Celebrating ....

* CELEBRATING OUR 44th YEAR! * http://www.junto.blogspot.com/ * Dr Franklin's Diary * PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com * Meeting @ Philadelphia *

Sunday, 17 May 2020


Notes & thoughts on food and wine
 from Ron Alonzo aka Don Merlot1….

As we are locked in due to the Corona virus (COVID 19) – I thought how I would jump in to 2020 wine world and get myself up to speed with where the wine world is. I looked at my pile of wine magazines and food & wine books/notes were to see how I want to go forward. The December edition of “Wine Spectator” reviewed the “2019 top 100”2 wines (of the world) 2019 and included the top 10 wines of the previous decade - good examination of finding out where wines of the 50 years have appreciated. I have a current perspective that I own now, so what is the world appreciation? I accept that it is different than other amateur or professional oenologists. I recognize that other perspectives have their truths also, and I respect that as well. My sense is that I have been absorbed into a “renaissance” of wine following the second world War and the rebuilding of Europe and Asia and the industrial/economic world in the twentieth Century. My wine template grew as I went as I traveled from market to market tasting and dining with each customer’s and studied their local culture. Soon I found wine magazines; became global and wine interests became global and over the 50 years and patterns evolved; basic concords & agreements were accorded. To me the fundamentals & rituals of wine culture that were just more than the local daily wine consumption or national consumption: it became the special wines for special occasions and I learned from the classic French wines that were the most rewarding as I traveled from France & Britain and to other parts of the globe; so I became familiar with Bordeaux’s (Red) Red & Whites (Burgundies, Loire’s). Eventually in the USA California wines came up to vita vinifera expectations and as I traveled European Wines excelled as did other wines from major vineyards from around the world. Of course, on a personal note I was limited because I had to be careful because I had expense account spending limits for personal and business expenses, so these were kept to the personal and company guidelines. Sure, a customer would occasionally pull a bottle out of his cellar and or order a special bottle out of the restaurant cellar for me that I could never expense and shared it with me; I remember one time being with the big boss when I was at my first company when he was with his old customer who invited out for dinner in London that ordered a wine, -- it was a Ch. Lafite-Rothschild (premiere wine in the world). I almost fell out of my chair. What a treat an unexpected pleasure for me. On the same trip a few days later we were in Lausanne, Switzerland doing business with our European representative who hosted us and he ordered a Rhone wine -- a Hermitage which was to me a phenomenal red, (also a Premier French wine); a first for me It went with a roast beef dinner – magnificent meal, an exceptional meal. On other trips I had similar experiences in Spain and Italy when customers who were proud of their wines would dig deep in the restaurant cellars or their cellars and pull their favorite red wines. (In Spain I had Riojas/Tempranillos. In Italy, the Barolo/Nebbiolo which at one time was considered the king of the Red Italian wines.) World Wine rankings not popular at this point for the cognoscenti, but the customers were knowledgeable of their country’s wine and knew of my bent-on learning about wine, so they gave me a taste of what was available at that time where we ate. So, my taste buds were opened to the local classics, but that was then times past and move on so now let us get on with the present.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Spanish Flu 1918

   By Justin T. Carreño

Justin T. Carreño
Firehouse Emerges Through a Pandemic:  The Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) dates back to 1898 where it operated out of strategically stationed sheds containing firefighting equipment. It wasn't until in 1915 that a plot of land in the Cherrydale neighborhood of  Washington, DC, suburb of Arlington County (then Alexandria County), VA, was identified to build a proper central firehouse. Three years later, in 1918, preparations were completed to break ground to start building the fire station.However, little did anyone know that 1918 would also bring with it the most severe influenza pandemic in recent history. What became known as the "Spanish Flu" lasted through 1919 resulting in the deaths of at least an estimated 50 million worldwide (more deaths than in WWI), including an estimated 675,000 deaths in the United States.

Friday, 17 April 2020


Notes & thoughts on food and wine
from Ron Alonzo aka Don Merlot1….

3 April 2020 New Orleans.
My Perspective, I find it is a like a fly landing on fly paper and it sticks to it just as you want it to get trapped ; it is just like an idea that you want to get across. When you think you thought it up and captured the idea and then you find someone else has an idea and has trapped it fly on paper; You find your idea is not unique anymore. The idea has changed & your thinking has taken a different direction. Suddenly, the idea is accepted and accepted as their idea. That is the way I grew with wine over the years and my travels - always chasing new wine ideas like flies on the wall, elusive flies on the wall, ideas and wines.

So, now my daily task is to see what wines I should have with my main meal, given the conditions that I must consider now that I have reached the ripe old age of 77 and have diet and calorie restrictions, n’est pas? I know I cannot have more than two glasses of wine per day – 4 ounces each – sometimes I have one red and one white for me: Denise likes Carmenére (red) and I like Malbec (red) so I buy a liter and a half of Chilean Concha y Toro which lasts a week for each . And for the white we both like Sauvignon Blanc Concha y Toro, no argument there, so we get a liter and a half of that; start with a maybe two ounces of white and then have a red depending if we have Shrimp or fish as a starter or in a salad. Denise does weight watchers and I am doing a bariatric diet tied in to controlling my diabetes guidelines(under control the last two years – lost over 50 pounds the last 18 months.[ I miss my carbohydrates, corn products – tortillas, tacos, tamales, corn bread, pozole, pasta, linguini al pesto, baguette bread, etc. My daily calorie intake is 1200 calories which is controlled daily with “calorie counter”. I go to the gym daily – well almost and burn off 600 to 800 calories but the COVID 19 Scourge is killing me; no gym- its closed and no exercise –so we are locked in].

Friday, 13 March 2020


By Don Merlot 

Id-so-facto: Thoughts on food and wine

March 10, 2020

Don Merlot
Ralph Carreño
This last Christmas 2019 my Daughter Micaela gave me the new edition of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2020. Johnson has been one my favorite wine guides since the 1980’s, albeit,  not my only wine mentor;  but when as I traveled I could stick his pocket sized edition in my attaché case and when I was alone I pulled it out and I could read it as a novel of untold adventures of places I have visited, wines I had drunk, repasts I had consumed and/or places I had visited or was about to visit. I learned to understand the definition of varietals, flavors, smells, colors, cultures, and vocabulary. I now understood why every wine growing country believes that they grow and produce the best wine on earth, and probably rightly so, including states within the United States of America, & wine producing countries:  Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Peru. Why not?, I have been to all of them and they produce quality wines and in a blind tasting it is hard to taste the regional differences sometimes of the vin ordinaire as the  heart and soul of the vintner that is in the nectar of their wine. In looking over my Library I found my first book the vintage Wine Book by William S. Leedom 1963 (Vintage Books Random House) and back in 1970 it cost me $1.95.  My first career boss and bosses had lived in France or Europe and had the savoir faire of wine and food and the culture and as a neophyte it was passed on to me as I joined the company and started my career. 

As I started my journey, I really had to differentiate between what the learned wine experts – connoisseurs said were the best and what wines I tasted and liked, and I preferred. I had to learn not to like something because it was recognized as the best but because it pleased my senses, as I was lucky enough at that stage to be able to afford it and taste it. I kept logs and noted my comments and saved the labels and kept several books by country and regions. Prior to starting a career, I had encountered several occasions of having wine, as a participant. When I grew up at home, we had Wine with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. In College my roommate Bob Lightfoot introduced me to MATEAUS – a sparkling rose from Portugal. And post college on social occasions we had Gallo wine - Hearty Burgundy. 

I recently recollected how I started going down my wine path and who my mentor at my first job was, and there is no question it was Ralph [Carreño],* my first boss who piqued my curiosity in wine, and let me decide for myself what was my taste and not focus on what was famous etc.; written up so I should like it but make my own mind up. We lived in St. Joseph, Michigan, and had a wine purveyor who was lucky to have the whole corporate group to supply their daily needs if they did not run into South Bend or go to Chicago to buy wines, which was technically against the law, but I never knew anyone that was caught.

Friday, 28 February 2020


The Author
Great Scott!

By Justin T. Carreño
In 1998 I spent the summer in Denali National Park, Alaska as an
intern with the National Park Service, and as a cook at the Denali
Park hotel, but it was the mountains that really drew me there. That
summer I had Scott Peak in my sites. I planned a long weekend to
tackle this project. It was only 8,828 feet high, but at that latitude
a mountain can be formidable. As it turned out this became one of my
more daunting adventures, and not because of the altitude or technical

Although Denali was the ultimate mountain treasure in the Park, that
would have to wait. Scott Peak I identified as a reasonable, yet
impressive, and significant summit I could attempt that summer, taking
no more than 3 days. Scott Peak is the highest peak in the Alaska
Range immediately south of Camp Eielson (Mile 65) on the Denali Park
Highway. It lies on the very backbone of the range, 33 miles east of
Denali, occupying a position of extreme importance from a survey
standpoint. It was first climbed in 1952 by a team who followed the
Sunset glacier to its head and then climbed to the summit, for the
most part by way of the main central ridge at the head of the glacier.
Camps were established at 5,000 feet at the main bend of Sunset
glacier and at the base of the ridge at about 6,300 feet.

I had another draw to this mountain. It was first mapped by the
original paragon of mountain surveying – Bradford Washburn (born
1910). Washburn was someone I knew of and admired, and pioneered many
routes in the Alaska Range. The plan was to take the route he
established on Scott Peak. The route was similar to the 1952 party’s
route, but instead of following the crest of the ridge to the summit
of the Peak, he’d keep on the southeast side, where excellent snow
slopes lead to another little snow col (8,400 ft.), a few hundred
yards to its right (east), where the top is easily reached on a
beautiful snow arête. When this detour is made, all rock is avoided.
As we later discovered it would seem that there is not a single stable
rock anywhere on Scott Peak!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Tuesday, 25 February 2020


Evil is Never Banal.

Who Can Beat Trump? Who Knows?                 

JL: Obama was right-Dems HAVE formed a circular firing squad but will march into the sea with Bernie and his fucking principals.

RC Who Can Beat Trump? Who Knows Bush II was runner up. Trump trumps all of all of today’s evil doers. We have seen the enemy and he is us. Dems are new deplorables

JL: You know what? I lost complete faith in the American electorate way back in 1972, when Nixon beat McGovern in a landslide.I still remember how depressed I was the day after the elections(and conversely  how ecstatic I was when Nixon went on TV and announced his resignation in order to avoid impeachment.) I never thought I could loathe a President more than Nixon.....until Trump came along. 

Monday, 6 January 2020

Dan Kenney RIP

The family of Dan Kenney, the Pen & Pencil Club’s beloved leader for many decades, is hosting a memorial for him at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 18th, at Trinity Memorial Church, 22nd and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia.

All who knew, loved and laughed with Danny are welcome to attend.

Details on post-memorial gathering to come.
(Photo by Jen May)

The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 9 December 2019


A Review
Chips a/k//a Lord of Hosts
Lord of Hosts—The Life of Sir Henry “Chips” Channon By Richard Carreño [Philabooks|Press (2011)]

Bestowing the nomenclature 'Lord of Hosts' on Sir Henry “Chips” Channon has to be done with the lightest of touches, given the sphere in which he operated. ' Noel Coward with Clout' is another way of describing the man who moved with bon vivant ease through the portals of pre-to-post war power. It was Channon himself who assumed the title at his first lavish party after the war. He might not have thought he had the whole social world in his hands. But it showed confidence of the rarest sort to throw a party for the newly betrothed Princess Elizabeth and Navy Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten and then to crow the blasphemous boast when guest Somerset Maugham whispered, “This is the apogée of your career.”

The story behind this extraordinary ascent and its place in British socio-political history forms the nexus of Richard Carreño’s astonishing glimpse into an American takeover of Britain, second only to Wallis Simpson’s subversive assault on the Monarchy and looking forward to whatever on earth Donald Trump has in store for Britain’s battle-weary post-Brexiteers.

Carreño approaches his task less as a standard biographer than as a polished detective in search of the true identity of the diarist whose entries recorded supposed scandalous deeds, at a time when homosexuality was still illegal. The complete diaries have yet to appear in print. But Alan Clark, a famous diarist himself and Carreño’s first interviewee, concluded their meeting with the disclosure that the unpublished diaries had been stolen. “I’d give…£100,000 for a look at those,” Clark confessed.

Monday, 2 December 2019

John O’Hara Short Story Contest

Ages 5-10: Design a bookmark about something in your community. 

Ages 10-14: When John O’Hara wrote novels and short stories that used Schuylkill County as the location, he often changed the names of  businesses and places in a way that you knew what he was writing about. For example, Schuylkill Haven became Swedish Haven, Tamaqua became Taqua, and Pottsville became Gibbsville. Write a short story (up to 1000 words) about your community that uses the same approach.

Ages 15 and up: Write a one-shot (up to 2000 words) based on John O’Hara’s stories. Examples are prequels, sequels, alternate universe, or “what if this character had done that” explorations. 

Entries are due at the Pottsville Free Public Library  by December 14th.
For more details, visit the Pottsville Free Public Library  Facebook event page.
Announcement of winners will be Friday, January 31st when the  Pottsville Free Public Library celebrates John O’Hara’s 115th birthday

The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 8 November 2019


The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.


The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 4 November 2019


The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.


THE JUNTO sent you a Direct Message.
Check out Chips bio from PhilabookslBooksellers via philabooks@yahoo.com https://t.co/KNTn2MFm7M

The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, 12 October 2019


Better Red Than Dead

Notes & thoughts on food and wine from
Ron Alonzo aka Don Merlot

When would be the best moment to be a fly on the wall for me? I thought about it and thought about it and it had to be a story I read when I started my wine journey. Had I been given the choice it would have been when deciding what wine was best between Bordeaux and Burgundy during the Ancien Régime, Yes, were I there, I would have wanted to be included in that exchange, and if I were included then I would have been invited to the next rendezvous of the connoisseurs to join at chez madams to savor her next wine tasting - the best French reds because no conclusion could be reached that evening and another gathering for tasting those reds was to be scheduled. I thought that was a great story. I think that in most classic wine circles up until the 1970s that discussion was the paramount discussion, and there are several more claimants and varietals today.

I am sure some great oenologist has died concluding what red wine is the best, but overall there is no winner, no superior one wine that takes all the medals, so, is this a discussion between these Frenchmen since the 18th Century and continues today? But still not settled; because other cultures and interlopers have butted in? Or other varietals want to be included? In the post WW II culture local tastes feel left out; regional differences vary; Gastronomy is regional and varies too. The senses like umami have been added to the 5 senses, and wine is not just European Culture but global that includes the old classical World and the New World?

I remember this story as I heard from friends and read in wine stories and tales; colleagues and oenologists from all over my French and European wine travels refer to this story. “Which nation’s vineyard produces the finest red wine?

Monday, 13 May 2019




The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMIXX. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, 12 May 2019


The Author (Sky High)

The Author (sea-level)


Justin T. Carreño
Last night I met with a friend from out of town who was here on business taking a training class. He was with other people who were taking the same training class with him when we met up for drinks in downtown DC. There was one guy there with a Boston accent, so I said, "Ah, uh Nu-inglandah!" He said he was from Maine. I said I love Maine, and the last time I was there I climbed Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on New Years Eve to see the first sunrise of the... new year in the United States -- which falls on Cadillac Mt, ME.

I told him it was freezing the year I went... That there was a couple who had to get flown off the mountain from hypothermia...
(It was extremely cold that year with deep snow. I wore snowshoes and all cold-weather gear. I passed a young couple who was ill-prepared. They were wearing jeans, the girl was wearing "boots with the fur." I stopped and talked to them, finding out they were there from Florida. They were visibly cold, and I advised they likely wouldn't make it much further, and they should probably head back. I carried on.

After making it to the summit for the sunrise, I made my way down, discovering this same couple huddled on the side of the trail. The girl was shivering uncontrollably and said she couldn't feel her fingers. Her bf, also shivering, was trying to keep her warm. I had just completed my EMT training, and I thought a perfect opportunity to assess for hypothermia and frostbite. Her fingers were waxy, in the beginning stages of frostbite, and in obvious beginning stages of hypothermia -- a layman could likely have figured this out, but I could now assess "authoritatively."

There was another single hiker on his way down making his way over to us. I turned to him and I said we either need to get these guys down or call to get them evacuated. We decided to call using our cell phones, which luckily worked. After explaining the situation to the dispatcher, they decided to send a helicopter).

The man from Maine who I was telling this to set his drink down, and said he climbs it every year for New Year's, and when I told him about the couple who got flown off started to describe the incident, and we were finishing each other's sentences... We both looked at each other intently, pensively.... He said, "That was 2013." We both pointed at each other, "That was you?!"

Justin T. Carreño is writer who lives in Washington.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Coming Soon! John H. McFadden and His Age—Cotton and Culture in Philadelphia

John H. McFadden and His Age
Cotton and Culture in Philadelphia
By Richard Carreño
To be published by Camino in early 2020
Fully Illustrated
In a city permeated by Benjamin Franklin’s legacy, it is easy to believe that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is another of Philadelphia’s ancient and legendary cultural institutions. But unlike the Library Company (1731, thanks to Franklin’s inspiration), the American Philosophical Society (1743, Franklin again), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1805), the Athenaeum of Philadelphia (1814), and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (1887), the Philadelphia Museum of Art—as we perceive it today—is a relative youngblood: its colossal building atop Fairmount Hill opened in 1928. Yet the museum’s roots in fact are in the late nineteenth century, in the institution’s first incarnation as the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, chartered in 1876—making it among the defining institutions in the museology in the United States.
     The 1928 iteration of the Philadelphia Museum of Art was born in a time of tumultuous municipal transitional change. In a period of no more than thirty years, Philadelphia had reconsidered how money changed hands, who lived where, and how immigrant Americans would shape the city’s landscape. The museum’s founding was likewise messy: contentious, public, and expensive.
     Unlike the city’s other venerable cultural institutions, the Philadelphia Museum of Art was not the product of a single visionary, nor that of a coterie of affluent connoisseurs. Yet, one Philadelphian figured prominently in shaping the institution’s transformation: John H. McFadden. As the city’s—indeed, the country’s—grandest cotton king, McFadden is well-known as the donor of an important collection of British paintings to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Focusing on late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century portraits and landscapes, the John Howard McFadden Memorial Collection comprises a rich and unified group of forty-three paintings by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, and George Romney.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

John H. McFadden and His Age


On an unusually balmy December day in 1917, John H. McFadden signed his will with a sense of success and modesty. His valet Robert Potts dutifully added his name as one of several witnesses. In 21st-century dollars, the Philadelphia cotton grandee and art patron was a multimillionaire; his estate, at more than $5.2-million ($73-million), [1] was bequeathed to his ‘beloved’ wife Florence and their three adult children. The eldest, Philip, was a high-goal polo player. Alice, the middle child, had a dilettante’s interest in the theatre. The youngest, John H. McFadden, Jr., or ‘Jack,’ was a former U.S. Army officer.

Despite his immense wealth, McFadden was a man of probity. He once told a friend that his aim in life was to create ‘lasting good.’ ‘Then I could die happy.’[2] On 2 December, a day before his 67th birthday, McFadden had that last mission in mind when he put a pen from his favorite stationer, Bailey, Banks & Biddle, to foolscap, and forever sealed the fate of his art collection as a gift to Philadelphia’s cultural patrimony. Or, maybe.

McFadden was an international ‘cotton man.’[3] Among only a handful of such commodity moguls in the late 19th century, he and his older brother, George, reigned over an empire that brokered and shipped raw American and Egyptian cotton worldwide. Millions of cotton bales made their way to mills in England and in New England, and millions of dollars made their way to the coffers of their family firm, Geo. H. McFadden & Bro., Cotton Merchants. [4] By the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the McFadden partnership, headed by George as managing director, had become the country’s largest cotton trading venture.

It further established itself as one of America’s first truly multi-national conglomerates,
with shipping and trading interests in Europe, Africa, and in South America. As the otherwise anonymous ‘Bro.,’ John McFadden headed the company’s key Liverpool subsidiary. A third brother, the youngest, got no billing. J. Franklin McFadden, was, like George, Philadelphia based. Like his nephew Philip, Frank, as he was known, was a poloist, enjoying the sport in the city’s Main Line suburbs and in Florida. Whatever their individual contribution, Geo. H. McFadden & Bro. ballooned into a prodigiously remunerative entity, making the three siblings millionaires many times over.

Thursday, 27 September 2018



The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVIII. All Rights Reserved.

DC Swamp Things

The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVIII. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Philly's Scott Brown gets London Architecture Award

17 October | £10, £5 students
The Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery
Denise Scott Brown has been awarded the 2018 Soane Medal for her contributions to architecture. 

Architect, educator and author of Learning from Las Vegas, Denise Scott Brown's work has had an enormous influence across architecture and urban design.

Join us for a special lecture at the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, which she designed with Robert Venturi. Hear Denise Scott Brown’s lecture, pre-recorded at her home in Philadelphia, accompanied by a selection of her rarely-seen, stunning architectural photographs, followed by a live response by Sir David Chipperfield and a drinks reception.

The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVIII. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, 12 August 2018


Justin Carreño successfully summitted Volcano Mt. Elbrus, Russia, the highest point in Europe, 7 August 2018.

Thursday, 26 July 2018


By Steven Goldleaf
On July 3rd, 1961, as news of Ernest Hemingway’s death began to circulate, John O’Hara had been sitting in the TV room of his summer cottage at Quogue on the south shore of Long Island with his daughter Wylie, who had just turned 16. Suddenly, O’Hara bolted for his bedroom to retrieve a framed photo, taken some thirty years earlier, of the two successful and prosperous young authors flanking the owner of Manhattan’s Stork Club. Tears streamed down O’Hara’s cheeks. Showing the photograph to his teenaged daughter, he told her, “I understand it so well.”
“It,” of course, was Hemingway’s suicide, and O’Hara never shared his understanding with anyone outside of that Quogue cottage.  Inside the beachfront cottage that day, Wylie didn’t press her father for further details of his understanding, so the remark remains to this day tantalizing. “I understand it so well.” On numerous occasions over the past few decades, I’ve spoken with his daughter, who last month turned 73, and Wylie O’Hara Holahan Doughty, as charming and forthcoming as a literary executor is allowed to be, regrets that those bare details are all that she remembers from that day in 1961.