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Joan Leotta

Advice for a Mermaid

By Joan Leotta

It was to be my first vacation experience without my parents – two weeks at the Atlantic Ocean with my Grandmother. I was ten years old and in spite of trying to learn to swim at Lake Erie when on vacation with my parents, I was still just a wader when it came to water. […]

Olives and Bread

By Joan Leotta

Until I was six, going to work with my mother at her family’s warehouse store was a regular Saturday occurrence. Upon arrival, I was dispatched to walk one block, no street crossings, to the Italian bakery where I would exchange a one-dollar bill for a warm loaf of bread wrapped in a brown paper bag. […]

Cookie Table

By Joan Leotta

Recently I’ve noticed that what was a part of hometown Pittsburgh, seems to be sweeping the nation at weddings – the cookie table. One of the beauties of this trend is that it costs very little to add, is a delight to guests of all ages and leftovers can be packaged up for guests and […]

Explore the Art Trail

By Joan Leotta

With the help of one little rack card, visitors and residents now have a guide to direct art-inspired meanderings up and down the Grand Strand – from Calabash, North Carolina, south to Georgetown. Local art galleries, museums and restaurants with galleries show their connection and invite all to enjoy the many venues promoting visual art […]

Cousinly Love

By Joan Leotta

On summer Saturday nights in Pittsburgh, in the years before air-conditioning, we often ate dinner at Aunt Mary’s house on Callowhill Street. I always chose to sit next to my cousin Diane. Older than me by four years she was my idol – smart, beautiful and, well, my idol. She was my best friend. She […]

The Golden Triangle

By Joan Leotta

“The Golden Triangle” I speak of is the mass of golden day lilies that filled the corner of my yard when I was growing up. These visual harbingers of summer’s start were, and are still, a tangible remembrance of my mother. Bright, showy, hardy, lovely beyond expectation in their June prime. The autumn after I […]

The BIG Box

By Joan Leotta

The BIG Box

By age eight, I had already learned one of life’s hard truths. Christmas gifts for little brothers come in BIG boxes. Big sisters receive only medium and small boxes, whether from Santa or Mom and Dad. By then, I suspected that the Christmas morning stockings and presents were also from my parents. To be honest, […]

To Fly

By Joan Leotta

To Fly

Domenico Modugno sold me my first car. Although a Northern Virginia Chrysler Plymouth salesman pocketed the commission, all the work of convincing me to buy the car was done by Modugno’s award winning song, Volare. The rolling lyrics of this ballad about love, achieving one’s dreams, and the simple freedom of dreaming one’s way into […]