Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Chinese pizza!
I went to a Chinese buffet all you can eat the other day. #2 Son was in town and was going home after a visit and wanted to go to this restaurant before he departed. When it opened way back when they served Chinese food, basic stuff, then added sushi to the menu. I gave them a pass because I love sushi and secondly, sushi is Asian, nothing wrong with Asian food.

The restaurant changed hands recently and they decided to add to their menu. I like when restaurants do change their menu because it makes for more interesting experiences when I visit it. Seasonal changes always suggest to me that the ingredients are fresh and local.

But the additions that were added really surprised me. Shark's fins, birds nest soup, Thousand-year-old egg? Nope. Try French Fries, pepperoni pizza, potatoes and Italian stuffed mushrooms and clams. The topper? Shrimp scampi in Fettucini. Now that's Chinese.

Somehow as I perused the assortment of offerings, it was difficult finding any Chinese food.

During the course of our conversation #2 Son mentioned this Thai restaurant he goes to and I couldn't help but ask: "How's their pizza?"

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Being nearly 100-years old, I went with my youngest son when he was home recently to the mall. He needed a car to shop for some clothes and I needed to get out of the house, so this was an opportunity to do both for us. 

Going to the mall on a Saturday afternoon can be a minor adventure, the crowds are large, the teens and young children are considerable and my patience is not.

Think of this, there were English-speaking children, Spanish-speaking children and Asian-speaking children at the mall, all clinging to mommy, running loose and whining within earshot, bringing an annoying cacophony of noise swirling around my head. You must deal with Cinnabun, pretzels, Starbucks and PJ Chang all leaving their aromatic footprints around the mall, and the urges that overcome as you fight to ignore what I used to succumb to.

Getting into the store and going to the men's department, I was shocked to see what is passing for style these days. Whatever happened to the sharpness of well-pressed shirts with button collars, jackets with lapels that were sharp, crisp and pressed? The styles are very disappointing if you are a conservative dresser.

Men's clothing has taken a back seat to nasty looking style. Now almost everything seems to be a used look. Men roll up their jacket sleeves and shirts, untucked and as sloppy-looking as possible. Some have hair combs like they got out of bed and just sprayed what mess-like results they got from sleeping under a pillow all night!

They now wear brown shoes with no socks to match their jeans, and this is acceptable. The fashion statement is the dress for going back to bed and just climbing in. One shirt was decorated with red roses up and down the sleeves and front of the garment!

The good news is that I saw a baseball jacket I wore back in the 1950's that is making a comeback! Took me back to the days when men wore men's clothes and not like today, where if you wore what they are wearing today in my day, you would have been taken aside by someone's parents, hugged, fed, and be fussed about as a poor child!

Monday, January 29, 2018


It was a cold January morning at this time. My wife and I had spent the day sitting at my son's side in the hospital at Northshore University Hospital. We were told by the doctor that he would not last the week, and we were in a certain denial, not wanting to believe it.

We had sat through the night and as the sun rose behind the gray gathering of clouds that cast the sadness across the sky, we decided to go home for a rest.

Leaving the hospital with your child dying, takes a little courage, and a biting pain in the stomach as you know you are playing with time and if you will see him alive again.

It was 37 years ago, and every day I think of him. He is still part of my life, with many ways I use to keep his memory alive.

Sometimes on TV, there are commercials that tug at your heart about children who are dying. I watch these commercials and feel a guilt that I don't send money every time I see one. Then I realize that I paid a price, a heavy price with no hope other than the doctors and nurses and some blind faith, a faith that had no currency and one that left me empty. It is hard to believe in God or any religion when you make the kind of sacrifice you do when you say goodbye to your child, especially a baby.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


I visited an old friend today at Winthrop University College Hospital, who recently had a by-pass operation. I have no idea whether it was a: double, triple, or single by-pass. What is important is that he survived it, and will live another day. He was sitting in his chair with a nice view out the 4th floor window and seemed in fairly good spirits.

As we chattered I noticed that the room has a toilet with a sign that says; "Toilet for patient use ONLY!" I must admit that once I read the sign, I immediately wanted to use it. This is in spite of the fact that as I arrived with my older sister (much older) Tessie, she left me at the information desk to go to the Ladies Room, telling me to get the directions to my friend's room and the passes. I was proud of myself because I didn't need to go after an hour's drive to Mineola.

But now suddenly it was becoming an issue, so as we left Tessie said she wanted to stop for a cup of coffee and so we did. Now I decided since it was lunch time, I would also have a cup of soup that was being offered by the cafeteria. Soup and coffee help the bladder to stay full and healthy. Conversation with Tessie helps the bladder seek attention. From the waist, down in the booth where we were sitting, I was doing a soft shoe, followed by a Bo Jangles repertoire with hand gestures.

I suggested that as we leave I find a men's room before I drive back, otherwise I would be standing on the seat as I was driving.

In the reception area was a sign that said: "TOILETS" and an arrow pointing in a direction. We follow the arrow but can't find the toilet, change course and look for another sign that says the same thing, which we follow that is leading us out the door. A policeman comes through the entrance and asks if he can help us.

"Yes, we are looking for the toilets!" This was an emergency.
"Oh, turn around and go to that doorway, it is the Emergency Room, and there you will find one."

Amazing, to think they would have the foresight to plant a toilet in the Emergency Room and here I had the emergency!

The end.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


It strikes me that passing laws for entitlements, putting limits on them, regulations and changes make for uncertainty for the consumer of these entitlements. From one Federal budget to another, the rules keep changing, and they become a tool of the rule makers, not an asset for those who need the entitlement.

It has occurred to me that the biggest problem in Congress is the entitlements they receive for their service, a service of the people, and for the people. Congress is secure in the knowledge that they will never want, a pension and health benefits that will rival or best, anyone's including a king.

Their actions as legislatures seem to show the immunity they possess when they cut services for the poor, when they take away needed funding, and when they decide what will be no longer funded. This needs to stop.

Public service should be just that, service to the public, and should reflect the public at large. Time to take away all the benefits of Congressional service other than their pay, and the benefits should last as long as they serve in office, then, like anyone else who leaves a job, get their own benefits.

What will this do? It will put Congress in another light, one where they will understand better the plight of the working man, and his quest for medical coverage. It will make them less immune to the dangers of lost coverage, it will put them in the real world, and finally, it will give them a better incentive to serve the public like they should, or lose their coverage when they leave office.

Friday, January 26, 2018


A pretty familiar phrase, no? We all say that and it is always a good idea. Funny how this world has changed so much since the 70's. Back in the day, we did all our looking up by word of mouth, telephone calls and going to the library or encyclopedia. This information could take days to amass and sometimes even longer.

It took a long time for a student to write a successful paper while in college, a report took weeks to compose and correcting it took longer as well.

Today you can write a report on anything and find resources for information that supplement the report and make the job so much easier and complete.

Today you can learn how to hook up an appliance, fix a radio or clean a car by looking it up on the Internet and do so within an hour of time total time.

Need a translation of some Chinese, look it up, you'll find it somewhere either in a program of the website. If you don't believe me, just look at the immortal words of the old professor, the one and only, Casey Stengel who often said: "And you can look it up!"

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Ellen Del Broccolo, daughter of Joseph Del Broccolo of Holbrook, lives full time in a home for people with developmental disabilities. Photo Credit: Del Broccolo family
With growing concern, I have heard Republican leaders in Congress talk about reducing spending for Medicare and Medicaid as they figure out how to pay for their new tax cuts.
As board president of AHRC Suffolk — an agency that provides educational, vocational, residential, employment and respite services for 2,500 people through 42 local facilities — I know the good that government funding does. AHRC Suffolk receives $60 million a year from federal Medicaid programs.

But I have a personal stake, too.

In 1972, when my first child, Ellen, was born, she was a beautiful little pink bundle who bore her mom's first name and my last name. It was a moment of joy and truth. I imagined what she would grow up to be, her role in life and whom she might marry. I knew I had to step up as a father and provide for her future.

In her first year, her development seemed to be within the normal range, including her laughter, crying, and responses to us. But the next year, our optimism came crashing down. She was not talking or walking as she should have, especially compared with a cousin of about the same age. Doctors did neurological testing and determined that she had suffered some brain damage, perhaps at birth.

We entered a world of uncertainty. Doctors told us that our little girl would not speak or have the proper motor function. Our hopes were shattered.
We went to various professionals to encourage her development but were not satisfied. When she was about 4, we enrolled her in AHRC's day classes at its Educare Center in Islip. She made progress, displaying better recognition of her family and surroundings, and responding to some simple requests — to wipe her mouth, for example, to sit down or prepare to leave. However, her cognitive development is that of an 18-month-old child. Today, she can say just two words: happy and mama.

At age 23, she became a full-time resident of AHRC's Intermediate Care Facility in Westhampton. Later, she moved to AHRC's facility in Shoreham, where she lives today.

Ellen, now 46, lives a comfortable life among others who also have developmental disabilities. She has her own room lovingly decorated with family pictures and things she enjoys. She is happy. On Sundays, we bring her home to Holbrook for dinner.
All of her comforts, medical care, transportation and education — costing about $182,000 a year — come under the auspices of state and federal Medicare and Medicaid programs and AHRC. It is a wonderful example of the support provided for people with disabilities, and our family sees it as the hand of God reaching down through our governments. What Ellen and her family and friends can't do, we the people do for them.

But a hard realization has come to pass. If Congress takes away crucial funding from people like Ellen who need it, AHRC Suffolk and similar agencies will start closing.

All of us will at some point need services of the kind that Medicare and Medicaid provide — in nursing homes, hospitals or places such as those where Ellen lives. If such homes and agencies are forced to close, the burden will shift to already-stressed families that lack the skills and resources to provide proper care.

Reader Joseph Del Broccolo lives in Holbrook.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


I have an array of computer technology to help my life along. I used to be computer savvy and discovered that once you leave the workforce, you lose all that knowledge and support from both the computer administrators and coworkers.

I maintain, just like you might, 4 different Apple products. There is my desk computer that is about 48inches across and used for my graphics work. Then the laptop that I live on, It is used to write copy and blogs and expressing myself. There is my I-pad, that is used for entertainment mostly, I like to take it with me when I have a doctor's appointment and know I will be waiting in the waiting room and the examining room, and finally, so you all can track me down like a rat, my I-phone, all are Apple products.

I used to do a lot on my kindle, but that is in retirement since I can put all that stuff on my I-pad.

All this technology comes at a price, passwords. Yes, the password issue is a big problem. There is the Cloud that keeps me connected to myself, there are the different systems that fall under Apple, there are programs that need to be updated and of course the product itself. Remembering all these passwords is ridiculous, you need to carry a book around with you.

If I do get lucky and can remember my password for say; Facebook on my laptop, but not on the I-phone or I-pad. Then I follow the instructions that guide me through the process.


*Which key is the "ANY" key?

Now they invented "Double-layer security" two passwords for the same thing. Maybe I'll just get rid f them all and buy a nice newspaper. Newspapers have news, opinions, comics, games, and puzzles, just like computers.

*This is a joke, don't get bent out of shape!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Many years ago, when I was in my first house there was a family that lived a little up the way. Down a street a few doors, this amazing family grew up with my kids and together with other families we grew and felt a kinship that never died.

This one family had a wonderful cohesion of love and kinship that really made or an example of family love and pride. The dad, Tony, worked in his own business as a mechanic and would work on my old clunker for nothing, especially when I couldn't afford much, just moving into the neighborhood and trying to establish myself. The mother, Marie, was a very sweet and good natured person, who deserved a lot of credit for raising her wonderful children, three boys, and a daughter.

The daughter grew up to be a vice president, one son became a carpenter and ran his own business successfully, and one son became a doctor while the other works in the medical field.

But back then, they were growing into adulthood, and often I would see them like geese walking across my road, the tallest to the shortest in line. It was a great sight to see.

Then one day something terrible happened, Tony the Dad was diagnosed with brain cancer, and in those days, it wasn't a diagnosis that promised relief, just sorrow, and sadness, and indeed it struck. Tony began to lose his cognitive ability to express himself and soon was totally gone. He gained weight and was lost to the world and family.

When he was at the end of his life, we had already moved to a new house and happened to have an in-ground pool. It was a scorching summer and poor Tony like anyone else was suffering from the heat and humidity. Being in touch with Marie, we offered her the use of our poor anytime of the day or night. She accepted. I got a big tire inner tube and Tony would walk with assistance from Marie and manage to get into the donut-shaped tube. Once he was in, and we let him float in the cool water, his joy was sung out with his saying: "BACALLA! BACALLA!" To hear him express what seemed to be a nonsense was indeed fun to the ears since we knew he was enjoying himself. I often wondered why that word came to mind for him, but I was just glad he was happy.

Then Tony took a turn for the worst and left behind his beautiful family, a loving and devoted wife, and four amazing children. I often hear the word ‘amazing' and cringe, because it is all too often misused and over-stated, but in this case, that is what the family was.

Time ran out for Tony on Earth, but his legacy grows and spreads as they often do when someone passes who is so noteworthy. I think ‘Bacalla' was what he may have loved once and this experience in the pool made him remember what he liked.

‘Bacalla' is Italian for dried salt codfish, and when an Italian makes it, it is delicious, just like Tony's time in the pool.

Monday, January 22, 2018


Frank S. Bogdan
All my life I have met people that have left me with an impact. Dad, my Uncle Frank who supported me, my first boss, my brother-in-law John, Jack Stern who mentored me then became a friend, all having passed onto the next life, all good men.

Today I will say goodbye without a thank you to a man that did nothing for me other than make me happy to see him. He was a kind man, a man that could laugh and a man who could listen and a man who gladdened your heart knowing him.

He was a simple man, Frank was. He was the older brother of my deceased brother-in-law, John. Frank was a bit of a war hero, in his eyes just a grunt on the lines of danger, to me, a hero who put his life on the line.
John S. Bogdan

It was in the jungles of Guadalcanal with the US Army, short of ammo and food and a reinforced enemy coming to get him and thousands of other outnumbered Americans who fought to win and did. It was the turning point of land battles for the Pacific and the heroic return of America to liberate the world from Tyranny.

He passed away peacefully, without pain, and for that, I am grateful to God. Grateful for having known him, spoken with him and cared about him, and most of all, blessed by his presence.

Goodbye Frank, I wish you a peaceful journey.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Tessie, Woody Allen, John and little Laurie Ann in 1970
A few days ago the World seemed to spin out of control. It was Tuesday afternoon and I thought I'd sit and relax, turn off my computer and not think about anything, just wait for dinnertime.

Then my phone rang.

My older sister (Much older) Tessie called with the bad news of the day.

First, there was the news of a death of someone I always enjoyed seeing, was a gentleman to the core and happened to be my brother-in-law John's older brother. He is Tessie's deceased husband. He was slipping away with dementia over the past 5 years and living in a nursing home dying peacefully in his sleep. His name is Frank and he was one of the courageous that fought on Guadalcanal in the Pacific theater.

Then the news that another gentleman, Joe O'Hara, a wonderful guy who I would see on holidays, who happens to be my niece Lauri Ann's father-in-law and the neighbor of Tessie is in the hospital with a blockage that the doctors can't seem to clear because the blockage is too close to his main artery. At 86 years of age, he has been feeling somewhat less than usual. He always shares wonderful memories with me whenever we meet.

Then I find out my partner in a book I am collaborating on got the news of a death of a childhood friend.

Will this stop soon?

Saturday, January 20, 2018


If you watch the early morning news on the TV networks, particularly channels 2 (WCBS), 4 (WNBC), and 7 (WABC), then you know about the overload of weather that comes forth from the so-called weathermen.

They seem to report every ten minutes more or less and it is a show about the weather. They throw in the traffic to make it more comprehensible for commuters, but the concept has gotten out of hand.

Today I will be giving you a ranking of the weathermen as I see them in their jobs. The stations need to bear up to the response that these morons are on.
Let's look at case #1, WNBC's Rick Cimino. No one is better when delivering the weather. He does it without dramatics that point to himself, and when he is done, you know about the weather, smoothly delivered. He knows his stuff and doesn't need to give a personal show all about himself.

Following behind Mr. Cimino is Bill Evans of WABC. A likable guy with a proclivity for delivering the weather. Not always, but most times. Likeable, personable and mostly accurate. Seems to break away from his assigned task once in a while, but not offensive.

Behind Mr. Evans is the annoyance of early morning weather. I'd rather stand in gale force winds, with blizzard conditions and freezing temperatures than listen to this knucklehead. He seems to think that the morning news is about him, that he is cute and funny. He's not.

Can't we just get a report on the weather without the theatrics and stupid comments?


Friday, January 19, 2018


On January 17, 2012, I published this on this blogue. It is still true as we celebrated Lois' 75fth birthday a couple of years ago.

There are friends, and there are ‘old friends', not from age but from longevity. They don't need to say much to impress you, and when they do say something, well, it can knock your socks off with their humor.

When TLW (The Little Woman) joined the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Co. so many years ago, one of the people that stood out was a lady named Lois. Lois over the years got to know us and we got to know her. She can easily be mistaken for her look-alike: TLW, and often when I call TLW at the Wanna-Be-Bank, Lois will pick up her phone because TLW is either with a member, away from her desk, or out to lunch.

I am not good at distinguishing voices on the phone, and so when Lois answers, I mistakenly go into my spiel. It might go something like this if I'm not careful:

"Hi Toots, since it's our anniversary, what would you like for dinner?"

Toots II: "Whichever fancy restaurant you'd like to take me to, of course."

"Well, I…"

Toots II: "Of course, unless you think it's not so important, and want to open up a can of beans?"

"Well, I…"

Toots II: "Oh, how inconsiderate of me, the gift is too big to carry around! Well, we could open the gift when we get home. You can give it to me with the carrot cake from my favorite bakery in Philadelphia: which I love so much. It's on Broad Street – 185 Broad Street, called Millie's Cakes. You want the directions?"

"Well… I, that is, uh…"

Toots II: "Boy, will all your sisters be proud when I tell them how well you treat me! And your Mother, she'll turn her wooden spoon into toothpicks!"

"OK, whatever you want."

Toots II: "Good, this is Toots II, I'll get her."

For years Toots II has tried very hard to get over her being over the age of 39, and all her friends would love to help push her over. She never makes a whole lot of noise, quietly going about her business and not getting involved in office politics or drama of any kind. The lunch schedule is never an issue, and if she does complain, all the employees of the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Co., get the list and try to rub her out.

Very few employees complain about Lois, except when in the Ladies room, where she does her imitation of Josh Groban. Once again, the good folks like to help her out.

Lois has become the master of getting to places without the use of major highways. Yes, she can get to NYC, without the use of the LIE, the Southern or Northern State Parkways, and has often said: "Robert Moses, who needs Robert Moses?" Her feeling is that if you have to merge into traffic, you might as well stay home.

There are many similarities that Toots I and Toots II share, besides looking alike, they went to the same schools, lived in the same area, and are both Irish, so with that in mind, there may be more of them out there!

Today, once again she will try very hard to get over the age of 39 but be kind, don't say things like Boy, you look good for your age, or, was that you driving on Main Street with your left blinker on doing 10 mph? No, it is her birthday today, so give her space, and ladies, if you work in the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Co., use the Men's room today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOTS II- we all love you!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Went into my car the other day to pick up in the back seat. Looking down into the well I see these two items, one is a toy donut and the other is a wrapping paper tube left over from all the gift wrapping. The toy donut and tube brought me back fondly to the past Christmas and my beautiful family, particularly my granddaughter, Darby Shea.

There is nothing that my little granddaughter can do that is wrong. There is so much this kid does that is right. She has the magic and intellect to be a creature, an imaginative engineer of mind over matter. She is loving, considerate and not only smart but has a sense of order in her life. She is not a child of this age, but of all ages.

Let me explain.

For Christmas, between her maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents and parents, she was the recipient of toys, toys and more toys, coupled with what she has at home, it is a lot of toys. All were unwrapped and appreciated, yet it was the inventiveness of her heritage, the childhood of all those in her life who once were children, she took a simple toy, a discarded household item and combined them for her inventive mind to create a new toy! Her head was not buried in an electronic game to babysit her for any real measurable period of time. No, instead she was expanding her great mind to entertain herself because she saw possibilities and her inventiveness was demanding from her, and she produced.

The two items became many things in tandem, sliding the donut over the tube, spinning the donut on it, rolling it and watching it do so many things, it was fun to watch. She is what we all were once when there were no electronic babysitters, taking boxes and creating rocket ships, which she was doing on Facetime recently!

I hope I can live a very long time, I want to see how more beautiful she'll get, and what incredible things she will do for this world.

Yes, I'm a proud grandpa, please forgive me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Went to the movies again this week to see the movie ‘THE POST’ about the Pentagon Papers and Daniel Ellsberg.

The movie features the best of Hollywood in Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, two of the best in my book. It is a heroic tale about how the American public was lied to by successive administrations in the White House about Viet Nam and the conduct and progress of the war in that country.

The way it was produced takes you there in Washington DC, amidst major decisions that rocked the government in a Constitutional crisis, and if you remember your history, the outcome played out by the US Supreme Court that ruled no president can rule alone. It also stated that the press was responsible to the governed, not the governors.

My recommendation is to see this movie and understand the history of why we remain and will remain a great country.

My father-in-law who worked for Tom McAn shoes was known to read the New York Times and find all the typos, circle them and send the newspaper to the editor. In the movie, a shoe box arrives and it is a Tom McAn shoebox with all the Pentagon papers in it. I turned to TLW (The Little Woman) and said in a whisper at the movie: “It looks like it came from your father!”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


All my friends and relatives are getting old, leaving me behind!

It is time for me to start acting my age, old, and to go back to my memories, mostly black and white to come to terms with the aging process.

Are you not painting the town red anymore, and why is that? Because you need to rest before applying a second coat?

You now take the best care of your teeth you ever have, because they are safely put away on your nightstand, in a glass soaking in water as it sits next to your arthritic medicine.

Your eyes, a long-ago failing too are on that nightstand and while you have it, did you hear? Probably not, because you left your hearing aids on the nightstand too. I remember when I had room on it for a book.

At least I haven't stopped reading. I take out my medication list read it to myself because it guarantees me to some extent that I can come back tomorrow to read it again!

I went to the doctors the other day and he called his nurse.
"Get Mr. D's medical history, part II.

People marvel at your attempt at dieting when you go to a restaurant. You order a small steak, cut away 10% and that's the part you eat!

Driving at night, you only go to places you know, using instinct rather than eyesight.

I am still burning the midnight oil, until around 7:00 PM.

And yes, you DO have a large vocabulary, but what good does it do you if the younger generations don't understand you?

Monday, January 15, 2018


Forty-six years ago, I signed my bachelorhood away in symbolic fashion. Like so many before me, I officially became engaged to marry after popping the question the day after Thanksgiving the year before.

The night before we went to NYC where we picked up an engagement ring TLW (The Little Woman) selected. We had dinner, afterward at a fancy NYC restaurant and went home via the Long Island Railroad.

We were planning to announce our engagement on St. Valentine's Day, a natural choice since it was so close. As we discussed it, I would take the ring and give it to her on that day. But it bothered me that I had to hold onto this expensive promise and decided to, without her knowledge, give it to her the next morning, a real surprise.

I climbed the train steps, went to our favorite seat among many friends and waited for the bride-to-be to arrive. Apprehension set in as the train to Hunters Point slowly eased into the East Islip Rail Road station, and TLW climbed aboard. In her marron pants suit, she settled in and I gave her the ring.

Of course, I was reminded that she wasn't really dressed for the occasion, but immediately proceeded to parade up and down the aisle of the car, showing her rock off.

And so I write before you, once a single man, going nowhere on the train of life to my final destination of wedded bliss and pizza every Friday night.

The End (In more ways than one)

Sunday, January 14, 2018


I have always held the office of the President of the United States in great respect. It is a place that few can go to, and still fewer leave it unscathed. It has far-reaching effects on the world at large and even down to young children who dream of someday aspiring to greatness.

It commands the most powerful military and so it has the most responsibility to keep world peace and when necessary, defend it. It helps the economy function, with policies and individuals who pursue sane fundamental monetary policy.

It is the moral compos of the nation, defending the poor and uplifting those who are in need.

It was the leader of the Free World once, it is the office of the United States' President.

The President himself comes from the will of the American people, based on ideologies that shape policy that the majority wish to ascribe to, no matter Liberal or Conservative, Democrat or Republican.

This is not a critique of policy, it is a critique of deportment on the man who occupies the office of the President of the United States.

All too often this past year the President has expressed himself as he is, he is not holding back he true feelings and maybe that is refreshing somehow. Then, maybe not. Within these past 12 months, he has turned off our greatest allies, alarmed our enemies, and crapped on poor nations, leaving this incredible nation with leadership that seems to evolve from day to day, with investigations that are ongoing and with street talk that only describes the user of such language and uncertainty. This is a nuclear age, one that requires caution and reflection on what our next moves and responses should be. It is here where we as a nation need to have confidence in our leaders, not regret.

Mr. Trump can build his walls if the people want that, undo Obamacare and create new taxation methodologies, but his duty is to do so that all Americans can have confidence in the process, respect for the office and pride in the man we collectively elected, oddly enough from a minority of voters.

Right now, I see this mess that seems to be escalating not unlike Richard Nixon's White House. I don't want to see it go from the White House to the Crap House within the next 3 years. And please, don't post conservative or liberal translations of the truth, I never read them.

The talking heads are all having their day, FOX NEWS and MSNBC both choose to paint the picture their way, a refusal to pay attention to facts, limiting their coverage to what they want you as a viewer to hear, which is not necessarily the truth.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Raising a child with disabilities is not something many people know about nor care. The alteration of one's life as a parent, coupled with the disappointment of the reality that your child is not ‘normal' and is ostracized in the mainstream, that your relationship with your spouse becomes altered in ways you never thought you'd see, take a toll on the parents.

But for the parent, there is only struggle and sometimes emotional pain. It stems from watching your child, no matter how old and in what stage of development who is suffering from physical pain, it is the ordeal that is suffered time and time again.

As the doctor ordered tests for my daughter, I realized it was going to require suffering from physical pain on her part, without any sense of reason in her mind. They will stick her with needles, conduct x-rays and physical invasive tests. She will be confused and frightened and defensive as this would all transpire.

Then the tests began. Of all the tests that occurred, two stand out.

The first was taking blood from her from both arms. Here we coax her into allowing a stranger to take her arm and stick a needle under her skin. As they inserted the needle, we needed to hold her down and keep her arm immobile and make sure she doesn't try to move the rest of her body. When they were done on one arm, we shifted to her other arm. By this time, she had enough and the pain overcame her, as she cried and sobbed, ripping the heart out of my chest. I felt so bad, sad and angry at God.

The second event was to take an X-ray of her lungs, and here she got her revenge. I was asked to leave the room as they set up the x-ray machine. In her wheelchair, she sat as they tried to get her ready for the event. Suddenly there was pandemonium and kayos as my daughter went to work slapping the help around causing them to retreat.

It was the hospital staff that now had the ordeal, and this caused me more pain, these wonderful people trying to help her and she being afraid and taking it out on them.

Friday, January 12, 2018


She's 46 in March!
Always a worry.
It was early in the morning, about 6:00 AM, and I was settling down to my day. I had to go to a neurologist appointment for my daughter with developmental disabilities and then later in the afternoon a meeting about a book I am helping to put together.

The news on TV with its usual chatter and nattering filtered through the den and my cup of coffee was still hot. Just wait for the newspapers and I'm ready to start my day.

The phone rings at 6:15 AM, caller ID shows AHRC! Probably getting back to me about the location of the neurologist meeting I requested in a message I left on the nurse's phone.

Mr. Del Broggolo? This is Eric from the ICF (Intermediate Care Facility), we are sending Ellen (my daughter) to the hospital! She has been running a 103 fever so the doctor wants some tests to see what is up.

Casting aside my plans for the day, I jump into my winter coat and head out to the hospital, figuring I'll get there before the agency does with Ellen.

Naturally, it is imperative that I do something to delay things and like clockwork I do. I go to the main entrance and enquire as to where they admit people. Of course, there is no one at the main desk, no volunteers, security guards or even sick people and their worried relatives. I think that business must be bad, and that's good.

Finally, I find a technician or nurse roaming the halls and ask, she tells me that I have to leave the building and walk, way over to the next building, so off I trek, thinking about how far away this would be from my car. As I walk into the next building I think I'll get comfortable and wait, but instead, I hear my name called out, they are there before me! Being admitted! Good God, how bad is this?

My daughter looks fine, she sees me and nearly jumps out of her wheelchair, calling out "Mumma". She calls me ‘Mumma' because she can't speak.

Tomorrow: AN ORDEAL

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Years ago, growing up in Brooklyn, Mom and Dad took the time to teach me my address and our downstairs neighbor’s telephone. It seems of the three tenants in the apartment, only the middle floor tenant had a phone and so any phone messages were filtered through that tenant.

If you needed to get a doctor to call back, you gave the phone number of the lady who would call us down to answer our call. Sometimes we would go down to her apartment and make a call or go to the corner candy store and make it through a phone booth.

Recently I was thinking of those times and the phone number came back to me for some reason. I wondered if that number was still in use in Brooklyn and decided t call the number and see.

So, I dialed the number and waited, finally someone answered.


“Hello. I know it’s been 62 years, but are there any messages for me?”


“Never mind”

I guess there weren’t any messages for me after 62 years.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


It was the night before our big trip to California, and we were all packed and ready to go. That is, we were all packed and ready to go except for one thing, my youngest son Michael couldn't find his license that he needed to board the plane at JFK.

My Irish wife had for years demanded and insisted that we eat pizza on Fridays, she loves pizza and it was a break for her from cooking during the rest of the week. It is this reason that I suspect she became a better Italian than I am. She was showing typical symptoms of Italianate style and class, she is beautiful, loves Italian food and makes a great sauce on Sundays.

"Does everybody have their ID for tomorrow? Mike, do you have your license?"

"Mom, I can't find my license!"

"What! Did you look in your room? You can't get on the plane without it. Look some more."

"I don't know what I did with it!"

Mom then stops in her tracks, in the middle of my den and announces:

"Well, there is only one thing to do. Like my mother, I will pray to St. Anthony!" So, she drops down to her knees and crosses herself and prays! Now it wasn't an altar that she was praying at, but the couch. I know that that couch has given me comfort over the years and so, why not?

With her hands folded and in earnest prayer, she invoked all her years of belief and devotion to God and prayed for the deliverance of one driver's license made in the name of Mike D.

This of course was shocking, an Irishman praying to St. Anthony, practically a patron saint of Italy and lost causes. Don't they have Irish saints to pray to for something lost? At least hire an Italian intermediary to pray to St. Anthony.

When her petition as over, blessing herself she rose to her feet, firm in her belief that St. Anthony was working his saintly magic for the cause of a half Italian child.

As she marched upstairs to Mike's bedroom, it seems like it was almost immediately that she returned, grasping high over her head Mike's license like it was a religious icon for all to bow and venerate to. The miracle of St. Anthony!

What happened? I think that probably with all her pizza consumption, she had through osmosis, become an Italian, crossing St. Anthony's wires and invoking his assistance.

Never underestimate the power of prayer or pizza.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Darn! The cold frigid days are leaving us. This means my excuse for not going to the gym is gone. The mornings of low-temperature frigidity are going away and as an old man I like to be comfortable, so I don’t go. Too cold.

When I woke up this morning I looked at the clock and it said 4:30 AM, and I realized it was time to go back to working out. Unfortunately, my body is disagreeing with me and telling me to turn over, close my eyes and shut up!

The worst thing I can think of is going out early in the morning or after dinner on cold days. Who wants to even move? Nothing like settling in on a cold evening, putting on The Big Bang Theory and having a cocktail to while the hours away.

Getting up in the early morning when it is the most convenient for me, in the cold doesn’t have the allure it does in the summer or spring. My motivation for the gym is not to build muscle, it is to remain as spry as possible before they plant me. Nothing like being in good shape for the end, so if anyone should visit the funeral home they will say: “He looks good!”

Monday, January 08, 2018



Went to the movies on Saturday to see THE DARKEST HOUR, a great movie that covers Sir Winston Churchill's ascendancy to the Prime Ministry of The United Kingdom, culminating at the rescue at Dunkirk of almost 300,000 men on the beaches from Hitler's Germany.

Sir Winston
The movie came by the title THE DARKEST HOUR not because of the UK's travails, but because it was my darkest hour. As TLW (The Little Woman) was online purchasing the tickets, I went to the candy counter and ordered one large popcorn to share.

"Uh, give me a large popcorn, please. And these two bottles of water."

"You want one large popcorn and two small bottles of water?"


"$18.80, please."


"$18.80, please."


Gary Oldman

You would think the crooks would at least provide a better wardrobe with the asking, say a gun and mask! That is highway robbery brought indoors.

Gary Oldman was terrific in the part and the money brought home to life the measure of the man. It takes you into the depths of the war room in London during Britain's darkest hour, the danger of imminent loss of 300,000 men in Europe to the Germans on the beaches of Dunkirk, and how he masters a rescue to save the British army on the beach and the nation of Great Britain and subjugation by Nazi Germany.

Sunday, January 07, 2018


It was 8:30 AM on January 4th in the middle of the biggest snowstorm in a while.  Having been given orders not to get involved with shoveling snow, I reached for my phone book and called the guy I used last year for snow removal.

I dialed and no one answered, however I was offered an opportunity to leave a message and so I did, confident that my driveway would be cleared sometime after the storm.

TLW (The Little Woman) was home since the Wanna-Be-Bank and Truss Company was closed due to the storm. All day long she wondered as I did if the message was conveyed to come and plow my driveway.

“Should you call and make sure he is coming?”

“Nah, he is probably busy with plowing to call back. He’ll come.”

It is suddenly 5:30 PM, I call once again and get the answering machine again. I hang up.

Now I’m worried that he isn’t coming, and now I have to go out there to shovel. I will give him until 9:00 PM, then go out and start to shoveling so TLW can get out in the morning.

“Leave the front door open so we can see when he arrives!” said TLW. I do and around 8:50 PM I look out the front door through the storm door these headlights appear and this person is walking up to the door.

Me: “It’s HIM!”

No, it’s not. It is an angel looking to make money.

I greet who I think is the shovel-man but he has a Hispanic accent which comes with few words of discernable English. Sweeping his hand across his body indicating the snow that is drifted high and wide, he asks me if I’m interested in his shoveling my driveway. I say yes and he asks me how much I will pay him. I ask him how much he wants. We discuss with me mostly doing the talking, I check with TLW and we hire him and his buddy.

This guy shoveled what usually takes my usual guy over 40 minutes just 15! I told him to make sure the next time it snows to look me up.

Saturday, January 06, 2018


The great winter storm of 2018 is upon us as I write this. Like all snow storms I can no longer shovel myself, as per orders from everybody. It seems like only yesterday I was shoveling and now I have to call someone.

The snow itself seems kind of strange, it is snowing for twelve hours yet it doesn’t feel very high, except for the drifts, and the hurricane force winds that dominate the day.

Back in the 70’s when I commuted to the city, you never knew what to expect. One morning I left for work on the train and the day had started off with a torrential rain, that quickly turned to snow and transformed a 1 hour ride into six or seven hours. I got into Manhattan around 1 PM ate lunch and turned around back on the train for another six hours.

There have been snow storms that I had to drive in. One such storm started about 1:30 PM and took me 7 hours to get home. On top of that, half way home in the storm on an every-man for himself Expressway my driver’s side windshield wiper stopped working, causing me to lean over to look ahead!

But today we are dealing with a wind that will cause temperatures to feel like 10 or 15 degrees below zero tonight. I’ll go to bed under heavy covers and not move, just lie there and enjoy the comfort of not having to go out in the snow, my health you know.

Friday, January 05, 2018


Every year since TLW (The Little Woman) went back to work, when it comes to the weather, I worry. Be it the dog days of August or the frigid days of January, weather plays a part in my mental peace.

As I write this we are on a winter storm alert. It is coming with hurricane force winds, creating blizzard conditions! The streets this early in the storm are still passable, but that is changing quickly. I went out earlier to fetch my newspaper, leaving tracks behind me, and once again about a half hour later, there were no tracks visible from my first trek!

Roads are frozen over, winds are building up, the cold penetrates your clothes, especially in your legs, your nose runs, and your ears tingle, and your toes seem to disappear. Three inches of snow per hour are expected, all day long! All this is very ominous.

So, I ask you, why would anyone want to go out in these conditions? Why would anyone risk their life for a bank transaction, even an emergency one when you have banking by computer, and you can increase your cash availability with a debit card?

Every year TLW goes off to work, knowing she is putting herself in peril doing so. Some years they call for late openings at the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Co. I anxiously worry about her getting to the job instructing her to call me when she gets there and being prepared to go out and find her if I need to.

Every morning we sit and watch the TV and the school closing reports, and wonder if the Wanna-Be Bank and Truss Company will cancel the day. You call a hotline and they say they will open, then 5 minutes later the TV crawl shows a late opening.

But today… we got the call! Early on, before 6:30 AM, they are CLOSED!!!!

Hallelujah, no worries today!