Friday, October 31, 2008


In the course of our lives, TLW (The Little Woman) and I have raised two teenage sons, and witnessed nephews who also rose from cute to sullen. This is a phenomena that has puzzled society for hundred of years!

Something mysterious happens along the way in their journey to adulthood. They suddenly go off to junior high school, and sequester themselves for the rest of their teenage years. Appearing periodically for nourishment, and CD’s they then retreat into their world of darkness and avowed silence.

Teenagers develop a form of communication that requires only two words; “Give me”. “Give me” Is a convenient phrase when put before all grunts and moans in indicating their displeasure with their suddenly ignorant and out of touch parents!

Being a man of sadistic curiosity, I decided to investigate and I now have a report for you of what I have discovered.

I broke my study into two groups. In the first group was the nice, well-adjusted teenager. You have seen him yourselves. He dresses in a normal fashion. His pants are strapped at the hips, the clothing is not torn or deliberatly ripped. On his most radical day, he will wear a designer label on his shirts. Another way to tell is he speaks in complete coherent sentences. There are no hand-gestures to go with his speech, unless he is Italian. (I do make allowances.) You will find this type of teenager in a library, church, store other than a music store, or home and even in the great outdoors, conducting normal conversation, in English with his parents and siblings. ”Yes” and “No” are standard words that can be used without losing face.

Then there is the second group. HE is barricaded behind his bedroom door. The room itself has a less that 7 foot ceiling. This is because of the amount of clothing, books, CD cases, guitar and amplifiers, uneaten or half eaten sandwiches along with the bedding that covers the floor! Generally he wears dark T-shirts with slogans or pictures of anarchists. Sometimes, the shirt will be obscene in both words and pictures.

“Give me mhtxr “ with his hand out means he needs money. “Give me futd” while pointing to his open mouth means he is hungry. He can periodically come out of his nest to venture to school, and it is easy to spot. Generally, cookie crumbs will follow, guaranteeing, if you don’t have a dog, of finding him eventually. Molting season is year round, the clothing falling to the wayside even as I write this. I found that using my pool pole, that extends to three times it’s height, I can stick it in his room, twirl it around and if something grunts or not, know if he is in there!

One of the ways you know he is in his nest is by the beat and rhythm of the walls pulsating behind his closed door. The lyrics are in a foreign language, and whatever the hell they are singing, they are repeating for hours!

Their complexion is usually gray, to grayish blue. Their hair harbors runaway robins, refusing to fly south for the winter. Pants are worn below the hips, so everyone can see their underwear. This is convenient as Mother can then see if they are clean.

But what is the cause that creates these two opposite groups. The results will astound you, as they did me.

The bedroom door! Yes, that thin piece of wood on hinges is the culprit!

If the door is left open, normalcy will prevail, and invading the room, leave the teenager exposed to the world! Closing it, you then have a teenager who looses touch with the world, losing social skills such as speech and taste in good music! Also, without the advantage of the additional sunlight that is barred from entering the room, the teenager will fade in color to that gray or grayish blue I mentioned, becoming consumed by his own self!

I hope this helps.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.


The harbinger of nostalgic days gone by, it is a time of crispness in the air. Things turn to black and Orange, and suddenly sweet. Checking my wardrobe, I now realize I have complete costumes to trick or treat in! Yes, I can go as a real bum, I even have a beard.

When I was a kid, (I once was), We went out on that special day, without costumes, unless you were a sissy. Sissies always had costumes. We guys in the hood got a brown paper bag, some colorful chalk and an attitude and rang all the doorbells in each of the apartment houses. When we got nothing, we wedged the doorbell to ring constantly and ran. Sometimes we chalked the place up, nothing artistic, just angry strokes that said: “These people refused us candy”. The chalk washed away very easily.

Of course, encroachment was not tolerated by foreigners from another neighborhood. Socks were loaded with the colorful chalk, and if someone was in our territory, we bombarded them with sock attacks. We would either fling them or pound them on their backs with the socks, leaving their cloths chalked. It hurt too!

It’s Halloween.When I got older and moved to Long Island, that all ended, and I did another kind of trick or treating. My sisters would come home with their candy, which Mom put them in a bowl each, and gave them instructions not to eat it all at once. I immediately helped them ‘sort’ it. There were three piles, two visible and one miserable. The two visible were for each of the girls, while the miserable was mine. (Hee hee hee).

It never occurred to them that they brought home chocolate candy bars, those little miniature Mounds and Almond Joys, and never tasted them. I bet to this day they wonder where they went! I know: they went into the miserable pile. That pile was built up while transferring the candy. I would slip them in my sleeve, and my hands were empty. I learned that from a pickpocket friend of mine, and he knows who he is.

An unfortunate lady lived in the hood, in that she was no beauty queen. She was dubbed, “Halloween”!

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.

Thanks and “Trick or Treat!”

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Yesterday, I received this bit of information in an email from my adopted sister. This sister is the airline stewardess, Usually I try not to quote her because I get a Charlie horse of the brain far worse than my usual condition. But I will not forgive her for this.







Now it's your turn to tag someone else!
Have a great week!

Remember my pals Joan and Anita

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It was the middle of the night, actually more like 3:00 A.M., and I was awakened by TLW (The Little Woman). I figured the mutt wanted out again, and as I arose, I noticed the lights on and TLW in an upright position at the foot of the bed.

“What’s wrong?” I trembled as I asked.

“There is a strange noise in the house, put on your hearing aids.

I did, and sure enough, there WAS a strange noise in the house. I was about to decide if I wanted to go back to sleep or investigate, took one look at TLW and decided to get up. We led with our ears, she with her left and me with my right. We followed the noise down the steps to the main floor. There are three floors in my house, so it could be coming from anywhere.

The noise sounded very motor like or mechanical to me. I thought maybe MMB (My Man Bill) next door was using his blower or another piece of equipment. Bill loves to work around his house but I couldn’t imagine him doing it at that hour.

Down we go to the basement door. We both stick our ears against it, looking into each other’s eyes. (They are still beautiful at 3:00 A.M.!) The noise was coming from the basement! It is dark down there. What could it be? I put on the lights. Down we go, me first and head to the boiler. It is making a racket now, and it sounds like it will blow. I open the door to the boiler, and TLW says: “What is it?”

Sometimes, TLW will ask a timely question, this was one of them. I gave her a timely, well thought out answer that went like this:

“I don’t know!”

I decided to go upstairs and go into the bathroom and turn on the water. Maybe there was air in the pipes. Instead, I make a left and go into the kitchen and turn on the tap. As it is running I go back downstairs and ask, while I hear a new noise: “What happened?” TLW responds: “It sounds a little better!”

Just then, we both have a moment of inspiration, like the time when the Holy Spirit smacked the twelve Apostles in their heads with inspiration in that room they were in.

Up we both go to the down stairs toilet (?) and TLW knocks on the closed door.


Hardly audible “Yes”

“Will you close the tap and GO TO BED!”

Please remember my pals, Joan and Anita.


It was the spring of my 6th grade year. The prettiest girl in 6th grade, Cheryl Ridgeway said “Yes” to my invitation to the end of the year 6th grade dance!

Cheryl was a true blonde, with a beautiful face and beautiful cherry red lips. She had a natural smell that must have come from either a soap or perfume she wore. I had snuck a kiss from her and was totally in love. Ours was for the most part a distance romance. That is, where I kept my distance unless her father chase me with a shotgun, even for the 6th grade. She was only my second love in my life.

My first was: Cookie Mangino, a beautiful black haired girl who visited her grandparents on Hull Street in Brooklyn. She smote me. She had the cutest nose and rich black hair, and a voice like Heaven. I never did get a kiss from her, because we moved! There was a strawberry curls girl from kindergarten, but I can’t remember her name.

The night of the big dance came, and I was spiffed up. Hair slicked down, brown shoes polished and tie set around my neck by Dad. I marched out to the station wagon to pick up my date. My chauffeur, Dad was waiting amusedly behind the wheel of the Chrysler, as I slid into the back seat. Around the block we went, I anticipated what she would look like, and with a corsage in a box, sitting on my lap, ready for distribution.

Into the driveway, we arrived. I stepped out and went to the door and knocked. I could detect her Mother, hiding behind the door. I could also detect Dad, laughing at me from the car. I didn’t care; this was Cheryl, the prettiest girl in the school! SHE was my date!

The door opened and Cheryl’s Mother let me in. I forgot the corsage, and ran out to get it. I was tempted to tell Dad to back out and step on it, but instead, steadied my nerves and grabbed the corsage. Back I marched. Calling up the courage, I asked if Cheryl was ready. Out came the most beautiful vision since before my wedding day!

I escorted her by the arm, down to the car, where I opened the door and she climbed in. Saying “Hello” to my Dad, who by now was ready to roll out of the car with laughter. My life was turning into a living Hell. Dad was not letting go!

Off to the school gymnasium we went, Cheryl, Me and my Dad driving, making me nuts. We went into the gym, and the music was playing. I started to dance, the only couple dancing! Yes, all the guys lined one wall, and on the opposite were the girls. As we danced to ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’ I glanced out the gym door window, and there was Dad, laughing his head off, once more.

After the dance, Dad took us to get some ice cream, and as he drove, he gave his observations of the dance. Of course, he had to put his 2¢ in.

To this day, I remember Cheryl and her blond hair, the dance, and my Dad screwing with my head.

Please remember my pals, Joan and Anita.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I got a call from my older sister Tess, (Much Older) who informs me that her first grandson, Stephen who shares a birthday with me, (no, we are not the same age) now has a girlfriend!

So, what is the big deal?

Well, his Momma may be happy, but his Grandmamma is spreading the news. Just like the Sinatra song that starts: “Start spreading the news.”

Stephen is a handsome and tall (very), intelligent (honor roll), athletic (football and Lacrosse) student, who just wanted some peace in his life. He strives to make himself be the best he can be for a teenager, and make his parents proud without fanfare. But does his Grandmother let it go at that? NOOOOO!

Success must come at a price. Stephen now has a girlfriend! Yes, a nice girl that is his equal. That is enough for all kinds of trouble.

Dear Stephen,

Boys become boyfriends, grow into manhood and become men or may choose instead to become ‘husbands’. Yes, they lose their manhood and start taking orders like little boys once again. The only time they are allowed to open their mouths is when they eat, unless she finds a way to feed you intravenously.

My advice to you Stephen is going to shock you. Stay with the girlfriend, but don’t go near your Grandmother. She will only corrupt your girlfriend and reveal your weaknesses and the soft underbelly of manhood. This will give the girlfriend the impetus to find a way to marry you, than you have to give up all the worthwhile things in life. A Sunday afternoon in the fall as Gang Green goes for the extra point, or that beer some day with the guys or any of those things, you enjoy now!

It is not the end of the world if you marry, no, just the end of the world, as you know it. There are some advantages to being hitched.

For instance… well I can’t list them all, but they are there. If anything, you may never have to think for yourself again! Just think, your life on cruise control, sailing along at an even pace. You’ll learn to know when to laugh, when not to, and how to check out a chick without being obvious!

Uncle Joe

Please remember my buddies, Joan and Anita.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


It was 1: 30 in the morning. I was fast asleep, and TLW (The Little Woman) was poking me awake. Rolling over I thought that the dog wanted to go out and do her thing. Instead, the nightmare I fear the most was seemingly occurring.

“Ellen was having trouble breathing, and they are rushing her to the hospital! The nurse is waiting for the ambulance, but she is not sure which hospital. She is pushing for Mather Memorial.”

This kind of news ruins your sleep patterns and awakens you somewhat. I could hardly move from sleeping, but got my butt to move and started to dress.

“”How do I get to Mather?” I inquired.

“They are not sure which hospital. It depends on the ambulance. Why don’t you call the ICF before you go anywhere.” Said TLW.

That made a lot of sense so I did, only to get an answering machine, so I left a message.

2:30 rolled along, as I had gone back to bed, and fell asleep, and TLW said one word to me; “Mather.”

She was up and I jumped out of bed once again.

Dressing in a hurry for someone in a trance, I joined TLW in her car. With us were two thermoses filled with coffee that TLW had brewed.

Arriving at the hospital. We went into emergency and found her in the ‘Fast Track’ section. Lying calmly, her eyes fluttering almost to sleep, and an aid next to her, she jumps up in surprise.

“She’s fine! Just a scare, and I wanted to be certain she was all right. She came over to me and started to have trouble breathing! I got the nurse and she said to get Ellen to the hospital.”

I guess I will be thankful that it WAS nothing, the doctor and nurse both reassuring us that nothing was found. It’s even worth the loss of sleep to be assured, “It’s nothing!”

Please remember my buddies, Joan and Anita, they need your prayers.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Early this morning, I drove out the AHRC Suffolk Intermediate Care Facility, (ICF), where my daughter Ellen, resides. Fighting the early morning commute, I arrived about 7:30 am and immediately went to the core of the building where the nurse’s station is located. The reason is my daughter is having her problems.

She has developed a club like foot, that she is unsteady is placing when she walks. She also has a persistent cough that she’s had for over a month and a half. Today I was informed that she has a 6 mm obstruction or growth on her right middle lobe of her lung!

The Doctor will do two scans: one of her brain, and a second of her lung. Ellen will be under anesthesia, and the whole thing will be done on Thursday and Friday.

TLW (The Little Woman) and me are worried. Driving over to the ICF, I wondered if I would get there in time to speak to anyone about this. When I got there, I found the head nurse and the Physician’s Assistant both going over her file at 7:30 in the morning!

I kept remembering that March morning back in 1972, when TLW called me at my office to tell me that she was being sent to the hospital to have our first child, who happened to be Ellen. I remember my new daughter coming out of the delivery room at the hospital and me seeing her for the first time as I was heading up to the waiting room. Little Ellen was being transferred to the baby room, as the elevator doors opened, and I caught a glimpse while on the elevator.

Then all the times since, when she was ill, or went to a school, a special event or a celebration, I was there. She seems to define my life. She is my past and my future. She has painted my heart with love, and when I see her, her sweet little face is all I can focus on. Lovingly she smiles, happy to see her old man. She has never made me feel like I let her down, or that I caused her any grief. Pure and simple love is a great thing to share with your child.

I think a Father is often forgotten, especially when Mom is around, and that is naturally so, and normal. But being second best doesn’t stop me from doing whatever I can for my children. I will sacrifice anything including my self-respect for them. No amount of money or time spent is ever enough. Just ask TLW.

Just a moment to remember to say a small prayer for my pals Joan and Anita, could make a difference in their lives, and you could be responsible.


I read in the newspaper this morning that New York State Governor David Paterson’s aid; Charles O’Byrne is suffering from an insidious disease that afflicts thousands of politicians. That disease is known as “non-filer syndrome”.

“These are very high-functioning people who otherwise can complete all of the ordinary tasks in their lives.” So stated O’Byrne lawyer Richard Kestenbaum, “But there is something that they can’t do, and many times that causes them not to be able to file their tax returns.” Continued the attorney. (Over $100,00)!

Therefore, I am establishing the ‘DelBloggolo Center for the Prevention and Elimination of Non-Diseases’, where hopefully funding by the government and the kind folks like yourself will help me in fighting this blight on society.

The Center, (DCPEND) will take up such causes as Non-Thinking, Non-Honest, and Non-Trustworthy politicians. But we at the center can’t do it without your help. Please give generously until it hurts. Reach down in those non-holding pockets bereft of cash by taxation and give with those non-moneyed hands, and be part of the solution. Any amount will count, singles, fives, tens, and twenties and yes, even hundred and thousand dollar bills will be accepted. Please, no personal checks will be accepted.

Then some day, we will be able to close the door and put out the lights of ‘non’ syndromes forever. Maybe all the lawyers and politicians will be safely housed at a Leavenworth near you, where they may be able to join society as honest folk once more.

Please remember my pals, Joan and Anita. Thanks

Thursday, October 23, 2008


If the fiasco of the check-in at Southwest Airlines wasn’t enough, I continued my quest for stellar recognition by heading toward the conveyer belt and metal detector.

Coming to the line, I noticed this lady with an extra large chest! The only reason I noticed is, it was extra large. She had two little girls, but that was all that was little about this lady. Did I stare? You betcha! I may be old, but I’m not dead.

I know, I’m not ashamed of myself, but then again, she should have put them in holsters.

Anyway, I grab one of the grey trays to put all my stuff into. My stuff composes; wallet, small leather card holder, cell phone, keys, pill box for my 4:30 medication, (for staring at big boobs) and about $400.00 in loose change, in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. You may wonder why I carry all that loose change.

Into the x-ray machine my tray goes, off I go to cross over to the other side, where St. Peter, in the form of a woman with a wand checks me out with a smirk. I wonder why she is smirking when I look down, and there is a hole in my sock, with my big toe sticking out! Nice!

I reach for my shoes, wallet, and all the goodies I carry. Rushing to get my stuff and stuffing it in my pocket, I start to fumble with the change. By then, it amounted to roughly $523.32, and it was not cooperating, slipping out of my hands. One of the security people, watching my desperation, comes over and picks up my tray, tilting it into my hands, pouring it all out for me.

But the transition does not go that smoothly. I dropped my glasses, once more.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I am a victim of my own clumsiness! TLW (The Little Woman) and I flew down to West Palm Beach for my nephew’s wedding last weekend. Having printed our boarding passes from the internet: we entered Southwest Airlines to check in our luggage.

That was my big mistake!

TLW likes to take charge. Electronically we decided we would enter the world of air travel, and she would lead the way. I, knowing her from her days when she was not so good at the computer watched her. Deftly she perused through the different windows, punching out the screen with a fingered flair. Making me proud. She had all her documents and was ready to hand them to the lady behind the counter to check our I.D.. But I had forgotten to take out my license.

Rushing I go to my wallet and start to extricate the NYSDMV license that has my picture on it. Digging into the license section, in my haste, I struggle getting it out of the tight space and the whole wallet explodes! Pictures and cards and I.D. fly away into the air.

I bend down to retrieve it, and my glasses fall out of my pocket, I bend down to pick up the glasses, wallet exploding again! I am starting to get embarrassed, as I reach down, and kick the glasses by mistake. The security people are now watching, the TLW takes the large suitcase we were carrying and starts to move along, as I pick up my stuff on the ground.

Now I got the giggles, my poor wife is carrying the big bag, and some smaller carry-on. I’m just holding my wallet! Now I see the comical sight that it is, and laughingly ask her to put the suitcase down so I can carry it. The whole damned airport at 6:30 am is watching this spectacular spectacle. I’m looking for a hole that will accommodate me and the luggage.

The security men at the scanner where they throw your bag, finally comes over to me and takes the bag out of;
1) respect
2) pity
3) disgust
4) Because he knows I’ll probably tie up air travel for the rest of the day if he doesn’t.

You guessed it, 5) I’m a dumb ass.

Tomorrow, it doesn’t stop there.

Please remember my wonderful friend Joan and Anita.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


After the wedding of my nephew and niece David and Kimberly Harrow, off I went to Albany NY to attend the NYSARC annual fall convention. Instead of using the dreaded airlines, I choose to drive up with the President of the Board of Directors (Fred) for three hours.

Upon arrival at the Crown Plaza Hotel on State Street, Fred and I checked in and he went off to a meeting. I didn’t have a meeting scheduled until later that afternoon and decided to get something to eat. I checked the weather from my window and it was raining steadily. Not having an umbrella, I pinpointed where I thought the sandwich place was when I was in Albany last October. Of I go, walking than breaking into a run! Coming down at the rate of 12 gallons an hour, I reached where I thought the place was. IT WAS GONE! I look up the street and see a Quiznos. Now I am running at blinding speed. That is for an old guy with a limp! In I go, my head is soaked, as is my shirt, and my pants and shoes. I, dear reader, am drenched!

Self consciously, I entered the sandwich shop. People stop to stare at me. The fellow behind the counter asked me if I want cheese on my chicken!

“Huh? Cheese on my chicken? I didn’t order chicken!”

Quiznos man: “Yes, but you were about to.”


I look down at my shirt and my nametag is a black pouch, windows with my name on one side and on the other side with the meal ticket I stored there for the Gala dinner for the next night. The ticket was yellow and the word in large letters showing through the pocket window said, “CHICKEN”!

I’m home now, finally, the wedding is over, the three-day convention is over, my reputation is over, at least in Albany. There I’m known as: “Chicken”!

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I sat in the large conference room, facing me was a podium with a microphone. The topic for the mornings discussion was ‘Board Compliance’ and I was ready to drink it all in. My pad and pen sat there along with the hand out, (I was hoping for take out), and people were starting to file in and occupy the seats.

Behind me sat a young man who was attaching himself to me, (his name was Joe) and in front of me, with his back toward me, sat a well-dressed gentleman of about late forties. He sat still, and I thought nothing of it.

Joe and I got into a conversation and discussed the coming night’s NYSARC, Inc, Awards Banquet. Suddenly the fellow in front of me chirped in that he was receiving an award for self-advocacy. He also related how his godfather was driving from Philadelphia to be with him!

The night of the awards, David Liscomb was called to the podium. People, as people do in large gatherings murmur and mutter, not to be rude, but to finish a conversation. David rose from his place on the dais, and with his cane, was escorted to the podium. A hush overtook the room. Such dignitaries as: the former Governor of NY State, Malcolm Wilson’s daughter, and current President of NYSARC, Kathleen Wilson Conroy, the Commissioner of OMRDD, Diana Jones Ritter, the Executive Director of NYSARC, Mark Brandt and other award winners sat at the dais.

David was a well-spoken and articulate man. He is what we should all strive to do, reach the next goal in life, to better not only ourselves, but also others. David suffers from developmental disabilities. David has recently been elected to the Presidency of the Self Advocacy Association of New York State.

As David spoke: he started to thank everyone for being there, for the award, and then said: “I want to thank my Godfather, who stood by me all these years and supported me,” With that, he sobbed, as did I and everyone else in that room.

It was a special moment. It pointed out to everyone that our work does achieve results sometimes that go beyond our own expectations. My daughter can’t thank me like that; she can’t thank her Mom who deserves it even more.

When I joined AHRC Suffolk, I had a personal agenda: to advocate for my daughter Ellen. Once I got involved, I shed that agenda, and created a new one, an agenda that included every person in my daughter’s agency, which quickly expanded to a global dream.

You know, we have dropped the word ‘retarded’ and ‘retardation’.
It has been become such an ugly word that people use to demean others. It is used in flippancy and meanness. It degrades those that once had that title, innocent beings. People who hurt no one, seek only happiness, and love. People who suffer physical pain, emotional trauma, and defeat every day. People who are drowning in the misery that life handed them. But with help, they fight on; they get off the floor and go another round. Beaten and battered they fight. The good news is in their corner. The supports of the wonderful people who cheer them on, nurse their wounds, and give them a strategy to win the fight. Think about that. These people are heroes in a very strong way. And next time you use the word ‘retard’, what you will be doing is, raising the person you wish to slander to a high level.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.


Opposites attract, or so they say. I have been opposite TLW (The Little Woman) for over 37 years now.

TLW is left-handed; I am right-handed. She likes bacon with her eggs; I like sausage. She likes Law and Order programs; I like shows that defy conventional protocol.

TLW is ALWAYS cold, I, on the other hand am always hot. In fact, she takes the comforter off the bed for just one week in August, and then back on it goes. I can sleep with the windows open in January.

TLW is a woman of peace. God and church is her forte. I on the other hand am a man of piece. A piece of cake, a piece of candy, and I like to watch football on Sundays.

TLW likes things to be the same, safe and familiar. I like to shake it up once-in-a-while. She likes to stay home and watch TV since she started working. I like to go out and do something, since I retired.

When it comes to cooking, she doesn’t like to fuss, I do. She likes scotch; I like bourbon. And so, the differences go on.

In the 37 years we have been married, she has never downplayed my preferences; I hope I have never downplayed hers. The interesting thing is we make sure that we each respect the preferences of the other.

There are some things we agree on: types of vacations and restaurants, Types and styles of foods, and an overall conservative lifestyle. I guess the differences don’t outweigh the preferences so much as they compliment them. I would think that if she were too much like me, she would be boring!

But I must say, she has the most kissable lips, and sexy phone voice I ever heard! Her uncle once remarked she had an angelic face! She does, but she can scares the Hell out of me.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita. Thanks, it’s good to think about someone once-in-a-while, even strangers. I’m sure you will be paid back.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today is a bad day. Today I have to sit in the dentist chair and open my mouth for an hour.

What will I say? Nothing!

Root canal.

Can you say root canal, boys and girls?

Not while you’re having it.

Being a married man, opening my mouth is a lost art. Having something to say is forever gone! Every wife’s dream is to have her husband with his mouth opened and nothing to say. And he better not!

TLW (The Little Woman) said I should get in touch with my cardiologist and tell him about the root canal because according to her, I have a leaky valve in my heart. (It’s my dog, not me.)

Now I have a wonderful Sicilian Sister In-Law (SSIL) aka Angela. SSIL is very thoughtful, and has demonstrated that in the past time after time. Yesterday she sent me an entire article in the Washington Post about shoulder pain and the theory of the author that the computer mouse causes it!

Yesterday I got the results of some x-rays I had taken on my right shoulder. Let me explain it to you the way they explained it to me.

1. Moderate glenohumeral osteoarthritis.
2. Suspected calcific tendinopathy at supraspinatus tendon insertion.

What does all that mean? It means that it hurts in the right shoulder, I’m getting old, to shut up and take an aspirin and go get the root canal. It also means I have to go to an orthopedic surgeon next week.

Then I have to go home and pack for Albany. Yes, after the heat and humidity of Florida, I go to Albany and the cold. It will probably snow, my root canal will hurt, as will my shoulder, and I will go home to hope. That is, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of sweet vermouth, that I will skillfully mix and drown my sorrows. I won’t get drunk, Ma.

Please remember my good buddies Joan and Anita.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Since I had a bad experience with the woman dentist and she was going to be busy anyway (Halloween), I demanded a new dentist and got one.

Taking me into the examining room and after a few x-rays, this nice woman introduces herself as my ‘dental hygienist,’

Still I sat in the barber’s chair, she swings over her little dish with the instruments and I open my mouth. It has been some time since a woman asked ME, to open my mouth.

No Novocain, she began to pick up her tools with the aplomb of a Parkinson’s patient and… PARKINSON’S PATIENT!

Hovering over me, her hand danced, little shivers that swayed back and forth, the metal prick that she held in her hand, catching sparkling flashes from the overhead lamp.

Suddenly. Harvey Korman and Tim Conway immediately came to mind! Her head started to quiver, and down my throat, she went once more. Pricking the gums: chips of tartar and big blocks of teeth, flying across my face.

As I rinsed my mouth, big clots of blood spilled out, starting to clog the little drain in the spit sink.

“Blood, there is a lot of blood!” I cried.

“Yes, a LOT of blood!” she quivered.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


She sits inside a small busy city block, along Atlantic Avenue in Del Ray Beach, Florida. Her majestic presence is apparent by the blood-red canopies that adorn the three openings on the front of the building. A small sign is all there is to announce who she is. She is a beautiful modest lady, old and maybe tired, but proud.

As you enter the building of the Colony Hotel, you suddenly hear echoes from the distant past. She sings sweet songs of leisurely days spent under the ceiling fans that hang from all her ceilings. Her floors squeaking from the many happy feet that trod through the years, the depression, the war years, the fifties and sixties, right up to this very day.

I could almost see Bogart sitting at one of the many little tables on the veranda, in his wicker chair, smoke from his cigarette curling up into the slow motion of the fans, a bourbon sitting on the table, as he looked into the eyes of a beautiful woman. The ever-present heat, the sun sitting in a blue field of sky, framing the outside, finished a feeling of calm and serenity.

Her halls, all waiting for someone to occupy one of the many old rooms, the floors, giving way ever so slightly from the many visitors that traveled over her wooden strips. Her elevator, the only one in the house, faces the front desk, operated by a person, who smiles at you when she takes you to your floor. The help, like the check-in person who registered us, accompanied us up to our room, telling us all we wanted to know, about the grand old lady. She listened in on that conversation, lending her own testimonial by what we saw of her. An old phone booth, an old switchboard that occupied a small space that reminded us of yesteryear, of innocent days gone by, forever.

This is the Colony Hotel.

Our room was comfortable and charming. It took me back to my childhood. Looking at the doors and woodwork, the old bed board and dresser, I suddenly remembered events of long ago. I could recall places and people that occupied them, and could hear bits of what they said in those places.

There is a certain romance in things old. They tell a story by the way they look. You are invited to use your own imagination and create your own drama. You can ‘see’ events unfold, that happened decades ago, maybe even hundreds of years ago. Then you look at old people, and wonder what kind of story they could tell you, and what stories you will tell some day.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.


It was Sunday morning in Del Ray, Florida. TLW (The Little Woman) and me got up early to enjoy a cup of coffee at this wonderful old hotel of which I write later about. It has an old elevator that requires an operator, who wasn’t present about six in the morning.

Down the old staircase we went, with me wearing my DelBloggolo T-shirt that #1 Son had made for me. At the end of the first flight was a woman in her PJ’s and wearing a robe and a smile, heading up the staircase. We all stopped, TLW after passing the woman, and me following from the top of the staircase. We all exchanged greetings for the hour, and the woman said to TLW: “Are you TLW?” Now mind you, my shirt says: “DelBloggolo, Editor-In-Chief”!

I don’t mind being overlooked sometimes, but really. “Are you TLW?” It turns out the lovely lady is, named Nancy, and is a big fan of the blog! I’ll overlook the overlook for any fan. Better still, she was the sister of one of my Brother-in-Laws, a real gentleman named Don.

We were all attending a wedding for my older sister Joanne’s first born and only son: David. Nancy was like finding a million dollars during the Great Depression! She was seated at the table with my Mom who is 90 and her baby sister, my Aunt Marie who is 86. I don’t think Nancy could be a day over 30. This wonderful sparkling lady, sat with two older people and entertained them. If that wasn’t enough, she was helping Mom get around, assisting her under one arm like it was her own Mom she was attending to!

One of the things that makes her special, not because she IS a fan of the blog, but she has the very qualities that TLW possesses. All three sisters of mine fell in love with her, and if you ask me, we should all adopt her into the family.

We do have Don, so why not make it even more special. A great gal, a great heart, and MSF (My Special Friend), Nancy.

Thanks Nancy from all Moms kids.

Please remember my friends Joan and Anita.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Writing a novel is hard work. First, there is the premise, then the outline. Then there is the point of view and the tone that dictates the flow. With the writing is the research.

Countless hours at the library, coupled with the Internet and my own material, go hand and hand with the rewrite.

Sound like fun? It is! Great fun, that makes you disciplined and focused. I don’t know if it will ever get published, both by my intentions or the fact that it is good enough, but I know I enjoy it. Just like this blog, I have a compulsion to write, and write I will, if only for myself.

Any art is like life itself. If you find someone special, you make a lifetime commitment and off you go. So, it is with art. You can’t help but want to create, just as you would love someone. Off you go and you become involved.

Please remember my pals Anita and Joan.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Every time I go to the library, I go to this particular room. The room has about 10 to 12 large tables that have both plug-ins for power and Internet connections. I usually sit at the first available table that is free. I open my laptop and begin working on my novel. I go there, as a way of disciplining myself, almost like a job, in which to finish this project. After 36 chapters, I’m about three quarters of the way through.

Each and every time I’ve been to the library, I see this gentleman who is about mid fifties, in the same spot, same table, day after day. His opened Mac laptop is sitting in front of him, and he is peering into it in deep concentration. He sports a salt and pepper beard, somewhat like mine, and he is slightly overweight. His dress is very casual, shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers.

As I begin to open up for business, I often wonder what he does on that laptop. Is he a writer, or researcher, or maybe a college professor? He could be an analyzer of cultural trends or a scientist. Whatever he is, he looks like he’s doing important work. I feel somewhat inadequate writing my novel near such “industrialist” (is there such a word?) presence!

Finally, last week, I could stand the curiosity no longer! I decided to go to the men’s room and cast a peek over his shoulder, on the way. Casually I rose from my chair, and slowly sauntered over to his table from behind him. As I approached, I peeked into his screen, and as I got closer, I began to discern what looked like a graph of some sort, and he was pecking on his keys, carefully! Now my curiosity was at its apex, as I honed in on him.

It seems everyday, that man sits there. And every day I check on his body of work, sitting in that same spot, daily, for hours on end. He is indeed a dedicated individual, and his game is –Sudoku!

Please remember my pals Anita and Joan.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Life can be very interesting.

We are planning a trip to Florida, and one of the things I have to do is get my pills in order. This is because I’m an old fart.

I have a weekly pill case, which separates my daily regimen into 7 days. Each day has a compartment. TLW, (The Little Woman) has one too. That is because she er… needs it.

Well, a few days ago she got her pills all together for the week to come. I, on the other hand, was minding my business, thinking of how to make the world a better place.

TLW: “Ah, I have all my pills ready for next week, and YOU don’t! I know how anal you get when it comes to your pills!”

She was bugging me! She was dancing on my grave so to speak! Rubbing it in. Admiring her home run, dancing in the end zone!

I never knew it bothered her! I wondered why. Then I decided to come up with some ideas why.

1. She really thinks I’m perfect.
2. She admires my efficiency.
3. She wishes she could be like me.

All you married men out there-heed my advice. Humor her. Why do married men die before their wives? They want to.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Every now and then, when TLW (The Little Woman) and I visit with family, she will ask me to relate some event that happened to me. It usually goes like this:

TLW: “That happened to Joe. Joe, tell them about it.”
Me: “Well, I…”
TLW: “This is really weird!”
Me: “Yah, I er…”
TLW: “It happened right in the middle of our trip!”
Me: “ Ah, I was”
TLW: “He was driving along, go ahead Joe.”
Me: Yes, Yes, I was driving al…”
TLW: “ And the GPS was taking us off the road, Joe?”
Me: “ Uh huh, taking us off the …”
TLW: “We kept getting off the main highway”
Me: “You wanna tell it?”
TLW: “No, you tell it, you tell it so well.”
Me: “OK, so…”
TLW: “Don’t forget what you said.”
Me: “As I was about to say…”
TLW: “Tell them why we kept getting off the road because of the GPS!”
Me: “We kept”
TLW: “The GPS was set on scenic route!”

I am a man with an economy of words. Don’t need to say much, really all I have to do is add a word here or there, and the rest falls into place!

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The other day I was helping TLW (The Little Woman) clean the kitchen. As you must all know by now, I have tendonitis in my right shoulder and arm, or so the doctor says.

As I moved about, the need to compensate for movement was there. I kind of sneaked up on each movement, thinking before hand how to do it. I complained to TLW, and she made a recommendation.

“You should study John McCain. Watch how he moves. He never moves his arms over his head.” She said. “But he got that way from torture in North Vietnam. You got that way from my torturing you.”

Responding I said; “You’d think I’d get a little sympathy?”

“What do you mean, I’m sympathetic!”

“I retorted: “Not you, I mean the public in general for living with you.”

Flowers may be sent to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, but I don’t know which room yet.

Please remember my buddies Joan and Anita.


It was a Tuesday in early October of 1955. I was home from school for some reason, and the day I dreaded most: the seventh game of the World Series!

Every year that the Dodgers were in a World Series, they faced the hated Yankees. It didn’t help that my two best friends, Anthony and Michael were Yankee fans, and to have to lose to the Yankees was too much to bear.

I watched the pre-game interview that was conducted by Mel Allen of Jackie Robinson at Yankee Stadium. Jackie was a source of pride for Brooklyn. We were the good guys, we had the first black ballplayer, we kicked racism in its’ pants. We were the Brooklyn Dodgers! He would electrify the sport, and transform baseball into the most exciting past time for the poor working class of America.

The Dodgers were the hard working blue-collar steamfitter, carpenter or plumber, the guy that worked hard in a factory, the laborer. He yelled his head off and screamed at his Dodgers, hooting and hollering, he lived and died for his Dodgers. “DEM BUMS!”

Of course, there was the Yankee fan. White collar, felt hat and tie and jacket. He politely clapped for his Yankees. He was Wall Street. He was boring!

Dodger fans had Pee Wee, Skoonj, The Duke, Jackie, Junior and Mr. Hodges, not to mention Campy. The hated Yankees had, Mantle Skowren, Rizzuto and the closest to being a Dodger in nature, Yogi.

Johnny Podres started that game for Brooklyn, and we hung on every pitch. It was like Brooklyn, hanging on every paycheck. We held our breath as the young southpaw delivered pitch after pitch. We also learned to hold it in for nine innings.

The question was: what will go wrong? What will change our good fortune to misfortune?

In the top of the Fourth, we got a run, then in the sixth another! Could we dare to hold on? Could we withstand another Mickey Owens miscue? What would happen and when? We expected to have our hearts broken. We almost demanded that they break our hearts. Yet, strangely enough, we hoped to somehow prevail. Shhh! We were winning 2-0! Shhhh.

Then in the bottom of the sixth, Jim Gilliam moved from leftfield to second, and reserve outfielder, a Cuban import, Sandy Amoros replaced Gilliam in left. The hated Yankees came to bat. Billy Martin drew a leadoff walk and Gil McDougald bunted for a single moving the runner into scoring position. The bad Yankees were about to unhinge my Dodgers once again! Yogi Berra sliced a long drive just inside the left field foul pole but Sandy Amoros charged the line making a spectacular outstretched glove-hand catch, then followed with a picture perfect relay to Pee Wee - who went to Hodges - who caught McDougald at 1st, DOUBLE PLAY!

But it wasn’t over ‘till the fat lady sung, which she did loud and clear in the bottom of the ninth! WORLD CHAMPIONS! WE WON! WE WON! And it was the only time we ever won, the Yankees went right back to beating us one more time in 1956.

So, I live that past glory, every year at this time. Forever etched in my mind, and so I adopted the Boston Red Sox to taunt the NY Yankees in the American League, in place of my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers.


Please remember my buddies Joan and Anita.

Monday, October 06, 2008


The clan will gather this weekend in West Palm Beach for the wedding of my nephew David. David was adopted from a nice Jewish family (which explains the name David) by one of my older sisters, Joanne.

The Matriarch, Mother Olympia, all 90 years of her, and her baby sister Marietta, 86 and available will attend the festivities. They will reserve their comments for after the wedding, when no one is around.

Gathering at this festive occasion will be the ones from Sayville. That is John and big Sis Tess. Yes, Tessie has been married to John well over 43 years, and has yet to make him crack a smile or his wallet open! A genial fellow by nature, he comes with a serious side. Two extra long kielbasas that he will instruct the cook to heat up, and will then gather the left over’s for the ride home. Tessie has been “warming up” for this event since Saturday from what I gather of her email to everyone. (“fun, fun, fun.”) Her warm up comes in a bottle of dry white, as in wine.

Then there is Crazy Uncle Joe. This character has been around for a long time and is starting to stink. We are not sure if it is a bad case of old age flatulence or the body has finally decomposed. He has been preserved in a pickling solution of Jack Daniels and Martini and Rossi sweet vermouth. Accompanying the old fart will be his lovely wife, TLW (The Little Woman). TLW will smile and quietly zing her old man and remember EVERYTHING, which she will save and bring up to him on his deathbed.

Not to miss a thing, the Connecticut arm of the clan. Tom, the other half of the Polish influence, will sing his all time favorite; “By Me A Pork Chop” both in Polish and English, however with a Connecticut accent. (Did you ever hear a Pole speak in Polish with a Connecticut accent?) Accompanying him is my older Sister Nippy, sometimes known as Fran, and sometimes known to conduct classes even if she is retired, stuck on the Connecticut turnpike. She got the name Nippy from a previous job as a test pilot for Cutty Sark.

Rounding out the assemblage is another older sister, MaryAnn. MaryAnn will fly in, the question being is: how. The conventional way most people do it, or her usual conventional way, on her broom. Mary as she likes to be called, can out talk anyone in the family. In fact, she is the only one who doesn’t drink, being how it is impossible to do both at the same time.

Well, I wrote it, and I guess I have to pay. But hey, what the hell.

We have another older sister, Joan, who was adopted by the family when she was left on the doorstep. We knew she was there because the cat wouldn’t go out and was afraid that day.

You may send flowers directly to the beach where the funeral will take place, directly following the wedding ceremony of David and Kim.

Please remember my pals, Joan and Anita in a short prayer.

Thanks, and I think, ‘goodbye!’


What you see is a part of my standard everyday uniform as a kid. The object of my affection is called US Keds sneakers. They weren’t tennis shoes; they weren’t walking shoes. They didn’t light up when you walked, and no one indorsed his own brand.

Along with the footwear was a pair of dungarees, there where no such things as jeans. You wore a polo shirt over you t-shirt, and you were set for a day in the street with your friends!

Thanks to my buddy Jim Pantelano, (Thanks a million Jim) once again. From my September 24th comments Jim wrote; “On summer days we hit the street at 8 am in regulation uniform: dungarees (not jeans) and Keds sneakers.”

When my boys were growing up, I asked the older guy if he had a pair of shoes. He looked confused, and TLW (The Little Woman) said: “No”. I was amazed!

I owned one pair of shoes for school and church, and sneakers that I wore out constantly. They made your feet sweat a lot, but they were what the pro basketball players wore. You didn’t have fancy athletic socks; you wore your everyday socks in them.

I don’t recall Mom ever washing the things, she threw them out and a new pair were gotten for about $10.

The best part of all this growing up was there was no designer to profit by the kids trying to wear what was the latest or coolest. No peer pressure.

Please try to remember my pals Joan and Anita.


Sunday, October 05, 2008


Every final Tuesday of the month, the Board of Director’s of AHRC Suffolk meet at 6:30 pm to hear our Executive Director report to us about the past month’s business. We hear from the various committee heads and all pertinent business as needed is discussed.

We have in attendance, a very efficient and professional secretary to the Board. She takes short hand notes where she also plays as back up, a small recording device. Her name is Lynn Xystris, an extremely bright lady that everyone loves.

This past Tuesday night, Lynn was absent from the meeting, fighting chicken pox! It was early on, before the meeting was scheduled to start. I was present to sign some checks, and the President of the Board, Fred Salzberg was present, along with Joe Mammolito, Executive Director.

Joe Mammolito, was left with the recording device. He fiddled with it, showed it to Fred Salzberg, who passed it back to Joe with no luck as they tried to get it to work. Joe handed it to me and said: “Here, you’re a teckie, you try it.” I tried and could not get it to do anything either. We were desperate, since the meeting was scheduled to start in 15 minutes! What to do? We even looked out the window for a passing teenager, but weren’t in an ideal neighborhood for that.

In exasperation, one of us suggested we call Lynn in her sick bed. Off Joe goes to call Lynn.

10 minutes later Joe returns. Holding up the little gadget he smiles and sheepishly says: “You have to turn the ‘on’ button on to get it to work!”

Please say a little prayer for my buddies Joan and Anita. Thanks if you do.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Tendonitis. But he’s not sure. That’s what the Doctor told me. He put down his spear and rattle, after shaking it over me and said I will probably need to see an Orthopedic for future diagnosis. Meanwhile, I have to go for x-rays on Tuesday morning.

Boy, all I wanted was a pill for arthritis, this turns out to be a full-blown deal!

I wish for once he would tell me I’m too skinny and need to eat more. Maybe my blood alcohol level is too low, and should concentrate on raising it. Maybe I should get more sleep. You know, all the good diseases are taken!

It is very deceptive this Tendonitis. He gave me a cortisone shot and said it would take a while to help, but it is only a temporary fix. I woke up this morning, not feeling too bad, then stretched out my arm to put on a shirt, and the pain shot right to my fingertips! OOOOOH!

It destroys a good nights sleep, as you roll over to the right, it wakes you up. Poor TLW (The Little Woman), I’m becoming a burden already to her. If I were she, I’d shoot me while I was sleeping. But she should use rubber sheets so she can readily clean up the mess.

I go to scratch my head as #2 Son tries to explain something that he thinks makes sense, and I have to switch hands, being right handed. I’m becoming ambidextrous in a hurry! I can still write, but he thinks it all came about by years on the computer mouse, having it raised above elbow level. He said I have to have my arms where my wrists are lower than my elbows.

The doctor said I should just rest the shoulder for a while until he gets a definitive answer to my plight. So you can all call me lefty.

Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Having had a bad night because of my arm hurting so much, I barely managed to get through my shower and dressed. Coming down stairs, I notice no sound coming from the TV! Usually, TLW (The Little Woman) sits and watches the news.

Now, before I go further, let me state that my TV, Tivo, DVD Player, and cable box all have their own separate remote. To add more confusion, we purchased a universal remote that operates most of the junk. But it wasn’t enough. We decided to get a set of wireless speakers to add to the wires behind the TV. When working, the transmitter that sits next to the TV has a blue light on, as do the two speakers.

Not feeling alive or interested in life, all I wanted was a cup of coffee. But I noticed the TLW was at the height of alertness.

TLW: “The speakers aren’t working!”
Me: Picking up a newspaper with a cup of coffee in my hand, “Oh!”
TLW: “Yes, the transmitter’s blue light isn’t on.”

TLW spends the next half hour checking speaker wires, input settings on the TV, different volume controls on all the remotes, and still no luck.

The modern world of electronics was winning, and I didn’t give a darn. All I wanted was coffee. I wanted to read the paper and take the moment slowly.


Now not to sound vulgar, but TLW is not composed of blood. No, she is composed of piss and vinegar! Like a mountain lion on an antelope’s back, she tore into the problem. Testing every remote and their settings. Finally, she played with the sound settings and discovered that someone (#2 Son) had accidentally hit a button that caused the speakers not to work.

As she leaves for work, I thank her for her troubles.

“No problem.” She said.

Sure, she just loves to meet electronic challenges.

Remember my pals Joan and Anita, just a little prayer.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


My doctor’s appointment fell through. I called for an appointment last Saturday, and the gal on the phone gave me Monday at 12:30.

I show up, after spending the whole weekend in pain and announce myself to the desk. She says: “Who?”

I think this is no time to play out some catchy phrase. I repeat myself, and she looks puzzled. She starts to look at her appointment book, a frown covering her face, She asks for assistance. Another genius comes over and checks, no dice.

“Did we confirm the appointment? You know we usually confirm the appointment the day before.”

I say: “I made the appointment on Saturday, Sunday I went to church. You didn’t leave a message on the machine. Today is Monday, just like you said. In fact, I’m early!”

“Well we can’t make it until Thursday at 2:00 PM.”


Gee, I’m sorry, but that is the earliest we can fit you in.”

“Maybe you should check next year’s calendar, maybe that is where she put it.” I took an appointment card and walked out.

Dumb Asses!

Please remember my buddies Joan and Anita.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


The other night, #1 Son called from LA and spoke with his Mother, my first wife, TLW (The Little Woman.) I was watching a ballgame that directly affected the Mets fortunes, but it was not a Mets game.

#1 Son asked her if I was watching this particular game and she said; “Yes.”

When she hung up the conversation turned to whether or not #1 Son has a satellite dish or a very nice cable package. She said he has a satellite dish, I said he has a cable hookup. We argued back and forth and she picks up the phone to settle the argument. #1 Son asks on the phone, what I thought and what TLW thought and she hung up.

HE HAS A SATELLITE DISH! (Looking both triumphant and smug.)

I don’t believe her. I think I don’t believe #1 Son either. I think he likes his Mother better than me. Had she said cable, he would have cable and not a satellite dish! Sons tend to favor their Mothers.

The reason they have Father’s Day is because it is an afterthought. The Department of Holidays figured,: “Hey, we got what we want, Mother’s Day, to keep the old crank from complaining we’ll have a Father’s Day, AFTER Mother’s Day. Let’s not get carried away, Mother’s Day rules.”

The three biggest words in the child’s vocabulary are: “DON’T, TELL, DADDY.” When #2 Son gets up in the afternoon he says: “Where’s Mom?” During the day it is; “When is Mom getting home?” When he calls from the outside it’s, “Put Mom on the phone.”

When I die, I’m not telling them where I’m buried.

Please remember my buddies Joan and Anita.

Thanks for your time.