Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America


The Land of the Lost















The Creation Story”

I was told this story by my Grandfather Albert J. Todesca Sr. The reason I believe he told me this story when I asked him “what is the earliest family story you know of?” Was because when he was about ten he recalls his father telling him a story which was how he came to this country and how he met his wife. I like hearing this story and believe me do I hear it, it is talked about at lest once a month and especially around holidays. This story through the years changes a little because ever year there is always something that will change the idea or I should say moral of the story.

I like this story because it lets me learn a little about someone who I did not know or I did not meet, and that person is my Great Grandfather who I believe after hearing this story was without a shadow of a doubt a special man and a caring man. The reason I say this is because who else would come over to this country and plain out kill themselves for a buisness that was a fifty-fifty chance. Then my Grandfather started: “It was a hot humid day the kind of day when you walk outside and are blasted by heat and all of a sudden are covered in sweat.

It was August 21st 1901 in Roslindale Ma. a time when five cents was worth a loaf of bread and milk” When my father Angelo Todesca stepped into something he thought would work out which evidently turned out to be an empire. He had just come to America about a couple weeks before until he moved to Boston because he heard that people were hiring in his job category, which was a brick layer/ cement worker.

When Angelo got into Boston he was offered a job to work with a man unknown to us because, you see he was unable to read English and he could only talk it a little but luckily this man had a man working for him who could tell my great grandfather in Italian “ you are hired, he pay is five dollars a week.” So Angelo accepted the Job and started working that day. About three months later Angelo still working for the other guy started to buy tools such as a wheel barrel and a shovel. Eventually after a year he had enough tools to start his own company and that exactly is what he had done. He went from door to door trying to get jobs telling the people “ I will do all your masonry work you need done for only five dollars a day.” Lucky enough people hired him. When he had enough money he went back to Italy married the love of his life brought her back to America and not only did he start (by hand) building their dream home but also started the Todesca Empire which in a way is still strong.

People today do not understand how it was back in the 1900’s. They do not understand how it was living in the time of the depression, having one loaf of bread for a family of six. But I believe that if these people just take five minutes and listen to my Great Grandfathers creation story if you want to call it that, they will see how if they lived back then they would have to live much different then they do today and I believe that my Great Grandfathers story would be a great wake up call for them to realize how it was back then and if they pay close attention to the story they will realize how any dream can come true even if you start with nothing like my great Grandfather you may be lucky and create what you want but also make it an empire.











The Land of the Lost

     A backyard is something used to let young children play . But for some odd reason in the backyard of my split level home there is a plot of land which was and still is, not used. There are no children playing , there is no swimming pool , and there is no one bathing in the sun. Thoreau said “ a house whose inside is as open and manifest as a birds nest, and you can not go in at the front door and out at the back without seeing some of its inhabitants; where to be a guest is to be presented with the freedom of the house.”
When I observed my spot there were new visitors every day , coming and going, taking advantage of my lost land, my home away from home.

     During my twelve day excursion of watching my “land of the lost” I intervened with a lot of small ordinary and unordinary creatures. When I had first found the “land of the lost”, I had found it coincidently you see I was actually led there. I herd this “thingyoooodoooodledo” and I followed the sound. When I came close to the creature that was making this awkward sound I saw a rooster standing on top of a pile of rocks when I went near it, it chased me up the steps of my house. When the coast was clear I went back to that spot and there I sat looking at the leaves and the dirt. But as I looked closer I saw a small tiny ant hole the size of a pencil point, going in and out of the ant whole were dozens and dozens of ants, I got an ant to go onto my hand and when I brought it up closer to my eyes so I could take a better look at it it bit me, that's when I had noticed it was a red and so I through it a back down and went inside. Another animal that I ran into when I was examining my spot was a squirrel you all know how squirrel's are like little speedy Gonzalez's so I stayed far away and observed how it picked up a rock probably thinking it was an acorn and bit into it when went to get a closer view the squirrel ran away. On my third visit to the “land of the lost” it was changed. Landscapers had came and cleared the pile of rocks, filled in the ants hole, and had taken away the beautiful autumn leaves. They left nothing but mulch. The next day though when I woke up I was amazed there had seemed to be sod put down and my spot was all cleaned up looking like a million bucks. When I went outside I noticed a nice looking rock in the far corner something I had not noticed before, maybe it was something new added by the landscapers anyhow i decided to pick it up and see what was underneath it when I did I was amazed it was like another land it was a “land of the lost” inside of a “land of the lost.” There was a salamander, ants (black),and a worm. They all there hiding from the dreaded cold weather that were due for. When I reached down I noticed how the ants scrambled away and the salamander ran but the worm stayed, it showed me it was not afraid to defend its home so I decided not to bother it and I put the rock back down.

     When I was going to “The Land of the Lost” for the last two visits I was shocked. There were newly planted trees in the much bed and there was a huge rock where the pile of rocks used to lay. When I saw this I ran out side brain-dead just staring, saying to myself now this what I used to call “land of the lost”  will be used and appreciated if not by people by animals. Also I had decided to change my spots name to “land of the new.”

The way I believe “the land of the new” could be related to the American people is quite simple. You see I believe if people read my story they will to realize they have a plot of land there “special land of the lost” in which they can turn into the nicest place ever. I now notice little kids playing in the “land of the new” and I truly believe now that if you believe it it can be done as Thoreau put it “ Time is a lake I go fishin  in” for this short time I went fishing in my back yard and the time I put towards it, not being a lot I saw a lot new creatures and saw how dreams can really come true.  













     Today people are just to friendly, that is why there is conflict in the world. You
know some people just do not know when to stop being friendly. Especially older men
and woman they are so friendly that they have the “grapefruits”  to just walk right up to
somebody and use that old saying “Don’t I know you,” and BANG! you’re caught so you
mida’s well just sit down because you’re in for a long conversation. Elmo Azerdia and
Al were caught but a form of the phrase and here’s what they have to say.      
“You know we where sitting there after a hard days work sipping our cups of espresso
from Starbucks* until this man walks up and starts talking to us:
     “Hey, you two guys must be carpenters?” said Bob. “ No, were construction
workers” said Al. “ I worked construction for twenty years after W.W.II” said Bob.
“Really, good for you, it’s not every day that you see older men with hands like ours all
beaten up and worn out, now all you see are baby hands on everyone.” said Al. “ I know,
back in my day we used to work seventy hours and have little to show for it.” Said Bob.
“Your telling me, when I was a teenager, I was not like these teenagers today I started
working for my father when I was ten, six in the morning to six at night shoveling,
sledge hammering, and jack hammering. These kid’s today don’t know what a dollar is.”
Said Al. “ I know, I know, I remember going down Roslindale square and having only
enough money to by the squashed loafs of bread, never mind fresh.” said Bob.

     “Whats your last name?” Said Bob. “Todesca” Said Al. “Oh I used to know the
Todesca’s that lived over in Roslindale!” Said Bob. “Yeah that my father and uncle, god
rest his sole” Said Al “ God, I remember playing poker with all of them, Mario, Charlie,
Tony, Angelo, and Al.” Said Bob. “I know, yeah, yeah, they all used to play.” Said Al. “I
know back then we had some great times, chasing the chickens with or knifes ready to
slice them up and eat, playing cards, and eating, we shore knew how to eat.” Said Bob.
     “ It was nice seeing you, my friend, and have a safe and Happy New Year.” Said
AL. “You, to and sorry if I intruded on you.”No,no, problem, Happy New Year” Said
Elmo. “After about a half hour of talking to this man our coffees were cold and we were
once again victims of elderly friendliness.” See its everywhere that is why we must try to
stop it ,so every time an old man walks up to you and you here that phrase just say I am a
member of “A’CAEF” (Angry, Citizens, Against, Elderly, Friendliness).












Have you ever been sitting down reading a poem and the words jump off of the page and enter your head and infest your head with an image, so it is actually like you are seeing what you are reading. Well former slave who came to this country scared and alone had this magnificent power. Which in fact she adapted to using when she started writing poetry, fortunately it was a power that stayed with her throughout her life. In the following essay I will take you through that magical journey exploring the images that were put on the paper by her. The poem that we will go through is "To His Excellency General Washington." This poem will show us her imagery during the Revolutionary War. What she does in this poem is shows us the war in the eyes of her and some of her fellow citizens.

One way in which Phillis Wheatley accomplishes this is she uses verisimilitude towards actual events such as battles in the war. An example of this is:

While Freedoms cause her anxious breast Alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother Earth her off springs fate bemoan.

here she takes the people getting killed and the land being destroyed and refers it to Mother Earths and Mother Earth's son. But when we read this we can see what she is truly saying which is that the British who had sent there own people over to this new found land U.S.A. was betrayed by them (there own) and overrun. Why this was such a bloody battle was because they were fighting for freedom and there is nothing else in this world greater to fight for.
Another example from the poem, which can clearly show us, the style of wheatley's writing and her immense use of imagery is:

     Precede Great Chief, with virtue on thy side,
     Thy ev'ry action let the goddess guide.
     A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine.  

Here we can see how Wheatley is trying to show us in irrelevant words how the Great General, General Washington was the man who lead the way for our freedom and when all the smoke was cleared there he was standing tall, therefore she notes that we should throne but because we did not want to be an monarchy we elected him as, President. What this also shows is that she was behind the General and the Americans even though she was a former slave from another country.

     While "To his Excellency General Washington "shows the mourning of mother earth it also shows celebration of freedom. For example  "See mother Earth her off springs fate bemoan." What this one line tells us is that Mother Earth which stands for the land of the U.S.A and her children those who are being fought in the war, will be free when they destroy those ones who hate, the British.

            Phillis Wheatley accomplished a lot with her poem " To his excellency General Washington" this poem is only one of many of hers that show us what she saw but the way that she had seen it.

















 When someone hears about Boxing they either think of one or two things Mike Tyson or two men fighting in a ring with gloves. But actually that is not all boxing is. Boxing some people say originated from street fights. After extensive research I have come to conclude after on the matter that Boxing originated or I should say evolved out of neighborhood street fights. Back in 1800 and 1900’s the days in which people fought they wanted to be seen fighting attracted a crowd so a fight would be set and a crowd would come. After about many years roughly around the 1960’s a couple of people with some money joined together and came up wit this idea to have real fights, hyped up around the world, in a ring with two men (although today some woman do box but before they did not), wearing gloves. So the era begins and some money was made and some money was lost. But now today with the “Tec knowledge” of the future people can watch a fight in there own home that is actually happening somewhere in Nevada.
     One of the greats of the Boxing world was a man by the name of Muhammad Ali. Some people say he was the true first to attract the crowd, although I disagree and say it was the “Italian Stallion,” “Muhammad Ali was born in January 17, 1942 Ali was both arrogant and charismatic and generated a wide range of emotions from those who loved him and hated him.” (Hauser) As you can see from the info I have just given about Muhammed Ali he was not the type to take anything from anybody. “He often predicted the round in which he would win and wrote poetry describing how he would defeat opponents.”(Hauser)  Which shows us how he was as a person conceded only thinking of himself and thinking that he himself was boxing “God”.  “So talented and so fast was Ali, that he was able to box while holding his left hand by his side and often pulled straight back to avoid punches, two of the game's cardinal sins.” (Hauser) But here this statement I guess could definitely back up the way he fought with his mouth. A famous quote that is known worldwide from the boxing great is “I move like a butterfly, and sting like a bee.”
(Muhammad Ali)After hearing this you think what is this guy alright or what but after you analyze it you come to realize its true meaning which was describing the way he moved and the way hw hit. Which again proves with his on statement that he was a shaken can waiting to explode.
     “Then in 1967, Ali, citing his religious beliefs, refused induction into the U.S. Army.” (Hauser p.3 ) This shows how boxing can be both good and bad for your life and how it can really get in the middle of a boxer’s life. After the time Ali was arrested everything fell for the boxing great he lost his title and began to lose match after match which shows us how boxing is both a physical and mental sport.
     Like professional boxers amateur boxers are located all around the world .“It’s a way for me to get in shape and it is fun!” (Gallo) The interview with a non-league amateur Mike Gallo of Manchester NH proves a point that boxing is hard but fun. “When you get in that ring your a new person, your not that 4:30am -5:00pm truck driver your an energized 41 year old maniac ready to fight.”(Gallo) As you can see boxing is an altogether new “life” and for some it is good and for some it is bad.      
     When Boxing hit the world it changed the generation ahead, little children instead of wishing to be like there mothers or fathers they wanted to be like Mohammed Ali. Boxing in a way set the stage for new upcoming thins in the 21st century like WWF entertainment and celebrity Boxing.
     So in conclusion I think you can now clearly see what an influence Boxing has had on our community by taking “some” people off the street’s and putting them in sanction fights rather than having them street fight. Also I think you can see how people all around the globe really do love to box.