What The Poet “Said”

It’s a pleasant surprise to have your phone ping around 10pm and find this, as I did last night. I screen captured it earlier this morning. Yes, this is about the time I usually start my day:

Text messages exchange screen capture.
Text messages exchange screen capture.

That opener is from my new poet friend, Tracey, in Cambridge. She’d found out who I am through a mutual friend. She’d texted me a few weeks ago that she wanted to read what I’d written.

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Our Varied Heritages

Ancestry.com is after me again. This below is from an email I received this morning:

Screen capture of Ancestry email.
Screen capture of Ancestry email.

A few years ago through Ancestry, I found one of the ship manifests that included my maternal great-grandmother as a young adult sailing to America. She had traveled with about a dozen other people of varying ages, all from the same village in Sicily. My great-grandfather was in America already, awaiting her arrival.

She was born near Syracuse (as was he). She departed Messina, stopped in Naples, stopped next in Marseille, and from there journeyed to New York’s Ellis Island. It was typical for the time and their nationality.

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“Retro-Fittings”: Not Creativity In My Book

We have learned that Star Trek’s “Sulu” is to be “re-imagined” as gay. Believing that to be “right…for our times,” Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey is clearly pleased by that writers’ decision. Interestingly, however, LGBT activist, and original “Sulu” actor, George Takei, is clearly not:

Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.
Screen capture of the Guardian, July 10, 2016.

Mr. Takei’s disapproval obviously disappointed Mr. Gilbey and quite a few others:

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Celebrating Fathers

Today is about celebrating our fathers in their infinite variety and incalculable impacts on our lives. I had been thinking of what to say. However, every time I started writing I gave up – “That’s not it!” – and deleted what I’d begun.

Father's Day card, for my father. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Father’s Day card, for my father. [Photo by me, 2016.]

Nothing seemed to capture what I aimed to say. Then I recalled perhaps a more indirect approach would make the point. I reflected on how I’ve fictionalized certain fathers I’ve known over the years and thought sharing some bits here could in its own way serve as the best “tribute”:

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Landing From Above

It’s now 5:50 AM UK time as I write this. On another June 6, seventy-two years ago this morning, the Normandy beach landings would be starting within about the next half hour. But several hours earlier, starting just after midnight, thousands of U.S. and British paratroopers had already come down a few miles behind those planned invasion beaches on the French coast:

The now famous photograph: General Eisenhower talking with U.S. paratroopers at a take-off airfield, southern England, evening, June 5, 1944. One soldier there later said that Eisenhower had looked so stressed and worried that they all felt they had to reassure him everything would be fine. [U.S Army photo. Public domain.]
The now famous photograph: General Eisenhower talking with U.S. paratroopers at a take-off airfield, southern England, evening, June 5, 1944. One soldier there later said that Eisenhower had looked so stressed and worried that they all felt they had to reassure him everything would be fine. [U.S Army photo. Public domain.]
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The Plane To Lisbon

I drove my wife to London’s Luton Airport RIDICULOUSLY early. Hence, this even earlier than usual blog post. She is going to Lisbon for two days for work.

Yes, sometimes life requires us to tackle challenges such as….going to and through Luton Airport. (Ahhhhhhhh!) It’s being updated, so is, basically, construction chaos right now. Hopefully modernization improves matters, as it made even New York City’s LaGuardia look pleasant and customer-friendly by comparison.

So for about the next 36 hours she won’t be here, for example, teasing me about another “Valérie.” Oh, and having read that post, the Mrs. would like a clarification made for all of you: it was more than one conference call. It was several. They all weren’t talking to each other at the same time.

Free Stock Photo: Fishing nets and gear on a dock.
Free Stock Photo: Fishing nets and gear on a dock.

Portugal. My mother-in-law said yesterday that my wife had to try fish when she was there. When I heard that, I almost fell over laughing. I remembered a Portuguese friend years ago saying this:

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“They were really just boys….”

Today is U.S. Memorial Day. The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains it:

Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

That includes, of course, remembering and honoring those killed in World War II:

U.S. troops in Normandy, France, summer 1944. [U.S. Army photo. Public domain.]
U.S. troops in Normandy, France, summer 1944. Click to enlarge. [U.S. Army photo. Public domain.]

It is likely at least a couple of those in that photograph did not return home alive.

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Shocked In The Bronx (70 Years Ago)

I know in the previous post I was on about youth. Recalling memories is one thing. In comparison, pondering possibly on yourself as “older” is a different ball game.

I’m realizing I’ve embarked on the latter in writing Conventions. I have taken to working on producing something that requires me to imagine myself in old age. That has had me thinking a lot also about older – and now often deceased – family.

My mother died back on October 26. And my uncle (her brother) died exactly two weeks before that, on October 12. If you have read Passports, you’ve read about their uncle (therefore my great-uncle), “Gino”:

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Make Your Own “Friends”

The road we all travel….

Street. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Street. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. [Photo by me, 2016.]

And why do I say that?

My eighteen year old English niece loves a certain American TV program. I detect based on what I see around me that she is hardly alone in that. It seems to have quite a following in her age group and slightly older.

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