Joe De Matteo

Writings and thoughts

One of my favorite places in the world.

The Gunther Avenue Kids

A great part of my life was growing up in the northeaster Bronx on Gunther Avenue, here is a picture which is certainly not complete, but I call it the Gunther Avenue Kinds any way.
     Joe De Matteo lives in northern Westchester County, New York with his wife, 3 2 children (1 flew the coupe and started his own nest), and a pet rock which has been around longer than any of the others (although, if the truth be known, it turns up missing for years at a time).  His hobbies are eating, drinking (spirits), reading, writing, watching movies, driving, shooting (any number of his many weapons at the same time), and speaking softly to his Windows operating system (the 98 Second Edition, not the 2000 Professional, or the XL which may be spoken to in a normal voice; thanks Bill).
     He also loves to spend time at Eagle Park in Ossining, NY, enjoying the beauty of the Hudson River Valley.  Eagle Park overlooks the Hudson River at the Croton River Delta.  "With eagles flying overhead and boats moving along the waterway at the base of the low mountain that Eagle Park is perched upon, stress and the demands of 21st Century life (see list of hobbies above) melt away."
Every Picture Has A Story; click

At Castel Di Sangro, Abrozzo, Italy 1992
Comment January 2008: I look almost exactly the same,
just a little different. And I still have that shirt.
And that daughter.  And a good deal of that hair, though, less of the color.  Also, there is a bit more of me.
NEWS: In June of 2009 I completed my course of study and am now a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor [t]. 
This is a very exciting time for me, I cannot wait for the start of each new day.
I've got many great memories working (playing) with my Cornerstone brothers (mostly all Knights of Columbus). Here we are at Trinity Church in downtown Ossining preparing a meal for some neighbors and friends.

(From L to R) Mark Lederman, Joe De Matteo (,?) and Chuck Caltofamo
There is a force that pulls us together, us being me and [now] Deacon Cliff Calanni, and Mark Lederman.  When we are together we can get pretty intense.  Our bond has the intensity always end in laughter and food. 


On Movies and Books (written 1999)
     I love movies and I love writing reviews for movies I like.  My taste almost goes across the spectrum, but not quite.  Movies, for me are purely entertainment, escape.  I don't want to be preached to by some bleeding heart when I sit down, popcorn in hand.  I want to have fun.  When I want to hear a sermon, I go to church, when I want to learn something, I'll watch a documentary, and when I want to feel bad I'll ask my wife what she really thinks of me.
     Oh, and I don't want to watch a movie about things I like to do, or have to do.  No slice of life stuff for me.
     I choose movies based on my mood at the moment.  When I'm in the mood for adventure, I want it to be way out there (13th Warrior, Armageddon, Predator, etc.).  I don't like comedies that remind me of what a jerk I can be, or was when I was 15 or 25.  I want It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World kind of comedy.
     Hey, I love quotes.  The walls of my office are covered with them.  I've got yellow post-its all over both computer monitors.  But one of my favorite quotes regarding life and fear is from The 13th Warrior.  Herger the Joyous (Dennis Storhøi), who is how every class clown visualizes himself when he's living it, and how he remembers himself once he hits middle age.  Well, it's a very tense moment, it's dark, just about to fight against God knows what kind of vicious creatures.  He turns to Antonio Banderas and says, "The Old Father wrote the end of your life long ago, go and hind in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one moment longer: your fate is fixed. Fear profit man nothing".   What a line.  And spoken by the class clown.  That's one great adventure character, let me tell you.
     My favorite movie review is by a guy who goes by the name Jeb, it's posted on on the There's Something About Mary page.  Jeb said, "Yes, yes there is".

On Books

      Books are a passion.  There is absolutely nothing like a great book.  Yes movies are great, but they give you everything, and that's great, but a book, a great book will paint pictures in your head, sounds in your mind, and physical sensations.  I remember reading First Blood, by David Morrell.  I was in bed in the final stages of the flu. It was well into the night when I got to the part where he was crawling through the caves in pitch black (to torch like they had to use in the movie), just a breeze on his face to follow.  Crawling through what he realized must be insects infested bat guano, with bats flying over head.  I was so disgusted my skin was crawling.  I was sitting bold upright in my bed, eyes glued to the words, the words that were revolting me, compressing my chest till I couldn't breathe from claustrophobia...
     On my first of many trips to Italy, I brought with me a book by a author that was new to me, Tony Hillerman.  The book was A Thief of Time.  I read it in the steamy heat of a Neapolitan summer. And then I read The Ghostway in the small mountain town of my ancestors, Colli al Verltuno, in Molisse.  I read through the hot sunny day and cool night, weather not unlike that in the books I was reading, in between visits to relatives, many times removed and sight seeing.  And now when I think of the old people of Colli, I could almost mix them up with the Navaho elders of the four-corners reservation.  Not such a far stretch when you consider the similarities people; not ethnically, of course, but in their humanness.  An old Jewish woman, a customer of mine in Brooklyn, in another life, once told me, "in every ocean, there are all kinds of fish".  She'd been talking about the good and the bad people you can find in every ethnic group.  But I've learned that each ocean also has fish of each personality, too.
     People.  That's a subject.  And it's the people, and what they do, and what they don't do that makes great stories.  It's what makes History so interesting.  I'm fascinated by the stories of America.  Louis Lamour (there's a great writer who's been sold short), he has a great book of short stories, every other story is a non-fiction account of western life that he'd gotten from newspaper stories and diaries, with his fiction woven in-between.  Exciting tales of predators and victims, and of men and women, and children who reached in side and found strength they didn't know they had...and prevailed.  Larry McMurtry is like that too.
     History, people, things, life: Stories.  Michener, James A.  There's a joke around my house, when one of my kids asks me a question for homework or out of curiosity, they quickly follow the question with, "now don't start with Columbus!"  They've never read Michener.  The funniest example is his book Hawaii.  It starts on the ocean floor 500 million years ago, with a spurt of steam, which turns into an volcanic eruption.  He has you follow the slowly growing undersea mountain till it breaks the surface of the Pacific.  Then a wind storm blows some dirt from North America, another a few hundred years latter brings a bird, who drops a fertilized seed (guess how), which grows into a plant, which...
     Don't get me wrong, I love Michener's books, I've read them all.  And so should you.  Historical novels are a great way to get an idea of how "dry" history was lived by the people of the time.
     Now if you want the history of knowledge in a small, very readable package, you must read A History of Knowledge, by Charles Van Doren.  it is utterly fascinating, and not dry in the least.
     Mystery and espionage.  I must say that I'm not a James Bond fan.  I liked most of Ludlum's books, especially the early ones (the first two Bourne books were good, the third, well...).
     As far as mystery, I really like two of Stuart M. Kaminsky's characters: Inspector Rosnikov and Detective Lieberman.  All of Sherlock Holmes, and well, there are just too many good writers to list here.
     On, we're planning a book section.  I'd like to hear from you, tell me your favorite books, give me your reviews, you can be a charter Guest Reviewer on

Joe De Matteo.

A History of KnowledgeThe books of James A. Michener
A Thief of Time
Lonesome Dove
The Ghostway
First Blood

DVD: The 13th Warrior

There's Something About Mary
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Luis L'Amour: How the West Was Won Classic

Luis L'Amour:  The Mountain Valley War A Fine Red Rain 

Lieberman's Law

If you would like to read a great work on the King Arthur tale read Bernard Cornwell's fantastic three book series.  A well written, fast reading epic; the kind of books you'll be reading way into the night.





 | Observations | Politics |  | ReligionReviews | Books |

About Joe De Matteo
Essays A Memoir Short Fiction (Definitions)

  Short, Short Stories

  Flash Fiction

  Micro Fiction

  Short Stories

Politics In the Cause of Liberty
 Go to section on Religion

Christian Faith

The Cornerstone Movement

The teachings of
Luigi Giussani

Writing Fun & Games
Extended Fiction

New Orleans, Shot© by Joseph De Matteo, is a crime novel that explores the role of vigilantism in a situation where the guilty are too cunning and well connected for the authorities to bring them to justice. (awaiting publication)

Luca 121534© by Joseph De Matteo (a work in progress)

Johnny Cash, and Posh, too.
On Prayer

Joseph De Matteo, 31 Walnut St, New Windsor, NY 12553


Contact Joseph De Matteo

Copyright All rights reserved