Wednesday, October 31, 2018


The pulse of American people has always been one of benevolence and understanding. We, as a nation have always given of ourselves freely, be it our treasury or our sons and daughters. We don’t flinch in the eyes of tyranny or terrorism.

Over the years of American history, America has always met her challenges and met her obligations. We are leaders still in the Free World and people and nations look toward us for comfort, protection, and reassurance.

Recently, a minority of 2% of the American population was attacked in a Pittsburg Temple of God, God’s house of prayer and all the innocent eleven people who died were innocent of any wrongdoing. Their hearts and souls were committed to God, your God, and mine. Who among us on this Earth can determine who should be allowed to live and who should not? The encouragement of division, the ugliness of hate and ignorance about people is why there are problems in this world. The reasons for our own personal failures must be visited on others or how could we live with our selves and within our souls. Blacks, Hispanics, and Jewish people are the targets, just as they were in the past.

But we need to change all that, we need to understand that people are people no matter what they look like, who they do or do not pray to. We need to know that we all love and live, that we all die, that we all need each other I this world of change and challenge. As a species, we need to shed our ugly past and start accepting those different than us as equals.

If you pull your head out of the sand and look around, you will see blacks, Hispanics and women who have great ideas, are doctors, lawyers, and leaders. They are leaders because of their minds and passions because they believe in themselves, and the American dream.

Today’s leadership in Washington D.C., the people in the White House in particular, but Congress too, leaves a lot to be desired. There are policies that are more spiteful than helpful, more retaliatory than conciliatorily, more divisive than cohesive.

Today, the talk is to render the freedom of press disabled, useless and untrustworthy. No longer do we live in peace, there are pipe bombers, murders of faithful, mass shooters of children and proponents of mayhem with guns and bombs. The phantom belief of the Second Amendment, the idea of a new Nationalism becoming the norm, attempting to obstruct justice are all by-products of the new wave of hate, ignorance, and disregard of our fellow Americans.

And our children, where are we leading them, what are we teaching them, and sadly, why are we abusing them? Our clergy has deceived us; we have no regard for their safety and need teenagers to point out the insanity of it all.

The problems lay on our shoulders; we have elected bad leadership with bad choices, allowed our base attitudes to take over.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


Nothing like a long time away from home and then returning. As you enter your home, your favorite room, and chair, everything seems so welcoming. The house lay untouched except for the compilation of dust and greets you welcomingly with a welcome quiet.

My poor daughter who broke her hip and had a hip replacement over 8 weeks ago is returning home from rehab. She is incapable of speaking and doesn’t realize the seriousness of her injury or the time and practice it will take for her to fully recover. She is angry, depressed and homesick, angry at everyone in the rehab as they tried their best to rehabilitate the hip ball.

Tomorrow I will go to a meeting as her guardian and arrange for her release from the rehab along with the help of her agency and insurance company. It will be great to see her when she arrives home, and I will be there for that also.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


A few months ago I went to the doctor with a backache that I got when my daughter-in-law passed after giving birth to my grandson Robert. I thought the backache might be from pneumonia I had, then someone suggested that it might be from the stress, no matter what the cause was, I needed to take care of it.

Off I went to see my GP who made a referral to a neurosurgeon. I made an appointment in July for A.S.A.P. but they scheduled it for October 26th at the soonest. Then they called and asked if I would come in sooner in August, which I did.

Come October 26th and I get a call from the neurosurgeon reminding me to come in on the 28th. I’m confused and so, I get in my car and drive to the doctor’s office with some questions.

Behind the front desk, protected by a glass partition sits Little Miss Know It All, a young woman with a ‘tude’. I don’t like people with tudes, because I get one too then. I explain to her that the date is no longer necessary, I shouldn’t come in.

“Oh, no, you have to come in”. She asks me my name twice then my birthday twice. I must be worth remembering. I explain the date was pushed up to August, but no, her computer tells her I need to come in for a consult. I try to explain once more and now draw a crowd of hired morons who are just as stupid and dense as Miss Tude. I say OK I’ll come in but they better have something to tell me. They take a condescending attitude I almost lose it, as Miss Tude lies I yelled at her. Poor baby, I made sure not to get mad so I could converse and break through to these Morons simple minds.

So, the day I am scheduled to go to the doctor, I get a call. Guess who calls, stupid from the office of the doctor explaining that they were indeed wrong! I was very nice about.

Those Morons!

Friday, October 26, 2018


Over the course of the past few years, I have been accused of watching either too much Fox or too much MSNBC. I take pride in that since I don’t support either. My idea of a balance well-run government is to have a Republican party in one house of Congress and a Democratic party controls the other.

In the seat of the Presidency should sit an Independent, who can weight both sides of the arguments and work accordingly.

The party name, are labels that we refine with words like ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ a tribal inference to future refine beliefs as to which way their own party should lean.

Hitler ran a political campaign that stated: “Make Germany Great” and frankly it sounds familiar. So does the constant rhetoric of the left-leaning press and the need to jump on everything said by POTUS.

But to attack the press from the highest seat in the land is not making America great, it is sowing fear and discord and undermining the values that the forefathers established so well way back in the 18th Century.

Running any organization is difficult, as major CEO’s will testify too, to seek out parts of an organization to control it will lead to discord and then violence, depending on which point of view you wish to take.

Things are coming to a head come to the election for mid-term seats in Congress, we need to find ourselves and redefine who we are, or God helps us all!

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers
Many years ago while still a young man growing up in Brooklyn, the city of New York was blessed with three major league baseball teams, the New York Giants who played in the Polo Grounds, The New York Yankees who played in Yankee Stadium, and the center of my world, the Brooklyn Dodgers who played on the sacred grounds of Ebbet’s Field. Every fall, one of the two teams seemed to be playing in the World Series.

As I would walk home from school around 3:15 in the afternoon, I would pass the different apartments and hear the game from the number of transistor radios that were playing on the warm sunny afternoons. You looked at the person with the radio next to his ear he would volunteer the score and situation. “Dodgers are losen, Reese is at bat and it’s da bottom of da ninth.” The news would leave me hoping that ‘Pee Wee’ Reese would come through and a rally would bring my Dodgers home with a win.

But whether they won or lost the World Series was exciting. The games were played like a sport where no one was overpaid, pampered or owning endorsements that made them rich. The players lived in the neighborhood, were close to fans as neighbors and friends. They worked on the off-season in such jobs as butcher, stock man or on a garbage truck. They didn’t make a whole lot in that off-season as they didn't during the season.

Most importantly, the kids could hear and watch the games, then do their homework and talk about the game the next day by what they saw or heard. Today, the networks accommodate the sponsors and the West Coast, leaving the vast majority of children not watching the most exciting time called the World Series for baseball.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


but, probably not.

Sunday afternoon TLW (The Little Woman) and I ventured across the Island to Port Washington and an old hangout called Louie’s. The reason for this trip was to reunite with old comrades from my old workplace from 19 years ago.

Susan Alberto-Diane Bissotti-Lorrain Auffort-TLW-Whatz-his face-Anthony Funari-Mike Carrozzo and Kevin Walsh
It was an afternoon of drinks and jokes, remembrances and re-acquaintances from so long ago. Many of the faces haven’t changed or their voices and remain as they once did so many pleasant years ago.

Interestingly, we discussed many things and the many times adding little bits of info that we fed into the story and made for complete memories, reinforcing what we remembered. Everyone has something that was particular to the story.

The guests arrived one at a time and it is at a piazza or mall s one instrument after another slowly gathers and joins the chorus to complete the music.

Susan and Chris Nellen
There was Kevin Walsh famous author of ‘FORGOTTEN NY’ who took us all outside to view the lampposts or lack of and pointed out all the forgotten memories we have of Port Washington. There was Susan Alberto who made us drop and give her 20, demonstrating that black is the new black and of course there was Chris Nellen (aka The Mushroom Man) with his presence as things mushroomed to even greater heights. One of my favorite people who worked in traffic and was responsible for the reunion when she suggested we have one was Lorrain Auffort, the lady with her constant smile, and pleasant memories.

No such reunion could be complete without the famous PRIZE PATROL complete with jacket patch from Anthony Funari (nice touch Anthony) and everybody’s favorite: Michael Carrozzo, the new Sam Schwartz who enlivened the event with his quick pace and detail to storylines he remembers.

Ron Travisani & TLW
The afternoon went to the lovely Dianne Bissotti who organized the get-together and her handsome husband Ron, who although never worked with us was so much part of things that it was the success it was. Then there was the lovely TLW sat among old friends who she didn’t know and like Ron was very much involved like she always is when I go to reunions.

It was a success with a handful of people and another is planned for December.

We are all winners from the experience.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


That funny line was delivered with a great pause from Morticia Addams of the Adams family renown. After that pause, the entire audience of Theatre Three broke out in laughter.

Had a great Saturday night with some old friends as we dined at Ruvo’s Italian restaurant in Port Jefferson and immediately afterward headed off to Theatre Three to truly enjoy every moment of the production The Addams Family.

As in all my journeys across this great landscape, we call Earth, there are some hitches however careful I think I am. The night started with my parking my Toyota in a metered parking lot. The meter was very uncooperative and indifferent to my pleas. It is designed to have you pay money, then lose it as you have to start all over again, only to involve a younger couple (We are old and unversed in the wiles of electronics and all things mechanical. Turns out so were they!

Watching a local play to me is more fun than seeing one on Broadway, mainly because you avoid the traffic and fumes of the city that never sleeps. The dinners seem a lot cheaper too in the wilds of Port Jefferson and the ‘Port’ offers just as much variety as NYC in terms of food choices.

But I am missing the point of this scribbling and meandering, the actors although amateur is very passionate and entertaining and dare I say very good? I already did!

I would shout out their names and you would not know them so why bother? Better still, go see this play right away, take your spouse, significant other and/or fooling around partner and go see it. In fact, go see it with all three; after all, it would at least be as entertaining as the regular show.

Friday, October 19, 2018


As a parent of a child with disabilities, often times her disabilities can do her in. Her inability to stand steadily or walk without tethering can become a catastrophe and cause her great pain as it has in the past.

Recently one such catastrophe occurred while she was home in her ICF in Shoreham. Somehow or another she fell, causing her to fracture her hip and need a partial hip replacement. With the replacement of her hip come to the pain and the rehabilitation it will take. The specter of having to see her in any pain is too much for her mom or me to bear. This fact alone about mom is hard for me to digest since it is her pain that I feel too.

When they close the lights in the operating room and wheel her out, her stay at the hospital is brief in comparison to what she will then need to endure of the rigors of rehabilitating her hip, and so a rehab center is of paramount importance.

When events such as your child fracturing a hip suddenly shroud over you as a parent, it leaves you feeling alone and helpless, and you tend to cede to some degree any hope as despair takes over.

But I learned that none of that is true this time. Since I enrolled my daughter Ellen into the Partners Health Plan, it comes with certain benefits no other HMO offers, it follows through on a human level and comforts your outlook.

But what is PHP? It is an insurance plan that is designed for people like Ellen. It is not an HMO in the ordinary sense, but a part of an individual's successful life plan since it caters to IDD. It has a human side to it that no other HMO does. It fits the hopes and dreams I have for my daughter long after I am gone. Let me tell you a little story that happened to me.

As I stood one day in despair at Mather Memorial Hospital, the walls seemed to be closing in on me as I watched my child in pain. The grey day seemed all but totally void of life. It was going to be a long haul of healing and rehabbing a child of mine who knows nothing of patience or calm, just the reality that she is in pain and someone is holding her down in a hospital bed. The prospects of rehabbing looked even bleaker as I pondered where she would be sent.

Suddenly a sweet voice came out of nowhere and introduced herself as Lynn Rudder, Care Manager of Suffolk Chapter assigned to Ellen. She asked me questions about Ellen and noted my responses. She explained to me that she was working to find a suitable rehab center that would work with PHP to place Ellen for the long road ahead and would assist me in this long, hard, journey. She and Pat Turner of PHP would do whatever it would take to help Ellen. There was a visit from Ellen’s House manager at AHRC Betsy Gibson and her case manager Eileen Pullmacher, punching holes in the darkness of despair, in visits and advocacy. This is what I wanted and my daughter needed, people who showed professionalism, and care for someone when I am gone.
Looming ahead was a trip that my wife Ellen and I needed to desperately take to assist my son who lives in California with his two small children who had just lost their mother while birthing my beautiful grandson. Daddy had a 4-year old and a three-month-old with no wife to help him, and a monumental amount of grief he needed to shield his children from. Both Lynn and Pat Turner assured me not to worry, that they would be there for my daughter in a great time of need. That meant they would be there for my son and my grandchildren and my wife and I and most importantly, my daughter Ellen, all in a time of this great need and crisis to get Ellen settled.

There is no measure of gratefulness I can explain or illustrate aside from these few insufficient words expressed here. The worry that was lifted from all of my family is immeasurable and truly valued.

On Lynn Ruder’s PHP business card is her email address that reads:

They really do!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Back in 1991, I was introduced to computers, mainly because my job was quickly becoming dependent upon computers and if I wanted to be on the cutting edge, I needed to go to computers also.

I was hearing about other companies that had transitioned to companies and how easy the process was, so I went to my boss and said my piece. Rather than throw me out on my sis he suggested I look into it closely. There was an Apple Mac convention at the Javits Center in NYC and I attended. It was an amazing revelation, that quickly took hold of my imagination and I pursued the acquisition of computers for the art department.

Amazing things occurred, for one we produced 12 times the amount of work causing us to make far more money than we ever did, for a company that was doing well anyway.

As I look back, I wish I hadn’t been so fascinated and had pursued instead, the course of my natural talents of painting and drawing, sculpturing and woodcarving I loved so much. The power of the Internet probably more than anything else swayed me to think that computers were the wave of the future.

Recently I watched the movie ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ starring Carlton Heston and Rex Harrison. I found the power of creativity be the thing I missed most. There are many programs on the computer that are called drawing or painting programs. They may be good but they cannot compare to holding chalk in your hands, the power of mixing paints to apply ever so subtlety as to be hardly noticed. You cannot vary the pressures of a pencil on paper to achieve certain effects, on a computer.

I have one more project that is about to be completed, then, I think I will trash all my graphics programs and keep only my writing programs, and return once again to nature and the natural ways of drawing.

Monday, October 15, 2018


Muscles Marinara
He’s got a head like a melon, a big melon, with this wonderful face that makes me so glad I’m his grandfather. He is a fat little guy that when he smiles, your insides fall out and you want to just squeeze him and take him home with you.

He is his own man, a little man of three-months who has electrified his family and all who know him. H4e is also doing one other thing, stealing some of the spotlight from his older sister, La Principessa.

If you hold him for any length of time, be prepared to have wrestled the little guy, holding him is not easy, he squirms and wiggles and soon you are trying to catch him.

He is strong, very strong and you need to hold on tight with him, his muscle tone giving the aura of “Muscles Marinara” as he is known.

He can do all the things of an infant older than he is, and do it well.

There is nothing left for me to want. I have an incredible grandson, a grandson that makes me proud, and a sister who should have her own apartment by the time she’s nine and out of graduate school.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


Or… why do I feel broke?

Recently, while visiting my grandchildren in Burbank, California I went to a store and purchased some donuts for my granddaughter Darby. If there is one thing that my granddaughter and I have in common, it is the love of donuts. As I was shopping I saw this display for a certain specialized cinnamon and spice donut and brought it home to my princess. She loved them so a few days later I went to the store with her to purchase more to win her over.

Never do that it can be costly.

As a grandpa with his granddaughter in the shopping cart, I went through the aisles as she ordered me to stop and selected different things she liked. A greeting card that said to hold your friends close to you, a couple of bags of donuts to cake and candy, rounding out the trip for about $20 worth of grandpa’s wallet. Kind of like a fall cleaning for the old leather money holder.

Someday, she will become an expensive date. I will be in a pauper’s grave and all will be well.  But is it not the prerogative of a grandpa to die poor? When you have beautiful grandchildren as I do, it is your duty.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Bobby 'MUSCLES' Marinara Del Bloggolo!
After a few weeks away from my life as I know it, as a husband, father, and grandfather, I am back to the same old, “same old” of my life. Visiting my daughter at the rehab is taking away a big chunk of my day. Life doesn’t stop and goes on in spite of my presence.

I learned a lot from my visit to Burbank, California. The source of my lessons is from the most unlikely of sources, a 4-year old and a three-month-old. The 4-year old is struggling to make her life normal, understanding her mom’s disappearance and being the above normal child she really is. I look at her and can’t understand her courage, where she hides her grief and how she explains it to herself enough to cope with the transient road of childhood understanding. I can see the strain on her in that she is unwilling to do some things, is afraid of being alone and yet presents her self as a sweet and loving daughter, kind of a surrogate wife in a way with my son.

Then there is a 3-month old who takes no prisoners. He is always smiling and seems to be putting everyone he sees in a prison of love and the incredible need to bite his cheeks. Yet when I look at him I feel the pain that he will eventually go through without a mom. He has a wonderful influence on his nanny, a lovely woman who has taken the two children to her heart in the best way possible. He just smiles and smiles some more.

Of course, my life lessons don’t stop with Darby and Bobby, there is also my daughter Ellen, who is sitting in a rehab angry for what life hands her every day. I wonder what her crime is that she is condemned to her whole life of not understanding her life or why it needs to be this way. Hitler was treated in life better than my innocent daughter and I defy anyone to rationalize the reason. She has no idea what a dance is, a great meal, a moving painting, a story to hold her attention. Her joy is in seeing my wife or me.

My children have always been special to me for their own reasons. #1 Son is logical, caring just like his brother, #3 Son, who has made his own meritorious world of compassion and kindness. #2 Son did not live long to my satisfaction but left a legacy of bravery and love I will never forget.

They all seem to have the knack of facing adversity and placing one foot in front of the other, not in self-pity but in the realization that in the end, no one will care unless you do yourself. God bless them for a change.