So you can read my books

Monday, June 24, 2024



Funny how life is ...

You see the world about you, and memories suddenly  reach out and drag you back ...

You slip back into yesteryear ... it feels a lifetime ago and yet only yesterday ...

The world has come full circle ... or has it only been running in place?

The world has taken on a 
déjà vu quality. Senseless wars ... everyone shouting, no one listening.

Remember when you were in grade school? It doesn't matter what year, what decade ...

It never changes ... surgically youth-ed faces on the TV proclaiming prejudices as if they were truths.

When in grade school, I often wondered what it felt like to be a decent, everyday citizen in the Germany of the 1930's

watching bewildered as the world around him went slowly, cruelly insane.

It's as if God has tapped me on the shoulder, saying,

  "Now, you know. Next question? 

Have a care ... the question after that will be mine."

Look about you ... The sight holds power and beauty, grace tangled in a rapture with violence.

We don’t know what’s going on here. If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, 

the yield of millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those same typewriters, that they ignite? 

We don’t know. Our life is but a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.

At the time of Lewis and Clark, setting the prairies on fire was a well-known signal that meant “Come down to the water.” 

It was an extravagant, dangerous action, but do we do any less now?

What calls out to you from your childhood? How do you steer through the madness around you today?

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Would You Spend the Night in a Museum?


Yes, there are museums 
that will let you spend the night!


In 2014, the New York museum hosted its first adult-only sleep-over ...

complete with a champagne reception with live jazz music ...

fossil fact-finding by flashlight and cots under the 94 foot long model of a Blue Whale.

The next grown-up slumber party is June 22.

Get your reservations in early!

Cost $350!  Ouch!!


Pack your pajamas and pillows for a night of heroes and history ...

resting your head in the Rotunda near the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The fall sleep-over is October 13th.

But you must be from 8 to 12.  Rats.  Cost: $125


Shark fanatics and budding oceanographers will have to part with $120 

to spend the evening with experts and brave the shark catwalk.

Comes with a buffet-style dinner and light breakfast.  

Ages 8 and up.


Want a sleepover for the whole family?

You can engage and educate parents and children alike for only $39!

Last month's event on the 27th centered on electricity.  

This July 18th will have the theme of chemistry.

You will enjoy educational activities, a movie in the new Rangos Giant Cinema, 

laser shows, snacks, breakfast, and free admission the following day!

Reservations are accepted up to 5 days prior to the event date.

Ages 4 and up.

There are at least 11 others museums that offer sleep-overs.  

Check to see if one is near you.


Tuesday, June 18, 2024


 Take what we are celebrating today:

We only think it freed all the slaves.

As Galadriel says of Sauron's gift of the Rings of Power

"But they were, all of them, deceived."

To paraphrase Fallout -- Politics, like war, never changes.

President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 did not free all enslaved people in the United States. 

The proclamation only freed slaves in states that had seceded from the Union, giving the South 100 days to end their rebellion. 

If the South complied, slavery could continue, but if they kept fighting, their slaves would be freed and could be drafted into the Union army. 

The proclamation also exempted the Border States, as well as Tennessee and areas of Louisiana and Virginia occupied by Federal troops.

Lincoln's primary motivation for the proclamation was to win the Civil War and reunite the Republic. 

He also didn't want to antagonize the slave states loyal to the Union by setting their slaves free.

What do you think? 

Hobbes is getting a headache trying to figure it out.

Monday, June 17, 2024


“I’m still going.
 It keeps you thinking young. 
My body is old, 
but I think the same as I did 
when I was 20 years old.”
 - June Foray

"I believe it's important to stay young at heart, 

to have faith in what might seem impossible 

and to have goals beyond your current abilities or temporary means."
 - Haley Williams

June Foray
the voice of “The Rocky and  Bullwinkle Show’s” 

Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale

of Boris and Natasha fame in the early 1960s 

and a key figure in the animation industry, died just 8 weeks short of her 100th birthday.

Foray was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel. 

She was young at heart until she died.

June Foray's sense of feeling younger and always finding a reason to laugh

is an important key to living well:

Feeling younger inspires a sense of resilience that keeps people young. 


Challenge yourself to try new things, learn new ideas, and develop new skills.

 Realizing that most human abilities follow a “use it or lose it” pattern 

can motivate us to stay active in all realms of our lives.


Bring your attention repeatedly to the present moment, through informal mindfulness practice.

It can help you to appreciate this moment, 

rather than becoming lost in regrets about the past or imagining future deterioration.


Develop a sense of meaning in life.

Focus on something larger than yourself, 

whether that’s connecting with people close to you or helping improve the lives of others.

Or commit yourself to a hobby you love, 

such as gardening, attending the theater, dancing, or reading.

When our focus is just on our own immediate pleasure or pain, 

we’re much more likely to have difficulty with the aging process.


 Remember when you were younger and would take a tumble, only to forget about it in five minutes? 

When you’re an adult, a lot of things aren’t all that easy to brush off, 

rather than dwell on them, you still manage to dust yourself right back off and go at it again 

(though this time, smarter). 

After all, life’s too short to spend it dwelling on the scrapes and bruises. 

Sometimes the only way to get over a setback is to simply just try again.


 Laugh real. Laugh honestly. 

It will feel really, really good, and no matter how unattractive you think your laugh is,

And laughter releases endorphins which act as natural morphine.  

How cool is that?


 There’s always something new to discover and claim as yours, 

whether it’s a new restaurant, 

a new coffee shop hidden away in your neighborhood, 

a new book, or maybe even a new passion and hobby you never even knew you had inside yourself. 

We spend so much of our days going through routines and the same paths and habits, 

and breaking free only to stumble on something you never even knew you’d love 

 is refreshing and can remind you about every little beautiful thing in this world. 

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, 
that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Sunday, June 16, 2024




As a counselor, I saw too many doughnut burns --

when a child is shoved into a tub of scalding water, 

the anus tightens in response so that the burn is round with a ring of unburned skin in the center.

I have counseled too many daughters of sexually abusing fathers whose scars, though invisible, will never completely heal.

Single mother households are unfortunately becoming the new “norm.” 

There are a total of 15 million children living without a father in the US alone.

Despite of that, many fatherless children are still succeeding with the help of their mothers.

Many of the hollow-eyed waitresses and sales clerks you meet will be heroic single mothers attempting what sometimes feels to be an impossible task.

According to the 2013 census, 84% of custodial parents are mothers whereas fathers are 15%.

It is my feeling that Single Mothers deserve presents on Father’s Day.

Ladies, you are a gift to society. 

Without your courageous characteristics to take on the responsibilities of your own and others, where would many of us be?

 My last memory of my own father is his receding car speeding down the street called Skid Row in Detroit after he abandoned me there. 

 I can still remember running after his car, screaming, "Daddy, Daddy!"

A street person, Maude, and her little dog, Tufts, took mercy on me for six weeks

 until she conjured the courage to bring me to the Salvation Army outpost (she had a paranoid fear of uniforms.)

In FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE and END OF DAYS, you will find me tipping my Stetson to their memory.


My mother was a single mother, and she handled Father's Day creatively:

She pointed out the verse in Psalm 68:5 -

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

So I have always thought of Father's Day as Holy and God as The Father.

But what about other single mothers?

How do they handle Father's Day do you think?

Do they have a unique way of celebrating it? Does it make them sad? Angry?

Some mothers get mad at others thinking they should get a nod at Father's Day, saying  

"I am a woman not a man! I am a mother not a father!"

This extreme reaction says to me they obviously have unresolved issues concerning being a single mother. 

Or do you think differently?

The creator of Father's Day was a single man named Charles Berlitz, whose father, Howard Berlitz, died of cancer in 1867. 

Charles made the day up to remember him.

Mr. Berlitz unintentionally made a day that is often sour for struggling single mothers and lonely children.

And the questions come murmuring in the night:

“Why don’t my children have the loving father they deserve?”

“Why do I have to do everything and he does nothing?”

“Why must I struggle financially, because he chooses to pay no child support?”

What would you say to them?


Something to make you smile:

Monday, June 10, 2024



ON THIS DAY IN 1682 ...

In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Bridget Bishop, the first colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

Trouble in the small Puritan community began in February 1692, when nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the daughter and niece, respectively, of the Reverend Samuel Parris, 

began experiencing fits and other mysterious maladies. A doctor concluded that the children were suffering from the effects of witchcraft

and the young girls corroborated the doctor’s diagnosis. Under compulsion from the doctor and their parents, the girls named those allegedly responsible for their suffering.

And Cancel Culture has been thriving in America ever since.

What do you think?

Friday, June 7, 2024



John Steinbeck would send his son letters

 — sometimes 18-page-long ones, when he didn’t have time to edit — 

ranting, raving, and generally trying to be helpful. 

The only thing I remember my father telling me was one word: "Survive" 

when he abandoned me at six on a rough street far from my home in Detroit.

"Happy Father's Day, Dad."

In 1958, John's 14 year old son wrote of falling in love for the first time.  

This is the letter Steinbeck wrote back:

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. 

Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. 

One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. 

The other is an outpouring of everything good in you 

-- of kindness and consideration and respect -- 

not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. 

The first kind can make you sick and small and weak 

but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. 

What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone 

-- there is no possible harm in saying so -- 

only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- 

but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. 

But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. 

She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- 

The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.


 You should treat yourself to Steinbeck: A Life in Letters (public library

that constructs an alternative biography of the iconic author through some 850 

of his most thoughtful, witty, honest, opinionated, vulnerable, and revealing letters to family, friends, his editor, and a circle of equally well-known and influential public figures.