Thursday, July 18, 2013


What is it with me, or most men? I would say our hangup is we always need to know how things work.
After all, how can we fix it if we don't figure out how it works in the first place.

I've been trying to deal with a problem for at least a half a decade. Don't snicker. It has nothing to do with a part of my anatomy.

The problem I've been dealing with is more of an aggravation. An aggravation that causes me to waste time and energy, and not always in a suitable environment.

I've been irritated by my left shoe's laces coming untied soon after I put the shoe on. Now you say, "What's the big deal?" I tell you the big deal. Once you step on your loose lace, and your kisser hits the ground, you'll know fast that untied shoelaces do not aid to the composure and dapperness of a cool dude. (Which I am by the way; stretch socks and all.)

Like I said, I've been trying to figure out why only the left shoe's lace unties itself. I do the exact same knot in both shoes. I've tied knots the same way since I was old enough to eat my own soup.

I figured since I was right handed I tied my right shoe tighter. No, that wasn't it.

I figured I shoved my foot further into the shoe, leaving space behind at the heel. No, adjusting that didn't work either.

I looked at myself in a full body mirror and figured my left leg was shorter. I bought a Dr. Scholls insert, tried it out for a week––didn't work.

I decided my stride is not the same with both legs. For several days I did the George Jefferson bop. You know, the cool move where your hip dips a bit at every step. Cool you know! No worky either.

I took notice if I walked pigeon toed. Maybe my left foot sticks further out, or in, than the right one? Not that bad, I noticed. Surely not enough to cause the dilemma.

I tried wearing suspenders and even parted my hair on the other side of my head. No change!

Years I squatted to tie my left shoe. I bent over, blocking other people's way, tying my shoe. I quit going to the Y because I was getting plenty of exercise bending down and bobbing up. I constantly had to make sure my shirt didn't come up and reveal my collectable inscriptions on my souvenir drawers.

Well they thought the earth was flat at one time. They didn't give up. And, wow they actually discovered it was round.

Do you think I, a man with my drive, my stick-to-a-tive-ness, and my nit-picking brain would give up?

I found out, by shear dumb revelation, that had I ever been a Boy Scout, I would have solved my predicament long ago.

I tied my right shoelace doing the first half knot over and under. Did the same on my left shoe for years. However, when I finally figured to tie the problem shoe, doing the half knot under and over, all my problems were solved.

Now I can grin and hoof along with the best of them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


This short story is from my book "A TIME AND PLACE The Making of an Immigrant."I have expanded the story and it will be published as part of an e-book in the future.


In late summer of ‘52 on a sunny, crisp day, I strolled to the edge of the rail yard to play . . . all by myself. I settled down at an abutment at the end of a rail track, an elevated area about two meters square. This new spot of play, isolated from scurrying pedestrians, was rimmed with used rail ties which made a perfect ledge to play on. I must have summoned all the imaginations of childhood as I settled in to a wonderful and deeply enjoyable time of play. All was perfect that day. I remember it well.
Looking around that small area I found everything my imagination sought. Every nail, chunk of metal, rock, bolt, and fragment of wood held meaning. All fulfilled my needs of the moment. I assembled, arranged and manufactured, I dreamed, imagined and conquered. It truly was a playtime that fully included my soul and all the wonders of a child’s world.––A perfect day.
For days after, I cherished the feeling and the good that had swelled my young heart that afternoon. Soon chores, homework, and running errands led me back to reality, the regimentation, and the striving to get on with life. However, the remembrance of that perfect day stayed etched in my mind and soul to this day.
A month or so later, I was drawn again to that previous wonderful experience, that personal paradise at the end of the tracks. My heart sang as I approached the spot with great expectations. The weather was sunny and crisp. I found the place, but the world was not still and quiet. . . .The toy wonders still laid where I had left them, meaningless and totally useless as they really were. Now it was a sooty place, a place of rotten timbers and dust. . . .Who had stolen the glee, the power, and magic? . . .It was time. Time itself was the thief. All the good had gone, . . .along with the child in me.