Tags: 'Invisible | Ink' | Trip | Through | Journalism's | Strange | Past

'Invisible Ink' a Trip Through Journalism's Strange Past

Thursday, 15 September 2005 12:00 AM

Lots of questions about newspapers are answered by former New Jersey newspaper copy editor and later outstanding journalist Carl A. Veno, who has recently completed "Invisible Ink," a powerful and compelling creative non-fiction saga about his 25 years as a journalist working for eight daily newspapers.

The book is a collection of stories blending memoirs with short story writing and a look at the strange world of journalists, publishers and editors. Mr. Veno worked for The Newark Evening News, The Hudson Dispatch and The Bergen Record. Not only involved in a major newspaper war in Florida, he also was player in one of the longest newspaper strikes in history when he was with The Newark News in the 1970s. That year-long strike changed journalism in New Jersey forever and eventually led to the downfall of "New Jersey's New York Times."

The stories are loaded with oddball characters and concern good and evil, prejudice, romance, national tragedies, adventure and reluctant heroes. The true-life stories which hold this enjoyable book together draw on characters from Veno's newspaper career in New Jersey, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.

His exhaustive research from interviews, newspaper archives and court records adds riveting flavor to the Western New York Prohibition gang wars, which included twenty unsolved murders. (The history of organized crime in Western New York rightfully begins with Stefano Maggaddino, cousin of Joseph Bonanno, who headed one of the five families of New York before retirement. Born in the same town as Bonanno, Maggaddino established his own family in Buffalo in 1922, after falling out with the Buccellatos who fought for control of the Brooklyn rackets.

During Prohibition, Maggaddino and his brother Antonio made enormous profits moving bootleg whiskey across the Canadian border and quickly became the man to be reckoned with in Buffalo, Rochester, NY., Toronto, Canada, and portions of Ohio. Maggaddino was one of the last of the old "Dons" who formed the National Commission in 1931.

Veno also details stories handed down to him by his parents and grandparents of the internment of Italian-Americans during World War II. (Remember the famous line by Edward G. Robinson as Rocco in Key Largo: "Thirty years I lived in this country. Then they kicked me out as an "undesirable alien.")

Invisible Ink also touches on Mr.Veno's adolescent years and his attachment to the Park Bench gang, a group of young, fun-loving guys. He also writes a touching chapter about his dad's taking him as a young boy to a small Olean, New York, Evangelical church. The chapter on workplace romances hits a chilling nerve. His loyalty to defend an investigative reporter's story sparks him on a collision course with a Pennsylvania publisher.

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Lots of questions about newspapers are answered by former New Jersey newspaper copy editor and later outstanding journalist Carl A. Veno, who has recently completed "Invisible Ink," a powerful and compelling creativenon-fiction saga about his 25 years as a journalist...
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2005-00-15
Thursday, 15 September 2005 12:00 AM
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