Chapter 1: A Christmas in Rome
I was twenty-two years old and still hadn't spent a Christmas away from home and family. That day though I was half laid back in unmarred sun on a bench in the one true Colosseum -- Italy, Rome, December 25th 1955. Europe had only begun to believe that the devastation of Hitler's war might be survived, and even in Rome the sight of a winter tourist was rare as a failure of courtesy.
I'd left my room and made my way down through the city past ruins posing in vain for their picture -- today they were empty of all but cats and ghosts of assorted psychotic Caesars, woolly Vandals and Visigoths. I'd even...