Tuesday, July 31, 2018


I was watching the usual talking heads at the various channels about the current state of affairs in our political world and noticed something that seems to have crept up on me.  The voices and faces of the news-makers are changing, they are getting younger and more business-like in their reporting and observations. Whether you support the left or right, a new generation has appeared!

My wife agrees with me
Watching this morning there was Natasha Bertrand, the reporter for the Atlantic giving her report and views on the conditions of and fortunes of the current state in Washington D.C. Natasha should not be crossing the street by herself, and I worried that her mother has sent her out like that all alone!

She was dressed smartly, is very cute and even said stuff that I could understand and agree with, but good God almighty, should she be allowed to do this unsupervised.

I see male reporters as well, sharply cut hair, dressed to the nines and spewing out the kind of opinions that should be left to the old men to voice: not these pubescent young harmonium-charged preschoolers of Harvard and Yale.

But then whom am I kidding? I know that I am covertly a relic, and I am proud that I’m the only one who knows it. Everyone else mistakes me for a middle-aged up and coming man of the future.

The World is a changing, for the better, I guess, as the younger generation seems more peaceful, considerate and taking hold of the future like never before. I just wish to caution that the future must lie in the cell phones they are all peering into!

Sunday, July 29, 2018


Until 4 and a half years ago, I had to listen to people talk about grandchildren that I didn’t have. My peers would get all excited and mention their grandchildren and I couldn’t understand what the excitement was all about.

I could hold my own about medications, taking pride in the amount I was taking, both day and night, and of course the many doctors I had on my visitation lists.

Then one day the amazing thing happened that changed my life and made me very happy, my first grandchild. How could I dismiss this wonderful phenomenon, this joy to my old age? It was a miracle in the makeup of my every day!

But suddenly, there I am with 2 grandchildren! A granddaughter and a grandson! Bobby Courtney will carry on the name: he is the last link to my grandfather Joseph who came here from Italy so many years ago! In my family, I am the only DelBloggolo with an heir to keep the name going.

If you ever meet the little guy you will see a sweet, laid back individual with beautiful inquisitive eyes, around the handsome face and sweet disposition, that will be me, Bobbt Courtney will be twice as much.


Friday, July 27, 2018


It seems like it will never go away or dissipate. The stabbing back pain persists and is relentless making me want to scream.

Back pain can be very debilitating, causing one to be depressed and angry. I think sitting in a bad chair for posture for two weeks and coughing so much has caused me to strain my back so badly that it is very painful.

Going to the doctor he looks perplexed, uncertain as what it is. I wonder myself what it is. I hope it is not something more serious than a strain of muscles.

The doctor prescribe a medication that I can take three times a day as needed, so far it hasn’t helped. The heating pad just burns my skin, no help that I can feel.

So, what happens next? Catching the virus on the plane has really taken a toll on my life, the congestion, the coughing and now the back pain has taken over my life. I’m really hoping that I can recover in time to visit my grandchildren in October!

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Since the ordeal of the death of my daughter-in-law Courtney, I have been fighting a battle for my health as well. It seems I caught something on the way over to California when the events unfolded. All the following two weeks I had this terrible cough and a constant backache.

Flying home I went immediately to my doctor and he did an x-ray and decided I had pneumonia and wanted to try a medication first, and if that didn’t work the hospital was the last alternative.

After an x-ray, we retired to his office and he showed me an example of a good x-ray where the lungs are clear and mine. There was a big difference: mine looked like a white sheet with no gray coloration at all!

The doctor, prescribing a medication I went home and religiously took it as prescribed, all of it, it made a difference. However, the cough may be gone but the back pain has gotten worse. I can’t walk at times or climb or descend a staircase. When I sit down, the pain shoots up my spine. If I push in my stomach, the pain is felt.

July 27th I go see the doctor about it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


After days of countless times checking the internet at usps.com, I finally found the news that my little package to La Principessa was delivered to her. As you may know, already the package contained a locket with pictures of Courtney, Darby’s mom and a picture of Darby and her mom in heart-shaped frames within the locket.

I called my #1 Son Anthony and he informed me that Yes, the locket just arrived but he hadn’t opened it yet since he had just come home from food shopping with Darby, who wanted to start eating what they were buying in the store.

Darby is full of life, more life than anyone I know and that life kept me from breaking down a few times as she did for everyone else who spent the time of dealing first-hand with the circumstances that surrounded our all getting together in support of each other.

About an hour later I got an email from #1 Son:
‘She keeps walking around the house saying, “This is soooo special!”’

A special little girl getting something special, how right is that?
I hope she remembers me when I’m gone.

Monday, July 23, 2018


In the midst of the pain of the past month, I got to thinking about what transpired and how it is affecting my thoughts. With all the realizations that ensue with tragedies comes something positive. You wonder what can be positive about death, but there is, especially for me.

My son Anthony is now rebuilding his life and that of his daughter Darby while constructing a life for a newborn that will start out without a mother. Having lost his mother during his birth, Bobby will never know his mother except for little film clips and pictures and the stories that are told to him. Thankfully what he hears and sees will all be positive, especially coming from his dad.

As I mull over it all I realize that my son has become a hero to me, as well as his children. He is an amazing man who is a very good father and the kids are really lucky to have him. He is brave and he is smart, and as his friend wrote about him he will “be as brave as you are kind”, who could say or wish him more?

It shows me that he can reach down and find strength for others so that they can go on with their lives, as will Darby Shea and Robert Courtney.

Then there is my daughter, a woman with severe disabilities that has courage and strength. When she broke her leg a few years ago, it didn’t break her spirit and never really slowed her down. Today, she is as happy as ever, strong as ever, and loving, for me that is a role model.

Friday, July 20, 2018


Recently I wrote about my beautiful granddaughter wanting a small picture of her mom that she could carry so mommy would be everywhere Darby went. This idea was La Principessa’s and it struck a chord.

I came up with the idea of getting Darby a locket for her to wear with her mom’s picture in it. So out to Macy’s, I went to find a locket, it had to be heart shaped and beautiful like Darby Shea.

Finding a locket was fun and easy. Even paying for it was easy, but getting a picture that would fit into a heart shape and as small as it would need to be was the hard part. I have hundreds of pictures, so choosing was hard, and then I needed to reduce the photo and conform to the contours of the tiny heart shape, a major undertaking!

As I looked and worked and thought about how to conform to the size and shape, I found a cutout of the heart in the locket, which I scanned and called into Photoshop, then pasted in the picture after I reduced it to fit.

So I go on my happy way as the locket has been mailed to Darby Shea, I hope she likes it and it reminds her of her mother. I also hope that when she wears it she will remember me when I’m gone too.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Some people dream of great things, some people stay awake and do them. Me, I’m afraid to open my eyes in the morning because of the world and national news and who makes that news.

It has been over 18 months with the current administration; it has also been over 18 months of confusion, angst, and major changes to the world order and the core of all this emanates from one man.

But this is not to condemn or agree with the President on his policies. Some I can agree with and some I don’t. What I am seeing is the reason why we as a nation are so divided, and that is the press.

If you go to MSNBC, they are quick to jump on any negative news either conceived or real. Theories are advanced as to why things are so horrible because of Trump.

Advance the channel selector to FOX News and it is the same thing in reverse. They blindly defend the administration and don’t go to the unpopular areas that are important,
Everyone-that it matters to.

My opinion about the President is not relevant to the fairness if the free press only privately in a voting booth.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


It’s been a month since my family found itself trapped in a horrible tragedy laced with the unbelievable reality and heartbroken awareness that although as adults we suffer, my grandchildren will pay for the rest of their lives.

One month ago today, we mourned the death of a beautiful woman who was not only a great wife that made my son happy but a most amazing mother who raised an incredible little girl. In this horror came some respite, the birth of a beautiful son who will be very much normal and will grow intellectually as well as physically.

Few of us can walk this Earth and say we knew her. Few can say they had the pleasure of witnessing her artistic and cultural presence. Few of us ill witness the love she had for her little Darby, 4-years old filled with life like her Mamma.

So I will accept what is impossible to accept and rejoice in the birth of a beautiful child, my grandchild, that once again Courtney delivered as was not surprising.

Way back in 2014, when Darby was to be ‘Christened” There were two Christening outfits. My Mom had just passed in June and I was somewhat down. My wife Ellen provided a Christening dress that was worn by my son Mike. This outfit was from the talents of my mother, hand-knitted and rather beautiful. There was a second outfit that was beautiful also given by a great aunt of Darby. Up to the moments before we were to go out to the altar, in my heart I hoped that Courtney would choose Moms. I waited and hoped and sure enough, she chose Moms. Little Darby was Christened in Mom’s outfit, something I have never forgotten, and as we walked out to the altar, I kissed Courtney in deep gratitude, it brought some meaning to the day for me beyond the rituals that were playing out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


If grandma had taken better care of herself, she would have been 121 years old this past January! But no, she ate whatever she wanted, drank anything she wanted, and worked long hard hours. She passed at 97, much too young to go. Her idea of a vacation was a pilgrimage to Italy, to support an orphanage she created for children who lost their parents during the war and so a Church named the orphanage after her, other times she organizes bus trips to upstate New York for those very same kinds of children.

She, like all the Italian grandmas in Brooklyn: wore black. This was very unsettling for grandpa, and so he always avoided naps while she as around.

Grandma ran the house, the family and my grandpa like a prized stallion; he always was doing something because of her orders. Every little creak was attended to, the house was in tip-top shape and it was almost a religious experience for grandpa.

On Sunday, he would sneak out to the Republican Club next door for a Napoli cigar, and a demitasse, while holding his own in a pinochle game and some rest or respite from grandma. This, of course, irritated grandma who wanted him attending Mass on Sunday. The Sunday ritual was after Mass at Our Lady of Loreto, grandma would cook her sauce for the dinner or should I say feast that would follow about one or two o’clock that afternoon. On her gas stove stood a pot that could hide a fat man over 6 feet tall. Her kitchen was the size of Texas and everything was done in it, cooking, sewing, yelling and eating, plus laundry and paying the bills. She ran a self-sustaining farm with every kind of vegetable and spice she could fit in it, the ground lovingly nurtured by grandpa, down to the marbles he had scattered for some reason. With all those marbles, he never lost one!

In the garden stood a fig tree one that was wrapped in the winter in linoleum carpets, and grapevines that overhung the cement patio. Figs were a big part of the diet, you ate them with a glass of wine, and they were sweet and delicious, and inviting when I looked at them. The grapes were sour white grapes that would eventually turn red and sweet, for his homemade wine. In his cellar he pressed them and then after a while, everything was bottled including, pretty much, Grandpa!

Grandma did have one habit that stuck with the whole family. On Saturday night, she would cook up a steak. As I grew up in Brooklyn, a steak was the meal for Saturday nights, as it is in my house every Saturday night. But grandma’s steaks were special, nothing fancy but they were cooked over an open flame on an old gas stove in her basement. The smell was just so tempting, so delicious and so darn good. When mom sent me off to the confession of Saturday afternoon to lie to the priest, I would be getting hungry knowing that a steak was in my future in an hour or so, cooked on an open flame, just like grandma.

Grandma never smoked and had her daughters and nieces hiding from her so they could puff away, but in the end, she didn’t care if you smoked, after all, it was another nail in your coffin.

It was hard to say goodbye. Grandma would see to it that everyone had a private audience. Saying goodbye meant that you would receive special attention as you tried your darnedest to get out of the house. There was a long whispered conversation, filled with expressions that told stories you couldn’t understand, hand gestures that punctuated the thoughts and little children, standing next to their mothers fighting off sleep. Husbands would be yelling at their wives to get going they had to work in the morning. Gossip was saved for the end.

In grandma’s cupboard in her kitchen was a collection of wedding favors, all wrapped with sugarcoated almonds in a lace material that was distributed at Easter Sunday dinners for a small snack before serving the nuts and pastries. Life was good and so were the pastries. Grandma must have attended at least one wedding a week because she knew so many people, people she sponsored or financially helped, people who needed favors and she went out and get it done for them, people who needed her and she needed to have them need her.

Grandma was a big deal in the church. She made the pilgrimages for orphans but also for the special needs of the church, building funds, repair funds, dances and whatever Jesus called her to do.

And so her grandson writes about her, thinks of her bravery as a 15-year-old girl who couldn’t speak English and yet owned a fruit and vegetable store, a restaurant and apartment houses, and wonders: was that the American dream? I love you, Grandma, you still make me proud.

Monday, July 16, 2018


Looking back on how we raised our children as they grew into adulthood and how I was raised, there are some concerns. First of all: Mom did all the raising, yelling and wooden spooning, she was very adept at placing it on my head with various degrees of precision and success. One might suspect it was child abuse, but actually, it was love she was placing where it should be felt and remembered.

At the tender age of six I began my career as an errant child, always plotting and looking for ways to get away with things I found disagreeable like first grade and church, kissing aunts that squeezed my cheeks when I saw them, some biting my cheeks and of course uncles with smelly cigars that had the aromatics of a dead horse. 

Rules were strictly adhered to once I found out that I was paying a price for breaking them. Mom moved silently, like a shark under water, only to disrupt my karma and the sweet smell of temporary success as she suddenly appeared from the deep and down I went!

The church was not a playland under any circumstances and to violate that rule was double the pain. This was God’s house! You don’t mess with God. Jesus died on the wooden cross. I too was going to die from something wooden.

The instigation of hi-jinks against a sister, the retribution for acts of ratting me out and all other acts considered high crimes and misdemeanors were all met swiftly with reprisals, sometimes the wooden spoon hurt more than usual since it was just used for stirring the pasta in the hot water!

Every morning before school she would hand me my lunch in a lunch box with Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans on it. (I was in love with Dale and wished the bad guys would finally get Roy so I could make my move.) As the lunch goods were transferred to my possession it came with a stern warning: “If I find out that the teacher had to discipline you, when you come home you will get the rest!”

Mom had a special place in her heart for me. Actually, she had two special places, one being her heart as her child (however unbearable that might have been) and one in the corner where I spent a lot of my time.

Her teaching tool was her wooden spoon being Italian it was a utilitarian bonanza, ‘cook’ and ‘discipline’, how great was that. I swear she had a strike counter each time it was applied to my head. After so many strikes she would replace it. We weren’t rich, Mom had no special jewelry until later years, but she did have that one prized possession, her wooden spoon. As I would walk into the house and announce: “MOM, I’M HOME!” she would wave it as an acknowledgment of my greeting and subtle meaning: ‘don’t destroy my mood. I, on the other hand, knew that I had to stay outside of her arm range. Often the times we would race around the dining room table, me running and waiting for the first whack and her with her ever menacing spoon looming mere inches close to my cranial cavity, empty as it was. If I felt particularly robust that day and caught Mom off her game, I would take pity and we would stop, sit on the chairs and when she was catching her breath I would ask, ”You ready again, Mom?” Somehow I like to think I was being considerate. She reached the age or retirement once I married, where she gave me the spoon and I painted it gold and she named it: “GENTLE PERSUASION”

Sunday, July 15, 2018


A board meeting
I just finished my second term of 3-years as President of the Board of Directors. Suffolk chapter AHRC is a $73 million agency that helps give meaning to the lives of people with physical and mental disabilities.

In my first term there were some major issues that needed a decision and in my second term, the same thing happened.

It can be a thankless job, it requires the ability to upset the status quo and deliver decisions that might run contrary to popular beliefs. People judge without the full understanding of why you do something and you need to keep your cool and lay it out for them. In spite of all that it is the greatest privilege to serve this population and to this day I still serve them.

Installation of the board's new term
I also served on the statewide board, as a Board of Governor’s, the ARC of NYS, which is comprised of some 49 or so other chapters from the balance of counties in the state. It required going to conventions to Albany twice a year and many regional meetings in upstate NYS.

Since I divested myself of the state board I can feel a little better about my time, the idea of the traveling and meetings were burning me out, and so I decided to let someone else do it. Over 25-years of one thing can be enough.

Fred Salzburg, one of the best
I made a lot of friends on that board, have personally accomplished things I am proud of and as the president made one decision I am most proud of. The same people over and over again through the years have run the board, leaving out people that could of and should have contributed more of their time and energy, let alone their brain power. These are people dedicated and helpful who were shut out. This was not deliberate, just the culture of what we learned to accept. That one decision was to appoint a search committee to find a new CEO for our agency since the present one is retiring at the end of the year.

New people deciding the future is exciting, new people who are younger and have energy will bring it all to the table. The old school I am sure thinks this is a risk! I have every confidence it isn’t. On the state board, again we are sending two representatives to Albany to infuse new thinking, representation, and vigor.

I got an email recently announcing the next regional meeting and feel good that I am not going, a load lifted!

Saturday, July 14, 2018


Many years ago there was this little old man. He was not older than 4-years and not taller than my kneecaps. He could talk up a storm and had the logic of a sage. He was always correcting his old man and was probably more mature too.

When life was really good
He took on the weight of the world and had the guts to deal with it, being his older sister had special needs. He seemed to be protective of her and when he wasn’t busy correcting me, protecting his sister and making statements that I needed a grownup to interpret for me, he was reading the Kings and Queens of England


Sometimes I would walk into my house if I weren’t bombed with water first, and get jumped on from the kitchen counter as he waited for me, or on the back sill of a 62 Chevy Impala as he hid from me in the open at the railroad station as I got into the car with TLW waiting to drive me home. “Where is Anthony?” I’d ask as he giggled, thinking I didn’t see him.

Little Bobby D

There was the time when as a little kid, maybe 3 we sat at the dinner table, and his sister with special needs was in a bad humor that night. She was so bad I decided that I would take her away from the table and try to calm her down. Well, the little old man jumps up as I went to get my daughter and stood between us, raised his little hand and said: “Daddy, don’t!” He thought I was going to hit her, but I wasn’t. I went off to the bedroom by myself and cried for the first time in many years, realizing he was taking on this burden.

Being it was winter did not keep him from reminding me that spring training was just 90 days or so away, glove and baseball ready to play, even though he was wearing a winter coat and digesting the last of his Thanksgiving dinner!

His first song was Meet the Mets, and all of Mitch Miller's favorites came right after that. Baseball, baseball, baseball was all it took for him to give you his full attention, yet he could read, reason and do math with the ease of any 50-year-old intellect.
With his namesake
He has done what I always wanted to do, live on Madison Avenue in NYC, or live in Southern California, a dream come true for me, but his reality. If there was anyone I would want to live my dreams, it’s Anthony and he deserves it all.

Now he is in a new phase of his life as he leads his children to adulthood. The tragedy that has befallen him in the lost of his beautiful wife and outstanding mother will not hold him down. He has an amazing spirit and the guts to face the future.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Some days it is hard to feel good again. Like a bronchial congestion, I had while in California. The congestion starts out all of a sudden and slowly, very slowly it builds up.
One day at a time the suggestions are, and although that is true, it is taking a very long time to go away.

I will look at a whole list of things I need to do since I got back, and can’t do them with any enthusiasm or willingness. I have terrible back-pain I managed to get while in California and it still bothers me. The doctor thinks like I do except he gets the benefit of co-pay that a cough developed and caused a backache.

I try watching TV but seem to drift away from what is going on. TLW (The Little Woman) will tell me something and get upset because I should know what she is talking about and don’t! (Could be another co-pay down the road!)

Sometimes my mind thinks of something funny and other times there are tears and anger, questioning why and if there really is a God. I hear a lot of stuff about a loving God, how can that be?

I want to be in a void, completely have my memory erased and sleep it all off until the reaper comes to collect.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Right before my daughter-in-law’s funeral, my son Anthony told his little girl, my granddaughter, Darby Shea, that they were going to the movies. I think he needed time to get away from the reality of life and take his little girl with him.

Darby is a beautiful little girl, one who for her age of 4-years old has much compassion. She is highly intelligent and knows how to work the room and sway me that life will be best if I become her willing slave. These past weeks she has manipulated me into giving her anything she wanted, from playing her ogre to lending her my I-pad.

“Grandpa, let’s play you are the nasty monster and I am the sweet little girl you are chasing.”

What this means is I have to chase her with my bad back and make growling sounds as we run about the house while she screams merrily.

To get back to the movies, this was roughly the conversation:

#1 Son: “Come on Darby, let’s go to the movies!”

Darby: “Mommies coming!”

#1 Son: “No Darby, Mommy isn’t coming. Why do you say that?”

Darby: Pressing her little hand against her heart, “Because I will carry her in my heart and wherever I go she will go!”

Ten in the car as my wife and son drove her to school she shouted out”

“I have a great idea! Let’s get a tiny, tiny picture of Mommy so she will be with me everywhere I go.”

I’ve decided to get her something that will fulfill that idea, a little locket with her mother’s picture in it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


There is a saying in my house: “When does the next shoe drop?” When does something terrible occur?

My wife and I started our life together with large hopes, dreams that were not greedy or were we crazed for money. We wanted some children, a house, and a car, maybe a bar-b-q and a house party. We wanted to sit in the evenings and just chat or watch TV, share a snack or even a cocktail. It isn’t much to ask for and the treasures of health were so inviting, as we hoped to grow older together.

My favorite phrase that I repeated to TLW often was: “Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”

But life is not a predictable event, there are hopes but not the kind you want, the kind that brings joy, or laughter. Our hopes are always to avoid a catastrophe, a calamity or more bad news.

They say that God gives you only what you can handle. If so, God lost my personal profile a long time ago.

The first time I met my daughter Ellen was by chance. I had my first professional job as a designer and got the call at the office to go to the hospital at Bay Shore. My first meeting with my newborn daughter was as I stood in an elevator as the elevator doors opened, Ellen was in an incubator across the hall being moved out to another floor. It seemed the procedure went pretty normally, or so we thought. It wasn’t long before we got the news that she was not developing like she should, that she was a little slow in some developmental areas for a child her age. She had brain damage. Just like that, we were straddled with a child with developmental problems! They would play into problems raising another infant a year later!

After my son, Anthony was born and we had a healthy baby boy, we decided about six years later to have another, another boy to help Anthony fill his days as a big brother. His name was Joseph. He was a beautiful baby and kind of resembled me a little. Coming from a home with four sisters two sons was the greatest feeling in the world! Two sons! It didn’t last two years as he contacted issues that took his life at 21 months.

Mental depression is a horrible thing that affects not only your personality, and your confidence and robs you of all happiness. It takes away your life. Both my sons had one.

In 2007 I flew out to Los Angeles to be with my oldest son and begin to see what his depression was doing to him. But he had a tremendous support of core friends such as Laura and Justin, Jason and Pete the Teacher and Minnesota Pete. His old friend Steve the one who convinced him to go out to California and his beautiful wife Christina offered my wife and me help and made the burden and fears less, God bless them all! They were where goodness comes from the Earth, where when you are falling their hands stop you from crashing into the ground.

In the recent sadness we suffered, there they were, once again, all of them, not only their faces but, their hearts!

Now I worry about my son as I do my other son, thankful for the fact that they are both alive. I don’t understand how a newborn baby can come into the world on his birthday, the same day his mother dies. And for my granddaughter, how do you protect her from the pain that she has lost her best friend in life at only four years of age? Gradually we will survive until we no longer live.

But the octopus has many shoes to drop, but nothing like we have.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


When tragedy strikes, it sometimes takes various degrees of realization and different times to adjust. Dealing it with as it unfolds keeps you in a tension so filled with sorrow and regret, along with a good healthy dose of anger.

Once we left our son reluctantly we arrived home to sort out the different feelings and try to make sense of it. It seems to take a long time to do so. The shock and cold wave of revulsion over what happened leaves you in a sort of state of suspended animation.

As I go through my day, I feel like I am watching my life as if it was on TV, detached from the reality of life itself and the constant downer as I think of my son and grandchildren. Being born or having her taken away from you at a young age without a mother pains me for them. Losing your spouse when you need her most to deal with the heartache compiles on my depression and forces me into a gloom that has settled in.

I am trying to do normal things again yet have no enthusiasm for it. The agency sends me reports that I haven’t opened yet, chores that seem so unimportant and bothersome make me disagreeable. If it weren’t for my friends and family there would be a disappearance of spirit and soul.

I know I need to go on, I realize people are waiting in the wings for me to come back, leaving me plenty of space to do so but they need to move on as well but take in consideration my state of being.

I will try not to write about this anymore and hope there comes a time when I feel comfortable once more.

Monday, July 09, 2018


Today is TLW's (The Little Woman’s) birthday!


Recently we rented a car while in California. It was a nice SUV and drove well. We took it all over and it was comfortable. When we rented it, I went with the rental agent over the body of the car and noted together every nick and indentation or scratch we could find.

When I parked, I tried to park away from other cars so as not to get dings or scratches, nothing like saving money on a rental.

Then one afternoon, we went to visit the baby in the hospital. In Burbank, they have parking garages since parking is scarce. I saw my space after driving around the parking garage. A parking space was next to a pole and tight. I pull in and sure enough scratch the side of the side-view mirror.

What to do? The birthday girl has an idea! When we get to Anthony’s after dinner get a black Sharpie and retouch out the scratch. A brilliant Idea! Also practical AND dishonest! What could be better?

I get the Sharpie and go to work, carefully layering one coat after another, actually matching the rest of the mirror’s black field where the scratch stands out. As I do so I keep seeing my mother in front of my eyes, and an uneasy feeling in the back of my mind!

I’m finished it looks perfect as the Sharpie matches the black exactly as does the sheen. All I have to do is get it by the agent and we run like Hell.

At 4:30 in the AM we deliver the car in Burbank and hold our breaths. The agent never comes out until we are leaving and calls out to us. “Oh, Sir!” Uh Oh! We are dead! Instead, he points us to the elevator to get down to the airport. He helped us escape! I didn’t rest until we got on the plane and it took off!

Sunday, July 08, 2018


The flight from California is long, over five hours of flight time and taxiing on the tamarack seemed even longer at JFK International Airport.

Sluggishly we dragged our selves from the aircraft, headed to the baggage claim area to get our suitcases and headed out to the street where the Air Park shuttle would pick us up. We were in no mood to wait for anything any longer. Fortunately, our shuttle to the parking garage where we deposited our car before heading out to California arrived fairly quickly. TLW (The Little Woman) headed on the shuttle bus and sat on the front row of passenger seats, adjacent to the folding doors to the shuttle.

The driver was a nice fellow who eagerly took our bags and off we went, except he had to make a few stops at other airline terminals before we headed to the garage and our car.

Immediately TLW leaned toward me and whispered in my ear that we needed to get to the counter at the garage first or we would be waiting on a long line of customers.

We developed a plan.

As the shuttle pulled into the parking lot of the parking garage, I would stand before the shuttle stopped and block the aisle before anyone got up to race to the counter to check out! TLW would immediately get off the shuttle and race into the office and I would then get the bags from the back of the shuttle.

Pulling into the garage, there is this big burly guy sitting in the seat next to us across the aisle, as the shuttle drew near the garage as we swung into the parking area! I was on my feet blocking everyone else as my 70 something-year-old wife and co-conspirator jumped up and as the doors opened ran into the office, first in line.
It was our first caper as such in all the years of our marriage, 47 by my count. I would have high fived her except it wouldn’t look good for two seventy-something year-olds acting so strangely, let alone so young.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Dear Readers!

Thank you so much for all the good wishes as I get older. Your wishes came at a time and reminded me that Facebook can be a great place to hang out. I hope I thanked everyone and if you didn't get a 'Thank You' please forgive me and know I do thank you. My birthday was capped off with a Facetime visit with La Principessa, my grandson in IL Capo my beautiful grandchildren, and a great dinner with my beautiful wife.

It is always special when someone says: "Happy Birthday" to me, it means you wish me well, and I love you all for that.

This birthday was a little different, however. There was no mood to celebrate and no real joy in it because of obvious reasons. Yet even that you acknowledged and respected, with your understanding hearts and all your prayers for my family, and that might be the greatest gift I ever receive.

With a heart filled with both love for you and pain for my family, thank you from the bottom of that heart.

Friday, July 06, 2018


Looking back over the years as a young man many were the times that Mom and Dad were there for me. As I aged and married they seemed more important to me than ever before. I can remember visiting them when Dad finally retired and I would see him in his flannel shirt, so comfortable in his retirement and enjoy his life with Mom as she made him something to eat that said: “I love you, too!”

The feelings seem to me to stick in my heart and soul and have lived on forever. The is a great song sung by Kenny Rodgers that shares to some degree that sentiment called the Green, Green, Grass of Home.

Many times like that train that Kenny Rodgers steps down from, his mamma and papa are waiting for him, just as mine did so long ago. There was a certain comfort that emanated from the view as they looked out the car window waiting for me. Unlike our hero in the song, I never hung from that old oak, but have lived in the shadow of despair all too often.

Recently, a tragedy befell my family, a great one, one that will live with me forever until my dying day. Its horror so complete and the worst part is it affected my son. It is his tragedy but it is mine too. He lost a wife, his children lost a mother and I watched my once child, a grown man and father walk in pain from grief. But there is a realization there I overlooked, that being the ‘green, green, grass of home’. What was that home, it was the amazing and overwhelming pouring of support and love, just like mamma and papa, as friends, relatives, and parents helped him with his burden, just like mamma and papa?

We came as soon as we could, we gave him all we had and he knows that love is something that we don’t discuss, we just do, just like all the amazing support he got from his friends and family, they just did it because they wanted to and know the healing powers of love.



Thursday, July 05, 2018


Dear Friends ,

I cannot begin to tell you all that the public support you have given us is humbling, overwhelming, and truly appreciated. Thank you all in these dark times helping us get up from a knockout blow to go on fighting.

We are no stranger to adversity, tragedy, or the mental and emotional agony that attends the horrific times. There are no yardsticks to measure it, no thermometers to regulate it, it comes when it wants and never leaves. My family has always held together and will from this day forward. We know there is support when it is needed and we learn from it to support others in their times of tragedies, it’s the human spirit that takes over.

It is curious why these things happen, I know they can be punishing and turbulent in their mass, but also rearming in their result, for hope never dies we all put forward one step at a time and collectively move on with helping support and belief that tomorrow will be a better day, it always is.

In one hundred years from now, few in this world will know of Courtney, but she will be a legend to her children and grandchildren, and Anthony will be remembered as the super grandpa he will be, with strength and dignity that he will instill in his following blood-line, this I assure you.

As we awaken from the cold dark night and step into the sunshine once again, let’s celebrate a remarkable lady that gave the world so much of value; her heart, her inner beauty, and soul, and most of all her children.

As for me, I will relish in the fact that such a wonderful woman as Courtney was part of my family, something no one else can say, and even for a short while I knew her, she will visit my heart every day as I long as I live.

Thank you, all.