The Tiers of History

Unknown.jpeg As I’m rereading a book about Mickey Mantle, I don’t recall the problems he had had with Joe DiMaggio, who, as The Mick was beginning his career, Joltin Joe was ending his. I also don’t remember what a light touch he was money wise, and how even his friends took advantage of him. The way he quietly visited sick kids, and despite a 44 year marriage, went after women like dishes on a buffet table. My hero partied hard, dying of alcoholism at the age of 63.

Leavy’s prose is fresh as if there were pages missing the first time around, my consciousness shifting, sifting through the past revisiting it.

A book on World War II, not my first, left me stunned at the way our soldiers were treated as Prisoners of War by the Japanese. Tortured, beaten, fed so little their teeth loosened from lack of nutrients. How didn’t I know this? Perhaps the complete horror was too much to initially take in, where now, an opening existed for the truth in all its awfulness to penetrate.   images.jpeg

George Washington is always commended for stepping down as head of the Continental Army at the peak of his power, saying a heartfelt farewell to his troops at Manhattan’s Fraunces Tavern that still, as a museum installation, can be seen.

I reread, it wasn’t due to humility that the Father of our Country stepped down, it was because he was broke, not taking a salary for 7 years leaving his farm in the hands of a relative that let’s just say, wasn’t Mr. Green Jeans, allowing it to fall into desperate disrepair.

Right when he was bringing his beloved Mount Vernon back to life, we called upon him again to be President because he was the only one everyone trusted.

Patriotism trumping home sweet home, he came to New York having to borrow money for his inaugural suit, the fashion plate that he was. No careworn threads for George, he was taking his Oath of Office in sartorial splendor, and that was that.

Though reading about him many times, these facts flashed anew.

I marvel at that, since now I’m even more acquainted with him, our heroic POWs, as well as The Mick.

Here’s a poignant tale I’ll end with.   Unknown-1.jpeg

When you consider the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg is my favorite to read about, I wonder how this escaped me.

In the hours before Pickett’s Charge when close to 2,655 casualties of the Southern Army, many merely boys, were killed, wounded and captured, marching through an open field, they sprawled beneath the trees staring up at the blue July sky, knowing that they were more than likely to not ever see its beauty again.

Yet their love of the south was so great, they marched, 498 to their deaths, with I’ve heard it described as…divine dignity.   images-1.jpeg

Now I ask you, as a passionate reader, how did I miss that?

Was I drunk?





About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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47 Responses to The Tiers of History

  1. Dale says:

    Nah… don’t be so hard on yourself. I think that is the beauty of re-reading. You catch things you didn’t the first (or in your case, second, third, etc.) time around. Something else grabbed your attention more thoroughly the first time. Or maybe, you were distracted when you read that particular passage.
    I’m in awe of those of you, like Marc, who does it, too, who go back and re-read books. Marc says every time he reads Life of Pi, he discovers something else.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It seems I don’t retain as much as I’d like. Whether it’s common or not, I don’t know. I do read a lot so, my mental files could just be backed up. I’m almost done with The Last Boy and I have to say, I can’t imagine enjoying it the first time in 2006 when it came out, as much as I am now. I feel like I’ve been at a Yankee game, in the 60s, all week, Mickey up at bat. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dale says:

        There is that! Sometimes the files up there need to be cleared out 😉
        And that’s what’s great. I feel if I try to reread “For Whom the Bells Toll” today, I might even enjoy it. I loathed it when I read it back when.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was the only Hemingway because of the dialect I hated. I found it grueling to finish, and I’m a huge Papa fan. Read A Movable Feast every year. The Sun Also Rises, one of my favorite novels.


  2. aFrankAngle says:

    Interesting how people of fame are much more than what they are known for. For instance, baseball players are more known for their on-the-field endeavors, not off the field. Same for athletes of all sports, business leaders, entertainers, and the people we know at work.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sorryless says:

    The Mick never imagined he was going to make it past the age of 40, since that’s when his father and uncles had died. He was later quoted as saying that if he’d known he was going to live so long, he would have taken better care of himself.

    As for the Killer Angels, reading the book is one thing. Going to the sites and walking after having read them . . . whoa. And then reading the book again. Double whoa. There is a silent agony to the quiet in those fields, I tell you.

    Pity old George didn’t live in the time of Blackwell.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorryless says:

    Richard Blackwell, the fashion designer. He would’ve had old George on the cover of GQ. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    Thanks again for sharing these tid bits. They’re always appreciated. I especially liked finding out the info on Washington. I just assumed there was no lack of money. He should have gone on the lecture circuit, ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve read two of these books, both at your recommendation, and loved both of them, so I’m sure the others are great too.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Speaking of drinking,if I remember my after-school history, a very lot of our famous people were, um, into the brew perhaps a bit too often and much. Yes?
    Not judging. More simply realizing how much history is barred from school.

    Liked by 2 people

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