Friday, July 31, 2015


As vacationers, TLW (The Little Woman) and I would rather spend our time sightseeing and learning than sunning on the beach, especially since we burn so easily. To add more value the time we also take in a show or two. One of the shows we saw at Myrtle Beach was Legends In Concert.

Have you ever prepared yourself for something you swore you would not like only to find out you love it? Such was the concept of Legends In Concert, a troupe of people that imitate great entertainers and do the same material. This show had such wanna-be Faux luminaries as Prince, Presley and ‘The Blues Brothers” a country singer and Katie Perry, all doing acts from the 1980’s, a time when I was so divorced from the music scene that there was not much I recognized as hits, except for Presley, who along with the Dan Akroyd, John Belushi wanna-be’s.

The crowds got into the singing and performances and the house rocked, singing along and waving back and forth with their arms, the performers got a wild approval from their audience, including myself.

There was kissing the audience of any old lady over 70, including dancing and holding her hand, making about a gaggle of old girls feel young again.

I always wanted to hang out with the big shots, and so off we went to Wilmington, North Carolina and the battle ship USS North Carolina. The big ship saved from the scrap heap and made into a memorial to all the service men who served on her and other military branches during World War II that came from North Carolina.

The ship is massive, the guns can fire a 5-foot projectile that must weight hundreds of pounds 22 miles and that is where the concept of Rock and Roll must come from. Touring the inner workings of the ship on a 93+-degree day with high humidity and NO air-conditioning, the self-tour can be a challenge, descending and climbing 9 decks, going inside turrets adding to the fun. I did get to sit in the Captain’s chair and see what he did on the high seas.

And so it has been a great vacation.

Soon: I get my “Gitar” and other things to eat.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


This has been one of the better vacations I have taken in a long while. The South Carolina hospitality here in Myrtle Beach really extends itself from the friendly people to the food and entertainment. If that is not enough, you can always go north into Wilmington, North Carolina and continue the good times.

The Hopsewee Plantation, situated Georgetown, SC is a very rear gem, one that started out my visit to Myrtle Beach on a very high note. It is the only plantation standing that is not restored, but maintained, not renovated but repaired, and the only plantation that is still on its original footprint.

The home has had many owners, and throughout the years each owner has kept the integrity of the plantation, as told to us by the most beautiful guide I have ever met, who in her mid to late eighty’s still gives guided tours and as she hobbles on a cane because of a bad knee, gives you the full Nelson in tours.

As the tour ended, it was early afternoon, around noon to be exact and we noticed that there is also on this gracious property the River Oak Cottage, where visitors will enjoy an elegant Tea in the English tradition with flavorful Southern inspiration., where TLW (The Little Woman) and I visited and decided to stay and have lunch. The ambiance as well as the food, with the background music in this beautifully appointed sunroom made for a special hour. Old-fashioned teacups and sauces, white linen napkins and class, class, class abounded. The owner came over to visit and ask where we were from and made us feel welcomed.

Soon… Faux Legends that do it right and the Big Shots.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Every family has at least one, a mighty oak: that stands tall through the years, showing strength and endurance. But sometimes these mighty oaks are short or small only in stature, but not in heart.

Two such mighty oaks lived once in my family, on both sides. They were of course my two grandmothers, who endured hardships yet were great teachers to their children. Moms mother Mary: Born in this country, losing her mother at infancy lived under a tyrant of a step-mother, withstood great hardships for her three young children as her husband, my grandfather left her one day. With no job, and three kids to feed she had to find work in the mid-twenties, living alone and with some help from her brother Lou she managed to scrape by teaching her daughters the differences between right and wrong, raising three ladies of special note.

At one point Mary had to go into the hospital for a nervous breakdown and her flock was scattered among religious institutions and relatives, a heart wrenching time for any mother. She died at the age of 46 from stomach ulcers or stomach cancer, make your choice, the results were still the same.

Frances was Dads mother, and the one I knew personally. She was a strong woman with a strong heart and mind, who was afraid of nothing. Coming to America at a young age of 15, by herself, she braved the language barrier and the prejudice of America at the turn of the century and built a family, business and following. She lost my grandfather to Spanish Influenza and married his best friend. Ralph adored grandma and did whatever she told him to do. She sewed buttons on coats after working all day in a factory to earn extra money. She was a phenomenal cook who was so good she could put ingredients together and they kind of cooked themselves. That’s cooking. She also owned a restaurant and vegetable and fruit stand and an apartment building. Given an education, she would have been a pioneer in industry. She was very active in her church and made countless boat and plane trips to Italy on the behalf of orphans from the war. In Naples somewhere is an orphanage named after her.

Of course there is another oak who still grows every day, and by the time I am gone, her legendary life will be complete. Yes, I speak of TLW (The Little Woman), who has had to endure me for far too long.
Just the other day we went out for breakfast, trying out a new dinner. It was after 7:00 am and as we approached the dinner TLW said they may not be open!
Nah, said I, they have to be open at this hour. She insisted and said: "Well you go in and if you do get in I’ll get out of the car and follow you."

I get out of the car and open the door and go in. The waitress comes over to me and says: “How many” and I say: “One please” and she seats me. I sit and moments later TLW comes in and walks over while the waitress points to me and says you are with him? I start making these funny faces to deny I even know her and the waitress mouths to me: “She’s your wife.” And a mighty oak indeed she is!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Many years ago, Mom would make a dish that I did not particularly like. It was beef stew, and the thought of eating stew was like staying in the apartment on a Saturday morning while my friends were outside having a good time.

Ma. What’s for dinner?
Awww, why stew?
You don’t have to eat it you know, but don’t go looking for something to eat when you are hungry later. You eat what I give you or too bad.

Under great protest and strain, and the fear of having to wait for breakfast in the morning, my least favorite meal, I sat and ate the stew. What I disliked about the stew was Mom made it in a red sauce with green peas. It was the peas more than anything that I disliked. Once I started to eat, everything tasted good, including the bread and butter that went with it. To lessen the disappointment of the dish, Dad would pour me a little wine, and if he poured me one more, I would have really looked forward to stew.
the Sauce of my troubles
I had to drive #1 Son to the airport so he could fly home to California after having spent the day in NYC, many years ago. It meant driving from the south shore through some unknown neighborhoods on the way to LaGuardia. The thought of going through these neighborhoods did not thrill me, and I made sure my windows were up and the doors locked. A funny thing started to happen as we passed through the neighborhood, a certain excitement was present, an atmosphere of happiness and joy, infectious and inviting. Music was playing, people were out shopping and enjoying the beautiful day and I rolled down my windows and enjoyed the celebration of life. It was a special moment: it killed my sense of prejudice toward a wonderful group of people. It made me realize, my prejudice was keeping me from love and enjoyment.

I see where the gay rights issues are coming to a head. People are realizing that people are people, that hate has no place in this world. Many years ago a wonderful man by the name of Jim worked for me in my job in NYC. He was gay and I knew it, but never brought up the subject, because it just didn’t matter to me. He did his job, worked harder than the rest of the crew and was morally and good person. He was honest, likeable and funny at times, always sharp and positive. But his best trait was his loyalty: he was very loyal to me and sometimes would go out of his way to make my job easier. Finally one day I took him out to lunch for his birthday and he revealed his ‘secret’ to me. I was confused and was waiting for him to tell me something I didn’t know. He said that he never admitted it because he was afraid that I wouldn’t hire him let alone let him keep his job. When I told him I always suspected it, that it had no place in the mix of things I saw a grown man cry! He like so many others, died from aids, and there sits a question, would he have if society was more understanding of the human spirit and need for love, any kind of love, that gay people had to be driven underground to find it? Maybe, maybe not, but I don’t sit upon a throne in heaven or am known as God or Abba.

Like Mom’s stew, and the green peas, the Confederate flag has always made me wonder how it could still fly. This is the symbol of rebellion that tore this nation apart, although it represented a way of life, also represented oppression and the subjugation of human beings, no better or worse than me or you for that matter. To me it was on a par with the swastika, a symbol of oppression and dominance of humanity by a corrupted sense of superiority to our fellow man.

Today in my humble abode, TLW (The Little Woman) makes stew, in a brown sauce and no green peas, with bread and butter, and life is good although I would pay anything to taste Mom’s stew one more time.

Say a prayer for a beautiful young lady who is in the midst of health crises, and for her husband and parents that they may bare up to this difficult challenge.

Thank you.


Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Jimmy Swaggart is a good example
The hardest thing to do is get older. It takes a lot of living and bumps and bruises, I should know, I’m old. I became old officially this July 6 at 1:30 pm. As legend has it the doctor had me by my ankles, smacked my ass and said to Mom: “Here’s another boy for Uncle Sam!” I don’t know what he meant but I think he was saying another life to sacrifice in someone else’s war.

As it comes to sacrifices, I have done my part in both time and money, not to mention energy, especially for my kids. There you do such things in joy, they get what they need and you provide it. But there is another kind of sacrifice that I don’t understand, the call to arms. Why are some people in this country so willing to send off the young to die, is the bravado that strong?

Old men from both sides of the ocean pick a fight with each other and make war, one they personally will not fight, and so they send your sons and grandsons off to fight it. Even the young women get off their patriotic rocks and fight now. I love this country, but this country is made up of the future: the young should never be so arbitrarily sent off to war. Forget the cost, you will pay for it, the old men have fat paychecks and nice pensions.

Many years ago Dad was watching TV on our new color console by Magnavox, just a few days old and as he was watching I happened to pass the living room and one of my sisters changed the channel on him. It upset me and so I changed it back to his channel, thus beginning the outbreak of hostilities. It was a four front war for me (four sisters) who all ganged up on me at once, and when it was over, there was no Dad anywhere to be seen, he was down in the basement watching the old Black and white set, I was bleeding from scratches and my shirt breast pocket was ripped and my glasses broken! That is what war always gets you, most cost and destruction.

After 70 years I’ve become cynical of everything ever told to me and taught. I’ve become suspicious of politicians, they should be changed as often as a babies diaper, and for the same reason, the church has left me no reason to think they can govern my spiritual life when they can’t master their own, and even the old morality they taught me in school is under a dark and heavy cloud.

Change s good as long as we grow from it. The days of persecuting homosexual love is over, now we are all free to love who we want. The self-anointed will have to deal with it best they can, until someone in their family decides: “Yes, gay marriage is what I want.”