Theater Etiquette: American Rule versus European Rule

Arriving at the Theater

It is best to arrive at a theater at least twenty minutes before the performance so that coats and hats can be checked, programs can be secured and perused, and reserved seats can be identified and accessed without incident, for the place for “drama” is the stage, and arriving “fashionably late” or in the “nick of time” is considered most impolite amongst theater-types—especially to all the people in their finery who must make way so that the late-arriver can frantically,  and oftentimes inelegantly, make way to his seat. Arriving on-time also serves a very practical purpose since no one will be admitted into the theater while the performance is in progress.

If a gentleman is escorting a lady, she should precede him into the row. And if one of the seats to be occupied by the couple is situated on the aisle, the gentleman should occupy the aisle seat.

In America, when entering a row in which there are people already sitting, one should face the stage en route to one’s designated seat, presenting one’s back, or partial-back, to those already seated. Upon occupying the designated seat, a courteous “good evening” to persons occupying the seats on the immediate right and left is sufficient, and no further conversation is required or expected until the end of the performance, when a courteous, “Enjoy the rest of your evening” should be exchanged.  In Europe, when entering a row in which there are people already sitting, the custom is to face the people, with one’s back towards the stage, as one makes one’s way towards one’s designated seat. And whenever direct eye contact is made, a transient smile, slight bow of the head, or “good evening,” “please excuse me,” or “thank you,” as warranted by the circumstances, may be offered to those seated.

A gentleman should be sure to return from his intermission at least three to five minutes before the performance resumes so as to be comfortably seated once the curtain is raised.

Persons suffering from persistent coughing, sneezing, or sinusitis, for example, should reschedule their theater outing for when salubrity has been restored since the sounds that accompany such health conditions serve to distract not only members of the audience, but also the performers.

Finally, all electronic devices that are capable of disturbing others must be turned off or programmed to a setting that does not disturb or distract. And texting, e-mailing, tweeting, instant-messaging, etc., simply must be suspended during performances.

 

Advertisements

The Correct Way to Eat Asparagus Spears

Asparagus

The asparagus developed a reputation as a “finger food” partly because of its finger-like appearance. But unless served steam-cooked and piled onto a salad plate with nothing else but a dipping-sauce, what would provoke a person in this day and age to abandon knife and fork in favor of picking up a spear with his fingers? Besides, there is something gastronomically anti-climactic about a limp asparagus spear being conveyed to the mouth by the fingers only to have its head severed from its shaft! Ouch! Furthermore, that image does little for the elegant vegetable’s reputation as an aphrodisiac. So while it is permissible to eat asparagus with the fingers, the preferred method is to use the knife and fork to cut the spears into bite-size pieces, conveying what is to be eaten with the fork. Most cooks will be sure to cut off any hard, fibrous portions of the spears before serving; but in the event a fibrous portion is taken into the mouth, it should be released from the mouth onto the fork after being chewed sufficiently clean, then deposited to the upper left side of the plate.

 

 

How to Remove Facial Hair Without Obtaining Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps/The Correct Way to Shave with a Razor

Shaving

How and how often a man shaves should depend upon his hair-type, his skin-type, and his grooming needs/preferences. There is no one, correct way for men to shave their faces; shaving regimens should be determined on a face-by-face basis.

Men Prone to Ingrown Hairs

Men prone to ingrown facial hair—typically men with curly hair—should use depilatories rather than razors to remove facial hair.

Unlike when shaving with razors, a procedure that should be preceded by thoroughly moistening the facial hair with copious amounts of warm water, depilatory creams and powders generally require application to dry facial hair. After the depilatory has been applied and allowed to work as directed, a washcloth moistened with hot water should be used to wipe off the treated facial hair. Once all the treated hair has been removed and the face washed with warm water, isopropyl or ethyl alcohol should be used to rub onto the shaved areas of the face, the way aftershave would be applied to clean-shaven skin. Thereafter, petroleum jelly should be massaged into shaved area before a moisturizer of choice is used to moisturize the entire face.

Twenty-four hours after hair removal, and thereafter once per day for approximately seven to 10 days, a facial scrub or sloughing cream should be used to cleanse the “shaved” area, thereby removing any dead skin that may obstruct the free growth of facial hair. Typically after using a depilatory, new growth will be evident after three or four days. Once hair growth resumes unimpeded, the facial scrub may be used approximately twice per week to cleanse the entire face.

Depilatory creams and powders should not be used more frequently than once every two weeks. For best results, they should be used approximately once per month. A man who uses depilatories, then, should be prepared to have some facial hair between applications. But because of the razor-less system of hair-removal, the incidence of ingrown hairs and “razor bumps” will be significantly reduced. So if the tradeoff is having to occasionally sport a beard, then so be it.  One of the most effective depilatory products is Magic®, which has been produced by SoftSheen-Carson® since 1901.

Some men prone to ingrown hairs find using electric razors to be effective.

Men Who Shave With Razors

When shaving with a razor, it is essential that the procedure be preceded by a proper cleansing and moistening of the facial hair. Many men, therefore, shave their facial hair immediately after taking a hot bath or shower. Use of a facial scrub or sloughing cream to provide an overall cleansing of the face in addition to removing dirt and oils from the facial hair is an essential prelude to shaving. In addition, during the cleansing process, the facial hair is softened by the warm water, thereby facilitating the removal of the hair by razor.

After the face has been properly cleansed, the facial hair softening in the process, shaving cream or gel should be generously applied to the face.

A new razor should be used for each shave. Besides a new razor providing a closer shave, used razors are notorious for harboring bacteria that can occasionally cause infection to sensitive skin. And, ironically, a dull razor is more likely to accidentally cut the skin than a sharp one.

Whether a man shaves in a downward direction or an upward one is a matter of personal preference. Most men tend to shave in a downward direction from the cheeks to the jawline, then in an upward direction when shaving the neck and throat. Throughout the process, the razor should be rinsed clean with hot water so that its blades are not impeded by accumulated hair and shaving cream. A second application of shaving cream followed by a second passing of the razor is generally sufficient to achieve a smooth shave.

After the desired facial hair has been removed, the face is rinsed with warm water then dried with a clean towel. Ethyl or isopropyl alcohol should then be rubbed onto the shaved area (the way aftershave is applied), then petroleum jelly should be used to moisturize and gently massage the shaved area. Thereafter, a facial moisturizer of choice should be applied to the entire face.

Men who shave with razors without the incidence of ingrown hairs and razor bumps oftentimes must shave once per day in order to maintain a clean-shaven face. But daily shaving is stressful on delicate facial skin. Special care, therefore, should be taken to ensure that the skin is properly moisturized after each shave; and whenever the face can go unshaven for a few days, the interruption should be indulged—to the delight of the skin.

Christian Funerals in the Western World

The Funeral—in the Christian Tradition of the Western World

Overview

Women have traditionally been at the helm of the planning of life’s most important events: births, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. As such, books on male comportment rarely offer detailed information on those topics. But in the 21st century, with same-sex marriage, surrogate births, and an overall bending of gender-lines, no book on male manners would be complete without addressing those subjects.

Like marriage, funerals tend to involve a mélange of legal, religious, and cultural elements. And like marriage laws and traditions, funeral procedures and traditions vary from country to country, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, culture to culture, and family to family. But there are certain consistencies in Christian funerals throughout the Western World.

Given the likelihood of the modern gentleman having to bury his parents, and that he may have to bury his wife or husband or even a child, the 21st-century gentleman must know how to conduct himself when required to take charge in the planning of a funeral. Death is typically accompanied by sorrow, stress, distress, and bewilderment, and having delineated guidelines available for men serves to help them navigate the storm seas that typically rage upon the death of a loved one. In addition, funeral homes are the authorities on the planning and organizing of funerals, and they should be contacted for guidance and assistance.

Death and the Processing of the Deceased

When death occurs, the body is secured under the direction of the appropriate governmental authority—whether coroner, justice of the peace, or some representative from the local Department of Justice (or its equivalent) and medical professionals—and transported to a local hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, a doctor or medical examiner declares the person dead and authorizes the preparation of a preliminary death certificate. The body is then placed into the morgue facility at the hospital.

Persons who die outside a hospital are generally required to undergo an autopsy—unless the deceased was an ongoing patient of a licensed physician and the physician verifies that the death was due to or significantly related to the condition(s) for which the deceased was receiving medical care. Persons who die in a hospital facility are generally not required to undergo an autopsy.

Once the family of the deceased selects a funeral home, the funeral home obtains an “Authorization for Release and Removal” of the body from the hospital, receiving a copy of the preliminary death certificate in the process. The funeral home is them responsible for embalming the body and storing it in an on-site morgue pending the funeral. The funeral home, with the assistance of the family (which will provide vital information such as date and place of birth, name of parents, etc., of the deceased) and the information gleaned from the preliminary death certificate, applies for the official, certified Certificate of Death from the appropriate governmental agency, sometimes referred to as the Division of Vital Statistics.

Official copies of the Certificate of Death are submitted by the relatives of the deceased for spousal and dependent(s) Social Security and retirement benefits, as well as for life insurance claims, etc. Official copies of death certificates are also required by banks in order to allow relatives of the deceased access to the deceased’s account(s) in order to secure funds to cover funeral and other relevant expenses.

Burial Garments and Overall Presentation

It is the responsibility of the relatives of the deceased to provide the funeral home with the burial garments for the deceased. Black is the traditional color of burial garments for adults, while white is traditionally used for children and infants. Since the 1960s, however, the tradition is to bury the dead in clothing and of colors of his/her liking. The family may also consult with the funeral home regarding particulars such as hairstyle and makeup preferences for the corpse.

Memorial Services and Wakes

Most Christian funerals are officiated by clergy in a church or some place of worship. But it is now common for funeral homes, prior to the funeral, to have a viewing of the deceased and a memorial service for the deceased at the funeral home facility. Today, many funeral homes have non-denominational chapels on-site for those purposes.

The rise of funeral home-based memorial services has led to the decline of the traditional “wake,” where the deceased, on the evening preceding the funeral, would “lie in repose” in the home of the deceased or that of a close relative in order for family and close friends to view and pay their personal respects to the dead prior to the funeral. [Traditionally, the “wake” would last through the night, persons in attendance departing the site of the wake in order to go directly to the church for the funeral services. But today, the wake, if held, lasts for a few hours, mourners leaving thereafter and returning the following day for the funeral at the funeral venue. Traditionally, mourners attending a wake bring food for the family and fellow mourners. But today, catering services are oftentimes engaged, or mourners gather at a designated restaurant for a post-wake repast].

Garments

Unless otherwise specified by the relatives of the deceased or dictated by custom, adult mourners attend Christian funerals in conservative garments of dark, somber colors—black, gray, purple. White is also correctly worn, especially by women and children. And women may wear garments of patterned fabrics (including floral-prints), provided that the colors are somber or a combination of white and somber. In warm climates, women may wear sleeveless shifts (though garments with sleeves are regarded as more appropriate). Women may wear pants-suits. Of course, strapless dresses, even if in the color black, are inappropriate (unless worn under a jacket). Some women wear hats, though head-coverings are no longer required. Very traditional widows or immediate female relatives of the deceased may wear veils covering their faces. Men are expected to wear dark suits—black, charcoal gray, or navy-blue—and a dark tie with a white shirt. Mourners carrying umbrellas should select ones in the color black or some other somber color. Even with today’s relaxed rules, no one needs to see a red umbrella at a gravesite. In the Christian tradition, a man wearing a hat removes his hat prior to entering a place of worship. (He may, however, don his hat while walking in the funeral cortège en route to the cemetery or burial site; but hats should be removed at the gravesite, especially when the casket is being lowered or at military funerals during the flag ceremony when “Taps” is being played. See below, “The Funeral Cortège”).

Open-Casket

Typically, there is a viewing of the deceased at the funeral venue before the commencement of the funeral service. Most Christian funerals occur in churches, and the viewing typically begins one hour before the commencement of the funeral service. After the viewing, the casket is closed and remains closed.

Closed-Casket

Sometimes at the request of the family of the deceased (usually as determined by the condition of the corpse) there is no viewing of the body by mourners—neither at the funeral home nor at the funeral venue. In other cases, the viewing is conducted only at the funeral home, with a closed-casket funeral service.

Pall Bearers

The word “pall” is used to describe both a coffin and the fabric draped over a coffin. Pall bearers are typically able-bodied men (but also occasionally women), usually in numbers of four or six, who lift (onto their shoulders in some traditions) the casket when it is not being moved or supported by gurney or vehicle. Pall bearers are usually closely related by blood, marriage, or friendship to the deceased. They are responsible for bringing the coffin into the funeral venue before the viewing; transporting the coffin out of the funeral venue at the end of the funeral service; placing the coffin into the hearse for transport to the burial site; removing the coffin from the hearse at the burial site; and positioning the coffin such that it can be lowered into the ground/placed into its crypt. (There are also “honorary pall bearers,” who are called upon in the event of the incapacity of a pall bearer).

The Funeral Service and the Eulogy

The nature of the funeral service depends primarily on whether it is religious-based or secular-based. Secular funeral services are as varied as the wishes of the deceased and/or the survivors, within the limits of the laws of the jurisdiction. When no dress code is indicated, a gentleman should err on the side of dark, conservative clothing.

Catholic funeral services take place within the ritual of the Mass and, as such, follows the format of a Mass. Generally, for an hour or thirty minutes before the Mass, there is a viewing of the deceased. Then the casket is then closed, and the Mass begins. The eulogy is not delivered during the Mass. Instead, it is delivered during the pre-Mass viewing or just prior to the Recessional. In other Christian denominations, the eulogy is delivered within the funeral service.

Cremation

Cremation is not traditionally a Christian practice, but it has become increasingly accepted. When the body has been cremated and will be given a religious-based funeral service, the cremated remains are generally brought into the church or funeral venue enclosed either in an urn or in a coffin bearing the urn.

Burials at Sea

Especially in island-communities and coastline jurisdictions, burials at sea are occasionally performed. Generally, there is a church service, then the body of the deceased is transported by hearse to a pier, thereafter placed upon a vessel and transported out to sea, accompanied only by the immediate family, after a brief pier-side blessing. A final blessing is performed out at sea immediately preceding the release of the body for its resting place at the bottom of the sea. There are jurisdictional regulations regarding the amount of miles from shore where the body may be lowered into the sea. Generally, burials at sea allow for the options of being submerged enclosed in a weighted coffin, or being shrouded in weighted canvas and lreleased into the sea. When no church service is held, a pier-side funeral service usually precedes the burial at sea. [When death occurs onboard vessels on the high seas, the laws of the country of the flag under which the ship sails, along with maritime law, dictates how the funeral and burial should be conducted].

The Funeral Cortège

At the end of the funeral service, the coffin is placed into the hearse and transported to the burial site. In old municipalities, where churches and their respective cemeteries and interdenominational public cemeteries are within the town proper, the hearse leads the funeral procession to the burial site. Immediately following the hearse is the clergy, followed by the immediate family of the deceased, then the remaining mourners, all on-foot. In Catholic funerals, the priest recites the first part of the Hail Mary, and the mourners respond with the second part. The prayer is repeated until the mourners arrive into the cemetery. Men are allowed to wear hats while walking in the funeral procession, but their hats must be removed when the coffin is being lowered into the earth or being placed into its crypt. Today, when the funeral service takes place at a location beyond comfortable walking-distance from the burial site, the funeral cortège (also spelled “cortege”) is by car: hearse followed by cars transporting the clergy and immediate family followed by cars containing other mourners. Automobile cortèges are escorted by police vehicles so as not to impede or be impeded by traffic, and vehicles in the procession typically turn on their headlights so as to indicate to other motorists that they are part of the cortège.

In New Orleans, Louisiana, the funeral procession to the cemetery is led by a brass band playing dirges in the jazz genre. And while mourners typically dress in somber colors, many carry umbrellas and parasols—some elaborately adorned—in festive colors.

Burial Plots

Even the dead must own property or pay rent! And dereliction of proprietary duties or nonpayment of rent can result in eviction!  In some jurisdictions, burial plots are purchased and remain with the purchaser in perpetuity. And in some cases, family members, after a period of time as specified by statute or ordinance, may be interred in the same plot. In other jurisdictions, burial plots are rented in, for example, 20-year intervals, with maintenance agreements and options to renew.  It is not uncommon for individuals or family units to pre-purchase or pre-rent burial plots so as to ensure desired accommodations.  (The remains of persons whose survivors do not renew burial plot leases are typically relocated to mass graves on the cemetery-site so as to make available the rental plots for future occupants). Cremated remains may also be interred or entombed in cemeteries. And some jurisdictions permit survivors to keep the cremains in their possession (usually in an urn within the home) or to dispose of them per the wishes of the deceased and/or the survivors). Some survivors, for example, “spread” the ashes in a place highly regarded by the deceased.

Some jurisdictions also allow for interments on private property. Permits from a local entity is typically required. Professional funeral homes are well-versed in all the laws and requirements pertaining to funerals and burials and should be consulted for guidance.

At the Gravesite

What takes place at the gravesite during secular burials is as varied as the wishes of the dead and their survivors. Religious-based graveside services typically involve additional prayers and blessings led by the officiating clergy, and the singing of hymns by the mourners.

Interment

Burying the dead is more unique to and distinguishing of the human species than is the use of tools. And burying the dead is so compelling a component of the human experience that enemies will even temporarily interrupt warfare so as to afford opposing sides the opportunity to inter their dead with the requisite ceremony and dignity.  The word “interment” derives from Latin “terra,” meaning “earth.” And to “inter” is to place a dead body into the earth or a tomb. When the coffin is lowered into an earthen grave, it is customary for the pallbearers to each toss a handful of dirt onto the casket. When pallbearers wear white cotton gloves and mourning-bands on their upper-arms, they remove them and toss them into the grave. Persons situated in the immediate vicinity of the gravesite also toss a handful of soil onto the casket. In some traditions, immediate relatives pluck a strand of hair from their heads and toss it into the grave along with a handful of soil. Thereafter, as the mourners sing hymns, the gravediggers cover the coffin with soil.

When the coffin is being placed into a tomb, whether subterranean or above-ground, the pallbearers place their gloves and mourning-bands into the crypt, which is thereafter sealed by masons.

Inurned cremains are typically placed into crypts, whether above-ground or subterranean, but are sometimes placed in an earthen graves.

In some jurisdictions, mourners must depart the cemetery before the coffin is interred.

Flowers at the Gravesite

Years ago, and still in some places today, the amount of floral wreaths laid atop a gravesite was an indication of the mourners’ esteem for the deceased. Today, because of the configuration of most modern cemeteries, only a few wreaths can be accommodated. And, as such, the immediate family of the deceased usually arranges for the delivery of two special wreaths: one to be placed atop the casket prior to interment, and one to be laid atop the covered/sealed gravesite, mourners being requested to give donations to specified charities in lieu of sending flowers.

The Gathering after the Funeral

The tradition of gathering after the funeral at the home of the immediate family of the deceased is observed in some cultures. In other cultures, it is the tradition for the immediate family to retire privately at home after the funeral services and the interment. In some cases, a gathering takes place at a public venue such as a men’s club, a restaurant, or a community center.

Funeral Etiquette

-Telephone contact should be made with the immediate family of the deceased upon being notified of the death, offering to assist the family in any way needed or possible.

-A letter or card of condolence should be mailed to the immediate family of the deceased immediately after the funeral. The letter or card should relate specific personal memories of the deceased. If the deceased was not personally known, general words of condolence are sufficient.

-Electronic devices should be disengaged or set at discreet settings while attending wakes, funerals, and burials.

-When the post-funeral gathering takes place in the private home of the immediate family, close friends and family should carry a communal dish or a bottle of wine or distilled liquor—unless the gathering is being professionally catered or unless otherwise specified.

-In cases where funeral expenses are likely to be burdensome for the immediate family, cash gifts, presented in a sealed envelope or card of condolence, should be given. The amount given should be determined by the financial wherewithal of the donor and the donor’s relationship to the deceased and/or the immediate family.

The Social Phenomenon of “Male Imprinting” between the Ages of 13 and 16

The Social Phenomenon of “Male Imprinting” Between the Ages of 13 and 16.

Until the age of 12, the typical boy is simply a child, in many ways indistinguishable from the typical girl of his age. But once a boy enters the throes of puberty, especially in its early stages, from around age 13 and up to about age 16, he enters a very vulnerable, impressionable phase of his social development where he is uniquely susceptible to “male imprinting.” In those critical years, a boy experiences the cravings of manhood. He longs to be the embodiment of what he perceives manhood to be: big, strong, brave, successful, respectable, responsible. He looks forward to dressing like, acting like, and being like an adult male of his culture. At that brief—but critical—juncture, a young man innately seeks out gentlemen and family men so as to emulate them. But absent such male models in his life, he, by default, oftentimes embraces another model. And, typically, the model of male manhood embraced by a young boy during the three-year imprinting phase endures a lifetime.

There are three archetypal males: The Gentleman; The Family Man; and The “Thug.” And an adolescent male, during the critical imprinting period, will typically pattern his maleness off whichever archetype is most prevalent or accessible in his life. In some cases a boy may reject a more prominent archetype for a less prominent one, but such is not generally the case.

If blessed with a family of gentlemen/family men, a boy need look no further than the confines of his kinfolk for male-modeling. In the absence of desirable archetypal males in his family, a boy looks outward—to a teacher or a coach or a pastor or an employer, for example, for gentlemanly mentorship. But that mentorship must be hands-on, up-close, and personal. Yes, a celebrity may be looked up to and admired (even emulated) from afar, but a boy wants and needs a real, flesh-and-blood male upon whom to pattern his gentlemanly self. And young men who lack direct access to the gentleman/family man prototypes may be lured by the lore of subculture male “thug” types, gang leadership being one of the most prominent.

As such, it is incumbent upon gentlemen/family men to adopt an “each one, teach one” approach, where men, cognizant of the social-imprinting vulnerability of boys between the ages of 13 and 16, and recognizing that the path taken by a boy, either by proactive selection or by default, will oftentimes have life-long implications, should devote a portion of their time to actively engaging in the mentorship of young males—whether as athletics coaches, scout leaders, “big brother” initiatives, internship facilitators, youth group leaders, employers, etc. In essence, every gentleman should in his lifetime have at least one young, male, non-relative protégé who, upon reaching adulthood, can directly and personally attribute his social success to him.

The Etiquette of Giving Gifts in India

Indian Gift-Etiquette

-It is believed that the giving of gifts eases transition to the next life. (The sincerity of the gift, therefore, is of paramount importance).

-It is customary to give gifts of cash to celebrate life’s major events.

-Yellow, red, and green are regarded as lucky colors. Those colors are therefore typically used for gift-wrapping paper.

-It is not necessary to appear at a house with a gift for the host/hostess.

-Never give gifts of frangipani or other white flowers; white flowers are associated with funerals.

-Gifts are not opened immediately upon receipt.

-If a man gives a gift to a lady, he must say it is from him and a female relative.

-Gifts should be presented or received with both hands or the right hand only.  Gifts should never be presented or received with only the left hand.

Special Acknowledgments

Special Acknowledgments

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.