Archive for July 2011

Uncle Abe, You Were A Pain!

“It doesn’t make any difference, Jack…!” I once despised those words, uttered with disdainful dismissal by the family patriarch to whatever bright new idea I came up with at the family table. Hey look, I’m going to college. I’m studying the Great Books. Just because I’m full of new ideas and passions while you’re full... Read more »

Block Parties To The Rescue

“Just down the block….! “That’s how we’d say it in my day. Referring to the neighbors a few doors away who were our friends, and the friends a few doors away who were our neighbors. The two words were almost inter-changeable. Not anymore. Nowadays [that’s how older folk talk] nowadays the people a few doors... Read more »


Among the people I admire most are fathers and stunt men. If they seem like an odd couple, here’s my reasoning. Both have complicated jobs. And yet, both are usually taken for granted. Fathers because they simply can’t match the incredible role and reign of mothers in the lives of their children; stunt men because... Read more »

The Magic Of 10

Science does it again…! A great many scientists seem unsatisfied to take seriously any old adages or proverbs until they can be statistically tested and verified. OK, no harm done. Only their testing often comes down to validating in their labs what the rest of us already knew in our world. The latest “breakthrough” comes... Read more »

Linus or Louie -- Whose World Do You Live In?

Linus walks his world clutching his little blue blanket. While Lucy is a hard fisted feminist-before-her-time, her little brother Linus is more like Charlie Brown. Just plain scared at what the next turned-corner might bring. Louie Armstrong, on the other and happier hand, sings the classic WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD with a throaty juiciness that... Read more »


“In Xanadu did Kublai Khan…” Most readers are familiar with the opening words to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s celebrated poem. A poem he claims he remembered upon waking from an opium-induced sleep. But then that report shouldn’t be so surprising when we consider how artists from Seneca to Edgar Allen Poe to my Uncle Harry have... Read more »

Voila, The French Are Right Again

“The more things change, the more they remain the same….” An old French proverb whose words have echoed down the generations. To some, a piece of enlightened wisdom. To others of a more scientific bent, proverbs like this are often no more than untested crutches to get you through the day. Personally — I vote... Read more »

Having A Cup Of Oil For Breakast

After oil, coffee is the world’s largest export product. Both energy sources…both born in the same regions of the world…but each with a very different history. Modern day Ethiopia is generally considered the cradle of humanity, from where our species and eventually coffee first began to spread. Modern day Iraq is generally considered the cradle... Read more »

Al Pacino and Me

Never met my fellow Italian-American, Al Pacino. And yet, we have much in common. So much, I feel obliged to share some of it with you. Whether you feel obliged to read it is only a delete button away….. We’re both of Sicilian extraction. Both his father and mine were born in Sicily in the... Read more »


It’s been sagely said of parents: “When you live to bury a child, you’ve lived too long!” Losing your child to an early death has to be one of life’s greater tragedies. But lately what’s all this about children all dying at age 27? Like in the case of pop/rock singers Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix,... Read more »