Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Historical Note on Bocce

“The world is at its most civilized when it is playing bocce.”
- T.S. Eliot

During WWII when T.S. Eliot was the warden at St. Stephen’s on the Gloucester Road he would lock and check the premises each night during the Blitz. During the day, as he wrote, he would take a light constitutional to Kensington Square where we happened upon a game of bocce that the workers of La Strada (the most famous Italian restaurant on Kensington High Street) would relax in between shifts. During these afternoons, Mr. Eliot formed a sporting bond with these men. He was a starch Anglican and in practice would have never been associated with Catholic fascists. But in bocce he found a place to put aside his differences, especially during these most trying times.

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