Contoveros's Profile

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Contoveros
Member since:
July 19, 2014
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About Contoveros

About Contoveros -- I am into mindfulness meditation, Zen Christianity and see myself as a “Recovering” Catholic. I'm also a Vietnam veteran, and am formerly a Philadelphia public defender, an a capella music singer, a newspaper reporter, and a union organizer. I am a student of Buddhism, the Sufi and of the Kabbalah. Who is Contoveros? I grew up in Brewerytown, North Philadelphia, a third son of Achilles Contoveros and Anne Westergom. “Pop” immigrated from Nisyros, a small fishing village that boasted four sub-villages that have thrived for nearly two thousand recorded years on a volcanic island in Greece. He and mom, a farm girl whose American heritage only stretched back to the founding of Mays Landing, NJ, got married after meeting at the New York World’s Fair some time in the last century. What, you didn’t want me to go back that far? OK. I last worked as a Philadelphia public defender for 20 years, becoming disabled in 2008 following an ongoing battle with Vietnam War injuries. I served as a first lieutenant in command of a platoon of grunts at the ripe old age of 21. I developed a case of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a result of that experience and it has colored my actions the rest of my life. As an attorney, I loved trying criminal cases before a jury. There’s nothing like seeing witnesses squirm while cross-examining them when you already know the answer and you prepared beforehand to ask those zingers at the right moment before 12 jurors weighing every word spoken for or against your client. Best, yet, however, was the closing argument, when you could “perform” as the righteous defender of the underdog against the system that, sometimes appeared more concerned with getting a conviction to appease a frightened public, than in seeking justice. I won more cases than I lost. . And I'd tell people that a jury trial win was always better than sex! Allright, all right, this is not an X-rated forum . I worked a year as a union organizer. It was one of the best times I ever had, even though the election to form a Union at the Reading Times/Eagle Newspaper, Reading, PA, met with defeat. I found a certain “calling” then, and that was to help my fellow man, in this case, my fellow newspaper worker. As a reporter, I got to interview President Gerald Ford and was among only six attorneys permitted to tour and “pool-report on” Three Mile Island, PA, following President Jimmy Carter’s visit that helped calm our nation’s concern with a nuclear power crisis. I wrote for a 30.000-circulation newspaper, The Mercury of Pottstown, PA, small in size but BIG with its reputation. It boasts two Pulitzer prizes, along with the greatest coverage ever of the Boyertown, PA, American Legion Baseball Championship games. I meditate. Often and regularly. I’m open to new ideas — Feng Shui, Dream Interpretation, Reflexology, and I had my aura read twice, once before and once after a “healing.” I don’t know where my present journey will take me. I've written 10 books, but have only published one so far, a novel. I believe that writing has been my calling for some time now and I'm comfortable with such a solitary adventure. It has been therapeutic and insightful for me to delve deep inside and come up with answers I never knew I had. Some have interpreted the name "Contoveros" to roughly mean: “Singer of Truth.” Government workers in Ellis Island shortened my father's name to “Contos,” and in trying to read and help “Americanize” my father’s first name, they changed it from what they were able to pronounce as “A chill es,” to “Charles,” thereby providing Achilles Contoveros with the a.k.a. of “Charlie.” Somehow, somewhere people started to call him “Charlie West” right after he served time in Sing-Sing, a New York City-area prison, charged with helping to run a speakeasy . . .But that's a story for some other time and place.

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