Saturday, December 3, 2016
i ran this little memory just before Thanksgiving. It got so many nice responses and provoked so many warm holiday memories that i'm reprinting it here. thanks for indulging me : So its Thursday. And my folks are loading up the car for a trip to Brooklyn. My sister's birthday, my Uncle Gus' and mine are all grouped together around Thanksgiving so every year its a 4-way celebration with lots of food and cake and seltzer and pretzels and cranberry sauce and delicious Greek olives.Uncle Gus (and my Aunt Eva) live in a stately building in Brooklyn with massive revolving glass doors and a magnificent elevator. They've lived in this apartment for nearly 30 years and in some places thick light green wall paint covers up the electrical sockets, and the windows that overlook the courtyard sometimes stick. But today it's packed wall to wall with relatives we almost never see -- some distant, others no one is quite sure how they fit in -- and everyone is smiling and laughing and kibbitzing and carrying seltzer or soda or mixed drinks in beautiful clear glasses with baroque gold carvings on the side. The TV is always on -- usually its tuned to The March of the Wooden Soldiers or a football game. While a few of the men watch it, most people are engaged in catch up conversation. They occupy plush chairs and a small green couch and folding chairs, arms and legs everywhere. A long card table, covered over with an even longer white tablecloth and overflowing with warm challah and buns, and SevenUp and blue bottles of seltzer and Seagram 7 and place dishes and napkins and utensils, fills the center of the room. Everything happens around the hub of the table. Crossing the room to join another conversation or to visit the restroom in the hall, beside the bedroom, can be an arduous task. But today everyone is in a good mood and wherever you light there is something interesting going on. Harry is telling me how he knew my Mom when she was a little girl; Peter (my Uncle's handsome friend from Greece) is regaling that group over there with tales of Cyprus; Sylvia is talking to Rose (who is nearly 100) who is talking to my Grandmother Molly or Aunt Sarah.. Gus is busy in the kitchen. He joined the Army when he was 40 (he lied about his age in reverse) and they put him in charge of the Mess. So cooking today for 30 or more people is really not a big deal. He boils dozens of potatoes at one time, cooks gallons of yams and cranberry sauce all at once, and takes special pride in turning out a golden turkey every time. Buckets of stuffing, deep dishes of slaw and gravy and mashed potatoes and baked potatoes and kasha varnishkes and french cut beans. And of course a large sheet cake from Ratchik's Bakery for our collective birthdays (but mostly his). Gus oversees everything - a pudgy dopple ganger of MGM's "Cuddles" Sakall - with black glasses, thinning hair and a quick ready laugh. He had been President of the Furriers Union at one time (that's a big deal) and had been sad to retire from a job he loved. Now, cooking for Army-sized appetites again, he was back in his element. After dinner, me and my Dad and brother sneak up to the roof. The entire building is five or six stories high and you can stand and look over the parapet at the street below. Sometimes people would be hurrying by with their collars cinched up against the cold. A short blast of a car horn would sound weird and echo from this vantage point. If you spit over the side of the building, you could watch it in its slow-motion descent and even hear a small splat in the street below. I wrote a small note about Gus and his Thanksgivings for Reminisce magazine a few years ago. His parties - festive and full of good cheer and humanity - were an annual event for many years. (To this day, i still secrete a can of cranberry sauce and delicious Greek olives whereever i happen to celebrate turkey day). Many of the people we dined with are no longer here. But whether they're here or hereafter, whether friends and relatives are here or away, whether apartments have changed hands and spitting from the rooftop no longer possesses the mystery and magic it once held , we tip a drumstick in their direction, and remember. For all the souls who've touched our loves on this very special day, for the family and friends we still gather with or talk to on the phone or send a letter to or only (as they say in church) remember in the silence of our hearts, they ALL share a special place at our table on this holiday and for as long as memories last. Gobble till ya wobble! :) for more memories by this author, please check out >> https://www.amazon.com/My-Pal-Shep-Vince-Iuliano-ebook/dp/B016UT7XVI
Sunday, October 23, 2016
About a dozen years ago, the Republican party abdicated its responsibility as part of a system of checks and balances, and became the 'do-nothing' party. The Democrats, chests swelled with a generation of slavery, Jim Crow, anti-Civil rights measurements, became the party that took over America once and for all. During the Obama administration, hundreds of public utilities became property of the Federal Government. The great leviathan that was the United States government took over car manufacturing, banks, tuition, and a myriad of other entities too mundane or sick to contemplate. School history books were re-written, emphasizing the non-existent role of Muslims in the creation of America and their crucial (albeit fictional) importance in the space program, etc. Asking voter's for a picture ID? Well that was racist. Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again"? Bill Clinton said with a wink that THAT was racist too (forgetting, for the nonce, that he had once used that very slogan himself). And while the Republicans slept, Obama doubled the National Debt. He spent more money than all the Presidents combined plus all the war debts combined. How did he do it? The Republicans signed a blank check. They looked the other way. They chose to do 'the People's business' like putting men in women's rooms. Social engineering the racial composite of our neighborhoods. Teaching the soldiers about 'trans-genders'. While another holocaust was going on in the Middle East, our politicians assured us that global warming was the real problem of our times (that is, after it was global cooling and just before it became climate change). Refugees, drug smugglers, pedophiles, and Isis and Syrian plants drove trucks and dangerous drugs across our porous borders. "They're coming here for love" we were told. "Dreamers" was the new name for 1/3 of our prison population. Santuary cities and driver's licenses and free health care and free housing fell like rain. 10's of thousands of 'refugees' (so called) were placed in North Carolina and Virginia and Massachusetts and Michigan, in spite of a court ruling halting the out of control policies of our government. Guatamelan gangs with machete's began to pop up in New York, New Jersey, Arizona. Bodies of young innocent Americans began turning up dead. 95 million people had dropped out of the work force and onto Medicaid rolls, 145 million now collected food stamps. Over a billion dollars was flown to Iran in the middle of the night in an unmarked cargo plane in defiance of US banking laws. Money that might have been used at home. It was, we were told, for an unspecified debt of years ago and Obama and Kerry promised that they 'saved the taxpayer further expense down the line' with their brilliant, nearly Mensa-like moves. Wikileak proved what we've known all along. Government corruption went even deeper than we suspected. The DNC was behind the "Trump rally violence". Major media was complicit in covering the lies and continuing the propaganda. Obama and Kerry made future nuclear war almost a certainty (Bill Clinton had given it to the North Korean's who were happily detonating their weapons and aiming for US shores even as you read this). Hillary thought that Christian's were 'backward thinkers' while the GOP was so busy fighting their candidate that they lost sight of the true picture. Democrats cared not a whit about the safety and happiness of the nation's citizens, and all about creating more voters and propagating their message of Utopia and more Statist control. America is by all accounts spiraling out of control. Greece on acid. And yet i hear people say they will NOT be voting this year. "I can't vote for him, and i certainly can't vote for her," they announce smugly. "I'm staying home." Freedom is never free, and while you're living now in a soft tyranny, there are still things you can do to right the ship. Sitting home on your ass is not one of them. Bad athletes and morons can take a knee when their nation's National Anthem is played. Dimwits and lolligags can let America's sovereignty (in forms like the internet she created) slip through their fingers and into the ken of such stalwart places as Turkey and Iran. Choosing NOT to vote when our country is ailing, and needs us the most? Ignoring the bravery and self-sacrifice of those who came before as people with no interest in our history slip inside our borders and proceed to vote? Listening to politicians on tv tell us something is NOT characteristic of America's values when they clearly don't have a clue what those values are to begin with? Sit on the sidelines and let others choose America's fate without giving voice to your own concerns, or those of your grandchildren yet unborn? There are many things we could do, but please -- never, never that.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Someone asked rhetorically how evangical Christians could endorse Donald Trump for President (in light of some perceived comments the newspapers had twisted to their effect..)..Here's my response : Perhaps its a reaction to the news last week (and in the past) re. Californian Christians now being forced by Obama to pay for abortions, and Billary's assertion that she will continue his policies. Her assertions that his executive actions didn't go as far as she will. Perhaps its his open border policy and Shillary's declarations to up the amount of incoming "500%". Perhaps its a reaction to Chelsea stating at a rally that her mom plans on giving Obamacare to illegals. Her accomplishments are many - defended Black Panthers, kicked off the Watergate docket for zealousness that went beyond the Constitution; Whitewater, money laundering, emails... it could be her help creating the Arab Spring and her direct input that Khadafi must not leave Libya alive (needless to say, Libya is a cesspool now). Perhaps its Amb. Steven's 500 fruitless calls to her before he was murdered, or her assertion to the American public that it was caused by a video AT THE SAME TIME she was telling Chelsea and Libyan president that it was terrorism (yes, that means she lied to us but why split hairs? Look at those cute jumpsuits..)..Perhaps its her hand (along with BO) in paving the way for Isis. Perhaps its the fact that she and Bill stole furniture and chinaware from the WH and had to return it (with resitutions). Or money taken from 6 to 8 countries that kill gays and abuse women. Oh but why quibble? She has lady parts and she's liberal. That alone deserves blind fealty. (its been estimated with glee by none other than our veep Lunchbox Joe that whites will soon be in the minority. I was always under the impression that immigration was supposed to HELP the host country, but i guess as long as we can rid ourselves of those evil white people it serves a dual purpose..BTW, since when is its govt's role to eliminate white folk, or to re-engineer our neighborhoods while BO purchases a 5 million dollar mansion for himself in Palm Springs?) From 1924 to 1965 we didn't even HAVE immigration. And this is all leftie double-speak, is it not? ; folks who come here illegally are not immigrants. They're felons)..Not sure how evangelical Mr T is (my guy Cruz was already bumped) but at the very least i will know he has our country at heart and not self-interest. I guess it all comes down to what our definition of IS is. It certainly scares me to think that Bill and Huma's husband Anthony Weiner can be wandering the Oral Office once more.. More to your point, i guess we can draw a serious line of cause/effect between our lowered standards and morals and less church attendance. Trump is not a racist , that's a meme that his opponents use. His comments -admittedly not PC (thank G-d) - are reserved for ILLEGALS... As someone who lost a loved one recently to H, i have no problem keeping El Chapo (who made 3 trips in and out of America WHILE he was the most hunted man in America) and his low rent ilk out, or in vetting those who come in (they found a Syrian terrorist responsible for at least a thousand murders last month working for the TSA at an airport in Miami, feeling up Americans.)...Whether you read Friedman or not, bringing "500 times" the illegals we now have in to America , and giving them welfare, schooling and healthcare FREE is foolhardy and suicidal. BO said that last week's stalemate didn't stop his "dreamers".. I think someone forgot along the way to tell him that Americans have dreams too..(and isn't it scary that 4 hacks on the Supreme Court think that BO making up his own rules and laws and circumventing the Legislative branch was A-OK?)...Immigration (so called) is supposed to benefit the host country first and foremost. How does bringing in the world's poor and illiterate (many in their own language) help the 95+ million Americans who are now out of work. BO spent millions (yours) to get Syrian's resettled and get them jobs this Spring in Maine. Again, too much to care about Americans who are unemployed and go to bed hungry? I can't divorce Hillary from BO in the same way that i blame Boehner for letting BO bring us 5 trillion in debt on his watch , or even GW for TARP.. She applauds his failed policies and even promises to kick them into hyper-drive. Country be damned, ideology full speed ahead (Friends from our high school who are now Democrats have told me that -despite pro slavery stance of Dem party, despite years of Jim Crow and Bull Conyers and anti first civil rights act in 1950's, despite affiliations with KKK , etc - that it is Republicans who are 'racists'. I guess the narrative works. Viva Alinsky. If we CALL him a racist, he must be. Trump however employs many minorities, was even bringing them in under a government loophole to work at Maralago. On the other hand, in the days after we found out about Lewinsky, Bill and Hill could be seen sitting front row in church -- Bill would even walk out holding a Bible in his hand for effect. NOW i've heard he keeps a small room in Little Rock for his trysts, and Secret Service have taken to calling a certain blonde number 'energizer bunny' as they let her pass unimpeded through the gates in Chappaqua. Who cares, to what end? I certainly could not care less what people do with their 'gentles' (Mel Brooks turns 90 tomorrow, see how i worked that in?). As fas as accomplishments, Trump has built some magnificent buildings and golf courses. He's crass, he's entertaining, i have no doubt he can get some things done..(i hope he has good advice..At this point, he tells us he will add tarriff's to products to get company's to move to America...Tarriff is another word for tax and we already have 12 THOUSAND taxes on products coming into the US... Peanuts for instance are 23% higher. As near as i can tell, a tarriff just means the consumer will pay MORE).. .But i do NOT doubt that Trump loves his great country. I can't say the same for other politicians, who seem to be in a rush to remake and transform America.. I'm really not sure they even LIKE it very much (Michelle wakes up in a house built by slaves, she told a group of graduates last month (forgetting to mention the FREE Americans, Irish and Italian craftsmen who worked alongside them).. Hillary has -- well, she's done --- well, she's female. So there's that. Face it folks, the great Statesmen are all gone (if they ever existed). It WAS a very good year. We have tasted the wine, and now we are left with the dregs...
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Wel,, obviously i can't imagine a devestated America with Hildebeast or Bernie Crankcase in charge, but the Donald is going to take some nose-holding. We lost a great Patriotic American tonight when Ted Cruz decided to suspend his campaign in Indiana. The only Constitutional scholar in the pack, Ted is a man who does what he says. He promised to repeal every word of Obamacare and to abolish the IRS, and i have every reason to expect that he would have followed through on those promises. When Boehner and that other imbecile Peter King came out against him, i knew that he was the best choice. The enemy of my enemy, right? Donald Trump throws a lot of gas around. "Lyin' Ted, Canadian, father knew Oswald." I just hope he can be trusted in the years ahead to steer America in the right direction and to shake these Jesse Ventura fantasies to try out the cloak of Statesman. The Presidency has taken a hit in the last few years - cancer is laughed at, as well as our country's sworn enemies in lieu of a dopey slant on 'climate change'. We don't have serious politician's anymore :with the passing of Judge Scalia and the stepping down of Cruz tonight, I fear for America's future. You should too.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Tuesday this week, Obama moved to NATIONALIZE THE SUBURBS. They quietly put into place a plan for HUD to re-jigger integration of ethnic and monetary sources. Neighborhood too white? Too many rich people in this locale? Obama and the other geniuses in your Federal government will remedy the situation. (It goes back to a Supreme Court case about 2 weeks ago where laughingstock Judge Kennedy said that any neighborhood that has too much of one type of people has inherent racial prejudice (even if no racial component is exhibited or apparent). Of course , there's only one black man on the Supreme Court..(and for that matter only 3 people on the court with any brains - he's one of them)... Wednesday this week, Obama moved to screw the elderly even more. No longer a personal family matter, the hospitals and doctors will discuss end of life with patients (even if the patients are not ill and not even in the hospital). Medicare (a branch of your Federal Government) will PAY dr's and health "professionals" to bring up discussions with older people about packing things in -- which immediately biases their ability to care for older patients. Healthcare in Obama's world is pushing people out of their bed and off the planet when they reach whatever pre-determined age this monarch believes is fair.. Sarah Palin was mocked for talking about death panels -- well, they begin January 2016. (Government states the public will be given a 60-day period to talk about it, which you know as you've watched this out of control leviathan of a government vote on huge bills they haven't even read is bull-crap). . What national dialogue is Obama (your President, not mine) directing people to discuss? Well, we're all talking about Confederate flags this week.. (Contact your Congressman if you believe the government is out of control. Get vocal! If you voted anything other than Conservative last time, try to be smarter this time around! And if you'd like to read more from this author -- What Price Liberty is available here >> https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/491804)
Friday, July 3, 2015
I missed the memo. I'm not sure exactly WHEN we decided that tattoo's were sexier than bare skin. I saw a guy running to catch a bus the other day with big empty star-shapes on his arm (one of the girls watching him -- tattoo's on her chest and belly -- said that stars were 'ghetto'. As apparently torso tattoo's were not). I've seen the obligatory Chinese symbols and even long quotations on mid-sections. The pictures and sayings on necks, wrists, the LOVE/HATE knuckle thing. You can't even see a woman in a skirt anymore without a flower tattoo following close at her heels. Is it me? Years ago we thought tattoo's were for guys working in garages, Army personnel, sailors and Hell's Angels. Now they're so common that they're -- well, common. One saleslady I met has a giant bolt through her mouth, a clip on her eyebrow and lip. Middle-aged women go through catalogs to choose their next tattoo. 'Oh i like that," said one recently about a flower motif. "But do you know what I want to get?" Sorry. Call me old school but I'll always maintain that plain old skin -in whatever incarnation or age - is miles sexier than ink any day. Besides, if everyone has the same thing, doesn't that make it cliche? ******** more from this writer on Amazon, Smashword, and whereever ebooks are sold...
Thursday, May 14, 2015
When The Wizard of Oz opened in 1939, it was not yet the runaway classic we all know and love today. The movie of course was the same movie but the audiences had an embarrassment of riches to view (especially that year, with Gone with the Wind, Lost Horizon, How Green was My Valley, The Good Earth, Goodbye Mr Chips, etc).They didn't take it to their hearts as later audiences did. Not until the advent of television did Dorothy's adventures over the rainbow with her magical friends become rooted in the national conscience and beloved all over the world. There are a precious few movies that deserve classic status - certainly Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Butch Cassidy, It's A Wonderful Life to name but a few. But Oz continues to draw new audiences wherever it shows - and older folks like me can still enjoy it on many levels (not least of which is that it helps us recapture some of our youth). This light preamble brings me to my sad topic today: speaking to many younger folk (twenty-nine and younger), I find very few even acquainted with the great film. "I'd let my daughter watch it," someone told me today, "but i have no desire. I've seen little pieces of it. It didn't look very good." Another young friend said to me "I've never seen it. Should I?" A third admitted 'I don't really DO black and white movies." When we pointed out that the movie goes from sepia into blazing Technicolor, he said 'oh, well I might watch it then."
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???Going back to an earlier theme (lack of intellectual curiousity) this continues to astonish me. To quote the great William Saroyan:
“The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”You not only owe it to your film collection to purchase the Wizard of Oz, but you need to watch it --- often --and share it with your children. Then try Disney's wonderful Swiss Family Robinson, Flight of the Doves or Oliver with the always terrific Ron Moody, or even a newer 'classic' like Toy Story or Finding Nemo. You want to really give your family a treat? Search for a copy of Hans Christian Anderson with Danny Kaye in your library or better yet, permanently add it to your collection. If you have a heart, you'll want to view it again and again. Never saw The Wonderful Wizard of Oz??? My God, wo/man -- how do you even call yourself alive??? ***** You can read many children stories and poems from this author, wherever ebooks are sold, including 48 Poems for Young Children, Plus Two; Carter Wingtipper Flies to Mars!, and the upcoming Gribbius, The Girl Who Believed in Miracles, and Wizapan Skylar, of Winnow's Marsh!