Friday, July 28, 2017

A SAD DAY in the USA

This Republic of ours has suffered through tough times – even terrible times - before.  We have always bounced back because of competent captains at the helm and rock solid crews of decent men and women as our citizenry. Those days may well be over.

The image of “politicians” is at its lowest ebb. Even those of us who have been largely disinterested in the back and forth that takes place “within the Beltway” and political circles elsewhere, are now paying attention and expressing alarm.  And we certainly should. Why the wake-up call?  In a word: “Mooch.”

Anthony Scaramucci, nicknamed “The Mooch”, is the recently appointed communications director at the White House and a role model for personal boorishness. He has inflicted damage on one level after another of decency in our government and our society generally. The New York Times, the bastion of ultra-liberalism took a courageous stand by quoting Mooch word for word during his latest rant. My spouse has encouraged me to control my own fury and not repeat those words when writing this column. In telling it like it was, the Times recorded Mooch using expletives not heard aloud since barracks room days long ago.

This man, no gentleman he, opens up every possible avenue to stereotype slander of decent Italian Americans. He is the personification of the gangster hit man in 1930 Hollywood movies.  But this time it's for real. Damage to the office of the President, the White House, the American people is incalculable.

Yes, “the office of the President” is one thing, “President Donald Trump” quite another. Trump is responsible for putting this bad actor in the role. He must pay the fiddler for every tune Mooch sings, whether it be on or off key. In vaudeville or burlesque theaters audiences would hoot “Give him the hook” when a performer was terrible.

Mooch deserves the hook. They are already lining up to give Mr. Trump the same in the next act.

Friday, July 7, 2017


Sooner or Later we have to think about the end of the trail, pardner.  Preferably later.  But still it has to be done.

Right now a 50/something lady next door is dying. It is not the idealistic picture one could envision – propped up in fluffy white pillows looking as she did in her prime. Instead this woman is curled up on her sofa in the fetal position, wasting away at about 70 pounds. She knows, but really doesn't want to know. Then too she always had a stubborn streak all the while ignoring what we on the outside would think of as “having made plans.” Especially in having a will.  There is more, including what she would like to have done with the business she owns.

We are different, one from another. Still most of us understand that there are general principles at stake, and we should pay some attention to them.  The Irish are blessed in what we think about Death. We mock him while toasting life. We know that inevitably he will knock on the door and our time will be up. And when he does, The Grim Reaper will appear to have the last laugh. But no, those of us who believe in Heaven will still outfox him.

Perhaps planning for tomorrow may be easier for those of us in our 80s; those who as the late Jimmy Breslin used to say “can hear the gentle flapping of angel wings.” Still for one and all it's just smart money to Be Prepared, as good Boy (and Girl) Scouts always are. Think about our friends who left us far too early.  We never know when it's time to go. That's for sure.

My wife, she whom I mention from time to time in my columns and blogs, is a very caring lady. This is certainly good for me. But she also truly cares for others beyond This Old Leprechaun. She burdens herself mercilessly because she feels that somehow in some way she can make a difference with this younger woman next door who is dying. She can't. And part of this burden that is resting on her fair shoulders does lie with our lady next door who didn't plan at all. Now all the worry, work and the what-should-have-been-dones are left to people who can only guess. And will be forever second-guessing themselves about whether this or that is what the dying lady had wanted.

The message is to tell people what you want done now, before it's too late to do anything about it. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Some Like It Hot (a great name for a movie.) Some do not. The issue of Hot versus Cold is made more dramatic when you are living in this Paradise called “Florida.”

Our glorious state is at its best during the winter months when frozen citizens of the Northland rush down to the sun, sea and sand to escape the sleet, snow and freezing that makes cold weather an annual curse north of The Mason-Dixon Line.

However, summertime in Florida is an entirely different story. It gives a whole new meaning to “Hot as Hell.” It also places stress on those couples where one likes weather one way, the other another. Even after all these years I still think of my beloved as “hot”. She not only prefers that I do not call her that, but cannot tolerate temperatures that rise above 75. You might say this can put a chill on our relationship. 

We live in a cozy 4-Plex down here, which we like very much.  The problem during hot weather is that our building is an older one where instead of air-conditioning per se, we have giant fans that remind me of the huge wind tunnels where Boeing tests aircraft tolerance. My wife is happy in these cyclones. However, I live a Nanook-of-the-North existence hoping to make it past dinner time when I race for my igloo-like shelter under an array of quits and blankets. There I am safe until the sun rises once again.

Ah, well.  Chances are we both will live long enough to see October and November when the living will be easy again. It's not a perfect life since the endless swarm of snow birds will arrive soon enough bringing crowded roadways, long lines at restaurants and the other challenges.

Still we wouldn't have it any other way. Overall ours is a glorious Life of Reillys.