On this day in 1302, Dante was exiled from Florence because of his politics. While in exile, he began writing the Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy consisted of three books. The first, a tour through Hell. The second, Purgatory. The third, Paradise.

The Divine Comedy was published in sections between 1308 and 1321. Became enormously popular and was published some 200 plus years after Dante’s death as one unit. The year 1555, titled The Divine Comedy.

I write especially about Dante’s Divine Comedy because of my Spanish professor in college. Professor Cantatore. An elderly Italian gentleman.

I studied under the Professor for two years. He began each class by reciting an excerpt in English from Dante. He was so taken and imbued with The Divine Comedy he wanted his students to share in its glories.

I must admit I never read The Divine Comedy itself. There was no time my agenda in those days for such an undertaking. The good Professor must have known that and that such applied to all his students. Nevertheless, he wanted Dante’s work to be part of our educational process.

A wonderful experience occurred in my life because of the Professor Cantatore’s sharing.

The Gates of Hell sculpture comes into play. Rodin’s sculpture.

A monumental sculpture that depicts a scene from the Inferno, the first section of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The work stands 19.7 feet high, 13.1 feet wide, and 3.3 feet deep. Contains 180 figures.

Rodin was commissioned to do the piece in 5 years. It took him 37.

The sculpture depicts what a person would see if standing before the gates of Hell. It was hell! Dante’s warning over the entrance: “Abandon every hope, who enter here.”

Preparatory to beginning the sculpture, Rodin lived a whole year alone with Dante.

The pain reflected exquisite. Each face masked with terror.

Years later as a practicing attorney with cases in New York City, I had the opportunity to view the sculpture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art had it on exhibit from a Paris museum for a lengthy period of time. I visited the work often. A bench had been placed in front of it. I would sit there and stare, think and contemplate. Hell was no place to go!

Thursday was my hedonistic day. A once every two week ritual. 

Began with my Monkey Smoothie. Flavorful and healthy. Followed immediately by a haircut by Lori. A 25 year ritual which began when I had a full head of hair. Now, nothing.  Takes all of 2 minutes. Lori puts the electric razor on #1 and removes the fuzz. Then a cold water shampoo to remove the “little hairs.”

The day is planned timewise. I then drive over to Lee Nails and Tammy. She has been taking care of me for 20 years. A manicure every two weeks. A pedicure added every fourth. Yesterday a pedicure day.

Love the entire process! Concludes with a trip home for a two hour nap. A fitting conclusion to the self-indulgent few hours just spent.

Yesterday afternoon, I was fitted for a heart monitor. Must wear it for 2 weeks.

Last night, Grady’s. Everyone should go to Grady’s. Great food at reasonable prices. Carola bartending. A locals place. Everyone happy.

Carola had baked some Irish scones. She brought me three. Love the woman! I had one for desert and will enjoy the other two this morning for breakfast.

It was the friday special for me. Polish pierogis. I find it amazing that an Irish pub has some of the best Polish and Italian specials in town.

Tonight. Syracuse/North Carolina State will find me at Jack Flats.

Donald, oh Donald! When are you going to learn? You love self-abuse. Continue ranting, keep your mouth going, you will end up self-destroying.

The federal jury in the second E. Jean Carroll defamation case returned a verdict of $83.3 million yesterday. On top of the $5 million another jury awarded her in the first sexual assault/defamation case.

The jury deliberated less than 3 hours.

The $83.3 million broke down to $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages after finding Trump acted maliciously. My, oh my. How could anyone believe Trump acted maliciously?

Hope Carroll can collect!

On this day in 1945, Auschwitz was liberated. Never to happen again. So it was said, so it was promised. Yet here we are 79 years later and the danger is world wide.

Enjoy your day!

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