Sunday, February 26, 2012

Merl the Squirrel (Thanks Gary)

It was a mild morning in Louisiana. The sun had not come up yet. My brother in law- his friend- and I were going squirrel hunting. I was given a crash course on the shotgun the night before and I was ready? We entered the woods and his friend immediately took off in another direction. Gary brought me to a spot and told me to sit down and wait for sunlight and I would know what to do. He then left me to find a spot of his own. He left a New York City boy whose only hunting experience was lifting rocks and looking for salamanders across the street from the projects!!! I was a bit nervous but exhilarated.

So I sat and waited. Finally the sun was rising and the squirrels went scurrying around. This is what he meant when he said I would know what to do. Well I was so busy watching them play around that I missed every possible shot. What a city slicker! The next step was to walk about fifty yards, give or take and settle back in and wait for more squirrel scurrying. During my walk to a new spot I was just amazed at the things I was seeing. While walking through a dry creek bed I was in awe of the huge trees whose root systems hung out in plain sight. It was natures art at it’s finest.

I then came upon the BIGGEST spider web I have ever seen till this day. Then I saw the spider. It was a Behemoth. This creature must have been born at the dawn of time!! I was hypnotized by the King of all spiders. I immediately named him the “banana spider” because of his bright yellow body. All the while I’m hearing shotgun blasts, hmmm someone is shooting squirrels. My walk through a National Geographic magazine finally came to an end.

It was Gary. Did you get any brother in law he said? Nope said I. I think he realized at that time I needed help. Then we saw Merl. Sitting on that tree branch just asking us to get him, reminded me of Captain Ahab strapped to Moby Dick beckoning to his crew to come after him. I took a shot and hit him. He flew up in the air and did about five 360 flips in mid air. Extreme snow boarders eat your heart out. Merl landed in between two large branches with only his butt hanging out. I shot again.

Another hit! He moved and Gary said there he is get him. I looked up and couldn’t see him. You get him I said. Blam, Gary finished him off. He took Merl and got him mounted for me. Merl proudly resides in Virginia now with my Son who takes good care of him.

Thanks for the adventure Merl and Gary. Hey remember. Love one another!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just give me the truth!

My old cell phone company and I had problems! Things were just getting too expensive, so I called customer service. I told them we needed to do something with the account or I would have to go elsewhere. They came up with a deal that wasn’t good enough so I told him what I wanted and for how much. This poor guy had enough of me and said he would have a superior call me back, because he couldn’t authorize it.

No call back after two weeks! I got in touch and during our conversation, found out that six months prior most all of their plans were lowered $30 a month. I was shocked and asked why I didn’t know about it. “ Well sir we did a press release” -So I didn’t see this and I didn’t get the discount, hmmm! I fought a good fight and got 3 months worth credited to us. However this was really annoying and I knew it wasn’t over for me.

I felt as if they did the press release and crossed their fingers hoping that not too many customers saw it. Then as people complained about cost they would reveal the new price. Not to my surprise texts started coming on new things we could add to our account, and they seemed to all be around $30. I called up and told them I was done. After a week or so we started receiving their correspondence with a early termination fee.

I gave it another week and called. I requested they drop the fee and we both move on! I explained how they never called back with help on the cost of our account. I wasn’t getting very far until I started talking about the press release and the texts I started receiving to spend more money after my discount. I merely said, “why didn’t you text me about the discount if you really wanted me to have it”--The silence was deafening---------- She then said that $18 would be all I needed to pay and we were done. I took it as opposed to the $300.

I think it would have been beneficial to their company to be honest and truly revealing about their discount. Lets just be honest. Just give me the truth! Come on American companies. God Bless America. Remember Love One Another.



Monday, February 20, 2012


I finally broke down and got myself a new pair of jogging/cross trainers. (I don’t run anymore) I had four pair of old ones laying around, dating back pretty far. Trying to be as green as possible I thought to save all the laces because they’re in great shape. Possibly fill the sink with bleach and get them white again. I should be able to find some use for them, I thought. Then it dawned on me?

It’s probably been four and a half decades since I broke a pair of shoe laces. What does that mean? I’m not sure. Maybe laces are made much better these days, or perhaps shoes are not and wear out more quickly to increase profits. I heard today on the news that someone designed a light bulb that will last 30 years? Where do I get a box full of those babies? Probably need a loan to buy them J .

I’m not sure why I was moved to ramble on like this. I haven’t blogged for a while, so needed to put something out there maybe? I do know that quality shouldn’t cost the consumer in excess of what’s fair. I would like to see our country of inventors and entrepreneurs create and sell products of quality, but most of all sell these products at a fair price. Lets charge more for inferior items to move people towards what’s good for them. An example is food- good quality food (organics) are more expensive then the chemical laden junk (processed) we buy. Something is wrong here!!

America is a great nation, but our best is still ahead of us. God bless America!! If you read this I’m sorry for the rambling, just one of those things. Remember- Love one another.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Star Hanger

I was a Catholic boy who grew up on Staten Island, New York. I went to Blessed Sacrament school just like my sisters before me did. The Sisters of Charity ran the show there with an iron fist. Catechism was a class among your other ones. This class was about God and all things related. It troubled me because I wondered if I was good enough to make it to heaven. A question that reenters my mind from time to time.

I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about my salvation, yet it lingered in a neat little compartment in the back of my mind. The nuns were very strict especially in catechism, and if you got out of line you could get smacked in the face. One day we were in Sister Basils class (she was well known for slapping) and Donald Naples was talking to me. I told him to be quiet because I didn’t want her to see us talking. You guessed it! As soon as I told him to be quiet she looked my way!

It was on! She started making her way towards me. I thought of pleading my case but knew it didn’t matter, she needed to hit someone that day. Looking back it was really a sight. Sister Basil was about five feet two inches tall and very large and round. To see her coming down the aisle reminded me of a runaway locomotive being stoked with wood so that the final impact would be sure destruction. Being in her black habit (clothes) she also reminded me of a Big black comet whose short yet fiery tail had my name written on it.

Right before she got to me I decided to stand up and take it like a man, or maybe it was to lessen the blow because standing would get me farther away. Whatever the reason she got me. I can’t remember what happened after, but I’m pretty sure I had words with Donald after class.

Anyway, wondering about going to heaven or not bothered me. Then something happened which changed everything. In 1956 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Carousel was made into a movie starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. In one scene he was robbing someone and slipped and fell on his knife and died. He then went to a place between heaven and hell. The guy in charge came in and that’s when I learned he was a star hanger.

A great weight was immediately lifted off my shoulders. Surely I was good enough to be a Star Hanger. I could roam the heavens at night and light them up with my stars. Oh salvation you are in my reach. I’m still hoping for at the least a star hanging job. (just in case). Remember folks love one another.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

I wonder what he was thinking?

It was a day not like any other in his life. My dad was landing on Anzio Beachhead in Italy. The landing went very smooth, there was no German presence. The commanders talked about it and decided not to push forward right away fearing that they would be in a bad spot. That was a mistake! They were spotted on the beach!

After being spotted the Germans brought reinforcements in. This was the beginning of a tough campaign for the brave Anzio Beachhead veterans. The beach was at the bottom of high cliffs, so the enemy had a clear advantage. Dad said it was like being stuck on a billiard table. They had to carom and bounce from place to place to avoid being shot.

I wonder what his thoughts were? When your running for cover are you just waiting for the bullet to hit? Are you praying for God to protect you? Are you running as fast as you can, but it doesn’t feel like your moving at all? Does it feel like you’ve been out from cover too long and your time is up? Can you even think at all?

They eventually made it off the beach. My Dads unit was at the factory. This place was an old Italian factory the Germans had used for other purposes. They were eating breakfast when someone spotted what they thought was a German soldier. Then, no it’s not, yes it is. Well it was! The soldier began to communicate that they should give up because they were surrounded by tanks.

As they were being marched off my Uncle’s division watched from a hill. Live to fight another day I guess. What was my Dad thinking when being led away? Am I ever going to make it home now? Will we be beaten and interrogated? Can you see your wife in your mind and just yearn to be transported back home? Are you transported back home in an instant when everything that’s most important to you rushes back into your senses?

Fortunately they were set free after the war ended and helped themselves to eggs from farms to eat while making there way back to home lines. It’s to late now for me to ask my Dad so many of the things I should have. I hope if you read this and still have your parents, that you waste no more time, but cherish the time and talk more. They’re lives are full of stories.

Thanks to my sister Lois for most of the information I have of my fathers Army days.

Love one another!