A Beautiful View of the Past

A South Philly native penned a book detailing his Bella Vista upbringing.

Edward J. Bonett Jr. has always admired the art of storytelling, considering it a wonderful way to convey appreciation for what has shaped an individual’s walk through life, as well as our collective journeys. This South Philadelphia native decided to add to the annals of thoughtful narration by independently publishing “Bella Vista,” an 80-page reflection on the treasured neighborhood’s influence on his worldview and his gratitude for timeless music, unbeatable food, enriching traditions, amazing friends, and baseball.

“This year has thrown us a few tricky curveballs,” the Delaware County resident said. “Because of the uncertainty, I believe people are crying out for things that can bring them happiness, so it’s my hope that ‘Bella Vista’ will provide that for them.”

Since its June 17 publication, Bonett’s look at life in his former neighborhood has sold nearly 200 copies through Amazon. Available in paperback and via Kindle, the 1970s- and ’80s-centric text will certainly appeal to his contemporaries, many of whom have told him how well he captured the period, but he holds that the pages will prove inspirational for anyone who gives it a read, especially because of how resolutely he champions believing in oneself and eagerly experiencing life.

“I like to look at the good,” said Bonett, who makes his home in Wallingford with wife Jennifer and sons Joseph and Gabriel. “I feel that’s what guides us and reminds us that though we may see so much negativity in the news, most of what greets us each day shows us beauty and gives us occasions to be grateful.”

Through “Bella Vista,” the wordsmith recounts many moments that sparked his enthusiasm for waking every morning, with childhood-specific examinations of family ties forged among his Italian relatives sure to delight.

Lovers of America’s pastime will enjoy recollections of his time as a coach at Palumbo Recreation Center. His stint there included his team’s securing of the 1984 B Baseball championship. Bonett, who still coaches the sport, details the magical season so well that readers might just wish they had had the opportunity to play for him.

Ed Bonett (center) with sons Gabriel (left) and Joseph.

“I believe in pushing yourself no matter your place in life,” said the lawyer, who also took to Amazon in June to release “Post-Ops: Inspiration for No Fear Living,” a compilation of his thought-provoking Facebook posts from the last decade.

“Bella Vista” let Bonett “show thanks for what has brought me to where I am in life. If I can write words that uplift people, then I feel thankful for the chance to have learned so much from others so as to do so.”