Monday, August 31, 2009


Recently I wrote a blogue about an Asian girl in a plane sitting in front of me, who used her seat as a bed for over three and a half hours. It seems that certain readers felt there was no need to use the descriptive phrase: “Asian”, after all, what difference does that make in the end? Not being an unreasonable man, I can agree, that probably there was no need to use that phrase. However, that is part of who I am, in that I was raised in another era. It wasn’t: racist, and I will not apologize for using it. I will continue to use it, in spite of ‘political correctness. Don’t tell me what to write, or how to write it.

On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1940’s and 50’s, we all lived in enclaves of ethnicity. That is, we live within our cultural boundaries of Italian, Irish, Jewish, Black or Puerto Rican (There were no ‘Hispanics’ in those days.) Identifying someone from another neighborhood, or culture was needed since our ‘world’ was so narrow. Being under the influence of our grandparents, their immigration made for the cultural barriers that were set up. Italians stayed with Italians, as did Poles, Germans, Irish, Chinese and Japanese. Granted we were all Americans, but in our adopted country, and in our inherited country, there was still discrimination. People tolerated but not always accepted.

In those days, rather than have puppies about each other, we learned to borrow some culture as our own. It made Brooklyn what it became, and is what unified our country. Not political correctness. That is just watering down the personalities that abound in this society, and leave for a very dull life. I want to hear about Jewish humor, in comes from suffering, it teaches us that we are all human. I want to eat soul food: it is something that unites us as a people. I want to go to a Polish or Irish or Italian festival, because it gives me pause to remember those brave souls that came here, without a cent in their pockets, and sometimes, without the language.

Have you ever gone to a place where black Americans hang out? They laugh, they sing, they dance, and they tell great stories, sometimes joking about themselves, this is greatness of a people, this is America. It should remind us all that they have their rights, as black Americans, too. If political correctness is to prevail, then get the hell off the pot, and do away with affirmative action!

Back in the 1950’s: a cousin of mine was going to marry a non-Italian man from a different religion. The family rung its hands over the prospects, and wondered: “How do we break this news to Grandma?” Well, Grandma Frances loved the idea that my cousin could marry such a wonderful man. It was all about her coming here to America, and assimilating into this new and wonderful culture. Since then, Irish, Poles and even Japanese extraction have found its way into our family. My grandmother would be very proud of us!

So, do I want to stop using ethnic descriptions? The answer is ‘NO’! I get a kick over Vincent eating a kosher pickle, Mr. Chin discovering Kielbasa, and Mrs. Murphy eating a calzone. What it means is we don’t need political correctness to ruin our lives, and make us anxious, the food will. The different ethnicities are our culture, how do we ignore the uniquity of it all?

At Easter time, when we used to get together as a young family of mostly Polish and Italian, we would look forward to certain dishes. I invented the Polish ‘Big Mac!’ My brother-in-law, John, would have an array of horseradish and kielbasa with rye bread on his table. I would slice a piece of bread, then a slice of two of kielbasa, and then pile on both the white and red horseradish! Talk about heaven! And I can thank that Japanese girl’s ancestors for sushi and sake, not to mention tempura. Guinness, strudel, soda bread, thank you very much!

My point is: don’t get hung up over nothing, because nothing is what you can do about it.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009


I finally shaved off my beard, after I decided to grow it back in December of ’07. I’ve grown attached to the beard, and liked the way it hid my face from little children. Now I can’t even go to restaurants for fear of upsetting stomachs!

Aside from restaurants and schools, the board of directors I serve on will have to hold meetings in the dark! And how does TLW (The Little Woman) feel about the whole thing? I don’t know since I can’t seem to coax her back into the house!

My dog learned a new trick, she puts her paws over her eyes, but I don’t know why she whimpers when she does! Old friends and new tell me to: “put it back!” or say I look like Tom Bosley. My sisters all like the beard off, since it helps them with their diets when they see me.

It is not easy; sneaking up to the mirror in the morning to shave, or replacing the glass when it cracks, not to mention the fact that I called the police twice on me since I shaved, thinking it was an intruder with a mask!

Well, I guess I’ll go quietly into my studio and hear the echoes of remarks being made about this matter, as you all prepare for the swine flu, the Nile Virus and my shaven face.

View my new post!
I decided to put my novel up as a preview! Please comment if you like. Go to:
This is the second chapter from my book, Tolik's Odyssey. Next week: the third chapter.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


What can you get a guy who has 4 sisters? A bottle of aspirin would help.


Maybe. Actually, you can’t get him much: he has it all! It’s kind of like having a guardian angel, times 4! My sisters happened to be beautiful, not only in looks, but: inside where it matters most.

As we grew up, bickering and fighting, and planning how to torture and kill each other, we were actually bonding! Yes, that’s right, bonding.

“Mom, he’s looking at me, tell him to stop”
“Mom, he’s breathing, make him to stop.”
“Mom, he said a bad word!”
“Mom, why did you have him?”
“I’m telling mommy on you!”
“I gotcha last!”

These are all words and sentences that I can recall them using, building blocks for a lasting foundation of love and respect that has withstood the test of time.

There were wonderful ‘incidents’ that mirror the love, for instance:
Removing my dinner plate with my pork chop still on it, because one of them had a date that night, and she couldn’t go anywhere until she did the dishes!

Or perhaps the night one decided to snoop around in my room after coming home from a date, thinking I wasn’t home. All the while, I was hiding under my bed, waiting for her to pull something, jumping out and scaring the living hell out of her. (One of my personal triumphs, that I celebrate every year!)

Of course, who could ever forget the time we all went to a wake for an old man we knew. I went down to the basement to have a cigarette, and the four of them followed me down. As we sat there, I put out the cigarette and decided to do a little exploring. I came across a door and led them in, only to find a room filled with coffins! Did you ever hear four women or girls scream in close quarters. These incidents come to mind immediately, but there are other tender moments.

Mom was sure to take their side.
Dear Mom had these standard responses for me.

“J O S E P H!”
“ STOP!”
“Leave your sister alone!”
“Wait ‘til your father comes home.”
“Where’s my wooden spoon?”
“Oh, wait, wait ‘til you have children, just wait.”

I think that last one was particularly mean!

Halloween was a particularly important day for the covenant of 4 sisters! It was one day I stayed away from the house. No sense making 4 witches turn on you all at once. No siree, you lied low, and waited for them to finish flying overhead, before making any moves.

But today, when I see them all together, it is fun and special. As I enter the building, looking at all those old brooms leaning against the wall, brings a tear or two to my eyes.

Please remember my brother-in-law, John, who is a closet Placido Domingo, and no one will unlock the door for him, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Once a little boy ran around my house. If I listen hard enough, I can still hear the echoes of those tiny footsteps. He was inventive, charming and fun to be around. At night, he would climb up on my lap, with a toy or some object, and ask me to explain it to him. “How does it work?” “Why does it need to be?”

It seemed like just about everyday that little boy had a toy instrument in his hands, playing it and having a grand old time, sometimes dancing as he did. And ever time I hear the theme played for the game show Jeopardy, I picture him standing in my den, his arms spread out, turning as the music played.

I remember those first days of school, standing in front of the house, year after year, posing with his friends, as we marked and remarked, about how tall he was getting,

Fatherhood is a sad thing, sometimes. As a father, you watch your children grow, and realize that time is passing you by, quickly!

As they grow, they become more distant. They hide away in life’s development, and don’t come out until they leave you. They won’t know to say “thank you” for all you did for them, but you don’t want them to. All the advice you give sometimes falls on deaf ears. When it does, the lessons they learn are more definite, better learned, they come from experience.

Now I see the last but not the least of my children, my youngest son, and the “baby” leaving for college. He will probably make a life for himself, which will be filled with new life experiences, and we will see him frequently, but only in our hearts.

He once complained that I made fun of him, and I did, but I only make fun of those I admire. Those I don’t admire, I ignore. I wish I could do more for him, but he needs to do for himself now. I fully expect and note his ability to do so. I have confidence in his compassion for others, and hope he with his intellect, will contribute to this world.

Good luck, #2 Son, we love you, and are proud of what you are doing, so we are proud of YOU.

Mom and Dad.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The day dawned promising. TLW (The Little Woman), SS-I-L (Sicilian Sister-In-Law), Angela and TLW’s baby brother Dennis and myself headed out the door of the condo we were staying at to explore the winter wonderland called Steamboat Springs, in the middle of the summer.

We piled into the rental car and drove to the main drag, to do a little shopping. Visiting local trinket shops. Viewing the T-shirts, pencils, jewelry and other odds and ends called souvenirs, or junk, we headed from store to store. The quaintness of the little village, its charm exuding innocence and cheap junk, beckoned and called out our names.

As we strolled down the street with the summer locals, the theme was skiing and cheap junk. A storefront sign announced a mall, and so we all stopped in our tracks and went in to explore. We were immediately greeted by a fine assortment of souvenirs or as we like to call it out east, junk. Junk is different from crap, which really junk, but spelt differently!

Being how it was after the noon hour, TLW smugly pointed out to me where the men’s room was located. I responded to her that I didn’t need the men’s room, and we continued on upstairs, where they had on display at a certain percentage off the list price: junk.

As we descended the stairs, I decided NOW was the time to use the men’s room. Off I went, breaking away from TLW and the group, I swung into a door, and stepped in the room. A small crowded room, in a very old building, I noticed for a men’s room, it had no urinal. Selecting the first door I came to, I went in and did my business. Finishing up, I was reaching for the lock, I heard a door open, and this old woman is peering into my stall. That is right, peering, not peeing. The old lady, a lot shorter than me, looked in one more time, and moved on.
Then it hit me.


As the little old lady entered her stall, I rushed out, racing to find TLW, while looking over my shoulder. Her husband was half asleep on a bench outside the door. All I could imagine was this lady screaming: “There he is, that pervert!”

As I continued out the building, out she came, I turned my head down, heart beating like a humming bird’s, waiting for the accusation. But this pervert was lucky, nothing happened. I was lucky to tiptoe out of Colorado!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It’s a long way from (New York) to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise

The plane filled up for the flight to Denver Colorado, which would connect us to a flight to Steamboatsprings, Colorado. Sitting in my aisle seat I took out my Sudoku book for the long flight. The plane took off, and I pulled down my tray table to rest the book. Suddenly, the seat in front of me shot backward, almost into my chest. I was now nose to nose with a young Asian girl, probably on her way to the Fareast.

Springtime is rollin’ ‘round slowly
Grey skies are bringin’ me down
I can’t remember when I’ve ever been so lonely
I forgot what it’s like to be home
Can’t remember what it’s like to be home

We could do either of two things. We could kiss, or she could move her chair rest upward slightly. She was not about to do either, for the next 3 and ½ hours, but make me uncomfortable, while SHE rested, stretched out.

But I think on my lady’s sweet memories
I think on my children’s sweet smiles
I think on my home in Starwood in Aspen
All my friends and the snow covered hills
Oh, my friends are the snow covered hills

In my cramped condition, I started to plot my revenge. This was not about racism all you bleeding hearts; this was about space, my space.

And I tell you I’m happy to be here
To share and consider this time
For I see here the shadows of changes
And a feeling of new friends to find
And I see here some new friends to find

As I plotted, my plan materialized! She was dozing off! Perfect! Slowly her head drifted to her left, as she fell into sleep, well, almost. Once her head rested, I shot a quick jab into the top of her headrest. She jerked up, and leaned back. I waited, slowly her head rolled to the right, drifting into another short nap. Like a cobra, I lunged forward, a quick jiggle of her headrest! Up her head moved, like a rocket! My antics were becoming fun! This was sweet! One more time her head rolled, and one more time, I struck! Up, up, up she jumped, could I do this all the way to Denver? You bet!

But it’s a long way from this place to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise

Suddenly, a new opportunity presented itself! The stewardess’ were moving up and down the aisle, and every time one would past the Asian gal’s seat, I would snap her headrest. The girl would pop awake, and see what she thought was what woke her up, the stewardess. Soon a little girl and her little brother began passing to use the toilet, snap, snap, she jumped! Oh, this was so amusing! My mother would be chagrinned by my childish behavior, so I knew it was fun. I tried not to let TLW (The Little Woman) catch my antics, since she would not be happy with me either.

Then, opportunity really knocked! TLW wanted to use the rest room. Yes! The rest room! This meant that I needed to get up, and that meant that I was in my rights to have to pull on the seat in front of me to allow myself the chance to get into the aisle, I was so cramped in! With both hands, I swiftly grabbed the headrest, pulled down hard and got up, letting go of the headrest and launching the Asian girl, practically into the cockpit. The gal was almost standing: as she turned to give me the dirtiest look, which TLW caught! I had recruited an ally! I bumped the chair to get back in, and waited for TLW to return. The Asian gal still did not get it. Back came TLW and up I bounced, bumping the headrest and once again, Miss Tokyo was standing up, eyes glazed and face pointed at me. I was doing what I love best, teasing someone!

Off to sleep she almost went, as I continued my fun, slow roll of the head, a little nudge of her headrest and her being disturbed out of her sleep. I couldn’t do anything else in that seat, since there was no room to move, so someone was going to pay, all the way to Denver. When we landed, I noticed, I hadn’t entered one number in the Sudoku puzzle!

Green Lyrics by John Denver

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


When Johnny Jones was serenading Mary,
He sure could quote a lot of poetry
But he'd much rather tell her
what he learned in his speller
When they both attended PS thirty-three....

The so-called ‘music’ coming from the computer got me to thinking, and I did what I usually don’t do. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help myself, #2 Son was listening to the beat and moving to the beat and I just had to ask him the question.

"A," you're adorable, "B," you're so beautiful, "C," you're a cutie full of charms. "D," you're a darling and "E," you're exciting And "F," you're a feather in my arms.

“WHY are you listening to that?” It occurred to me that it was more like punishment, and how could you understand the lyrics?

Son #2: “You see Dad, that the difference in our generation.”

I had heard of the “Generation gap” and even read about it at one time. I think I was even on the other end of it back in the ‘60’s. Determined to be enlightened, and inquisitively I pressed on.

“What make you motivated to want to hear that?

#2: “That’s Papoose!”

Me; “Huh?”

#2: “Papoose.” He stated matter-of-factly.

Me: ?? “P-a-p…

#2: “P-a-p-o-o-s-e”

Me: “Like a papoose? What is he an Indian?”

#2: “Yup, a Native American, the greatest poet who ever lived!”

Me: Wondering in awe, how anybody could tell. “How do you know that? I can’t understand him!’

#2: “That’s right, you have to listen very carefully. He’s a better poet than my professors in school! I like Keats and Frost and all those guys, but he’s even greater! He takes every letter of the alphabet that his caretaker gives him, and makes words, "A", "B", "C" and so on!”

"G," you look good to me, "H," you're so heavenly, "I," you're the one I idolize. "J," we're like Jack and Jill, "K," you're so kissable, "L," is the lovelight in your eyes.

I was starting to get a headache, a twitch was starting to develop, my nose starting running, and I was now chewing on my elbow, thinking: “I don’t feel so good.”

"M," "N," "O," "P," I could go on all day. "Q," "R," "S," "T," alphabetically speaking, you're OK.

Suddenly TLW arrived from shopping (what else?) and inquired: “What is that?”

Me: “Why that’s Papoose!, the greatest living poet of all time!”

TLW: “Oh! Suddenly she started to get a headache, a twitch was starting to develop, her nose started running, and was now chewing on her elbow, thinking: “I don’t feel so good.”

U," made my life complete, "V," means you're very sweet, Double-"U" "X" "Y" "Zee." It's fun to wander through the alphabet with you To tell you what you mean to me.

I have a question dear reader. Have you ever heard a song from the past that gets you into a romantic mood of nostalgic proportions: that carries you down memory lane, every time you hear a certain song from you past? How the hell is #2 going to get that from those “Lyrics”?

Well, Dad wanted to know the same darn thing from me over 40 years ago, he didn't understand either.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Before my trip to Colorado, I was assigned by TLW (The Little Woman) the task of putting Happy, my cocker spaniel in a kennel until we returned.

Going to the closet, Happy began prancing around on her old legs, excitedly expecting to go out. Dragging me out the door, she stopped and squatted while I pulled her out to the street to do her business. I’m a stickler about peeing in the car, you know.

She squatted and let it rip, yellow streams running down the gutter of the street, washing away all in its path! Finished, she pulled me to the car. Being she is so old now, she can’t climb up like she used to, so I lifted her onto the front seat and off we went.

Smugly she sat in the front, looking out the front and side window, tongue hanging out, as if to say; Daddy and I are on our way, somewhere!”

Pulling into the parking lot of the kennel, (Kozy Knoses), she continued to prance, as we got to the front door. As I opened the door, I suddenly realized I had an immoveable object at the other end of the leash! All four feet were planted, squarely and solidly onto the front step! She refused to move. Finally, I coax her in, and have to wait for someone to take her. As I wait and she shakes, one of the gals that work there comes with a paper towel and says: “Excuse me.” Stepping aside, she leans down and picks up a little package of poops! Happy pinched a loaf! At least, I think it was Happy.

Someone came, at that point, and whisked her away with my saying: "Good bye", making me feel very guilty about leaving her like that!

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I decided to put my novel up as a preview! Please comment if you like. Go to:
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Sunday, August 23, 2009


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and it was the longest day! It started out as a bus ride that left the park and ride lot at 9:52 AM, and didn’t arrive in Hunter Mountain until 2:40 PM! No, I wasn’t skiing; I was attending the “International Celtic (Keltic) Festival that I mentioned on previous blogues. (Monday, August 17, 2009
IRISHMEN AND DEMOCRATS! And Sunday, July 26, 2009

Accompanied by TLW (The Little Woman), Toots II (Lois, I hope I can Cope with DelBloggolo), and another buddy Pat (The Patron Saint of Foxwoods Points) from the Wanna-Be Bank and Trust Co., and her husband Bill, we set off to watch the fun.

Once on the bus, Pat immediately canvassed the whole bus, including the bus driver and tour guide, if we had our cameras. After taking the census, she realized she forgot hers! Lois, showing fine form, took her seat, and no one dared to sit next to her, as she stared them down with a commuter’s “Unless you’re here for to purchase a certificate of deposit at 2.5%, don’t you dare sit here, and make ME uncomfortable” look, the kind I used to employ when I rode the Long Island Railroad. (Great job, Lois!)

Meanwhile, TLW was busily interrogating me on one of my past blogues, which had not been published. The only one who looked like he could survive was Pat’s husband, Bill, who kept a low profile, never looked directly into the ladies eyes, and feigned sleep to avoid getting into trouble. It must have work: he got there unscathed!

The day was extremely uncomfortable, as one traffic jam after another slowed our progress to the fest, and the heat and humidity up in the mountains made it unpleasant to get around. It seems that whenever I go to crowded places on hot, humid days, there is always loud blasting music, and here was no exception.

The highlights of the day were; a round trip on the ski lift for four of us. Only one of us would not go up, since she was afraid of heights, (we all have our phobias) and that was TLW. The other highlight was the march of 1,000 bag pipers down the mountain side! It was an incredible sight to see, and enjoy.

The food was a mixed bag of international cuisine, including, Italian (of course), German, Greek and middle eastern. I think they sold Irish soda bread for $10.00 a loaf, but that was it.

In all my life, I never saw that many Jet fans as I did that day! Then it clicked on why: they like the color green!

The drive up the mountain was incredible! The spectacular scenery was priceless to look at, and held everyone’s attention that was on the bus!

But drive home! One traffic jam after another was evident; as we crawled all the way home, until we hit the LIE, which was wide open. Leaving the festival at 7:30 PM, the estimated time of arrival was supposed to be 10:30 PM, but didn’t occur until past 12:30 AM! Instead of ‘good nights,’ it was ‘good mornings!’

I must say, we did enjoy the company; everyone was a pleasure to travel with and kid with. Bill has a nice sense of humor for a married man, and the girls were all terrific, except for TLW, she wouldn’t buy me a balloon!

Some Guinness, some bratwurst, and some laughter were the parts of my day, I will remember with great pleasure.

So, top 'o the morn to ya, lads and lassies, and bejesus be good!

View my new post!
I decided to put my novel up as a preview! Please comment if you like. Go to:
This is the first chapter from my book, Tolik's Odyssey.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Once I returned home from the hospital, I realized I needed to get back on the ball, and find a way to get to school. I wasn’t bout to give up on my dream of an education. I was close to finishing up, and had to finish two semesters. The One semester I didn’t complete, and one more and I could graduate.

One weekend, I think it was Labor Day weekend; my folks invited my aunt and uncle from Franklyn Square out to celebrate the holiday. Being I was in a cast, I couldn’t go anywhere: the cast was up to my hip!

My Aunt Marie asked me how it was going, what my plans were and how I figured I could execute them. When I told her my dilemma, she immediately offered to let me stay at her house. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse!

If it weren’t for two wonderful people, I might have never finished my education, and therefore never realized my dream.

So, I learned a great lesson. I have to be there for others, just as others were there for me. My brother-in-law John, was a tremendous help, giving me rides home from school on a Friday night, and my good buddy Phil, helping me out until he finished school, one semester before me. My Aunt had neighbors who gave me rides close to the school, and I would hitch-hike the rest of the way, and found rides home to my Aunt’s house from friends in school.

People are wonderful, you just know it when you need them.

Friday, August 21, 2009


It was an unusually warm afternoon for April 14, 1967. The sky was a perfect blue pitch, and not a cloud in the sky. The natural drawing class was held outside for a change, and the model was a slender young lady who had modeled for the class numerous times before.

We headed for the parking lot, to enjoy the coming weekend, which promised more warm spring like or early summer weather. Climbing into the car, there was a party scheduled at the house where we stayed, 4 guys and some outside friends, plus some young ladies from the Grace Downs airline stewardess school.

I climbed into the 1957 Chevy two-tone yellow and black-2 door as we headed back to our rented house. I leaned back in the front seat of the passenger side, with a large sketchpad in my lap, and a charcoal pencil in my hand. As we drove, I leisurely sketched on the cover of the pad.

As we turned into Old Country Road in Hicksville, the traffic was picking up for a late Friday afternoon, as both sides of the 4-lane road was busy with traffic. As I looked up, I noticed a small red pickup truck dart out of a side road and stall in the lane in front of us. Tom, my housemate and driver desperately swerved to avoid the truck, which as we came upon it, pulled out in the nick of time. Unfortunately, the momentum of the Chevy plowed us into a parked car at the curb! Headlong and squarely, we tagged the parked car from behind, brakes squealing, as we stopped. The force and speed of the Chevy and sudden impact drove me forward into the windshield. I leaned backed and thought: “Good, nothing happened to me!

How wrong I was! As I rested on the front seat, I noticed the engine sitting next to me. Also the windshield was broken out. I felt I was sweating, and wiped my brow with my handkerchief, when I noticed it was red! Suddenly a pain shot through my right foot and leg. As I looked down at it, my right foot was grossly twisted inward! My foot was in an unnatural position, perpendicular to my leg, and the pain was intensifying!

I looked at my buddy Tom, and noticed his forehead was bleeding, as he stared out the front, looking like there was something of interest out there for him.

I fell back against the hot engine, and as I did, this gentleman came and poked his head into the car. He started to talk to me and asked how I was. He then wiped my head with his handkerchief. I passed out, and a fire truck arrived which cordoned off the street until an ambulance arrived. When I awoke, I was in the emergency room of the Meadowbrook Hospital!

My life as an ordinary student was over! As I lay in the hospital emergency room, my leg was reset, causing a white outy in my brain, the pain stabbing me and causing me to rise high into the second floor from the gurney because of the resetting of the compound facture. I could literally see the bone sticking through the skin of my leg, the swelling and pain now taking over. My friends were all around me as I said goodbye, while being wheeled away to a room. Lying in the bed, it was now well past 11:30 pm, the circular room dark, with about 7 or 8 other beds occupying the floor. There coming out of the dark, was my good buddy Phil, the only one left, who snuck into my room, to see how I was doing.

Tomorrow: A better break

Please remember my brother-in-law, John, who needs our prayers even though he has more money than God, and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The class was rowdy, and that is the nicest thing I can say about it. The instructor, a Korean immigrant named Mr. Ahn, presided over “Introduction to Design II” with a calm and self-assurance that said: “I will survive.” It was my second semester, and we were housed in temporary classrooms in the Syosset Medical Arts building. Next to me was a wise cracking, happy go lucky guy, sitting in his drawing table, striking up a conversation with me. It was instant pal! That was January 1965, and we still see and speak to each other after all these years!

Phil was an aspiring artist like myself, who wanted nothing to do but eat Italian bread. The more he could carry in his pockets, the better. If he ever robbed a bank, he would give himself away because of the crumbs! He was also a godsend to me. Often he would pick me up at the train station, and off to class we would go. That is, if he woke up on time. Many times he didn’t!

Many days we would go to class, get hungry and if we had any money, go to an Italian restaurant called Christiano’s, near the train station. There Phil would fill his pockets with bread and off to a painting class we would go, bread in both his and my coat pockets, which I fed him, all too often.

One morning, I had some extra money and went to a restaurant in the Syosset Hospital. Who do I see there but Mr. Ahn, eating breakfast at the counter. He orders scrambled eggs, and I do too. But wait a minute; he’s putting ketchup on his eggs! Being a darn fool that I am, I try it, and haven’t stopped in 44 years!

One day, Mr. Kupris, my advertising design instructor announced he had a house in Hicksville, and was renting it to students for the semester; I jumped at the chance and moved out of my folk’s house for the duration of the semester. Having worked that summer, I had saved enough to pay for school and the room. Phil would meet me every morning and we drove to school together. IT MEANT NO MORE RISING AT 4:30 AM!

I was now sleeping regular hours, building new friendships with the guys in the house, and making even prettier friends from the Grace Airline stewardess’ school down the road! Life was good!

Tomorrow: The world comes undone.

Please remember my brother-in-law John, the next Polish Pope, who once pitched a no-hitter against the nuns, and all those that need hopes and our prayers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


As TLW (the Little Woman) and I put the finishing touches on #2 Son’s attendance at SUNY Purchase, I can’t help but reflect on my years in college. Attending the New York Institute of Technology: was a logistic nightmare for me.

Living in Bellport, the only way to get to school was via the Long Island Railroad, and my thumb. I took the train to Westbury, and then hitchhiked the last 4 or 5 miles into Old Westbury. Many days I would have to walk if the time of class was odd.

Getting off a train in the dead of winter, after being up all night because I had an after school job that started at 6:00 pm and ended at 11:00 pm, studying all night then climbing onboard a train at 5:30 am; carrying a large wooden box of oil paints, a canvas that was 30” x 40”, another case of pencils, pads, cutting tools, rubber cement and templates, plus an English, Math and Science textbook or a combination thereof; was a hardship. Looking back, I wonder how I ever had the stamina to do so.

I knew I wanted an education, not just an art education, but also a real honest to goodness college education. My college career was my mistress, my girlfriend, my passion and my life. Like any good woman, it was also killing me! No male in my entire family had graduated from a 4-year college, and I wanted that.

One morning, the wind whipped down Post Avenue with a fury and intensity that knifed me in my ribs, freezing my ears, toes and nose. Struggling forward, I was determined to get to classes that day. The night before had blanketed the Island with a white covering that froze solid from the night cold. The sun was glistening off the surface, causing a small headache from the high reflection. The sky was crystal clear blue, and made it feel even colder than it actually was.

Since it had snowed the night before, few students went to class, since most of them commuted by car. A car would be coming by, and I would in one motion turn around and stick my thumb out, and watch as the car continued on its way. Nothing can be sadder than rejection.

Reaching school that day, I entered the building and discovered that morning classes were suspended due to the weather! I went to the cafeteria to buy a coffee, and realized I had no money on me! I threw my books down on the small table nearby and wanted to just stretch out and either cry or sleep, whichever happened first. Standing near by was a custodian, a Hispanic fellow in his forties, arranging chairs and tables. Suddenly, I look up and he is standing next to me, asking me if he could buy me a cup of coffee!

As the day wore on, I spent some time in the library, hung around the cafeteria with some of my friends, and finally attended classes that afternoon. I realized when I was on my way home after my last class: I had no money for a return ticket. I never bought round trips because I was on at peak hours either in the am or pm, which was more expensive than during off peak. Hitching down to the station once again, I got on the train and sat there. The commuter trains heading east during peak hours, no one usually got on. The trainmen never asked for anyone’s ticket, thinking no one got on at Westbury. I would wait for the crowds to mass on the train platform as it stopped, and mix in the crowd, walking a bit to an entrance to a car, and step in, and sit. In those days, people would move from car to car as the train started thinning out as it headed east. Again, for that reason also, the trainmen never bothered. Some nights I went and hid in the restroom!

I couldn’t tell you how many days I went without eating from 4:30 am when I got up until 7 or 7:30 pm when I stepped off the train at Bellport.

When I had my first child, I vowed that she would never have to do what I did, nor any child I had in college. So, today I am proud to tell you, #2 Son, like his brother before him, will reside in a dorm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Yes, I will journey across this great land of ours, where all is free but the airfare, life, and even death is not.

The day of my arrival in Steamboat Colorado, the temperature will range from 38 degrees to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. I think at night, it is 38, so thus all my cookies and milk will be cold. Steamboat is a ski resort, primarily, however, you can go grass skiing, and make great leaps from a launching platform, that lands you in Nevada!

We are the guests of my brother-in-law, Dennis, TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) baby brother and his lovely wife, SS-I-L (Sicilian Sister-In-Law) Angela. I just know they have scouted all of the Italian restaurants to eat in, and that they will NOT suggest: snake meat, buffalo, or caribou, not matter what they are told.

Biking, camping, and hiking backpacking are things available to do, while I will find out where there is an ample supply of Jack Daniels Manhattans, and in my mind, will Bike, camp and backpack on a bike!

Believe me, TLW will be right next to me!

This mini vacation will last a few days, then we will return home. I will continue to publish my blogue everyday I am gone. When I return, I will give you a rundown of what I did to screw up, get into trouble and scare the hell out of TLW and myself.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I’m going off to an Irish Festival, and by the time you read this, I will have been there and back. You must wonder what I’m doing with both Irishmen and Democrats! To tell you the truth, so am I. See blogue: (Sunday, July 26, 2009-THE IRISH ARE COMING! THE IRISH ARE COMING!)

Now you ask: What’s this about Democrats? Well, I was informed recently by TLW (The Little Woman) that SHE is a Democrat. You know me, I harbor no ill will, will not say anything when they are thrown out of office like the Republicans were, will not laugh, cry or care. Why, because it is all a cycle. I hate all politicians.

Anonymous said...

”Ms Shriver was a great lady.
Alas... She is Irish and a democrat...

Son #2 approved of this message.”

The lovely Courtney wrote it, and all this vouches for her innocence! #1 Son made her write it to me in a moving car, where he threatened to leave her off in the middle of Hollywood and Vine, if she didn't! I wouldn’t kid you about that.

But that is OK. He lives out in La La Land, and the mix of sun and toxic fumes can cause all kinds of effects.

Mind you, I happen to like people who are Democrats, even TLW, (who is really apolitical), and I did marry an Irishman, so there you go.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


After all the mention of my class reunion, the why’s and where’s of the event to be, it occurred to me, that if this was an ordinary class from an ordinary school, I probably would not have bothered!

But contrary to that idea, I must say, nothing is ordinary. No, quite the contrary, there is an everlasting bond with my class, because of what we lived through. Someone had suggested that a whole decade of 60’s graduates should gather for a reunion, and now that I think of it, it isn’t as bad an idea as it sounds.

Friday, March 8, 1963 will live as the single most important date in my education! To borrow from FDR, it was indeed a “date which will live in infamy.” It unified every graduate who ever attended that old school building, constructed in the 1920’s and who witnessed its total destruction.

Every March 8th, I relive those horrific moments in my memory, memories that are permanently etched in my heart and soul, as I thank God no one died in that tragic fire. For that I am eternally grateful, I am grateful for the brave teachers and fellow students who gave their all to help rescue the trapped students. To all the fire departments, led by Bellport’s own that guaranteed the lives of those they saved, thank you. There was the fire chief of the Bellport Fire Department, a great guy who has since passed on. When I would speak to him about, you could see the fact that no one was going to die on his watch. When I went to his funeral mass, I felt that enough was not made of what he did on the day, saving all those futures. How important a save that was!

Our’s was an innocent time, up until that life changing day! It taught me the value of my school, my affiliations, my friends and family, my life. I can go on and tell you how it probably shaped us all, including our parents, but that is too big an undertaking for a mere mortal, it only overwhelms.

Thanks to all the firemen that are, stay alive and healthy, we need YOU.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


It amazes me that TLW (The Little Woman) as tiny as she is has so much going on in her brain. In the mornings, after she reads her newspapers, she then stands, surveys the place and puts her hands on her hips, feet slightly apart and begins a litany of things that need attention.

As she stands there, I try to put the newspaper as high as possible in front of me, so she doesn’t catch my eye. It NEVER works. She then ticks off things that need attending to, as she goes through the lives of #2 Son, the dog, and then herself and me. She can, if on her game that day, also touch upon her other two children, #1 Son and my daughter Ellen!

Once the human side is covered, she then scans the horizon and begins on the house, the cars, the pool, and whether we need milk or not! Who can keep track of all that?

To really show off, she then goes on line and pays bills! She has yet to go to work, all this before 7:30 AM!

She will call me from work, ask if I did this or that, and ask questions. I either did this or that, or forgot.

“Did you backwash the pool today?”

“Yes I did!”

“Did you add the D.E.?”



It seems every time I do something, she seems to hit me with a technicality of some sort; which makes me feel dumb.

“I was GOING to, but the phone rang, yeah, that’s it, the phone rang, so it slipped my mind. You look particularly beautiful this evening, more than usual!”

Cowardly? Perhaps, but a good line is like a lifeline, it saves me.

Please remember my brother-in-law, John, who found out from his accountant, that some of his original money is starting to rot! Please remember all those of us that need prayers.

Friday, August 14, 2009


It can come out of the blue, it can strike when no one is looking, and when it does, you fly, high, you soar, and when you come down to earth, you fly one more time!

What am I talking about? My Polish brother-in-law, John, the fellow I’ve been asking everyone to pray for, is what or in this case ‘who’.

Let me quote my sister, his wife:

“Hi every-one,

We got good news, the cat-scan showed the spot on the bottom right lobe is almost gone, they can hardly see it, that is the smaller one, John's lung sounds
very clear, and the cancer did not go anywhere else in his body; all of the blood work and test they took also came out very good. John has to continue chemo for the next three months. The doctor is eliminating one chemo, the one that causes all the side he shouldn't fell sick after wards, everything will done in one day instead of three days. John was given a gift from GOD to have one more minute, one more hour, one more day at a time, that's all we are allowed, we will embrace it and continue praying for strength to walk the walk.
Thank you all for all your prayers and support, could-not do it without all of you!!!!!
All our LOVE.
John and Theresa”

Need I say more?

Please remember all those that need our hopes and prayers.


I admire few people more than I admire people without self-interest, who put forth their best for the good of mankind. Eunice Shriver is one of those selfless people. She had the heart of God in her; she cared for the least of our brothers and sisters. She was the epitome of what was good in this world, and will now be missed. A champion is a person who fights for or defends any person or cause: a champion of the oppressed, a warrior. Eunice Shriver was a champion.

Her cause is the noblest of causes, the mentally and physically disabled. She strove to make their lives better, her works go beyond the Special Olympics, they span whole bodies of people who are now liberated to some degree, who now are able to contribute to society, who can give joy and life to a lifeless and cold world. I’m sure there are many people like her, but perhaps without the resources she possessed. God bless them all.

But I mention Eunice Shriver because of an issue that has been percolating for a long time, It is one of my passions, one of my crusades, and that being parody with State workers for those wonderful people who work so hard for the mentally and physically disabled, of the NYSARC Suffolk Chapter. There is an organization that supposedly works for and advocates for the physically and mentally disabled, OMRDD (Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.) They refuse to understand the big picture!

The workers employed by NYSARC Suffolk Chapter, are essential to the survival of the agency. They are essential to the support we give our children and siblings. They are more important than the Board of Directors, both individually and collectively. They are even more important than the administration staff that runs the agency. They do the daily inter-facing with those who are served. They feed, dress, toilet and care for in their hearts for those served. Yet, this year, OMRDD sees fit to ignore them in their proposed budget to the State Legislature for a cost of living raise. These people are so underpaid, if makes an advocate like me want to sob over the inequity of it.

What is OMRDD really saying by this callous indifference to the caretakers? It is saying; “You are not important enough to consider. You are a dime a dozen. You don’t like it, go somewhere else.” And that is what happens. They leave the agency, and we must find good caring and loving individuals who will do the toughest job one can have! In essence, they forget that the service rendered by these staff miracle workers, is service to those we serve, in essence; those we serve are not important!

Those that run OMRDD are detached from the reality they are supposed to represent. They think in terms of dollars, and politics and their own insured futures. They make their living on the backs of the poor and the defenseless. Their nattering are meaningless at the conventions they speak at, and it all makes a mockery out of what needs to be done.

Please remember my brother-in-law John, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


As I hopefully plan for the 1964 Bellport High School Class Reunion, looking back on things, I wished it had worked out differently. I missed one of the past two class reunions, Sometimes opportunity knocks and we don’t answer the door, when we should have. But only in hindsight do we see that!

Watching TLW (The Little Woman) stand with her classmates at her class reunion, I suddenly realized, with all the laughing and smiling, the stories and catching up, that many of them would not see each other ever again! There seemed to be finality in that photo, a closing of another chapter in their lives, just as there will be one in my life.

When you are young, you build a storehouse of memories, that in your older age, you can take comfort in and recall only the good times. Sharing time and space with people is a wonderful thing. Once we lose that time and space, we can recall it with those people and be there once again. It’s when we lose those people that we lament the past.

I want to see as many of my old classmates as possible. I want to know that they are well, happy and alive. I want to share that happiness and all their tears, too. Why? Because they made me in part what and who I am. They were all decent people as kids, and seem even more so now. Oh, there may have been hurts flung by all of us at some point, that is the product of that age and time, just as now there is decent caring, a product of our age.

When I talk to them once again, after 45 years, I realize what I missed. How sad is that? I could have enjoyed their company, laughed with them and lent a shoulder when they cried. Maybe I can rekindle those friendships, and hope they forgive me for ever moving on without them.

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been."

Family and friends: two beautiful and sacred words.

Please remember my brother-in-law, John a guy who is always there when you need him, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Now that I have reached the age of retirement, and practice it, it is time to assess my rights as an: ‘old-timer’.

These ‘rights’, although not assayed under the constitution, are thought to be and assumed as inalienable in any court of law.

First and foremost is to say without accountability, anything we darn well please. This means in crowded movies theatres, on the road, and yes, dare I say it, to our children in public places. After all, we ARE old, who knows when we will be able to talk again!

Secondly, the right to drive, at 20 mph, with our left blinker on, and not turning, is a valid right! If we happen to be driving a Cadillac, Lincoln, or a Ford Crown Victoria, or some other wide-ass horseless carriage, get the hell out of our way. We may or may not turn left. Isn’t it better to make you prepared for that eventuality? IF we turn right, we can say with impunity: “Hah, gotcha!” So, we do drive slowly. We are only finally slowing down and enjoying the scenery after years of driving helter-skelter to Little League games, dance recitals, grandchildren’s school plays, and God knows what else they held us responsible for.

The next one is one of my favorites: the supermarket line. This right can only be invoked when there are younger people in line behind you. Counting out change, asking about a price, AFTER the item is rung up, and writing checks, searching for coupons, and getting a price check. For years we had to sit in waiting cars for hours for the little prodigy to come out of some practice, game or class, only to hear a complaint as they climb into the car, about how much we don’t care about them.

Any supermarket aisle should be our domain! We should be able to leave our heavily ladened carts parked, unattended in the middle of the aisle, so no one else can pass us by. This means it may be parked long ways, side ways, right up against the shelving, keeping someone with a handful of screaming brats from screaming near us.

Speaking of screaming brats, Holy smacking. This is a right, which should be extended to anyone over 55. You are in church, when who comes in front of you but a young mother with a screaming, climbing, obnoxious brat! There is a ‘crying room’ in the back of the house of worship, which by the way stands empty, and the young mother plops in front of you. She unloads one or two brats, and bag of Cheerios, toys and books. The kid wants none of it, wants to bother everyone, scream at the top of his lungs and just be a royal pain in the ass. Morons are all around this scene, smiling, pretending it is cute. The mother is constantly trying to placate the kid, disturbing everyone in the building. Anyone over age 55: should reach over to the mother and smack her silly. That’s right, intolerance should be sanctioned in this case, and the mother thrown out on her Cheerios pack and back-pack filled with her brat and all his/her essentials! They should then turn around and drag the smilers out by their ears!

Finally, there should be allowances for old people to fart if they like. That’s right, be allowed to let one rip! And being over 55, you are then automatically flagged by age, and if anyone wants to come near, they do so at their own peril. But to be fair to the public, after all, this should not be one-sided, there could be: “Fart-Free” zones in all public places.

Please remember my Polish brother-in-law, John, a zippy fellow by anyone’s standards, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The big day had arrived. And TLW (The Little Woman) was ready! Decked out in her finery, we drove to Port Jefferson< New York to the Danford Inn. Situated on the harbor of the largest and deepest of harbors on Long Island, we arrived after a detoured run around. It seems that no one told the town of Port Jefferson not to have a parade, as I was forced to do a tour of and back track of the Island.

Parking the car would be a valet. I searched franticly for the valet key, before I realized it was in the ignition.

In we go and are told the party is across the street, at another location!

Down into the basement of this large old building, to the Diplomat’s Room, we find the 1964 Class Reunion of Seton Hall High School. I genuflect once, and enter. No nuns! So far, so good! We push into the crowd and I search for a bar, as TLW introduces me to old friends from the past.

I pay for two drinks. Two stinking drinks, $18! $18! Are they kidding me? One is a scotch and soda, and one is a Jack Daniels Manhattan, $18!

I need another drink to get over the price gouging!

The food was good, at $70 a person, and you pay for your liquor. They had a DJ, but someone had to coax him out of under the table to play a song or two. The salmon was superbly done, as was the appetizer of cheese and fruit was not. $70 for a buffet dinner, but no appetizer or drinks! WOW!

TLW was by far the best and youngest looking gal there. She really stood out in her outfit, and youthful face, with her old, cheap and grouchy husband.

The thing I found amusing was 60’s year old men, bending down, squinting and straining to read a woman’s name on her chest, which 30 years ago would have gotten them arrested!

Please pray for my brother-in-law John, who today thinks he is a Polish Admiral as two sisters, two brother-in-laws, TLW and myself set sail for somewhere out there on the ocean. Also, remember those that need our hopes and prayers for recoveries.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Happy Birthday, Don!

Yes, Don whom I only introduced to you once before as being married to my sister Joanne. The reason I never mention Don is because he is a hard act to follow. He is very VERY, brave. He married Joanne! What the hell else is there that anyone could possibly do to top that? The only thing I can think of is: win the Congressional Medal of Honor, or the Croix de Guerre.

Secondly, in case he skipped town and was never heard from again, I didn’t want you to grow attached to him.

OK, I exaggerate a little. He may not skip town, my sister probably has a honing device planted on him, that he doesn’t know about.

Don is one of those fellows that you can only meet once in a life-time. He is one of the most pleasant people I know, and I am very happy that I call him my brother-in-law. I can say that about all my brother-in-laws, but this guy is just a class act! I wrote about his beautiful sister Nancy, who is just like him. It has to be a wonderful family filled with wonderful human beings!

Don does have a fatalistic side of him, just like I have: he is a Mets and Jets fan! So, you see how he came about marrying Joanne. We love Joanne, so we love to suffer!

Being a successful business-man, he is low key, patient and intelligent, and has been embraced by the whole family, from day one.


We all love you, and of course will pray for you, because of ‘You Know Who.’

Speaking of prayer, I spoke to the Pope about Don, recommending ‘sainthood’, even though he is not Catholic, and the Pope seems to agree!

Please remember a prayer or two for my brother-in-law John, who found out perogies can stick together if not serves immediately, and make a mess in your wallet, and all those that need our prayers.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


As I sit here about to write, I realize that tonight is the 45th reunion of TLW’s (The Little Woman’s) 1964 Seton Hall graduating class reunion. It is the reason I am helping to organize my own 45-year high school reunion, even though I am considerably younger than TLW.

I called one of my old classmates, and she acted surprised by my call.

Gail: “Joe? Joe DelBloggolo? Are you on some kind of work release program? Do prisons allow personal phone calls?’

Me: “No, I never went to prison, it just seemed that would happen. I was never fitted by any warden for a striped suit, my tailor was being facetious. He complained that my neck was too thick! But that’s not why I called. Can you help me organize a 45th high school reunion?”

Gail: “Well, I don’t know. It is kind of late to try contacting people for this year. Why don’t you try Martha, you remember Martha? She’s in touch with everybody it seems. Have you tried Face Book? You can post it there too. ”

Me: “OK, Martha, wasn’t she the gal that once spread that rumor that I was a nice guy?”

Gail: Yes, so what, she made a mistake, don’t we all?”

Me: “Thanks, I’ll give her a call.”

Me: “Hello, Martha?”

Martha: “Yes!”

Me: “Joe Del Bloggolo”

Martha: “Who?”

Me: “Joe Del Bloggolo, we went to school together.”

Martha: “Oh, right, are you on some kind of work release program? Do prisons allow personal phone calls?’

Me: “Hee hee, no silly, it’s just my… never mind I need help. I want to organize a class reunion for high school. Can you help me?”

Martha: “Try Face Book, and two aspirins, and call me back in 2019.”

So, I joined up for Face Book. Let me tell you, once you do, it can be addictive, especially if you are reconnecting with people from your past. Not only am I writing on walls I don’t even see, I started a club, that I’m not so sure I started, and sent lifetime friendship to up to 20 people! I can’t imagine doing anything 20 times, and not stopping for a coffee break!

I joined and now find myself in the middle of conversational messages, posted on some wall of mine, which I just know, TLW will make me paint, once she sees it! Not only that, I am in the middle of conversations, not sure if they are talking to me or not, while nieces and nephews are now writing on the walls, not to mention, #2 Son! TLW makes me paint any walls, and #2 Son will help!

The good thing is I am in contact with people I haven’t spoken to in years, and am glad I am. The stories aren’t always good, but at least they are alive and kicking.

This morning, as I stepped out of the shower and looked in the mirror while I dressed, I realized by looking into that mirror: that the person I am looking at is not the same guy who 45 years ago dressed for his graduation. It made me realize, I need a new mirror.

Please pray for my brother-in-law John, and hope he finds the first dollar he ever made and misplaced, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


The day before yesterday: I was invited to a picnic. The picnic was held at the Shoreham-Wading River ICF, the haven where my daughter lives. Thursday was a rainy day that suddenly became clear and dry, in time for the festivities. The clouds parted and everyone was relieved that it did so.

After lunch, I walked into my daughter’s wing, and was talking to parents and staff. I kept thinking about how great the staff is, and remembering my latest blogue. As I looked around, I noticed something on the wall. At first, I thought it a project a resident did with the staff’s help. Then I looked closer, and realized it was a memorial to Paul, a former and late resident. (See Sunday, May 24, 2009:

If you didn’t believe me when I state how wonderful the staff is at AHRC Suffolk, then look at the photo, and you see what I mean. It (The memorial) said a million words of love, in a simple tribute.

Please pray for my brother-in-law John, a man of few words, but a lot of unused money, and all those that need our prayers.

Friday, August 07, 2009


It seems that TLW (The Little Woman) is an avid reader. She buys books in the mail, the Doubleday Book Club, and she buys them in stores like Borders, and she evens gets some out of the library. Lately she has gone to borrowing them from her look-a-like buddy, Lois, or Toots II, from the Wanna-Be Bank and Trust Company!

I really don’t mind her reading: it keeps her from reading from a honey-do list. However, I am starting to worry about her! She is starting to read out loud! Yes, and to top it all off, she is now reading to me. This is not “Tuesdays With Morey” but: Thursday Mornings With What’s His Face!

As I watch the TV news in the morning, she is reading her books. Suddenly my hearing starts to go, I reach for my hearing aids, turning up the volume in a struggle to suddenly hear Matt Lauer. But I soon notice the volume scale is running down on the screen. I look over, and there she is, with the remote in one hand, the book in the other. Here it comes, or, hear it comes. Either way, I’m gonna get it.

She asks; “Do you want to hear something?”

I don’t get the chance to respond to that option, she immediately starts to read, afraid that I may not live long enough not to hear it.

She reads, lifts the volume and turns her page, shaking her head.

As I recover, the volume goes down once again. With faked eager anticipation, I look over and await her new words of the moment. Again, she is NOT reading from a honey-do list, so what the hell, let it rip!

There was a day when she was younger, when she brought a book to bed. She would read until she fell asleep, with someone getting murdered on the TV, where now she does all that in her chair in the den. Oh, they still are dying on the TV, but in the den. My fear is that she will revisit the bedtime reading, and suddenly, the volume will recede, and she will read to me in her sleep!

Please remember to pray for my brother-in-law, John, the Polish polka king, and all those that need our prayers.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I’ve been affiliated with AHRC Suffolk for over 20 years. A couple of years ago, they honored me with a lifetime membership award for my service to the agency. I’m not bragging, but amazed. I would think with all the great many board members we have: they would pick someone of substance! There are people that are past presidents of the board that have and still do contribute mightily. People who make a big contribution to the good of those we serve. There are committee members that help us oversee the workings of the agency, who bring in funds, who contribute ideas.

This year the agency recognized my 20 years of service, with a plaque, commemorating the event. O.K. I can see that, I guess ‘why not?’

I’m personally not big on recognizing volunteer work that I do. But, I guess to keep all interested: I do it so others will be encouraged to volunteer.

This week, they are publishing an article about me in their ‘Communicator, a newsletter for membership’ that asked a series of questions from a written interview. I answered them as best I could, explaining why I do these things for the agency. I feel strange doing it, and wished it didn’t happen, and now I am telling you! Why, because I want you to know about this place called AHRC, and all the places like it.

I want you to know about the people that service these agencies, or as I call them: “Havens”. These people live their lives like you and I do. Every day, with their own illnesses, worries about their own children, then go to work and do miracles. Yes, that is the word, ‘miracles’, they take the ordinary sadness of people like myself, and they manage the pain through their works, and I can sleep at night, and yes, even die, knowing that my daughter will live on in good care for the rest of her life!

Why would they salute someone like me? Why not salute the real people that make humanity good, by good works? Don’t you know what a burden is lifted from people’s shoulders who dedicate their lives for someone else. Have you ever studied the life of someone who is disabled, and cannot care for him or herself? Watch how they are confined to a wheel chair, or struggle to express themselves? See the confusion in their eyes, the dogged determination in their stance, and above all relief in their faces as someone lifts the burden. And who does that? The staff, the day treatment people, the administrator that manages a building or program, the clerk who fills out a form, or the social worker who helps manage a person’s life.

There is an event called: Staff Appreciation Day”, every April. It is a day that is dedicated to those that have been with the agency for increments of 5 years at a time. It is designed to honor those workers for their longevity and persistence. The problem is that staff themselves originated the day. I try to attend this event every year, to let them know how much I appreciate their service, and how much I love them all. I think that the parents and siblings of those the staff serves should organize the day. It should be a heartfelt ‘Thank you.’

I think the Communicator should be interviewing staff members. People that do the work, deal with feeding people who can’t master the art of chewing or digestion very well. They should ask the questions that need to be answered by staff that are so dedicated that they assist in toileting, a job that no one should have to do, yet they do it. Ask them how they come to be so dedicated, have a smile on their faces, and yet put up with cranky parents and siblings who think everything is coming to them.

Please remember my brother-in-law John, a closet opera singer, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Last week, I went to a lab for a blood analysis. As I entered the office, there sitting on a chair was a heavy set woman, maybe in her 50’s who was leaning on a cane as she sat. I didn’t say anything, but sign in and sit down. The technician or receptionist was busy with someone in the other room, so I was prepared to wait.

The receptionist came out and said: “Next?” and the woman, who was very shoddily dressed and in some kind of pain looked at me and said: “You go ahead. I have to wait until this afternoon for a ride, anyway.” It was 7:45 AM!

I thanked the lady, did what I had to do and sat down in the waiting room. As the heavy-set woman went into the other room to give blood for a test, The receptionist came out and said: “Oh! We’re done, you can go, we will send the results to the lab and they will forward it to your doctor.” I said thank you but wished to wait for the lady.

After about 5 minutes, the lady returned, limping back into the waiting room and sat down.

“Excuse me”, I said as I walked over to her. “Could you use a ride home?” I figured she would decline, and I would have eased my conscience.

The woman studied me for a while, a perfect stranger, and brightened up. “Why thank you, but I don’t want to put you out.” I said that I was retired, and unless she lived in New Jersey or further, she would not be putting me out. She asked if I was sure. I reassured her and we both left for my car, a small SUV, a Hundai, Sante Fe, and I opened the front door, pulled back the seat and leaned it back a little. After a struggle for her to get in, I asked her where she lived and she directed me to her home, maybe less than a 2-minute drive.

The woman had much difficulty in walking, and was in obvious pain. She explained to me she was a widow, living on a small widow’s pension, and probably should have called a cab. She said that with the cost of everything, she saved the cab fare and was willing to wait until about 4:30, when her daughter would return from work.

Her home was a small ranch, maybe two bedrooms, in a poor section of Ronkonkoma, and in need of repair. I helped her out and again she thanked me, as I got back into my car. As I drove off, I wondered why she trusted me. I wear a beard, not a very fancy car, and she seemed so vulnerable. I know I felt saddened that she had to sacrifice her time to save a buck, and I guess that bothered me, too.

It’s funny! You come from nothing, and get a little lucky. You see someone with nothing, and you re-live those hungry days! I knew that at that moment, I felt like my dad, it was something he would do. I could almost feel his presence in that car.

Please remember my Polish brother-in-law, John, a guy that needs our prayers, and thinks that God is Polish, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Was brought to you by SHORT FUZE® the heart of the DELBLOGGOLO

I know I was busy venting at the idiot yesterday, calling him names, in a childish manner, but that is because I couldn’t say the words that make this a family blogue.

The thing that sets me off is that at the tender age of 21, I almost lost my life due to some careless driving! I was injured with broken bones and glass embedded in my head. That is what a careless driver with a car can do to you. He or she can also kill you. The fact that TLW (The Little Woman) was next to me, really enraged me, and I have to say, I didn’t even let on that the maniac was behind me.

If you have a lesser opinion of me because of my tirade, rest assured that I took it all out on a blogue, not an individual. I feel better, and do not have any more resentment toward the individual. It IS good old-fashioned venting.

If TLW were injured in any way because of someone driving foolishly, I would have been in a rage with that person for his bad behavior, and probably would have gone to jail!

I do have a short fuse, but have learned to temper it with some calming logic, before flying off the handle. It comes with age and wisdom from the aging process. Please forgive my anger, but I am human, contrary to popular belief.

Please remember my brother-in-law John, the original ‘Bird Man’ of Sayville, (ask for a bird house and he will BUILD it!) and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Monday, August 03, 2009


The other day, I was driving home from East Marion, NY, with TLW (The Little Woman). Getting on Rte 25, this huckleberry comes up behind me in a black SUV that is too big for ordinary transportation on a Saturday evening.

The moron sped up behind me, as I was behind a long train of cars that were all doing the same speed on a one-lane road, in the middle of nowhere. The imbecile was hanging out of his window, and leaning forward as he trailed me very closely. Did he expect me to rise so he could get one car length closer to nowhere?

As we stopped for a traffic light, the jackass was looking to get along side of me so he could get ahead of me. I knew it was coming so I pulled more to my right so he couldn’t do anything stupid.

Now I’m an aggressive driver, in that I will move at least with the traffic and pass when I have to, and NEVER go slower than the moving traffic. Any ignoramus that thinks he’s going to intimidate me better think twice. I’ve driven in all kinds of traffic, and know how to handle stupid people on the road.

What is it with people that have these SUV’s that sit high off the ground? Do they really think they are entitled to get ahead of everyone else? Driving a gas-guzzler, causing accidents and looking dumb as they pay for all that gas; puzzles me.

The dumbass had to suffer the consequence of my not giving the idiot a break.

I’m not sorry for the way I described the scumbag.

Please remember my brother-in-law John, the patron saint of Riverhead, in Poland, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Every husband goes through it. Those magic moments when you find yourself in the midst of women in a woman’s clothing store. You follow her dutifully, hat in hand, sunglasses affixed firmly on the bridge of your nose, hoping to be incognito.

You silently follow, looking for a place to sit and wait it out, but sometimes there is no place to sit. Sometimes you have to wait it out standing behind a rack of dresses.

TLW (The Little Woman) silently checks each rack of dresses for color, price and size, not in that order. As she selects something, she looks at me and asks: “You think this will look good on me?” You freeze in your tracks. Your breathing stops and you can almost feel a heart attack coming on!

She picks up a black dress and says: “What do you think?”

“Black is the new black this year” you say earnestly. In a need to wrap things up you add: “You look good in it!”

Her: “Let me try it on then.”

You suddenly realize this means more time in the store, and want to say: “No you don’t, only fooling.” But you know you are a weasel and will not contradict yourself, in the hope of getting out soon.

Men are caddies, following their wives around the store, from rack to rack. The conversations becoming more confusing as you go from dress to dress.

Her: “It’s not dressy enough.”

Me: “But the invitation to the class reunion said business casual! Would you wear itto the Wanna-be Bank and Trust Company?”

Her: “Oh, I would never wear this to the bank, it is too dressy!”

Me: “Huh?”

Off she goes to the fitting room. You soon realize that the room is called that because once she goes in, you will start having your fit, as you watch extra large ladies in large varicose veins, muscular legs, which are squeezed tight by their tight short shorts, try to wiggle as they waddle out of the room! Husbands, wandering around the store, pocketbook in hand, and men, stand looking into the mirrors, full-length, making faces, checking eyebrows and thinking: “What will it cost me?”

She appears and you say:

“You look beautiful!”

“Do you stand in front of the mirror and practice what to say to make me feel good?”

Please remember my brother-in-law John, the golfer of Sayville (You must have heard the opera) and all those that need our hopes and prayers.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


The other evening, I was watching a program that featured a young high school student who played football for his school. I guess he had success. Unfortunately, he was injured in a freak accident that occurs all to often in football, he broke his neck at the fifth vertebrae!

The young man and his mother both appeared on the show, and the host inquired about their feelings about everything. The boy was in a brace, and except for the neck, was able to walk, and do everything anyone else could if they were healthy.

The host inquired as to how both the mother and boy felt about the injury.

The boy spoke first, saying he would never be able to play football again, then started to sob inaudibly, while the mother burst out and sobbed, reiterating what the boy said.

Help me here. I seemed to have lost something in the empathy department! If I were the parent of such a child, I would be jumping for joy, that the kid is


Maybe my sense of values is warped, but all he’s missing is football. Not his life or limb were harmed or sacrificed. I don’t mean to criticize, but does it make any sense, when you sneak past disaster, you celebrate, not sob?

I look at my brother-in-law, the Polish kid from Manhattan, and his problems, and I think: “Let’s celebrate that he is fighting. I see my daughter Ellen and the world she lives in, a world I cannot imagine being in, the lost dream we had for her, and I want to thank God, she is still with us. How can you equate football with life or limb?

I see the blind, the deaf, the mentally disabled and the mentally disturbed, all living their own hell, and football becomes just a mere diversion, not anything but.

As a teenager, if he loves football so much could dedicate his life to helping those who were crippled by the sport, or coaching kids in how to play it, or just finding another career that will pay dividends for society as a whole.

Maybe I’m just silly.

Please pray for my brother-in-law John, the Polish prince of golf, and all those that need our hopes and prayers.