My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths. I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ. They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:
…and then, they died of an overdose…
Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together? Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort? (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)
I come rife with an addictive personality. I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating. I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic. My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction. She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!) My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars. I come by my addictions honestly. Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did. My fraternal grandfather made it to 68. My own father to 61.
Today is my daughter’s birthday. She would have been 31. Auto accident, age 12.
At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.
Today is my Big Bro’s Birthday! Happy Birthday, Joe!
As he is 12 years my senior, we never bonded as siblings very much. My Dad married my Stepmother and we moved into her house with her almost grown children. (I’ve also a stepsister, Karen, who lives with her retired Army LTC in Alaska. I’ve written of him in these pages.)
He, much like my Father was, is a sports nut. I don’t think he’s as obsessed as my Father was, though. He’s always kept in shape, and looks great considering his age. I’m certain that’s because he still plays sports and is very active. He spends Summers back in Illinois at a relative’s place ‘working the farm’.
Not exactly a Summer a couch-potato like myself aspires to!
He followed his Mother into elementary education, and retired a few years ago after years of teaching the 6th Grade, predominately Math. Had to have been a labor of love, right?
I’ll always be grateful to him. When we moved into my Stepmother’s home, everyone had to double-up. My sister’s shared a room, and my brother and I shared a room. As a newly-minted Third Grader I liked it. I cannot image my college man brother appreciating it, though!
But, he never complained, at least to me. We spent many a Friday night watching TV together (Friday Night in 1960-61 was replete with Westerns!) and sharing a bag of potato chips.
And he spent many of the past twenty years caring for his mother in her declining years. I admire him for his selflessness.
Happy Birthday, Joe!
Per my daily almanac, today is the birthday in 1915 of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
Whether or not you love or hate the guy, his music, his style, and his connections made him a force to reckon with in both the entertainment industry and politics. My high school choral teacher said he had the best phrasing, except for the whole “do be do be do” thing.
He came from nowhere, got ‘connected’, and the Mob allegedly paid girls to scream when he first performed live. He went to Hollywood, and it was thought his career had tanked. Then, he showed he could act. And he was renewed.
He was friends with mob guys like Sam Giancana, politicians like Jack Kennedy, and beauties like Marilyn Monroe. After Bogie passed away in 1957, he assumed chairmanship of The Rat Pack – a group of cool dudes including a black guy, Sammy Davis, Jr. This integration was unheard of in 50′s Hollywood.
He was a loyal friend. When Sammy got in trouble with the IRS, he didn’t tell the guys. Frank found out and called him, and asked, “How much are you in for?” $15 million was the reply. “I’ll write you a check.” said Frank.
He passed in 1998. Way too soon for my taste.
He did it his way.
(JUST TO BE CLEAR – not the act of giving thanks, but the whole holiday meme, thank you very much!…)
It all started when I was a tyke. My Mother had the audacity to give birth to me in late November! So my birthday often falls on-or-around Thanksgiving.
When I was younger, this meant friends and relatives got together
two three times in November, my birthday, turkey day and my Father’s birthday – which is eight days before mine.
THEN, someone decided to meld the birthday’s and holidays, to make it easier on everyone. Of course, this usually meant turkey and all the trimmings for my birthday.
I loathe turkey! I wasn’t particularly fond on being the only child in a mass of dysfunctional adults, either! I DO like pumpkin pie, but I also like birthday cake, too. And some of the relatives.
So, you see the problem.
Fortunately, when I got older (much older, after I stopped working on holidays and some of the dysfunctional folks were absent) I could start my own
Thanksgiving birthday traditions.
This year, in spite of a number of polite invitations – including a vegan Thanksgiving – I had salad with Italian dressing, pepperoni pizza, and cheesecake. MMMMMMMM! In some past years I’ve made lasagna!
I hope you enjoyed whatever tripped-your-trigger last Thursday. I gave thanks for friends, family, this Constitutional Republic and no turkey.
Now comes the rapid downhill slide until Christmas…
(Insert your own Bah! Humbug! here, if you desire…)
OldNFO posted this yesterday (I’m certain with forethought of today).
His point was we might have won some battles, but may ultimately lose the war because of the lack of proper education of the young, who will eventually inherit this mess.
Regardless of the undertone of the message, I post it today to honor the memory of a great man, who grew in his lifetime from a proponent of gun control to become the President of the National Rifle Association.
Watch and listen. Remember and learn. Thank you, Mr. Heston, for all you did. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
OldNFO, NRA News
TODAY is my good friend Bernard ‘Biff’ Jannuzzi’s Birthday!
Radio Personality, published author, standup comic, libertarian and bon vivant!
He’s interviewed hundreds of people, including Col. Paul Tibbetts, Robert Conrad, Buzz Aldrin and Gavrilo Princip.
Okay, that last one is not true – they just share the same birthday! I always tell him, “Happy Gavrilo Princip Day. Take a shot at having a good one!”
(I know – I’m a sick puppy)
(If I could ONLY convince him to own a firearm and write a blog. He’s written a book about his exploits in radio, a blog should be easy (?) And a gun is a libertarian tool…
(attn FTC – Mr. Jannuzzi gives me nothing save friendship. Look elsewhere.)
January 26, 2013…
January 26 has always been a weird day.
Turned out to be diffuse large cell lymphoma. I spent the next six months enduring chemotherapy, weird pain, weakness and hair loss. And weekly doctor visits. It looked for a while that I wasn’t gonna be around to write this blog nonsense.
But, here I am :-P. I’ve been more than fortunate.
People sometimes gasp when I recount certain chapters in my life. My leg disability at age 12, loss of my daughter, and being a cancer survivor. While I’ve had my moments, it’s nothing compared to Brigid’s brother and his battle against lymphoma. Or CoolChange (c)(c) watching over his beloved wife, now in hospice. They need all your good thoughts, and prayers, if that’s what you do.
And if you donate blood, please continue to do so. Or start. And mark that organ donor spot on your driver’s license. It’s the least we can do.
Sad PS – Rick (CoolChange) announced in his blog today that his beloved wife passed @ 5:55 yesterday.
One of the most prolific and innovative inventors in history, JOHN MOSES BROWNING was born on this date in 1855.
The next time you rack your semiautomatic pistol, remember the slide mechanism was invented by Mr. Browning. Otherwise, we’d be stuck with Georg Luger’s toggle top! Seen many of those designs, lately?
Every time I first touch off my one remaining prized 1911, I try to intone, “God Bless John Moses Browning!”
For a succinct biography of the man, please go to 1911.org
I recently had a conversation with a friend which sparked a bittersweet memory.
One of the things many of us miss as adults is the wonder, the surprise, the simple serendipity of joy. In childhood we experience it often, probably because most things and experiences are new to us, and we’ve yet to become jaded.
One of my favorite memories of my daughter Molly was when I gave her a gift. She was turning twelve, and I knew just as the Sun rose in the morning that soon she would be developing into a teenager, full of doubt and promise. One who no longer trusted her parents to be all-knowing and truthful. Because, of course, we weren’t and could never be.
But here we were, proud father giving his daughter a present. She opened it, her eyes widened, and there was that sudden exhalation of breath. Excitement, happiness, joy. Innocence and appreciation in one second, one breath. Followed by the big hug.
I don’t even remember what I had given her. But what she gave me was so much more. An everlasting memory of a happy young woman, unspoiled by the adolescent hormones of parental treachery. Not yet jump-started into that distrust generated simply by being parents and adults.
Zen masters tell us to be in the now. Live life as if each moment was your last. This is what Molly showed me that day.
I’ve had many difficult times of year. The holidays and my birthday comprise one such time. Not because of those specific events, but rather because of who’s not there.
But, I’ve already received my present this year. As I get every year – when I remember it.
Live in the now, with joy, and never be disappointed.
Thank you, Molly.
I’ve known Judy since 2003. We met through EHarmony. We dated for a couple years, then split, then got back together for another couple years. We’ve evolved into good friends.
Judy and I have some similar history in that we both lost someone special in our lives way too soon. I think it’s one of the things that binds us. But our friendship is not just about the sad. We both have sick and twisted senses-of-humor and are prone to the sarcastic. And we like guns. And tequila (not at the same time!)
Back in 2009, after we had broken up the second time, I was hospitalized and asked her to pick up my mail for me at my home. This is a 17 mile trip one-way, and I expected her to stop by once or twice a week to collect it.
Not only did she collect it daily, but she then came to the hospital to see me. Every day. She was there when my oncologist told me I had lymphoma. And was there much of the time when I was doing outpatient chemo.
When I told her I quite probably was going to lose my home, she offered me a place to stay. Open-ended. This is who she is.
Today is her Birthday. If I told you her age or posted her photo she would most certainly shoot me with the Nighthawk she carries!
Happy Birthday, Judy! And thanks!