Sunday, September 30, 2007


Well after a two and a half hour meeting, it is hard to keep one’s eyes open, when the main speaker is a lawyer, with robotic tendencies. None of the material was new or startling, and I could have stayed home and gotten more out of it.

However, the trip up and down to Suffern, NY was a great time, talking and reminiscing about the old days and trading stories about our lives, as Jim McEnaeney a board member and I chewed the fat.

One of the things we spoke about was refinishing floors, and how I am waiting for my dog to die before I rip up the rugs and
refinish my floors. It seems the dog has peed on all my rugs over the years, and thank God, I don’t wear a toupee!

We both noticed how when we were younger, we were lumped with the hip people, and now we are lumped with the hip-replacement people. We both take medications for physical ailments, and both of us have a love for steak. But his love is tempered by his diet, while mine is tempered by constipation. So, I take something before I eat one, and the next morning I’m sitting pretty!

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Saturday, September 29, 2007


What is a Suffern? I guess a name of a town in Europe, like England probably. I’m going to the one in New York State today to attend the southeast regional meeting, before the major convention to be held in Albany for the New York State Association of Retarded Children. The mouthful has now been condensed and is just called NYSARC.

I’ll drive up with my fellow board member and retiree
Jim MeEneaney, a former English teacher from Sachem High School. We will discuss the coming convention and all that jazz, and I will have a giant headache by the time I get home.

Jim is one of those board members that doesn’t say a lot, but is all action. He gets things done. Something that is missing on the Board to some extent is reliability lately, but Jim always comes through.

Being it is only a one day trip, we can’t stop at the bar and have a few, but then TLW (The Little Woman) who would not care if I did, will probably be holding supper for me to eat with her. So I think I’ll be a good boy this time.

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Friday, September 28, 2007


I got e-mail from my brother-in-law Don, who invited me to go to a Mets game, which I accepted. To quote him: “ They could be clinching that night”.

The only clinching that was done was by me with my teeth. A pall seems to be hanging over the stadium; the fans have no enthusiasm, and the team plays like it is Friday afternoon before leaving for a vacation.

But thanks go to my beautiful niece Sarah Harrow for thinking about her Uncle Joe for the tickets, as she had them and couldn’t make it but thought I might like to go. To me that is an honor, and I truly appreciate it. The risks are that I root for the Mets, that is not her fault, and indirectly may be mine, handed down from my Dad.

I know full well I will survive the pain of watching those Bums lose last night, and maybe throw away a whole season.

I went with not only my brother-in-law Don, a prince of a man who married one of my sisters, (I can't for the life of me remember her name right now) but with the prince of kielbasa, another brother-in-law, John. John is older than I am, and together we are experiencing the stress and pains of growing old. Getting out of the car after the trip home from Shea Stadium, we both groaned at the same time when we stood up!

If the Bums don’t make the playoffs at least, I will enjoy the post season even more, since I won’t be biting my nails, throwing out body language and stifling swear words through the course of it.

I’d like to say: “well the football season started” but I have to admit, it doesn’t look to good either.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007


This is the 500th DelBloggolo!

The other morning, around 2 A.M., I received a punch in the arm that has probable paralyzing future effects on me. It was administered by TLW (The Little Woman), who was staking her claim to territory that lies between the two of us on the bed. This territory I refer to as: “No Man’s land,” and believe me no man should venture there.

The egregious action by TLW was to demonstrate that she is still the Boss, and that I get what is left over.

Being a man of peace, I moved over and waited till morning to discuss this pre-meditated attack on my person, to recover from the shock, pain and general hurt I experienced at her hands, or should I say fist. This is a little woman, not too big a fist, and I might say I doubt it was ever used before. But like any nuclear weapon, it needed to be tested, and I was the proving ground.

The next morning at the peace-table I inquired why I was so viciously attacked in my sleep, and her response was: “You were on my side of the bed, and you had 50.25% of the covers. Of course, I understood immediately that I was in the wrong.

NOT TWO DAYS LATER, did she appear on MY side of the bed, sound asleep with all the covers wrapped around her, while I had to get up and move under the mattress to thaw out, but not once did I contemplate retaliatory measures that would even the score, and restore my pride.

Did I mention it to her? No. Why? Because I don’t want another shot in the arm from killer.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Yes indeed, it‘s that time of the year to pack my bags and hit the road. Being a member of the Suffolk Chapter Association for the Help of Retarded Children, and consequently a member of the Board of Governors of NYSARC (New York State Association of Retarded Children) I have to make a few trips.

First off will be a trip to Suffern NY, on Saturday for a Southeastern Regional meeting, then in the middle of October a trip to Albany for a state convention, then as Chair of the Guardianship Committee, a trip to Saratoga Springs NY.

What I love about these trips is the meeting and evaluation of new people and their approach to these meetings. Some are old-timers, pros who know everyone, and do their best to greet all. Then there are my favorites. People, who come to their first meeting, stand off to the side; keep a low profile, and just watch. They are hesitant to speak up, self-conscious and timid. My kind of people.

What I like to do is engage them in conversation about some mundane and obscure aspect of the issues at large and watch them try out how they can respond to the issue without tipping their hand. Usually someone will come over to me, to say “Hello” and I will introduce the rookie, and “quote” him to the pro on something that will impress the pro, then walk away while my old friend engages the poor bastard in more conversation that is over the rookie’s head.

Am I mean? No, just forcing the issues and getting people out of their shells, and I don’t charge for the giggles I get out of it.

Should I stop doing it? Probably. Will I? Probably not.

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PS, a heathen I happen to know, who is very happy about our new German Pope, supplies the photos at the top.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Recently TLW (The Little Woman) complained that the door in our den, leading out to the side yard was kind of industrial looking to her. TLW likes entertaining doors, and this was not doing the job. She asked me if there was something to be done about it, and the idea of painting something on the glass came up. This idea was hers, and I just follow along, like I’m supposed to.

This is a whole new world to me. The world of glass painting, and it involves technique, special paints and what not, plus a plan. Once I got involved, the plan was simple and the technique came on strong. I fell in love with glass painting. I think the reason for that is many years ago when I was a little fellow, my Dad used to create glass novelties and sell them. One of the things he would do after using a Bunsen burner and a huge oxygen tank that was hooked up to it was to knit the glass rods was to paint the items in a lacquer finish, the paints were vibrant and colorful but stayed clear in spite of color. I used to watch him for hours as he painted them, swans, horses, gondolas and birds, and sometimes even sail ships of dynamic beauty.

Glass painting is different in that I will paint on clear glass dishes, glasses, vases, on enamel objects, tiles, etc., and will be able to do some neat things with it. I guess it will become another thing to do in the creative realm of Joe Del Bloggolo!

My eventual plan is to create a little business on the side that will be used for making money to donate to Suffolk Chapter Association for the Help of Retarded Children.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


If you ever wanted a more perfect day than yesterday for a walk in the park, and in this case Central Park, you would not find it! The temperature was between 73 and 76 degrees, the sky was cerulean blue, cloudless and the day itself was sunny and dry. Perfect day, the best so far this year.

If it wasn’t enough, the restaurant that we ate dinner at afterwards, Carmine’s of New York on 90th street and Broadway was truly magnificent, A timeless Italian menu of food that was so good, so original in taste, yet it was the old standards that seem to satisfy anyone who eats it.

The historical significance to New York City that Central Park brings is great. From 1857 to this very day, Central Park leaves of legacy of greatness from the robber barons to Mayor Bloomberg, from the great Caruso to the Millionaires row of the East Side to Museum Row on 5th Avenue. The handsome cabs, the bicyclists that populate the tree lined pathways, free of autos on a Sunday Morning, the casual strollers, hand in hand, miniature sailboat racing all make Central Park, central to the great city.

A history that takes a back seat only to its beauty, Central Park will dominate anything that stands next to it, whether it is a tall skyscraper or a busy shopping or business area, or the many, many multi-million dollar mansions and apartment buildings. Yet, history is Central Park! Yes, it tells the story of the growth of the great metropolis, Gotham at its peak, and the many politicians and dreamers of the past.

TLW (The Little Woman) her friend Lois and myself each had our day in the sun. The beauty of the Park, the enjoyable strolls throughout the winding paths, the city watching from the distant rooftops of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Plaza Hotel and the cathedrals that surround the green patch of beauty and art, are of traditions and days long gone by.

It really was a walk in the park!

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Sunday, September 23, 2007


As a way of saying: “Thank You” to all my readers, I would like to post this for all to read and perhaps copy. It may save a life, and you may save it, perhaps even your own or someone you truly love.

A very special friend Jan Spalding sent this to me and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree. If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks.

Seriously Please read:
STROKE IDENTIFICATION: During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up; Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm, Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized; diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today.)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other it is an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately!! And describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this and e-mails it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

Thanks, Jan from everybody

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Yesterday #2 Son had to go somewhere and wasn’t sure how to get there, so I went along with him, with me driving, of course. This is the time when father and son square off, round trip.

He usually starts in right away, making some statement that he knows I will not agree with, will put in some revisionist history to support his claim and probably doesn’t believe it at all. But he has an inert need to push my buttons and light up my tree. IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN! It might take the form of some political statement, usually about this country, or some fact that he dug up out of the 60’s movement on free sex and/or some anti religious remark that would keep both his Mother and me holding our ears shut.

He has been doing this since he could talk, and that was about a year-and-a-half old, when he discovered that if Daddy has beliefs, shake them at the roots. (Takes after his Mother).

TLW (The Little Woman) on the other hand thinks he takes after me. I strongly disagree and will to the day I die. I think his orneriness comes from her side, and he does prove me out, time and again. However there is some of him in me, and I exploited that on the way home, where I took the offensive and began to light up his tree.

The more into it I got, the more perverse pleasure I gained from it all, extrapolating quick responses out of shock, unsure answers and revising of previous statements that he used to defend himself.

He was suddenly in a fight of ideas and beliefs he didn’t anticipate, appreciate or agree in the least. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

He was getting back what he likes to dish out, and I have decided to work on him some more when he least expects it, with a litany of statements, outrages or true, all mixed together for him to sort out, and maybe by them he will leave me alone.

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Friday, September 21, 2007


I was robbed! In broad daylight! By no less than a man wearing a surgical mask and carrying an agreement from my so-called health care provider.

I went for a colonoscopy, and was told afterwards to come to the Endocrinologists office in two weeks. I make the appointment and show up two weeks later for the results. I figure if they really want to see me in two weeks, there must be something to tell me, so I brace myself. Little did I know how startling the news was!

I enter the waiting room, and I am called, the receptionist asks if I want to pay before seeing the doctor, and I go over to her perplexed and confused.

“This is a follow-up visit, why should I pay?
“That’s the doctor’s policy, I’m sorry.”

I could get angry but figure it is only $15, so why take it out on her?

Into the inner sanctum I go, $15 lighter and the doctor has my file and invites me to sit down. Uh, Oh!

“How are you today?”
“Well doctor, you tell me.”
“Oh, everything went just fine, two little polyps, successfully removed, so I’ll see you in a few years.”

$15 to tell me that!

For $15, I should get at least a restricted diet that I won’t follow, or a pill for one week that I won’t take, or even bed rest for 24 hours. I didn’t even get my money’s worth! NOT EVEN AN ASPIRIN!

Endocrinologist my ass! He’s just a proctologist with an attitude. He got me right in my endo! Geez, at least do it right and say: “Stick ‘em up” The crook!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007


If you know me, you know by now that Mom has a boyfriend. Being 89 years of age doesn’t stop dear old Mom, if anything she thrives on her age, like a test pilot, pushing herself to record speeds at her age.

Recently, Henry, Mom’s boyfriend was admitted into the hospital to remove some stones that are causing him great pain. I took her to visit Henry and it was like walking with a peacock. Since Mom volunteers at the very same hospital, she is very proud of the fact that she volunteers and wore her badge and strutted around the place, pointing out where she eats, works, where she signs in, which stair case she uses, the facts that if she was ever admitted to the hospital, she would get free phone service and free TV. What really impressed me though was that she was in front of me by at least three steps at all times! I felt like a little kid once again as she almost took me by the hand to lead me around the hospital, as I tried to keep up! To make matters worst, she is so strong she pulled open these big heavy doors like they were made of paper!

We found Henry sitting up in a chair, waiting for a nurse to finish up making his bed. Connected to an IV machine, tubes coming out of his hand, he greeted us and offered Mom the chair. All poor Henry got was a reprimand for getting up, which I guess he shouldn’t have done. But once Mom was firmly seated in her chair, she began to check out all that was involved in poor Henry’s hospital stay. What was in the IV bag; how was the food, were the nurses paying attention to him, who was the anesthesiologist, and most importantly: Henry gets free phone service and TV.

I was glad that after the visit she wanted to go home and fold her clothes, because I needed the rest. She is like the energizer bunny, going and going and going.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The church was eerily quiet as it always was on a Saturday afternoon about 4:30 pm. The only light came from the candles that were lit up on the altar and the two side altars. This was the scene every week on Saturday at this time for me. Aside for the few people who lined up at the various confessionals, and the few at the altar and in the pews doing penance, it was a lonesome place, but Mom and the teacher said I had to go.

Standing outside the confessional box, waiting, I was hungry, thinking about the steak my Mother was going to make when I got home, and the painful ritual of confessing my sins to the priest that awaited me behind the wooden door. I really hated to go to confession, because I really had no sins to speak of. My sins were of an eight-year old boy, and I had a litany that I repeated every week.

“Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been one week since my last confession. I aggravated my Mother and Father, teased my sisters, took the name of the Lord thy God in vain and had an impure thought,”

The Priest: “Try not to sin and say three Hail Mary’s and Three Our Fathers.”

Off I went to the altar rail and quicker than the speeding train, faster than a bullet I said all the prayers. As I would walk down the aisle to leave the cathedral like church of Our Lady Of Lourdes in Brooklyn, I thought how sad I was because I didn’t have any sins that were interesting. Maybe I should find something to do to help it along. See my April 11th 2006 blog for some originality, but I was too young to confess.

Try as I could, everything came down to aggravating my parents or picking on my little sister, so I turned to the neighbors. They were around and available, and that is when I met Come Come-Ona-Get-Out. See my June 21, 2006 Blog; Come-Ona-Get-Out

There were other possibilities, too dangerous since they involved my short tempered Dad, and of course there was the corner bar and shoot the place up with my cap pistol, or the sloppy fruit stand with the immigrant owner who was always on the lookout for me. I could visit my grandmother and make fun a of all the non-English speaking visitors she had, or I could aggravate the members of the Republican Club as they played cards and swore off in Italian as they chased me out of the club. It seemed that all those things were quickly forgotten once I reached the confessional on a Saturday afternoon. Not because I choose to forget, they were just so common place that I didn’t think it was a sin anymore.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


We all have a birthday once a year in my family, with the exception on me: I have two. This should not inhibit you from sending me two presents for my birthdays.

My nephew David, who is only 13, is engaged to be married, as you know, since I posted that info on Saturday, September 01, 2007. He can’t be more than 13, or 14 tops. I know I have been paying attention around here, and it’s only been about 13 years ago he was born. (I don’t want to argue this.) He can get away with looking older because he is tall. Like my older sister Joanne, his mother, he has the inclination to appear older he really is. His beautiful sister Sarah is 9 and going to college. (Smart kid, like her Uncle Joe.)

Now that he is getting married, his mother is asking questions. Questions like “Can you attend the wedding in Florida?” Duh, of course I can. How many are coming? Well, my whole family and some neighbors I know. (But one is Carole, my man Bill’s lovely wife, I just know won't be able to come because she will be in her new whirl pool on her deck that my man Bill will install.)

So, what is all this leading to?

I really don’t know, I forgot!

Anyway, the wedding according to David will be on the beach. That means bride, Groom, wedding party, family and friends all in bathing suits. Just wait till they get a load of my Brother-in-law Don’s legs. I know all the men in my family will be jealous. Then there is my 89 year-old Mother, I just know she’ll want to show off her bikini.

I hope that the minister isn’t long winded; I would like to hit the water as soon as possible. I assume the weather in Florida in October is still warm.

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Monday, September 17, 2007


Yes, that year rolls around awfully fast. My beautiful niece Laurie Ann turns 29 again! Congratulations, Laurie! Laurie and Gerard her husband, have a son Stephen who was born on my birthday, and I’m thinking of giving him sole possession of the day.

Got a second e-mail from a Jim Pantaleno, who I mentioned a few days ago, and the reason I bring it up is for almost 50 years I’ve been trying to remember a park I used to go to as a kid in Brooklyn. I asked my Mom, my Dad when he was alive, my older sister Tessie, but no one could remember the name of the park. Then Jim wrote ( a graduate and fellow Brooklynite from my neighborhood) and mentioned it (Callahan-Kelly) and a flood of memories came back. Writing this blog is worthwhile when things like that happen. Thanks Jim!

Next Sunday I am going on a tour of Central Park and lunch at a nice little Italian restaurant called Bruno’s, and you dear readers will be more bored than usual on Monday’s blog as I recount the whole event. I will be taking TLW (The Little Woman) and her friend from the Wannabe Bank where she works, Lois.

Today I go to visit Henry, my 89-year-old Mother’s beau, who is in the hospital with gallstones. You may hear more about that tomorrow.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007


The evening before the big operation for my by-pass, the surgeon came to my room about 8:30 PM. An Indian doctor about his late 30’s, he assured me he had done this before and I shouldn’t worry about anything. He stated that they would come for me about 7:00 AM to begin the procedure and that I should try to get a good night’s sleep. He explained the process to me, and I wished TLW were here to hear it so that I could have someone to talk to. I had asked her to go home since she was with me all day long and looked very tired.

I knew that people didn’t always survive these things but chances were good that I would and figured that I needed to sleep, and not worry about something that was out of my hands. I also figured that what was the point of worrying when there were only two outcomes. One, I could die on the operating table, and all I did before I died was worry, that seemed stupid to me, and second was that I would survive and have worried for nothing.

I had a sandwich of tuna fish because I hadn’t eaten all day from when I got up to go to the hospital in the early hours of the morning. Made a few calls and said a prayer that TLW was home safely after a long tiring and I’m sure exhausting day because of me. Then I called her to make sure, closed the light and went to sleep.

When I awoke, there she was, like old faithful, standing over the bed as the nurses had come in to prep me for the operation and wheel me out to the operating room. I was wheeled into the room where a mask was put over my face, as not to scare the surgeon I would imagine, and the next thing I remember was waking up and seeing TLW, and of all people #1 Son from California standing over the foot of the bed in the recovery room. Two male nurses were leaning over me, talking to me and asking me something, and all I wanted to do was kid the family, so I asked if it was a boy or a girl? Suddenly they pulled a tube out of my mouth and I could see my wonderful niece Laurie and her Mother, my older sister Theresa standing there, and I started to feel happy that they were there. I had a double by-pass, and the surgeon said they would have performed a triple except one of the blockages was now making a new opening! At that point, I noticed the sound of the overhead monitors and a little head peeking over my feet, as I said “MOM!”

They had actually taken my heart out of my chest!


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Saturday, September 15, 2007


It was late afternoon when North Shore University Hospital finally had a bed available for me, so about 4:30 in the afternoon, I was deposited in an ambulance and shipped off to North Shore University Hospital. TLW (The Little Woman) and my older sister followed the ambulance from Smithtown to Glen Cove, trying to keep up in the rush hour traffic. Lying in the back of the ambulance I could see them as they followed me out into traffic, TLW driving and big sis next to her in the black Toyota.

Feeling no pain, and kind of happy that at least something was finally happening after lying around St. Catherine of Sienna Hospital, I decided to have some fun in the ambulance and started waving to TLW and Sis. In and out of traffic patterns we wove, one lane to the next and back again, not really rushing but keeping up with the flow of traffic. On my elbows I waved at the two escorts and continued the whole trip, laughing at the seriousness on their faces and knowing if I didn’t laugh, I would probably realize everything and feint.

Half way through the ride I realized I wasn’t waving to TLW’s vehicle anymore but some strange older couple that was giving me the strangest look, like “Who the hell is that?” I stopped waving.

Arriving at the hospital, I was shuttled into the Emergency entrance and rumbled my way to my room.

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TOMORROW: “I Left My Heart On The Table!”

Friday, September 14, 2007


It was 5:30 on a September morning, the sun was starting to rise and sleep still lingered in my eyes, as I climbed into TLW’s (The Little Woman) car for the nervous ride to Saint Catherine of Sienna Hospital in Smithtown. I was going to go for a cauterization (sic) where they stick this long snake-like tool into my arm or groin and scan on a TV monitor your heart for any blockages. Mine was done in my arm, and I was expected to go home about 4 hours after the procedure. Dr. Heartensole my Cardiologist had determined that my heart was not getting enough oxygen in a stress test.

Confident as I was, I suggested to TLW that she stay home, that I would do it myself and when the 4 hours were done, I could come home by myself. But no, TLW was coming with me, taking a day off from work, “just in case”. I laughed at her caution and off we went.

Arriving at the hospital at 6:00 AM, we found the office I was to report to, answered some questions and went to the room where I changed into a hospital gown for the procedure, accepting an IV in my hand, and being wheeled out to the operating room for the event.

Entering the long cold and somewhat empty room, I noticed the TV monitors hanging from the ceiling, covering an operating table with a side table with instruments arrayed like a dentist table.

Two male nurses shifted me from the gurney to the operating table, and placed a lead and heavy plastic blanket on me as my Cardiologist arrived on the scene along with two middle-aged women nurses to assist him.

The doctor cut into my arm and began his procedure, snaking up into the arm, then into my chest finding my heart, as I watched the monitored progress he was making. He complained about the fact that my arm was very muscular, asking me if I ever did any heavy labor, in which I assured him I indeed did.

After the first few minutes, I started to feel dizzy, sweating and starting to feel like I was going to vomit, the sweating coming on strong, in what was supposed to be a very cold room.

After the procedure was completed, Dr. Heartensole asked TLW into the analyst’s room right off the operating room for the consultation. Turning on the monitors and viewing the results the Cardiologist address us both saying: You have the heart of an 18 year old, but the pipes of an 90 year old, and if you don’t have emergency surgery immediately, you will die at any moment. He also related the fact that I had 3 blockages, two at 85 to 90% and one at 80%! “We will operate tonight if we can get a bed at North Shore University Hospital. If I don’t, you could drop dead at any moment.”

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Tomorrow: Heart Of Heart

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Today I temporarily stepped out of retirement to attend a business lunch with some former colleagues. Seated around the table at Café Testarossa were Bill Wortman a writer, Tom Bass a print buyer and Darrell Lester a marketing man.

If you put all these types of people together along with an Art Director like me, you have the makings of a small ad agency! We talked business then went into reminisces of days and people gone by. But my day did not stop there, as when I got home and went into my studio to check my e-mail, I found a delightful surprise from a gentleman by the name of James Pantelino who used to live right around the corner from me when I lived in Brooklyn over 52 years ago! He reminded me of places and things I did as a child growing up and attending Our Lady Of Lourdes School on Aberdeen Street!

As I scrolled further down in my e-mail list I found yet another nice surprise from my buddy and I think distant cousin from Italy by the name of Antonio, just married and sounding happy and successful. Antonio Del Broccolo found my #1 Son and me by accident on the web, while researching his last name.

I still have a good part of my day left, so hopefully there are more good surprises left.

The lunch was interesting in that Darrell is looking to expand to a small degree into creative services for his clients, and wondered what it would cost him for copy and art. It already costs him for the lunch! Being retired I don’t necessarily want the work, but it wouldn’t hurt to get my hand in it still, so I gave him a decent price without doing it for nothing.

Meanwhile the art projects I have planned are starting to grow. I finished one of a carousel horse that I carved in wood and hangs over my TV.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


It’s funny how much we resemble our parents. How often when we speak we hear ourselves and through our voices, and inflections, we hear our parents.

TLW (The Little Woman) is a good case of what I speak about. TLW is Jim, her Dad, who passed on over 20 years ago. Jim lives on in my memory through his daughter, her inflections and attitude call back those years and give me a good insight into a good man.

Today is Jim’s birthday (see my blog of June 17th.)
And I have no idea how old he would have been, but I think it is about 93 years. One of the things that saddens me is that he never lived long enough. He never lived to witness his son’s successes, which he no doubt knew would occur, never witness his grandchildren marry and have families of their own.

He was always contented when his children were around him, he could go off being happy that they were in h is house visiting, sometimes surrounded by his grandchildren. I have a great picture of him, taking the time to read to his grandchild and my niece and nephew from a Batman book he brought for #1 Son, then very young. The children gathered around him, an old man doing a loving thing, book open in his lap, the children hanging to his every word.

If there is a God, I bet Jim has his ear, making him laugh with a flippant remark or a statement that lands right on the money.

Happy Birthday, Jim!

To voice you anger that I write these blogs;


It doesn’t take a genius to know what today is in our long and proud history. It is another day of remembering the cowards that attacked us like vermin, as they did back in 1941.

They run around with masks and smell like goats, and those goats they don’t smell like they marry. They hate us because we are human, and live freely without fear. We hold our government accountable, and we don’t fear it.

We are a nation of givers, a nation that looks for peace, justice and democracy. We are rich and hated for that too. We try to lend a hand to help the world’s poor develop a great life style and we are hated for that as well. Perhaps we should isolate ourselves from the world and let them kill and starve each other then wait for the cry of help that surely will come.

I remember the faces of fear that ran down the streets of lower Manhattan that fateful day. They were all American, and I remember how angry I was to see them running for fear of their lives in their own back yards. It occurred to me that some were; white, some black, some Asian and some Hispanic, yet all Americans, and that angered me.

It also amazed me that we have as a nation come a long way in healing our imperfections. I know we are not perfect yet, but we defend each other and protect the basic rights of individuals. We have come to respect the good in all races and creeds, and allow each to prosper and grow.

But here’s the kicker; we are growing into a perfect race of people, not separate, but one. Racism will eventually disappear and when it does a new race will be born, and American race that will truly be; “American.”

It is great that we have the different ethnic traditions that reflect the whole world, and great that we are co-existing, but eventually we will lose that distinction and still be proud of who and what we are.

God Bless America.

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Monday, September 10, 2007


Today, September 9 is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 91 years old, and when he died at 74, I remember him as if he was 35 or 45 years of age, it is a memory that blends time and recollection into one face.

Not matter what he looked like at any time; he was always the same guy, “Tony” as his friends and family called him. He was the Dad that returned home from work, wearing a grey fedora, Journal American tucked under his arm as he climbed the two flights of stairs to our apartment in Brooklyn, He was the Dad that had a coffee and cigarette in the toilet while reading the NY Daily News in the morning. Leaving for work in the morning with his lunch bag under his arm, and the night before garbage in a bag in his hand to be placed in the garbage can in our front yard. (He once deposited his lunch in the can and carried the garbage on the subway from Brooklyn to Canal Street in NYC.) Dad watched the Dodgers and later the Mets on TV at night and took us for a ride in the summer evenings to the docks of Patchogue and Carvel ice cream afterwards on those hot humid nights.

He was always there with a job for me when I needed one, or a ride home from work when I need that too. Taught me the value of working hard and in spite of failure, getting up and trying again.

Dad always helped those in need, and when he couldn’t physically help, he gave them money. He wasn’t a rich man by any means, but he was rich in children and later grandchildren. He died before his mother from cancer and was devoted to her, and expected his children to be respectful of her.

He lived during the depression so was always frugal with his money, never once taking a vacation away from the house, or owning a new car until much later in life.

But he had one thing, he was always or seemed to be: happy, always whistling, whether climbing the steps to our apartment, working or driving somewhere.

He wasn’t perfect, just my Dad, and at 62 I miss him. He didn’t always treat me well, but he was there when I needed him most, and I know he cared about all of us.


Sunday, September 09, 2007


To take a nap, the phone rings.

Me: “EEYEllow?”
Phone: “May I speak with Joe Del Broccolo?”
Me: (Exasperatedly) who’s calling?
Phone: “Joe? Joe Del Broccolo?”
Me: “Yes!?”
Phone: “Tom, Tom Bass.”

Tom is an old buddy of mine from my days at Publishers Clearing House. Tom was in charge of print production and had an offer to make.

Apparently, he is in cahoots with another former PCHer named Darrell Lester, a marketing man.

To make a sad and long story short, I have to come out of mothballs, as my service is now needed once again. I will meet with them and another old buddy and partner from PCH for lunch Wednesday at the Café Testarossa in Syosset for a business meeting and lunch.

It kind of tickles me to know that people still want me, even a year after I retired. Besides, it will keep my hand in it a little while not getting dirty. If it gets crazy, I can always stop doing it. But making those headlines sing on the old outer envelope, the joy of leading people into a letter with a potent Johnson Box, a snappy slick brochure extolling the virtues of whatever it is I’m helping sell will be just fine, one more time.

Well, I think I’ll take a nap to celebrate my mini return, and you dear reader can direct your comments to either the Direct Marketing Association or to:

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Crossword puzzles, Scramble, Jumble, Daily Cryptogram and now Sudoku! Yes, life has become a puzzle, or least a series of puzzles.

I remember when the only puzzlers were my four sisters! Then one day I got a job in the city of New York, taking the Long Island Rail Road and doing the crossword puzzles. When I completed one, with an hour and change of riding, I would look for another puzzle to do, usually the cryptogram.

Well life went on pretty much, nothing unusual except getting married and having four kids. Then one day, TLW (The Little Woman) brought IT in the house. The "it" being Sudoku, she became engrossed, addicted and spent many hours on books of Sudoku, newspapers and magazines had one and TLW met the challenge. Then one day she stopped! I saw a Sudoku lying around and I decided to try it.

Suddenly baseball was taking a back seat to Sudoku, food was eaten with gloves so Sudoku didn’t get stained. I started to get up earlier to get the paper for Sudoku. I wanted to rename #2 Son “#2 Sudoku” but TLW wouldn’t stand for it. Instead of midnight snacks it was mid night Sudoku! My life was taken over by 81 squares!

I am seeking help now. I decided to finish the puzzle and look for the answers to see what goes wrong when it does.

So, if you will be kind enough to excuse me, I have to go Sudoku.

All pathetic remarks and lame statements can be sent to;

Friday, September 07, 2007


Lying on a gurney, intravenous sticking in my arm, and oxygen tubes up my nose, the nurse standing next to me is relating a sad story about how another nurse would not be in this morning. Someone asked why, and the nurse stated the individual had a “booboo on her tushie”.

Looking up at the nurse, waiting for the colonoscopy to begin, I suggested to the nurse that she should use the proper medical terms for what ailed the absent nurse. “Oh, I’m sorry, it is just too early in the morning for me to get it out. She is suffering from a hemo(somethingorother) on her tush. “That’s better said I, and continued to wait.

A second nurse instructed me that “in the end” I would pass a lot of gas, and I told her that I have been in rehearsal for years. Got a good laugh out of that one.

I was interviewed prior to entering the procedure room, and one of the questions was if I could tolerate a lot of pain. “Yes,” I replied, “I have a nineteen year old living with me.”

I must say, after a restless, starving night of sleep, of tossing, turning and you know what, once they injected me with the sleep sauce, I slept like a baby, (No, I didn’t wet the bed) and requested they give me another shot of it and have TLW (The Little Woman) come back around 5:00 PM to bring me home.

Of course my doctor, Rear Admiral Spielberg waltzed in asking how I was this morning, and all I could think of is fine, just waiting for you to earn more money for another Mediterranean cruise.

And so, true to my promise yesterday, TLW and I went to breakfast at Maureen’s Kitchen for some eggs and sausage and toast with coffee and milk in it!

All get-well wishes may be sent to or,
Mail them in with a nice bit of cash. No personal checks, please.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I’ve dying all day to put that headline up, while at the same time dying from the concoction or “cocktail” I’m drinking in preparation for tomorrow’s :oscopy.

Rear Admiral Spielberg will do the honors, and we are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 A.M. sharp.

This is the second time around the block for me, as I did this 2 years ago. The procedure is actually nothing since they put you out. The real trauma is the day prior. You can’t eat, can only drink clear liquids and black coffee. TLW (The Little Woman) made me chicken soup bouillon, and it is the only thing that tastes good.

Right now, as I write this, my stomach feels crummy, and I think I will need to drink still another half gallon of this hideous drink that must be finished.

The doctor’s office called yesterday to remind me of tomorrow, while the hospital called today for the same purpose. I wish they would just kill me and get it over with.

After the procedure, I plan to have breakfast, one of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and coffee, so help me God.

Right now I could go to sleep, and sleep until tomorrow’s appointment, where I will sleep through it.

So my dear readers, I bid you adieu, so long, farewell, as I lower myself into further misery all for the sake of physical happiness.

By the way, the flag on top is symbolic of today’s good news that its “back to school” day for all the good little tykes. My lovely neighbor from the hood, Carole raised the flag after a 4 hour parade with floats and a live marching band. What spirit!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007


A spectrum is haunting the world, the spectrum of electronic devices. It seems that everywhere I go, people are tuned in and tuned out. It is indeed a contradiction, but indeed it is true.

People have become mesmerized with both the cell phone and the i-pod, walking around in a catatonic state, oblivious to the real world at large, and because of their inattentiveness, placing themselves at a real danger to life and limb.

Drive along the highways at breakneck speed, or in very busy intersections, the cell phone is glued to the ear, all the while breaking NY State laws forbidding the use of a cell phone while driving. There is a reason for that people, so you don’t kill yourself and anyone else on the road. I know once you do kill someone, you will be sorry, remorseful and will swear off the phone while driving, and NY State will make it easy for you to do that, behind bars.

I see people walking along at playgrounds, on trains, shopping centers and parking lots, oblivious to their surroundings, speaking in an annoyingly loud voice, showing off their obnoxious little gadgets in public. Don’t get me wrong, I have one too, but it is shut off, and in my car for use in emergencies only, while the vehicle is stopped.

I have heard their phones ring in churches during services, funeral parlors, and just about every office I visit, and I can’t figure it all out. When I worked in the different companies and at home on a freelance basis, whenever the phone rang, I would get annoyed because of the interruptions. When I sit down to supper, it never fails to rile me when the damned thing rings as I eat, or when I sit to have a casual conversation with TLW (The Little Woman) or watch the boob tube. It astounds me that people would want these kinds of interruptions all day long, no matter where they go! And the stupid music that plays when one of these contraptions goes off, I don’t know if I should turn the radio down or get up and dance. And now, people walk around with these things held high, and why, to take a picture! It’s a phone, camera AND an annoyance.

As bad as all that is, I had Son #2 on the roof the other day cleaning out the gutters. Being how he lives with TLW and me, without any ownership in the house, I had to instruct him on what and how I wanted it done. He was deafer than I am! The thing is stuck in his ears, blasting away; I wonder if he realizes where his headaches are coming from?

It reminds me of the yuppies of the 80’s and 90’s who drove the fancy expensive cars, flaunting their newfound wealth, as they now flaunt their “Me-Now” look with their little toys.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, and I am, but does all this have to be so annoying, loud and interfering with people’s lives, where laws have to be made to protect the general public, so intrusive that it interferes with one’s right to worship or concentrate, or live peacefully at home? I think the cell phone and I-pod are great inventions, but so is gunpowder, it needs to be handled a little more cautiously and like automobiles, a little more safely.

If you feel insulted and wish to reply, do so at:, and I will publish your rant.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The first day of school is where the New Year’s resolution came from. It was on that day, that sad day after a carefree summer that we vowed that our books would be in perfect condition, we would wear brand new clothes, and all our study habits would be a model of student productivity.

The first day of school was also the day that one would crack open a new book and smell the newness that lasted only a day, the acclamation of a seating assignment and the get-to- know- you moments with a new teacher.

It was fresh and new, a change from the boredom that summer delivered during the dog days of August that any first day of school brought.

And so we start another school year, with the same vows being offered over and over again by each student, a calmness and disorientation of riding a school bus, and the memories of those last days of school in June just gone by.

One question that always came to mind was; when is our next day off? Another was will I be able to do the work, and will we be getting homework? Rumors ran rampant about the teacher, the expectations of the coming term, and the grown up feeling one had over the lowly lower classmates.

And who could forget the night before the first day of school, the sadness that there are no days off anymore, yet the eager anticipation of the new school year.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Yesterday evening TLW (The Little Woman) and I went off to dinner in Syosset at a place called Café Testarossa, where we met my best friend Phil and his beautiful wife Linda.

Phil I know from my college days where we met, and he never changes which I like, and of course, Linda continues to grow as a person and a wife. Linda has 4 children, two boys a daughter, and Phil. Linda is the centerpiece of the Mark family, while Phil is the support and the good times part of the family.

It seems every time we meet, the little cell phone rings and her oldest boy Jason is on the other end with some kind of problem. While Linda was on the phone I asked, to speak with Jason, where Linda handed me the phone from across the table and I spoke:
“Yeah, hi uncle Joe.”
“Jason, if you call here one more time, I will personally go to Staten Island and give you a beating. I want you to leave you parents in peace.”
“Jason, don’t let me come out there, and by the way, how ya doin?”

Good old Jason, never heard from him again, the good boy that he is. Linda and TLW were able to talk, and Phil and I were able to listen (with minds wandering) without interruption for the rest of the evening!

At one point, the restaurant began to get busy and a group of people was being seated next to us. A very attractive young woman was part of the group and was standing right behind Phil with her back turned, Phil’s head was even with her derriere. As Phil turned his head to look back, he came cheek-to-cheek sort of speaking, and I reminded him that it was NOT the dessert cart. But poor Phil, his clams with linguini was not nearly as hot as the “Dessert cart.”

If you wish to comment about the filth I just mentioned, or feel you would like to lodge a complaint, just respond to:, and I’ll see to it that it gets into the right hands.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Yes, it is that time of year, bigger than Christmas, bigger than New Year’s Eve, bigger than life itself! That magical time of the year when the little darlings go back to school has arrived. Oh, happy days are here again!

Of course, if you are a teacher, not so happy, but as a parent, you feel like Snoopy at suppertime. Now mind you, I’m talking about a 19-year old going back to college, not even a little kid!

Today, my man Bill and his lovely wife Carole, will be hosting a party to celebrate the event, where all the Hood gets together and we can relive tales of yore with the Neigbs. (See September 4, 2006, titled: “Dr. Tobias, I Presume?) When I pass on, maybe someone will inscribe the story on my tombstone.

There will be good times, general laughter and a keen sense of fellowship as all the brats march off to school. I will take a tour of the Hood this week, and watch them assemble on the corners, waiting for the bus. I remember when #1 and #2 Sons went back. I would take them to the school in my car or a Sunday late afternoon before the start of the school year that week, and sing “School days, school days, dear old golden rule days”, to the pain and agony of the little fellows. Then I would take them for ice cream.

If you have any memories you would like to share, send them to me at:,
and I will post them this week.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


A while back I received another piece of good news from my youngest sister Joanne, you remember her and her husband Don from a very early blog I did on them. Anyway, their son David is engaged to be married to a beautiful young woman named Kim from the southern part of the USA. That is all the info I have at this time, since Joanne likes to inform people as cryptically as possible so as not to spill any state secrets.

I met Kim once, on Christmas Eve of last year, and I know David will be very happily married. I’m sure Kim and his Mom Joanne will convince him so. I know these things, as they will use the same tactics they use on all married men.

Actually marriage is good for you as I was once told, it helps you to keep tabs on where you will be at all times, now and in the future. Your money will no longer be a “burden” to you, and you get to be “re-cultured” to the Little Woman’s standards. So, in a way, everything is taken care of for you.

Well I’m going to go hide in the basement until this blog blows over and Joanne and Kim quit looking to kill me.