Saturday, June 24, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 23, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

Ma, you are right!

Thursday, June 22, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hate Costco.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


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

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

Diane Keaton

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 19, 2017



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, June 18, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Saturday, June 17, 2017


June 14, 2017, will be one of the nation's darkest days. Once again, someone took up arms and tried to alter history in his own sick way. This time it comes from the left, many times from the right. Left or right, it is sick, sad and a commentary on our society. A congressman lies in a hospital in critical condition.

In Arlington, Va., early in the morning someone decided to make political changes, choosing to eliminate as many Republicans as possible with a gun! Although Republicans are in turmoil right now on the national political landscape, and people are getting angry on both sides, taking a gun and killing a fellow human being is not the way to change things, especially in a country that has all the mechanisms of making a change. We can't be so singular of mind that we become the only authority of what is right or wrong for this country.

Hours later, in San Francisco, a UPS site became the center of mayhem and murder. What a wonderful way to finish a bad day. Three innocent people were shot, and along with the gunman, died. This news is being overshadowed by the events in Arlington along with the now ongoing investigation of collusion with the Trump campaign team and the Russians.

I don't remember so much turmoil in one day, all of it so dark and sad, so heavy on our collective souls, filled with foreboding and disgust for the American people. What I wouldn't give for some sanity, some reasoning, less excitement by the press in its eagerness to break a story, and more of the sanity of our system of checks and balances, designed to keep us civilized as a nation of reason, and freedom.

But what has come from all this? Has any good come from tragedy? If anything, it unites the country in spite of differences, can come together in protest of the extreme ugliness of a few.

Way back in the 1960's, there was a rash of assassination attempts successfully executed. JFK, RFK, MLK, and so long the years since with the mindless victims in schools and offices until yesterday, I wonder if this is the beginning of a different violence or the ending of a more lucid one?

Friday, June 16, 2017


It was 1962, and I found a job on a farm, weeding and picking strawberries.  Not being a strawberry eater, this was an interesting job, pull them out of the ground and put them in a bushel and be paid. Nice simple job.

Then things got complicated. I tried one, it was delicious! I had to try another. Still delicious! One strawberry led to another and before you knew it, I was losing money.

But pick and eat I did, frantically making up for my loss, as I mowed down each of the long rows of strawberries, and making the Mancuso Farm profitable on my 10 cents a row labor. In 1962, 10 cents a row was good money if you weren't raising a family.

The next day was school and off I went. About mid-morning I went to study hall, where I was supposed to study. I studied a few young ladies when suddenly I was feeling kind of funny, almost faint. I report to Mr. Hanscomb, who sent me to the nurse's office and from their home.

Arriving home I found my mother busy spring cleaning, the windows wide open and the smell of pine in my nose. Having a bout of the shivers, I went to bed and then the fun began.

Laying on my bed, I noticed a red pimple that itched. Doing what any young all-American would do, I scratched it. Then another appeared, then two then three then all over my body! I figured I needed to find the mosquito before I died.

That afternoon found me in the doctor's office, where I was diagnosed with the hives. And where did I contact the hives??? Well, the good doctor suggested maybe it was something I ate, like strawberries.

The rumors circulated around the school that I had a blood disease, a rare one. Fortunately, no one arranged for a funeral Mass.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


It's been a few weeks and many meals since I was last there. Along the way, I caught an infection in my chest that has made me cough, sometimes uncontrollably in bouts and fits, making that lovely sound of bringing up the ‘you know what'. I stopped going because I didn't want to break out in one of the fits and embarrass myself.

As I awoke from a good night's slumber, I donned the gym gear and set off to the gym. There were no more excuses, the chest infection is gone for the most part and so I did what I had to do. I parked in the parking lot in hopes that the place had closed down since I was last there, but doggone it, people dressed like me were going and coming, once again, I had no choice.

Once I entered the building, it all comes back to me, rushing my mind like a dreaded visit to the dentist office. The people scattered about, all sweating and straining and not having a particularly good time of it. I head for the theater where a movie is playing, (The Longest Yard), how appropriate, and I mount the apparatus to begin my workout.

As I work out, it seems like weeks since I got on it yet there seems like an eternity when I will be finished! The struggle goes on as Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock play football from prison. My task is greater than theirs.

After a layoff, I decided I would go a little easy on myself and do only 20 minutes on the torture apparatus to give my body a chance to ease back into something I hate, but do as a form of punishment and discipline. Once you retire, you need some form of discipline to manage your day or the time gets away from you.

Part of the ‘fun' of going to a gym is to watch other people torture themselves, at various levels. You have the self-haters like myself who do it just to have some unhappiness in my life, there are others who do it for a fashion statement, usually young women in spandex wearing timers and calorie counters or step monitors or all of the above. There are the older folks who wear anything they can find, women in their late 50's working hard and seeing little results, and of course the old men who don't really work out, just congregate around the equipment and shoot the breeze. Most conversations are about food and medical networks, prescriptions and doctor visits.

And so I will continue this method of torture until I confess or die, whichever comes first to save myself, for what I have no idea.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


A few days ago, I was heading home from the wonderful celebration for my brother-in-law Dr. Kevin Manning's retirement. I drive a nice car, it gets me there and back and saves me money in the process. It is described as pearl in color, but I opt for the color ‘unwashed'. This is not my fault, it is the fault of the birds that live over my car in my driveway and the fact that it gets dirty by itself.

Being how we had to go to Maryland (Hunt Valley) AKA Baltimore, we had to journey through Maryland, Delaware and the dreaded New Jersey. New Jersey is where the Japanese came in the 1930's to study the Kamikaze method of glorious suicide by observing the drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike! They could still learn more!

Back in 2014, coming home from Cape May, New Jersey, as I was tooling down the Garden State Parkway, this blue car came speeding up behind me and tailgated me. I was in the extreme left lane and doing about 70 mph. The car would not back off and I wasn't moving over. He flashed his lights a few times, and nope, I wasn't moving so he tried again. After a few miles of this he decided to go around me and as he did, gave me a dirty look under his blue policeman's cap.

Then once again as I was driving through Maryland, another car came speeding up behind me and tailgating. This time I was once again in the passing lane but in heavy traffic. It took me back to that time in the Garden State. Looking in the rear-view mirror, the moron looked like he was enjoying riding so close, making me madder than I usually am. I WAS NOT BUDGING! Go around me stupid, I'm not changing lanes, there's an 18-wheeler next to me and no room to move. This went on for a while when he finally realized, I would NOT be intimidated by this moron. He decides to pass me, looking at me with his blue hat and unmarked police car.

Once more we go at it, this time in New Jersey, on the famous Kamikaze Boulevard, AKA NJ Turnpike. I drive and sure enough, a white vehicle that looks like a pickup truck speeds up and tailgates me. Once again, I refuse to move, I'm doing the legal speed limit and will not move. I take offense when someone tailgates me and then tells me he is going through, move over. NOT A CHANCE, MORON!

After 5 minutes of weak intimidation, he like the others goes around, and I give him a big smile. As he passes me I can read on the back of the vehicle that is was a police SUV.

I don't understand how these so-called men of the law can put people in danger playing bumper cars. The men in blue need to take a self-check about their power. I truly appreciate their being between me and danger, but please don't endanger me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Today I am sitting in Hunt's Valley, Md., waiting to go to breakfast. I am on a trip that I am happy to make and proud to be part of. My brother-in-law Kevin, is being honored for his wonderful service as President of Stevenson University.

Dedication is borne of necessity, it is the by-product of belief in oneself and the willingness to fulfill our dreams. Without dedication and self-discipline, we can't succeed. To endure a journey with love, and dedication to a dream is the most fulfilling thing I can imagine, I lived it myself and remember my years of hard work. Yet today, it stands out as the ultimate triumph for one man who took to task what he wanted out of life, something that seems so unachievable and delivered. His dream was to someday be a President of a college. That was the simple part, that is where he began, and along the way, despite constant turns off the path finally reached his goal and rested for but a brief moment and thought: This is not far enough.

Once he was on the mountain, as they say, he looked around and saw other mountains, mountains larger and more challenging, and continued to climb until he achieved what no one expected, but everyone benefitted from. Taking a small commuter college and turning it into a very prominent and respected university, he can today, walk away and say I did my best, I did it out of love for my profession, and although the burdens of these great achievements lean harder on me as I get older, I can now rest in the knowledge that I truly did my job and pass the challenges on to someone else.

From the Stevenson University website:
Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., now in his 16th year as president of Stevenson University, was selected for the position after an extensive national search that involved the Board, students, faculty, and staff of Maryland's third-largest independent university. The institution changed its name to Stevenson University in June 2008.

Dr. Manning has more than 40 years of experience in higher education. Before coming to Stevenson, he was Vice President for Development and College Relations at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Prior to Immaculata University, Dr. Manning held key administrative positions at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and at Washington University in St. Louis.

But this I only the surface of the real story.

Monday, June 12, 2017


It was the early morning of June 12, 1991, deep asleep in bed after a dinner held the night before for the agency board, my air conditioner was going full blast from the heat of the night. At my front door in the early dawn was my brother-in-law knocking to tell me the news, the news that was never related to us, as he gave up. Finally, one of us was awake and the phone rang telling me that Dad had died and to go quickly to my parent's house.
The news was grim but expected. Dad had died!

When I got there, he lay in the hallway outside the bathroom, and everyone was waiting for me to finally show up to say goodbye before calling the coroner. I kissed him on his forehead and bid him farewell, a piece of me was going with him.

Today is the twelfth of June, Dad's anniversary of his death, and if you read yesterday's blog, you know the Eleventh of June was Mom's anniversary! To me it means something that I can't put my finger on, yet recognize the oddity of it all.

Dad was never good with remembering dates of any significance. More often than not Dad would forget a birthday or anniversary and it was Mom's he forgot. He was not a hand-holder although he did show affection to Mom, he signed his birthday and anniversary cards: "From, Tony." We used to tease him about it all. But when he did remember, Mom got a boxed card, it came in a box in the mail, Lacey and large, maybe 8x10 inches in size.

He also loved to whistle and sometimes croon in the car, he was a happy sort, always with a get rich scheme formulating in his mind, one that he inevitably dragged me into. His favorite holiday? Christmas Eve and the dinner Mom or Grandma made the famous seven fish. One other passion he had was his job, he loved his job and responsibility that went with it.

He is missed, every day I think of him. I wonder what he would have thought about the Internet, GPS and all the modern advances that life offers. I wish he had lived long enough to have met my granddaughter Darby Shea, his great-granddaughter. I think the fuss would have been astounding! I wish he could have seen his name on the TV screen in the credits, the same name I gave his grandson and namesake, my granddaughter's father. I wish he had met my daughter-in-law, he would have loved her and been very proud that she was a member of the family, a choice his grandson made.

And of course, there was his other Grandson, who recently finished college and has the future in his hands, to mold anyway he wants. Dad would have been proud indeed. He wanted us all to have a piece of higher education, and Mike would have completed the dream.

Life is indeed filled with ‘what if's', sprinkled throughout our lives, but we can't dwell on ‘what if's' only on what was and what is.

I miss you, Dad,
Love, your only son.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


She always dreaded being called Olympia, her given name since she was a little girl, yet everyone who knew her called her Olympia from the day my Dad died and she started a joy-filled life of volunteering for Brookhaven Memoria Hospital.

Helping others became her life's work or passion. She applied her many skills charitably towards the hospital in raising money and having a life in her community. She made friends, many who went out of their way to help her, who deemed it necessary to help a little old lady give of herself.

Sometimes her children would have difficulty booking time with her as her social life expanded. Many a lunch offered by me was turned down because she had made other commitments.

Then one day the ordinary results of living for 96 years took hold, she started the final process of life-death. As she slowly started to break down physically, she continued to uphold her spirits, basking in a visit from a child time to time and silently realizing the time, her time, was up. She didn't protest. As she slowly deteriorated, her life now restricted to her bed requested that she have a TV in her room so she could hear her daily Mass, it was very important to her. Under the objections of many who felt the TV couldn't be put in that room for reasons, I don't understand, my wife and I put the TV in, got a box for it, and installed it one Sunday morning. We also, to ensure continuity from the hospice lady who lived with her, put a TV in the living room, once again requiring a new box. It was her money, and why shouldn't she spend it on herself? She was still alive and when the money was all gone, we would apply for Medicaid to help her in her final hours.

As the days came to an end, I did all I could to make her comfortable, executing my job that was given to me as Power of Attorney to master her finances and have it all ready to hand over to an executrix of her estate.

In that final hour, while she was still somewhat conscious, I sat next to her and leaned into her ear and told her I loved her, and although she did not respond, I knew I had done what I should have done all my life, I told her and demonstrated that love.

Today she is gone three years, yet she is with me stronger than ever, she goes everywhere I go, and often I think of how happy she is knowing she no longer suffers from the ugliness and injustice of the world.

As I stood at the entrance of her house that day, as she was leaving for the last time from her beloved home, I felt the finality of what happens in life, as we pass, we leave all and the things we held dear behind.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


There was a guy I knew way back when, and his outlook on life was one of life should be cheap but good. He always favored the good times and he made you feel at home. He was a man of great intellectual ability and a great heart, his name was John.

John was many things to me, but most of all he was like a brother, and in his final days I tried to stay as close to him as possible. My decision was not one of his needing me, but the opposite, I needed him. I even shared his final hours with him holding his hand as he lay on his deathbed.

John was perhaps a man with a real moral compass, he chose not to make enemies and put up with a lot of people who could annoy him. Many a summer night, being a Mets fan, after the game was over, my TV screen would come alive with ‘Caller ID'. On the screen was his name and phone number and I would hear these words: "Joe, your Mets stink!" then he would hang up. We NEVER argued over that.

He worked for Big Blue, the computer giant AKA: IBM and his job was to go from one company to another and fix their computers. Dressed in a nice suit with wing-tipped shoes as a corporate identity, a customized briefcase filled with tools and meters, off he went about his business. It was from that experience he drew philosophies about life that he shared with me.

One day I was about to hitch a ride with him to school, and it was a beautiful sunny day and he suggested we take a "Mental Health Day". Not sure I knew what he meant, he explained it to me. You see, in the business world and everyday life, it is incumbent upon one to take an unscheduled day off, to rest one's brain from the vigor of life's challenges. This meant to call in sick, the boss need not know what was it you were treating.

When I graduated from college I carried that tradition to my own career and every time I did it, I naturally thought of my good friend, John.

Now, after all these years retired, I have many ‘Mental Health Days' I'm still using.

Friday, June 09, 2017


I understand that President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw the USA from the Paris Accord on global warming. He feels it is costing the USA too much money, and if it is, I can't tell since I've been too busy separating the garbage from the recyclables.

Personally, I have decided to stay with the accord and continue separating the garbage from the recyclables. Since it was agreed on and signed in Paris, France, I will be ordering French Fries with French Toast for breakfast on Sunday mornings. What TLW (The Little Woman) decides will be strictly on her conscience.

Global warming?
Many of you (both) will probably think this is so unpatriotic, supporting POTUS is our mission, to deny the very idea of global warming, after all, we did have some really cold days in January this year, so where's the warming? And if we look at the scientific concept that many bodies brought together causes warmth, thus contributing to the warming of our planet, banning the Muslims from traveling to the good old USA is reasonable. Extra Muslims hanging around will unfortunately only make it more necessary to disrobe in a crowded room, I mean just look at how they dress, in sheets, makes me hot.

I'm becoming more enamored by POTUS for many reasons. The first reason is we can now type ‘POTUS' instead of spelling it out, something like TLW. (See above)

You have to love the idea of building a wall. How long has it been since we redecorated here in the USA? Since the Revolution? Maybe we should also power wash Mt. Rushmore.
Dangerous elements especially the one on his Mamma's lap!

A re-rapprochement with Russia is a good idea. For years, they have been our enemy, trying to get our secrets, things like the recipe for Russian dressing for one. How about all that reading we've been doing on Literature from Chekhov and Tolstoy. And what about the famous composers such as Boris Alexandrovich Tchaikovsky?

 Then there is the idea that POTUS will do our thinking for us! Yes, no longer do I have to think about things such as the Mexicans and Muslims taking up the aisles in my Stop and Shop, we just won't let them in. This will of course cause businesses to discount everything and put it all on sale, and who will benefit? Why us freedom loving patriots whose grandparents came here because of religious or racial persecution! What a great country! Thank you Mr. POTUS!

Thursday, June 08, 2017


This has been a very productive week for the World of DelBloggolo! I have seen the removal from the horizon of three despicable individuals that I have detested for a long time. These are people that seemed to think they are privileged to step on others and feel like that have a right to. Usually, I don't hate people, but these three are a case of near-hatred.

There are many reasons to dislike someone's position on matters, but these three boobs defy reason and they need to go away.

Let's start with Scoundrel #1-
 MY pharmacist. This individual is just plain nasty, and I have had run-ins with him and almost climbed the counter once to punch him in the nose. I made a complaint about something, he disagreed with me until I showed the moron proof, which he tried to dismiss when he discovered I was right. From A to X he took on a condescending attitude, that will rile me anyway, from anyone. One of his assistants jumped in to alleviate hostilities that were building as he backed away. Well, the moron is closing his pharmacy, no one likes him, in fact, I might be the kindest of all to dislike him.

 A man I have hated for years. This individual is a host of a show he has on late night TV. The winner is Bill Maher. Recently he used a derogatory term that is vile, nasty, ugly and demeaning to people of color. People are now after his scalp to go away. This is not the first time or the first race or group of people he has disparaged. Years ago, he made some unkind remarks about people with disabilities, in which we spent a portion of our Board of Director's meeting discussing his remarks.  Since then and now other groups were also mistreated by this low-class degenerate. He thinks he can go around with impunity and insult people with his forum like he has the last word. Let us hope we have heard the last word from this dope.

 Kathy Griffith. This is someone who is a bully, using her ability to garner exposure and using it as a bully pulpit to espouse her child-like thinking and calling it a comedy. Make no mistake, this was done as a desperate attempt to revive her pathetic career. I am NOT a fan of President Trump. I dislike his policies and what he stands for, he is out of touch with the mainstream, and frankly, the 38% who do support him are not the mainstream. But to take his head and make it look like it was beheaded, after all the ugliness from Al Qaeda beheading innocent people, goes beyond the pall and makes her look very stupid and petty. Then to cry that the Trump family is bullying her, is just plain hypocritical or perhaps she is just that stupid. Above all, he is the President of the United States, and agree or disagree, we have to get over it and work with each other, not ridicule or embarrass a whole country.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


Seven ages of man


One of the beauties of growing old is that you had the chance. Many times, in life we witness people dying at a young age, or too soon as they say. But I have to challenge what too soon is, and ‘young' what is young? My son died at 24 months, and I could argue that 24 months is too soon and young. But it was his life-span, his life, and story.

I have come to realize that life is almost entertainment in a way, like a movie or a book, with a beginning and an end, and that there are many lives out there with beginnings and ends. It is easy to reach for a cd or a book and entertain oneself, but it is far more fascinating to meet and even study people, and listen to their stories.

If you ever go to a bar or cafe, maybe walking alone, and see someone who has lived beyond 50-years of age, he or she probably has an interesting story to tell, maybe a life lesson to give. Sometimes we ignore those most important assets in life, one another.

People say I have a good memory for things that occurred in my life, and at 72-years old, I'm happy to have a memory at all! Yet it is true, I seem to recall the most minute of detail, people, places and things that happened so long ago. Is my memory idyllic, or did something else happen? Maybe I fell in love with the times and places and thus, the people that occupied in those circumstances.

But just think of all the people you know, all the stories that lie within their lives, the joys, dramas, and tragedies that made them who they are! The amazing thing is the woven threads of other lives that inter-played with their story.

Many are the young with a fear of growing old. Yet as we reach old age, there is no fear, just acceptance, and resignation that life is what it is. Besides; does one need to worry about dying when one experiences the joys of life, the grandchildren, friends and most of all, the memories that will take you home, time and time again? I don't wish to die yet, but I know when it comes, many burdens will be lifted; making people happy, paying bills, worrying about a loved one and getting through the next day, all gone, just rest, in peace.

I can remember thinking 50 years ago about the turn of the century, what that would be like, how old I would be and I remember thinking of my present age, so far away and out of mind, and now here it is, the century has turned and so have I, in my 70's!

Age has a way of changing us, making us more mellow in some instances, and yet impatient with the world of self-centered pettiness and absorption that the younger generation can sometimes be. But what once was competition now become prized, the beauty of youth, the future they will manage, and the idea of growing old with a spouse or friend, God willing.
I think of my parents with a child's mind, and of my children with a parent's mind, and of course all of us my age as brothers and sisters, like-minded. And so, the Bard had it right…

William Shakespeare

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.

And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow.

Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.

And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.

The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017


JUNE 6th, 1944

There are few dates in history that hold more significance than June 6th, 1944. It Is the day that like December 7th, will be held as a game-changer for mankind. Sandwiched between the two dates is all the horrors of war, all the meanness, and ugliness that mankind could ever offer, and became the perfect backdrop for historical inaccuracy perpetrated by Hollywood.

Immediately after the war, it seemed that the war fever never left us here in America. In the following years, many movies were made and the dehumanizing of the Japanese and German people because of their ideologies was underway.

But in all the hoopla and rousing marches and battle scenes, we seem to forget the most important piece of this whole scenario, the strength and courage of the brave men who fought on the beaches of Normandy, who treaded water and bullets to reach the openness of the beaches where they became targets for their enemies, swallowed hard and silenced the chatter of machine guns and the destruction of the roaring artillery guns that rained down death and broken bodies for a lifetime.

More importantly, it took apart the innocence of the youth and cast them as men in this hellfire of death and destruction, of finality. We really don't know what the feeling of seeing your brothers dying all around you, the flashbacks to their youth and remembrances of family and home, as they tried to stay alive, wondering if this day was their last.

Many of those veterans chose not to speak of their experiences, and rightfully so, an ugly period in their lives not of their doing. And how many of these brave souls felt guilty in killing another human being, even in the line of duty?

We can never know, but we do know they were reluctant fighters who did their duty for themselves and their buddies, who just happened to be fellow American soldiers.

May God bless them all, those who lie in the fields of France, North Africa, Germany, and Italy as well as the South Pacific.

Monday, June 05, 2017


As I look back over the many years I lived, I wonder what I learned from it all. I wonder what was imparted to me, and if I have imparted anything in anyone else.

Looking back at all the many people that walked through my life and what they said and did, I realize how rich life has been and can be. But no matter what phase of my life I gather to, it always takes me back to those wonderful people with the accents that filled my heart, my soul and my future with a rich understanding that life is art. My grandparents, the very people who dared to cross the ocean in a foreign transport, a ship that took them away from their homes and little villages, from the comfort of their foods and familiar voices, and left them standing on the shores of a new land as complete strangers, yearning for all the things they remember and left behind, including those who they loved, maybe second-guessing their decision.

More often than not, when they struggled for acceptance, building a dream with a job, place to live and children, were always reaching for the light, stretching mightily to hold that light, bask in its warmth and hand it off to their offspring. But it wasn't just a ‘light', it was a symbol of their sacrifice and labor, their love, and their lives. It shone in their eyes and said: "Yes, I am American now!"

What did I inherit?

I inherited the realization that life is love, that love is a song that is played over, and over again in my heart and soul. It is the rich tapestry of the many strokes or layers of threads that gave me memories and smiles, tears and joy. It allowed me to pass on to my children that uniqueness that is my Italian culture, expanded with American ways of life that completed that very tapestry. Yet what I pass on can only be diluted, but not forgotten. Every Christmas time when my oldest boy was growing up, I taught him songs about the humor of being Italian in America. I told him about uncles and aunts and played for him, songs by Lou Monte, songs that made my Dad laugh and made me laugh because Dad was laughing.

Last Christmas I enjoyed my son introducing to his daughter, my granddaughter his Christmas favorite; Dominic the Christmas Donkey! A little part of my Dad, his Grandpa was passed on, I felt humbled.

Mom was a laugher and loved to sing to herself as she passed the dust rag over the furniture or stirred the pasta. She loved the Italian-American humor and she got her sense of humor from someone in her past.

But what did I inherit?

I guess I inherited her sense that to laugh is to live and to live is to love, to love is to sing in your heart because you can't live unless you love. That is the cycle of life that my grandparents gave her, then me, strangely before they even met me.

Sunday, June 04, 2017


Soon it will be Father's Day and we all know what that means, or do we? Newspapers and TV ads will be blooming forth the Father's Day Sales from cars to tools, to grilling implements. This is the color of Father's Day in this country. I seem to miss the point, that wasn't how I thought of my dad as a child up to the day he died. He wasn't about a car or refrigerator I could get on sale for him or myself for that matter.

Growing up Dad was a source of amusement for me. There were things and events that made him Dad, my Dad, and I keep them very close to me.

Mom on the other hand always got primo considerations when it came to picking out a present for Mother's Day, and poor Dad always got the short end. You shopped for him with one foot in the store and one foot on its way for another chore. I mean what could you get him? He really didn't read, didn't need dress clothes since he was a factory foreman, and although he was handy, especially at dinner time, he had all the tools he needed.

He had a great staple gun collection like some men had rifle cabinets filled with guns, dad had a drawer, filled with staple guns. The gun collector had on display sometimes ammunition, Dad never had any staples available.

If you wanted to treat him to a baseball game, you better be prepared to go along with him, and you do the driving. Dad never purchased a new car until late in his life, since he usually went to one of only three places: Brooklyn to visit my grandmother, his job and some relatives in the next town. On occasion, Mom would get him to take her to visit her sister for dinner.

Dad kept meticulous records for his bills and the tax man. An accordion file folder with charts maintained his bills every month, and a shoe box of little papers and receipts for taxes. Dad made charts up for everything including his temperature!

Dad loved salad, had to have it after his dinner. One year we wrapped a head of lettuce in wrapping paper and gave it to him on Father's Day, and when he died, which was a few days before Father's Day, we left a head of lettuce on his grave. I know he enjoyed the joke when he was alive, and I'm sure the lettuce was more appropriate than any flowers to remember him by.

This year I will once again visit his grave and remember him, we talk a little, (I will and he will listen) and I will thank him for all the wonderful years he gave me as a father.

Saturday, June 03, 2017


Yes, those dreaded letters, probably as frightening as IRS, loomed for a few weeks when TLW (The Little Woman) made an appointment for our renewed licenses.

Now we have the same birthday almost to the day, I am born on the 6th and she is born on the 9th of the same month. She has accused me all our married life of being early. OK, I came a year and three days earlier than her.

The renewed license is “enhanced” as they say will be useful for when NY State changes over to needing a passport to travel domestically in 2018, as do all the other states. Also, it will hold more information about you, things you probably won’t know you are giving strangers. It will be a form of National Identification.

Enhanced driver's license—Acts both as a driver license and a travel document, but also with limits. The U.S. Passport Card (also known as a PASS Card) is a less expensive, wallet-sized version of a traditional passport—with a few travel-use conditions. 

PASS Cards come equipped with a microchip that assigns a distinct number to its owner. This number, through vicinity-read radio frequency technology, matches up with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) database to promote more secure crossings with faster queuing.
Thus, your passport card acts as approved identification at border communities—for example, when you travel by land or sea crossings between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean)—however, it is NOT approved for air travel and CANNOT be used as an international travel document recognized worldwide.

Perhaps the biggest difference between a passport card and a traditional passport is that:
Traditional passports are valid for international travel by air, sea, and land; but
Passport cards are valid only for re-entering the U.S. at land borders or sea ports-of-entry from: Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, The Caribbean.

So, TLW made an appointment to get our enhanced license with the DMV for 9:15 am. The DMV requires an appointment instead of the poor suckers who just walk in and then have to wait. I enter with TLC and laugh up my sleeve, as mothers with children, hard hats, chicken coup cleaners, tradesmen of all walks enter and will have to be at the mercy of the DMV when they will be called on. Here we were, with an appointment, we would be in and out in NO TIME at all!
Almost immediately we were called up separately went through everything and told to sit and… WAIT! All those suckers that came in with us, well they were all gone.