Saturday, June 24, 2017


Many years ago, back in 1981, we faced what every parent dreads might happen and did to us. Our second son, Joseph died. It is a decision out of a nightmare that God made and continues to live a little in your mind, long after it occurred, so I thought.

It is the time that you stop believing in God and his love, instead, he becomes your enemy, and you vow never to speak to him again. How could he take the life of a 21-month old? How could he deprive his parents the opportunity to love him and receive his love, too?

Nothing in this world prepares you for it and nothing in this world keeps you from remembering it. It is all consuming.

I remember when we learned that my daughter was going to be a disabled child, and we realized that we needed to pull ourselves together, not cry about it and instead help her. The ‘perfect child' had left the room forever. When certain dates came up in regard to my son, we think of him, cast ourselves into a private hell and cry. But when it comes to my daughter, she is living testimony to what could have been and isn't: we mourn her every day. How strange to mourn one who lives and not mourns one who is gone!

But in all this, I learned long ago that it is not God who allows anything, it is life, and life is what he gave us, to live and die and everything in between is up to us. None of us is ‘Blessed' none of us are better than anyone else. To say someone is blessed is to say God didn't bless the poor, didn't bless the hungry and the sick, but he blessed you because you have healthy children or a big house and even a fancy car.

The blessing I receive are the memories of my children, the love of my family and my love for them. These blessings are everyone's blessing and should be accounted for.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Helen knew!
Way back in 1969, America landed a man on the moon, and ever since, things have not been right, according to Helen Manning. Now my Mother-in-law, a pious and yet fun woman, used to say whenever we had storms and the weather was consistently bad, that landing a man on the moon was the direct cause of these things happening. Man set foot on the moon's surface and that somehow upset the world karma, creating a new order of things. She may have had something there.

I can think of all the monumental things that have changed the world since that faith-filled day in July 1969. Since then the New York Mets won a World Series, I got married and the Soviet Union came apart, and then there are the results of the last Presidential election, a non-politician won and a woman ran for the President! Monumental stuff if you ask me. Just think how hard it would have been if Hilary did win the election, it would have been awkward to call her Mr. President, causing her to go out and get a new wardrobe, ditching the pants suits.

This past six months it seems that every other day we are getting rain, and lots of it, and winds that accompany the rain and sometimes a little lightning is thrown in for good measure. This past week there were temperatures so high in the west that they called it a heat dome, 118 in Los Angeles alone! Some temperatures reached the 120's! This may put an end to the argument that changing climatic conditions are a hoax, that indeed we need to start thinking about our atmosphere!

Growing up in Brooklyn, we lived in a top-floor flat, the roof was flat and the sun heated up the apartment and on one side was an alley with a couple of windows. There was no such thing as air-conditioning and when we had sweltering nights, we laid on the bare linoleum floor for some relief, with a fan over us. That apartment had no heat in the winter either, and all we had was a coal stove that sat in the kitchen, heating all the rooms that followed the kitchen as it was a railroad flat.

Every extended forecast has rain in it, from scattered showers to weather alerts. And oh! How the weathermen on TV get orgasms as they report the weather, I think the guy at night on CBS almost loses his breath in the excitement, like a little schoolgirl opening up her birthday present. There has not been a sustainable group of consecutive days where the weather has been consistent enough to swim in your pool.

Ma, you are right!

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Since I belong to the AHRC Suffolk Board of Directors, every year or two it seems, I have to be reinstalled. Yes, in order for the chapter to run properly, they reinstall you and hope that this time it works.

I am very close to thirty years on the Board and there are some who are on it longer than that. One of the things I learned is that your agenda is wide, varied and ever changing. For instance, when I first joined, they had this elaborate dinner at a catering hall, then we switched to our General-Purpose Room with fried chicken, we are now down to cookies.

The ‘ceremony is solemn, we invite a judge or politician if they are out on bail and they officiate the installation. Each Board Member’s name o called out and the officiator mentions the various services and given a long skinny candle that is lit for you. For instance:

“Joe Del Bloggolo, as a member of the first to the Buffet committee, chair of the Complain about the Coffee Committee, and the lost notes committee, your candle is dedicated to complaining about the State of New York’s budget priorities.” Then you stand there and wait for the other members of the Board to be sworn in or sworn at, depending on their mood.

But then there is the Fashion Show! Every year our participants dressed in donations of the latest women’s styles and escorted by a tuxedoed gentleman walk down the runway. It’s a shining moment in their lives and sparks loud laughter as they dance and perform as they model. Once a year they get all the attention of over 400 people.

I have a feeling that even if I weren’t installed, they would manage to get me working anyway.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


The other day I went to the big giant COSTCO. Why? Because I'm a good loving husband who does what he is told. In a very sweet voice she asked me: "Joe, will you do me a favor and go to COSTCO for me today?" It was really just another very nice way of asking me to go to Hell.

One of the things about the place is the parking. The spaces are too thin and the lot is always crowded with mostly old people who don't look when they pull out of the space. In backing out, they do it ever so slowly, making me wonder if I could sell before and after photographs, it takes that long.

If you wish to take your life into your own hands, try moving to or from your car. Dare a crazed driver while he/she hunts down space, preferably next to the entrance. They WILL mow you down and take a whole line of shopping carts with you.

Once you enter the building you need to do some serious negotiating to get past the crowd of bottle returnees, cart selectors and patrons at the liquor outlet. Then you pass the sentry, you know, that guy that is supposed to check your membership card.

Once inside, you immediately fall behind someone who stops, and just looks around, causing you to stop short and strain your hips and knee caps to avoid hitting them in the ass.

Then there is the family who shops together, side by friggin' side, casually strolling like it is a day around the lake. If you get lucky and manage to get to an aisle for something you need, there is always someone standing there, declaring their right to stand there and does not move, just looks and stands, reading the fine print.

It doesn't take long to find the suicide driver, pushing his basket at warp speed, heading for the milk section this time, and as he enters leaves his cart in the way and goes to the milk containers and reads all the dates stamp, and finding the latest dates on the containers tries to figure out which one was filled last that day.

Now, these places have samples. Yes, people go there to eat and eat for free. They camp out where the sample table is set up and hand out a sample to each and every member of their family, including borders if there renting. This, of course, causes crowding and bunching of people, all either trying to get by or having dinner.

Once you get by the maze of people, there is the check out that needs to be reckoned with. The lines seem to form with split ends that somehow merge into other lines. People confuse things by not moving up or just standing by, making you think they are on a line. Finding the line that moves well, or has the least amount of customers is not going to happen.

Once you reach the line to checkout, your wagon goes one way and you the other as they take your membership card. The picture on my card is of Fidel Castro, but by now, nothing matters except your credit card or money.

There is one more daunting task left, finding a box to carry out your stuff, hopefully with 4 sides and not the customary three-sided box.

AS you carry your box out, you stop at the exit to give the new sentry at Check-Point Charlie your receipt to check the items on the paper with the items in the three-sided box. They wave their eyes over everything and concentrate on marking the paper. And then you try to move to your car, and what happens, another numbskull stops in front of you for no apparent reason causing my tongue to swell, making me want to drop the box I'm carrying right on his/her head.

I hate Costco.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I was on Facebook the other day and they posted a web page that compared famous beauties from the 1970's and how they look then and now.

Many of these women looked beautiful, maybe as good looking as they did back in the 1970's, and some of course looked like they were competing in the Ms. Sun-dried tomato pageant.

Diane Keaton

Paula Prentise
Funny how no one gives a damned about what men look like as they age, I never see comparisons. But women, with the extent and investment of the cosmetic industry, have put themselves through these comparisons, as unfair as they are.

Have you ever gone to a wake (never any results) and look at the body while walking away thinking: He/she "looks pretty good!" "Death agrees with him/her!" "I wonder who did her hair?" Of course, we know the person is dead, don't we?

There was one comparison of Olivia Newton-John where her latest photo made her look like Olivier Newton Jack. But why put these comparisons together in the first place? What does it prove anyway? We get older, we naturally gain weight and our faces seem kinder, or we get older, fight it and we have enough wrinkles to enter a Grand Canyon pageant. Being skinny in your old age is healthier, it just makes you look like you have one foot in the coffin.

I have plans for myself, I want to be buried in an upright position, the coffin to go feet first and painted on the box: THIS END UP!

My funeral should take the word FUN in Funeral and use it. For instance: Instead of rows of chairs, one after the other, how about ‘Wake in the Round'? The chairs, are arranged in a circular layout around the coffin? And the coffin, that sits on a pedestal as it rotates around, giving everyone a view. I would like a bag of free popcorn given to each attendee, and as I lay there, my mouth opened, you can try to toss the popcorn into it.

When they come up to the coffin and kneel, I should pop up, and when they stand again, I fall back to my rest-in-peace position. I would like a business card planted in my suit hanky pocket that says: "I HATE WHEN THIS HAPPENS!"

Monday, June 19, 2017



"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres."

Dear Ellen,
Give me a flower, every time I think of you, and we will walk through that garden for an eternity. And each time you think you need me, I will hold that dear to my heart, because I know you love me in spite of my inadequacies.
I love you,

For over 46 years we have shared the best of times and the worst of times. We have dreamt and watched some of those dreams shattered, and some grow beyond our wildest expectations! In it all, we have managed to live our lives for one another. That is the key I think, to live for that other person you committed to for the rest of their life. What could be better than that? It is to hold hands forever, to anticipate a sweet kiss!

We have shared the greatest gifts of love, our children, and our commitment to them says: I love you because we had these children out of love and a willingness to want to be together forever. It is a way to celebrate the future.

It is very little in life I need, I have it all, it is not money or a fancy car or even a big house, but that something special, being at home anywhere in the world she is. Home is where the heart resides, and that is in her being, her presence, and her love.

There are many women in this world who are beautiful and filled with love. All too often they will be hurt, and that is sad, because a woman is capable of great things, and the greatest is love. To betray a woman is to damn one's own truth and sincerity. To abuse, someone who is capable of loving you makes you less than a human, let alone a man. When you betray you cheat yourself, you have stopped loving and have stopped respecting the one who is devoted to you! How sad.

And so, I look forward to the coming years, whatever moments we have left together because they will be better than the ones past because love grows and becomes deeper. There are many husbands out there I am sure that feel the same way I do: I don't think I'm special in that regard, but I have to tell her every once-in-a-while that I DO love her, and will tomorrow too. My wife doesn't need to be told, I love her, she deserves it. Yesterday was a celebration of present love and tomorrow a pleasant dream of more.

We will share quiet dinners together, vacations and times alone, just the two of us, and we need not talk, just to be there will suffice.

I hope all you who read this have good feelings of love as I do, love has made me happy and grateful, and may yesterday's expressions of love fill all of your tomorrows.

Today is our 46th wedding anniversary, it is a most special day in my life and has been since 1972.


Sunday, June 18, 2017


It's another year and here we are once again, it is Father's Day, that day when we honor our fathers. Here I am, an old man remembering and missing his old man.

My Dad was a special man, he didn't do anything that shook the world, he just helped make it better, and in doing so, he taught me that helping others was what it is all about.

We did so many things together, working or enjoying sports or just seeing each other. I loved his sense of humor and his reactions to the things I did to tease him, all in love. Many a time I can remember him helping people who had very little, people who were being beaten up by society and the bad luck that sometimes comes with life. I remember one year there was a woman who worked out on the floor at Rollic Inc., where he worked. She was a widow, with a child and she was dirt poor. I recall he and I going to this women's house with paint brushes and paint, and painting her house. Dad bought the paint and rollers along with the brushes and a helper (me) as we repainted the whole place for free. He never took money, he was never in it for the money, only the feeling of doing something good for someone else.

Dad was not a rich man, he couldn't fund my education or buy me a car, he just didn't have it. But with the sense of common decency he funded my heart and soul, teaching me that we do help where we can, and whether people appreciate it or not, it is the act of love that matters most. He didn't go to church because he didn't need to, he was too busy helping others to go himself.

I can honestly say he never hated anyone, was always friendly and giving off the sense that you could be comfortable with him, he held no grudges and when people wronged him, he just moved on. He was good in his heart and soul, and a wonderful example for his grandchildren.

I know I will never be the father or even grandfather he was, he knew what made people happy, because when he entered a room, the atmosphere was suddenly charged with happy people, he loved being a grandpa and bragged about all his grandkids. His family was his whole life, the joy of gatherings and breaking bread, or short visits and trips to ballgames made him happy: the more the merrier.

Dad was a traditionalist, always getting into trouble without trying, it WAS a tradition. Once he went to visit a museum, and on the wall was an oil painting, and with #1 son, he began to give my son an art lesson, touching the surface of the painting, causing the docent to yell at him. "OOOPS!" was his word.

Then there was the time when #1 Son, Dad, and I visited Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame. We entered a restaurant one night and were told to wait where we were. The waitress was a large blond woman of girth and height with braided hair. She walked away and behind us was half a restaurant that was dark. This got Dad's curiosity and started to roam with me cautioning him about it when suddenly Big Hilda caught him and yelled at him. Once again, "OOOPS!" was his word.

I miss him, every day I think about what he might think of this or that in my life. It is a little darker now, but I know somehow, he knows about all there is that goes on right now. Somehow, he knows.

Happy Father's Day, everyone!