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Issue #41 - 2016

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The Yellow Telephone
Love you, Martha


One Night at Elaine's
(or...There'll Be Other Times)
Photo credit: NYDailyNews.com
Pictured: Elaine Kaufman at Elaine's, Upper West Side of Manhattan
Photo credit: NYDailyNews.com

It's highly unlikely I'll ever move to Manhattan. That was an earlier dream. But I did work there on Tuesdays for a few years as a fashion buyer. And I did actually visit Elaine's (yes, that Elaine's) in 2007, which brought me halfway to fulfilling a decades long wish to sit down, and eat or drink, in that writers' haven.

We'd driven into Manhattan the night before, and my husband had his tryout (despite his talent, it was disastrous, but that's another story) earlier in the day. It was one of those March days where things come to life, and, today, I was one of those "things". I decided to use my free time to explore The City I'd not been in since I'd given birth to our first child 23 years before. New York didn't seem to have changed all that much, which gave me the courage to explore further on my own.

I remembered the working-girl lunches I'd eaten back then: light food grabbed between showroom appointments, eaten alone (my preference) in typical garment district luncheonettes. So this day I headed into the first steamy-windowed eating establishment I came across, ordered an oversized bran muffin and coffee, and climbed onto a red leatherette-covered stool. As I watched people bustling by to the next page in their life, I decided to turn a page in mine. Tonight we are going uptown, I decided, and I was going to visit Ms. Kaufman's "saloon".

While my husband circled the block, I asked an older gentleman in a long sleeved white shirt, who approached me, as I walked in, from his perch at the brass-trimmed mahogany bar, if it was "OK to come in and have a drink?" He smiled, and was very gracious. "Of course, of course!"

When I poked my head into the car, my husband made it clear he didn't want to pay the considerable parking fee at the parkade down the street. "There'll be other times," he said. I knew better, but returned with him, steeped with disappointment, to our lunchbox-sized, but respectable, hotel room not far from the theater where Eric Bogosian's play, Talk Radio, was on the marquee.

That night, lying in bed, I replayed my entrance into the dimly lit restarant over and over again. Such a brief visit - it couldn't have lasted more than a minute. But a visual was forever burned in my memory of the smiling, white-shirted gentleman approaching me from the old-fashioned bar on the left and welcoming me to this dream-like place. (Did he sit there and wait for me to come back?) The white linen-covered tables on the right, with their small, overhead lamps casting soft light on the picture-filled frames which lined the wall, were inviting me to sit down. Beside me, my husband slept- a shadowy profile unaware of my alternating reverie and disappointment.

Elaine Kaufman passed away three years later. By then, so had my belief that "there'll be other times."

Elaine Kaurman: brief bio

Walking America
(Walking should be a choice.)

Mr. Nippies and I walked for almost two hours tonight with destination: nowhere. That's a long walk, and we had things to do in the house. But it was so lovely out, and we realized this weather Is fleeting. So, off we went.

Walking is now my favorite thing to do. I love it. When I was younger, much younger, jogging was my physical activity of choice, but my legs just don't cooperate with my brain's commands these days. I once felt like a gazelle when I ran. But now? I feel like a bucket of bolts.

Odd, isn't it? When you are young, everything cooperates and all parts are tightly screwed onto the frame. But never mind all that.

The reason I'm writing this is to share an observation: many more adults are walking for pleasure and exercise. But I suspect much of this footwork is done out of necessity, as well. Tonight I saw a woman walking and pulling a small metal cart full of groceries behind her. I've seen others do the same with increasing frequency these days. Lots of adults on bicycles these days, as well, dressed in attire which indicate are actually headed somewhere, not just out for a pleasure cruise.

The price of gas is creeping up steadily in past weeks. Car repairs cost a fortune. The average age of cars has gone from eight years to nearly twelve. At that age, breakdowns are to be expected. (While there is no chart to tell me, I'm guessing a twelve year old car is comparable to 90 in human years.)And repairs are expensive. It's likely a broken down car has to sit for a while - perhaps a long while, until the owner can afford to have it fixed.

I really do hope there is a turnaround of jobs in this country. Not $8.50 or $9.50 an hour jobs - who can live on $17,000.00 per year? Not many. But real manufacturing jobs which pay a living wage of $12.00 or more dollars per hour, with benefits.

I also wish CEOs would begin to care more about the people who work under them. No CEO should be making more than 30 or so times what his lowest employee makes. According to Fortune.com, today's top CEOs make more than 300 times the average worker. The ratio of CEO to worker has increased 10x compared to 30 years ago. This greed has to stop .
Source: Fortune.com CEO pay

Make America Great Again
(Not just a political slogan)
Photo credit: Nippies.com
Pictured: Donald J. Trump / Immigration Speech
Photo credit: Nippies.com
Nippies.com original story

Business ethics have changed tremendously from the past. Post WWII until the seventies, I'd say, people took pride in their work and companies took pride in their products and services. Phone calls were returned and written inquiries received a reply.

Remember the Maytag repair man commercial? Maytag, and all American manufacturers, built products to LAST. Often, couples would buy a washer or stove when they got married, and still be using it on their 30th wedding anniversary. That was not unusual!

Now, major appliances are purposely built to last 5 years MAX, so you have to repair them. On top of that, you are encouraged to buy those ripoff 1 - 5 year warranties, which cost up to half of what the product costs.

Shoes repaired? Hardy har har. They are made to be thrown out. Products are disposable - even expensive ones. Phone calls or emails inquiring about services? Now, all too often, if you aren't a good prospect for a hefty profit, your call is ignored. Things need to change back to how they used to be. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN is not just a political slogan. It is a slogan for every day life. #makeamericagreatagain

Gullible America

Please, my fellow Americans, wake up before it's too late.

CNN, the liberal media & Gullible America: CNN is the neck which turns the heads of gullible, uninformed Americans. CNN is most guilty, but the New York Times, MSNBC, and the rest will now be called "CNN & CO" in this piece.

This past month, CNN & CO have twice accomplished this. First, after FBI Director Comey released his statement about Hillary Clinton's breach of national security regarding her e-mails and her (and her lawyers) attempts to cover up her sloppy and dangerous (to U.S. security) behavior. Research it. A few days later, on July 7th, Comey testifies in front of Congress about Hillary's despicable behavior. Lo and behold! Alton Sterling had been shot and killed while resisting arrest in the early morning hours of July 5th, so CNN picks up on this story and starts hash tagging it - making is a racially charged story of white cops killing a poor, black guy selling CDs to support his family.

In truth, Alton Sterling was convicted felon - one of his felonies was impregnating a 14 year old when he was 20 - with tens of thousands of unpaid child support. Cops were called because Sterling threatened a homeless person with an ILLEGAL firearm he was carrying (remember, he was a felon). He refused to comply after being told TWICE to "Get on the ground, get on the ground". He struggled even after being tackled. The cops saw the firearm and, rather than take a shot to themselves, shot Alton Sterling. The Alton Sterling story was used as RACIAL BAITING, and CNN hash tagged the hell out of it, dominated it with their slant, and took the heat off HILLARY, as they did for Obama back in 2008 when he called his grandmother a "typical white person" and referred to his "Muslim faith".

Flash Forward to the wake of the DNC. A HUGE SCANCAL BREAKS. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was exposed as the scoundrel she is....on the EVE of the DNC. It's reported she has RIGGED the the nomination process in favor of Hillary Clinton. Wasserman-Schultz is BOOED off the DNC stage, has to resign as head of the DNC, and on and on.

What to do? What to do? OK....the Democrat National Convention has to come up with something STUNNING to take the head of Gullible America and turn it away from the stinking reality of HILLARY CLINTON, the irate attitude of ripped-off Bernie supporters, and on and on.

CNN & CO needs to rake up another hot story. The DNC needs a DIVERSIONARY TACTIC! QUICK...THINK!

So, enter Khizr Khan, whose son was killed by a MUSLIM suicide bomber in 2004. Khizr Khan is an agent for the Muslim Brother hood, he's a wealthy, Harvard educated lawyer who works to bring Muslims into this country. But his talk at the DNC plays at the heartstrings of patriotic Americans. He USES the death of his son, Humayun Khan, to ATTACK TRUMP viciously.

Again, the head of GULLIBLE AMERICA is turned from the stink of the Democratic Machine towards Trump.

Where was the relevance to Trump and his temporary ban on Muslims? Khan wants to make the point that Trump would not have allowed his son into the country. But wait! The Khans came her, so Mr. Khan could attend Harvard graduate school, WAY back in 1980. There is no TRUTH to what Khan said, because back in1980, Trump, and the rest of us, had never heard of jihadists, beheadings of innocents, and Sharia Law. No one cared if you were Muslim or came here. NO one....I know...I worked with an Iranian psychiatrist at the time...we adored him and pitied him for what was happening in Iran.

What sacrifices has Trump made, KHAN DEMANDS TO KNOW! (What sacrifice has Khan himself made, we might ask...his son was the one who made the sacrifice. For all we know,he may have thoroughly disapproved of his son, the hero, serving in the military). Trump gave a very respectful reply. He did NOT attack Khan. Trump said Khan seemed like a nice buy, but questioned why Khan's wife had nothing to say, and wondered if she was allowed to speak.( I wondered the same thing.)

Suddenly, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is forgotten!! All the rigging, all the cheating by Hillary and CO....all of it....GONE....FORGOTTEN by GULLIBLE AMERIA. and Trump put on the hotxseat once again by CNN and the liberal media. WAKE UP AMERICA...stop letting CNN & CO tell you where to look, what to think, and HOW TO VOTE. ‪

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From My Window

It's raining right now. A soft rain. The time is shortly after 11pm on the Fourth of July, 2016. I love it, because it will nourish the grass that fills the wide expanse behind my house. Last Spring, that expanse was comprised of dirt. When it rained, gullies formed and turned our yard to muddy ugliness. And it had been that way for twelve years. Just like the public corruption in our small town which caused it to be that way, an blackness permeated by a dark, secret life beneath the surface.

But not this year. No. This year it is lush, soft, and, while there may still be a secret life beneath, it is dominated by the soft, green grass above.

Last night, for the first time since 2003, our family gathered under the trees which you can see in the photo accompanying this story. We roasted marshmallows. We drank coffee. We talked in the semi-dark, our faces lit softly by the burning wood in the small fire pit.

This was the first year in many years that we could do this because we live in small town. And sometimes small towns are run by corrupt people who rule these small towns like their personal kingdom. That was the case in our small town.

It wasn't always that way.

My great-grandparents built the home we live in somewhere in the 1890s, and one of their descendants has lived in the home - or at least half of the home - since that time. M/p>

The lovely white Victorian was one of the finest on the hill in the little predominantly Irish immigrant section of the town. A black, ornate wrought iron fence surrounded the large corner lot, situated across from a large cemetary. Green striped awnings shaded the windows.

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