The Raymond Primer

November 26, 2009
By
The Raymond Primer

Raymond, among the many middle-class families in our extended neighborhood, was very poor indeed. One look at the disheveled exterior of his house, crying out for the touch of a paint brush and a weed whacker, and you could see that not only was there little cash flow but an assumed degree of neglect. How would I know this? Did I ever go in his house? No. Did I ever meet his parents? No. Did I even know if he lived with his parents? No. But then I didn’t have to because Raymond carried the ‘air’ of neglect on...
Read more »

Bonfire of the Families

November 16, 2009
By
Bonfire of the Families

When I was growing up in the ’50′s and ’60′s, environmental concerns weren’t on the average person’s radar and, in fact, Rachel Carlson’s ground breaking 1962 book, Silent Spring, was the only serious look at pollution and was primarily concerned with the use of poisonous chemicals, dispersed in the ground water supply. So, when the fall leaves dropped to the ground by the bushel, we raked them up on the curbside into a tidy mound and set them on fire; a blazing heap that chucked out smoke like a runaway barbecue pit. Oddly, the expected acrid cloud was rather...
Read more »

Solitary Definement

November 4, 2009
By
Solitary Definement

After years of assessing my strengths and weaknesses, there’s no doubt I’m a highly distractable person. What would that be in today’s coded vernacular…HDP? I’m sure if I were in high school now, psychologists would be breaking it all down into a neat little prescription to be filled at the pharmacy but all it really boils down to for me is an inability to focus sometimes in the midst of surrounding activity. When I’m creating something (this story for instance) and the phone rings or someone calls to me, it’s like one of those near-death accounts where, on your...
Read more »

Hallowed Be Thy Haul

October 15, 2009
By
Hallowed Be Thy Haul

When I was at the peak of my ‘Trick or Treat’ powers, primarily the grade school years, neighborhoods far and wide opened up like candy dispensaries. It wasn’t just a particular street or area that opened up its doors but every street and nearly every door. As long as you could keep walking was how much bounty you came home with and we didn’t use conventional bags or those plastic pumpkins because that limited the size and poundage of what we could carry. Instead, the large-scale operators like myself used pillow cases. By the end of the evening, if...
Read more »

Death of a Salesman

September 16, 2009
By
Death of a Salesman

My step-dad (father #3 if you’re counting) has been in my life since 1972 and when I dare to count the years, which I often don’t, it adds up to a majority of my adult life. On Sunday morning, May 24th, 2009, he passed away due to cancerous complications. From the moment I met Bob I wondered if the word ‘gregarious’ were too meager a term to describe this guy. His personality lit up like a neon Vegas sign; open for business 24/7. How could he keep the energy flowing like that? And yet, he was clearly feeding off...
Read more »

Transcendental Test Pattern

September 4, 2009
By
Transcendental Test Pattern

In the 1950′s, unlike today, TV broadcasts had a daily shelf life and at some time in the morning, say 3am or so, after the late movie and some nebulous local half hour show no one watched, the voice-over announcer would explain that the broadcast day had concluded and would return at such and such a time. Then they played the national anthem with the flag waiving away and then, boom, nothing but static and white noise. When I got up around 5:30am on Saturday mornings for cartoons I deliberately got up a bit early, before the programming day...
Read more »

Elvis Training Wheels

August 17, 2009
By
Elvis Training Wheels

I don’t think I ever quite got the worth of Kindergarten. Back in 1956, pre-school hadn’t been created and kindergarten was the launching pad for your school years. Most of the kids in my class were discovering the wonders of their newfound social circle, while others were simply enthralled with their own boogers or the taste of white paste. After careful examination of all the circumstances involved, I decided that kindergarten might hold some untapped value; the only question being what and how. First of all, the teacher was well past the nurturing stage and into basic little-twerp management....
Read more »

Frederick the Great

July 28, 2009
By
Frederick the Great

My dad (father #2) loved the grandiosity of staged illusion and made it a major part of his performing repertoire. When he spoke of the history of magic and magicians it was with great reverence for the craft and he worked hard to hone his own skills so that they were a worthy contribution to the greats that came before him. He made himself, Frederick the Great, and while that smells a little like Michael Jackson dubbing himself the “King of Pop”, my dad realized the marketability of ‘sounds like’, ‘acts like’, ‘is like’. So, he was Frederick the...
Read more »

“I Can Hear You…”

June 28, 2009
By
“I Can Hear You…”

With the recent passing of my step-dad (father #3, more on him later), the inevitable barrage of morbid thoughts have been pouring into my brain. I’ve also ratcheted up my macabre humor to previously unheard of levels but that is how I’m personally dealing with his death. Everybody’s got their way. So for the past month or more, my life (and the lives of my mother and my wife) have been forever altered and big changes are in order. A short time beyond my dad’s service, something especially wonderful happened that was born, inadvertently, from his passing and something...
Read more »

Improve Your Life, Go The myEASY Way™