Knowing Mo

Knowing MoWorking on the latest book. It has been four years since Morel “Mo” Pagano passed. I have finally gotten around to sorting through the piles of ephemera we left in my care –  personal mementos,  hand written drafts of articles, cartoons – all of which are being compiled in this retrospective of his life, in his own words.

I am getting help from those that knew him well.  In this book I am being careful not to tread on or duplicate stories from his three books. All three remain in print and are available from Knows was his first book, a birthday gift. After the demise of Inferno, the newspaper I published for seven years, I compiled Mo’s articles from his “Mo Knows” masthead, and included photos and images of his paintings in this book. He had no idea I was working on this until I presented him with a copy on his birthday.

Everybody has a Book is Mo’s autobiography.  This book was his brainchild. Humorous, caustic, blunt – Mo traces his family roots from Italy to South America to New York City and finally to Newfield, NJ. He writes about his childhood during the Depression, his short career as a boxer, his stint in the military, Greenwich Village in the 1950’s, the Philadelphia Academy and more.

Short Stories – some shorter than others is also auto-biographical in nature.  Mo gets up close and personal with Charlie Ventura, shares personal stories about Red Rodney, Gene Quill and many of the other players from Atlantic City. Mo studied at PAFA with artists Joe Amarotico, James Brewton and Dan Miller.

Knowing Mo is nothing like the previous three books. Over 200 pages, it will contain photos of his paintings, copies of his writings, memorabilia that festooned the walls of his studio, and more. Along with other contributors, I tell my own stories about the “Old Man” as we affectionately called him.

I am doing my best to keep this book affordable, but it would be a disservice to not publish in full color.  This will be a must have in the collection of anyone that has known and loved Mo.

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