I have shared my niece Debby Prince Kroll’s blog because it touches my heart.
OK, here is how the process has gone…. I made a commitment to myself to post blogs every weekend. Even though I have not always kept that commitment, I have tried to and I always think about possible topics during each week, making notes. This week, I thought about discussing “Fair Weather Friends” or “How Broad is My Horizon?” Another one that struck my fancy was “Sharing Opportunity“. Or “We Must Learn to be Comfortable when We Are in an Uncomfortable Situation“.
The One that I have selected for this week is “Humor is the Great Solvent Against the Universal Abrasions of Life.” But, I don’t consider myself a “humorous” person; I must resort to other people’s humor. Thus, I collect cartoons that I like. After a cartoon has been selected, not all of them make the cut. For instance, these two did not make the cut for one reason or another.
BUT, I liked them enough to save and to post in my “not chosen” column. Haha. But, below are several of the ones that made it into my “chosen” column. Just so you know……..
And, now for the CLOSER!
ENCINO, CA, November 30, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Jay W. MacIntosh with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Ms. MacIntosh celebrates many years of experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes She has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
With more than 40 years of professional experience, Ms. MacIntosh worked as an entertainment and employment lawyer out of her private practice since 2000, as well as a real estate broker with MacIntosh Realtors since 1985. In addition to her primary roles, she served as a judicial extern with the United States Bankruptcy Court and the United States District Court for the Central District of California in 1998. Earlier in her career, Ms. MacIntosh excelled as a real estate broker with Merrill Lynch Realty from 1976 to 1985.
Ms. MacIntosh began her career with the University of Wisconsin, completing coursework from 1955 to 1957. She then enrolled at the University of Georgia, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in speech and drama in 1961 and a Master of Arts in drama in 1962. After obtaining experience in the field, she returned to her studies with Whittier Law School, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1999. Ms. MacIntosh has been admitted to practice in the state of California, as well as before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
A respected voice in her areas of interest, Ms. MacIntosh has been an active leader in her community. A member of the California Bar Association, she is also affiliated with the Actors Studio, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, and Women in Film. In addition to her primary responsibilities, Ms. MacIntosh has found success in the performing arts as well, appearing as an actor in such productions as “Lassie,” “Gunsmoke,” “Sons and Daughters,” and “Joni,” among many others.
Throughout her career, Ms. MacIntosh has been recognized for her contributions in the field. A prolific author with a diverse range of expertise, she has been a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society. Ms. MacIntosh had been featured in numerous publications, including multiple editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who of American Women.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to her profession and the Marquis Who’s Who community, Jay W. MacIntosh has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who’s Who in America®, Marquis Who’s Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who’s Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® now publishes many Who’s Who titles, including Who’s Who in America®, Who’s Who in the World®, Who’s Who in American Law®, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare®, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering®, and Who’s Who in Asia®. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who’s Who® website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.
“In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.
The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations.
A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24.
The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9.
The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.
Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
(It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian)”
LOS ANGELES TIMES, Sunday, November 11, 2018: “BARBARA MARCUS of Sherman Oaks puts a twist on ‘thoughts and prayers‘”
“Play the tape again.
Eleven people who were going about their lives at a bar in Thousand Oaks Wednesday night are not alive today; neither is an officer who rushed to help them. The man suspected of being responsible for those deaths — a young military veteran believed to have suffered mental trauma — is also dead. Police say he used a gun with an extended magazine to fire on the unsuspecting crowd before killing himself.
These details alone are enough to prompt sadness and anger from our letter writers. But the real outrage — expressed mostly in forceful, polished, complex sentences, as anger rarely is, because our readers have had plenty of practice writing about gun violence — is stirred by the knowledge that mass shootings in public places have become routine.
I wish to be the absolute first to offer my thoughts and prayers to the victims of the next mass shooting. My thought and prayer at the moment is that I will not be among the next group of victims.
Oh, and my thoughts and prayers extend to all those who believe that their thoughts and prayers absolve them from the duty to demand real and workable gun control laws.”
As published in the Los Angeles Times, Sunday, November 11, 2018
There are several things on my mind this week. Yes, the knee is still causing me pain, but I refuse to take any more chemicals into my body, so I am working on “pain management”. But, right now, there are more pressing matters bothering me. The shooting in Thousand Oaks hits close to home. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who live and practice law there, and Steve and I lived down the road in Encino for several years. I judged moot court competitions for many years at Pepperdine. I know people at Cal Lutheran. I have grandkids in college. Thousand Oaks was considered one of the safest places to live in the U.S. There but for the grace of God go my family, friends, and loved ones.
And, the Santa Ana winds have inspired arsonists for years. We always dreaded them in the fall because they were hot, dry winds coming off of the desert. And, they were strong. Usually would last from several days to two or three weeks. Then, the Marine air would come back with its cooling fog – a welcome change to the terrifying hot winds. Right now, friends and families are being evacuated because the wild fires are spreading rapidly. And, the rest of the Los Angeles and Ventura County will inhale soot for weeks to come.
But, worst of all, is the realization or knowledge or awareness or whatever you want to call it that many of the people I have considered life-long friends believe in their heart of hearts that the end justifies the means. Before Social Media, one never knew how friends voted because people kept it secret. No more. Now, with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I know the political beliefs of most of my “friends” and people I am “following” or not following. It is all out there. I may be wrong, but this is my observation.
They are fine with the end justifying the means. When I was young and in college, there was a “cold war” going on. And, when I tried to understand what that meant, I was told that it had to do with communism, basically meaning that a good outcome excuses any wrongs committed to attain it. For example, a person’s campaigning with illegal funds on the theory that if he wins the election the end will justify the means, or the police officer tricked her into admitting her guilt—the end justifies the means. It is clearly the conception that justified the atrocities of Stalinism and the use of terror by some who claimed to be pursuing the socialist objective. The idea that some means (such as the use of violence against political opponents or lying to the working class) which is inconsistent with the aim (socialism, world peace) can in some way serve that end is untenable.
“There is always some “tension” between Ends and Means – Means refer always to existing conditions as they are while the End refers to how things ought to be. But the means must be adequate to the ends; that is to say, the means must be such that attaining the End will mean the fullest development and flowering of the Means. So, the idea, for example, that deceiving the working class could be any part of the struggle for socialism is an absurdity, because the fullest development of the Means (deceiving the working class) could only be the disorganization and subordination of the working class, the opposite of socialism. On the other hand, a picket line in support of a wage-rise is a far cry from socialism, but insofar as a picket line is a manifestation of the self-organization of the working class and manifests elementary class discipline, it is a “means” which can be understood as an “embryonic” expression of an admittedly distant “end.”
Base political methods however, such as lying, conformism, personal denigration, which are to be found within the workers movement, would find their fullest expression, not in socialism, but only in some kind of Stalinist gulag. So, a claim that such unprincipled means are justified because they serve the End of socialism is false; in fact, base means can never serve noble ends. Precisely from this, it flows that not all means are permissible.”
“When we say that the end justifies the means, then for us, the conclusion follows that the great revolutionary end spurns those base means and ways which set one part of the working class against other parts: or attempt to make the masses happy without their participation; or lower the faith of the masses in themselves and their organization, replacing it by worship for the leaders.”
To get more specific, this is a post I saved because it causes me concern. A friend shared it, I assume, because she believes it too. Now, the original post – not the a “sharer” – may be Trump driven. I don’t know. But read it carefully.
These are the sentences that pierce me to the core: 1) “I don’t even care that his language skills are not academic.” WHAT? Not “academic”?????; 2) I only look at what he does and what his policies accomplish. WHAT ARE THEY? I see a booming economy. I see low employment rates. I see African Americans back at work. WHAT ???? WHAT ABOUT THE LOW-LIFE WHITES!!! ARE THEY BACK AT WORK? JUST AFRICAN-AMERICANS??? I see American companies that had fled overseas returning home. WHO?? WHY?
I am outraged by every sentence after that. No need to repeat it all.
SO, the end justifies the means. Now, I am not a philosopher, and I cannot argue point by point with a Trump supporter, but it is not rocket science to see that this poster, if he/she exists, believes this, as do many in Trump’s base. I thought America was better than this. Apparently, it is not. Apparently, this is today’s America. OK, all you people who know who you are, the ones who tell me, “Jay, I didn’t take you for a Democrat.”. And, share a post like this. Why? What makes you think I would be otherwise? I have lived my entire life fighting bullies of one sort and another. And, so have you. How can you be so passive and gullible? Turning blind eyes.
NO. I don’t agree with you. No, I don’t believe the end justifies the means. AND, as far as I am concerned, Trump is not a la carte. You don’t get to pick and choose what you like and ignore what you dislike and pass on the hateful, violent rhetoric just because “the economy is good” or he was old and got up at 3 am to meet an airplane or he supports the NRA or companies are moving back to the United States. If you support him and help maintain him in office, you support the entire package: the hate, the division, and the stoking of violence. It all goes to character.
TAKE A BREAK! Settle back and give your mind a rest for a few minutes from the upcoming election to read some information about STEVE ORLANDELLA. Who? A man I was fortunate enough to have known for 23 years and to have spent 11 years of my life as his wife. A lot of us were fortunate enough to have known him. This is an article about his “legacy”. His what? His legacy – his eight books – his writings that will live ad infinitum. Let’s get started.
After my husband, Steve Orlandella, unexpectedly died on August 31, 2016, from heart failure, I vowed to take his eight works, edit them thoroughly, and get them professionally formatted with professionally designed covers that “branded” his name on all eight books as e-books. I knew that would take time and money But, I would do it for him because that way, his books will live, and he will live, as long as there is an internet.
I started with “Burden of Proof” and went from there. It has taken me two years to do it, but all eight e-books have now been professionally edited, formatted, and have new covers. And, all eight of his e-books are live and for sale on both Smashwords in their Premium Catalog and on Amazon’s Kindle. Amazon’s Kindle e-books have special formatting. And the formatting for e-books is different from the formatting of paperbacks. The paperback books still need more work. All in good time. They have updated bios and new covers.
This is a RED-LETTER DAY!!
Titanic is his MASTERPIECE. It was the most difficult to do because of its length and numerous pictures. It is the one he loved writing the most, and it is done!!! AND, it is the one that I saved for last. Those of you who have read some of this before, re-read. After two years, it will all be fresh again. Here is the back story.
It all started on September 20, 2011. I, as an entertainment attorney, was invited to be on an e-publishing, self-help panel for members of the Writers Guild of America. The panel sought to empower writers to create new opportunities for work in film, television, new media and transmedia. Since WGA did not cover book publication regardless of format, it was thought that e-publishing could be a stepping stone towards potential work on Guild-covered adaptations. So, on September 20th, I joined members Lee Goldberg (The Glades), Derek Haas (Wanted), and Alexandra Sokoloff (author, Book of Shadows, and Mark Coker (Smashwords). Our task was to discuss the latest e-book/self and indie-publishing developments. It was a power-packed evening with information, questions, and answers. Thus, the next day I said to Steve, “You need to write a book”. To which he answered, “I have nothing to say.” I laughed. Steve ALWAYS had something to say.
The first book is delightful – STEVESPEAK – 3 YEARS ON FACEBOOK.
STEVESPEAK is one of my favorites for spending time with him and getting to know him better. Plus, it is dedicated to me: “To Janet, The wind beneath my wings, And the power behind my throne.”
In his Prologue, he writes: “I’m not sure how I got on Facebook. Most likely it was word of mouth. Like many of you I started small, but as my list of friends grew, so did my activity. A funny thing happened along the way, I found my voice. Along with connecting with friends, I had the chance to be critical, historical, passionate, and I hope, funny. This book traces almost 3 years on Facebook, and is designed to give my fellow “Facebookers,” An idea of what other people are saying. For what it’s worth, you will learn some things about me. My love for baseball, my interest in “The Titanic,” my passion for my hometown, Boston.
“Stevespeak” was coined by my wife, who insists I have my own language. Well that’s probably not true, but there are some words that are uniquely mine. For instance, only in my world is there a planet “Smecktar.” Those pimples on your shoulder blades are “bacne,” and “Xerocracy” is government by photocopy. If something is dead, it’s “kersfuncken.” “Inuendo” is Italian for colonoscopy.
That said, there are some things you need to know in order to navigate your way through this book. There are many references to something called “HRB.” “HRB” is “Her Royal Blondness.” That would be my wife. She is an attorney and is sometimes referred to as the “blonde barrister.” Her maiden name is Janet Jewell. Christine became Kris and is my sister. “Tori” and “Icto” are other names for our friend Victoria Lucas. Tori’s sister is Lil, and sometimes, Liz. The “Knife” is Joe Klinger. “Fabulous 52” was the old Saturday night movie series on CBS in Los Angeles. I stole it, (I mean, researched it) and it became the “Fabulous 42.” Most of the rest is self-explanatory.”
Next, Steve’s Masterpiece – TITANIC.
TITANIC was his lifetime achievement, the one he held close to his heart. He dedicated it to his mother. He wrote, “To my Mother Therese, The Real Historian in The Family.”
He writes in his Foreword: “In the fall of 1960, I was a ten-year-old, growing up in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. Even then I was sarcastic, opinionated, and well on my way to becoming obnoxious. The phrase most often used was, ‘A little too smart for his own good.’ Perhaps. Duplicit in all this were my parents who spoiled me rotten. One of my numerous privileges was permission to stay up late on Saturday night…very late.
Toward the end of the 1950s, television in Los Angeles was in a state of flux. The Country’s number three [now number two] market had seven stations, a wealth of airtime, and a dearth of programming. The three network affiliates and the four independents turned to motion pictures to fill the void so much so that one station, Channel 9, ran the same movie every night for a week. Hey, I love Jimmy Cagney, but how many times can you watch ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’? The stations also had the nasty habit of cutting the films to pieces, the classic case being Channel 7, the ABC affiliate who filled their 3:30-5pm slots by slicing and dicing 2-hour movies down to 67 minutes. They came close to cutting Ingrid Bergman out of ‘Casablanca.’ Channel 2, the CBS Affiliate, had no such problem. [They had ‘Lucy’; they had ‘Jackie Gleason’.] ‘The Fabulous 52’ was reserved for Saturday night at 11:30pm, and, since the only things that followed the movie were the National Anthem and a test pattern, they ran uncut. The station held the rights to a package of relatively recent films from 20th Century Fox.
One Saturday afternoon, my dad announced, ‘Titanic is on tonight.’ I had no idea who or what was ‘Titanic’, but we gathered in the family room at 11:30. For the next two hours, I sat transfixed, mesmerized by what we were seeing. If you are scoring at home, it was the 1953 version with Barbara Stanwyck, Clifton Webb and a young Robert Wagner. They had me.
In 1964, I came across a copy of A Night to Remember, Walter Lord’s seminal work on the events of April 14-15, 1912, and the following year, I saw the movie made [in England, 1958] from Lord’s book. It was a film made by people who wanted to get it right. This film was the game changer.
The Fox movie opens with a page of text proclaiming that all the facts in the film were taken right from the United States Senate and British Board of Trade Inquiries. Really? Even then, Fox knew how to ‘play fast and loose with the truth.’ As good as their movie was – and it was good, it paled before the Brit’s film. Fifteen hundred people did not all stand together, sing ‘Nearer My God To Thee’, and meekly sink into the North Atlantic. They fought and struggled until their last breath, trying not to freeze or drown in the unforgiving sea. Madeleine Astor wasn’t an elegant matron. She was in fact a pregnant teenager. That was it. ‘Game On!’
I absorbed every book I could find, any TV program I could watch, and every newspaper on microfilm, along with help from the Titanic Historical Society. Add that to my natural affinity for ships, and an ‘obsession’ was born. For some, it’s The Civil War; for others, it’s the Kennedy Assassination; for me, it is The Royal Mail Steamship Titanic.
Part of the obsession stems from the fact that no event in history is so loaded with conjecture, myths, and downright lies, some of which are ‘beauties.’ One example: A young David Sarnoff [co-founder of RCA] became famous telling the world how he was the first to pick-up the Titanic’s distress call in the station on the roof of Wanamaker’s Department Store and how he remained at the key all Sunday night and well into the next day. Great story? Absolutely. Truthful story? Absolutely not. Wanamaker’s was closed on Sunday, and even when the store was open, Sarnoff was the office manager. Three other employees of The Marconi Company stood the watch.
Fox reloaded and fired again in 1997. This time, they tried it with a seemingly unlimited budget and an amateur historian calling the shots. Movie making? Unmatched. Story telling? Not so much. History? Nonexistent. There is a word for what you wind up with when you invent the leading characters. Fiction. Now, nobody loves Kate Winslet ‘in flagrante delicto’ more than I do, but the truth is better. Thus, ”Jack Dawson’ and ‘Rose DeWitt’ join ‘Julia Sturges’ and ‘Lady Marjory Bellamy’ as mythical creatures on a real ship.
And, since you’re making stuff up, how about a little character assassination? The 1997 film depicted First Officer William Murdoch taking but ultimately rejecting a bribe from make-believe villain ‘Caledon Hockley.’ Murdoch was also shown shooting two passengers dead after he presumed, they intended to storm one of the remaining lifeboats. He then saluted Chief Officer Henry Wilde and committed suicide with a revolver. None of this ever happened. After the picture’s director [name withheld] refused to take out the bogus scenes, studio executives flew to Murdoch’s hometown to issue his relatives an apology. As for the movie, if you are looking for an accurate depiction of events – keep looking. Put another way, there was a ship called Titanic, and it sank. After that, you’re on your own.
The Civil War is far and away the all-time champion of most books. [One of Titanic’s passengers wrote ‘The Truth about Chickamauga.’] Second? The runner-up is World War II. Third? The correct guess is the Titanic. So, what is my mission statement? What else? Write yet another book. Tell her story, once again. This time come armed with all I know and have learned in the wake of Doctor Robert Ballard’s stunning discovery of the wreck in 1985. I will attempt to detail what is correct and dispel, whenever possible, what is not.
I spent my career working in television, the first seven years producing TV News. What did I learn? I learned skepticism tinged with a bit of cynicism, and it has served me well. So, I will do your bidding. On your behalf, I will be skeptical, factual, analytical, and when required, cynical. There is one thing I cannot be, dispassionate. I will stipulate to a love of all ships – but Her most of all. By now, you may be asking yourself, ‘Why so many pictures?’ I confess that, too, is the TV producer in me. You always try to put a face with a story. Plus, there is always the possibility that you can’t recognize Turbinia.
If I am standing at all, it is on the shoulders of some truly great authors. I have read, re-read, and re-re-read their work over the years and have researched – borrowed – from them all. To the best of my ability, everything in this book is true. I believe in the concept that, if the Lord wanted us to remain silent, he wouldn’t have given us [brackets]. So, on occasion, you’ll see a comment from yours truly. [I’ll be that most irritating of shipmates – the loud, opinionated one.]
The longest section of the book concerns the area around the Boat Deck between midnight and 2:20am. If it seems long [it’s real time] and overly detailed, I apologize, but to me, this is the heart of the narrative. Hundreds of little dramas played out on a sloping deck in the middle of a freezing ocean. Loved ones were torn apart, and families were destroyed. And with it came the sub-plots. Some got in lifeboats, and some did not. Some were allowed in the boats, and some were not. All of this begs the question, why? Regardless, these are their stories, and on their behalf, I make no apologies. I have tried to keep the technological parts under control and not drown my readers in facts and figures. But the brains and skill that created the Olympic-class liners are very much a part of this story.
Allow me just a couple of more thoughts before we proceed. There is one sentence that is common to virtually every book written about the RMS Titanic. ‘It had been a mild winter in the Arctic.’ It had, indeed. Ice that had been forming since well before the dawn of man was now at last free. Unfettered, it could leave Greenland and move into the Labrador Current and begin its journey south toward the shipping lanes. The ice was no different than previous years, only this year, there would be more than usual, much more. There were small pieces of ice, what sailors called ‘growlers.’ There were large sections known as ‘sheet ice,’ and larger still, ‘pack ice.’ In between were hundreds of what every seaman feared most, what the Norsemen referred to as ‘mountains of ice.’ Icebergs.
If you’re familiar with the advertising business, you probably know about the concepts of ‘marketing research’ and ‘brand recognition.’ Countless studies have been commissioned to find out what people can identify and what they like. The results are often quite surprising. For example, inquiries have determined that far more people [around the world] can recognize the ‘Cavallino Rampante’ [in English, ‘The Prancing Horse’ aka the ‘Ferrari’ logo] than can recognize ‘Shell’ or ‘Coca-Cola.’ Then there is my favorite. For decades, focus groups, when asked to identify the most famous ship in the world, gave the traditional answer, ‘Noah’s Ark’. No more. The runaway number one is now ‘Titanic’. That’s ‘brand recognition.’
There is no way to tell the whole story in this little book, yet I will do my best. Call me crazy [you wouldn’t be the first] and maybe a little arrogant [see previous], but I feel it’s my duty to help set the record straight for fifteen hundred souls who went to a cold, watery grave that night. Time to depart. ‘All ashore that’s goin’ ashore!'”
Next, THE GAME.
THE GAME is dedicated, “To My Father, for that rainy day at Fenway and A thousand games of ‘catch’”. Steve was passionate about baseball. He knew baseball in-and-out. He was the expert’s expert. He would say, “I know what I like.” Well, I’m here to tell you that he “liked”, [see also, “was passionate about”] the Red Sox, Boston, the Patriots, the Celtics, Lotus cars, Ferraris, meatballs, pasta of any kind, pundits, condiments, the Titanic, HRB, his family, and Vin Scully – not necessarily in that order.
He writes in THE GAME Foreword: “The History books tell us that the first professional baseball game was held on May 4, 1869, as the Cincinnati Red Stockings ‘eked’ out a 45-9 win. No doubt, the first baseball story was told on May 5, 1969. No sport – not basketball, not football, not hockey – has the oral tradition of the national pastime. And, like any good oral tradition, it has been passed from generation to generation. Baseball stories in one form or another are as much a part of our game as the infield fly and the rosin bag. In this book, they come in all sizes and shapes – short stories, essays, expressions, rules, jokes, and slang, to name just a few.
The first ‘Baseball Balladeer’ in my life was one Vincent Edward Scully, known to three generations of fans as ‘Vin.’ For baseball-ignorant Southern Californians, he was a Godsend. Far more than their voice, he was their teacher. At that point, the game that had been thousands of miles away was as close as your transistor radio or the ‘am’ in your car. He gave Los Angeles the who, what, when, where, and most importantly, the why. He studied at the foot of the master Red Barber and is acknowledged as the best in the business. I know this how? He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame 43 years ago! For nine years, I was lucky enough to be his producer. I called him ‘The Doctor’ for his PhD in baseball. Try explaining the balk rule to the man who taught you half of what you know about the game.
When I began covering the Angels, I got to know Emil Joseph ‘Buzzie’ Bavasi. If you looked up ‘character’ in the dictionary, it would say, ‘see Buzzie.’ In the ‘40s, he was Branch Rickey’s top lieutenant and had a hand in breaking Baseball’s color line as well as dealing with Vero Beach in the acquisition of Dodgertown. He became General Manager and earned a reputation as a shrewd and tough negotiator. Buzzie loved to tell the story about contract haggling with a certain player [still alive, so no names]. He had a fake contract with a very low salary created for the team’s best player. He left it on his desk and excused himself for a moment, convinced that the player would take a peak. Needless to say, that when he returned, the negotiations ended quickly and in Buzzie’s favor. He had been schooled in [and ultimately taught] the Branch Rickey way of playing the game [stressing fundamentals, nurturing talent, and the importance of a strong farm system]. In the years we worked together, I never once overheard a conversation when he wasn’t at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a story or anecdote. He lived for baseball and lived to talk about it.
In 1985, I began working with Bob Starr. Bob, or as we called him, ‘Bobo’, was the broadcaster’s broadcaster. He could do play-by-play for anything – baseball, football, your kid’s hopscotch game, anything. Bobo was a graduate of the KMOX School of Broadcasting. The famed St. Louis radio station produced Harry Caray, Jack and Joe Buck, Buddy Blattner, Joe Garagiola, and Bob Costas, among others. He had that smooth, Midwestern style, and on the air, you’d swear he was talking just to you. I once shared a golf cart with him for a round – four hours well-spent looking for my ball [as usual] and listening. He loved to tell stories, some on himself. While playing 18 holes on an off day, Bob had a heart attack. Upon arrival at the hospital, the doctors asked if he were in pain. ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘in my backside.’ Mystified, the doctors went over the test results. A physical examination revealed that the patient still had his pants on. The source of the pain was two Titleists in his back pocket. How we miss Bobo.
The average baseball fan may not recognize the name Jack Lang, but every player knew him and loved it when he called. Jack was for twenty years the executive secretary of The Baseball Writers of America, and if he telephoned you, it meant that you just won the Cy Young Award, the Most Valuable Player Award, the Rookie-of-the-Year, or had hit the ‘Baseball Lottery,’ induction into the Hall of Fame. His vocation was sportswriter [a New York beat writer], and for forty years, he was one of the best. I met Jack in 1987. We had been hired by Victor Temkin to do sports licensing for MCA/Universal. It was there I discovered his sense of humor, his humanity, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the game. We would speak on the phone almost every day for an hour. Five minutes would be devoted to business, the remaining fifty-five given over to ‘talkin’ baseball.’ I firmly believe that I could have put the phone on speaker, turned on a tape recorder, left the room, and returned thirty minutes later to find another chapter for this book. In 1997, we took a production crew to his home for an interview. It was the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s entry into the major leagues, and who better to discuss it than the man who covered it. Jack lived in the little village of Ft. Salonga on the North Coast of Long Island, [Vin used to refer to him as ‘the Squire of Ft. Salonga’] in a modest house with an office on the side. The office contained a desk, two chairs, and enough baseball memorabilia to open a museum. [The whole place could have been shipped, as is, to Cooperstown.]
Buzzie, Bobo, and the Squire are gone, and, believe me, this book would have been easier to write if they were still here. We still have Vinnie [long may he reign]. If there is such a thing as a sub-dedication, this is for them. They and countless others had a hand in writing this book. I have tried to fashion a work with something for everyone, from the hard-core fan to the young people just learning about the game. In so doing, I’ve run the gamut all the way from baseball history to baseball jokes. I hope you enjoy it and hope it adds to your love for ‘the game’.”
At this point, Steve decided to try his hand at writing novels – mysteries with a lead detective and his girlfriend. With that, Vic Landell and the Redhead appeared on the scene. He spent hours with them in locales he loved – Sarasota, Florida, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, New York.
The first Vic Landell mystery is BURDEN OF PROOF.
BURDEN OF PROOF is set in and around Sarasota Florida. It is dedicated my sister, Patricia Jewell Prince, “My Sister-in-Law Patricia, Lover of Mysteries.”
Steve begins each mystery: What’s in a Name? “My father was born Vito Anthony Orlandella, and he didn’t much care for his name. “Vito” was all right, and in fact, he named his principal business The Vito Fruit Company – although throughout Boston he was often referred to as “Vic.” No real problem with the benign Anthony, it was the last name he saw as problematic. His one foray into show business as a record producer was done under the name “Tony Vito.” I’m not certain, but I believe he thought that Orlandella was too long and clumsy for a billboard. He had another name ready but never got the chance to use it. A clever anagram made by dropping the first two and the last letters of his name. Add to that, the remnants of his first name. Thus, was born “Vic Landell.” When it came time to name my pitcher-turned-detective, the choice was an easy one. Call it homage to my father.”
Next, CAPITOL MURDER.
CAPITOL MURDER is dedicated to “Her Royal Blondness [HRB], Long may she Reign”. It is set in and around Washington, D.C.
“What’s in a Name? The heroine of this series is Marcia Glenn. The name is borrowed from my first childhood crush – a sixth-grade, blonde goddess. For two years I pined for her from, to paraphrase Hammerstein, ‘across a crowded schoolroom.’ My passion held in check only by the fact that she didn’t know I was alive. Her sights were set on another classmate, a surfer boy wannabe with flaxen air. Sure, just plunge a knife in my heart. The irony of all this is rooted in the fact that he seemed to have absolutely no interest in her. Funny the things you remember. How this preteen vixen has now morphed into a six-foot, Titian-tressed femme fatale is a story for another time.”
MARATHON MURDERS is dedicated to “Dash, Winner & Still Champion”, and located in Boston.
“What’s in a Name? He was born on a farm in Maryland. He served his country in the First World War and became ill with the Spanish flu and later contracted Tuberculosis – spending most of his time in the Army as a patient in a Washington Hospital. As a result of his illness he could not live full-time with his wife and two daughters and the marriage fell apart. He was a firm believer in the notion that you write about what you know. And since he was an alcoholic, his two most famous characters were as well. He devoted much of the rest of his life to unpopular causes. He wore his country’s uniform again in the Second World War. His reward? After the war he was investigated by Congress and testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee about his own life but refused to cooperate with the committee. As a result – he was blacklisted. He was sixty-six when lung cancer took his life. In his obituary, The New York Times said of him, ‘the dean of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction.’ For any fan of mysteries his name is said with a smile. For someone like me, who would love to be just a poor copy of the original, it is said with reverence.”
And then, Steve wrote his favorite, DANCE WITH DEATH.
DANCE WITH DEATH is dedicated “To my Second Parents Rose & Gerry”. It is set in Los Angeles, California.
“What’s in a Name? She was born Marcia Colleen Glenn – her first name from the Latin, meaning ‘dedicated to Mars.’ Mars is the red planet – there is your first clue. It also means proud or warlike – that’s your second clue. Her middle name was chosen by her father to emphasize the family’s Gaelic heritage. By the age of five, her sister Katelyn was calling her ‘The Marce.’ To this day, if she likes you, call her Marce. If she doesn’t much care for you, it’s Marcia. If she flat hates your guts – it’s Ms. Glenn. Fair warning, if you call her Marsha, brother, you are just asking for trouble. When she was seventeen and turned from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, the boys in her high school started referring to her as ‘the looker.’ The lawyers at the firm where she did her internship called her ‘the stunner.’ That’s also what the crew at WWSB calls her – along with ‘the goddess.’ To the boys in Idaho Falls, she was ‘the long drink of water.’ When she knocked out a would-be assailant with one right hand, the name ‘slugger’ entered the lexicon. There are others, like ‘supermodel’ and ‘deadeye.’ But if you’ve killed someone, she’s the ‘red menace.’ And finally, to her smitten boyfriend, she is occasionally ‘Titian’ -the shade of her glorious red hair. She will also answer to ‘Irish,’ and for him only, ‘Honey,’ along with his favorite, ‘Baby.’ But, first and foremost she is always and forever – ‘the redhead.'”
His finale, MIDTOWN MAYHEM, dedicated “For the amazing Kris Jones”, and set in NYC. He did not know this would be his last one.
“What’s in a Name? It was my high-school baseball coach who first hung the nickname on me. Of the nine pitchers on his staff, eight were right-handed. When asked who the starting pitcher against Syracuse would be, he replied, “Let’s send out the lefty.” The name stuck throughout college, the minors, and my first six years in the majors. It became problematic for me when I was traded to Philadelphia – for you see, they already had a “Lefty.” He was born Steven Norman Carlton. He made his debut with the Cardinals in 1965. He was a tall, imposing man blessed with a hard fastball and nasty slider. He was soon known as an intimidating and dominating pitcher. Following a protracted salary dispute, St. Louis Cardinals owner Gussie Busch ordered Carlton traded. Eventually, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies before the ‘72 season for a pitcher named Rick Wise. In time, it would be recognized as one of the most lopsided deals in baseball history. Carlton hit his stride with the Phillies. How good was he? In 1972, the down-trodden Phils won a total of 59 games – 27 of them by Carlton. That won him his first of four Cy Young Awards. He finished with 322 wins and was a consensus first ballot Hall of Famer. The day before a start, the scoreboard in Veterans Stadium would list tomorrow’s starting pitcher – Lefty. Need more? There’s a statue of him in front of Citizens Bank Park. How was I supposed to compete with all that? I could not. Since Carlton is six-foot four and your humble servant is a paltry six-foot one the players started to refer to me as Little Lefty. The day my career ended, I went back to being plain old Lefty.”
Steve was writing CASINO KILLER when he died. Forty-six pages are in the can. It was to be dedicated to “John & Gloria Cataldo, Once and Forever”. It was to be set in and around Nice, France.
“What’s in a Name? It is the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea in the southeast corner of France, beneath of the base of the French Alps. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, or Cassis in the west. The area is a Department of the French Government – Alpes-Maritimes. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world. As the French might refer to it – beau ravage – beautiful shoreline. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, including Queen Victoria. It was the English who coined the phrase, the French Riviera. After World War II, the south of France became a popular tourist destination and convention site. The area went off the charts in the 1950s when a beautiful girl from Philadelphia moved into the Royal palace of the one and only principality. Millionaires and celebrities built homes there and routinely spent their summers. The region has one more name. In 1887, a French author named Stéphen Liégeard published a book about the coastline. So taken was he by the color of the Mediterranean, he used the words Azure Coast in the title – in French that translates as Côte d’Azur.”
Remember EST? It was an organization founded by Werner Erhard in 1971 that offered a two-weekend seminar. This seminar aimed to transform one’s ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, cleared up just in the process of life itself by bringing to the forefront the ideas of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility. The seminars took place from late 1971 to late 1984. I don’t know what year it was, but I went to the Los Angeles Convention Center to take the seminar when it was going strong. It lasted over two weekends. I don’t remember a lot about it except that I started using the term, “Got it!” a lot after that. So did everyone else. So, as I begin this post – Cartoon Non-Commentary, I am reminded of EST and will be using the terms, “Get it? Got it! Good.
If any of the cartoons offend you, don’t bother “reporting” my blog as “abusive”. That has already been done by some conservative “do-gooder”. Each one is a cartoon that was posted on Facebook that caught my attention while I was rehabilitating after my knee replacement. So, without comment, I am just re-posting them here. If you don’t like what you see or are reading, just change the channel. Stop reading and go away. That will be sufficient to express your outrage. Or go to your own page and post your opposing point of view. I won’t bother you. So, get off my blog and go vote!! That will help the most!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch………
The year was Fall of 1955. I headed from Gainesville, Georgia, to Madison, Wisconsin, to attend the University of Wisconsin. Why? I want to explore new territory. Like now. Everyone I knew was going to the University of Georgia. Not I. I was leaving the area. Why? To expand my Universe.
I had never really left home before. Safe and secure in a somewhat loving family in a small town in Georgia where I knew people and had friends and a steady boyfriend who was also a good friend, I began my journey into the unknown. My family was well-known and had a good reputation. I felt secure in my base. So, the plan was for me to fly to Chicago, either by Eastern or Delta, from Atlanta – alone. Then switch planes to Northwestern to fly to Madison, Wisconsin. I had never really travelled much before this. No one was going with me. It was OK. Each time, I made this trip back and forth, I would have layovers in the airport in Chicago. I liked the layovers. I would “people-watch”. Sometimes this would last for over a couple hours, according to what time my next flight was leaving. That is when I became aware of being “inside” and looking out. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it. Not for me. I had never thought about it before. I would try to write a story about someone I would observe. Creating their background and their reason for travelling that day. I often wondered how accurate I was, though I would never know. It was fun. I enjoyed it more than reading a book and TV was not that “in” at that point in time, at least not for me. I seldom talked to people, just watched them.
It was not until I began taking acting classes at the University of Georgia that I began actively studying observation. An actor must always be aware of her surroundings – details and colors and shapes and sizes. It was easy for me because I had studied and been aware of my surroundings most of my life, creating stories for the strangers I would see on the bus to Atlanta when I was working out at the Atlanta Athletic Club on my diving. I later found out that I was creating a “sub-text”. Guessing at what was really going on as opposed to what someone was saying or doing. I enjoyed it. As a result, I enjoyed acting because I could do the things that interested me while I was creating a character. It was wonderful if I got approval for my work. But, it was not necessary because the benefit for me came from the joy I had when becoming someone else. Observing and saying one thing while thinking another. You see, you don’t “act” the obvious. You act the sub-text while saying the lines. Strasberg was a master at teaching people how to do that. So was Jose Quintero. I studied with both. Thus was born my lifelong observation of being inside, looking out.
This particular post concerns being inside in a French hospital, looking out as I anticipated surgery. I packed an overnight bag filled with towel, hand towel, washcloth, soap, 2 t-shirts for sleeping, a hair dryer, enough underwear for 5 nights, toothbrush and toothpaste, cotton housecoat, comb, brush, makeup, shampoo and conditioner; called Uber; and, headed for the hospital, not knowing what to expect. Right off, once I arrived and sat down in Admissions, it threw me for a loop. NO ONE spoke English in Admissions. All of them say they speak “a little”, but they DON’T. So, I began with my French, answering questions if I could understand what they wanted to know. There was a lot of guessing going on!! On both sides. After a long time of showing cards and materials that they wanted to see and giving them a deposit and signing a lot of paperwork that they did not want to give me time to read, I was taken to a double room on the 2nd floor.
In what seemed like a very small room, I was led to a bed where I was supposed to co-exist with an older woman in another bed. She was lying down and talking loudly in French on her cellphone with the television on. Yes, she had on headphones so I did not have to hear the television, but….. YIKES!! NO WAY!! I immediately said in my best French that I needed a private room. The person accompanying me looked very annoyed. That meant she had to take me back to administration so that they could change all of my paperwork and get a larger deposit. I didn’t care. She could be annoyed. No way could I stand another person in the room with me when I was having surgery. I didn’t care what it cost!!! Actually, I did, but I did it anyway because I was scared and had no idea most of the time what was going on.
Once I got to my private room, I relaxed and tried to breathe. That is when I discovered that French hospitals provide sheets, pillows, a bed, a chair, headphones for your TV, and 1 roll of toilet paper. No towels. I was immediately sorry I did not bring a box of Kleenex and body lotion and better soap. All the windows were open. Fresh air freaks and minimalists. I hoped the food was good. NOT. And my proverbial selfie.
I settled in for the night, had dinner (OK), and tried to sleep, knowing the surgery would not be until 4:30 p.m. the next day, and I could not eat anything after “breakfast”. Ugh. Long time to wait. Plus, why so late in the afternoon? I tried to watch TV, and it was all French everything. After channel surfing, I cut it off and decided I had to let my brain rest. I was up tight – to say the least – because no one seemed to understand much of anything, even the ones who said they spoke a English. They misunderstand everything. Then, they think if they talk louder, I will understand. Haha.
So, I quit. I quit wanting anything. I quit trying to communicate on any level with anyone. My brain felt like scrambled eggs. I needed to get a grip. Plus, I was suffering high anxiety. My blood pressure was going gang busters. That was when I had an epiphany. The secret to life under stress is to not want anything. Haha. Just let go of everything. Trust. Don’t care if it doesn’t happen. Haha. Now, I am not advising that as a philosophy of life. I just think it helps you get through a rock and a hard place in a French hospital when everyone is saying something you don’t understand, and life-altering surgery is happening the next day.
As it turns out, I survived that night, the next day, and the day after that, my blood pressure, notwithstanding. In fact, I am still alive and getting better every day. I had the surgery late Thursday afternoon, and on Saturday, they moved me by ambulance into a double room at La Serena. I freaked out about the double room and my blood pressure skyrocked – to no avail. Well, I thought it was too soon to be moved but no one cared what I thought. I was supposed to stay 5 nights in the hospital. I still don’t know why they moved me so soon because I was still trying to figure out how to get to the bathroom by myself. I won’t gross you out with all the difficulties I had there. Nor will I tell you about the creepy orderly at the hospital who “bathed” me on the day I was being transported to La Serena. Ewww. And, I was “out of it” on pain pills. Ewww.
Once I got to La Serena, I got out of the double room as soon as I could (3 nights later) and currently, I am in a private room with a view, learning how to re-walk and trying to deal with pain. It is worse at night than in the morning. I don’t know how long I will be here. I have to get permission from the in-house doctor. But, since I live alone, I would like to get a tad “more better” helping myself do things and my blood pressure is misbehaving. (Miss Turner just turned over in her grave. My GHS friends will know what I mean. Especially, Carole. Clairise would appreciate it, too. And, Kay and Latrelle. HAHA. Wonderful High School English teacher). Plus, I like the view.
They may make me go home anyway because most of the people here are in worse shape than I am. And, I am going to be “like new” when this is all over. Right… However, I must address this blood pressure issue. I have done so in the past, but most of the French medicines I have been allergic to. So, more to be researched there.
All right, if you have read this far, I thank you. It is nice to think I have company on this French “adventure”. And, I got to share with you what it was like on the inside looking out as a terrified (not really) American expat. It all comes down to trust. And, in the hospital, after surgery, you have no choice. I think and cry often about Steve, lying in the hospital for a month with a tube down his throat. How scared he must have been, and I was unable to help him – other than talk to him and hope he heard me on some level. Most of the time, he was unconscious. It is sad. I have spent more time in French hospitals than I planned on. God just smiled. I will try to be more upbeat next time. The WIFI here is terrible! Difficult to get a lot done on my computer. Actually, I want to go home. Missy needs me.
I read this today, shared by a friend of mine on Facebook, and I love it so I am re-posting it here.
“According to a 19th century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day. The Lie says to the Truth: “It’s a marvellous day today”! The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was really beautiful. They spend a lot of time together, ultimately arriving beside a well. The Lie tells the Truth: “The water is very nice, let’s take a bath together!” The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing.Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and to get her clothes back. The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt and rage. The poor Truth returns to the well and disappears forever, hiding therein, its shame. Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbours no wish at all to meet the naked Truth.”
The world famous painting- “The Truth coming out of the well” Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1896.