won't let me include my email in this message
posts on 6/30/2010 12:10:14 PM
hello mary ann....i grew up on somerset st...in elmwood..right next door to your aunt and uncle...louis and lucille...and it was so intersting to see their photos in your book..girls of a tender age....i loved that book..what an excellent..and true..story...i think we all have a story in us...waiting to be told...mine would be about my mom who developed early onset alzheimers at age 52..in 1969...ive always wanted to try to write about it..as a memoir to her and because nowadays alzheimers has become a very timely topic...back when she first showed signs of it...it wasnt a household word....so my query to you is..how do i even begin to write this story..? any suggestions...?
thanks for any input you can give me...and endcouragement.....
sincerely , diane saifyrd
p.s still on somerset st....
posts on 5/3/2010 5:51:26 PM
Dear Mary Ann----I don't know if you remember me, but I had my manuscript reviewed by you at Wesleyan Writer's conference about 15 years ago. Then, later you taught a writing class at Fairfield University, which I attended. Later we were ina writer's group that came out of members of the Fairfield Class. The point of all this is that the manuscript of mine that you reviewed at Wesleyan "AllAlone" has finally been published. It was done by a Print On Demand POD house called Publish America, but I am happy that the book has finally seen the light of day in something other than manuscript form. At Wesleyan, you told me that you got about ten manuscripts to review whenever you were a participant in a writer's seminar with maybe 6 or 7 being OK. You said that mine was very good, and that I should submit it to a publisher. I did with no takers until nowNow, something like 15 years later it has been published. I don't know your home address, but if you will send it to me, I'll send you a copy of my pride and joy ALL ALONE . Hoping to hear from you. Don Berghuis
Katherine Festa Donohue
posts on 2/11/2010 12:56:13 AM
I recently started work in the Children's section at the North Haven Public Library where one of my co-workers told me of your book Girls of Tender Age. She knew I had grown up in Hartford in the 50's and thought I would like it. Indeed, I loved it! I found I could not put it down!! I can't believe I did not know about the book earlier.
I lived in the Stowe Village housing project - and although you were at Charter Oak and about 5 years older, there are so many similarities in our lives. Reading your work was like reliving my childhood. Although the names of the relatives were different, every Hartford Italian family enjoyed the same characters. And they all were working stiffs!
Another similarity I found was that each summer my family (by way of a boat rented from Dick's Marina) cruised on the Sound and into Chalker Beach just to visit our relatives, the Paternos, of Edgewood St. in Hartford. I wonder if you knew them from Chalker Beach. This past Christmas, I gave both my sister (who looked just like you did in your cover photo) and my 92 year old aunt Helen Paterno your book. I knew there would be so much in it they each would recognize and remember.
The next novel I intend to read will be your Masters of Illusion... about the Circus Fire. My mother, who is 94 with Alzheimer's, is a survivor. On rare occasions she told us bits of how she escaped the fire. Most times she kept it inside but we always could sense how much that tragedy affected her.
Thank you for your poignant story. You are a gifted writer and story teller. I would love to meet with you and talk. My sister, Nancy Sudik, would like to contact you as well. And I do hope you will respond to this post.
Sincerely, Katherine Festa Donohue
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
posts on 8/13/2009 3:19:55 PM
To all of you most wonderful readers whose hearts were touched in some way by my memoir GIRLS OF TENDER AGE, I would ask that you feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I need to answer each post on an individual basis. Would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, if you don't know, I collaborated on a novel with my Red Sox blogger son, Jere Smith (letsgosox.blogspot.com). If you're a fan of the Sox or mysteries or just a plain old fun read, I hope you'll consider reading DIRTY WATER: A RED SOX MYSTERY.
Ann Gallucci Rath
posts on 8/13/2009 10:21:54 AM
So enjoyed Girls of a Tender Age. I grew up in an Italian family in Meriden in the 50s and your book brought back vivid and priceless memories. Today I live on the shore in Southeastern CT. After marriage and children, we rented a tiny cottage at Chalker Beach (it had a small front porch and lovely stone wall right on the beach). A brother-in-law from Virginia would bring his child-size, home-made sailboat to the cottage, and taught the older children to sail. As time went on we rented at White Sands Beach in Old Lyme. One day Ned Coll approached us on the beach with children in tow and we "borrowed" a little girl for a visit and dinner that evening. (Couldn't do that today I suppose.) Luigi's in Old Saybrook - still there. Trips to G. Fox (still mourn the loss of that store - you could place a phone order and the next day your package would arrive via the blue truck, wrapped and in perfect condition). My close friend, who loaned me your book, went to Conn. Central State and became a teacher. The aunts and uncles so perfectly portrayed - (never knew who we were or weren't supposed to be speaking to); my parents were each part of six children families). The food (endless holiday dinners including Grandma's ravioli), the grandfathers' winemaking skills, the well tended flower and vegetable gardens. What a precious period of time in which to grow up! Did you ever go to the old State Theater in Hartford? I recall Sammy Davis, Jr. at about age 12, his father and uncle performing their vaudeville act on stage, and also watching Johnnie Ray perform in his white suit and orchid shirt and tie. Such fun! Love your writing. I intend to read your other books.
posts on 3/29/2009 8:40:32 PM
Really to the attention of Steve Saretsky from C-O-T. Steve, this is Bill and I have that vague recollection of your name as well. I have two older sisters, Linda & April but I do not recall them having gone to Hooker as they were 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 years older. I have not heard from Mary Ann nor did a post I made to the site for the co written book with her son. I really did want to find out who the "Gail" was in her book. So it goes. My family started out for a couple of years in the C section before moving to A117 after I was born, we needed the third bedroom. In any case if you want to drop a note my email is Bill3joana@aol.com, your call.
posts on 3/29/2009 4:37:24 PM
Dear Mary-Ann, I believe we were classmates and I think I remember you and Bill Albrecht's name sounds familar too. I lived in the C section (C75) of Charter Oak Terrace. I was 2 months old when the Hartford Circus Fire occured. My Mother told me that she had planed to take me and my sister Sandra, who was 2 years old at the time, to the circus that day, but I was crying and acting up and she felt that she better keep us home. Obviously, that's a story that I will never forget.
I don't have too many fond memories of those years. In fact, I blocked out most of my time at Mary M. Hooker. I do recall the long walk to school from the C section, crossing over the Hog River and walking by Rice Heights and section D along the way. My Father had a vegetable garden near the west side of the Hog; there were a few people that had one back then. I remember the hurricanes of 1955. The Hog was so flooded, we were cut off from going to Hooker because of it.
Do you remember the Market Basket, the store west of the Hog River on Flatbush? I remember Shorty's, a small convenience store on Flatbush Ave., the ice cream trucks, Good Humor, etc. I remember getting Hood mild or Sealtest delivered. In the winter when it was cold, the mile would freeze, pusing the cream through the cardboard seal on the top.
Please accept my hearfelt thanks for writing this book. I'm sure that Irene was one of my classmates, but I don't remember the details. My daughter, who lives in Maine, told me about the book and it was a wonderful, well written book. Recently, I found out that my ex-wife's mother, who passed away a few years ago, was Irene's Aunt.
I look forward to hearing from you or anyone else from the terrace. Thanks again.
posts on 12/14/2008 9:43:16 AM
Mary-Ann - I think I want to say hello to maybe an old friend. But then my memory for the other students at Mary M. Hooker is incomplete at bestI think I want to ask you if we were in Mrs. Bowie's classroom at the same time or were we a year apart. I just tracked my calendar back and determined I was in that classroom from September 1954 until June of 1955. I got to Hooker as I recall in the middle of 2nd grade from New Park Avenue School. I am guessing that was when Hooker was opened. At that time my family lived at A117, across the river. And yes, the Hog River as we knew it. I recall you noted Mrs. Bowie as your favorite, I had to place her second behind Mrs. Jennings whom I had in third grade. After all, she had made me the leader of the "band" of triangles and whatever else passed for an instrument at that time. Reading your book I came to conclude that many of the 'D' section kids were virtually unknown to me because of the river keeping us apart. I did come to know Al Griggs but only later at Hartford Public. You had also mentioned Mr. Shusterman and he was our "breadman" as well. Finally you did mention a girlfriend of yours named Gail and I wondered if that was Gail Zacchio? I remembered her because we had done a "famous" play about Mr. World. It was famous becuase it got our picture in the paper. I thought we did that as part of Mrs. Bowie's class but 55 years can cloud some memories. Being able to relate first hand to so much of the neighborhood made the book virtually impossible to put down. Thank you for putting the story out there.
posts on 6/5/2008 1:37:59 PM
Mary-Ann, Thanks for Girls of Tender Age. Like the others, I enjoyed it tremendously, benefited from the catharsis of laughter and tears, and learned so much about Connecticut. My book club is now reading it and I'm rereading it for our next meeting. Which brings me to the other reason I'm writing. I'll be hosting the July 1st discussion at my home in Salem,CT (not far off of exit 70 on 95N) at 6pm (date and time can be changed at your convenience). I, we, would love to have you join us! I can promise you good food (yes, pineapple cream pie too), wine, and a very grateful and happy group of bibliophiles to share an evening with. We're close to the shore and casinos so you may want to stop by on your way home and bring along any family or friends, the more the merrier! Mary-Ann, I hope you will consider it, and yet I will completely understand if the answer is no. I'm guessing you have my email from this posting, if not I'll post it. In any case, I've been told by two friends that your presentation at Lyme Library was great. Is there some way to find out your speaking schedule? Thanks for what you've given us.
posts on 5/6/2008 11:44:06 AM
Hi Mary Ann,
I am reading Girls of a Tender Age and was surprised to see that my grandfather was mentioned on p167. I am the 57 yr old granddaughter of Mr. Schustermann. Actually, his name was Morris Shusterman. He lived in the Parkville section of Htfd and did deliver bread to Charter Oak Terrace. I would greatly appreciate if you would respond in this blog or email me any other memories you have of him.
posts on 4/5/2008 12:34:12 PM
I read Girls of a Tender Age. I had my brother read it. Since we grew up on Hillside Ave.,went to St. Lawrence O'tools and White st school, this really hit our hearts. It will be a read that we will always remember and keep close to us.
Sheila Phelan Wright
posts on 4/4/2008 7:28:53 PM
My brother just finished your book and suggested I read it. Amazing tale. We all grew up on Monroe Street, but left in 56-57 for West Hartford. I've been doing some memoir writing about those days in Hartford and it's so close to your experience. Identical experiences at the library; I couldn't get a book from the adult side no matter how hard I tried. St Lawrence O'Toole, the library, and Hillside Ave. Great writing.
mary-ann tirone smith
posts on 3/29/2008 6:31:34 PM
Linda, Hope and Bill.
I will be coming to Southern soon. New date will be announced by the Ethnic Center.
I so love to hear from students who were assigned my memoir and connect with my life even though that life might be removed in terms of race, gender and time.
My mother's good friend was Peg Foberg. when I worked at CG on the housewives' shift (though I was a student at CCSU not a housewife), I used to cover for Peg when she'd go smoke a cigarette. She pretended she'd quit years earlier. Such enabling would not happen today, for sure.
Thank you all, for the kindly words.
posts on 3/26/2008 7:57:57 PM
Mary-Ann....was disappointed that you had to cancel at Southern in Dec. Hope to hear you'll be speaking soon. I just finished Girls of Tender Age and loved it so much. We are close in age & I grew up in New Haven, part of an Italian Catholic family and at times I just laughed out loud. It brought back wonderful memories. Thank you for that. I wish you continued success and look forward to reading all your books.
posts on 2/11/2008 11:37:16 PM
Ms. Tirone Smith, I hope you get a chance to read this message. I am in the process of reading Girls of Tender Age, which I was assigned to read for a class at my college.
I want you to know that your story is my story, too. You have given words to feelings that I didn't even know I had. Thank you for that. I get chills every time I turn the page because I come to a new realization about how I dealt, or rather, didn't deal with my friend's murder 14 years ago. I always felt like I was the only one who remembered her, but now I don't feel so alone. Again, thanks.
Keep up the good work. You are a beautiful writer.
posts on 1/9/2008 11:15:14 AM
Hello: I really enjoyed your book, Girls of Tender Age. I knew your mother pretty well from a business standpoint. I arrived in Hartford with my wife, now of 56 years, and twin daughters, now 55, in 1953 to work at CG on Elm Street. We lived in the new apartments on Hillcrest off of New Britain Ave. just over the line in West Hartford (Elmwood) near the Lincoln Dairy factory.
I was 24 and a "raring to go" college kid with a degree in management from Syracuse. My first job was to "supervise" the mother's shift and I remember your mother well and fondly. My first night on the job I sat reading "How to Be A Good Supervisor" so all could see that I wanted to really do the job. What a jerk!!!
Actually, I was to learn, people like Verna Sweet and Peg Foberg, were the real supervisors the women looked up to. At first they tolerated me, but soon we were all good friends. I loved the mother's group and really admired them. None were working for the "Kicks".
Florence also moved with us to Bloomfield in 1957 and joined the daytime fulltime work force. Having read your book, I realize now that while I really liked your mom, it was hard to really know her. She was an outstanding worker and employee.
I didn't know about you, but she did tell me about Tyler; especially buying those very expensive Jane's books EVERY SINGLE year! And I knew she was an outstanding bowler. I never knew about her golf!
The library book group at the Granby Public Library recently finished discussing your book. I heard from the Librarian, Joan Fox, that they laughed and cried quite openly. I did too while reading a copy of the book at home.
If you want to add anything, ask anything or email chat, please do. Otherwise, once again, thanks for the memories and a great read.
posts on 10/18/2007 1:33:52 PM
I teach English teacher at E.O.Smith High School in Storrs, and am also the Book Club advisor. Last year the club read (and adored) "Girls of Tender Age." I was very sorry to miss you when you read and spoke at Tolland Library in the spring. However, now my English department is in the happy position to invite you here. We (along with our Social Studies colleagues) were awarded a grant from our alumni/community foundation to pay for a guest speaker of our choosing. I suggested you, and others excitedely seconded the idea. By any chance are you available to come to E.O.Smith to speak or lead a discussion (about you, your book, Hartford, the are in the 50s, crime investigations then vs. now, whatever!!)? Any time throughout the year (before June 2008) is fine; we can accommodate with any type/size venue or audience you prefer.
I eagerly await your response. Thanks so much for your time.
E.O. Smith High School
1235 Storrs Road
Storrs, CT 06268
(860) 487-0877 x4497
posts on 9/1/2007 11:53:14 AM
I chose your book for my book club in New Milford, Ct. We are meeting on September 24th at 8pm to discuss Girls of Tender Age (love it!). I read you are open to attending discussion groups and was wondering if you would like to join us. We would love to have you. Please email me to let me know either way if you can come.
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