Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Back Pages: Summer

My Back Pages: Summer: Summer! What I have waited for all year... I love the Spring, but I am head over heels IN LOVE with Summer. My favorite day is the Summer So...

Summer

Summer! What I have waited for all year... I love the Spring, but I am head over heels IN LOVE with Summer. My favorite day is the Summer Solstice... the longest day of the year. You will usually find me out early, and staying out late... I need to absorb every single second of light that is given to me on this day. It is Yin and Yang.. good and bad... it signals the beginning of the hot Summer season; but, sadly, it also signals the beginning of the Sun's inexorable march south. The days are beautiful, but each day is slightly shorter. Still, I love it. I love every drop of sweat that trickles from me. I love the caress of the Sun's rays on my aging body. I love the songs of all the birds, starting early in the morning, and lasting until dusk. Sadly, my hearing has deteriorated to the point where I no longer hear the peepers and the crickets singing at night. I miss those songs. However, I can still see the lightning bugs signaling to each other, as they search for a mate. I can still watch the little brown bats come out as the daylight starts to fade, doing their best to rid the area of mosquitoes and other pests..
Summer, 2013, on Whaley Lake
  During the day, as I sit on the deck, or lie in the hammock, listening to music, the memories of Summer days past come flooding back. Days of my youth, not appreciated then as much as they are now. My friends and I at the beach... the smell of the suntan lotion. The hopes of finding some young girl who would find the skinny, pimple-faced, lank haired youth that I was, attractive enough to speak to. 
 I can smell the ocean and also the french fries and other foods at the concession stand. I can hear the sound of the WABC, WMCA, and WINS Rock and Roll radio stations coming from so many different transistor radios, from blanket to blanket.... The Temptations, the Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, The Beach Boys.... all of the Rock and Roll groups from the early '60s. What a great time to have grown up... before the President was assassinated... before Vietnam came along and stole our innocence. 
  At night, we sat out on our stoops... or under the street lamps, playing cards, singing, or just talking about our plans for the next day, the next week.. and not much further than that. We were young, happy (for the most part), and alive! 
 I think about those days, and friends who have come and gone, and a smile comes to my face. I'm happy and sad at the same time. Happy to have lived in the times that I did; but sad for the loss of those now gone... for whatever reason. I sit and listen to the music and lose myself in it for the few precious hours that I can. I will enjoy every moment of this beautiful time of year, because I know that time is fleeting, and it grows shorter with each day. Have a beautiful Summer, everyone. As always, Love and Peace to all.
 john Zaffino June 24, 2014
 Kent Lakes, New York

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Back Pages: Respect, Family, Friends, and the Facebook Problem...

My Back Pages: Respect, Family, Friends, and the Facebook Problem...:   I am really upset! I usually do not start my blogs with this kind of a statement, but I have to put this out there because someone that I ...

Respect, Family, Friends, and the Facebook Problem.

 I am really upset! I usually do not start my blogs with this kind of a statement, but I have to put this out there because someone that I love with all of my heart and soul is being disrespected simply because of her political beliefs. That person is my soulmate, my love, my wife.... Sheryl. She's being disrespected by members of my family and some of my friends, and I will not tolerate it without making my feelings known.
 First of all, if you have a differing opinion, you have a right to it. This is a free country. However, being disrespectful is not only unnecessary, it shows your lack of decorum. First, let me ask you all... and you know who the hell you are..... what has she ever done that you treat her so disrespectfully? You don't like her politics? Fine... you don't have to. She doesn't try to put down your political or religious beliefs, even though she may not agree with them.  I am so damned angry, I can hardly think clearly enough to write.. but I must push on, because, goddamnit, I want you to know exactly how I feel. 
  If you do not respect a friends opinion, then you are not a friend. If you think that you are smarter or more educated than someone who has had more life experience than you, than you are sadly mistaken. When you try to humiliate my wife; when you try to make her look stupid... then you have to deal with me, and I am one friggin' angry Marine at this point. You need to take a good look at yourselves and stop the bullshit that you are putting out there. 
   Families and friends should never discuss political OR RELIGIOUS differences in public... (Facebook)...  these issues should be discussed face to face. You, however, have chosen to do it in a manner that holds my wife up for ridicule, and you have angered me more than anyone else has in the past 20 years. I am sick over this. 
  Smarten up, and learn to give respect where respect is due, or we will have a really serious problem.  I wish all people love and peace. To you few, I wish love, peace, and enlightenment, or all is lost.
   I have several friends.... Patty Ann Smith Sporano comes to mind... with whom I do not always agree..... but we agree on so many things, and we respect each others opinions... why can you not do the same? If you cannot show respect, then you are not a friend, you are not a member of my family.... you are nothing to me. 
 I proudly served my country, believing that everyone was entitled to freedom of Religion, and the right to their political opinion. Obviously, some do not feel that way. 
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes, NY
June 16, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Back Pages: Father's Day.. Dedicated to all the fathers who di...

My Back Pages: Father's Day.. Dedicated to all the fathers who di...:  Another Father's Day has come. We celebrate that hard working man, who made our lives a bit better by all of their hard work. What sa...

Father's Day.. Dedicated to all the fathers who did their best.

 Another Father's Day has come. We celebrate that hard working man, who made our lives a bit better by all of their hard work. What saddens me is that so many are cast aside as the years wear on. Not necessarily purposely, but due to the pressing needs of immediate family. Soccer games, football games, baseball games... they all come to take precedence over visiting aging family members. It's not of any conscious neglect... it's just that the needs of those in the household overshadow those of the family that we have all left behind.
  Those fathers that worked hard to make a better life for their children and step-children. Those who worked  so hard to try and make a better life than they had growing up; they are often overlooked and cast aside because the pressing issues of day to day life make it so hard to even think about them. Children demand and require attention. Aging parents are slowly pushed to the background....  the only time they are paid any attention to is when they are ill, and the time grows short. This is not to say that all families are like this... this is just to say that it happens to many.
 When I was a young married man, with five children and a wife. I was there for my mother and father every weekend, whenever they needed me or wanted me. It's the way that I was raised.
 Today, I ask all those who have a father who is living to give a little respect and love to the man who worked hard to put food on the table and make a decent life for you and your family. It only takes a few minutes to show your love and respect. 
 To all those fathers out there who have worked hard to give their families a good life, alongside of a great woman, I wish you all a Happy Fathers Day. My love and respect goes out to you all. May all the good will and love of your families follow you to the end of your days.
 John Zaffino Kent Lakes, NY
 June 15, 2014







Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Back Pages: Friends and Loss In The Modern Age

My Back Pages: Friends and Loss In The Modern Age: Facebook... Twitter... I love the ability that we have to reach out and find old friends, renew acquaintances, and find new friends across t...

Friends and Loss In The Modern Age

Facebook... Twitter... I love the ability that we have to reach out and find old friends, renew acquaintances, and find new friends across the globe. It's a heady, fascinating thing. We get to meet new people, make friends in different cities... different countries.. and have meaningful dialogues with each other. We can transcend cultural, religious, and political differences, and establish real friendships, despite our differences. I have made many new friends this way, and found so many friends from my past that it boggles the mind. Some, I have sought for years (Yes, Don Radogna, I mean you). Others, I have thought about from time to time, and stumbled on while reaching out to others. It's an amazing time for us. We can use it to all come together, or to affirm the differences that our prejudices already have told us that we have. I choose the former.
 Making new friends is exciting and fun, and it was through this means that I became friends with Ginger Lloyd Wood. I was pretty adamant during the last election about keeping Mitt Romney out of the White House. I just knew that his brand of Conservatism would be bad for the American Worker. Not to mention that when he had the opportunity to serve his country, as I did, he chose to go over seas in service to his church. I am not happy with the way that our President has performed, but I still would not pick Romney over him. 
  But I digress. It was through the election and my opinionated  posts and blogs, that I came to know Ginger. She liked what I had to say, and trusted my instincts. I learned that she was battling cancer, and that she was afraid for her children and grandchildren of what would happen if the Romney's came to power. I assured her that her instincts were correct. After the election, we often communicated about the state of our country. Ginger was so afraid of what was coming to pass, thanks to the Tea Party and all the crazies who were basically calling for the downfall of the government. I tried to assure her that the world for her grandchildren would not change that much, if only we could keep things balanced. 
 Ginger was a religious lady. I am not very religious... no, that's not true.. I am not at all religious.. but we respected each other and, as I always said, 'Who's to say what is right and what is wrong? We need to respect and love each other, regardless of religious beliefs.'.. Ginger agreed.
 When she took a turn for the worse last year, she asked me to pray for her. I asked her permission to have all of my friends and relatives pray for her and send healing energy. She agreed. The last that I heard from Ginger was just a month or two ago. She told me that she had had a crisis, but that she had come through it. That was the last that I heard until tonight.
  Tonight, I heard that my dear friend, Ginger Lloyd Wood, had lost her battle with the hated cancer. I am so devastated that I cannot think. That's the trouble with this brave new world: We have more people to lose and to mourn. 
  Ginger, my dear friend, I salute you. You were brave and never complained or cursed your fate. Your concern was for the future that did not include you. You were a sweet, and loving soul, and I will always miss you. Rest In Peace, my dear, sweet friend. Know that you were loved.
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes, NY
 June 11, 2014