Sunday, March 31, 2019


There’s nothing much here to brag about. We sat down to breakfast at a favorite restaurant and before the waitress even brought over our food, the phone went off, a message informing me that my daughter was admitted to the ER with another infection.

I requested that they keep me updated as we are still in California, and sure enough, they did. As I sat in the garden area of my son’s back yard, sketchpad in hand happily drawing away when once again another message, my daughter Ellen was admitted into the hospital with another case of sepsis and another UTI.

Of course, my patience is wearing thin and I want to really scream in some abandoned room in the middle of nowhere.

My biggest concern is how my daughter is feeling, how sick it must make her and how frightened she is in another strange place. Without Mom or Dad, we can’t interpret what she is feeling or wants, nor can we assist in getting her to take medications and the insertion of the needles she needs to heal.

I have to wonder what God has in mind. Is he punishing me? I don’t feel Ellen’s pain. Is he punishing Ellen? She certainly is feeling the horrific pain and discomfort of what they will be doing to her to try to heal.

I have to start wondering where God is. I’m tired of all this, not for myself but my daughter. Better it would be for me to have this pain and discomfort than Ellen, I would not mind knowing that I could lessen her anguish by getting her discomforts.

If anyone is talking to God, (Obviously, he isn’t listening to me) please tell him to stop!

Saturday, March 30, 2019


“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is, a proverb or aphorism: another form is "Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works".
Driving on Long Island roads, the roads are numbered but better remembered by their names. There is the ‘Vet’, the Southern State, the Northern State, the Wantagh, the Meadowbrook, and Nichol’s Road. Local roads that run through towns with stop lights and signs are also named such as Sunrise and Montauk. It is only when we reach a road that runs into other states that we get number crazy, mainly the 495 or as we locals call it the LIE.

The drivers are some of the worst in the world and are not too swift in thinking as they are on the roads.

I have been spending time in Burbank, California, the land of studios such as Warner Brothers, Universal, and Disney. You never know when you will run into an actor or someone famous.

In my time in Burbank, I have done a lot of driving. I have driven out to Glendale and even as far as Downing, using mostly local roads I have discovered that the drivers are the worst They jump into lanes without warning or signaling of any kind. They drive slow, erratically, and do some of the dumbest things I have ever seen in my life. They create a hazard driving in conditions that cause me to swear. Turning with no signaling, jumping lanes, crossing and cutting you off, etc.

So far this visit, I have counted 438 “Morons” 362 Sons of Bitches and a whole slew of proctologists appointments needed.

The roads are so broken that you add miles as you drive down one ditch and back up to street level. The highways all interconnect and don’t exit or enter like NY roads do, They exit from either the left of right side of the roads.

Friday, March 29, 2019


Being 9-months old, he hasn’t tasted a lot yet. So we decided to make Pasta Fagioli, my favorite dish borne from childhood comfort foods I loved.

Then, after the cooking and place setting, we rolled in the highchair with one little Mr. DelBloggolo and his appetite. This kid is a major league eater; he will probably break all his grandpa and father’s records very soon.

We did a test on him a few days ago with spaghetti, something he never had with sauce. We placed a little bowl of spaghetti in front of him and backed away. Before our shadow left the tray on the highchair, his little fist was flying into the bowl and shoveling it into his mouth! Never eating spaghetti before, he sucked the noodles in like a pro. He was ready for some serious, big-time Festa Italiano!

While one of us diverted him, the other placed the bowl in front of him. Once he spotted it, it was head first into the food and he was not happy! What was wrong? Did he not like the food? No, he was pounding his little fist down on the tray demanding more, but we had to shove it into his mouth, with quantity, and speed and: “Put your back into it, man!

He is a real DelBloggolo, HE ATE THE WHOLE THING!

Thursday, March 28, 2019


Since I’ve been in California with my grandkids, I have a fascination watching my 9-month-old grandson roam about the house and discovering new things. Taste, look, feel, are all new to him and he takes them seriously in his quest to learn.

I feed him spaghetti, donuts, and eggs, all he enjoys as well as cereals and bread that is buttered. I heavily butter the bread and he gobbles it up. I made a spaghetti dish the other night and for the first time in his life tried it. He learned to suck up the strands or noodles like a pro on his first try to feed it to him! When presented to him in a bowl, he didn’t wait he just plowed his fist into the bowl, grabbed a bunch and stuck it in his mouth!

On his expositions through the house each room found him in a newer glory than the previous room, having been confined to the shackles of infancy, he is now mobile enough to some degree to appreciate and explore his environment.

The look of triumph on his face, the lighting up of his eyes, the smile that crosses his lips and explodes his fat cheeks makes for interesting observation coming from this little guy!

For the first time, my wife and I took him to a supermarket. He sat in the little basket seat and we propped him up for comfort as he watched in fascination the different shoppers and things on the shelves like he was in Disney Land. And the smiles, oh the smiles, coming from so many people!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


It is hard to believe but little Darby Shea, sassy as all get out and smarter than her grandpa turns 5 today.

She has a high level of intelligence and a profound emotional understanding of what turned her life into something it shouldn’t have happened.

She has had one party after another and tonight she will have another. None of us care if we spoil her, she needs as much love as I can give and the rest of the family is giving. I r4member the biggest fear I had as a young child was my mom dying. To realize that fear is unimaginable, frightening, and devastating. She understands everything from a well-educated child on the subject. She is holding up very well and continues to get counseling and has grown with this heartache.

I know that I have written a lot about the subject of my daughter-in-law’s passing, but I need to express my grief for her and her family, Anthony, Darby Shea, and Bobby Courtney. It is all in the process of grieving.

Today, Daddy bought her a nice birthday present, one she will definitely get excited about and her day will be special at pre-school.

She and I are forming a bond that I’m sure she will form with her other granddad as well. I hope she does because she needs all the love she can get from all of us. Poor Grandpa Roger is in the midst of a struggle of his own with a personal matter of his poor wife Claire suffering a stroke. I pray for them both and hope to see some good news as we go forward. Pray for him and Claire.

As for Darby, she has amazed me with her intelligence not only from the standpoint of a child but from the emotional maturity she is displaying, making me laugh and cry by her antics. She is so beautiful, funny and loves to give me a hard time as well. That is when I grab her and squeeze, belt her with kisses and give her my grandmother’s grandchild cheek squeeze.


I love you!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Being a father of four children I understand the fears and anxieties a father has for raising a child or four. It is not really easy but because of love for the child, it is not hard.

I know what I just said is a contradiction but life is filled with contradictions, and if you don’t think so you haven’t been living.

My son Anthony has always been the kind of person that takes life seriously. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, but it is what it is. He is a comedy writer and reading some of his online stuff, I think he is probably a darn good one too.

In the last year, he has been challenged and challenged to the extreme. Having lost someone you dearly love is traumatic, but thankfully not incapacitating since he has two beautiful children who need him as much as he needs them.

Today is his birthday and unfortunately a difficult one as well as tomorrow’s birthday of his beautiful daughter, Darby who turns five, for the first time without her Mom Courtney, there to make her day so special as she always did.

I know my son and I know he will come through as he did Saturday during Darby’s birthday party. Today is his birthday, he is old enough to put himself aside for his kids and for me to see that he has this day to himself both quietly and with his family who love him. We will celebrate his birthday quietly at a little restaurant and move on.

Monday, March 25, 2019


Being a cranky old man according to TLW (The Little Woman), I need some kind of respite. With a precocious 5-year-old, 9-month-old, a tired old dog who can’t seem to climb up to the couch anymore, and yes, a TLW who is constantly under siege from doing motherly things whether they are needed or not, I need to seek respite, a refuge from the onslaught of the little ones.

Grandpa is asked to do all kinds of things from tickling, playing catch up to the little creature that now crawls, rescuing the dog from the 9-month-old terrorist, looking for pacifiers, feeding bottles, taking orders from my 5-year-old commander as well as TLW, searching for the little terrorist as he wanders while I get distracted, there is only one thing to do-hide.

I have found two places to go to for respite, one is upstairs and one is downstairs! Both these places have locks, to secure my peace. They are the bathrooms, secluded, cozy, and even have running water! I am now not afraid to use them, and I will if needed!

Don’t get me wrong, I love everybody in the house, and I enjoy the activities, I just wish they would not start so unexpectedly!

This morning I came down for my coffee and who do I see to greet me but the terrorist, Bobby, AKA Mussels Marinara sitting in Grandma’s lap. He greets me with a big smile and reaches for me, which makes my day the first thing I do. Finally, he roams the floor and I sit in the living room while he has the freedom to roam. This is assuming each room has an eye out for him. Suddenly I hear a crash, and I look up, and sure enough, Mussel’s is nowhere to be seen!

“Ellen, are you in the kitchen?”

Another crash! I jump up to investigate, and there he is, emptying the dog food from the bowl. I run and remove him from the crime scene and gather up the food, grab Mussels and take him out of the kitchen, barricading the room so he can’t re-enter and create more mischief and as I do, he spits up all over the floor. That flight home is looking good right about now!

“JOE! Are you watching him down there?”

“I really wish you told me you were going upstairs!”

So, Linus and me, the two cranky old men of the house retreated to the bathroom where we dear to stay just long enough before someone catches on.

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Four years ago my granddaughter had her first birthday. It was an amazing show of love for Darby by Mom and her grandmother Claire. An amazing cake was made of a cartoon character and many people were invited. Friends from the Big Bang Theory and local neighbors all attended as did people from far away.

There was the puppy party where live puppies were imported by mom for all Darby’s friends to handle and play with. Special guests included: Aston Kutcher and Mila Kunis. Not bad for a party for a 4-year-old.

One year was the incredible Mom once again! A donut party! Lots and lots of donuts with a donut cake and pinata!

Now that Mom is gone, Dad had to continue her tradition amid trepidation of failing miserably in his daughter’s eyes on her fifth birthday. Instead, he did the incredible, by himself and made his daughter something special, a fun house was rented with a ton of the most delicious food and 35 kids from the Big Bang Theory, Nickelodeon, Hollywood, and friends.

The place was packed, the fun was high and the many parents had a great time visiting. My granddaughter was the center of attention, except when her little brother came around, being introduced by his Daddy and grandparents.

But Daddy did a great job! He worried that it wasn’t good enough yet everyone was happy. How bad could it be?

After the party, we went home and Darby was unpacking enough presents to stock a warehouse. Watching her as she opened the presents I thought about Anthony and his efforts and asked Darby to do me a favor when her Daddy wasn’t around.

“Darby… would you do me a favor and thank your Daddy for the amazing party he had for you, today?”

“I did thank him, grandpa.”

Saturday, March 23, 2019


The things you discover can be hard sometimes to learn.

Recently, we were cleaning up the stuff that kids leave around and came upon an old backpack. It is pink for a little girl and looked like it has seen better days. It is slightly ripped, the zipper had died long ago and it was stained from being carried around a lot.

I questioned whether or not I should throw it out so I asked Ellen what to do.


Why not? Because it was Darby’s and given to her by her mom before she died. It has sentimental value long after it had any real value in usage. Darby will never give it up.

So, we decided to ask Grammie to tailor it and have it fixed. It will live long into the life of this little girl, she will see it and remember her mom every time she looks at it. She may outgrow the backpack, but not the memories of her mom or the value she has for her mom’s love.

She is a beautiful child!

Friday, March 22, 2019


It is amazing how much I think about things that prove to be different, very different and yet when they happen I see clearly.

A case in point is my granddaughter, Darby Shea, the absolute apple of my eye and the love of my heart. She is what we used to call; COOL in high school. She is charming, very cultivated, intelligent and inquisitive. Darby comes to Grandpa for help when she can’t do something for herself, although she tries first.

Something about her that amazes me is she doesn’t like to play with dolls! What little 4 or 5-year old girl doesn’t own a doll? She states that she finds them “Creepy” and rather own stuffed animals, which inhabit her room, on her bed and in her toy box. But the things that most intrigues me is her sense of humor and her high vocabulary. She definitely has a mind of her own and is not afraid to express herself.

The other day she was engrossed with her grandma and having a great time. She was showing signs that she had to go to the bathroom. I said: “Darby, why don’t you go to the toilet now?” She runs over to me, stands on my knees as I am sitting down on an easy chair and says: “How about I pee on YOU, instead?”

Is that any way for a grandchild to speak to her grandfather? Yes. Why? Because she expressed herself with her soon to be 5-year old personality and humor that came across immediately. No pretense, no fear, and the sense that what she said was not wrong.

We were driving home from her play-school one morning and Grandpa ran into some construction that made me merge into the right lane and I got annoyed. She took me to a new level, instead of fixating on the traffic situation; she made me explain to her what was going on, why it was happening and the process. All of this took me to the end of the jam and I felt that I had a conversation with a teenager.

You see a 5-year old and you think a certain level of cognizance, knowledge, and level of conversation will be limited, then you meet Darby Shea and say: WOW! I think she got this from her beautiful Mom Courtney. Courtney has a wacky sense of humor, valedictorian of her college graduation class, and beautiful. It is all there in my gorgeous granddaughter.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME (true story)

Many years ago when my Dad was a young man, before he married Mom, on a Sunday morning would go to the corner candy store and buy the New York Sunday Daily News.  Then, while grandma went to church he would read his newspaper. Dad was not a churchgoer but because of my grandmother’s involvement in Our Lady of a Loreto on Sackman Street in Brooklyn, the priest would come to the house and visit Grandma on church business. She organized pilgrimages to upstate grottos and boat trips to Italy to pay for an orphanage, making lots of money for Jesus and the church coffers.

As Dad was standing in the candy store reaching down for the newspaper, who shows up but Father Rossi one of the resident priests.

It went something like this:

“Gooder morning, Tony!”
“Good morning, Father.”
“I no a see a you atta 9:00er Mass this a morning, Tony! Isa everything OK?”
“Oh! I went to 5:00 Mass this morning, Father.”
“So, a how’sa your mamma?”
“Oh, she’s fine, Father.”
“And Raffaello, isa he a gooder too?”
“Yes, Father, Poppa is good too.”
“Wella, when you see a them today, teller them I say a Hello”
“I will Father.”
“And a byer the way, there’sa no 5:00er Mass.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Clap your hands.

I have been singing this ditty to my daughter, Ellen since she was a little pup. It was something I learned from the speech therapy they tried at the agency a long time ago and due to failure to speak, was abandoned.

Today is Ellen’s birthday. At her age, she should be approaching middle age with an eye on being a grandparent someday. She should also be reaping the rewards of a college education and leaving her children with her parents to love and watch grow and make comparisons of life today to when we were 47.

She would have had by now her reunions past her from high school and celebrating anniversaries with her husband. Instead, she celebrates nothing but a little joy when she sees us arrive at her residence. She co-exists with her housemates and really there is no interaction. Sunday we took a cake and present and had a little party for her in her home. All 7 of her housemates sat around the table and were fed ice cream and cake but did not interact or recognize that they were getting a treat. How sad!

My wife bought her something for her birthday to wear, a top that will look great on her, but she will not know that. She didn’t even want to unwrap it, instead, tossing it over her shoulder.

There is something special about her life that I do not understand. How can life leave you happy? How is it that every day of not speaking, not knowing, and not understanding still find a smile on her face? I think it has to do with the fact that no one pollutes her wellbeing. No one interferes with her peace that exits in her mind and personal space.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


As I write this I am flying over Southern Minnesota at about 30,000 feet. This is rare for me since I never wanted to go to Minnesota, so it is good we are just flying over it. It is a very nice JetBlue flight with a lot of empty seats.

Whenever I fly, I seem to find things that tick me off. Little stupid things that my poor wife has to guard against, telling me that I need to relax.

For instance, walking the gangplank to board the plane, the area before you step up into the long tubular craft is usually crowded with people who are not paying due attention to where the hell they are going. Why? Because they’re so important that they have to have their noses in their cell phones, so they are not paying attention to where they are. Looking at emails is so important as is looking at ‘selfies’ I guess that they can risk life and limb by doing so.

When you reach that area there is a side door where some of the crew steps in and out of, I am tempted to open that door and confuse them enough that they will go out of it!

Then there is the moron who in a crowded waiting area where there are few, if any seats, put their luggage on an empty seat, stick their legs out so you can trip over them and pretend they don’t notice you looking for a seat.

Annoyance number, three: sitting at the small bars where they have recharging stations for your phones. Some of them sit there without charging anything but their fat ass. I’m getting bitter and graphic, so I’m really warming up.

Entering and looking for your seat is just as bad as getting off the plane, once again the crowd of humanity is infuriating. People standing in the aisle while they stick their luggage in the overhead bins backing everyone up and so they turn to their cell phones. Getting off they are not at fault since it is poorly configured for doing such a thing. People are crowded in the aisle with the ambition of getting off the plane first, can’t move as fast as they would like and then just wind up standing in the aisle while some little old lady pulls her two-ton luggage off the overhead bin and people cover their heads, hoping to avoid a concussion.

My favorite place in the whole world once I land? That wonderful sounding thing they call the luggage carousel, where with great anticipation, you hope your luggage accompanied you to your destination. You search and think: ‘Was, that it? No, Did I miss it? Is it in Chicago or the Cayman Islands? Maybe in Beijing?

Then miracle of miracles, there it is, as it rolls down the conveyor belt, slams into someone else’s bag and begins the adventure of it mockingly saying: “Get me if you can, stupid!” You rush the edge then grab on, risking going through the conveyor length as the weight of it and your awkward grip on the bag take over. You manage to pull it off, stand with your chin up and a grin on your face that says: YES! I GOT MINE!!! See ya suckers!

If you ever land in Burbank, California on JetBlue, after a 30,000-foot altitude and a lowly attitude, the two 'tudes' will qualify you to walk a long distance from the gate to the baggage claim carousel than New York to Burbank, it’s that long!

If by chance you need a rental car in Burbank, prepare to walk the rest of the day. The car rental area, newly designed with moving walkways, elevators, and long ramps will add miles to your travels, and you will then after landing and combining the mileage have walked to California and back!

Sunday, March 17, 2019


Not being Irish I have no idea what that is like. At the end of the day, there are people who say they are Iwish and live in Long Ireland. They are celebrating today.

Having married an Irishwoman, my kids are half Irish, making them mutts I guess. All their years living at home, they never asked for corned beef and cabbage, then they never asked for spanking either.

I believe the dish itself is American in origin, the Irish borrowing it from the Jews because the Jews couldn’t eat pork, so substituted beef brisket.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City and not Ireland, in 1762. The next 100 years saw Irish immigration to the United States grow rapidly. They brought their own food traditions such as and including soda bread and Irish stew.

Pork was a staple since it was cheap in Ireland and a regular fare on the dinner table. The Irish favored Irish bacon, a lean, smoked pork loin something like Canadian bacon. But in the United States, pork was too expensive for most poor Irish families, so they substituted by cooking beef—the main staple on the American table and its diet—instead.

Irish immigrants lived alongside other “undesirable” European ethnic groups who also faced discrimination in their arrival to America, including Jews and Italians. The Irish working class in New York City frequented Jewish delis or lunch carts, and it was there that they first tasted corned beef. Resembling Irish bacon, it was the perfect and cheaper alternative to the expensive pork. Cabbage was a cheaper alternative to poor Irish families.

I make corned beef and cabbage in a slow cooker, adding the brisket rubbed in brown sugar a bottle of stout to cover everything, and the usually chopped cabbage, onions, carrots, red potatoes, and one sweet potato and cook it in the cooker for 6 hours. That’s it and it is so good I would make it more than once a year.

To all my Irish friends and relatives:

Patrick was believed to have born in Roman Britain (Scotland), the son of a wealthy family. His name was Maewyn Succat. He was kidnapped when he was 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped and afterward he said, God, told him to run from his captors to the shore, where a boat would be waiting for him to take him back to Scotland. He fled, the boat was there and he headed home, but he didn’t stay.

He returned to Ireland as a priest using the name Patrick. He worked there for the rest of his life to convert the Irish, who, at the time, practiced Celtic polytheism (Celtic paganism and bar hopping).

While he was never officially canonized, his followers regarded him as a “saint in heaven,” thus he received a feast day from the Roman Catholic Church and the title of “saint.”

Friday, March 15, 2019


I just got over one presidential election, one mid-term election and now here we are again another presidential election!

Democracy is an expensive deal. First, you have to pay for the idiots you elect, and then you pay for all their mistakes.  What do you really get out of it, another chance to elect the idiots, again?

I know, I’m not nice, but they started it.

Wherever I travel I see the effects of poor judgment on the part of politicians. I see it come from Washington, D.C., I see it come from Albany or any state capitol I read about. Why do people want to be politicians anyway? You are under scrutiny, you will by the end of your term have probably disappointed more than you made happily. You have to be careful of how to propose your ideas and make sure it is not a boondoggle you are building, can’t have the natives after your skin!

I thought once of running for public office. The problem is which party do I represent? I’m not a liberal or conservative, I believe in fiscal responsibility along with the sanctity of life. I don’t believe in the nonsense spouted by a gun lobbyist as factual, I read the Second Amendment. (It doesn’t talk about private citizens rights to own a gun, only militias. But say “Second Amendment Right and right away people think it must be official because someone said: “Second Amendment.”

The other issue is the way politicians attack social problems, monetary responsibility, and foreign affairs. Foreign affairs once involved Gina Lollobrigida and an American. Another problem is they count, and counting brings them down a criminal path. They get cocky, arrogant and involved in money schemes that involve even relatives. Just read the latest about a certain Nassau County former county executive and his lovely wife. Their favorite letter in the alphabet is ‘Y’. Why? Glad you asked; it’s a crooked letter!

And so, from now until November of 2020, we will hear all the promises backed by lies, all the sincerity wrapped in disingenuous statements and all with it comes their clammy handshake. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019


There’s this old song sung by the late crooner, Dino Crocetti aka Dean Martin titled: ‘THAT’S AMORE!’ Every time something happy in my life occurs, I sing that song to myself. It is a happy song that is a crowd favorite in the old days at weddings.

Soon I fly off to Burbank and see two of the most beautiful grandchildren God ever gave anyone. Darby Shea and Robert Courtney will be in my sights and grasps and I will do everything I can to enjoy that time with them.

I’m sure I’m not the only grandparent who feels this way about their grandchildren, and rightly so, they should.  What joy it brings to me to see them. What a wonderful sound I will hear: “Grandpa”

There is something special about these two grandchildren that everyone is aware of, but I try to suppress that sadness and embrace the joy. It is one of life’s hardest lessons, to embrace what you can and make the best of things. They teach one to put one foot in front of the other, continue to smell the flowers and embrace tomorrow’s hope with today’s passion for that which you love.

Grandchildren are the only gift a child of yours can give you aside from their love. Grandchildren assure you that on the way out, you will be leaving a legacy to mankind and beautiful and wondrous link back to your grandparents and the love they must have experienced for you.
So, sing along with me…

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's Amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's Amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita Bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
That's Amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's Amore

(When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's Amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's Amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita Bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool)
That's Amore
(When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli)
That's Amore
Lucky fella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool)
That's Amore
(When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli)
That's Amore, (amore)
That's Amore

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Most of our married life, my wife and I were known as handicapped parents. We are the parents of a handicapped child who lives and one who has died.  People must look at us as different and maybe even odd. Maybe we are, maybe we should consider ourselves that way, but somehow I don’t see that. I see us as average people that like everyone else try to make it a go in life.

Recently, my wife mentioned to me about this mother who wrote on Facebook, that she had a disabled child and felt she was ‘lucky’. I found this offensive because I feel she is looking for sympathy and has cheapened herself in the process. We love our child, we seek to protect her, we constantly advocate for her. We do these things because she is in need of our help. It is not about us as it is not about that mother’s child.

How do we feel lucky or blessed or whatever? Does this mother realize what hardship her child will encounter? Does she not know that her child will struggle with life, pin and frustration all the rest of her life? If you buy into the crap that God gives you only what you can handle, then many of you are weak, poorly composed. I find that ridicules. Who in Hell would want such pain?

That mother must now face the fact that her child will suffer pain from operations, pain from over medicated trials, frustration from being excluded, not wanted ion the norms of society, and the pain the child will instill in her heart as she sees her child suffer. She will need to fight for her child’s rights, battle the establishment that doesn’t care to fund the needs of these poor individuals?

There are no medals for parents of handicapped children, there are tears and sadness and emotional pain. When you hear someone say those things that that mother said, tell her to shut up and take care of her child, the world just doesn’t give a damn or care in the least bit. Having lived with this all my married life, my wife and I realize the reality of life, so lady get on board, save yourself.

Sunday, March 10, 2019


They hold true to my sense of who they are. Take for instance the town of East Islip, forever in my heart as Long Ireland, yes a place inhabited on Long Island with the wonderful Irish that inhabits it.

It took me about 25 years before I ever set foot in East Islip, and actually living for the 15 years of residing on the Island. I would go through the town on the train to work, but never paid it much attention. Then one day I noticed this lady get on the train every day on my car. Being creatures looking for some kind of control, commuters tend to board the same cars every day. I introduced myself and now after 48 years in June, I explain myself.

I took notice of this lady and would anticipate her boarding every morning and sometimes at night too. She was Irish as I learned and her Mom was a sociable lady with a great sense of humor and presence, who always smiled and made people feel welcomed. Most of her friends were Irish and Italian as she built her friendship from the A&P where she checked out people.

But, East Islip on Long Ireland was indeed an experience. The neighbors who lived on the block where my wife came from were mostly Irish and so I accepted that and got to know and accept them. My father-in-law came from Ireland and together on a salesman’s salary raised 4 successful children.

But now, as I drive through the town of East Islip with the Irish holy day of obligation, a parade will be somewhere in this world honoring St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Irish and bars, saloons, and pubs.

So if you are going down the roads and lanes of Long Ireland, look for Long Ireland and the lads and lassies of the new sod who wax poetically for the old sod.

Friday, March 08, 2019


 It was a Friday morning about 11:00 and I was sitting in Spanish class, behind the brand new consoles that had been installed for language learning by the school system, listening to Mr. or should I say Senior Campbell “repeatan tambien por favor” the words of the conquistadores one more time. Suddenly the fire alarm rang out and the procedures that were put in place and rehearsed many times over began. In an orderly soldier-like fashion, we marched out of the new wing of the high school and down the steps to the first floor and onto the lawn.

Someone quipped: “wouldn’t it be funny if the school really was on fire?” We all chuckled, and I looked over toward the old wing and noticed smoke climbing up from what I thought was behind the chimney. Being how it was March the Chimney would be “Playing” that day, as I continued my conversation with one of the guys when all of a sudden someone shouts: “Look!” I turn around to look where she was pointing to and see the windows of the second floor in the old wing fly up, smoke billowing out and kids standing at the window! I realized at that point that my younger sister Fran was supposed to be in that classroom and started to race toward the building. Halfway there, the kids started to jump out of the window and land in the scrubs that broke their fall and cushioned them from any physical harm for the most part. As I got to the fence surrounding the building I realized that Fran had stayed home that day, and maybe saved her life and mine as I had planned to go up there and find her.

As the kids started to fall out the window, the fire department arrived and took charge, moving us all back away from the building and across the street toward the bank. I decided to go to the village, which was just a short, walk from the school and call my Mother and tell her what was happening. On the corner of Main Street and Station Road was a drug store, and at the very entrance of the store was a phone booth. I called and my Mom answered…

“What are you doing out of school?”
Me: “The school is on fire!”
Mom: “Don’t get so smart.”
Me; “Listen”
Me: “Is Fran home?”
Mom: “Yes, she’s right here.”

I stick the phone out the bi-fold doors and as I do another fire truck is roaring by screening as the sirens play their song of urgency.

There were many people involved in that ordeal that day, helicopters hovering overhead, their blades whirling around at blinding speeds, police sirens blaring, medical personnel scampering about, firefighters charging up ladders, all with a sacred mission, one that they were trained to do to save lives. Some people were injured, some were hospitalized, some escaped the fire, and some fought the fire, but no one died that day.

A student smoking a cigarette tossed it behind the curtain in the auditorium when a teacher was approaching that caused the fire.

As I watched from my vantage point across the street in front of the bank, there were kids being brought in on stretchers into the bank, medics caring for them, all the while and the school was still burning. Everyone had evacuated, one way or another when suddenly the roof of the building lifted upward as a tremendous explosion erupted from the old fashioned boiler room.

Until my dying day, I will never forget the dejected figure of our school principal, Mr. Feeney, standing on the lawn, his hands in his pocket looking down as the fire raged in front of him in defiance.

“We bid thee a fond farewell
Though many a year’s gone by.
Oh, Bellport, Bellport, Bellport High,
Parting is sorrow, parting is neigh.”

Monday, March 04, 2019


“March is a crazy month, only crazy people are born in March.” She had two daughters, and at least one grandchild who was born in March. None of them showed any signs of mental nervousness.

“The way you make your bed is the way you will sleep in it!”
To this day I don’t really understand that. If I sleep in a messy bed I will have a messy dream, or a perfectly neat bed guarantees I will have neat dreams or sleep without moving?

“If it was a snake it would have bitten you!”
I think this meant that the damned thing is right under my nose and I can’t find it like a moron! Here it is!

“Wait, wait ‘till YOU have kids, then we’ll see.”
This, of course, meant that I didn’t agree with the idea that I had to be home by 11:00 PM.

“What am I made of money? A whole pound of butter on your piece of toast!?”
Not necessary to explain.

“What am I related to the electric company?”
The lights would go out suddenly when she said that.

“If I want a roll of toilet paper, you can come rolling in!”
Usually, I was adding my two-cents into her opinions.

“You make me BUST!!!”
This meant that I was out of range of her wooden spoon and she was getting a little annoyed.

“I’ve had it UP TO HERE!”
She usually placed her hand palm down under her chin at my perceived transgressions. I always felt they were progressions.

Saturday, March 02, 2019


Mr. Megabucks
Here is something interesting. If you figure out the percentages of effect even the best ballplayer has on the overall results of a baseball game, it becomes minute. The idea that one individual, no matter how good he is, can only succeed roughly 35% of the time at bat. In the course of a ballgame, he may and probably will get on base at least once, some days twice or more, and many days not at all.

Yet, teams like the New York Yankees (Who seem to have lost that concept) and recently, the Philadelphia Phillies, have elected to spend over the top salaries for ballplayers who they think will turn their franchise around into a winning entity. 

Over the years players have signed huge contracts that are over the long term and in the end, especially at the end of the long term, start to fail while receiving the millions they sign up for, leaving the teams in a bind. One situation that comes to mind is the Alex Rodriguez contract with the New York Yankees. If you remember that contract became an albatross around the neck of the Yankee management as he never produced that much to justify his large contract.

Let’s look at the Phillies contract with Bryce Harper.

$330,000,000 for 13 years
$25,384,615 = per year
$156,695 = per game @ 162 per year

Signing a player to such a mega-deal, the largest ever, the fans expect production for 162 games a year at the cost of $156,695 a game for the next 13 years. Is that just too much for a game played for 3 hours? But then think of this… if Mr. Harper fails to play one game due to sickness, or injury, the cost per game becomes larger. It stands to reason if he is in a slump, injured or ill, the Phillies are still paying him, but now at a higher rate. How many games will Harper miss this year and for the next 12 years following? In the final analysis, how much over the $156,695 per game will they be paying him? And what happens as the contract is in its final years, with the money tied up and Harper on the decline? How do you reify the fact that you need new blood, younger players and are restricted because you can’t afford to pay them because of a contract that you foolishly signed? So they become non-players because they are over the cap.

Signing onto these kinds of contracts do not always guarantee a team a winning record capped with a World Championship. Just how good is Bryce Harper? He left a team, the Washington Nationals, a better team than the Phillies are now with Harper, and NEVER led them to a pennant or World Series. You don’t need a megabuck contract to win, you need hungry players who want to play and play every day.

I will guarantee one thing, the Phillies will not win the World Series, they may not even have a winning record.