DelBloggolo

Thursday, August 31, 2017

WAY BACK WHEN

I am an old Brooklyn Dodger fan, going back to the early 1950's, and the experience of living in Brooklyn, NY. Then one year my parents had enough of Brooklyn and we moved to Long Island, where I took my love for the Dodgers, that is until 1958 when they moved to LA LA Land with the fake fans who left in the 6th inning. For a few years, I tried to root for the Yankees, for the dumb reason that they were a New York Club. I couldn't do it.

I would sit in front of my black and white TV, where it snowed every day, even in a heat wave and by the second inning I was rooting for the other team. Then I decided to try to catch the LA Dodgers whenever I could and all I saw was the fading of the great players that once were.

Then news hit-a lawyer named: William Shea was bringing back National League Baseball to New York, this time in Queens, for the 1962 season! It was rumored that they would play over the rail yards that populated Queens. I couldn't figure out how that would happen, would they stop the game for the trains to pass, then pick it up like I used to do in Brooklyn when I played stick ball and a car passed?

Once everything was settled, I set out for the first game on TV, at of all the places, the Polo Grounds, home of the hated New York Giants with their Halloween colors of black and orange. To make matters worse, Joan Payson, a former part owner of the New York Giants was THE owner! Then on top of that, they hired the man I hung in effigy in 1955, when the Brooklyn Dodgers finally beat the New York Yankees in the World Series, Casey Stangel as the manager, and George Weiss as the GM, old Yankees!

More disappointment and hatred I had to learn to love.

Then the season started, and the Mets were born in my heart and soul. The uniforms were a little like the Dodgers, but with a twist, the addition of orange, Giant orange was added, and pin stripes, like the Yankee

When the broadcast started and Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, and the Great Ralph Kiner, started to appear it made for the perfect love. Here were three guys who were selling a 40-120 team and making me love them. Once again, I had a National League team to root for.

I recall as I got older, the Saturday afternoon games, played in the day time in the early afternoon, and the crowds at sunny Shea, the new palace of baseball. With the background of the roar of thousands of Mets fans, the lead by Lindsey Nelson got me into the spirit, giving me the latest news as pertaining to my Mets, and as the game began, the exact cadence that went with great announcing, perfect tone and flawless reporting.

Then it was Mr. Kiner's turn after the Sunoco commercial ran and suddenly, you were transformed into a game and event in 1940, maybe at Forbs Field, or Ebbets Field or even the Polo Grounds. The stories usually were informative, a history lesson worth the time, as well as an occasional laugh. I would always pay particular attention to Kiner's stories.

Then they brought in the Murph, the first and the real Murph, the man who put excitement into the telling of my hero's failing on the field. "There's a HIGH fly ball, going, going and the second baseman makes the catch." I really thought his depth perception was suspect, but I loved him. Once the carnage was over on the field and he gave the "recap" and if by a wild chance the Mets won, the: "Happy recap" we went down to the studio to the king of nostalgia, Ralph Kiner and his guest, usually the player of the game, but sometimes an old buddy from another team who might be a coach and he would share the old times once again.

Today, we have the best announcers in baseball, but they were taught that to be a METS announcer, you needed to learn it from the original three, the BIG THREE, Nelson, Kiner and Murphy, the best that ever were.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I ONLY TAKE THE FREE

Mine is pearl in color
A few days ago, I went to have my car serviced. I have a very nice Toyota, Prius, and have had Toyota since 1991 when I decided I couldn't trust the American cars for dependability and go with a Camry. I rented a Prius when I went out to California and found it to my liking. I've owned the Rav 4, the Corolla and other Camry and Prius models.

I made an early morning appointment at 7:30 am so that I could complain to myself why anyone retired would get up at an unusual hour to go somewhere he doesn't necessarily need to go to.

Arriving I was first on line and awaited the service people to tell me what to do. Something like second wives, or at least it feels like it.

"Good morning, sir, how are you today, pleasepullovertolane3and waitforthedoorstoopenthendriveallthewayuptothestopsign,someonewillbewithyoushortly."

I hate when they call me: ‘shortly.' I didn't even get to tell him how was today! (Tired)

One of the things I needed to discuss with them was the tire indicator light. Not that I like to talk about tire indicator lights, but they keep me awake when driving, and did pop on one day. I used to have a 08 Prius that did the same thing when the temperature changed from hot to cold, the light would go on or off, depending on it its mood.

I pull up, all the way, at the stop sign, just like I was told, shut off the engine, or it might have been the motor, I'm not sure anymore, and waited. Suddenly, there is a shadow hovering over me and it is the service manager, in a red shirt and a business attitude, who invites me into his little office. He sits down and invites me to sit, which is very kind of him, after all, I am going to anyway, and who knows, at my age might even lay down.

"You here for a routine service?"

"Yes, I understand it is free. By the way, there is a tire light indicator that stays on, but nothing seems wrong with the tires! I had that problem with my 08 Prius, is that a common problem with the Prius?"

Well, I could have said his mother was a hooker and he would have looked at me the same way. Brow furrowed, eyes bulging and a sudden stiffening of the back, casting out his stomach further than his chest he replies.

"Sir, usually there is a nail or object that causes the light to go on, as well as changing temperatures and pressure on the tires from driving over periods of time, it is not a fault of Toyota!"

So, there!

He is filling out a form and then hands it to me with a charge of $48 on it, and would I please sign it. This is in case there is a nail in the tire and they need to fix it. I could go to my mechanic who "can't fix these new cars anymore because of them electronics and everything with the computers they put in them!"

I sign, sure that I learn the lesson well, nothing is ‘FREE', except the advice my wife gives me. (If it was money I'd be rich, and my chauffeur would be handling this service with Toyota, or maybe Mercedes Benz.

I go into the waiting area, as instructed and take out my I-pad, to read my book (A Gentleman from Moscow) and an hour later my service manager arrives and we go to the pay window, where he informs me that there was a nail in the tire about the size of a telephone pole, or perhaps an inch long, either way, it costs me $48!

He tells me that they now have free car wash! (This of course something I needed, and embarrassingly, I had never done.) I get more instructions and am told how to get there and I do. I pull up to the car wash door and the kid takes a code I was given and they pull me up to the line. This is free.

"DO YOU WANT THE WAX, TOO?"

"The wax? That doesn't come with the car wash!?"

"NO SIR, THAT'S $4".

"How much is the water???"

"THAT'S FREE!"

"Give me Free only."

Hey, $48 dollars to take out a stinking nail that my mechanic can do for $12!"


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

MY FAVORITE POLPETTA

It is like clockwork, every other Sunday, about 25 a year, my wife and I regulate that day to my daughter, Ellen. Now, if you know Ellen, she is a creature of habit, defined by only what she likes. Her life is centered around the agency that lovingly cares for her and gives her a life. Being how she cannot speak, she must communicate with a frustration I cannot imagine. She will physically tell us what she wants and you better understand her directions.

When one of us arrives to pick her up, she can spot us from a deep concentration, then along a deep corridor her excitement level rises, as she charges down the hallway with short stiff leg movements until she reaches you, where she will attempt to turn you around and push you back out, wanting to go.

She knows her place in the car, back seat on her right and will not attempt to get into the car from the other side.

Once she knows we are in the neighborhood, a smile crosses her lips and a giggle will come squeaking from her mouth and she cries out: MUMMA! Everyone is Mumma, if she likes you.

But Ellen is my polpetta which, in Italian is meatball, my little meatball. Why do I call her that you wonder because she is home, not happy to see me or her mom, but to eat meatballs? Sitting in her seat at the table, we can fill her dish with pasta, but she wants the meatballs, and keep them coming. Put some cheese on those suckers and feed me meatballs. When the last meatball is gone, then it is: Just take me home.

OK, Ellen, but you will always be my little polpetta.

Monday, August 28, 2017

RENEWING THE PAST




Life can have its pleasures alright, just dip into your past and pull out some old friends, and you put life in reverse and look out the window of happiness, it all passes you by. Like fine wine the people that populate the past have a knack, almost a cue to make joy so complete as they grow with age and mellowness.

Recently, I had breakfast with a bunch of old school mates, and it kept taking me back to that kid who was 120 lbs., dark curly hair and a spot for any young lady in my heart. I had no cares in the world, nothing to worry about except some tests to enter college and a whole bunch of dreams worth remembering!

There was My Cousin Vinny and his sidekick Patty, my first and only 8th grade date, Martha and her husband Randy, and A lady who deserves her own zip code with all her children, grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren, Joanne, and of course Michelle, who organized many of the class reunions over the years keeping the spirit of Bellport High School and the class of '64 alive for all of her classmates.

If you want to be young again, maybe just for an hour, then you need to get together and take advantage of the wonderful memories you have stored in your hearts and souls. When you do, you are once more living at your folk's home, maybe driving an old car or seeing an old girlfriend, listening to those 45's and even eating that pizza or a soda from the gathering place where many more memories are stored. Your best friend will suddenly appear in your very mist like it was yesterday and say something again for your ear as you drift into the joys of sweet memories.

One of the things about life is that we do create and store our memories, that we pack them away on our mental shelves and move on to new events, events that become memories we can gather and include in that mental library, truly a gift from God.

As I write this, it is a beautiful midsummer day, the air is clear of humidity, but filled with golden sunshine, there is a hint of autumn and my ceiling fan gently moves the air about, all under the cloudless blue sky that peeks through my skylight. It is days like today that those memories become sweet, and the longing for those old days are fulfilled.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

TURNING AND TURNING


One season at a time, evolving from day-to-day and never ceasing. Long summer nights and winter mornings all with their own call to remembrance. We cheat ourselves as we wish to hurry along our senses, thoughts, and dreams, never realizing that today, now, is the dream, the dream of life.

As I age and not gracefully, I look back and wonder: what if? I see the past like a stored 8mm camera, that taken from the recess of my mind, replays with a cast of characters no more. I look beside me and see my spouse I remember what once was, what life was about and how I played that life, and yet she has aged along with me. What I once felt for a mother's love has been converted by time and evolution to that of a spouse's love, more meaningful, more important and more cherished. I don't fear death, just the finality of it. No, not the finality of life, the finality of no longer having that someone alive in my heart and mind, that someone who helped me shape my soul.

Recently I found out a friend of mine from the past is suffering from a disease that shows no mercy, no quarter will be given, and no good. He asked me not to mention it and I won't, out of respect for his wishes. But too many seasons have changed since I first met him, way back when. He has had a successful and happy life, yet as he might leave the stage of life, his applause will be drowned out with prayers, for in the end that is how we are all applauded, with prayers. We indeed do make our exits and entrances and play many parts.

Prayers are not regulated to the holy, or the righteous, nor the saints and peacekeepers, no, they are regulated to the sinners, and the hypocrites, the lost and the forgotten, also. All too many of my past friends have fallen, from season to season, in the light of day and the dark of night. Yet I choose to pray because they were my friends, and my applause for them they will not hear, but my prayers for them will hopefully fall where they count, on God's ears.
 
I've had disappointment big time, I've lost a child, one lives in a group home, and I have been rejected and plotted against. I know that life is unfair and it is unfair for everyone, so I choose to move on. I will pull out the joy that is left in me, and not squander the time left, joylessly. I will live as long as I can for my little granddaughter, that wonderful little child who has filled a massive hole in my life as I watch her grow to maturity and hopefully womanhood and not the sadness of a disability.

I am tired. Tired of all the drama that exists, all the self-centeredness that seems to prevail, all the disrespect for feelings that seems to pervade the world these days. I am tired of people's meanness, disloyalty and will not fight that fight anymore. Why? Because my time is better spent remembering all that was good and decent, all that makes me laugh, and all I can make others laugh about. I will applaud their lives instead.



Saturday, August 26, 2017

I’M STARTING TO SCARE MYSELF!

During the week and part of the weekend, I do the cooking. It never pleases me to cook the same old thing, especially since I have the choice to make what I want. When I started to cook many years ago I followed recipes and or instructions, now, I experiment with things and am finding that whatever it is I want from a dish I can somehow coax out of it with the established ingredients I prefer.

Believe me, when I say I am not bragging, I’m not. I am pleased that I have the confidence to do such things and offer the variety to TLW (The Little Woman) so that she never knows what she will be getting when she arrives home.

I think I have a competitive spirit somewhat, and a creative bent. I have loved to try different things in the kitchen when it comes to cooking and do. I took a recipe for Broccoli rabe that is an old Italian recipe and took it to a ‘new level’ as they say. The results were that it was better than the main course.

Many years ago, my grandmother ran an Italian restaurant and pizzeria in Brooklyn. My parents ran a kitchen way back immediately after World War II in Bellport, NY in the Bellport Hotel. They were all amazing cooks and the cooking was done in a casual atmosphere of calm and confidence, and now I think they all would be proud of me for my ability to mimic them. It is an art I love and will gladly cook, and I have developed along the way, my own techniques.

Friday, August 25, 2017

I NEVER KNEW

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yaphankhistorical.org 

If you ask the people who live in New York City if they ever visited the Statue of Liberty, they will probably tell you they haven’t. Ask about the Empire State Building and again the chances are the answer will be the same.

Ask a Long Islander if he/she ever visited Yaphank and they will probably ask how to get there. I have live on Long Island for 62 years, and have been to Yaphank maybe 3 times. On Sunday TLW (The Little Woman) and I decided to go to Yaphank. Irving Berlin’s YIP-YIP-YAPHANK.

What would motivate two old fogies to leave their Sunday afternoon newspapers and ball game and venture out east with all the uncivilized that populate Yaphank? Culture, the place is a beautiful goldmine of living culture being presented to you by the Yaphank Historical Society. This place centered on Main Street in Yaphank maintains a collection of restored or in the process of being restored homes that date back to the 1831 with characters that come to life from the dedicated and hard work of the society. Not only is the historic revelations worthwhile, but the people who present the facts and lore, dedicated people who show such enthusiasm that it is infectious and pleasant to the ears.

There is the Swezey –Avery House, the Robert Hewlett Hawkins House, the Carmen’s River Nature Trail & Sanctuary and the old St. Andrews Episcopal Church, with heroes such as Mary L. Booth and the Museum dedicated to her, a beautiful lake that falls amid the places of interest and serene beauty that not only stills the soul, but enchants the mind.

From this amazing little off the radar hamlet comes Mary Louise Booth and her first history of New York City and the founding editor of Harper’s Bazaar, and was instrumental in bringing the Statue of Liberty to New York, translated 47 books, and led the fight early on for Women’s Rights, as secretary of the Women’s Rights convention in Saratoga in 1855. This woman also was lauded by President Lincoln for her work and dedication to the United States during the Civil War.

Back in the days of 1850, wood was an important item needed to keep New York City thriving, and much of the wood came from where else, but Yaphank, New York. Yaphank was once known as Millville when Grist and saw mills flourished in the 19th Century, and the Railroad contributed to many a fortune in the now named Yaphank.

Of course, most of us know of Camp Upton and the training grounds for the doughboys of World War I, and if you don’t know, then look up Irving Berlin and Yip, Yip, Yaphank!

"Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning,
Oh! How I'd love to remain in bed
For the hardest blow of all is to hear the bugler call:
'You've got to get up, you've got to get up,
You've got to get up this morning!'"

Someday I'm going to murder the bugler
Someday they're going to find him dead
I'll amputate his reveille and stomp upon it heavily
And spend the rest of my life in bed!

A bugler in the army is the luckiest of men
He wakes the boys at five and then goes back to bed again
He doesn't have to blow again until the afternoon
If ev'rything goes well with me I'll be a bugler soon!

"Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning,
Oh! How I'd love to remain in bed
For the hardest blow of all is to hear the bugler call:
'You've got to get up, you've got to get up,
You've got to get up this morning!'"

Oh, boy! The minute the battle is over
Oh, boy! The minute the foe is dead
I'll put my uniform away and move to Philadelphia
And spend the rest of my life in bed!

Written by: IRVING BERLIN

Lyrics © IMAGEM U.S. LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


Thursday, August 24, 2017

OR, WE CAN IMPROVE OUR HISTORY

Maybe resurrect the tributes to the Nazi regime in Yaphank, NY, maybe Timothy McVeigh got a bad break, let's resurrect that part of history with a statue of him in the state capitol. Maybe Andersonville should have monuments to the commander of that prison for what he did to prisoners of war, patriotic Union soldiers. And after all, what makes these Confederate statues so bad all of a sudden after 150 years?

And the slave ownership thing, Washington, Jefferson, all the slave owners, take their faces off the money? Well, what the Hell did Washington and Jefferson do to help their states succeed from the union, the very union they built and established as the greatest democracy in the world? There was no conscience of what slavery meant back in 1770, it was an economic worldwide acceptance that Black people were maybe one step higher than dogs. We have matured as a race of human beings, we should know better.

Was the KKK around when they were in office? Does anyone think that slavery would have been supported for long with the KKK in the picture by our forefathers? 250 years later we learned that blacks are equal, that no one should be a slave, and that if you support the continuance of Confederate flags, icons, and statues that we believe that your fellow human beings should still be held in slavery and oppression. Maybe having these symbols of our proud history will help rub the black faces into the same crap it tells us.

Not all history is good history, not all acts done by the USA were the best, in the best interest of the people. That is why we have churches that were bombed by so-called Christians, that is why these very same Christians turn their backs on their black neighbors when black children starve and cry themselves to sleep, we turn our backs and pretend we don't hear it. Yes, let's preserve our wonderful history.  Let's ignore the marches of the Freedom riders, what the Hell was their problems. Trying to raise their children into a more equitable and loving world while interrupting our ball games of TV is totally unacceptable. Looking to raise a family on more than the barest meager jobs so their wives and children don't go to bed hungry, how dare them.

You may wonder why there is a disproportionate number of blacks in prison, so many of them on drugs. Don't they belong there? Ask yourself this: how many of them have any hope, hope of a better education that costs $25,000 a year on their salaries, so they go out and try to steal the money because they need to survive, no one wants to die. But die they do, and so do their children, so does their hopes and dreams for their families, and so they turn against the system that oppresses them. They run away because they are beaten, defeated, and stopped caring long ago in the fight to survive, meanwhile white people, the very same people who need these horrific reminders alive to ensure they are the master race, the people who want to keep these odious symbols alive can pay their health insurance, a college education for their children and preach about the wonderful part of history everyone seems to want to erase.

Sanitizing our history by removing statues is just not true. All that ugliness should remain in the history books where it is now and where it should be, as a teaching tool to never make those mistakes again.

By the way, when you speak of hard working parents, they didn't accept the masks or hoodies, nor the Confederate symbolism. Let's get real. Our parent's generation fought in the trenches and battlefields of Europe and the heat and humidity of the jungles of the South Pacific to liberate people from oppressions very similar to what we were practicing here in this country until someone shouted in our collective ears.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

AS TIME GOES BY

You all know the movie: Casablanca, and Bogart's amazing acting, and an iconic song that plays longer in our heads as we get older.

This day and age we're living in
Gives cause for apprehension
With speed and new invention
And things like fourth dimension.
Yet we get a trifle weary
With Mr. Einstein's theory.
So we must get down to earth at times
Relax relieve the tension
And no matter what the progress
Or what may yet be proved
The simple facts of life are such
They cannot be removed.]
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.
And when two lovers woo
They still say, "I love you."
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.
Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date.
Hearts full of passion
Jealousy and hate.
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny.
It's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.
Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

© 1931 Warner Bros. Music Corporation, ASCAP

Now that I am in my 70's, that song sticks out longer than it used to, yet each year it grows longer in its residence in my mind. If you are happily married for years like I am, the relevance of the words seems to stick like a nickname. Each year as I get older, the more I realize that passion, although it may play a large part of your life, and even grow, becomes less ostensibly in a demonstrative fashion.
Needing to say I love you is not needed anymore, there are no more reassurances, just acts that make the words unnecessary and redundant. A look in the eyes says more than the old days of kisses and hugs, and in the progress of love builds certainty in the heart.

As time goes by, nothing changes but the acts, the heart still beats in the same old way, maybe a little slower, but the same old way.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

IT SPEAKS TO WHO WE'VE BECOME!


The other morning as I was leaving the gym after my workout, I saw something that disgusted me all morning. There is a white van, with a ladder on the roof that parks in the same spot every morning in the gym parking lot. The owner goes every day to work out and is a man in his early thirties.

I was parked two rows ahead of him and as I backed out and turned to leave, there was his van. But something was a little different this day, his back door was opened and as I passed he was standing behind the opened back door and watching me with a worried look. I studied him for a moment then noticed it, his ‘swantz' was hanging out discharging a yellow flow! Yes, he was pissing behind his door. (sorry for the vulgarity!)

What is disturbing is that there are many young and old ladies who use that parking lot and might have been in my place as he lowered himself to a debased mode. There was no excuse for this since he is young, works out and could have simply gone to the gym, go downstairs and go into the men's locker room where there is a toilet.

I have to wonder what he thought when I looked into his face with disgust, disdain, and repulsiveness. How can one do that? Is there no shame anymore? Do we not have any morals anymore that we can employ, no limits to set for Human Decency? Has society turned us into wild animals? Maybe he thought I would not see him embarrass himself because he figures my head might be on my cell phone?

What have we become?

Monday, August 21, 2017

HOME DEPOT


You can send me to jail, but please, don't send me to Home Depot.

I entered the Hall of Horrors last Thursday and was greeted by a nice woman with a smile and clipboard. Being as she was greeting me I asked if she could tell me where I could find some picture frame hooks and saw tooth hangers. "I am sending you to hardware", then lifting her clipboard thumbed through the pages and said: "Aisle 13."

Aisle 13! I should have known, lucky aisle 13, where they hide everything when I enter the store. If you've ever been on aisle 13, it is a long sorry place, devoted to lost souls who drift up and down the aisle, sometimes for days.

I begin my tour by giving it a general once over where millions of products attack your senses, and this is only one shelf. Slowly, I pan the shelves, looking at each piece of merchandize and wonder if I've passed it yet. After the second-time down Lucky 13, I decided to slow way down and look for the packaging with peeled eyes. The problem is that now I am tired, my back went out and I think was waiting in the car for me, when suddenly I hear a sigh! Looking up I see another poor soul, adrift in a sea of haze, fog, and confusion, trying to get off the island so to speak. Our eyes meet and we exchange angst, trading one horror story for another.

"How long you been trying?" I inquire.

"Well, I've been up and down this aisle a few times already! You?"

"Since Tuesday of last week."

"Wow! You didn't get out at all?!"

"Right you are, I'm hungry, gotta pee and very tired, plus my wife will start to miss me if I'm away more than a few days!"

I explain what I'm looking for and we both start to look, slowly, but not the bottom shelves, our backs hurt. Suddenly this kind and friendly gentleman disappears and I stand there, wondering, what happened to my new close and personal friend?

Drifting back in a daze, I freeze when suddenly I see a woman come racing over, almost out of breath she says she understands I'm looking for something. "I heard you are looking for something, let me show you where it" and leads me to aisle 12. I was being freed from aisle 13!  I might be home in time for Christmas! But will it be in time to shop?

Taking me directly to the items I needed she says, "I rescued you!"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

PARK THE CAR AND SHOOT ME!

For the past year, I have been driving a Toyota Prius. A pearl colored gem of fine driving beauty with a bad habit, it criticizes me. These things are getting too smart for their own good. My car gives me an inferiority complex with its holier than thou attitude when I shut the motor off.

Every time I take the car out if gives me a grade when I'm done. It's like that last day in school when they hand out the report cards.

"Good temperature, try to ease on the acceleration 51/100.
"Good steady driving speed, try to use better deceleration 65/100.
"Maintain more steady driving speed, use Eco guide 76/100
"Nice haircut, maintain cleaner mirror 80/100
"You found your way without getting lost, yea for Joseph! 100/100!

Do you realize how difficult Tokyo has made it for me to shut off my car? Do you realize how ashamed I am every time I pass a Toyota Dealership? It's starting to ruin my appetite for sushi.

Often when you talk to an auto mechanic, he refers to a vehicle as a ‘she'. In my case, the car is a ‘she', since I can't make it happy. I give it three more years and if it doesn't straighten out I'll start cheating with a cute little Volks Wagon down the block. But then it might say: "Achtung! Vhy won't you listen to me?" "VE have vays to make you drive right!"

For many years, I have owned a Toyota, all sorts of models and the Prius is my favorite. I've owned the Camry and the Carolla and the Rav 4, all great cars, all good to me. But the latest is getting annoying! 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

LOST OUR WAY

To all the Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews and minorities of all kinds that traverse through this great country, you may think that your progress for equal rights is reset back to the 1950's. You may feel that all the hard work toward your inalienable right to be an equal citizen has been thrown out the window and you need to start all over. As the President's words echo through your hearts and minds, words that are infamous not only for what they say but for what they don't say, have heart, this is America.

The Freedom Riders, Dr. Martin Luther King, NAACP, CORE, the Hispanics who are here working menial jobs, sacrificing themselves in body and spirit, the Muslims who have fled the unimaginable horror of war upon their homes and culture, or their religion being exploited and persecuted even in America because of bonehead ignorance and a refusal understand with grace and dignity others who are different than them, do not despair.

Perhaps it is good that Donald Trump is President for now. Perhaps his being is exposing the undercurrent of white supremacy that undercuts our civilization, his silent collusion with Nazism in this present-day America that seeks to re-establish a madman's mental midget sickness with all his present-day followers, will finally bring it all to a head, and we can deal with discrimination all at once. You can't fight what you can't see, and you can't correct what you don't admit to.

The silent majority needs to now take a stand. We need to re-stitch into the fiber of our national conscience, morality once again. If you believe there is a God and that he will judge us all, he will not judge the evil that lurks, the Neo-Nazi, the white racist, no, theirs is a sickness, instead, he will judge all of us who know better and didn't speak out, we will be the culprits.

Simon and Garfunkel had it right: "Silence like cancer, grows" and it grows until one day we are so deafened by it, it strangles us and we exist no more!


Friday, August 18, 2017

THE VOLKSWAGON BUG

The Volks Wagon Upchuck
As a young junior high school student looking to make some money, I had a neighbor named Mr. Haller, who delivered Newsday newspapers on the North Shore of Long Island.

Every Saturday I got in the back seat of his Volks Beetle and a pile of newspapers and off to the North Shore and his route to deliver his papers. He paid me and I was happy to have the job. It paid for stuff that occupies a young teenager and it made me feel like I was responsible for the job and Mr. Haller.

There was one problem, however, sitting in the back seat of a Volkswagon riding the roads of the North Shore made one's stomach queasy. As the deliveries went on along the winding and up and down roads, my stomach became weaker and weaker, to the point that a cold sweat would begin to form on my forehead.

To make matters worse, it was the middle of the dog days of August, the heat and humidity taking a toll along with nausea that went with things. Add the smell of newsprint and you had the perfect storm to heave, maybe on Mr. Haller's head. I was miserable.

Did I ever say anything about how I felt? NO. I wanted the job no matter how sick it would make me. It was money found with hard work and I was taught that you never turn down work.

I was the real originator of the Volkswagon Bug, the real bug.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

SOMEWHERE

Somewhere in this world right now, someone is sobbing, somewhere it is dark and somewhere people fear for their lives. Somewhere a child is dying and a parent is cast asunder from the joy of happiness because of it.

We watched this past Saturday the events in Virginia and we look in horror, appalled that we can be as Human Beings so base, so ugly, so terribly misinformed about people and their rights to happiness.

Tell me where I am missing the truth. Tell me how one race is better than another, just tell me. Tell me why as a white man I am superior when I know damned well if a Black or Asian doctor can save my life, why would he not be qualified?

Where can I go to find out how racial superiority can be measured. Did not Hitler find out the hard way that it doesn't exist? Tell me how as an American, I can place my hand over my heart and pledge an allegiance to a flag that stands for equal rights for all men who are created equal and we still deny those rights.

Tell me how wrong it is to try to give and share with people the joy of life, the chance to raise a child and educate and feed it? How can it be so wrong? Tell me how anyone profits from keeping people down, how an ideology built on hatred and sickness can continue to exist with the ugly history that exists along with it.

Once I traveled through a Hispanic neighborhood and witnessed something special, the joy of life they have, the music and dancing, the upbeat approach to life in spite of the hatred generated because they are immigrants. It was a happy place. All my life I have studied and worked with Jews, and found out they are people that laugh, people that study and practice law, and medicine, who educate and get educated, not as stereotyping them, but because they do it as individuals who happen to be Jewish, yet there are Blacks and Hispanics doing the exact same thing.

If you are white, have you ever sat down with a black person and found yourself laughing? They are a great people, once my wife and I were in Brooklyn looking for the right subway line to get to Penn Station. We were in a Black neighborhood, and down in the subway. I asked one person on this all black car which train I should take, and they all helped out, they were all eager to help. If I am racially superior, should I listen to them? Seems like we found the right subway OK, thanks to them.

As long as there is fear, there grows hatred, and hatred grows violence. It is a cycle that we all need to overcome. I cannot ever condone my doing something that will deny an individual a freedom, right or a basic glass of water. I cannot allow children to suffer and live in fear because of who they are. We should all be celebrating each other, lifting each other out of the darkness that turns color to blackness and dims the light that should be in each and every one of our hearts. If we don't we are cheating ourselves and trying to fool God.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THE MYSTERY WOMAN


As she walks toward you, you would swear she was programmed, each step in robotic rhythm,
her head straight ahead and focused. It seems the steps measured by some outside controlling force and a programmed destination that does not vary from Sunday to Saturday.

If you can get a good look at her eyes, you will see a masked face, almost Parkinsonian in appearance as she walks, arms at her side, sometimes holding a plastic shopping bag as she trudges through all kinds of weather. Her face tells a story you could not see from a distance, one of longevity and social timidness. The blaze of the noon-day sun, the extreme heat, and humidity, the glancing blows to the face of a sleet or ice-storm, does not deter her purpose in being on the street.

#2 Son once offered her a ride in bad weather, as did I, feeling sorry for the soul who had to venture out in weather conditions that would leave the bravest and heartiest to stay in bed. Her response is always a polite "No thank you."

Every Sunday TLW, (The Little Woman) and I sit at the same table in a diner and have breakfast, and the window we sit next to overlooks the parking lot in the front of the building where my car is parked. Every Sunday at the same time this mystery woman cuts through the parking lot to pass my car and our window, and as she does she will stop, bend over and pick up a cigarette butt, this is predictable.

But she seems to be all over the neighborhood, at all hours of the day, from in front of the diner to the shopping mall many miles away, too far to walk, yet she does and back again. I've seen her under the Long Island Expressway overpass, and so, from one end of the town to the other, you can count on her to be seen.

My wife and I marvel at her Constitution, every day, no matter the weather. She is not a skinny woman, in fact, she seems built heartily, and there is no breaking down of her gait or determination as she must be in her early 60's.

In spite of trying to keep busy in my retirement, there are some things I am aware of in my community. I try to keep an eye out for my neighbors and their property, and any stranger that populate the neighborhood with what may seem as no purpose. This woman is definitely not a threat, but a curiosity.



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

AND SO, IT GOES

AND SO, IT GOES

"White people love to talk about the tragedy of the absent black father. It's time to talk about the tragedy of the present white father. Racism is taught. It has been in this country for decades for decades, passed down from racist to racist to racist to racist. While today's events were sickening and shocking, they shouldn't have been surprising. We've allowed racism to persist. If you know a racist's kid, give him/her a hug, teach them to love, teach them not to be afraid, don't let them learn to hate." Minnesota Pete

The above was posted recently by a friend of #1 Son, so, he is a friend of mine, a fellow who I met with his lovely wife. He happens to be a writer. They are a beautiful couple, they recently married and he makes a very strong point, about absenteeism and the black father, and our tragic reality of the white father.

I had a friend who for the last 7 to 8 years since our 45ft. high school reunion was in touch. We texted and phoned each other and he was very funny, so funny that he would leave me in tears. But as we nurtured an old friendship, he started to send me clips from talking heads about conservative points of view, and sometimes I watched them and sometimes I didn't. You see I'm an Independent when it comes to national politics, and that means being free of anyone's opinions but my own.

Then one day he began his phone conversation with the ‘fact' that 80% of the black families are fatherless, and that I should believe that. I got angry that the need was to center on what is wrong rather than what can society do to correct imbalances such as that. He felt that "They" had bamboozled me. That I had to accept this ‘fact' as fact, which it is not.

I will not go into the issues that children face with a fatherless home, instead of my friend above mentioned something far more startling, the tragedy of the present white father. Not all white fathers by any means, but those that don't teach their children the basics for waving the American flag, those truths we find self-evident that all men are created equal.

If you read the statistics on fatherless children, there is a litany on horrific things that occur to the young men, in particular, high dropout rates, the likelihood of criminal involvement, gangs and disorientation as to who they are. Then, of course, there is the burden placed on the brave mother who must keep a family together, feed and house them and then try to deal with the struggles of raising children and keeping them away from gangs, drugs, and jail, and they do this under harsh criticism.

My friend and I no longer are in contact, I won't have anyone tell me how I should think and who I should believe on their say-so.

As for the friend mentioned above, he is white, his wife black, him I respect for being a man, MY friend I have no longer any use for.





Monday, August 14, 2017

AT OUR AGE

--> The other morning at about 2:30 am, I awoke and looked over the blanket to see that TLW (The Little Woman) was gone. This does not get me too nervous, but at our ages, we need to watch out for each other. Being totally incompetent I would miss her dearly if something were to happen.

Since I was awake I thought that I hoped she was OK and was tempted to go find her.  After all, getting up at such an hour seemed rather strange. Instead, I did what all men my age do, yes, I went to the toilet. I looked down in the stairwell and noticed that the lights were on so she had to be ok. I went back to bed and slept until about 5:30 am when I noticed she never came back to bed. I got up, looked down the stairwell again and saw the lights were still on.

I went into the shower then went back into the bedroom to dress and make the bed. I put the news on the TV and listened to it as I did, then finished and went downstairs. Coming to the final floor I heard the washing machine going so I knew she had to be conscious at least. I walked into the kitchen, but she wasn’t there, nor was she in the den or dining room. I checked out the garage but all I could notice was the sound of the washing machine. I looked out of each window and search the yards, nothing.

Where could she be?

I decided to do what any man my age would do in a situation like this that presents itself, I went to the toilet, not too creative but a place to sort things out. As I sat there contemplating her faith I could suddenly hear her footsteps coming down. I got two “AHS!” one for her and one for another reason.

I came out and faced the missing TLW.

“What the Hell time do you get up this morning?” I intoned.
“Oh, I couldn’t sleep so I got up!”
“But where did you go??? I looked all over the house, and checked outside!”
“Well I came upstairs and you were in the bedroom awake listening to TV so I went into the toilet.”

Here I was looking for her and she was practically behind me every step of the way!

As we settled in the den, with coffee in hand and reminded her:

“Just remember, if you ever disappear, eventually I’ll look for you!”

Sunday, August 13, 2017

GETTING MALLED


I needed to go to the mall the other day and found that it is a great indicator of what’s happening. Being retired I have somewhat shrunk from the public venue. Watching people parade by one gets to see the latest trends.

Old men are less and less occupying the seats outside the stores with their wife’s pocketbook in their laps. Teenagers are there, staring into their cellphones. Walking along, the rug rat population is on the increase, as is the volume of screaming coming from the little pains. You need to keep your eyes opened as the strollers can cripple you.

Walking hand-in-hand as still in vogue, as is finger intertwining, as long as you’re young.

There is the old folk, walking in their sneakers and sweats , fists clenched and swinging their arms as they try to make time along the mall.

The most disgusting things to find are first of all, the tattoo parade on old gals who tattoo everything visible, and I’m wondering maybe even everything else.

The celluloid parade on those same old girls is a lot like the parade of lights at Disneyland or Disney World. They wear short shorts and the celluloid on the back of their thighs looks like they are hiding small coins under their skin.

Aside from the world passing me by, everyone as they do, have their noses in their cellphones, so I guess I will try to stay away from the mall as much as possible.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

MY DNA GOES PUBLIC!



Me and my researcher
It will all come as a shock to them.
Recently from the results of my DNA testing I have been able to find cousins from the past. Fortunately, I don't owe them any money.

One of the things that happen is ancestry.com offers to sell you, even more, information than they gave you for $100! For instance, they offer to build your family tree, something I will refrain from since I'm afraid of finding a monkey in that tree.

When you think about it, having two people as your parents, a number of possibilities for being related to someone else is great. I have third or fourth cousins with certainty as far as ancestry.com is concerned. It even gives you the names and a chance to email them.  I find this kind of exciting while at the same time awkward. How do you start an email saying we might be related? Does the party on the other end see your name, check with the crime labs and post office pictures before responding?

There are people that write to others stating they are related and need a few bucks, yet anyone writing to me would be sending money, I'm sure.

TLW (The Little Woman) has taken an interest in my ancestry, tracking down long lost grandfathers, aunts, and cousins. She now knows my family better than I do, including all the boarders who rented their living space and the sizes of some of those refrigerator boxes.

I think I'll start to retain the info and put it in a file for my two sons, they can read it all and deny everything while changing their last name.


Friday, August 11, 2017

A TRUE STORY... almost!


My wife works with a woman who has become a family friend, along with her husband. The couple is a lot of fun and we make each other laugh with silliness.

Patrizia, or Pat as she is known, works in the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Company. If you try to sneak into the bank, she will nail you with her smile and friendly wave from behind the teller line. Over the years, she insisted I write a book about her life.

Over the same years, Pat and her husband Bill have gone out to sea, the various restaurants that populate the local area and Wanna-Be-Bank functions with us, and we always have a great time.

You may suspect by the name, Patrizia hails from Italy, and grew up in the Bronx where her parents settled, and settle they did. You see, on their way to America along with her older brother, ran into a bump at sea, namely the Stockholm, a huge ship that needed more room than it had. Patrizia and her family were traveling across the Atlantic that faithful day on July 24, 1956, 61 years ago on the Andrea Doria.

As Pat tells it: “we were sailing along when: BANG, splash, drip, drip, drip and my Gucci’s were all wet! I heard the captain, Capitan Calamari yell: “Managgia, she no float!!!, I really hate when that happens. Poppa packed me with the Genoa Salami but not the provolone and said; Tenga il vostro naso che stiamo andando dentro!” Roughly translated: Hold your nose we’re going in!

Someday I will write the book, and tell all.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

DAVID

David,

Congratulations on your wonderful achievement! I just know that Nana and Grandpa must be very proud of you. If I see things correctly, so is someone who came here so many generations ago and settled in Brooklyn with the dream of America in heart, your great grandmother, who without any English or money worked for her family to have the benefits of America. You have given that dream new birth, and I bet you she is all over Heaven, bragging about her great grandson in Italian. What you did make all her hard work and sacrifice worth the while.

Above is a note I sent to my nephew through Facebook. He lives down in Florida and the last time I saw him was many years ago after he had married a very sweet woman who gave him two beautiful children.

One of the reasons I wrote to him was because I am proud of him, he was a great little kid when he was younger, and grew into a tall, handsome young man with a cheerful heart. He seeks to work with the public for their benefit being a member of a rescue team, firefighter and now nurse. How great is that? If you want more, he holds two degrees, one from St. Johns and one from Florida University. His degree in nursing rounds out his degree in education and his work in service to the community.

But I often wonder what grandma Francesca would have thought about all that has come from her starting out without much and parlaying it all into those tremendous accomplishments I see from her great grandchildren, what would she say? Yet there are so many grandparents and great grandparents out there who have passed who must be feeling the same things, great offspring that begot more great offspring and can celebrate their lives.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

ITS GOOD TO SEE YOU!

Every day it seems I have business to perform at the agency, either as president of the board or guardianship co-chair or even as a daddy for my daughter who resides in one of the residences. Some days I go to just sign checks, or there is a committee meeting I need to conduct or attend. Of course, there is the Board of Director's meeting each month to round off things along with picnics, general membership meetings and dinners I must attend. All this activity I find very gratifying and pleasurable since it somehow will involve staff.

When I became President three years ago I was meeting with the CEO, who reports to me. As we concluded business he invited me to use his personal exit for convenience, and I refused. I wanted to say goodbye to all the staff that I had greeted when I entered the building, and he understood.

Through the years, I have tried to build a relationship with the staff because I support them so much, am grateful for all the fine work they do for all the programs we run, and know that without them, we are nothing.

My daughter Ellen, who does not speak, calls everyone she sees "Mamma" and I stated out loud that I would give anyone a million dollars if they could get Ellen to say: Daddy. Everyone, including newly hired, has been working very hard for a million dollars!

As I pass office of people I have built relationships with, we laugh and exchange pleasantries and I kid them, this makes for a very loud guffawing office. Sometimes I say things out loud for everyone to hear. I brag about my granddaughter and they remind me of things I post on Facebook about her.

A former CEO once told me that being a board member made staff nervous, so I work on turning that around. I don't want to go so far as they start to ask me to get them coffee, even though I just might.


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

SAYING GOODBYE


Five days ago, I attended a wake for a young lady who was part of the Guardianship Program. She, like my daughter was non-verbal for the most part, was dealing with dementia and had other issues she was dealing with.

After meeting about her end of life and what the state needs from us, I signed off on a MANAGEMENT OF LIFE SUSTAINING TREATMENT. (MOLST)

Sadly, she passed and so I went to her wake.

Being who I am, I have to get somewhere early, not let anyone wait on me. I pulled into the funeral home parking lot and waited the few minutes. A car pulled up and two gentlemen climb out of the car, one in his 80’s and one in his 60’s. The elderly man limp very noticeably and both men entered the funeral home.

I decided to enter behind the two men and noticed they sat up front in the first row where family usually sits, I knew the older gentleman was the young ladies father and the younger one her brother. I approached them after visiting the casket and turned to offer my condolence, shook hands and sat in the next row. I could see the terrible pain he was in because of the loss of his sweet child, and it moved me.

When you deal with issues like guardianship, sometimes the facts are not all there. Here was a father that did not undertake being his daughter’s primary guardian, instead he left it to the agency, and I assumed he didn’t care enough. I was so wrong.

As I sat behind him he turned to me and said he wanted to thank me for whatever I did for his little girl. He said he had 3 sons and his only daughter. I thought, wow, like me. He went on and said the year 2017 was not treating him well. The past March, his youngest son was at a karaoke show and was singing, and when he was done he left the stage to sit down and collapsed from a massive heart attack and died! How crushing can life be? The saddest part was that the sister and the brother who died were very close.

The father explained to me that he was at one time the primary guardian, but his first wife died and he remarried, and due to his age ad disabilities, could no longer act as the primary guardian, so renounced guardianship in favor of the agency.

I guess I jumped to a conclusion without the dance being over.