Thursday, August 27, 2015


 My old high school in California
looking exactly as I remember it

Got an email the other day from my dear friend Linda in California, whom I've known since high school. She sent me an article about Coach Wilkerson, who was one of the P.E. (physical education) coaches when we were in school.

Was he one of your coaches? she wanted to know.

I remembered Wilkerson. Incredibly, however, I couldn't recall if he was ever one of my coaches. I hated P.E. so thoroughly that I did my best to expunge the details from my memory. I might have been in Wilkerson's P.E. class during my sophomore year - but it's all a myopic blur (vanity prevented me from wearing my glasses).

I know for certain that Jim Beales was my P.E. coach during my junior year. And then I had Holden as a senior. Both of them were unnervingly memorable, for totally different reasons.

Coach Beales was a rough, gruff, macho-type man's man (ironic phrasing, huh?).  He was also a staunch homophobe. He persistently lectured us boys about the evils of homosexuality and the disgrace and destruction that would be instantly hurled upon us if homoerotic thoughts ever dared to cross our minds.

Let me interject by saying that  when I was in high school I was not only the biggest nerd in the entire school district, I was as pure and unblemished as the Hope Diamond. I didn't  remotely know a thing about  heterosexuality - let alone homosexuality.  I was a combination of Mother Theresa and Pope Innocent.

Ironically, only a few years later I was a slutty  ruffian on the streets of Hollywood. But that's beside the point.

Coach Beales would gather us boys together and tell harrowing tales about all the absolutely miserable and desperately unhappy homosexuals he had known. Only he called them Queers, fags, and fairies.
I recall one particularly nerve-shattering story about a guy, or a gay, that Beales knew in the Army.

"That queer was the most unhappy person I've ever known," Beales told us. "He lived in constant fear that his perversion would be discovered and he was miserable with remorse. One night he took a rope, sneaked outside after everyone was asleep, and......

.....hanged himself!!" 
 Beales eyes flashed gleefully as he said this - - and he looked directly at me.

Holy Crap! It was as if he was peering into the depths of my soul and seeing visions of what was to come.

Years later - when I had a much better perspective of reality, I wondered why the hell Coach Beales had known so many homosexuals. Was it mere coincidence, or - - - was he a closet queen?

Coach Richard Holden, in my senior year, wasn't a genuine coach at all. He was a math teacher who had unwittingly been given the task of being a P.E. coach during a lean time of an understaffed faculty.

Holden hated P.E. class as much as I did and he had sympathy for my plight. He would occasionally allow me to do work in his office instead of forcing me to "suit up" and play football or baseball outside.

In retrospect, I have no doubt that Holden also recruited me as his chosen one because I was the most naive and innocent kid in P.E. class. And probably in California.

He began sending me on secret missions to retrieve things from his car in the parking lot.  No one was allowed in the school parking lot while class was in session - so I was engaging in risky business. 

The "items" that Holden wanted were most often large bottles of soft drinks that were  stashed under the seat of the car.
After completing several of these perplexing excursions, curiosity got the better of me. I might have been innocent but I was no fool. I unscrewed the cap on one of the bottles and took a whiff. 

Whiskey! Nearly straight whiskey, diluted with a little soda. I took a swig. Nice! Warm, but nice.

Now I knew why Holden so desperately wanted those bottles from the car - - and why he was so admirably able to tolerate his unwanted stint as a coach.

A few months later, Holden showed up rip-roaring drunk for his math class and was subsequently dismissed. I don't know if they ever let him teach again at our school.

I had a few misgivings about aiding and abetting an alcoholic.


Monday, August 24, 2015


I'm ready to hit the road


I was going through old family photo files on my desktop computer this morning and was surprised at how many photos of vehicles there were. Loads of them, from an incredible span of years. Even more amazing is the fact that each vehicle ignited special memories that I had almost forgotten. 

Narrowing these stories down to a few isn't easy, but I'll give it a shot. I'll begin with the oldest. 

The crash of 1928. I'm not talking stock market crash. I'm talking car crash.

The car was owned by my great uncle, Michael Gordon - - brother of my maternal grandmother. Michael was handsome, flamboyant, and artistic. I saw some of his drawings and paintings and they were fantastic. He'd been in the Navy during World War I. After the war he started drinking and indulging in hedonistic pursuits. Despite trying to ignore (deny?) the fact, I'm sure the whole family knew the disturbing truth......that he was.......let's

One night, on a dark country road, he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree. He was seriously injured. The right side of the car was demolished. If the impact had been on the driver's side he might have been killed.

In an astonishing theory dredged up from the Dark Ages, the family claimed that Michael's eccentricities and homosexual inclinations were the result of a head injury from the accident.

Hit his head. 
Woke up the next day with a strange craving for lilacs and Oscar Wilde witticisms.

It was a unanimous family assertion that Mike was "never quite the same" after the accident. He became somewhat of a black sheep and his name was mentioned only in whispers of disdain. 

I never met Uncle Mike but I would have liked to. I have a feeling we might have had a lot in common.

This is a rather unflattering photo of my Mom, because she was pregnant with me - - but it's the only photo I have of this particular vehicle.
Anybody happen to know the make or year?

My mother told this story numerous times and it has always stuck in my mind.

It seems that my father bought this vehicle solely because he got a good deal on it. He initially never divulged to my mother exactly where he got it.

In the months before I was born, my father was working at the Metallo Gasket Co. in New Brunswick, New Jersey (incredibly, it's still in existence). He worked the night shift, and my Mom had to drive there every night to pick him up at midnight.

The route she had to take was a dark, completely deserted country road. The most unnerving part about it was that she had to go past an old graveyard.

Mom recalled one particular night when it was so foggy that she literally had to drive at a snail's pace, inch by inch. When she finally got near the factory Dad was outside whistling for her. She kept shouting and he kept whistling until they finally saw each other.

My mother always hated the vehicle that she had to drive. She described it as a creepy old clunker that had a peculiar smell inside. A ghastly feeling came over her every time she drove it.

It wasn't until much later that she discovered the origin of the vehicle. It was originally owned by a funeral parlor mortician, and he used it to haul corpses. It was a Corpsemobile!

I have no doubt whatsoever that my father knew this before he bought it.

Dad with Pontiac

 When I was in my early 20's in California, my parents had five or six vehicles. One of them was a Pontiac Catalina. My father had to take it to an automotive shop for some minor maintenance. He dropped it off there very early in the morning - before the shop opened - and left the key in the ignition. It was a foolish gamble, but he knew the owner of the place and had done the same procedure before.

I was living in Hollywood at the time. That morning, as usual, I turned on the  radio to hear the news. During the traffic report segment, there was a breaking bulletin:
A high-speed chase between police and a stolen vehicle on the 405 Freeway just ended in a fiery crash. The driver of the stolen vehicle was killed on impact.

I didn't think much about it until later when I learned the full story. My father's Pontiac Catalina had been stolen from the automotive shop that morning - along with another vehicle  (by two different thieves). The other vehicle is the one that crashed on the 405 - and the thief was killed.

My father's Pontiac Catalina was stolen by a couple of teenagers. A few days later my parents got a call from the police in Page, Arizona. The teens went to their aunt's home in Page. The aunt immediately got suspicious of the car and called the police.

My parents had to drive to Arizona to pick up their stolen car. It was filled with the teenager's possessions. The cops told my parents that they could do whatever they wanted with the stuff in the car. Dad drove to a local dumpster and threw everything away. Then he had the car washed.

I wasn't there. I heard the story from my Mom.

I have lots of other vehicle tales to tell but I'll spare you. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.

 I was only two years old when my parents took a trip from New Jersey to Arizona in this old contraption. I think it was a Chevy. I know it was blue. Incredibly, I remember a lot about that journey. 
In the Texas panhandle, in the middle of the night, a fuse burned out and we were without headlights. We eventually encountered some workers from an oil field. They gave my father some tinfoil as a temporary fix for the fuse.
Don't ask me how that worked - but it's what I remember.

My father in his Willys Jeep. I don't know the year - possibly 1948? This is the vehicle that my parents used when they eloped. He later bought a Willys car.

 Mom, me, and 1962 Ford Falcon. I look kinda bow-legged because a bee had stung my right foot and I was trying to keep my weight off it.

Mom & Falcon several years later. That's the car in which I learned to drive. 

 Our 1965 Cadillac. My father got into an accident the day he bought it. Someone failed to stop at a stop sign and rammed into the front fender. It looked as good as new after it was repaired. That was a great car.

This post is much too long. I'd better stop before everybody falls asleep at the wheel.

Hunks in History
a new post on my photo blog.
Famous hot guys from the past. 


Thursday, August 20, 2015


Oscar-winning documentary film maker Leo Seltzer, taken at the time when he was making a promotional film with my mother.

I've never had the slightest desire to be an actor, nor did I ever want to be famous. That's probably the biggest thing that set me apart from many of the people I knew in Hollywood. Egotism is rampant in Tinseltown. Everybody has an all-consuming desire to be somebody. Clawing ones way to the often unattainable "top" is a way of life and narcissism reigns supreme.

My goals were neither lofty nor unrealistic. I was a silent observer, retaining the adventures that unfolded around me and filing them away in my memory bank for future use. I knew some famous actors. And I knew even more infamous ones. I was on numerous movie sets, thanks to the influence of people that I knew. I appeared as an extra in a handful of movies (some of them were legitimate) and TV shows. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Malibu Beach, Blue Tide,
.......The Dune Boys of Fire Island.......
Wait a minute - - I'm embarrassing myself.

Long before Hollywood, when I was a reasonably innocent teen, I was in a community theater production of West Side Story. A very minor part. I was one of the Jets. One of the lesser Jets.

When I was a young child in New Jersey (we moved to California when I was five) my mother had a brief brush with acting. She worked for Child and Family Services, which was a psychiatric and counseling bureau that specialized in family therapy. The bureau was well-known and had some very prominent clients. 

Actually, it was bitterly ironic that my Mom worked there, since she endured so many serious personal problems with my father's violence and abuse.

The company was in the process of expanding nation-wide and wanted to make a promotional film to advertise their services. The film would be about a married couple who was on the verge of divorce due to emotional conflicts.

  My mother was asked to be the leading actress in the film. She agreed, even though she had no desire to be in the limelight.  The man who portrayed her husband in the film was a young social worker named Leo Denno. In real life, Leo Denno was the son of Wilfred Denno, who at that time was the warden of Sing Sing Prison in New York.

Note: Wilfred Luis Denno was the warden of Sing Sing from 1950-1967.

The producers initially considered using me as the couple's child in the film, but decided that I was too young. They hired an eight-year-old girl instead. I honestly don't remember my exact age at the time, but I was probably around four - definitely no older.

Me, too young to be an actor.
I missed my big break.....

The director of the film was Leo Seltzer (1910-2007).  Seltzer was a well-known documentary film producer. He had won an Oscar in 1947 for his documentary film First Steps. Later, he served as cinema-biographer for President Kennedy in the White House.

I have vague recollections of Seltzer directing some scenes with my mother. Indoor scenes were shot in a studio, and the outdoor scenes were filmed at Buccleuch Park, in New Brunswick.  Seltzer also took me and my Mom with him when they were recording special sound effects for the film. I remember him showing me some of the interesting ways that the sounds were created. 

My mother Marie

I saw the premiere of the film with my parents at some sort of promotional event, but my recollection is hazy at best. The film was in color.  I remember one particular scene where my mother is in the kitchen, arguing with her husband. It was unnervingly realistic and Mom's acting was convincing. This was undoubtedly because she had so much practice when she and my father argued at home.

This was only a promotional film for Child and Family Services, but I later heard that it was shown in theaters nation-wide. As a young child, the entire filming process had little meaning to me. It was interesting but not particularly significant. I wish I had been older so I could have absorbed more. 

Director Leo Seltzer made over sixty films during a career that spanned fifty years. Being extremely independent, he tended to avoid the trappings and limitations of Hollywood. Seltzer was 97 when he passed away in New York.  I would have liked to talk to him and discuss his recollections of that long-ago film project in New Jersey.

My mother seldom spoke about the film after it was made - at least I can't remember her doing so.  She was always humble and unpretentious, and - like myself - never had any acting aspirations.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015



My previous blog post Love Letters to Ghosts got the least amount of views and comments out of all the posts I've ever written. It might have had something to do with the bland title. It definitely had to do with the unappealing subject matter.

On second thought, the title is not bland.....

Many people are frightened by the subject of poetry and tend to run in the opposite direction when confronted with it. Others become bewildered and simply don't know what to say.

And I'm sure some people have intensely odious flashbacks of being forced to read Byron when they were in high school.

I'm inclined to suggest the idea of having naked poetry readings. With free wine. No nudity on the part of the poet. Only naked audiences.

An aside:
I only added Hot Naked Poetry in my current blog title as a cheap ploy to see if it would generate more interest.

Don't forget my poetry book on Amazon. The Look Inside preview has finally been activated.


I'm now going to answer the eleven questions that Myra has submitted in her most recent blog post. Here's the link: 

I love answering questions, as long as they're not annoyingly personal.
These are the kinds of questions I hate:

How old are you?
Rumors that I was at Appomattox during General Lee's surrender are greatly exaggerated. I was, in fact, in Richmond.
Are you gay?
Let's have a few drinks tonight and we'll find out.

Have you ever killed anyone?
I'm considering it.

Here are Myra's eleven questions:

1.  If you could have chosen your own first name, what would it be?

That's a tough one because I'm never satisfied and would always regret whatever I had chosen. One thing is certain, I NEVER wanted to be a "junior" - especially since I loathed my father. When I got out of high school I legally changed my name from John Jr. to Jonathan.
My mother wanted to name me Paul - - heaven knows why. Possibly for the Apostle Paul?? I think my maternal grandfather had a brother named Paul.
How about Branwell? Or the Hungarian Zoltan? 

2.  Everyone's heard of "The Apprentice."  If you could apprentice under anyone in the world for one year, who would that be?

Strangely enough, there isn't anyone with whom I'd want to be an apprentice. I'm too independent. And stubborn.

3.  What is one vacation destination that many people think is just fab, but which you have no desire to visit (or re-visit)?

I am tired of hearing incessant, nauseating raves about Hawaii. I'm not a tropical-type person. I loathe hula, poi, and leis. Besides, I'm scared of islands and volcanoes.

4.  Considering all the big-screen movies you've ever seen, which one do you believe has had the greatest emotional impact on you?

Wow, I'm a passionate movie lover and have been emotionally charged by many of them. I think some of the ones that I saw at an early age (early teens) impacted me the most. I was profoundly moved by The Pawnbroker, The Virgin Spring, Two Women, Ballad of a Soldier (a Russian film), Zita (a French film), and...believe it or not....The Bad Seed. There are many others.

5.  If you were to rank the four seasons - as you know them - in order of your favorite to your least favorite, how would the seasons be ranked?

As a child I loved summer. Now I dislike it. Next to winter - - which I despise.
I love the transitional seasons, autumn and spring.
Autumn is my absolute favorite season. I have an autumnal soul

6.  What song has the power to bring you to tears faster than any other?

I can immediately think of two - The Beautiful Isle of Somewhere and the hymn entitled He (He Can Turn the Tides).

7.  If you could have any view in the world visible from your bed, what would it be?

Impossible to decide. Hey, how about the Grand Canyon?

8.  If you had to name a smell that always makes you nostalgic, what would it be?

The scent of Gardenias. And perhaps sandalwood after-shave.

9.  If you had to pick the TV personality you were most in love with as a kid, who would it be?

I was crazy about Popeye cartoons. In retrospect, good Gawd - I have no idea why.

10.  If were were to have 3 new baby daughters, what would you name them?

Kyra, Mariah, Sasha
....don't ask's all I could come up with....

11.  In terms of the actual time (e.g., 5:00PM) what is generally your favorite time of the day?

Midnight - - the end of one day, the beginning of another....the witching hour, a time of peace, solitude, dreams.

* * *

A new post on my photo blog

Sunday, August 16, 2015


I've been dreading this post for a long time, simply because I am adamantly against self-promotion.

Despite the faux brashness that I sometimes  project on my blog, my desire to indulge in blatant egotism is non-existent (or nearly non-existent).

It is with genuine humility that I'm announcing the second edition publication of my poetry book Love Letters to Ghosts. It should be available on Amazon sometime next week (it's presently on their Coming Soon list).

Love Letters to Ghosts was originally published about four years ago. I decided that an update was necessary, to make minor revisions and to add eight more poems. The new volume contains 54 poems and 112 pages.

No Kindle edition is yet available but it probably will be at a later date (although I personally dislike e-books, especially for poetry).

About 95% of the poems have been previously published, during that distant time in my life when dark drama and youthful romanticism invaded my sensibilities. I seldom write poetry now, although a future volume is not completely out of the question.

These poems are resurrected laments of my past: the haunted memories of lost loves, lost lives, and distant places that I once knew.

I'm certain that my poetic style will not be appreciated by everyone. As stated in the introduction:

Much of my poetry is composed in minor keys: melancholy, sentimental, somber. They are often tainted nocturnes of lonely midnight streets and one night stands.

If I had to critique my own poems with absolute honesty, I'd have to say that there is a bland sameness about them with little variety of style - - yet it is my genuine voice, so I'm reluctant to apologize.

I designed the cover myself, which was a maddening endeavor - - since I had to try dozens of images before getting one with the perfect visual texture and resolution. I'm no graphic artist.

After viewing an incredible amount of published poetry book covers, I was determined not to use the usual trees, sunsets, flowers, or puppy dogs. A fragile cobweb was more suited to my literary intentions.

I soon plan to revise my book Notes From the Midst of December, which deals with the subject of death, loss, grieving, and the final three weeks of my mother's life. This book has been previously published in a private edition, but it needs a revision before ever being publicly released. Problem is, the entire heavy subject is too emotionally taxing for me to deal with.

More than anything, I want to complete my memoir as soon as possible (untitled as yet). This will be a raw, honest, lengthy, unapologetic account of my turbulent life - -
actually a bold, self-sacrificial endeavor in which I will cut veins and offer my blood.

Sample poems from Love Letters to Ghosts

(Sacraments is one of the early poems, written when I was 21)


You have not given your blessings here.
They are singing on the steps of the altar,
Breeding darkly through weary confessionals.
This morning I accepted your finger on my tongue

And the bread lingered there like a lie.
All the while the room grieved in silence
And your face was masked with that of a saint.

Tonight you are whispering a litany of words
That shimmer like candles in the alcoves,
Words that burn only for me and my possibilities.
The silence around us echoes.
Muted ghosts are kneeling in empty pews.

The heavens have become a burden.
Outside the night is trembling
In the wake of thunder washed ripe with rain.
It is too easy to become intoxicated
With the numbing wine of your words
The sweetness of your tongue
The voiceless music of our embrace.
In the shadow of an altar,

In the flutter of slumbering candles,
In the presence of tear-stained saints,

We have begun our own private sacraments.


I will soon be an old man
that you may not remember,
a vacant ghost lingering
in all the memories you've forgotten
the photos you've lost
the letters you've discarded.
The name you once called me
is on the tip of your tongue
but your palate has other reasons
to ignore distant tastes.
The fabric of what I was
is now unclear,
the threads unravel
and the thoughts
you once perceived as absolute
have dissolved
into a percussion of uncertainties.
I will soon be a young man
on the edge of your faulty coherence.


It is simple at first.
The night will caress you
encourage you
whisper what you imagined
you wanted to hear.
In time she will tempt you

to taste the danger
of your desires.
You enter her possessed:
the anonymous rooms
and unwholesome haunts,
the empty womb

of hungry, desperate places
buried in neon-winking streets.
When you have exhausted
all the possibilities
she will taunt you.
Despite your protests

she will force you to retrace
the paths of her loneliness.
Soon she becomes brutal.
You suddenly wake
to find her gnawing the years
from your astonished flesh.

There's a new post on my photo blog
Cars of the 1950's 


Monday, August 10, 2015


The far side of fifty
and he still doesn't inhale

Gotta light?
Secondhand smoke irks the hell out of me. If you blow your used, stale, putrid smoke in my direction, I'll deck you. Stay inside and blow it on yourself.

I don't smoke now, but there was a time when I thought smoking was hot and tough. And sexy. I was a faux smoker for years. I smoked but seldom inhaled. Sounds like bull but it's the gospel truth. I assumed the image but didn't exactly partake.

I started smoking when I was sixteen. It was sinfully easy to get a pack of smokes back then because cigarette machines were everywhere. Fifty cents a pack.

My favorite cigs were Cools. Loved them. Later, I advanced to Krakatoa and Shermans. Krakatoas were made with cloves. Shermans looked chic and unique (they came in colors) - - but they smelled lousy.

Nowadays Big Brother is watching your ass and you have to get a written consent form from God before you can buy a pack of cigarettes. And you have to smoke fifty miles away from Earth. What does a pack cost nowadays, ten bucks? Hell if I know.

Whether you like smoking or not, I prefer the good old days, when having a smoke wasn't a sin and the Commie Bureaucrats weren't eroding our freedom. That will probably freak  some sensitive people, but political incorrectness is one of my specialties.

Let's cut through the smoke and get to the crux of the matter. I dug through my photo files and found pictures of celebrities with cigs. I had initially planned to post them on my photo blog Cabinet of Curious Treasures.
Since I have so many smoke photos, however, I've decided to post some here and others over there.

Grab your lighters and ashtrays. Here we go.

Few people know that Shirley Temple was a heavy smoker from an early age. She tried to be discreet because of her fans, but occasionally photographers caught her indulging in her nicotine habit.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was another heavy smoker who tried to keep her habit away from public scrutiny. She was known to smoke  three packs a day. Here's a photo of her puffing in 1954.

Smug and Smokey

It was no secret that Bette Davis smoked. In fact, she smoked until she croaked. She doesn't look too fond of the kitty in this photo.
Come to think of it, the kitty doesn't look too pleased, either. 

Gloria Swanson, looking pretty cool with a cigarette.
"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."
(if you haven't seen the film Sunset Boulevard, you won't know what I'm talking about)

Smoke and Rudolf Valentino
This is one of my favorite photos of Rudy.
He made one film with Gloria Swanson, Beyond the Rocks (1921). Smoking had nothing to do with it.

Gary Cooper
young, hung, and tobacco-prone

Humphrey Bogart
almost unrecognizable in this early Hollywood shot. A life-time heavy smoker who succumbed to throat cancer.

Lauren Bacall
another heavy smoker - - that's why her voice eventually sounded just like Bogart's.

Hedy Lamarr

Heck, some stars were just too beautiful to be seen in the company of a cigarette......

Martha Raye
not exactly beautiful, but I love this photo

 Cary Grant
a smoke and an attitude

 Here's a rare photo of Elizabeth Taylor.
Blonde and smoking.

 Montgomery Clift
Liz Taylor fell in love with him while they were filming A Place in the Sun (1951) Too bad he was gay. (heck, we all fell in love with Monty....)

Smoke Screen
an extremely rare photo of James Dean

 Marlene Dietrich
the original Blue Angel
cigarettes were merely a prop.......

Marlon Brando
I was never really a fan, but I love hearing him yell "STELLA!!!!!"

 Marilyn Monroe
didn't exactly need a cigarette to smoke.....

 A rather unflattering photo of Sophia Loren.
Looks like the morning after.......
A little more Max Factor under the eyes, please.

 An unusually unflattering photo of Audrey Hepburn puffing. A far cry from My Fair Lady.

 Ronald Reagan
puffing a pipe
pure Hollywood fluff......

Barry What's-His -Name
our esteemed President smoking weed.
 Aw, lighten up! If this was a photo of George Bush, you'd be laughing your ass off!

Sunday, August 9, 2015


No, she ain't dead. That's my cat Kitzee (also known as Scratch) relaxing under the piano bench.

This is nothing but a bunch of jumbled thoughts that shouldn't be written. But I write, nevertheless, just to spite my better judgement.

This is a jumbled weekend. I'm exhausted from vicious bouts of insomnia. I have a touch of food poisoning, which has inspired me to consort with PeptoBismol. 
And I'm thinking.......could this food poisoning be an act of sabotage? Should I hire a food taster??

Hell, I don't have any money to waste on food tasters. I'll give it to the cats to taste. If they survive, I'm okay.

No need to panic. I'm jesting. Maybe. When you live alone in the mountain wilderness, the mind tends to do strange things.
Come to think of it, when I lived in the Big City my mind still did strange things.

I did some more work in the chaotic garage today, i.e. unpacking, sorting stuff, clearing out the junk. I'm making SLOW progress, but progress nevertheless. An extended deep depression kept me from doing things for months. Depression combined with laziness. I have to literally force myself to do physical things.

Those ruthless years in Texas have taken their toll. I survived but I emerged as a beaten old man. I used to look ten years younger than my age. Now I look ten years older. And I feel fifty years older.

I survived the death of both my parents, and the continual torture of my drug-addicted neighbors, and the lies and unethical shenanigans of incompetent realtors who kept me on a string for over four years. I was stuck with enormous medical bills and astronomical property taxes that financially wiped me out. I was plagued with my own health problems and medical issues that I've never revealed to anyone. And - - during all this time - -  I was caring for sixteen cats that one of my other neighbors abandoned when she moved.

That's only part of the Texas saga. If I ever told the rest nobody would believe me. I'm finally out of that bitch of a place, but I still have scars and am licking wounds.

You're complaining too much, Jon. Nobody wants to hear a whiner.

Hey, Pollyanna, when I bitch and whine, I do it with style and flair. Never condemn free entertainment.

I've already mentioned (many times) that the movers had "lost" a lot of my stuff. They also piled big heavy boxes on top of small ones marked fragile and a lot of delicate things were broken. Many of my treasured acquisitions are now in fragmented bits. 

Well, today I found some stuff that wasn't broken. That's my cue to post some boring photos of things nobody wants to see.

 Some of my antique Staffordshire china, circa 1820

Dresden figurine, circa 1790
I don't know how this one didn't break -
I must be a good packer 

 The Prince and the Pauper
these two figurines were made in 1885
(I had to put them away because my rowdy cats almost broke them) 

Are you still awake?
Yesterday I got the proofs for my poetry book Love Letters to Ghosts, which I plan to check later tonight. Then I'll immediately begin the daunting task of compiling my memoirs.

I can actually feel the excitement  that is rippling through my blog audience!

That's not audience excitement, Jon. That's merely a side effect from one of your alcohol-induced stupors.

 I'll end (not a moment too soon) with a photo of a seedless watermelon. I still can't find my big carving knives, so I had to cut this with a small Mickey Mouse knife from the Dollar Store.
The melon is sweet and good.