Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for February 2013

A tip of the toque to Cecil

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(A tickle and treasure by National Editor Don Wall in the February 2013 issue of FYI — “Forever Young Information, Canada’s Adult Lifestyle Publication,” online at

     It’s a familiar byline to longtime readers of FYI, and recently came word that veteran travel writer Cecil Scaglione has earned a citation in the San Diego Press Club’s 39th annual Excellence in Journalism Awards, for the second year in a row.

     Scaglione may run an editorial service out of San Diego these days, while we are here in snowy Ontario, but this colleague and I share a special link. Some time back in the mid-1990s, soon after FYI entered into a deal with him to use his writing services, we realized we were both raised in the same town, North Bay, Ont.

     Have you ever noticed how home towns seem to become more important to you, the further in time it is since you lived there? Coming from the same small town can link spirits together, and this was the case even though we determined that Scaglione never lived there when I did; he was born in the 1930s and left town to work down south (that’s Toronto!) for the Telegram in 1955, while I was born three years after that. (This means, as the North Bay joke goes, we never went to separate schools together.) So there has been a regular, soulwarming swapping of stories as we share our love for the beautiful city on the shores of Lake Nipissing.

     As for his career, after the Telegram, Scaglione moved on to the Windsor Star, the Detroit News and the San Diego Union. He started his editorial service in 1991. The feature that earned Scaglione his travel-writing award this year ran in FYI in April and was titled Chartwell: Churchill at Home. His award-winning travel piece from last year, called The Naples Nobody Knows, saw my friend visiting the hometown of his Italian ancestors. Both stories are posted on our website at

     Cecil, keep up the good work. – Don Wall

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 10, 2013 at 12:05 am

Rhode Island Mansions House Opulent Past

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Doris Duke's "cottage"

Doris Duke’s “cottage”


By Pat Neisser

Mature Life Features

NEWPORT, R. I. — Most people, if they think about this town at all, revive images of robber barons and billionaires who invaded Newport in the 19th century and built “cottages” of 100 or so rooms that resembled European palaces.
These opulent mansions draw thousands of visitors, especially during the annual August Jazz Festival, Van Alen Cup tournament every summer at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the hundreds of fairs and activities staged each year.
The settlement was an early seaport in the 1630s that rivaled Boston and New York in the amount of shipping to far corners of the world. It’s much more laid back today. You can spend hours walking on Historic Hill or the Point, and chatting with homeowners weeding their gardens or repainting old shingles.
Cobblestones can make bike riding in town a bit rough, but you can pedal along the Cliff Walk, or the harbor. Still, walking among the restored buildings is a delight for any history buff. And the piers are packed with seaside eateries and shops housed in period buildings.
The schooner America sailed out of Newport in 1851 and defeated a British boat in a race around the Isle of Wight to win what became known as the America’s Cup. It remained here until 1983, when an Australian crew snatched it away before America  regained it four years later.
Although the trophy was not returned to Newport, the community has retained its position as a sailing center. You can take all sorts of cruises around the area, as well as paddle a canoe or kayak in the bay.
But a major reason many people visit Newport is still to see the historic mansions built during the 18th and 19th centuries by the wealthy. Some still are privately owned but are open to the public. You can view several of these from the outside or go inside by joining a group at the Newport Restoration Organization Office.
We dined with a group in the gold-encrusted ballroom at Marble House, built for William and Alva Vanderbilt by famed architect Richard Morris Hunt. Versailles has nothing on this mansion.
My favorite is Doris Duke’s 105-room Rough Point. Duke played serious piano and studied art in a studio crammed with antiques, mother-of-pearl pieces, and tapestries. The solarium, her favorite room, housed one of her pet camels during a hurricane.

(Newport, R. I., Convention and Visitor Bureau photo)

Mature Life Features, Copyright April 2004

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am