“What I Want That I Can’t Have” is the title of a 15-minute writing exercise in a class that I attended during the week.NEW_MAN SMILING

The exercise reminded me that anyone can write memoir by jotting down remembrances as they come to mind.

My thoughts immediately focused on a recent conversation with my wife of 67 years, and I quickly took pen in hand and wrote the following:

Giant snowflakes flutter across the living room window, fire crackles in the fireplace and an unfamiliar quiet embraces the living room where our four children sit around a Christmas tree.

A week earlier they had put on boots, overcoats and gloves and searched the woods for just the right tree, a 6-foot Douglas fir.

Later they argued about who could put the tinsel and other decorations on the tree. All went relatively well for the melee that counted cadence in their elementary school lives until one of them fell off a ladder and knocked down the tree while attempting to install a star at the top.

Fifty years later my wife and I recounted this and other Christmases and how special it had been to be associated with our children during those hectic but formative years.

As we concluded our reminiscing, my wife commented, “Oh, how I would love to relive those experiences.”

“Yes,” I agreed, “but for just one day.”


Friday, August 18, 2017

President Donald Trump:

It is time for you to quit looking at a mirror and seeing what you envision as the greatest U.S. president in history. Unfortunately, your approval rating has fallen into the 30 trumppercent range, and your popularity is about to tank if you fail to consider these  changes:

  1. Quit tweeting, which thus far has shown that you really are a tweet.
  2. Fire Steve Bannon and the younger Trump minion. Then let John Kelly run the show.
  3. Make your tax returns public and prove that you have had no business ties with Russia or with China now nor at any time in the past.
  4. Enroll in a 101 classes called “How Government Works.” Then stay awake during lectures.
  5. Invite the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate to “drain the swamp” of partisan politics and to enact legislation that improves the Affordable Care Act, revises the tax code and fixes the immigration program.
  6. Hire a member of The Washington Post editorial staff to write your speeches and your comments in times of national emergencies. Then follow the script.
  7. Avoid commenting on foreign policy. Let Rex Tillerson take the lead.
  8. Acknowledge that the environment is in trouble and take steps to ensure that Miami doesn’t get its feet wet and that the nation doesn’t experience a permanent eclipse.
  9. Take more vacations and play more golf, which you apparently hack at while following your own rules. That’s fine. Be the greatest golfer at Mar-a-Largo. You should be. You own it.
  10. Sponsor a new television show called “Apprentice President.” Then everyone can join in announcing, “You’re fired.”



sunflower 2017

When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling

The whole world smiles with you

When you’re laughing, when you’re laughing

The sun comes shining through

lyrics by Rufus Wainwright

I planted two packets of sunflower seed in the flower garden in late spring. Two wimpy plants later inched their way from the soil and now wave weakly to me not far from my chair on the cogitation deck.

Meanwhile, I noticed that a sunflower broke through the hard soil beneath the bird feeders outside our living room window. I watched as it braved birds, a scorching sun and waterless days. This week I took a photo of this hardy survivor that wears a perpetual smile. Continue reading FLOWERS KNOW REASON WORLD SMILES WITH YOU


I woke up still not dead again today

The internet said I had passed away

If I died I wasn’t dead to stay

And I woke up still not dead again today

Willie Nelson decided to cash in on several erroneous reports of late that he has 220px-Willie_Nelson_at_Farm_Aid_2009_-_Croppedshuffled off this mortal coil. He wrote a song that turns out to be a hit, one that refutes the “fake news” reports of his death.

Frankly, I don’t know what concerns Willie about the topic. After all he’s four years younger than I am, and I plan to stick around for at least another decade.

I do, however, check the obituaries daily in the local newspaper just in case I have missed my passing.

I am always surprised at how young so many of the featured people are who have walked into the sunset, gone to meet their maker, or as we say in the news biz, died.

In some respects, I’m envious of Willie who has taken risks that might be classified as “death defying.” However, he always sings and plays his way out of tight places, reinvents himself, writes another song and plays another concert. Continue reading THE RUMOR IS FAKE NEWS: WILLIE’S ‘STILL NOT DEAD’