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Shakespeare wrote, “All are punished.” Dang it if it doesn’t seem Shakespeare’s right, though I suspect the poor suffer more than the rich.

 

(The market crash of 1929 helped us meet our neighbors.)

And maybe, it doesn’t matter which party has been in control of Congress or the Presidency—we all suffer.

I’d like us to focus here.

The most recent shell game of exchanging reality for peanuts has come in the form of stock market envy. Everything we hear or read almost everyday is about the stock market and how it’s doing once the slop about government fiasco is pushed aside.

The stock markets up! Hurrah! The headlines couldn’t be bigger and the news any brighter!!!!

Really?

Funny, how stock news is floated out through every news journal on a daily basis. It’s so important, right? Wrong! Ye God’s and little dill pickles, as my dad used to say, 54% of American’s don’t own stocks whatsoever! For 54% of Americans, the newspapers and TV reports might as well say the neighbor down the street bought another Rolls Royce no one can ride in rather than report the stock market.

Think about that.

I guess this is good news for 54% of Americans-if the market crashes they won’t get hurt at all!!

Somehow, the media, the owners of America, have tricked the American workers into thinking the stock market going up makes their life better—it doesn’t. Only a small percentage of Americans benefit from stock market changes, and they all are in the wealthiest 16% of America’s families.

Fact: 10% of American’s own 84% of ALL stocks…so a roaring stock market does nothing for more than 54% of all Americans who own NO stock whatsoever and very little for those who might own a small nest egg of stocks.

Stock market gains are an illusion for almost all of American workers. You can’t judge our economy, our quality of living by the stock market-–but the rich would like the impoverished middle class of America workers to think those gains in the market reflect a gain in their own life experience. Hog-wash!

Good paying jobs make life possible and help the quality of life for most Americans, not stocks.

Owners and market managers make out like bandits on soaring stock markets, though sometimes, like in 1929, even their investments can fall like a rock.

I read that no one actually committed suicide over the 1929 market crash, but this guy looks dead to me?!?!

The stock market is for most Americans a circus they watch but will never join. American’s pay to watch the stock market game at their place of work by accepting lower wages without benefits that push corporate profits and stuff the linings of rich pockets. Stocks go up! Profits soar! Wages go down!!! What a racket; what a bad deal for the working class.

It’s easy to get side-tracked when the center ring of our political arena is a freak show in every sense of the word.  Since when has such a dearth of bamboozled toxic concoctions called representatives led America to this extent of deteriorating deficiency?  Thing is, it’s easy to believe once you flip through the ghastly pages of America history that the answer to this question may be, ‘since forever,’!

Keep in mind, this less than stellar view of American society and politics isn’t keenly based upon the fact that 4 former U.S. Presidents were shot dead and that someone or group plotted to kill fourteen others. No, the fact that nearly 2/3 of all America Presidents were either killed or some political group in America wanted them dead is not the defining point that brings American society to the dismal depth we’re back-floating on today.

The lies American citizens have been told almost since the start of our nation is what makes our paths so difficult to walk now. Let’s just say, the crazy stories about the Native, wild Indians, the reasons for the Civil War, the Tea time at the Tea Pot Dome, the so-called Black Emancipation , Women’s Right’s successes, (please add all the reasons for America’s involvement in any war or anything called the ,’Good-Ol’-Days,’) and it’s easy to see there’s a pile of crap on our heads.* How can any working American find a good footing now-a-days?

Some questions are difficult to answer.

But, let’s get back to now-a-days! Only 64% of Americans own their houses and all but for 16% of Americans have little or any stock investments. Workers are losing pensions; the government attacks Medicare and Medicaid and hints at removing preexisting conditions for medical health coverage.  This should be the daily headlines in papers, not how the stock market is doing for the rich, top 2% of Americans!

But the media dazzles the eyes with stock figures daily and we all pay to watch. NO WAIT! American workers aren’t watching this three-ring circus! We are the ones being paraded in it while the rich sit and order caviar, campaign, dresses that cost 50 thousand dollars, top coats of silk and smoke fat, imported cigars from those so-called ,’shit-hole,’ countries they frequently fly to while on permanent vacations.

Yes, I see it all now. The middle class thinks we’re watching a circus when we’ve actually been turned into one for kicks.

In the end, it’s easy to see how all might be punished if corporate profit remains more important than the worker’s welfare. Heads have rolled before for this very sort of reason throughout history! I’m not hoping for that repeat. I’m hoping for a new awakening in voters and politicians alike. I’m hoping this current wreck-of-a-circus we call society gets closed down in an orderly fashion—through election—and a new one opens that’s a hell of a lot more fun for everyone.

Things might get worse if we can’t vote in change.

The notion that investors and corporate profits matter more than the workers who bring profit to organizations is the plague of our society now.

Here’s to the mothers, the women, the workers and everyone who knows better.

2018

2020

Franque23

*and the government made up figure called the CPI(consumer price index)which in turn drives annual increases to social security and other benefits.

 

 

 

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s doctor is the most important person in the world.

From every Conservative and Liberal Democrat: ” Ruth, please stay alive. We need your vote on the Supreme Court.”

If someone told me one year ago that I’d be praying for North Korea’s, Kim Jong-Un, to save the world I would have jumped from a high-speed train…

About those high-speed trains. Thank God America isn’t going full speed ahead on these. The old timey engines that huffed and puffed all that black coal smoke into the air are so much more nostalgic.

Also- about all that coal we love, I do miss the acid rains up north. It did wonders to clean up our road surfaces with pot holes while stripping those damn green forests bare! How else can we kill those evergreens?

As the saying goes—You can’t see the forest through the sticks…

So what about the Roses? Okay. I bought a tea rose-bush and planted it for my brother, Ed, when he died in 2004. Year after year deer would eat the bush down to the ground, but it kept coming back to bloom a scentless rose now and then. I kept watering the miserable always eaten failure of a rose none-the-less.

This year a completely different sort of bush sprang from the roots! Long thorny vines stretched eight feet out with no apparent blooms coming. I figured this was the root-stock of the tea rose and it may not bloom at all. I thought about removing the thorny vines. I waited…and waited. Then boom! A mass of the most beautiful red roses came with a wonderful fragrance! More than 28 roses at one time dazzled my eyes and nose!  The point: if we keep trying as a society to get what we want something even more beautiful than what we imagined may come!

.

It almost seems if a politician speaks out against homosexuals, abortions, sex affairs or any kind of lust then we can assume they are speaking about their well lined closet full of, ‘hat’s they wear.’ Some politicians claim to hate gays, abortion and whores! What they really mean to say is, “I am gay but, still, I have several girl friends under sixteen who have had to abort my would-be kids, and whores are sent by God to comfort me during my time of trouble.”

Thing is, in a bizarre way, Trump being noticeably crazy just might make Kim tow the line. Even Kim Jong-Un doesn’t want to mess with a nut job! So, Trump may get world renown credit for being bat-crap crazy!!

Our educational system is a nightmare! The last election proved it! Who knows what might be elected if we dumb down the whole process a bit more! The gutter’s not even the limit!

Oh boy- privatized, ‘choice’ schools that ensure some schools will serve privileged (mostly white) kids while the other schools will not. This worked well before, right?

Here’s a tip, look at any old photo that mentions Negroes and substitute the words, the poor, or, not-white, for it and you’ll get an A+ on any current reading test.

The current Republican’s in control of Congress and the White House are not prejudice—they just don’t like anyone who isn’t white or male!

I think having a meeting of all white men decide about a woman’s right to birth control is a , ‘no-brainer….’Absolutely, no brains. 

(This photo is a real picture of the congressional committee that made the decision on Women’s Birth Control rights……count the women. Hint: what number comes before the number, 1?)

If we can just drill our national parks and heritage sites enough, people will stop going to them and we can save all that money we pay for park rangers. And that dollar figure is about a zillionth of 1 % of our Federal budget! Psst-say nothing about the oil and gas profits; repeat.

The lack of bank regulation broke the American housing market in 2008 and brought about a world-wide crash. It’s super leadership that ten years later our Republican led Congress has just voted to loosen banking regulations again.  After all, some people made a killing on the crash, while other’s just literally died with no savings, no houses and no health care.

About Universal Health Care—it’s a good thing we don’t go there. Those massive walls America has had to build the past twenty years to keep out people from other countries that do have Universal Health Care is breaking our bank!  Hordes of people from Canada, England, France, Australia and other countries with Universal Health Care are sneaking or swimming over to pay more for less health care! It’s a huge, bigly problem. Right?

Why have Universal Health Care when we can pay more for less health care and lose everything we have to health care costs IF we get to be old?

In the past two decades the longevity of Americans has decreased from 11th to 42nd in world-wide statistics. Maybe we don’t have to worry about old age health care after all!?! Whoopee.

233 Republican Representatives actually voted last week to steal 2.9 Trillion dollars from Social Security surplus funds so they could take the money and spend it on themselves and pork projects. Vote every one of them out.*

Here’s what I say: vote these bastards out of Congress in 2018 and free the White House in 2020.

And all minorities, liberals, thinkers of all kinds need to join these folks at the polls in 2018 and then again in 2020.

Twenty six and seven-year olds were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012; many more mass shootings  have occurred before and since this massacre.  Those high school kids are right: it’s way past time to talk about gun control. Of course, action speaks louder than words…

Franque23

*https://www.socialsecurityworks.org/2018/04/12/politicians-steal-social-security/

 

 


Check this out to understand…

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ross-franquemont-air-force-pilot-captures-stunning-images-of-northern-lights/

Ross didn’t start out this way, a hero now on international news. No, he started as a baby, then grew to be kind of lunatic 4-year-old who insisted on going to airports to watch planes land and take off. Basically, the kid was sick. Closets were recommended; no food for a week came up when that snot nosed kid wouldn’t leave  his dad my Cousin, Jed Franquemont, alone. “Take me to the airport ,dad!”

There were long discussions about the kids fascination for flight. If you can believe it, this little guy wished to be a pilot before most kids figure out how to dress themselves.

Nuts, it’s called. All of a sudden, this kid is taking pictures from a U-2 Plane?!?!?!

Anyway,  Ross probably survived thru the Grace of God, what do I know, he was just some punk of a kid running around making plane noises during family reunions up at Lake Bonaparte as I remember. I’ve got a feeling we launched him off the dock up at the lake more than once to see if he could really fly. Nope: the kid was a flat liner.

Hey flat earth people….it’s possible the Earth isn’t flat after all!

Then, one day I get a call from my cousin Jed who tells me the kid we worried about since the day he was born is a pilot in the Air Force.  Ha!whahahaha. So I cashed in all my bonds, whatever, figuring we were about to lose a war somewhere soon. That didn’t happen and we all started to wonder?

Next I knew this kid who wanted to fly before he could zip his own was flying Generals around Europe!?!?! I figured this had to be some sort of pedal push flight machine we never used as kids. Then I learned the truth.

How was Ross making all this look so real? Sell, Sell. Sell I said to Wall Street!

I need to go back a bit and mention that this kid was never known to drink much*, but , as it came out later, his friends in europe, and the entourage of followers who drafted his wings were huge, bigly drinkers. The result quickly became a shortage of name brand beers coming out of Europe . This forced those brewers and others to develop many off-shoot beers and labels to try to circumvent the slaughter of the known labels his followers were causing…Now, it’s all history. The world has One zillion labels of beer on the shelves, and all of this is due to Ross Franquemont and his followers.

Next, kinda like a meteorite landing on your head, this single ,”I wanna be a pilot, Dad,” nuisance of a son became a U-2 pilot.  What?!?!? I said, “Sell everything and buy land in Russia.”

Rain drops keep fallin’ on my head….Nay, don’t think so.

Now before the women of the world start hoping to join the 70 thousand mile high  club with Ross they need to know that this is Jessica Franquemont, Ross’ wife. Thing is she’s beautiful, smart, articulate, kind and deadly. So kind , in fact, that she says anyone can have Ross as long as they’re six feet under and well decomposed.  Momma bear raises her three little ones with a tight fist and eagle eye! Just forget it: code to live by.

I’m certain Jessica has a good aim…

Yep, this is Ross Franquemont with his wife.. 

A great guy, true husband and father of three…he makes all of us proud. “Sorry dear, I’ll be 70 thousand miles high in the air tonight so don’t hold dinner.”

Ross Franquemont: a true Hero.

NO, Ross didn’t sink a forty-foot jumper to win the NCAA basketball championship; he didn’t heave a hail Mary pass to win the football championship. All Ross has done for the past 18 years and counting is help keep America and the World safe.

When I look up, “Hero,” in the dictionary, Ross Franquemont is in the definition.

Cheers

Franque23

*Maybe

Ross- it was that Franque23 guy who wrote all of this, not me.. Cheers, Unc.

 

 

 


It’s happening today all over America and it happened in Gainesville, Florida, too. Crowds of people got out to say enough is enough! We want to ban large magazines, assault type weapons used most often in mass shooting, demand background checks for all gun purchases at any venue of sale-retail, guns shows and online sales.

We want the mass shooting to stop; thoughts and prayers are not enough!image

The message once was, Peace. Today it’s, Stop Killing Us!

Bands played throughout the first 3 hour session of speeches and I couldn’t help but think of two guys that had a lot to do with my awakening—if not the World’s—to the idea of peace.

88164ecb2198992016fedeadee431b28 Waaay  young John Lennon and George Harrison…

By 1:30 the number pushed well over one thousand and all the time the messages that belong to this movement were heard loud and clear.

The crowd grew and the chanting became louder.

Then it was time to march but first we gathered all the students together in the center to applaud their work on this issue.

I think it’s of historical significance to note that the Nam war protests were led by students mostly college age. It was the young that led the way then as our younger students are leading the way now.* Politicians who scoff at the age of those leading this gun reform movement have failed to pay attention to history.  This group right here, the ones attacking the NRA led agendas in our country, are going to win. The politicians who put their chips down on the NRA are done, over-finished.

So how big was the Gainesville crowd…well, the line stretched nearly 1/2 mile long, and many deep. Old folks, father’s, mother’s, adults of every age, families, people pushing babies, skipping children, a huge amount of school age people and people pushing wheelchairs made the numbers bigly.

The chants continued:

March for Life!

Say No to NRA! Vote them out!29512883_10213899868544779_2253486432933025462_n

It was great to see friends there…**29498062_10213901109895812_8206434635422649271_n

 

The line of marching people felt endless, and my heart hopes so.

29511797_10213901479065041_2842824743314048217_n

As some of the speakers today knew one, two or all of the dead from the Parkland shooting personally, some signs also had a personal touch.

No, today didn’t feel like ,’another,’ event. The words, the feelings expressed, the messages and energy collectively gathered today represent a nation-wide movement that will continue. This time  America’s guns laws and the meaning of  the Right to Bear Arms will change. It’s the Nam protest day’s force all over again and these younger folks will not let go.

But what messages today let’s me know the time’s are a changin’?

We are in this together. And we will vote. Politicians who have so far refused to heed the call to disarm our society are already scurrying for a way to hide or re-invent their position.29541571_10213899931186345_2538367165260030756_n

A huge movement is coming around to think the NRA as it stands today is a real threat to American society.

Sending thoughts and prayers to the parents and loved ones over the death of their loved ones won’t work again, never again. All the so-called kids here today had this on their minds,

and they won’t forget.

Today we had an elegant speaking 11-year-old ask our Representatives one question? “Do you think we are stupid?”

Some Representatives do, and some have belittled the age of these protestors…. Trust me, the time is coming to end the office of those who do.

Power to the People no matter their age is alive and well-

Cheers 

Franque23

*Thanks to dale for this connection and for all of the pictures…

** Thanks to Joey and Debbie for their pictures as well.

 


Wait! What were you thinking? Oh, guttered brained chatter makes the most noise, right?

No, not this kind of a…

I know this is a loaded statement few bring up often but now that it’s out in the open we should talk. No matter how you look at it’s hard to look away. Some will find this easy to handle, others, not so much.

We have a movement in hand.

This ,’dick-thing,’ may be the point of Japan’s annual celebration, but it’s not the point of this post.

Okay, the picture pointed the way. Once a work associate who is married to a fellow named,  Richard, threw us all into laughing fits when she exclaimed, “I do love my, Dick!”

Anyway–Dick’s is the  Hunting Outfit chain who dropped selling AR-15’s today to help motivate our Representatives to do the right thing when it comes to gun legislation so they deserves our business.

How did America get to where we are? The madness at the top-our Congress seems not interested in following the will of the majority but only the will of their donors. Heck, the President even refuses to recognize the will of Congress who overwhelmingly voted to apply more sanctions on Russia for interfering with our 2016 election, but Trump won’t do it!

People also ask why the Republicans have taken so many local and state elections in the  past.

Well, that’s complicated but gerrymandering is one main reason the Republicans have done so well at the polls during the last twelve years

See? This is a voting district in Texas–someone needs a ruler, right? But even with this Republican shaped district a long-standing Republican Representative from it is not going to run again!

Democrats fell asleep at the wheel while in power and the Republicans went to work drawing up voting districts that could challenge any Dali piece of art. Plus, the core of America feels more conservative than Liberal,(it’s not.) but not crazy like Trump and his agenda!

Many say Liberal’s are too Liberal; that they don’t represent most Americans. But remember this: Trump and his agenda lost the popular vote to Hillary by almost 3 million people!

I have no idea what makes people in large cities and near the coast lines lean liberal rather than conservative …odd. The heartland is so beautiful, serene, so I get those living there not wanting too much change. Thing is, right now the Republicans in power are too crazy for office and may well be in Russia’s pocket.  Polls show this is the opinion of the majority of people in America today, right now.

It’s about 100% sad what the NRA has done with the second amendment in terms of interpretation….the assault weapon problem here in America is huge and may well flip the Congress blue. So far 9 out of 11 special elections have come up blue, and some were in places where a deep tradition of voting Republican stood. 37 seats have flipped blue since 2016 in local and National elections.

Am I in love with everything Liberal ? Maybe not, but I do love these kids for speaking out about guns, and the women for organizing against a moron of a President who embraces throwback environmental ideas….and those sex comments….?

The tide may be turning blue; We’ll see….

And now, tonight we can add Wal-Mart’s name to the list of good guys! They are pulling all assault rifles off their store shelves, even children’s toys that resemble those guns, and raising the age to 21 for purchases.

We all should wonder: is today’s press conference where President Trump seemed to back opponents of the NRA a symptom of what’s to come? Has Trump seen the voter’s will play out enough in recent elections that he thinks he has to at least straddle the gun issue and not side with the NRA? We’ll see…but there’s this:

I lived through the Nam protests and movement against Nixon. This is feeling the same and for one uttermost important reason—we were right about the Nam war then and these kids are right about America needing to adopt much tighter gun laws now.

The side of right will win, we just never know exactly when. So here’s to Dick’s everywhere, to all the companies who have already changed their relationship with the NRA and now to Wal-mart. This is called a movement. It’s time to reach out and grab the moment.

We need to keep it up! ( oh gosh….)

Franque23


These women, and children, that’s who!

So here’s my point. The children today who are working to not be shot dead in schools since this is a bad end to education are about to pick up the women movement and their vote. Once this happens the NRA and stupid blind politicians who can’t see the tsunami coming are going to be swept overboard, away and gone forever.

Yes, it’s true, once women get ‘on board’ with any movement that movement is bound to succeed even though it might take 100 years! Any married man can tell you: women don’t give up.

Case it point: the women’s suffrage movement took activists nearly 100 years to win the right to vote, but they never gave up. It all started as long ago as 1820 and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on August 1920.

Most men, all along, thought it ridiculous that women should have the right to vote.

Did you know that The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, extends the Constitution’s protection to all citizens—and defines “citizens” as “male”; the 15th, ratified in 1870, guarantees black men the right to vote-but not women. It’s mind-boggling, right?

It was a keen switch of logic that Susan B. Anthony pounced on to insist women should have equal rights not because they were equal to Men, but because they were different! This defeated the idea that women were not equal to men so they shouldn’t vote. Really a beautiful move by Susan.

Women can show us the way…

this shot is close to my home in Micanopy…We always called this the , River Sticks,’ which is odd because from studying Latin that river leads to Hell, The name by the state is some sort of canal. Me=River Sticks.

By the way, I have worked primarily with women for the last 24 years* of my professional life in Libraries. I have seen first hand the magic of women, their force, and unending capacity to care. But mind you, as a retail shop(s) owner in the 1980 and 1990’s, the power of the pocket-book was never lost to me…Ladies were a huge market for goods, more so than men.

One of us is not the others?

World War I  finally proved the worth of women to their worse half. Finally, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. And on November 2 of that year, more than 8 million women across the United States voted in elections for the first time.

About the first thing women did with the power to vote was to enforce prohibition. 1920 started off with women winning the vote to end/stop most men ( age 15 ) from drinking an average of seven gallons of pure alcohol per year. Whew, that’d be hard to keep up!

Anyway, what’s important to note is that it was also women who brought prohibition to an end. Pauline Sabin was the one to argue that prohibition was forcing men to drink out of the home, wrecking family time and in 1933 prohibition ended…

And what about the , ‘Tree Huggers?’ Yep,  women were involved….sadly. Long ago, a group of men and women in Europe chained themselves to trees to stop deforestation in their area. Loggers, cut all of them in half while cutting the trees. But, do you see the guts of women?

 

This is the naked truth: we kill ourselves when we kill trees, our environment, our wildlife.

 

If you’d like to read a great book about a strong mother written by an appreciative son, read,

Rick Bragg’s…All over but the Shoutin’..there’s a great story here.

Did you know that more women have voted in National elections than men since 1964!?!?

So here’s my point once again, so late in this post. The children today who are working to not be shot dead in schools since this is a bad end to education are about to pick up the women and their vote. Once this happens the NRA and stupid blind politicians who can’t see the tsunami coming are going to be swept overboard, away and gone forever.

Forgive me if I repeat the obvious. Throwback men are doomed. If I can do anything to facilitate this process , I will. The NRA is over in this country and I’m glad to write it. We have been held hostage by the NRA worse than by any so-called ‘evil’ society from the middle East.

“More than 1.5 million US citizens have died as a result of guns in the last 49 years, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. … The Las Vegas shooting has once against renewed the debate over gun control in the US, where the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected and the …” **

This is not talking about the dead from World Wars of any kind.

Just make one of these 1.5 million deaths your child…how does that feel? I’m not shooting smoke, ‘up your butt,’ as the saying goes in bars. No, I’m trying to clear the air here…to make the deaths real, and to let you know the truth.

If you were a high School student with your entire life now realized ahead of you, would you like to be shot dead in school? Just asking.

Franque23 hates guns and killing of wild animals, of all things.

 

*I’ve been lucky enough to be married to one woman for over 37 years…

**http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guns-killed-more-americans-firearms-deaths-us-wars-iraq-afghanistan-vietnam-vegas-mass-shooting-a7984421.html

 

 

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

It can be fun to see what people have done with snow over the decades…

Ski-cars?

so let’s take a look…..

Like way before I was a tie wearing sixth grader in Meadow Drive—(I’m the 6th from the right in the back row)

Way before our house on Long Island, N.Y. was often buried by nor’easter’s during the winter. Here’s a pic. of our home in Roslyn Heights. My room was second floor on the left.

Long before I built this snowman to my father’s delight and Mom gave me the carrot for the nose…

Gal’s used to,’shovel sled,’ as it was called. I think these gals were having fun! 

Here’s three actual Olympic champions sharing the limelight….about 1928–all three were medal winners-1st thru 3rd in figure skating.

Boys will be boys; girls will be girls- this group decided to dance in the snow in what was called ‘ underwear’ back then. 1926…so this photo is extremely risque …..

Here’s New York City in the 1920’s. (I’m guessing the man ‘breaking his neck’ thought one of the ladies was a ‘looker.’)

Whoops, here’s our lake house at Lake Bonaparte, New York, just in the foot hills of the Adirondacks. Thinking this was taken about three years ago. It went down to -25 this year up at the lake. Our camp is in the background.

It can snow a bunch up there- people have landed planes on the ice of Lake Bonaparte and often drive cars over it during the deep winter months.

Speaking of driving….all sorts of methods were developed in the past to glide cars over the snow.

And, at one time, Santa lived in the Adirondacks…People could go meet his reindeer!

Some Europeans are very used to the snow. Here they bask in the daylight warmth at a restaurant!!! I don’t imagine I’d visit unless I’d been served on ice.  Or, as a customer, “Please, may I have five gallons of hot tea, like now….”

Okay, this is interesting…These two gals were sisters and a successful dance/comedy routine in the flapper era…they worked under the name, The Dolly’s….hmmmm,, Hello, Dolly anyone?

Through rain, sleet and snow–they really meant it and still do.

I’m thinking this boy’s love for this doggie has nothing to do with the keg on the dog’s neck.

Do policemen always get it in the end? Nah, they’re just all havin’ fun.

Why am I thinking this isn’t the best way to test the ice? Unless I’m the guy on the far left…

Here’s the deal, people like to do just about anything in the snow. Making snow angels, snow balls as big as a car, snow ball fights are huge, sledding, sliding, rolling on the snow and making snow forts as I did as a kid-it’s all fun! People ski naked, run and jump into snow naked and have a ball(no pun intended) naked* in the snow.

Snow is truly a winter wonderland but for driving. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I love to drive in the snow…” Nope, not once.

But still, snow fall can be magical. I could watch snow fall from my bedroom window as a kid in the street light located on the corner of our property on Long Island. Soft and whirling, silent but so real, the piles of snow upon the trees, yards, cars and street filled my eyes with delight. It all meant that tomorrow there would be no school, and in the morning I’d run out onto the unblemished lawns of blanketed snow to be the first to step across the pristine, smooth snow-fallen landscape. Those foot prints have remained in my heart forever though my red boots have long been cast aside.

There’s magic to life, and snow is part of the wonder.

Now, I’m more than forty years a Florida boy, but I’ve never forgotten snow. Never will.

Franque23

bye 

*you’ll have to google that yourself….

 

 


Jed’s still a child in my mind’s eye. We’re running across the bluff by Lake Bonaparte where our lake house stands today; his brother Johnny is still alive. Jed’s a skinny kid who knows more than me, taller,  wise with eyes clear enough to see through. We’re laughing for good reason—we don’t know any different.

The wild outside had nothing on our childhood dreams, hopes and expectations. The cool lake water tickled our toes and pleased our fancy. Our younger days passed so quickly, days never tethered but set free by a glistening lake so perennial and steadfast as the universe.

Jed, you’re forever my cousin.

Truth: the lake bunk house rocked with laughter. Sleeping bags kept us warm on cots as nights made of stars crept overhead. Jed had then and always a special knack that makes me belly laugh. I’d roll inside bent over after hearing his pensive hilarious words so dryly spoken without a wasted syllable. Recently, there was this moment:

“Oh, being a tax collector has it’s tough moments.”—I could see the painful far away look in Jed’s eyes— “Catching people cheating on taxes, fining them more than they can afford to pay and then working them through payment negotiations; it’s all tough. But that’s not the most fun I’ve had working-other things come up, too.” It’s belly laugh roll on the grass time for me.

We stood together, grown men on the bluff as the setting sun dazzled rolling lake waves. The wind seemed at our back; Beer Island, High Rocks, Birch Island and Round Island so distant punctuated every day we’d spent in the spot as children.

A few years later we visited the lake again…

“I’m not sure about going to the castle.” Jed puffed on his cigar as he looked my way.

“Why? It’s our family’s castle; we should go to Germany.”

“We’re so different now— I don’t know how that would work.”

“Ah, that’s all just politics; this is blood; it will be good.” (Jed told me eight years ago that he had a ‘special’ circular file where he put all my blogs*, especially the political ones…)

“Well,” puff on cigar again, “let me think about it.”

I thought Jed would come.

He belongs.

As it turned, Jed never did make the trip to Europe this past September. Opportunity, so often a doubled edged sword, has struck its blow. No, Jed was only there in spirit with me just as it is for every cousin of mine. To me, the bonds of family never break but boil in the blood and remain as resilient as images of  Lake Bonaparte appear in my head. Some cousins long dead 11 or 13 years ago, and even Johnny now 55 years gone, still linger in my heart.

Long ago, Grandma Franque smiled at our young, prancing feet at the lake in a way I can only appreciate some 60 years later. She saw what Jed and the rest of us had then; family. I feel that now.

Goodbye, Jed, my lakeside cousin.

It’s impossible to weigh a heavy heart-

Franque23

 

  • *.i.e. trash can

Yep– the loyal Republicans who have clamored for decades about States Rights verses a strong central Government of rampant legislation now approve the concealed weapon permit from one state to another no matter how any state’s populace has voted on the issue. Wow…

How’s about all the taxes ‘righties’ have clamored against for sooo long but now their guys in Congress are all ‘feel good’ about double taxation! Yes, that’s right…er it’s wrong, but whatever,…Thing is if you limit the deductions of ANY state paid states or local taxes than people’s earnings that paid those taxes will once again be taxed as income–a second time, get it? So Republicans now promote double taxation! Let’s all stand up and cheer…right? Or, should we all take a knee?

We all need to take a walk in my ancestor’s garden and talk things over….

Trump’s team of slurred meaning slips up to the idea that Trump’s Mar A Lago estate in Palm County is the so-called, “Southern White House.”  But that’s “Not true,” say every sense of reality. Trump owns this semi-palace and he has Doubled the fees paid by public users since his election!!! Gee–wait, what? Is Trump profiting from his Office?!??! Er, duh!

“Hello! Hello! Trump’s privately profiting off his office–that’s illegal…”

A zillion meme’s and posted notes have expressed despair at the over-all doings of this current administration-cutting the knees out from under the needy, undermining our healthcare system and stashing billions of tax cuts for the rich into his next run for office.  And then we have this administration increasing taxes on anyone not extremely wealthy via a misnomer-ed ‘tax cut’ that will really be a tax increase as years pass for anyone not in the top 1% of tax payers.

But I felt this reader, (okay-my wife) said a few things very well in this….

“It is a dilemma. I know that I generally do tend to think that people who don’t see things my way are wrong. But there is so much history to prove that the GOP solutions have never worked, and have been destructive, and have led to the economic disparity and shrinking of the middle class, I find it so hard to respect people who don’t look at the history,or science, or have some agenda that I find offensive. Especially where bigotry and exclusion come into play. I prefer the motto “Humanity matters”. It is hard to disagree and still maintain some semblance of a relationship. But that leads to further polarization. Arguing doesn’t work, because minds are fixed. There is a belief that Trump will turn the economy around for everyone by bringing business back.If so, I hate the cost, and have a secret hope that businesses have learned the lessons of lawsuits when their lack of regulation led to illness and death. Everyone should re-visit Erin Brockovich. Things were not working for too many, especially in the rust belt, and there is a division between the needs of urban and rural voters. Maybe the world will move ahead in energy and conservation of resources without the GOP and US government. But I sure hate that about 30% of my income goes to taxes that ultimately do not provide me with a better quality of life, but a worse one,”

My way-smart wife….

Well, like it or not, the entire American work force is about to be , “Trickled down” upon…get towels.

The environmental blood bath featured by this administration is a wretched thing to behold. Somewhere, somehow, this group of right-winged Christians in Washington have forgotten it’s our charge to care and nurture this God-given Earth…

Ireland’s earth

It’s been a great ninth year for this glob post; readers from sixty-four countries read this glob last year, a bit down from sixty-seven countries the previous year and I have to wonder: did a few countries get blown up or something? Hope not, but our ex-security head gives us a 3 in 10 chance of having a nuclear blow-out with North Korea. Who likes those odds? Not me.

Those are the odds?

I like Peace; love. How about you?

We are too perfectly normal.

Much more to come this year. I’ve an entire side of my family you don’t know much about and it’s a wonderful, American story. Plus, I’ve loads of pictures from 2017 yet to post on gardening fun and family cheer!  See you soon….

We can do this thing. We can get our country together again, strong, back on track and be World Leaders once again.

Cheers for 2018.

 

Franque23

 

 


There’s an ol’ saying: “It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch!”

Sad, but true, a rotten stench lingers longer than the fresh scent of a rose. And the heated passion often present when anyone speaks about an ill-doing, a crime or some offense of any kind, slips through conversations easier than ‘That-a-boys’ do. Like it or not, it’s human nature to slow down to scan over a scene of an accident no matter how gross the view.

Stories about bad cops splash across newspaper headlines but what about the ‘good’ cops? Sometimes we hear or read about things a good cop does but no where near as often as we learn about the cops who went ‘south.’ (BTW—why is something said to have gone ,’South,’ when it’s gone bad? Why not gone, North?’ It’s freakin’ cold up north and nice down south…anyway)

Here’s a true story from my family about a great cop who help us all this very holiday season-this is a Christmas miracle story.

Set up: My daughter and family had gone to a large Florida water attraction for the day. Rings were left in the car so they wouldn’t be lost in the tumbling, sliding water. Unfortunately, the car was broken into that day and my daughter’s rings were stolen. Worse, two of these were family heir-loom diamond rings—not replaceable.

They filed a police report.

My daughter cried (after screaming to the moon…)

My wife cried when she heard the news.

All of us prayed for the rings to be found but what were the chances? Zip, zilch, not gonna happen, sorta like Alabama going blue, way in left forget-about-it field, a stiff upper lip deal and talk about how things don’t matter….that’s how it was.

Then, THEN, I get this note from my daughter tonight

Enjoy the weaving’s of a miracle for Christmas! ……

NOTE:

You guys! I shared with you the bad news, so now I have to tell you the good news — THEY FOUND THE RINGS! Feeling so blessed. We fasted, prayed and hoped. The officer told me that so many little things came together that made it possible to find them, and had just one of those things not happened, he would have never found the rings. I really feel like this is an answer to prayers. So thank you to all of you who prayed with us! I know my Gram is smiling down on us as we get a little piece of her back to our family. ❤

I (My daughter) called last night to speak to the officer on the case about the rings. I need to get a new ID and was told I need a copy of the police report to get it. As such, I called and reminded the officer of my case: the day they were stolen, how many rings, what type etc. He said later after we spoke, he was put on a burglary. They got the guy’s prints and were able to identify the criminal. He looked up the history on the guy and saw that he had pawned items on the same day I just mentioned to him my jewelry had been stolen. So, on a hunch, the officer went down to the listed pawn shop and asked specifically about items pawned that day and described the type of rings he was looking for. There are dozens of pawn shops in Orlando, and the officer said had he not known the right shop to go to and had the information on hand, he would have never recovered them. So it was me calling the day I did, him being the officer put on another case involving the same guy who stole my rings (dozens of officers could have been assigned that case and wouldn’t have put two and two together.) and him seeing the guy had pawned something on the same day as I just spoke with him earlier. He’s got a plethora of cases and mine wouldn’t always be in the forefront of his mind. So I am counting it a miracle and am so happy and thankful…”

This cop more than did his job; he cared. Everyday, in every way, we have Cops like this guy who work hard and go out of their way to help all of us. Everyday.  The next time you read about a cop gone, ‘south,’ remember this story and think about how many other police people are out on our streets in America doing the best they can for all of us! Everyday; every-way.

Good Cop case in point: My fishing buddy’s son, James Hager, was recently  working marine patrol in the Florida Keys  when, as his shift ended, he heard his radio flash that a boat may have capsized in the gulf…. He re-tooled his boat, put her in and headed out. He searched, looking, and saw a dot, one that got larger as he approached. Finally, he saw this. James made the national news; he saved these boys.

This is James looking back as the boys get on board…

Not many of us know we are risking our lives when we go to work-cops do.

Marta Danylyk, second from right, arrives for the funeral mass for her fiancée, Euless, Texas, Police Officer David Hofer, Monday, March 7, 2016, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Hofer was killed Tuesday, March 1 while responding to reports of shots fired in a park. Hofer was a 2008 graduate of New York University who served in the NYPD for five years before joining the Euless Police Department in 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

This is more than a Christmas miracle for my family. It is a wake up call; a certain reminder that the men in blue are working to help us have a better life.

Thanks to Good cops everywhere. Merry Christmas.

Franque23

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