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Showing posts from 2017

For Jacqueline Marie

To wed my love, a chance at bliss whose odds are fixed in every kiss
Life and love held hand in hand, sparkling in  each wedding band
The shimmering Sound could not divide, Family and friends stand by our side
Work proved an easy place to fall in love, Forever grateful to the Lord above

The Legend of Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner became a legend by leading the hedonistic lifestyle of which most men can only dream. He built a publishing empire that was both taboo and respected. Hefner was somehow able to convince famous women to bare it all in Playboy between newsworthy interviews, cartoons and essays. While this was no small feat, his real gift was to elevate the girl next door to celebrity status. Hugh Hefner passed away on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles at the age of 91. In keeping with his legend, it was no small coincidence that Wednesday is often referred to as "hump day."


Although Hefner's life was well publicized, one can only imagine the stories he took with him to his grave. The whispers spoken in the grotto or stories of famous people who checked in to the mansion and never seemed to check out were sealed forever in his silk smoking jacket. Hefner was the consummate playboy who lived in the limelight and knew that discretion was the bette…

World Mourns Princess Diana 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago today it was a Saturday night and I had just arrived at the 56 Fighter Group in East Farmingdale, NY and went to the bar to get a drink. I looked up at the TV and saw the headline that Princess Diana was in a fatal car crash. I sat in disbelief as if someone had told me I had lost a dear friend. 

Through her well publicized life I had witnessed Diana's wedding and the birth of her children and her enduring campaign to rid the world of explosive remnants of war strewn across fields where innocent children played unaware of the hidden dangers lurking below. I was crestfallen. As the events that led up to the car crash pointed toward a desperate escape from pursuing paparazzi, the royal tragedy unfolded: Princess Diana, 36 years of age, was taken abruptly from her two teenage sons.


Today, her boys are grown and the world goes on, but for a moment it stood still 20 years ago. I recall writing a eulogy soon thereafter and mailing it to the Long Island Voice, which publis…

U2 and The Lumineers Perform at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey

It was a picturesque day. Sunny and cool. We loaded up the SUV and headed west over the bridge past the New Jersey State Fair to a nearly empty parking lot. We were early. The anticipation of seeing The Lumineers and U2 reached a crescendo as we sat in folding chairs looking at the entrance to MetLife Stadium with the clear blue sky dotted only by passing airplanes.


Seeing U2 perform was on my bucket list as the band's canon of music has provided a soundtrack for much of my past. The addition of The Lumineers to the bill was serendipitous as I missed seeing them last summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell and the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY.

We were seated in section 116 adjacent to the sound stage. The sound was perfect during The Lumineers performance, but hit some dissonance during U2's With or Without You that resulted in minor deductions from the judges.

Each front man shared personal stories that made this live performance particularly memorable. Wesley Schultz of…

Say Hello 2 Heaven Chris Cornell and Gregg Allman

I hopped in the back of pick-up truck and sped toward Manhattan for the much anticipated Guns N' Roses concert. We had just finished our shifts at IHOP and two of the waitresses had changed out of their blue plaid frocks into fishnet tights and black leather jackets. Their lips were painted ruby red and their friends provided the transportation along with a case of beer. One of my fellow refugees was not going for Guns, he was going to see the opening band Soundgarden. He had on a Badmotorfinger t-shirt that was well worn.


That concert was my introduction to Soundgarden and the emerging Seattle music scene. I can still hear Chris Cornell shake the walls of Madison Square Garden as my neck snapped back and forth with each passing rocker chick who left nothing to my teenage imagination. I would hear that same booming voice again some years later when Audioslave played atop the marquee of The Late Show with David Letterman  and shook the neighboring building were I worked 32 stories …

Tire

When my life does expire
my poems will roll on like a tire
even though the words
and thoughts aren't new
the arrangements will give people 
something to chew on and on
as the threads become smooth
the next generation will feel my groove 
and light their own fire
with ditties that inspire 
as they roll on like a steel-belted tire.


Other poems:
Working Man BluesBluffThe Words

Made in the USA

Buying products that are made in the USA has long been a passion of mine. It can be a challenge sometimes as these products may not be easy to find or may not be made here anymore. In categories such as autos, shoes and clothes, there are many wonderful American manufacturers to choose from. While price can sometimes be more than foreign counterparts, I find the quality of American products is worth it with the added benefit of supporting jobs here. 

From the coffee I drink, to the car I drive, there are numerous opportunities to buy well-made products that are manufactured in the USA. Here are a few examples in men's wardrobe:


Shinola Men's Watches

Randolph Engineering Sunglasses

Hickey Freeman Suit

American Trench Socks

Rancourt & Co. Shoes 

Try any one of these products when it comes time for your next purchase, not only will you feel good about it, you'll look sharp.

Writers on the Storm

The legendary editor of Charles Scribner's Sons, Maxwell Perkins, worked with writers who became legends such as Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. None of these men knew celebrity until their first novel was published.

Back then, publishers invested in writers who could build careers. They paid modest advances and worked together to produce literature that could achieve commercial success. Some books would flop, others would yield a modest return, and some would be gigantic best-sellers. The best-sellers would fund the enterprise.


Publishing has changed since then.
An unknown writer presents undue risk to a publisher. To achieve profit they must invest in those titles the industry will support as best-sellers. That said, a writer with an established audience has leverage. For example, the Obamas were awarded a $60 million contract from Penguin Random House for the President's and the First Lady's memoirs. A safe bet by any calculation, but the pendulum f…

Running of the Bulls in Jamaica, Queens

A bull escaped from a slaughterhouse on Tuesday running through the streets of Jamaica, Queens with reckless abandon, terrorizing pedestrians in its path. The NYPD was in hot pursuit as the bull paraded down city sidewalks and hopped fences looking for its way out of the urban maze. The beast was struck with tranquilized darts resembling carefully placed swords from Spanish matadors while crowds gathered to watch the event. Its captors from the nearby Aziz Slaughter House chased the bull until it turned its horns toward them and charged. They escaped being gored without the customary cheer of Olé!

The bull traveled two miles and was seemingly cornered before escaping to run a half mile more. It finally sat down in a yard on 158th Street and 116th Avenue and was captured and transported to a nearby animal shelter where it was later pronounced dead from the corrida. The gallant run by the beast to escape the butcher's knife prompted a candlelight vigil in its honor outside the slaugh…

The Enduring Beauty of Liz Cho

Have you ever stared at a portrait of a lady for an eternity? What if eternity was measured in 10 minutes or 10 hours or 10 days? What if you saw the same picture each day for 10 years? Would it feel like eternity? Could any portrait hold you captive for that long? Perhaps if it changed ever so slightly each day, a new hairstyle, a different dress, a dash of pepper here, a pinch of salt there, would it continue to entice the palette? Imagine if the lady could speak and you could watch her expression change from mock disbelief to spontaneous laughter in an instant? Would eternity be long enough?


I first wrote about Liz Cho in December of 2006 when she was the co-anchor of Eyewitness News at 11pm. Her bright portrait illuminated my tranquil living room each night. Those times when she was absent, there was a noticeable void like a blank space on a museum wall. I took note of one such absence in 2007 when she was on maternity leave and triumphantly announced her return a few months later.…

Top Five Hottest Instagram Models III

Thank You Lord

Thank you Lord for the ability to make a wrong a right and coffee and aspirin after a late night,
Thank you Lord for another chance to run and laugh and for declining the penalty after an ill-advised gaffe,
Thank you Lord for treating us all the same and for being impartial to our endless blame,
And thank you Lord for listening to my prayer and letting me know you're always there.


Other poems: ·Confidence ·The Good Outweighs the Bad Fifty-Fifty ·Bluff

Drink on Hemingway

I drove through Islamorada in a fiery Mustang convertible with the top down and Marley and the Wailers playing over and over while my foot weighed down like gravity on the accelerator.

Spontaneous flight to Miami, now on the hunt for inspiration once owned by the man who left a blueprint to literary fortune in his short, swift typewriter strokes.


Hotel in Key West where a cute girl in navy blue g-string bikini waits poolside for me to make a move, but I'm incapacitated by irreverent sun beams and the beauty of her fresh tan lines.

Night falls. Drag queens on Duval Street singing Christmas carols. Ruckus up ahead, sirens and handcuffs, I turn left to Whitehead, to find blues burning from Caffeine Carl and the Funky Beans and wild locals getting loose on buckets of beer, drunk on the notion I'm in heaven, but it's filthy and lonely after a while.
Wallet empty, party strong, I leave dejected, seeking inspiration, call on Hemingway ... Show yourself, you son of a bitch.

And then I …

Unre quit ed

Unre quit ed is a bitch
A back to scratch that doesn’t itch
A nose to pick that always bleeds 
A potted garden full of weeds
A towel to dry unwashed hands
A container filled with rubber bands
Unre quit ed is a bitch
A gaping wound with no stitch
A mirrored ball with no dance
A matching top with no pants
A drink in hand with no thirst
A thinking man’s muttered curse
Unre quit ed is a bitch
A name I’d say but just can't snitch.
Other poems: Pencil SkirtsHawaiian Surf PrincessThe Face That Launched a Thousand Ships