June's Literary Blog
 

A LITERARY BLOG ABOUT BOOKS
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Monday, December 30, 2019

Phoenixville’s Own Nick Basca

Yes! The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants yesterday. 34 to 17! What an exciting game! They are on a flight to the playoffs! Nick Basca, who played the 1940-1941 season with them, would have been proud!

“Who,” you ask, “is Nick Basca?” Fair question. The answer is… Michael Martin Basca, a native of Phoenixville, PA, who is still, to this day, deemed a local hero. Born on December 4, 1916, he earned his [pardon the pun] nickname “Nickels” as a young lad chasing foul balls for local baseball players and receiving a nickel for each one retrieved. “Nickels” was later shortened to “Nick”…

Even from grade school (Sacred Heart), Nick Basca was an outstanding athlete playing baseball as well as football and making a name for himself as a legendary gridiron star during high school (Phoenixville and Pennington Prep) and college (Villanova) before signing on with the Eagles. When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Nick enlisted and, after two years training stateside, was sent to France as part of the 4th Armored Division. He died a hero just outside Hampont on November 11, 1944.  

Well, you can read more and all about him in a fascinating detailed account of his life and times in Phoenixville's Own Nick Basca by Dorothy L. Jaworski, a Senior Vice President in the banking industry who, having written three previous historical books about her father’s and uncle’s military service, has become quite the expert on WWII battles and stratagems. During a recent trip to France, she was asked by a native if she had ever heard of Nick Basca… the impetus for her fourth book.

Dorothy was kind enough to send me a copy of her latest literary endeavor which I received just before Christmas Day and, believe it or not, spent Christmas and Boxing Day afternoons reading it. I have to admit that while I am the author of six historical novels of Phoenixville and supposedly steeped in the village’s diverse history, I had no idea who Nick was… But then, my focus has not been on sports or modern-day warfare… However, while reading Dorothy’s account of his life and short-live military career, I was immersed in military maneuvers as well as football… Not to mention learning about facets of local history of which I was not aware.

Although she is not a member of the Basca family, Dorothy unselfishly steeped herself into its history, contacting Nick’s nephews as well a the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area to gather information. As evidenced by her writing, she is a tireless and exacting researcher, digging deep into her subject matter, and then exhaustively writing about it… The result is a stellar account of Nick’s life and the battles in which he fought both on and off the fields of sports and war. It was, as she commented to me during an online chat, “a labor of love”. As I suspect most, if not all of what Dorothy does, is…

A word of caution, though… Dorothy’s works, so far, center on military service… tactics and battle plans… military campaigns and, in Nick’s case, also sports. Heavily theme-based, her historical accounts are comprehensive and thorough. A good portion of Phoenixville’s Own Nick Basca describes the war effort of the 4th Armored Division in and around France because, as she stated, they were such an important and decorated unit during WWII. And because Nick was one of the artillerymen. While I found the stratagems of George Patton most interesting, I was more interested in reading about Nick and his own exploits…

Whether you are an armchair military strategist and/or a Monday morning quarterback, I most heartily recommend this stunning book. It is a insightful glimpse into the life and times of a kind, talented courageously heroic young man who once flew with the Eagles and then dedicated his life in service to his country.

Enjoy the read!

2:01 pm est          Comments


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June J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is an author, poet, and librettist. Her currently published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:
 
Miss Elmira's Secret Treasure: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
Colonial Theatre: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Roarin' 20s 
Phoenix Hose, Hook & Ladder: A Novel of Phoenixville during World War I
Columbia Hotel: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Forty-Thirty 
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members

Adventures of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Spinach Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A Collection of More Spiritual Poems

We Three Kings

Beauty and the Beast

Bethlehem

Noah's Rainbow

Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding Hood

 

 

Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She is currently working on her sixth novel.

June's novels can be purchased at amazon.com, through Barnes and Noble,
at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area,
and 
the Gateway Pharmacy in Phoenixvile, PA
.

For more information about her musicals, which are also available on amazon.com,