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Showing posts from 2013

My Back Pages: Christmas

My Back Pages: Christmas: Christmas..... the very name evokes memories of family, good times, and magic in the air. I need to step away from all of the politics of th...

Christmas

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Christmas..... the very name evokes memories of family, good times, and magic in the air. I need to step away from all of the politics of this time that we live in. All the strident arguments about wars on the holiday, and what we should use as a greeting, and get down to what I feel about the holiday itself. 
 I think that it is a magical time for families that celebrate it, especially children. It has become both a religious holiday, and a children's holiday over the last couple of centuries. For a child, the thought of the Santa Claus coming to bring all good children gifts is nothing short of magic. Oh, they will sing the Christmas Carols, and think of the Christ child in the manger, but on the eve and the morning of that special day, it's all about the wonder and the magic of the children's Christmas. I remember being so excited that I could not sleep. Just the thought of that jolly gentleman coming to bring me toys and other gifts was enough to render me an insomniac.…

My Back Pages: ..One More Thing ..

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..One More Thing .. I had my rant yesterday about the use of the greeting 'Happy Holidays', but there is one more thing that has been eating away at my soul for some time now. It's the increasing political correctness when it comes to this season.. especially in the schools. Children are no long allowed to sing Holiday song. Let's be frank here, they are no longer allowed to sing Christmas Songs. Teachers are not allowed to mention Santa Claus to the children because it corrupt some children who's families do not practice the tradition. As if this mythical purveyor of good will could corrupt a child.On the streets of the towns and villages, there are complaints lodged, protests organized, and, in some cases, lawsuits filed over religious displays on public property. I think that this has just gone way too far. It causes discord and resentment between the different religions and does no one any good at all. Remember: This  is public property, and the…

My Back Pages: Merry Christmas?... Happy Holidays?....... I Think...

My Back Pages: Merry Christmas?... Happy Holidays?....... I Think...: Our Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza Winter Solstice Tree We have arrived at what is proclaimed to be "The Most Wonderful Time Of T...

Merry Christmas?... Happy Holidays?....... I Think Not...

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We have arrived at what is proclaimed to be "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" and yet, all I can see is anger, controversy and hatred. What was once a time that I looked forward to, from when I was a very small boy, right through my 50s, has turned into a nightmare. I see a bunch of hateful people declaring that there is a war on Christmas, and firing up all the hate and resentment that they can agains anyone who would dare not celebrate the birth of the Christ. The Ice Queen from Alaska screeches about it, supposedly wrote a book about it. O'Reilly, Hannity, and that drug addict, Limbaugh, use their bully pulpits to rail about this imagined war every hour of every day. People are getting assaulted for saying Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas. Friends stop being friends, non Christians are being marginalized, and the season has turned from one of Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward All Men and Women, to  open season on anyone who does not toe the line and say M…

My Back Pages: November, 1963

My Back Pages: November, 1963:  Fifty years ago, my friends and I spent the evening as we always did. It was Thursday, November 21, 1963 and after dinner, we would all go ...

November, 1963

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 Fifty years ago, my friends and I spent the evening as we always did. It was Thursday, November 21, 1963 and after dinner, we would all go to the Boys Club to spend the evening playing pool, trying to shoot hoops, or watching TV in the TV room. We were, as usual, lost in our own little teenaged worlds.... telling stories.. some of them true, thinking that we were kings of the world. Safe and secure, never thinking anything could change it. Not thinking about tomorrow, or next week, or next year.
 As we left the club on the cold November night, we made plans to meet the next day. Freddy, Sammy and I would cut school and hang out, waiting for Donnie, George, and Bobby to get out, so that we could all hang out at San Filis  Pizza parlor. Little did we know that the events of the next four days would change our lives and  turn our whole world on it's ear.
 The 22nd dawned bright and cold. My mother shook me awake to make sure that I had breakfast and got out the door on time. "Mak…

My Back Pages: Thanksgiving..

My Back Pages: Thanksgiving..: Changes After 27 years of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner at our home, with yours truly doing most of the cooking, our kitchen will be cold,...

Thanksgiving..

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Changes
After 27 years of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner at our home, with yours truly doing most of the cooking, our kitchen will be cold, and our house silent (as silent as a house with four bickering dogs can be!). We will be going to Paulette and Scott's house for the family gathering. Sadly, the deteriorating condition of my hands due to arthritis will not allow me to do all of what is required to make a successful dinner. Oh, I will contribute a few things: stuffed mushrooms and my wife's requested green bean casserole; but no home made sweet potato casserole or my loved mashed red potatoes, or freshly made cranberry sauce. Paulette will make the stuffing from my recipe, and will brine the turkey. We are bringing our silverware and have already sent our Thanksgiving service settings. We have been requested to be there by 11:00 AM (We always ate in the late afternoon), and we will be there. It's a proud moment, to see our children hosting the family tradition. Next year, …

My Back Pages: Veteran's Day Weekend, Marine Corps Birthday, and ...

My Back Pages: Veteran's Day Weekend, Marine Corps Birthday, and ...:   Here we are at Veteran's Day Weekend, 2013. As I sit here and reflect on the years that have passed, I wonder what lies ahead for us a...

Goodbye, My Dear Friend

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Today, we sent our dear friend, Dan Viola, off in style. Claudia brought his ashes back from the west coast to be spread in his town. We all miss Dan so very much. Claudia said that he didn't think that people loved him; well, today showed that they did. He had many friends, from all walks of life. He was a sweet and gentle man who was well loved by the community in which he lived and served for so many years
 He was my friend. That says enough. This is a man who I would hug and kiss on his cheek without any embarrassment.  I spent many nights sitting and talking to him, long after the bar was closed, and the doors locked. He respected and loved me, and I will always love and respect him. This was a man of the people. This was a man of his community, who was loved and respected by all who ever came in contact with him. I love you, Dan Viola, and I will miss you until the day that I join you.
 Claudia, my dear friend. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to honor him and to show o…

Veteran's Day - The Marine Corps Birthday, and One Fading Marine

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Here we are at Veteran's Day Weekend, 2013. As I sit here and reflect on the years that have passed, I wonder what lies ahead for us all? We, who have served our countriy did it with the hope that we would see an end to war.. and end to the killing over scraps of land and ideologies. We served because we though that it was the right thing to do. I did it because I felt, and still feel, that it is the cost of living in a free society. The cost of being able to cast my vote for who would represent me in this process called democracy. The cost for having my voice heard, along with others who think as I do, in a country that is supposed to be the symbol of what a country that allows all people to participate in the political process, is supposed to be. It is a great thing to feel that way. I must admit, I am a bit of an idealist. I believe in letting the results of elections speak for themselves. My guy (or lady) didn't win that time? Oh, well.. I have to go with the results and s…
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My Back Pages .

Veteran's Day Weekend, Marine Corps Birthday, and One Fading Marine

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Here we are at Veteran's Day Weekend, 2013. As I sit here and reflect on the years that have passed, I wonder what lies ahead for us all? We, who have served our countriy did it with the hope that we would see an end to war.. and end to the killing over scraps of land and ideologies. We served because we though that it was the right thing to do. I did it because I felt, and still feel, that it is the cost of living in a free society. The cost of being able to cast my vote for who would represent me in this process called democracy. The cost for having my voice heard, along with others who think as I do, in a country that is supposed to be the symbol of what a country that allows all people to participate in the political process, is supposed to be. It is a great thing to feel that way. I must admit, I am a bit of an idealist. I believe in letting the results of elections speak for themselves. My guy (or lady) didn't win that time? Oh, well.. I have to go with the results and s…

My Back Pages: Veteran's Day Thoughts: Wives and Lovers and My Au...

My Back Pages: Veteran's Day Thoughts: Wives and Lovers and My Au...: It’s been a tough month for me and my family. Birthday’s, Anniversaries, the death of a beloved family member. So many different emotions...

Veteran's Day Thoughts: Wives and Lovers and My Aunt Mary

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It’s been a tough month for me and my family. Birthday’s, Anniversaries, the death of a beloved family member. So many different emotions, from high to low. Difficult times. It’s easier to deal with straight emotional lows, than to be pulled from one to the other on almost a daily basis. It tests ones strength and character.   I have been wanting to write another of my essays on whatever I could focus on out of all this, but it has just been impossible. I’ve wanted to honor my Aunt Mary, and my wife, but found myself jumping back and forth and blurring the lines. Now, we have Veteran’s Day, the Marine Corps Birthday (Which is very important to me) and Thanksgiving, all upon us in a rush. I won’t even mention Election Day, because I am sick to death of politics and politicians, and I just need a rest from stupid, self centered people for a while. I may get back into it again, at a later date; but for now, I barely watch anything political and my TV and radio are silent for most of the d…