There has been a profound change in My Old Gang. I guess, at 75 years of age, I would still like to see my old friends as they were at 17 years of age.
Lorraine and I attended a 75th birthday celebration (not a surprise party) for one of my oldest pals. He is my age, but has gone through a difficult bout with Mesothelioma. He lost a lung, but he keeps on ticking.
I’m writing to invite veterans and Boy and Girl Scouts to participate in a unique initiative I am bringing to our community: The Library of Congress’s Veterans Oral History Project. Too often, the sacrifices that our veterans make are forgotten with time. As the years go by, the stories and legacies of the Greatest Generation – those who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II – are passing with those who fought.
The last two weeks, Lorraine and I were involved in “Surprise Parties”. At a surprise party, you are not allowed to be late…or you will ruin the surprise. That is the most callous thing a person can do- ruin the surprise.
Last spring brought the tragic news of the death of Yeardley Love, a member of the University of Virginia (UVA) women’s lacrosse team, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, a UVA men’s lacrosse team player, in an alcohol-fueled fit of rage. Both teams competed in NCAA championship tournaments after Love was buried.
When Ellen Lawrence entered the Taproot Writing Group at the Jericho Library, she made an immediate impression on the group. We meet every Friday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. We each write stories and/or poems to a group of about 12 other writers. The constructive critiques are a boon to each of us.
It has been said that we human beings sleep away one-third of our given lives. Those eight hours that we spend on mattresses during the night could be put to much better use. Imagine if Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer or Charles Darwin could have had all that productive time to invent things to better humanity. What a waste!
On a Saturday at the end of May a year ago, my wife and I went to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, one of the premier spots in the NYC metropolitan area to witness the annual avian spring migration. The first things we hear are the sounds of birds. In my high-powered scope is a vocalist, the rufous-sided towhee. It’s a striking black and white bird with an amber eye and a generous dash of rust on its side. Its bill opens, sending out calls into the morning air.
I want to share a story with you about a courageous little girl named Julia who lives in my hometown of Glen Cove. Julia was born with a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. The disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves. NF will often lead to other conditions such as cardiovascular problems, chronic pain, blindness, deafness, bone defects, disfigurement and many other complications. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Either you like to gamble, or you don’t.
I like to gamble a little bit. When I go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City or Foxwoods, I have an automatic cutoff machine. When I lose too much money, I get dour and depressed. I want to leave and go home. I won’t cash any more bills, and I find a quiet place to just watch other people gamble. At most, I go two or three times a year to casinos.
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