Friday, November 30, 2012


The Sheriff’s Department relieved the Suffolk County Police Department a while back of the duty of patrolling the Long Island Expressway. No longer were the drivers who sat on the LIE able to see the words ‘Suffolk Police’ in big bold letters sitting on the medians and side shoulders waiting for speeding violators of safety to spring out and write tickets. No, the blue and white guardians of safety in traffic and huge consumers of donuts were banished to the side streets and byways of little import. The sheriffs were the new guys in town.

So the Suffolk County Ford Crown Victoria was in a retirement mode. Just like drivers everywhere, of Crown Victorias, they the policemen and women who drove the Suffolk County police cars could be found sitting on benches at the local mall, wearing their pants up over their bellybuttons and sporting a pen holder in their shirt pocket, just like grandpa.

Then last week I read somewhere that they were coming back! Yes, the Suffolk County Police Department would once again ride the traffic congested freeway of commutation parking at slow speeds, cruising if you will from a donut shop to a LIE entrance ramp, sirens flashing and ticket books freshly delivered from the printers! Not only that, but they were now newer, sportier and leaner than ever in their new 2013 FORD INTERCEPTOR! Yes, just the sound of the word: ‘Interceptor’ conjuring up in one’s imagination the picture of the high flying chase of some poor unsuspecting teenager feeling his age, the air caressing his locks and a cigarette dangling from his lips to the loud rap that emanates from his music box!

They the county of Suffolk, have decided to retire instead the Crown Victoria, and revamping the boys in blue with a new and more aggressive look. The new Ford Interceptor is smaller, leaner, faster and more fuel efficient, and it dares any teeny bopper to out race the man behind the ‘Interceptor’.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


The lawn service I use all summer come at the end of November and do a fall cleanup for me. This means that I don’t do much myself on the lawn, except when we have a hurricane, then I clean up.

This year with Hurricane Sandy coming so soon, the cleanup wasn’t enough so the lawn service came and finished it on November 24th. They then proceeded to blow off some covers for water weights that hold my pool cover down on one side. That’s 36 feet in length!

OK, so I go to the supermarket, and get three things for a salad I needed. I get on the checkout line and give the kid my Stop ‘N Shop card, which he dutifully runs through his scanner, than proceeds to scan all there items and then asks me if I have a Stop ‘N Shop card!

Then I get in my car to back out of the parking space at the store, and the car makes an irritating sound when it backs up: “Beeep, beeep beeep” it goes in its high pitch squeal like noise, and won’t you know it, this dopey guy tries to pass me on foot as I'm backing up, coming from a pair of parked cars, causing me to jam on my brakes!

Not enough for you? Then there is the jackass in the Ford Rover that decides he is going to race everyone into the single merging lane from way back of the converging line. HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It was the morning after Thanksgiving, the day marked on all retail calendars as: “Black Friday!” It is also the day marked on TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) calendar as “Shop ‘til I drop” or on my calendar as: “I’m in trouble!”

I started off the morning by coming down for my coffee after my shower and looking around for TLW. She had gotten up somewhere near Four in the morning, and I awoke to her movements. They were not her usual orthodox movements of a woman getting up for coffee and breakfast, newspaper reading and watching the news then showering and dressing for work. These movements were almost stealth like in fashion and cryptic to her usual patterns of preparedness for a workday. I gave it a moment’s notice then rolled over and assumed the sleep position once again.

As I roamed about the kitchen and den, peeking around corners looking furtively for her, I was ready to callout when I noticed the note on the kitchen table. I had two choices: 1) I could go to the pharmacist and have him read it to me, but that was too early in the morning, or B) take out some of her old notes that the pharmacist had interpreted and transcribed from Manningese into English and make comparisons to try to interpret by myself. I did the later and was able to come up with the translation to some degree.

She was out on the hunt, before 6:00 AM! Of course this information brought me down on my knees, first in shock and while down there, in prayer for my financial soul. Recovering enough, I went to the coffee pot and drank right from the pot, not waiting for it to finish brewing.

I'm afraid, very afraid!
After 7:30 AM, I started to get suspicious that maybe she turned cougar and ran off with some young stud across the border to Mexico. (She would NEVER go to Canada, she is always cold), leaving me to pick up the pieces of my pathetic life. The horror of that reality kept rolling over me, eating alone, cooking for one, talking and, listening to myself and other such horrors.

The very idea that I had the remote control, and would have to operate it without supervision, watching baseball, football, basketball and God forbid, even hockey sent shivers up and down my spine!

Then suddenly after 8:15 AM, the phone came alive, shaking me from the deep dream-like sequence of the new reality, sharply interfering with my perception of NEVER having to watch the fat content again in my meals, or doing another poster for her 2nd grade religious class!

“Hi Joe, it’s me, Ellen.”
“Hi!” (This is a moment when I am most proud of Mr. Reynolds my old English teacher in high school)
“I decided to go straight to work since I took so long. Oh! By the way, I know what you can give me for a Christmas gift this year!”

And so you have: “Black Friday” in the Del Bloggolo household.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Thanksgiving morning, reading about Hurricane Sandy and the disruption of service that it caused for the utility LIPA, and the statement that the Governor made that it must go for something better, I thought that the lighting company was long over due for a shakeup.

Just then TLW (The Little Woman) asked if I would go to the local convenience store and get a couple of buttered rolls. The rolls are buttered fresh, then put into waxed paper sandwich bags and tapped closed and put in a wicker basket, and you go and take as many as you need. They sell for $1.09 each or two for $2.17. (8½ cents sales tax)

I pay for two and off I go back home and to TLW. I sit in my easy chair with a cup of coffee and open my roll, THERE IS NO BUTTER ON IT!


“Well, I have butter on mine.” Says TLW. (Thank you very much!)

I fume and decide to go back and confront the convenience store since this is not the first time this has happened.

In my car I go and drive down the block, and start to think: “These poor people have to work this morning on a holiday, and here I am about to make a fuss about a lousy stinking roll!” However, I drive on to the store.

Arriving at the parking lot, I jump out of my car and head into the store, where the owner is standing, and he sees me with the roll in my hand, the kid who was suppose to butter them next to him.

“Uh oh, what did he forget this time?” says the owner.

Calmly I state my case: “There is no butter on my roll” and I show the evidence.

The owner takes the roll from me and I continue.

“This has happened more than once, and I’m thinking of having the governor come to investigate, maybe shut down this whole buttered roll business, maybe appoint a new commissioner of buttered rolls here! DO YOU WANT THAT?”

Well he gave me a new roll and allowed me to inspect it first. Of course he had a big grin on his face and so did I, but he IS lucky I didn’t charge him for the extra gas the trip cost me.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I hate this time of the year sometimes. There are certain things I have to do that I just don’t like doing. Maybe I am getting old, or maybe I’m just a mean old Scrooge, but that is the way it is.

Just last week I was once again given the task of writing out the Holiday Greetings! You know, those cards that take all day to write because I love everyone and want him or her to have a Merry Christmas, a Blessed Christmas, or a Happy Holiday! This requires judicious planning, making sure that I have enough non-religious cards for my Jewish friends and religious cards for my religious friends and holiday cards for my friends who may or may not be religious, hoping not to offend anyone. This requires careful calculations and decision-making.

You go through your personal phonebook of friends, neighbors and relatives, weighting who should get a card, who sent one and who didn’t last season.

You start to second guess yourself, thinking, they sent one last year, will they send it again after I didn’t think they would send it in the first place?  Did I save that person’s address, or did I forget? And this year, I promise to put all the addresses on a separate list so I don’t have to go through he phone book anymore. This time I really will, except I’ll forget again!

Then it is time to put the little seals on the flaps that TLW (The Little Woman) wants on them, do I have enough? Stamps! Do I have enough stamps to mail these cards or do I have to buy more? If I hear another Christmas song on a commercial before Thanksgiving is over I will personally go postal, delivering right between the eyes of every creative director on Madison Avenue.

The Christmas tree will soon need my attention, and decorating the house. How I hate to decorate the house, because then I have to take it all down after New Year’s Day! I have to put the tree together out of the box and then get the string of lights to work and I absolutely refuse to decorate outside. I know it is your favorite time of the year, well let me tell you, I think after Christmas Eve, the holiday is over for me, so why drag it out?

Last year I had the inspiration of placing the decorations, still in the box, outside my front door. When you come to visit me, you reach inside the box, and select a decoration to hang somewhere, the tree, the walls, anywhere you want. When the season is over, as you leave my house, you take down the decoration and place it in the box. Don’t worry about the box; I’ll put that away.

Then there is the nightmare of Christmas presents. That is my own personal nightmare. It starts right after Thanksgiving and goes on at least once a week until Christmas is over. I dream I wake up and it is Christmas morning, and I have no present for TLW! I feel bad, very bad, cold and heartless guilt grips me.

I remember when I was working, and realize why I am like this about the holidays. It seemed in July we started to work on Christmas sales of magazines, products, etc., and it would be 99 degrees out and I’m suppose to come up with ideas that convey the Christmas spirit!

I’d like to quote a famous literary character from the 19th century: “Bah! Humbug!”

But don’t get me wrong. I do love the season, even though there have been horrific times for my family and me during the season. One of my children was dying over that very holiday, and my niece lost a child on Christmas Eve, but that is all part of life itself. We celebrate life, and we don’t dwell, but I do know the pressures of this time of the year can put a damper on the joy. The commercialization has destroyed the meaning long ago, and the idea that we are nice to each other only once a year is laughable, and disingenuous.

But I do look forward to this coming holiday, I will be with the people I love, and I will enjoy wishing a happy new year to everyone, and hope it is. And one other thing, if I have ever offended you, I ask forgiveness, and a chance for us to discuss that hurt I inflicted. Remember I am as human as you are, and with emotion as imperfect. I dare you to talk and discuss it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


One morning last week, I came down from my shower and was entering the den when TLW (The Little Woman) greeted me with some startling news.

“You wouldn’t believe what happened last night!” she said.

“What?” (You are probably wondering where I got my education? At Al’s College)

“I heard this woman’s voice about 3 in the morning!”

“Huh?” (I know: it impresses me too.)

“She must have had a bullhorn, and she was using it what seemed like right outside our door!”

“Really?!” (I know, there are even bigger words I might know.”)

“Yes, she was saying: ALERT!

“She was saying: Alert!” (I know Mom is sooo proud)

“Yes,– ALERT, your program has been updated!”

“WOW!” (And you wonder where my kids get their intelligence from.)

It seems I left my computer on from designing a few jobs I was working on, and in so doing, left the sound on because I like to hear music while I work!

I think the next time the lady shows up with the bullhorn, I will have passed to the great design studio in the sky, by design of TLW’s hands around my neck.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Went to the movies recently with TLW (The Little Woman) and saw a great motion picture starring Ben Afleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Alan Arkin in ‘ARGO’, about the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.

The movie, directed by Ben Affleck: and this guy is a talent, takes you back in history during those terrible days of the hostage situation!

It was a splendid mix of both newsreel and Hollywood, and tells the remarkable story of how Hollywood rose to the occasion of patriotic duty, devising a clever and intricate scheme to fool the Iranian hostage takers and revolutionary government.

Argo is the name of a movie or screen-play that is used not to bring in viewers or sell tickets, but set up to make the Iranians THINK there is a legitimate movie, when in fact it is a ruse.

It is a movie that will bring you back in time. The cast, the wardrobe and the background scenery are all done so well that it is hard to believe it is not real. If you remember your history then you know the outcome, but still are on the edge of your seat, the tension high and you have to keep reminding yourself how it ended.

I won’t tell you more than I have, and I will tell you if you haven’t seen this movie, you better get to it before it is gone! It does a very good job of explaining the hatred toward the Shah and the US, and why we are where we are today. If there is one criticism I have, it is that unless you know the history, as they introduce the characters in the movie, they never tell you who they are or what their title is.

TLW completely agrees with me that the movie was suspenseful and well executed.

I really loved the character played by Alan Arkin as a crusty old Hollywood veteran director. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss it!

Friday, November 23, 2012


That's Michele, second from the left
As a retired designer and semi-retired artist, being how I am by myself most of the time with new interest and needs, I don’t often get to travel down the path of aesthetic appreciation. When a chance presents itself: I go and enjoy. Recently just such an occasion occurred.

While perusing Facebook, I came across a posting from an old high school buddy of mine who is a fellow artist having been in the commercial field, and who took on photography as an additional avenue of artistic exploration and expression, where I choose to write.

Her name is Michele DePalo, aka Michele DeVito, which is an interesting name change if ever there was one.

'For The Birds'
Michele had three pieces in the art show at the Sachem Public Library presented by the Brookhaven Arts & Humanities Council. The photos were interesting observations of country life, with a keen connection with direction, color and space; that make these photos so beautiful, but also lend comment to everyday life.

I could only find two of the three photos she did, the one missing was called, ‘Past Their Prime’, showing some railroad passenger cars retired and rusting, making one feel the years and wear that these cars show.

But the two you see here, are excellent indications of her photographic eye, and are quite expressive. My favorite, ‘For The Birds’ is very simple in scope, and yet almost makes up a story about a bird village if you will. The colors dance along the way as your eye scans from one to the other.
'Amethyst Shop'

‘Amethyst Shop’, once again lets you in on the secrets of the past, the beautiful colors of the flowers, supported by the direction of the lines and the space and shape they form, while giving you a sense of age, and wonder of the place itself.

It makes me proud to see a classmate of mine do something so beautiful, and my guess is it is not hard work for her to find beauty in anything, with her keen artistic eye. A lovely woman with a beautiful sense of what eye candy really means.

Michele, great job and don’t stop, the world needs beautiful things, and you deliver!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


How many turkeys do you see in this picture?
Another year anther turkey, and life keeps churning on.

It seems that of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is strictly about food and drink, a culinary journey over familiar ground. In my family growing up, although it was a holiday, and it was festive, we didn’t give it the importance of Christmas or Easter. If it weren’t for TV and the newspapers, we might have missed it.

Mom had a pot that she took out once a year when we had turkey on Thanksgiving Day. That was the only time of the year: the only day we actually ate turkey. That was before turkey rolls and breasts were sold as cold cuts and you could make it for dinner. Never liked turkey all that much and still don’t. Could live without it.
His eminence at dinner

Many people make it for Christmas, and I think: Why are they doing that, it’s not Thanksgiving! Then many people make ham on Thanksgiving and I think: Why are they doing that, it’s Thanksgiving! It’s a tradition to me but not by much, yet there are many things I remember about those Thanksgivings past.

The meaning of the holiday has always stayed with me however, when I think about what this country is all about. I don’t necessarily mean the government so much as the people who make us a country. We Have lived in relative peace all our lives as a nation, and our Constitution proclaim us as: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense…” something we take as our right.

When I think about all those guys and gals who are serving away from their homes and families, while the fat headed politicians are breaking bread with theirs, I wonder where the justice is, then I realize that they who serve, serve the highest calling, and we should be proud of them, their sacrifice and we should take better care of them when they return, with free medical for them and the rest of their families for the rest of their lives. That means that when they marry, they get it for their spouse and children too.

Maybe I think without my head, but what the Hell, they will probably be away serving on Christmas too!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The Big Bang Theory! And why? Because my son, #1 Son helps make it a success.

The past week, my old high school buddy and big time Mets fan, Michele DePalo asked me if my son was part of the flash dance that the actors and crew performed on the You-Tube clip she posted. It so happened to be the same flash dance TLW (The Little Woman) and I witnessed when we saw then tape the show in LA when we were there!

Then my old buddy from the Board of Directors, Ken (Where are my keys?) Walker sent me an email that asked:
Hi Joe,
   Have you seen this and does your son appear in it?

Well, needless to say, how cool is this? I asked TLW if she even imagined this when we walked down the aisle so long ago.

I’m sorry, but I am proud of the kid. This is the same kid that read the Kings and Queens of England at 6 years of age! The very same kid who built block structures very unconventionally, the blocks on their sides, not flat! The kid that used to hide from me when I came home from work and jumped on my shoulders from his hiding place, and very same kid that once ambushed me with a water bomb on my head as I climbed the steps of my side entrance to my house one night when I arrived home from work.

This makes me proud that I have a kid like this, and he still loved baseball, the Mets and Jets, the Knicks and Islanders and still likes even though they are perennial losers!

I will try to calm down and think of something more important, but all that comes to mind is he has a great wife, a great mom and a great life, that is all I will ask, I can’t wait for the other guy to get moving too, I know it will be good in his own way!

I try not to brag, but I am so excited!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The other day I decided to go to the supermarket and get a few things. It seems that going to the supermarket to get a few things would be routine, but that seems to never be the case anymore. As they say: “The NEW routine.”

As I enter, by the exit door is this lady standing in front of a group of ladies and small children. The lady seemed to be lecturing the group of about 10 ladies and 10 small children. I noticed but didn't think much of it.

Then I went on my hunt for chicken and found what I wanted and headed to the checkout via the canned goods aisle for seafood, and decided I wanted some canned clams for a white sauce and spaghetti. As I cruise down the aisle, there in front of me is this group of young woman and these little kids again!

I try to concentrate on my clams but the group stops right in front of the clams! This is starting to get on my nerves, after all, she could have stopped further up the aisle and I would have been on my way, but no, with her big smile and the rapt attention of the little tykes, I decide not to interrupt, however there is a single lady standing at the end with her arms folded. I ask:

“Is this some kind of tour group?”
She chuckles and says: “No.” She then leans into me and says it is a classroom field trip for slow learning kids.
Don't know who she is, but she's hot!

I go off and come back for the clams and head for the checkout. I get on line and deposit my stuff on the conveyor and packing is this normal teenager, who has a lady with him. The kid doesn’t look enthused about being there and the lady with him is helping him pack my groceries. He is screwing it up and the plastic container of grape tomatoes has come open, spilling all over the place! The lady looks at the kid like she would like to kill him: and the thought has entered my mind too. On top of that, after they gather up the tomatoes and place them in the container, they then place the container into a plastic bag, ripping a hole where the tomatoes spill out once again!

I ask the lady if he is part of a workshop and she says no, so I ask if she is a job coach, and she says she is with the school system training this kid to pack a shopping bag and work at this supermarket! I think: “How nice!” Then it hits me: “TRAINING HIM TO PACK A SHOPPING BAG!”

How do you train someone to pack a shopping bag at that age? How soft are we? Now when I was his age, I worked two jobs, one of which was Hills Supermarket on East Main Street in Patchogue. Do you know what my instruction was for doing that very same job! “Pack” That was it, no training, no introduction, no lady standing next to me. I just figured it out, boy what a genius I must have been!

And so ladies and gentlemen, as I head off into the sunset, and down below the Dew line and maybe the water table, will read a tombstone.

Here lies Joe DelBloggolo, boy could he pack it in!

Monday, November 19, 2012


I guess with all the gas rationing, the death of my brother-in-law and the Nor’easter, my sleep has gone through some strange twists and turns.

One night last week, I had a rather interesting dream. It all took place at my diner on what I suppose was a usual Sunday morning breakfast with TLW (The Little Woman).

We entered the diner and were escorted to our usual booth. Our usual waitress came to the table and asked if we wanted coffee. We agreed and she asked if we wanted milk or half and half.

“One other thing” she said. Coffee is rationed and YOU may have it because your license plate is even, but your husband can’t, because his plate is odd!”

TLW: “OK give me decaf then.”

Me: “I can’t have coffee because it is rationed and my plate is odd!”

Waitress: “Sorry!”

“Hey Toots? Will you give me some of yours?”


If the dream had lasted, I probably still would have had to pay for breakfast!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


NY Jets Offensive Lineman
As I sat there, wallowing in my tears, first the New York Giants went down, and then the New York Jets, my face was raw from the tears that streaked down all afternoon. To complicate matters, the Macaroni Man, my nephew Christopher filled with Tortellini ala Zio Giuseppe, joined me in deep sobs, mournful cries and utter despair.

At dinner we discussed his mother-in-law and her wanting to get a job, so I said that if she is interested to give me a call and I would try to help her.

Over the years, my recently passed away brother-in-law John, during the baseball season would call me after the many losses the Mets managed to manufacture from whole cloth and it went like this.

Phone ring I say: “Hello?”

“Joe, your Mets suck!” he would then hang up!

This went on all season long.

And so I sat that night watching a movie when my phone rings, and the caller ID says it is the Macaroni Man.

I pick up the receiver and yell: “Your Jets Suck!”

The other end of the line is a long pause.  Something I said? This does not seem like it is going as it should! Finally, a small voice pops up and says: “Joe?”

“Yes?” (God! This is not good!)

“This is Linda, Chris asked me to call you?”

I will now be writing all my blogs from my shed. Leave your message tacked to the door.

Today is my baby sister's birthday, Macaroni Man's mother.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The instructions were clear, coming from my by sister Nippy. She had the job of picking out the music for the funeral Mass of my brother-in-law John, and the two readings. The first reading was assigned to my brother-in-law Tom, from the Book of Wisdom, and the second reading for me was the Acts of the Apostles.

“You Have the second reading, here is a copy of it and don’t screw it up.”

“OK.” Tom gives me a strut because he has the Book of Wisdom. I ask: “How many words are in his reading and how many in mine?”

The day at the Mass, the moderator announces that Tom, will read the first reading. Tom reads and fine job he did in his Connecticut accent while all my New York relatives think its’ in Polish, not Connecticuteese.

They do a little music and I get up to do my reading. TLW (The Little Woman) puts her arm on mine and tries to stop me. It works and I ask what’s wrong. “They didn’t announce you yet!” she says. “Oh” I say, and wait a few seconds, wondering if the ‘announcer’ is sick, has Alzheimer’s or is just messing with my head. I get out and scoot over to the aisle and the Priest just goes on with the Mass, cutting out my debut as a religious fanatic.

I am mad at TLW for stopping me. The Priest is now giving a sermon about ‘Ever-lasting life’ and I think: “Not for TLW if I have my way.” But reason prevails and I realize she was doing me a favor, I could have embarrassed myself, and she was trying to prevent that, (A good woman)

I get through the service and we head to my niece’s house for the family get-together and Tess my older sister (Much older) says: “What happened? You screwed up! I try to explain and she cuts me off saying: “WHY CAN’T PEOPLE ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHEN THEY SCREW UP?” This is of course an attempt to tweak my nose and bust my chops as Nippy admits the organist, narrator and Town Crier all screwed up, not me. But for the rest of the day, Tess, my older sister (Much older) makes ME wear the mantle of shame. I going to have to have a word with the Pope.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Da Patient
Every three months, I get the chance to visit the doctor, whether I want to or not. He is my primary care physician, Dr. Strangeglove.

The receptionist asks me if everything is the same in terms of coverage, and then asks me for my phone number. Now I must say she is quite attractive, and so I gave it to her, then she asks for my cell and I give her that too, with this suggestion, or caution: “Just keep in mind my wife may get suspicious!” She laughs and I then go on to tell her: “Not so much that I am cheating, just worried that someone who works on her doctor’s staff would have such bad taste!”

I am led into the examining room when in he bounds while I am reading from my Kindle, and asks: “How are you today?”
Dr. Strangeglove

“Well, that is what I want to find out.”

I see that he looks like he lost some weight, but I won’t got there because I didn’t.

He goes through the usual incantations and pronounces me fit. “I’ll see you in three months.”

Being how I am starving because I had a blood test, I decide to go to the MacDonald’s nearby on Portion and Hawkins Road. I order the bagel with steak and eggs and a coffee. (Milk, no sugar)

I am about to bite down into this thing of beauty when my cell phone rings.


“Mr. DelBloggolo, this is Dr. Strangeglove. Listen, I just checked your cholesterol from August and I want to maybe change your medication from 40 mgs to 80, not that it is bad but I want it better.”

“OK, you want to change the prescription?”

“Well, in May it was very good, but in August: not so hot, but nothing to worry about. Call me Monday and by then I will have the results of the blood test.”

And so went such a delicious steak and egg bagel at Mac Donald’s, ruining perhaps my whole weekend’s menu choices.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Just some of them!
With all the pain and sorrow that was experienced in the death of my brother-in-law John, something beautiful occurred that made me proud once again of my sons. Both of them had an excuse and a pass from me to stay where they were and not come to the funeral.

My #1 Son Anthony, who works on a tight schedule, a demanding job in Los Angeles flew in, dropping everything he had to do to pay his respects to his uncle John because he had a heavy heart and needed to.

Then there is #2 Son Michael, who was in the midst of mid-terms up in Purchase, hand-cuffed with a late scheduled class, traveling all night and arriving at 3:00 AM to attend his Uncle’s funeral, refusing to take my offer to pass, because he had a heavy heart and needed to also.

As I returned to the funeral parlor that sad day to say goodbye, as I entered with my beautiful wife, we had my sons with us, we were grateful and proud of our boys!
Add caption
It made me particularly proud of my; niece Annmarie and nephew Chris, along with his wife Kim who live locally and showed up immediately at the hospital on a moments notice while my brother-in-law was still alive. And my nephews David from Florida and Marc and his sister Jean-Marie from Connecticut who dropped their little children and came over from the ferry with their sister Katie who flew from San Diego and connected with her sibs to attend! And my niece Sara and her husband Alex, along with Greg, Annmarie’s husband, all attending: giving comfort to my sister’s family in their hours of pain and need.

You have no idea how proud it would have made Grandpa knowing his family was so responsive, generous and loving to bring that comfort. But why not, why shouldn’t they be supportive, it is in their blood, in their collective hearts, in their very being. As it were, my sisters Joanne and her husband Don, Mary Ann and Fran and her husband Tom, all scattered in different parts of the country, rushing in and being there with me as we tried to hold up a beautiful family that needed comfort and understanding. Once family, always family!

If you don’t believe in God, then you don’t believe in family and friends. They are God, they are the handiwork of the creator: surely the comfort came from HIS hand in all of those I spoke of, through their hearts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


When my brother-in-law John lay dying in the hospital, the whole family rallied and came together for him, dropping what they were doing and rushing in to give aid and comfort to his immediate family. Those of us who live on Long Island came to give their support and love to John and pray for him, shocked that he was turning for the worse and so suddenly.

My nephew Chris and his wife Kim, my niece Annmarie left her two little babies with her husband Greg and lent her comfort too. It would have made not only John happy to know that he is indeed loved, but Grandpa too, his grandchildren making their effort to show family unity.

But there were other members of the family, you might call them friends, we call them family, who came. There was Lenny and Maria, who lived next door, who have shared all their lives in Sayville, and all there is in their lives with Theresa and John.

Lenny in particular, did so much during and after the death of John, making it so much easier for the family as a whole, showing what friendship, or should I say kinship is all about.

Then there were those that rushed in from out of town, the last minute, interrupting their lives for something most important, sharing their support for some special people. There are my nieces and nephews Kathie from San Diego and Jean-Marie, and Marc from Connecticut, and of course my two boys from LA and Purchase both asking how everyone was holding up and making plans.

John's last vacation in Cape May
There is a place called heaven, a place I don’t know if I’ll ever see, but I know John will see, and all the people who demonstrated that particular love and kindness that that particular understanding of what family is all about will all meet one day. It is in times like these that I am proudest my whole family.

A special 'Thanks' to Dr. Kevin Manning TLW's brother and his beautiful wife Sara for reaching across and helping John and Theresa have a wonderful vacation this past summer in Cape May, NJ, it was their last ever together.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Sometimes I have to live with myself and it ain’t pretty!

For instance, after the last storm, the neighborhood was a mess from Sandy passing by. All my neighbors were out cleaning up the debris and clearing their property off from the fallen leaves and branches from the wind.

I noticed that some of my neighbors were using their blowers to clear their property and I thought I’d do the same, and so I went into the garage and took down my
 leaf blower. I usually need two sets of extension cords and so I connected one to the other and then into the garage wall, making sure the wires were knotted together so they don’t pull apart. I hadn’t used it in years since I now use a lawn service to do all that nonsense.

Well I was plugged in, knotted and ready. I push the button and nothing happens. “Darn” I think: “the blower must be so old and not used for so long a time, it won’t work!” So in disgust I take everything apart and put it back where it belongs.

I go into the house and tell TLW (The Little Woman) that; we need a new blower, the old thing doesn’t work! She starts to look at me with a funny look on her face, and I wonder what her problem is.

“I gave it my best shot, it won’t start!” I plead.

“You know it runs on electricity.”

She said that in front of one of our lit candles that she needed to read, since we lost our power.

“Oops!” (This is the best I could say.)

I go back into the kitchen and I notice my cell phone is low on the charge and I reach for the wire to plug it into my phone.


“Oh! Yeah, no power!” (This is the best I could say.)

Stupid is what stupid does, and I can prove that theory.

It is bad enough that all through the power outage, every time I went into the toilet, I would automatically switch on the light with no results, that when we finally had the power restored I didn’t bother to switch on the light for a while.

Monday, November 12, 2012


This blogue was written on November 6th.

Had he taken better care of himself he would have been alive today at 127! But you know in those days they didn’t take care of themselves.

Grandpa Joe was dad’s father and although I never met him, he left behind a legacy of hard work and toughness that followed him long after his death.

Grandpa was not the kind of guy to fool around with; he worked hard, started a business that helped my grandmother survive the depression, and had a very close friend who married my grandmother after he died!

One day in sunny Naples, someone said or did something to old Joe that kind of upset him, and rather than go through the formalities of asking for an apology, he killed the man with his bare hands! OK, maybe he was a little touchy, but then had his antagonist spoken to him in some other language he wouldn’t have had such a speedy end to his life.

Of course this did not sit well with the Dipartimento di polizia locale di Neopolitan, and rather than book a passage to America, Grandpa Joe stowed away, saving his skin and boat fare. It is my guess that all he packed for his voyage was a long salami and cheese, with maybe a flask of vino to sooth his guilty soul for killing a man, stowing away, and causing all that overtime at the Dipartimento di polizia locale di Neopolitan.

In the early 1900’s, things were not as well recorded as they are today. Grandpa met my grandmother, who was maybe 15 or 16 and they married. Grandpa was a friend of Zio Felice, and so he met grandma Frances, Zio Felice’s younger sister. They had three children, starting with my father.

Then the First World War started and grandpa, although he didn’t cause it, joined the fray in the U.S. Army, where he met his best friend Ralph. Grandpa had a need to serve his country, and since there were no waiter jobs in restaurants in those days, he joined up with the Rainbow Division and went ‘Over there’, where he took out his anger on a few German lads, and returned to the USA.

When he did, a breakout of Spanish influenza occurred and Grandpa was put in the hospital. Yearning to see his wife and children, grandpa jumped out of a third story window and into the snow and took off for Grandma, kids and pasta, and maybe not in that order!

And it is there that we leave Grandpa, for he died from his escape from the hospital, leaving Grandma Frances with three little kids and all that pasta!

It is interesting to note that his birthday was November 6th, my birthday is July 6th, and my son Joseph’s birthday is April 6th!

Thank you, and don’t tell anybody I told you all this, they are still looking for him in Naples as I write!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


A few years ago, TLW (The Little Woman) and I flew out to LA to visit the then engaged couple of #1 Son Anthony and his lovely bride to be TLC (The Lovely Courtney) and visited at their apartment. When we arrived, we were greeted by two strangers: Linus and Daphne, an odd couple if ever there was one.

Now this couple was rather rambunctious and on the whole happy to see us, but seemed to be very physical in expressing their emotions and if you sat down chances were you would suddenly have one or the other next of you!

Now Linus is a good-looking guy, maybe not as tall as Daphne, but what matters is love, and although a little heavy, Daphne has no problem with that. Like I said, love is what matters. The guy has a mop of hair and is a very friendly charmer.

Daphne is truly a beauty, with these black eyes that seem to penetrate one’s soul, yet she can be shy and coy and excitedly happy, all at one time! She seems to maintain her weight well and keeps Linus under control.

Both Linus and Daphne, after initial contact with TLW and me seemed to drift off and mind their own business, leaving us to visit with #1 Son and TLW.

This time out there, the tables turned, as they both seemed to attach themselves to me, particularly Daphne, who from what I hear is more aloof, became jealous when Linus gave me any attention, and both at one point would sandwich me on the couch. I feel flattered that this would be the case, since it had been a few years since we had last seen the lovely couple!

Then TLW tells me that Daphne was laying on our bed, and sneaking around at night, and I ran into her in the dark one night while on my way to the bathroom!

And that Linus fellow, very needy!
That's me reading with Linus

Saturday, November 10, 2012



There is no greater tribute you can give a man, than to remember him. There are no greater moments than those you share with those you love, and no greater gift can you receive than the gift of love.

If there is one man I can say truthfully fills the bill in all three mentioned above, it is my brother-in-law John. For over 50 years he has been there for me, whenever I needed him. He was an asset in life to all his family, and all of us loved him. He never knew the word ‘No’ and yet was prudent, judicious and sensible in his choices. When he first appeared there was an instant chemistry that seemed to transfer over to the entire family like an electric current. He fit, was one of us, we were part of his life too.

There are loses in one’s life that are immeasurable, far too great to fully comprehend when they occur and far too devastating as they happen. Losing a person that has no enemies: always was ready to jump in and help and always made you feel welcomed, needed and treated like royalty were only his minor assets. His biggest and most profound was the innate love in his heart for all he met. It was genuine and sincere; it was the model that I looked to, from that day 50 years ago when I first noticed the kind Polish fellow that came to the door for the first time.

If you have read this blog in the past, you know how I feel about people and the fact that we don’t eulogize them with platitudes when they pass, but celebrate them while they live. Type in “John” in the search and you will read many times what I thought of him while he was alive. Here is the funny thing: he is still alive! He is alive in his children, in his wife, in the hearts of us all: he can never die while we are alive.

We can commit his body to God and the earth, but God has committed John to our earthly hearts for all our being. He reached down from heaven one day almost 74 years ago and gave us John, the shining example of love.

To Theresa, Laurie Ann, John, Jennifer, to Gerard and Stephen, Sean and Nicholas: I will take time myself and cry the tears of loneliness, for you and the rest of my family, but we need not cry for John, his suffering is over, he came and went in this world, leaving all our lives in better shape than before he appeared, THAT is his living legacy. His pain although severe in the end, never encroached his spirit of love.

Vi amiamo il mio fratello Polacco!
We love you,  my Polish brother!