Random Stuff

Where’s The Brisket?

In our 45 years together, I don’t recall Joanna ever serving brisket – maybe she did, I just don’t remember it. Fast forward several years… Rob is living in Dallas. On one of my visits, he remarked how Texans are in love with their brisket. On another visit, the girls’ school had a fundraiser at one of the many BBQ restaurants. I had…

Close Cover Before Striking!

Several years ago, I started saving matchbooks and matchboxes. Up until the early 1990’s they were ubiquitous – restaurants, hotels, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. offered them. As the country woke up to the dangers of smoking, these give-away matches are almost non-existent today – gone the way of public telephones, LP records, cassette tapes and VHS recordings. After breaking my nasty…

Way More Than Sand Castles!

An article in the paper caught my eye: …the annual Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival, a ten day celebration, starts today at Pier 60. The festival pays tribute to two of the Tampa Bay’s most valuable assets: sand and sunsets. Eleven sculptors are creating elaborate works for this year’s theme, ‘Sugar Sand FantaSea, a Magical Adventure Above and Below the…

Cutting the Cord on Cable TV

The cable bill seemed to growing faster than my grandchildren – and those young folks grow up fast! I moved to a new apartment this fall and as part of my monthly lease was a $30 charge for data/internet access in my unit. If I wanted TV service, I’d have to buy it from the apartment’s sole provider: Directv. I’d been thinking about…

A Succession of Moments

I left Massachusetts to “seek my fortune” before my twentieth birthday. Over the next fifty years I returned for short visits – to be married; to have the kids baptized; to attend funerals; to visit family – never staying more than a week or so. My last visit was to put Joanna to rest beside her Mom and Dad in…

Joy In The Ordinary

Upon my mother’s death in 1989, William Sullivan, the obituary editor of the Patriot Ledger, called the house to tell us they occasionally write “feature obituaries” that recount the lives of everyday residents. He wanted to write one about my mother. I explained she was a very modest woman who never really wanted the spotlight on herself – she was proud when her children…

John E. Morgan: The Pastor/The Man

John Ellsworth Morgan entered my life when I was a child. In 1953 he was called to our family church, Union Congregational in Wollaston, Massachusetts as its pastor. Years later, I came to know him more intimately as my father-in-law. I commit these facts and thoughts to “digital paper” so my children, grandchildren and future generations can learn about, remember and appreciate this man. Source material consists of archival…

Why I Volunteer

“Don’t volunteer for anything!” was the advice I was given as a young man about to join the military. Today, according to the Urban Dictionary, the Air Force [my branch] only teaches you two things: “Cheese tastes pretty much the same coming up as going down, so it’s OK to eat before a bumpy flight“, and “Never volunteer for anything“.…

AT&T Stadium – Home of the Dallas Cowboys

Our tour guide Mike, a retired Arlington high school football coach, told us we were standing in the largest air conditioned room in the world. It’s maintained at a comfortable 74 degrees, even when the outside Texas temperature exceeds 100! I’m not a fan of the Cowboys, but was most interested in seeing inside their stadium. My son Rob arranged a VIP tour of…

My Friend Alan Shaw

Thirty-seven years ago Joanna and I lived in a neighborhood (Parco Palumbo), in Italy on the shores of Lago Patria (Home Lake).  The Parco was a mix of Italians and foreign nationals. Many of the Italians had summer/weekend homes in the Parco.  The foreign nationals consisted of mainly civilian and military that supported the NATO mission in the area. It…