DelBloggolo

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!

So another year is drawn to a close! People will join tonight and tip one last one for 2008. For me, it has been an interesting year. I met some nice people that made my year. One of them is MSF (My Special Friend) Nancy. A great gal I wrote about in October, after attending a wedding in Florida. We wanted to invite her to our Annual Christmas Eve dinner, but she lives too far away. Another is Santo and his beautiful wife Carole, who we met in the Long Island Mac Arthur Airport, then again in Arizona, this past January! Finally, there was Jim Pantaleno, from my old neighborhood, school and a fellow blogger (http://spaldeendreams.blogspot.com). Read him, it’s good for your health; well being and can cure what ails you!

Of course making new friends does not preclude mentioning and thanking the old ones in readership, but young in spirit and mind. There is MFF (My Favorite Fan) Laura, my sunshine gal. Having MFF read is enough for me to continue writing. There is Jan Spauldeen. Jan is my buddy from PCH, and a great person to know when you need a laugh. Married to Spin, she teaches me what true love means between a couple. Not to be out done, there is Carole and Joe Sapienza, from PCH, who moved to Arizona, and the state of the State was raised considerably by their presence. Of course, there is also the Lovely Carole and her husband, MMB (My Man Bill), my next door neighbors. I will say this without reservation; they are the best neighbors one could possibly have. I love them both, and hope they live a hundred years! Then there is one of my oldest readers in terms of readership: Steve Philp. (http://sphilp.blogspot.com). Steve’s blog will give you a smile, and good teeth, let alone a healthy heart! The Fab Five from California, #1 Son’s and Mine’s good friends, and the Molaro Family, and last but certainly not least, Lois (Toots II) for your readership. To Maureen, Angela, Sara Mrs. Garrity and all my in-laws that read and haven’t tried to convince TLW to leave me, thanks! To Phil, my best man, is there any other? Then there are my sisters, Tessie (Older, much older), and my other older sisters of the covenant: Fran, Mary Ann and Joanne, I love you all. Finally, TLW, (The Little Woman), #1 Son and #2 Son for their support and understanding in letting an old man write.

I know I left some of you out! Not on purpose, but because there are many now. To all of you: THANK YOU FOR READING, AND PLEASE CONTINUE. I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, AND SEND THOSE COMMENTS, I DON’T CARE IF YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE, SEND THEM.

I’m hoping that this year, I can continue to write and be spontaneous in the blog. I invite anyone to write as a guest, and it will go in unedited and uncensored.

The blog has a mission-to write how I feel on any given day, any given subject. I believe that you write about the good in people, before they reach the grave. Because we are so competitive, we lose sight of the fact that there are good people that need to be recognized, and appreciated. Of course as a group, be it in politics, sports, religion or any field, collectively, we make mistakes. That is something I WILL comment on. But religion and politics, I don’t comment on.

So, pray for all those that need our prayers. For people like Joan, and DD, and all the sick of this world, you are not alone. There are those out there that will pull for you in your time of crises. To the families of those who are helping to fight, remember that we all need each other, this is a cold world, which only warm hearts and helping hands can conquer.

P.S. Some websites to read: (http://www.thesneeze.com/) and (http://www.forgotten-ny.com/) and most importantly; (http://www.ahrcsuffolk.org/)

FINDING THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT


Right before Christmas, TLW (The Little Woman) and I had an opportunity to go to the Patchogue Theatre to see a Christmas Show. What made it special was we met up with three people that helped make the day special.

As you know, TLW works in a wanna-be bank, TFCU in Bohemia, along with her look and sound alike pal: Lois, or Toots 2. Along with Toots2 were 2 new people I met for the first time: Bill and Pat Weiper. Pat is a co-worker of TLW andToots2. Meeting in the theatre lobby, we split up the tickets, and since I was the funny looking one, had to sit alone, separated on the other side of the theatre.

The show itself was well produced, with a history of the Holidays through the years, hitting on the 20’s, 30’s 40’s and up to the present year.

After the show, we all went to a little Italian restaurant for dinner called: Mangia, Mangia. For you non-Italians, it means: ‘your stomach is empty, do something about it already!’

There were six of us, TLW, Lois, Bill, Pat, me and: a small fruit fly that had everyone doing strange things with their hands.

It turns out that Pat and her husband made my holiday! They set me up to feel good about the crowds, the rush and the bother, lending their cheerfulness to the start of my holiday. They are a nice couple, and I hope to know them better and see them again. Maybe when we have Toots 2, Jo-Ellen and Seth Smith for dinner, we will ask that Pat and Bill join us.

Pat is a cheerful lady, prone to smiling and laughter, and Bill, a guy with a good sense of humor and worth. I think when they meet Jo-Ellen and Seth, a certain chemistry will be evident. Stay tuned.

Please remember those who need our prayer and hope, as do Joan and DD.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?


I first met him when he was about 7 or 8-years old. He was sitting with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday in 1970 at my in-laws. Wearing a plaid shirt, and corduroy’s, he also wore a smile that said, “Hey, nice to meet you.”

He didn’t seek anyone’s attention, just politely watched as I was introduced around. He was on his way to becoming one of the most complete gentlemen I have ever known.

If you wonder why I never mentioned him before, it is his fault. He is too quiet, too modest, and just a great person. Class comes in many forms. You beat someone in sports, you don’t rub it in, you part from a partner, and you do it gently with compassion. This man is the embodiment of class, just his being.

If you need help, a friend, maybe even money, he will quietly help. In 38 years, I don’t think he ever offered to speak about himself. He listens, and he smiles, a good smile, one of comfort and grace.

Who is he? He is TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) nephew, Stephen. The good son of Maureen and Steve Gilardi, whenever his Dad needs help in the world of programming, he calls on an expert, his only son, an expert, who learned from his Dad.

The 28th was Stephen’s birthday. Stephen is special to everyone, while Stephen treats everyone special. If you don’t know Stephen, I’m sorry for you, you are missing one of the nicest people you could ever know!

I thought Stephen’s birthday was the 30th, but I was wrong, it is the 28th!

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, STEPHEN!
Love, Aunt Ellen, Uncle Joe, Ellen, Anthony and Mike!

Monday, December 29, 2008

#2 BECOMES 21


Yes, that time of life has arrived! #2 Son is now officially responsible for himself. No more worrying about ‘what if’s. Yes, he now is an adult; no more guardianship is necessary, no more chastising, and no more children!

The time comes quickly. There is no time out’s; time continues to march on. Children become independent by the sheer magic of the law.

The possibilities are huge, we can charge him for his room, he can sign IOU’s when he “Borrows”, and he can find another place to live, leaving it serene and neat for TLW (The Little Woman) and me.

Of course, all our children, as adults are more than welcomed here. They are after all, our children. There is always a safe haven for them, but by nature, I insist it be by my rules, it is my house, TLW’s house, our house.

So Michael, with optimism we wish you a Happy Birthday, and a long life. One that is filled with productivity, longevity, wise, smart decisions, and, take it like a man!

Please remember all those that need our prayers and hope, particularly Joan and DD.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

THAT SPECIAL DAY

Growing up in Brooklyn was not an easy task. First there was my Mom, Lena as they called her, Olympia was her real name. She made sure I toed the line, behaved and paid dearly for all my sins. Our shoes were polished; shirt was clean and starched, and blue tie in place as I was merrily sent off to Our Lady of Lourdes School on Aberdeen Street. Her only admonishment was: “If the teacher disciplines you, when you get home, you will get the rest!” Sobering words that I still live by, somehow.

Pop on the other hand, although short tempered at times, never got too deep into my personal life, handing out dimes on his way to the little store he ran in the front of my Grandmother’s house on Fulton Street, after I would ask him. His family, the Dodgers and the New York Laboratory and Supply Company were his life, along with Olympia’s Gift Shop. He sold house wares, lamps, vases and candy and Italian ices, among other things.

In the summer, to get us out of the city, and since we were so poor we couldn’t afford a vacation, Dad and Mom sent us to visit relatives in Patchogue. The admonishment then changed to: “Behave, or else!” Mom had a way with words, which got the point across.

My sister Tessie would go to My Dad’s sister, Aunt Angie’s house, and I was always sent to my Uncle Joe’s house, who I didn’t particularly like. Uncle Joe was my Dad’s brother, who married my Mom’s sister Aunt Tessie.

Uncle Joe, although he did do a lot to entertain me, circus, airport, and crabbing, along with visits to his job, the Long Island Railroad was always on a short fuse.

Tessie got the good vacation, because she was my parent’s favorite. Tessie went to Aunt Angie, a great cook, and a generous heart. She would see me, and buy me ice cream or give me candy and say: “Don’t tell your uncle.” She was neat!

Once a year there was some occasion where the whole family went to Patchogue. We would climb into Dad’s car and off we went after Sunday Mass. It seemed the Mass would go on forever! Then they made us go to our classroom to report that we went to Mass and received Holy Communion. When you are dying to get out of the city, see your cousins, and visit the country, it was a real pain in the butt! I swore they were being spiteful.

Once we were on our way, I looked for the signs we were getting near. A sign for the town of West Islip on the Southern State Parkway, the old lace mill in Patchogue, and finally the lumber yard of Main Street, before we finally turned and saw the old shack on the corner of Norton Street, where my cousin’s lived.

It is sad how those days are no longer present. How a childish memory of good times seems to be like a new coin, losing its luster and detail with age. I guess we do too. Our luster and detail seems to diminish, as we get older.

Whenever I see a sister of mine, or one of my children, I always seem to recall some incident in their childhood, and I relish those moments.

Thanks to Jim Pantaleno at spaldeendreams.blogspot.com for the photo of Our Lady of Lourdes in Brooklyn, where I was taught to write legibly.

Please remember to say a little prayer, even a one word two words one for those you care about, like I do. Joan and DD.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

AND SO IT GOES


I just ended my physical therapy sessions. It really didn’t help, but in the end, that is secondary. What is good is I met some nice people that concerned themselves about someone else’s health.

We go through life, and we stare at strangers, look cross-eyed at people we think wronged us, and forget all the good that people are capable of doing.

In the course of the therapy sessions, six women shared a laugh, told me a little about themselves, and allowed me to tell them about me. There were strangers when I met them, and in five years, they will probably be strangers once again. That is sad, but then again, that is life. I may see one somewhere, think: ‘I know that person from somewhere!’ but will not ask where.

Sometimes I see people and think that he or she would make a great friend. I don’t bother because many people don’t want to be friends, and feel strangers are an intrusion to their perfect lives. Too bad, I love meeting people and love to share a laugh. It beats any alternatives.

If I didn’t have that attitude, just think what I may have missed! I would never have met TLW (The Little Woman), or my best friend, Phil. I would have missed out on meeting my in-laws and Phil’s family. I ask you to take a moment to remember people that I know, some well, some not so well. Why? Because it could be me, or God forbid, you, or someone YOU love. It must feel lonely to ail so acutely, to suffer and fear what may lie ahead. So we should pray. Even if we don’t think there is a God, we should at least hope.

Please remember my pals Joan, DD and all those we need to hope and pray for.

Friday, December 26, 2008

AN EPIDEMIC!


It’s the day after Christmas. The dinners are all gone, the presents unwrapped and the guests are all departed. So what do we do? Why have another Polish birthday party, that’s what!

It is not enough to have a Polish brother-in-law; you really need a set, made in the same month. So, without further ado, may I reintroduce, John, the Polish Prince of the prim and proper?

There is something about Polish brother-in-laws that sits well. I don’t know if it is the easygoing nature, or the generosity, or just the fact that they are good people. I feel I’ve known John All my life! Then when I have a cold, I feel that I’ve had that too, all my life! But all kidding aside, it is true. He has been like an old shoe that you keep around. Always comfortable and always reliable, he is a model father, grandfather and husband.

I kid him because he is Polish, and he takes it in good nature. He is the most practical guy I know. As I said in the past, he has survived living with Lucy Ricardo all these years with just a few pounds added and a little hair subtracted. Retired now, he counts his blessings and his money, as he showed me how to get three cups of tea from the same tea bag, taking a piece of sliced bread, and butterflying it to make a sandwich, and using both sides of the Kleenex, all in the name of saving$. He has three great kids, (see August 27th, 2006 blog) with grandchildren and a house full of people every Christmas Eve. He also sleeps with his golf clubs and his money. Oh, before I forget, he has a great recipe for steak!

So, without further ado,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

IT HAPPENED EVERY YEAR!


It was the day before Christmas, about 3:30 pm, of every year. The doorbell would ring, and Mom would ring her bell button in the kitchen wall and allow Dad to enter the inner doors down stairs in our apartment building.

Slowly, Dad would climb the two flights of stairs to our third floor apartment. Leading Dad was a Christmas tree he had purchased on his way home from a half day of work.

Christmas Eve was full of many traditions in our family. There was the Christmas Eve fish dinner, the decorating of the tree, the midnight mass Mom went to, final present wrapping. But the one tradition that we all dreaded was the tree Dad brought home.

The tree was something that Dad felt was a responsibility. Get it the last minute and it would be cheap. His plan worked like a charm, except for one thing. IT WAS THE WORST TREE GOD HAD GROWN!

I know it sounds harsh, but it was so. The tree had TB or was dying of malnutrition, while balding quickly. As Dad ascended the stairway, the tree leading, the clearer he became behind the tree. We could pretty well know where he purchased the tree by following the fallen pine needles!

Well, Dad would proudly lean the scrawny tree in the little corner between the dining room and the parlor. It was shorter than I was, and I was between 3 and 9 years of age! But that did not end the tradition. We still had to take out the metal stand, the scene from Bethlehem, Mom’s relic of Bethlehem in a frame, and the lights. Topping the tree was a metal five-pointed star. A big fat pointed multi-colored bulb terminated each point on the star. Those very same pointed bulbs would be strung throughout the tree, on a black and white fabric covered wire.

After we set the tree up, wired it and topped it off, Pop would take out the bulbs. They were the same bulbs, every year, and round, nothing fancy. But yet the final tradition of the tree was about to unfold.

Now my sister Tess is basically a good person. She gets right into things, the spirit and all, and tradition is her middle name. But we still had to do the tinsel, and Tess was about to do her tradition. Dragging in a chair from the kitchen, she would grab a handful of tinsel and toss it up on the top of the tree. From down where I was it was impressive. But what really impressed me, every year, year after year, was how she fell off the chair and knocked down the tree! Truly magnificent! And every year, Dad would in his own way, state his appreciation, and I quote: “&^$&^^*&(&%^$^%$ &T$^&^*<, *)(&^%$^&$%i!” Yes, Dad was impressed too!

Every year at this time, when I decorate my own tree, I stick it in the tree stand, and for old times sake, knock it down. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.

So, this year I want to thank all my loyal friends and relatives, and if by chance, I don’t know you, I hope this holiday seasons is the best yet for all of you. May your tree or Chanukah bush stand straight and tall, and never fall. To my Jewish friends, let’s hope for peace and tolerance from all. To my Christian friends, remember what the holiday means, and let’s try to practice it. To black, yellow and white alike: Peace!

I will take the day of Christmas off, and be back on the 26th.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Please remember Joan and DD, and those of us who need our prayers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WHEN WILL IT END?

Once in the Arrivals portion of JetBlue, my next major task is at hand. Find the tote board. Descending the escalator, I land in this very large empty room, six luggage carousels facing me. I am impressed! It is 5:30 AM, Christmas time, and no one is flying into New York, Just leaving.

#1 Son had called the night before, explaining that his connecting flight in Las Vegas was canceled, and that he would get back to us about when he would arrive. His original schedule for arrival was 6:30 AM on flight #196. I tell TLW (The Little Woman) and we go to sleep. I know it will be early in the morning, but not that early since his flight was canceled.

There is a rocking of the bed, my body is rolling around the sheets, and I’m not having any fun! It is either an earthquake of TLW trying to get my attention. It is the latter. Half asleep, she says that the flight will be at 6 A.M. and the number is either 201 or 208, or “something like that”, and I’m confused, he is arriving earlier?

Off I go to JetBlue and JFK Airport, to claim #1 Son. I go through what I related in yesterday’s blog, and find the tote board. It tells me that the flight #1 Son was on originally was canceled, but I can’t find any corresponding flights that TLW mentioned. As I scan the board, I look for an arrival of 6 A.M. I scan the board again, but can’t find any from Burbank, Ca. I think, maybe he is coming in on another airline, which means another building. I take out my cell phone; the darn thing is nearly dead! I go back to the tote board and see something from Long Beach Ca., arriving at 5:49 A.M., flight 216! That must be it! He went to another airport and caught a direct flight!

I find a comfortable chair to watch the arrival gate, and rest my eyes. #1 Son comes out, he will be able to see me. This limo driver decided to stand in front of me with a sign that reads someone’s last name. That means I can’t close my eyes, #1 Son might miss me.

Miguel the limo driver decides to sit down next to me, and I think: “Good, I’ll be able to rest my eyes now!” No, Miguel likes to talk to strangers. He decides he wants to tell me how he’s been here only three times before, how now he’s learned to park on the fifth floor of the garage. OK, Miguel, if I ever catch you parking on any other floor, you will catch it from me.

There is a God! He sends over Ackmed to talk to Miguel, thus alleviating the burden of my having to worry about where he may have breakfast, too.

Finally, #1 Son appears from the gate, my calculations and surmising have been correct! We greet and move to the carousel where he luggage is scheduled to appear. We wait for over 30 minutes; the dumb airline puts two other arriving flights on the same carousel! There are 5 empty carousels available!

Pleased remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

WHY ME, LORD?

It is that time of the year. Christmas, make walnut and pecan bread, cookies and pick up #1 Son from JFK International Airport.

As I do every year, I rise at the crack of the ending of day, about three o’clock in the morning and drive the LIE and the Southern State Parkway to the Belt Parkway to the JFK Expressway to the airport. These last few years, for the most part were uneventful. You find your color that corresponds with the airline you are going to, and follow the colors! Simply? Direct? Guaranteed? Not any more. You parked across the street and walked over to the terminal. Then JetBlue decided to redo everything, and eliminate parking, just to test me.

#1 Son likes to fly JetBlue, the TV airline. It used to have two buildings, one for arrivals and one for departures. Now it all changed, but, to get back to my tale of woe.

Driving along the JFK Expressway, I missed the designation signs for the colors! I soon realize I am running out of expressway, and need to get off! I turn where I think I should and am heading into somewhere in Ohio. I get off and back on the Expressway and take a chance. I start to realize I may be right, or, I may be wrong. There in front of me looms this huge building with big letters: J-E-T-B-L-U-E! The signs point to parking for the terminal. I am in triumph! Oh, glory be! Me, I did it! But I am still driving, and driving, and driving. Finally, the sign says: “Welcome to JETBLUE parking, for your convenience.” Or something like that. I park, not even sure where the hell the building is. Is it this way, or that way, or maybe I’m not in the parking lot anymore.

This young family is parked and getting out of their SUV. I ask: “Excuse me, but where is the JetBlue Terminal?” The guy looks at me like I’m crazed. I know, because I’ve seen that look in my wife and kids eyes often enough. “Why its over there!” Showoff.

I head in the direction he points, and walk through a maze of walls, iron works and up to a street. Turning to my right, I figure I better follow the young family who must think I’m on something. This should scare the hell out of grandma who is accompanying the young whippersnapper and his brood. They lead and I follow, feeling like a pervert or a crazed addict. Up to an elevator. Perfect, Grandma is really going to have a nervous breakdown when I join them on the elevator. I get on after them, and they all back into the corner, except Grandma, who is frantically pushing the Braille first floor button! “Oh, Lady, I do that all the time!” I push the regular first floor button. (She started it) I figure I need to push a higher floor to move this crate. I hit three, and we arrive at the final destination.

Piling out of the elevator, I see a sign: “WELCOME to the JetBlue Skywalk. I start my journey, across a few major highways, utilizing six moving walkways! I reach the main building, and look down from an escalator. There below me is the total population of Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, all on lines, coughing, sneezing and sweating, looking to check in. I descended the escalator into the abyss of germs and their hosts. I look for the ‘arrivals’ portion of the setup, thinking it is another building but there is no indication. I see a cop (for you sissies ‘policeman’) and ask. He points to the same escalator I just came down and tells me it is another escalator behind that one.

Entering the ‘arrivals’, I find this spacious wide open and people free baggage claim area.

TOMORROW: "When will it end?"

Please remember Joan and DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

POWITANIE DO STANU CONNECTICUT!

We all know one. Someone who loves to laugh, laughs vigorously, and has a million of them. I speak of course of the Polish Prince of Connecticut, sometimes referred to as: “Little Poland.” His name is “Tom”, proud grandfather of three that he knows of, three children and the wonderful husband of my sister Fran for almost 40 years!

Driving his black and red Ford, he showed up one day at the door of my parents’ house. I answered and immediately showed him where the garden tools were kept. In his eagerness to make conversation, and duck inside while the cops drove by, he said he was here for Fran.

“Oh, did she hire you?”
“No, I’m Tom from Connecticut.”
“Oh, YOU’RE the poor guy!”

So, some 40 years later and half dozen homes after, I write about Tom. With a heavy heart and much sympathy, he has stayed the course, a loyal and trusting husband. Can’t ask for more than that from a brother-in-law!

The only problem with Tom was he was always loaded with Italian Jokes. I asked him once if he knew any Polish jokes, and answered that there were none.

At least once a week I get email with an attachment and in the subject, area is one word: “Enjoy!”

Tom was the first introduction to Connecticut that I ever had. Preferring to stay within the United States, no one in our family really ventured into Ct., until Fran went away to college.

I remember it like it was yesterday as we drove on the I-95 toward Ct. There to greet us was a huge sign that said:
“Powitanie do Stanu Connecticut!” or “Welcome to Connecticut!” There was a smaller sign under that one that read:
“DWA DLA JED *KIELBASA* SPRZEDAŻ LIKWIDACJI, KAŻDA RZECZ MUSI UDAWAĆ SIĘ!” Translation: TWO FOR ONE KIELBASA LIQUIDATION SALE, EVERY THING MUST GO!

Tom is a retired history teacher, having spent a very successful career teaching high school about the past, and traveling all over the world while doing so with special grants. He is also my fact checkers while my novel is being written. He has been immeasurably helpful in doing so.

To Tom:
SZCZĘŚLIWY DZIEŃ URODZENIA, *THOMAS* *DZICEK*!
Or as the average laymen would say: “Happy Birthday, Tom!”

Please remember my buddies, Joan and DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

TRAINS AND FIRE ENGINES


Growing up in Brooklyn, so many years ago, there were very few things in life that excited me more than: 3 PM on a Friday afternoon, Mom’s lasagna, trains and fire engines. The lasagna was for special holidays like Easter. 3 PM was the magic hour on Friday afternoons in Our Lady of Lourdes School. Being freed for a few days was kind of nice! Getting away from the teacher was a respite, in spite of homework.

But the things that really got my excitement were trains and fire engines. The fire engines lived down my street, on the next block, between Stone Avenue and Broadway. Hull Street had its very own fire department that we lent out to other streets. We were just nice guys. Often a stick ball game was interrupted by the parade of one or two fiery red trucks, with shiny brass and chrome fixtures that meant very little to a young man’s eye. The gold leaf lettering, made for a romantic picture or heroism, and galore. My mind would roam to where they may have been, what they may have done, and whom they may have saved. I would try to catch the eye of one of the men hanging on the back of the trucks, as they passed, and wave.

The sound of the alarm, the sirens ranging from audible to deafening, they got my attention, and made my blood rush in excitement. I would race down to the fire house, and watch as the men slid down the pole, jumped into their jackets and climbed the trucks, often as the were just leaving the firehouse, pouring through the big garage doors and onto the street. Their fire hats sat on their heads and announced: “Here we come, hero for the day!” Each man looked smart in his heavy coat, leather hat and big old boots! Often, the chief in his red sedan following the trucks toward Broadway and the flow of traffic, closing out the fire engine parade.

Often at nights in the summer, I would race down to Rockaway Avenue and Fulton Street to the corner subway station. I think it was the A train I would wait for. The IND or Independent Line as it was called. The station was right outside of Louie’s, a clothing store. On the platform, behind the turnstile, I would wait for Dad. He was returning from work at the New York Laboratory and Supply Company. Tony had on his grey fedora, wing tip shoes and had a folded Journal American under his arm. I could spot him in the crowd as it piled out of the train.

The train would enter the station, and as I watched it, reminding me of my Mother’s Olympia Typewriter, as it ran down its track. I used to watch the trains sit on the track, making loud noises and vibrating, but not moving.

In the summer, my uncle who worked for the Long Island Rail Road: would let me stay at his house for a few weeks. Often he would take me down to Patchogue Rail Road Station, where he worked and climb on board the trains as he cleaned them. Watching the locomotives, steam belching from above and below the engine, a monstrous black behemoth, slowly rocking its way toward me, the long line of commuter cars in tow, would set my imagination off. Where did it come from? Where was it going? How do you ‘drive’ one of those things?

Often as the train sat in the station, it would unhitch the engine, which would then push it to another track, and then to the other side of the car lineup to head in the opposite direction. My uncle would let me stay on the train for that maneuver, which just made me crazy with delight.

I could remember waking up early on a sunny summer day, and I could hear the faint whistle of an incoming train, as it gently woke me from my slumber. Whoo, Whoo, Whooooooo! It was a great alarm clock, and told me: Rise city boy, because you are spending another day in the country! Ah! The sweet distant sound of the train passing early in the morning, and the smell of a lilac bush meant Patchogue!

Sorry to ramble so much.

Please remember my pals Joan and DD

Friday, December 19, 2008

I WUZ HAD!

The other day I got e-mail from my niece, Jean-Marie, commenting on the fact that she couldn’t believe her Mom was 60 years old. I suggested to her that she should try to think how her Mom’s older brother must feel.

I could remember my sister being the youngest in the household at one time and how it turned my world upside down.

Operating in Brooklyn as I did, finding ways to amuse myself, sometimes at a sister’s expense was fun. Plotting ways to get an extra piece of cake, or having a fake sick-day, or making an excuse for something I did was hard work for a 6-year old. I had to be quick, agile and one step ahead of Mom and Dad. Some of my ‘operations’ required guile, some gall, always on the precipice of discovery and awful retribution by Mom.

As the plans and plotting continued, I began to realize somehow, that I was compromised! There was a mole or spy in my mist. My Mom was suddenly one step ahead of me! What seemed like a great plan was suddenly a disaster. Mom seemed to know what I was planning, almost before I even planned it! Was I losing my touch?

Then one day I discovered why! My sister Fran was getting ice cream from Dad. Not only was she talking for ice cream, but soda. She was selling me out for a few ounces of soda! And she struck a deal with Dad, to make her: “Boss of the soda”!

The “Boss of the soda” ruled supreme. My older sister (Much older), Tess, and I were at her mercy! We couldn’t have a second glass without the “Boss of the soda’s” OK!

Then one day it happened. Fran got the toothache of the century. Screaming, she went to the dentists. The first of my Mom’s five children to ever visit the dentist! Suddenly, Mom’s source of information was dried up! No soda, ice cream, or even cake could now influence Fran’s sweet tooth. My operations were now going over, as smooth as a highly waxed floor! Each operation was performed with aplomb, and I was back in business.

THE BOSS OF THE SODA WAS TAKEN DOWN BY A TOOTHACHE!

Please remember my pals Joan and DD and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SOMETIMES…


He just wouldn’t shut up!

It seems to be #1 Son’s week on the blog. Since he is coming home today, I should relate a little story that occurred when he was still a little tyke.

Being married to TLW (The Little Woman) is like being married to Mother Theresa. In fact, if I didn’t have a sister (Older than me, much older) named Theresa, I would call TLW: “Mother Theresa”. As a result of marrying her, church was a big part of my life. When the first two children were born, no matter how small they were: I had to lug them to church every Sunday morning. Besides church, every time we needed to go somewhere, the two kiddies with all their paraphernalia accompanied us. By the time I got behind the wheel, after countless trips with playpens, car seats, table seats and toys, diapers and food, plus whatever else was deemed needed by TLW: I was exhausted. I would no longer have patience.

As I drove off to our destinations, someone would stop short in front of me, do 20 mph, make a sudden turn or cut me off without notice, causing a stream of profanity that I perfected from the knee of Dear old Dad. Apparently, my use of the language was a treasure I passed on to #1 Son at an early age!

So one Sunday we enter the church, and I am holding #1 Son in my arms. Momma has my daughter, and so we go to Mass. Somewhere along the way in the middle of the Mass, #1 Son decides he would like to say something.

He says: “$*@%^”. Then he expands it: “Son of a $*@%^” I stand there, in cold shock. I am afraid to look at TLW. In fact, I would not look at TLW.

A small grin crosses my face, I want to burst out laughing, but I struggle to hold it in.
Looking up at me, he sees me smile a little and says once, again: “$*@%^” That wasn’t enough! He said it again. “$*@%^” Still, “$*@%^” Finally I get him to stop. We march out to the parking lot and into the car. I want to leave him in the church, and just run away, because I know where he got that.

All the way home and most of the day, I got a lecture from TLW, how I have to watch my language in the car.

Please remember my pals DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

DELBLOGGOLO’S PRIDE-PART II


Trusting you enjoyed Part I, in spite of the dirty words, here is Part II in my quest for better-written blogs. (I hope TLW [The Little Woman] doesn’t see the dirty words! She always blames me!)

Vigilanthony
By Anthony Del Broccolo
(Son of a blogger)

PAGE TWO:
All I had to do was get inside Balabbo's brain and stay one step ahead of him -- and I didn't need the FBI or the fakaktah Postal Police to help me do that.

Thankfully, I also had a major advantage. The fake Anthony was even dumber than the real one. And he was starting to get sloppy.

After I made a trip to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, I found out that while renting the Ford F150 truck, he made the mistake of leaving his real phone number as an emergency contact.

Two weeks into the investigation, this was the big break I had been looking for. I started strutting around my apartment, all full of confidence and bravado -- until I looked out my window to see a guy about 5'9" tall, with brown hair, standing in front of a black, Ford F150. I immediately dove behind the couch to hide.

As I nervously peered back out the window, I couldn't believe my eyes. There was Balabbo -- the guy who was making my life miserable for the past few weeks -- and I was looking right at him! And he wasn't that athletic looking.

Part of me wanted to confront him. An even bigger part of me wanted to take a 5-iron and shove it up his ass sideways. But those would have been rookie mistakes. Sure, I'd get some temporary satisfaction, but I'd completely compromise my investigation and give away any tactical advantages I had already gained!

As I contemplated my next move, it dawned on me that he was probably out there waiting for UPS to deliver his Euros. And I had what he wanted. So, I decided to do a little role-playing and called the number he had left with the car rental place. His voice mail picked up, so I left a message.

"Hello, Anthoneee -- this is UPS… we tried to deliver a package for you this morning. Please call us back at our regional office in Van Nuys to reschedule delivery." I left my phone number and hung up.

Okay, so, the odds were slim that he'd be stupid enough to call back, and yes, my accent was horribly racist, but I really wanted to nail this guy!

Later that evening, while sitting in a coffee shop, my cell phone started ringing. I recognized the number in my caller ID. Imagine the confusion on my fellow patron's faces when I answered, "UPS, how can I help you?"

Balabbo actually responded by saying, "Hi, this is Anthony Del Broccolo."

I tried my best to suppress my anger and sound like a legit UPS guy. "Um… okay, well we uh… have two delivery windows open on Monday, one between 9:00 and 12:00 and another between 2:00 and 5:00."

He took the 9:00 and 12:00. He clearly wanted his afternoon free to spend more of my money.

But then he made a monumental mistake. He asked if we could, instead, deliver the package to his girlfriend Stacy's house in Silverlake. Barely able to contain my glee, I wrote down Stacy's address, then told him that we'd see him Monday at her house between 9:00 and 12:00.

Now, for you civilians out there, I had just orchestrated something we detectives commonly refer to as a "sting." And now that the trap was set, I felt my job was done. It was time to leave a message for my friends at the bureau.

"Hey, Conroy, it's Del Broccolo. Listen, our man's expecting a delivery on Monday between 9:00 and 12:00. You think you can have your boys in place by 8:30?"

I was shocked to learn that Agent Conroy had no interest in participating in my sting! He explained that, while my detective work was impressive, the FBI couldn't arrest someone based solely on information gathered by an ordinary civilian.

Ordinary civilian?! Please. I'm a vigilante, goddamnit! Besides, I had already done the hard part! All the FBI had to do was show up, arrest the guy, and get the glory.

None of this mattered to Agent Conroy. He also strongly cautioned me against taking any further action on my own. I was devastated. All that hard work, and now Balabbo was going to get away with it?!

No way. Not on my watch.

I may not have had the power to arrest him, but I was going to make sure Balabbo knew that I beat him at his own game -- and if I scared him a little in the process -- even better. So, I decided to call him again.

"Yes, this message is for Anthony Del Broccolo. Hey Anthony, this is Anthony. Y'know, the real Anthony. Listen, I was talking to Agent Conroy at the FBI, and he wanted to know where you'd prefer to be arrested, outside of my house -- or at Stacy's. Also, we know your real name is Balabbo and that's really fun to say. Balabbo. Balabbo."

Not only did that feel incredibly satisfying, it also worked. From that point forward, Balabbo stopped using my identity, and I was quickly able to restore my credit to its pre-identity theft levels.

And then, just like that, it was all over. This thing -- this obsession that had completely consumed my life for weeks -- was gone. It soon became painfully obvious that having my identity stolen was the most exciting thing to happen to me in years. I loved every minute of it, to the point where I was actually rooting for Balabbo to keep going, just so I could continue playing vigilante!

But who knows, maybe it's not over. Maybe there are more Balabbos out there cutting a swath of fakeness and Balabboism throughout this great land. And it gives me some sliver of hope to know that one day, one of these other Balabbos will make me their next victim. The position's open!

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DELBLOGGOLO’S PRIDE-PART I

In my ever-increasing attempts to improve the quality of writing on this blog, I have resorted to employing much better writers than myself. To achieve this lofty ambition, I am publishing an essay written by my Mother’s grandson, #1 Son. It will be in 2 installments. Unfortunately, after that, I return.


Vigilanthony
By Anthony Del Broccolo (Son of a blogger)


I was walking to my car one morning when I spotted a UPS van pulling up to my apartment. I ran back to greet the driver…

"Hey, I live in 1701. I'm Anthony Del Broccolo." The driver looked me directly in the eye and said, "No, you're not."

Well, that's curious, I thought to myself as I showed him my driver's license. I even opened my front door to prove that I indeed lived in 1701. The driver grew pale. He then confessed that he'd been delivering packages all week to someone else claiming to be Anthony Del Broccolo. The Fake Anthony even had a fake driver's license for identification.

My first thought was, Great. My identity's been stolen. My second thought was, Why would anyone want it?! It's not like it was doing me any good. Slightly confused, I opened the package from UPS to find an American Express card imprinted with a name I had never seen before: Matthew C.. Balabbo.

Oh my god, I thought, that's a really funny name. After repeating "Balabbo" many times for my own amusement, I called American Express.

As it turned out, Mr. Balabbo had called one week earlier to add his name to my account as a secondary cardholder. He was able to do so by verifying a disturbing amount of personal data, including my social security number.

Officially panicked, I asked the American Express people just how much Balabbs had charged on my credit. The answer was $13,000.

BALABBBBBOOOOOO!

I drove down to the local police station, shaking with anger. An officer determined that, since the card was actually delivered to my address, Balabbo was able to steal my identity by stealing my mail. And stolen mail, he added, was something that fell under the jurisdiction of "The Postal Police."

What?! There's a Postal Police? Really?! I now knew what I had to do next: Create a TV series about The Postal Police! Starring Brian Dennehy. As Sgt. "Stamps" McGee.

I returned home and called the Postal Police, and was shocked when no one answered. I was even more shocked when no one answered the next twenty times I called.

Oh, sorry to bother you, Postal Police. You're obviously very busy trying to take down that Paper Boy in Sherman Oaks who's been stealing all the Victoria's Secret Catalogs from people's mailboxes.

I went to bed that night feeling helpless, violated, and confused. What else was this guy Balabbo planning to do? Was there anything I could do to stop him? Do the Postal Police, like, carry handcuffs?!

I didn't have to wait long for my answers. The next morning, the UPS guy knocked on my door with three more packages addressed to me, but obviously intended for Balabbo.

And that's when it hit me. This guy wasn't just stealing my identity, he was doing it right under my nose. The balls on this Balabbo!

I doubt the UPS guy even noticed, but at that moment I changed. I went from a mild-mannered, pasty-faced childrens' television writer, to an angry, pasty-faced vigilante. I now had one mission in life -- to take Balabbo down. And I was prepared to do anything to get my man… even if it meant breaking a few rules… and growing a beard.

I started my investigation by asking the UPS guy for a detailed description of the perp. Balabbo was approximately five foot nine, with short brown hair.

"Oh, so he looks like me?"

"No, sir," the UPS guy replied, "he's athletic looking."

What the fuck?! My pride may have been wounded, but I knew I had gathered some valuable info.

I wanted to start hunting down Balabbo immediately, but I needed to go to my stupid day job. I mean, how was I supposed to be a vigilante when I had to spend the next 10 hours writing comedy for tweens?!

Also, there was the annoying matter of calling all those merchants to undo the damage caused by the identity theft. Here's just a small sample of what Balabbo had done using my information:

* He applied for eight different credit cards.
* Rented a black, Ford F150 truck.
* Purchased three computers online.
* Ordered more than 200 Dodger tickets.
* He even had the Post Office hold my mail so that I wouldn't see the trail he was leaving behind.

And if all that wasn't scary enough, I opened one of the UPS packages to find 700 Euros. Now he was ordering foreign currency.

Jesus. What had the fake me gotten my fake self into? Was I an unwitting pawn in some complicated global conspiracy? Was Keifer Sutherland about to bust down my door and bring me into Counter Terrorist Unit?

Suddenly fearing for my own safety, I contacted the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. Agent Conroy assured me that I probably wasn't in any danger. "Probably" was probably not the word I wanted to hear just then. I could probably think of several better words to use in that instance, like, oh... I don't know... DEFINITELY? He also said there was nothing the FBI could do, as it's their policy not to pursue these cases unless the personal loss exceeds $500,000.

I hung up the phone scared, but even more frustrated that no one wanted to help me. And then I remembered:

Hey, you're a vigilante. You prefer to work alone.

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

WHEN SIBLINGS GROW OLDER…

And still stay the same.

Last year at this time, I wrote about my #2 sister, Fran.

Saturday, December 15, 2007
OH YES, NOW I REMEMBER!


Recently, at Thanksgiving, as we mingled and talked about our lives, I fell back to the many years of our brother-sister relationship, and what it has meant to me. I keep thinking of a photo my Mom has in her den of Fran in her school uniform. She is wearing a white blouse and blue jumper, with the crest of Our Lady Of Lourdes on it. She is wearing a smile and has her typical warmness that is Fran. It was the first picture that made me aware that she was around! Every time I see the photo, it shoots me back to that time, and every time I’ve seen her.

Sandwiched between two sisters growing up, seeing them is like comfort food. It is your roots, a warm room on a cold day, a laugh in the sunshine, and affirmation of who you are. There is a bond, unspoken, but not forgotten. Seeing one of the two is a realization that your siblings and you are home again. We were part of the very lean years growing up. We witnessed a lot.

Fran always was fun to see and talk to. She can laugh at the drop of a dime, and while she laughs and I scramble to pick it up, we can relate to each other. She married someone not unlike herself, Tom. Ever ready with a joke and a wry grin on his face. They make an ordinary day, a holiday.

Fran has the attributes of a big sister, if not in age, then in spirit and good sense. You meet her three children, and you see wonderful people, who will share a laugh, just like Mom or Dad.

A retired schoolteacher, being a teacher was all she ever wanted to be. As children playing together, she was a teacher, and I was the student. We played our roles well. I would play dumb, and she would respond with a smack, or give me a lot of homework. She was my baby sister, so I would amuse her and play along. (OK, I wasn’t playing.)

Years ago, I went to visit my sister-in-law Maureen who lives in Connecticut. We were at some occasion where there were people that I did not know, but were Maureen’s friends. One of them was a gentleman who was a teacher in Connecticut. HE, was selected as ‘Teacher of the year’. He wanted to meet me, because my sister Fran: was the runner up! I think a choice like that is subjective: it should have been her. But, I am her brother, still, I know how she loved to teach.

So I say,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRAN!

Please remember my pals, Joan and DD, and all those who need our prayers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

EXCEPTIONS TO A RULE


Yesterday I went on about the leisurely life that I now lead in retirement. Something strange is happening! It seems I need a calendar to keep track of my leisure!

I seem to be falling behind in my retirement! I have to spend longer days to complete what I need to not do. For instance: two books I’m reading that come due soon at the library. I guess I could renew them, but then it would take away from other books I wish to read.

I wanted to start doing some serious glass painting and donating the money I make to my favorite charity, but other things are in the way. The charity (AHRC Suffolk, keeps me busy with NYSARC the state umbrella agency, the Board of Directors, and the various committees that I am a member of.

I’m trying to finish writing a novel before I pass on, and am only three-quarters through it. I have a blog to do everyday, and now I even do physical therapy. There are baseball and football games that need my attention, and of course, my family. I’ve been cutting into my naptime, and on some days, eliminating it, for lack of time! Yes, I know I do everything slowly, (after all, I am retired) but I am falling behind.

There is some artwork and new stories I wish to write.

To add to a very serious situation, there are the Holidays! How am I going to squeeze in the Holidays? Do I cut into more naptime? Oh, yes, there is also TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) religious class that I must do art work for.

It’s tough! I hope to hang on.

Please remember my buddies, Joan and DD and all that need our prayers.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

HOW SWEET IT IS…

To be retired!

The other day I was in the supermarket on my way to an appointment, where I had some time to kill. Purchasing only the one item I needed for dinner that night, I got on the checkout line. A nice woman was in line ahead of me, and offered to let me go first. I declined. The checkout woman said that there was an express checkout available for 10 items or less, but again I declined. I stopped at a stop light, and a woman pulled up next to me on the right and asked me if I would let her get ahead of me. I said OK, and when the light changed, I did let her in front of me. Then today, stopping at the Post Office to buy three books of stamps, (I’m starting a postal library), a man offered to let me ahead of him, because he had to have a long conversation with the clerk behind the counter. I suggested that he need not do that and thanked him, but he insisted.

What is happening? I am contented to take my time. I no longer am in a need to rush! I don’t care if I am late, (unless a cocktail hour is involved), and I don’t even wear a watch! Life is good. I move about freely, nap when I want to, if I want to. I can sleep as long as I wish, and the only time I am disturbed is when TLW (The Little Woman) checks to see if she is a widow yet.

I read a book, a newspaper, do a puzzle, write, draw or paint and just enjoy the quiet now. If #1 son is arriving at 6:30 am from California, it is no problem, I just jack up the sleep mode the day or night before, and I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed to go to Kennedy airport to pick him up!

If I catch a cold, there is no problem. I just get better quicker because I take better care of myself. So retirement is good.

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those who need our prayers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I CAN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW…

I’m getting younger everyday!

Way back in the late 60’s or early 70’s, the famous NY Jets quarterback, Joe Namath wrote a book titled: “I can't wait until tomorrow ... 'cause I get better-looking every day!

Yesterday, I visited the Westhampton Beach Day program my daughter attends for an annual review of her overall progress. The review went great, and as I was leaving the conference room, I hear a voice call out my name from one of the side offices. Stopping short, I peek into this office and I see a lovely woman by the name of Jean Kelley.

“Hi, Mr. Del Broccolo, how are you?
“Fine thanks, and yourself/”
“I was speaking with one of my staff, Nora, and she said to me; “Did you see Mr. DelBroccolo? He looks great, he looks younger!” So I thought I’d tell you that.”
I responded truthfully, “Tell Nora the check is in the mail.”

There is no magic potion employed. What Nora saw was new duds I was wearing. I kind of stepped into the 21st Century. But boy, it sure made my day! Especially after TLW’s, (The Little Woman’s) flat tire event I reported on my blog earlier.

Please remember Joan and DD, and all those we need to pray for.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SO, WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

The sanctimonious are falling, once again.

About ten years ago, there was a big issue made about the integrity of sweepstakes. If you recall, the U.S. Senate had a panel investigate sweepstakes because of a poorly conceived, one sided report by 60 Minutes about people who spent huge sums of money because they felt if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be considered for a sweepstakes prize,

The report seized upon the older people that were not sophisticated, that would spend and spend on products that sat in their homes unopened. These were people who were not sophisticated in their outlook, people who did not read, that did not take time to understand what was stated in the sweepstake mailings. Their children were appalled by the idea that their parents were being duped into thinking if you don’t buy; you don’t have a chance of winning. Their children were just as ignorant as their parents.

The Senators invited Publishers Clearing House, Time Inc. and Reader’s Digest to the inquiry to explain their policies in running sweepstakes. Each state’s Attorney General governed the sweepstakes, and disclosures had to be on every mailing, especially on the outer envelope that read clearly: “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY”. On the back of every entry form were rules of the sweepstakes with the emphasis again of a “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY” line.

All the companies involved were made to pay heavy fines to the states that sued. It was very unfair, but it helped immeasurably, the careers of the phonies that reported it, and the dishonest phony Senators that ran this scam by the public. It gave the press and the politician, the illusion of honesty.

I have never voted for an honest politician. Why? There are no honest politicians. If one gets on his high horse, just remind him of his accusations, his exaggerations and his unkept promises that were all part of his election campaign.

Now I read the newspapers, watch the TV and read the internet and hear about the governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, being accused of selling President Elect Obama’s vacated Senate seat. Surprise, surprise! He is also accused of other things that are all very seedy. The man is innocent until proven guilty, however much evidence the Feds has on him. The press, in its need to make it worse, are now trying to implicate Obama in this scandal. Guilt by association its’ called. The man’s opponents are the press and the opposition party. You can expect that from the opposition party, but the press should be more objective. Give the man a chance to screw it up by himself. All politicians do it, so will Obama to some degree. I’m not suggesting that Obama is not guilty of anything, just that there is no basis to even mention his name in this scandal in an accusatory way. Let’s be fair!

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those you know who need our prayers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LET THERE BE LIGHTS

As this time of year rolls around, I start to feel faint. It means decorating the Christmas tree, or at least putting up the lights. Then pulling out all the decorations, setting them up, then getting tired of looking at them, and anticipating the mess of putting them all away. Did I ruin your holiday plans yet?

As a child, I did childish things; now that I am an old fart, I do old farty things. One of them is dreading Christmas. I have no little children in the house, so why bother. Some people love Santa, or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Me, I love Ebenezer Scrooge, before those darn ghosts converted him!

Bah! Humbug! Give me Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas morning and Christmas day with my family, and I am happy. Don’t need decorations, just food and Jack Daniels. Maybe a little football game with my son and brother-in-laws and nephews and I am good to go.

My idea as I have mentioned in the past is to leave the decorations at the front door. As you come in, you reach in the box and grab as many as you like of the decorations and stick them where you want. Starting the day after Christmas, if you are leaving my house, you take what you stuck from where you stuck them and place them back into the box as you leave. (Hopefully, you don’t need to sanitize them when you unstuck them.)

Last year I put up the tree and they already had lights on them. One of the sets of lights wasn’t blinking, but was on. TLW (The Little Woman) came home from work that day, notice the lack of blinking and mentioned it to me. You don’t think I was going to try and find out which bulb it was, were you? I told TLW, if she wanted to see the lights blink, to blink her eyes real fast.

My Mother-in-law, God rest her soul, would have her tree decorated and put away in the box. Lights, balls, tinsel and any mementos were all left in tack on the tree and set back in the box. Every year, as the holiday rolled around, she just pulled it out of the box, already decorated! Great! She was a smart woman!

I did hang the wreaths on the door and the big window in the dining room. Now I have to take them down!

During this holiday season, please remember my buddies Joan and DD, and all those you know who need our prayers.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

HOW TO GET OLD AND STILL LAUGH


Yesterday, TLW (The Little Woman) decided to go shopping, just as #2 Son was leaving for work. #2 Son pulled out, then TLW, as she followed him down the road. As she followed, she noticed that #2 had a rear tire that was going flat, and decided to follow him to work first. Arriving safely, #2 parked his car, and TLW decided to drive it to a gas station to air in it, leaving her car behind Macy’s, where #2 works.

Parking at a air pump, she tried to fill the faulty tire, but couldn’t, and it went totally flat. Two young men arrived and offered to assist her with the changing of the tire, but she said “No thanks”. “I’m going to call my husband”, said TLW. “Is he capable of changing the tire?”

When she related her story to me, she said she was offended that the two fellows would think she was so old that her husband was incapable of any heavy lifting!

TLW then began to walk back to her own car, which was an uphill walk, and a good distance. “Well, at least I was able to walk uphill and a long ways, without being out of breath!” said TLW. The fact to the matter is, she could probably walk circles around those two men, because I know she sends me around in circles!

Please remember my pals: Joan and DD, and all those that suffer and need our prayers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

IF THERE’S NO BLOG TOMORROW…


Call the police!

I uncovered a diabolical scheme to do away with me! Actually, a very clever plan that would fool the police was in the making. The perfect crime!

What am I talking about? Let me explain.

TLW (The Little Woman) was planning to do away with me, then probably find a younger man and spend all the insurance money! If it wasn’t for my putting it all together, I might be gone already! You say, TLW! No way! I say; still water runs deep!

It started out by TLW coming home one day and saying that she bought me a present. Me, being trusting said thanks to a new pillbox. This pillbox has seven compartments, one for each day of the week. Being how I have to take medications every day, I have a pillbox that has seven days already. Starting with Sunday, the days follow in order for each daily dose. There is where it gets interesting! The pillbox TLW purchased, the days start with Monday, not Sunday! Who starts their week on Monday? TLW says: “Don’t worry about what the lid on top of each day says, just take the pills.

So how does this pan out as a scheme to murder me, collect all the insurance money and find a younger man? Simple. Suppose I followed her dictum? Say I take my pills on Sunday. Then as the day goes on, I think: “Did I take my pills today?” I look, and see the usual Sunday section I'm accustomed to has pills, and I think; “No, I didn’t!” So, I take Monday’s pills. I overdose, the police rule it accidental death, and off she goes with the insurance money and some young guy undertow! No tell tale weapon, no clues, fingerprints or obvious motives to discuss with the authorities. I can be planted inside a week, and I don’t get home made chocolate chips cookies for after my funeral!

You got to stay one step ahead.

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those who need our prayers.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

THE RUNNING BACK WALKS!


It seems like a record was playing, jumped its groove and was reset. Thirteen years to the day Oh Jay was given a free pass for murder, he gets sentenced! So, the record is now set straight. The lesson here boys and girls is, you can kill someone, but don’t try to get your stuff back.

He gave a very reasonable argument for his actions. The two thugs he was with were only there to watch him say he wanted what was his. HE didn’t know there was a gun in play. Had he known, he would not have done it. Yes, and he didn’t realize that when he took the action he did against Ron Goldman or his wife Nicole, they would die.

I guess the glove fit this time!

Now the great running back from USC and the Buffalo Bills will spend his time running up and down his ten foot by eight foot cell. I wonder if he will be able to get up much speed? Maybe he’ll run into a ‘Bubba”.

To think, commercial endorsements, movies, sports commentator and TV personality, all washed up on the shores of stupidity and arrogance.

The Goldman’s have their long awaited and deserving victory. You can take Oh Jay’s freedom away, but that is not good enough. He took two lives away. His children have no mother. The Goldman’s lost a brother and a son. Ron Goldman’s life is snuffed away by a killer. Nice guy, but still a killer. Oh Jay mocked the whole process when he said he would find the killer, and looked behind every tree on the gold course! I wonder if God will forgive him?

Remember the Heros at Pearl Harbor today.

Please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those you know of who suffer and need our prayers.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

WHAT GAS!

Our tax dollars are put to good use once again! This time it is the EPA, those geniuses in Washington, DC, who have come up with a plan that smacks of lack of insight. Belching and gaseous cows and pigs may start costing farmers money, if this stupid proposal goes into law. It would require farmers or ranchers with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog! If the fear of recession isn’t enough, this should alleviate our fears as we lose the live stock industry to costly taxes.

If you know, the government has been accused of many stupid things before. Buying toilet seats at astronomical prices, old laws that no longer have meaning to our society, and jobs that are strictly pork barrel consequences. It is time to help the government distribute the blame beyond congress. EPA, take a bow.

What is next after cows and pigs? Do chickens let it ride occasionally? What about my dog? Did you ever get behind her when she sleeps on my floor, and I’m thinking: “Geez, we got a gas leak somewhere!”

You have kids, then be prepared to pay for saying: “Eat, you want to be big and strong like Daddy?” And by the way, what about Daddy, what will THAT cost?

My thinking is that they would be better off taxing the people in the EPA who proposed this stupid idea. Catch them off guard, and every time they let one loose, tax THEM! I’m sure the stink they make would be more offensive than some old poor cow that will wind up a steak on my table.

The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation estimates the fee would cost owners of a middle-sized ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year. He said he has talked to a number of livestock owners about the proposals, and "all have said if the fees were carried out, it would bankrupt them."

So next time someone looks at you and says: Ewww, wuz dat hew?” think about it. It could cost YOU big bucks someday!

Please remember my buddies Joan and DD, and all those that need our prayers.

Friday, December 05, 2008

THERE’S NOTHING TO SAY TODAY!

Yes, it finally happened! I’ve got nothing to say. Searching my mind, I found it empty. I guess you knew this before I did.

No topic do I wish to expand! No thought is original. The process of thinking has taken a turn for the worst. I stare at these few words.

However, since I’m without words, I’ll complain. (I’m feeling better already!)

I was stopped behind a car at a very short light. The light changed to green, and the driver ahead of me was busy chatting with her car mate. Her hands were in motion as she emphasized her points. The light was about to change, I give her the horn, and she looks in the rear-view mirror, and then pulls out, just in time for me to get stuck for another red light!

I go the deli, order a coffee, ‘regular, small, no sugar.’ I get in the car, open it, and the coffee is sweet!

Why is it they never cut all the way through a bagel! You still have to separate the two, and in the process, destroy the symmetry of the butter on the bagel. You are left with butter all over the sides. Again, get a ham sandwich with cheeses, lettuce and tomato; do they cut through the sandwich? NO! You try to take that baby apart and what a mess!

You walk into a restaurant, just two of you. The hostess picks up two menus and asks: “Two?” No lady, I have the armed forces waiting in the car for me to signal them I have a table.

You take your car in for inspection. The mechanic calls.
“Joe: Those tires you bought this morning? Well one of them is worn at the sides. You’ll need new tires to pass inspection. You want me to change it?”

You call for information at a large company.
“Welcome to the touch pad directory of the American Association of Retailer’s wholesaler’s and anything that is American and made in the USA. Para Espanol press one, for English, press two, to speak with a representative, press three, for our directory assistance, press four, if you need to use the toilet, and are sorry that you didn’t go before this call, press five, If you wish to speak to an operator, why didn’t you say so?”

I press three.
“Welcome to the touch pad directory of the American Association of Retailer’s wholesaler’s and anything that is American and made in the USA directory assistance. Para Espanol, press one, for English press two.”

I press two.
“Spell the first four letters of the person’s first or last name you wish to speak with, or hold the line and an operator will be with you shortly. I’m sorry: all the available operators are busy with other callers. Please hold the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us. I’m sorry: all the available operators are busy with other callers. Please hold the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us. I’m sorry: all the available operators are busy with other callers. Please hold the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us.
I’m sorry: all the available operators are busy with other callers. Please hold the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us. I’m sorry: all the available operators are busy with other callers. Please hold the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us.”

So, I hang up and try again.

Please remember those of us like Joan and DD that need our prayers.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

IN THE COLD, COLD, COLD OF THE MORNINGS…


And the evenings too!

Living on Hull Street in the 1950’s required a certain stamina and fortitude. Comforts were unheard of. I’ve already written about the heat of the summer, but the cold of winter was brutal! Getting up in a house that had no central heating system, and only an oil-burning stove in the last room in the house, the kitchen was hard.

This was a turn of the century apartment house. The 19th century saw Hull Street building my home. Heat WAS an oil-burning stove, that you pour oil into to heat up five rooms. My room was the furthest from the stove.

At night, Dad would heat up a brick and put it in the foot of the bed. Big deal, it still wasn’t enough. We went to bed with socks on and sometimes our clothes, it was so cold. In the morning, Mom would put our cloths on the top of the black caste iron stove to warm them up. We would dress by the stove, and Mon would then put out oatmeal or farina for breakfast. Hot cereals only on cold mornings were the order of the day.

Your body would warm up a little but your nose stayed cold. Then we gathered our school bag, with Roy Rogers metal lunch box and off we walked in the frigid air, about four blocks to Our Lady Of Lourdes School. We would stand in the wide open school yard, waiting to hear the assembly bell ring to line up for your individual classrooms.

Once on line, you were greeted with the cold icy stare of Old Miss Langon, or Miss Goodsight, or mean old Mrs. Walsh, a real witch. The brothers would patrol the boy’s side of the school yard and the nuns the girl’s side. Boys occupied one side of the building, girls the other, just like a prison.

Starting with the first grade, each class entered the building and went to their respective classroom. As you entered, you could smell the steam from the radiators, and as you settled into your classroom, tears and a running nose began your day as you warmed up.

In spite of the cold days, we never got too sick to stay home from school. Mom ran a tight ship, and you better be bleeding with an arm or leg missing, before you stayed home. Then if you did, my sister would bring home the homework for me! God, how I could hate her for doing that!

During this holiday season, please remember my pals Joan and DD, and all those that are need of our prayers.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

OH, YES YOU DID!

TLW (The Little Woman) and I have an ongoing discussion that is lasting 38 years! She has gathered all my likes and dislikes, and has put them in a mental notebook that she harbors. The range of topics go; from likes and dislikes to things I have said in the past.

For instance: This morning I asked about a group of bills that were ready to go out in the mail, which were sitting on the kitchen table. Each one of them was stamped, so I said: “Do you want those in the mailbox outside? I usually do this when the mailman is about to arrive. TLW responded: “You don’t like to leave mail in the mailbox!” I asked: “I don’t!?” “No you don’t.” I responded, “I never said that!” The final word was heard. “Oh, yes you did!”

If I inquire about some dish she hasn’t made in a while, I’ll ask about it and she will tell me that I don’t like that dish.

Now from reading this blog, you all know that I lost it long ago. No question about that, but I do know what I like and dislike. My question for you Dear Reader is: “Can you collect from the insurance company if you claim your husband is suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s? If you follow me here, you might see a pattern unraveling that I think I see.

Not to suggest that TLW is dishonest in any way, just efficient. I think 37 years ago when she married me, she decided to cut to the chase and have me committed to an old age home then, thus eliminating a lot of hard work! Actually, it is a good plan if I cooperate, which I haven’t done in 37 years! If you can read her mind, she is thinking: “He can’t even do that right!”

An old man was lying in his deathbed. His bedroom was situated on the top floor of the old farmhouse, and in the bed the sweet smell of chocolate chip cookies was waffling up to his nostrils from the kitchen down below. In spite of his dire condition, he was moved to get a cookie or two before he died.

Slipping out of the bed, on all fours he crawled to the staircase and slowly crawled down each step. The sweat was starting to pour from his head, the aches and pains of impending death wrapped around his body. Slowly, one step at a time he reached the main floor. Resting for a while, he began his journey to its final destination: the kitchen.

As the old dying man turned the corner to the kitchen, he could see his wife busily baking cookies and putting them on wracks to cool, atop a the kitchen table.

“Ah!” he thought. “Warm chocolate chip cookies!” Slowly he creped up to the table, and raised his hand to snatch one. Suddenly his wife let loose with a spatula across the old man’s hand. WHACK! Went the spatula. “DON’T TOUCH THOSE COOKIES, THEY’RE FOR AFTER YOUR FUNERAL!”

Please remember my pals, Joan and DD, and all those who need our prayer.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

MR. BONES


It was a Friday morning. The day of the minstrel show had arrived, and I was in it. Getting ready that morning, I took out my shoes and started to shine them. The brown polish slid over the leather like a sled on ice. Suddenly the applicator slipped out of my hand and struck the cuff of my clean white shirt. It was too late to get another shirt ready in time and still catch the bus for school.

Mr. Jones, my seventh grade music teacher had arrange for the show, and had auditioned all the seventh graders for certain parts in the show. Not only was I one of the minstrels, I also had a song and dance to do with a cane and straw hat. Broadway, here I come!

Nervously I waited back stage for the curtain to rise. After months of rehearsals, I hoped I was ready. Suddenly someone handed me my props and we all sat at our assigned places. We all had a joke to put on the audience of fellow students and teachers.

After the fanfare, the curtain rose, and I looked out at the assembly. There they all were. Waiting for me to screw up, then I would have to suffer the indignity of their jokes, just like I would do to them. I, was Mr. Bones.

“Mr. Bones, how’s it going with you?

“Oh, Mr. Interlocker!” I replied. “My wife doesn’t love me any more!”

“Why Mr. Bones, what ever makes you say that?”

“Well Mr. Interlocker, every time she makes me lunch, she wraps it in a road map!”

A drum roll and crash of symbols.

Time for my dance number, and conscious of the shoe polish on my shirt cuff, the curtain rises once more. I go into my dance, tiptoeing and swaying to an old southern minstrel song. My right hand paralyzed because of the shoe polish, and Francis Kreamer sitting up front, watching my every move. Francis was a horny fellow, who when he wasn’t making lewd comments about the girls, would be eating or joking. I had to keep him from seeing the shoe polish!

Dancing and singing, the suit jacket was not going to raise an iota, if I could help it. One arm went about freely, while the other was stiff and inflexible.

After the show, Mr. Jones came up to me and said: “Nice job! But you seemed a little stiff. I thought; “Well you didn’t see the stiff out in the audience!

Please remember my buddies Joan and DD, and all those in need of our prayers.

Monday, December 01, 2008

YOUR NORMAL CATHOLIC


After Vatican II, the Pope decided to shake things up at Mass and confuse me and everyone else. To illustrate this point, I will point to a couple that attends Mass every Sunday at 8:30 AM. They are Adeste and his wife: Mrs. Fidelis.

Now Mrs. Fidelis leads while Adeste follows her cues. In the old days, you were required to genuflect at the end of the pew, before entering. Then at Vatican II, they decide that a bow would be enough. So naturally, some people still harbor the old ways. So what happens? I’ll tell you what happens: Mrs. Fidelis can’t make up her mind. So she glides up to the pew, half genuflects and throws in a sign of the cross! Yes, this is completely out of whack with Vatican approved procedure. My guess is the terrible scourging death she will receive! And old Fidelis, why he just pops in the pew and dumps his baseball cap on his knee and sits! That’s right, just sits!

Now we come to a few readings. The Mrs. Takes out the book and dutifully looks up the readings. Old Adeste just fiddles with his cap, and scans the flock.

Of course the issue of singing along with the annoying ‘leader’, who raises her arms like we should be following her and sing. Mrs. Fedelis joins in silent tribute. That is, she lip-syncs the words, but you don’t hear any sounds. Adeste is still catching up with looking around. Then it is Adeste’s turn to lip-sync, as the prayer of the faithful begins. The Mrs. prays, out loud, no talent needed. But, Adeste? Why he is giving lip service without the noise to back it up!

Behind Adeste sits a lady. She has a cold. She is coughing, sneezing into her bare hands, and sniffling enough juice to float a cruise ship, she caught the cold on. Suddenly the priest pronounces the magic words: “Let us offer each other the sign of peace.” Adeste thinks: “Oh yeah fellow, says who? I ain’t shaking hands with that old battleaxe; I got a golf date this week. You shake her hand and catch her cold!”

Then there is the zombie march, or; Let’s go to Communion. One by one, the sinners arise from their pews and get into the main aisle to receive communion. Ms. Fidelis hands clasped slowly marching forward, while Adeste follows, hands barely together as he walks like he’s protecting his crotch!

Finally, the priest dismisses the congregation. Adeste is happy, and rearing to go. As the priest, altar servers and reader’s march down the aisle, Adeste follows, yet manages to greet the priest as the priest exits the church!

God will get me once again, this time for writing this blog!

Please remember my pals Joan and DD and all those who need our prayers.