Barbara Hatzmann and Charlie Longariello (Best Dressed)
Sometimes killing a fly with a sledgehammer is appropriate. It doesn't make the fly any more dead, but the rest of the flies sure do sit up and take notice.
Major I.L. Holdbridge, USMC
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
You have enemies? Good. That means that you stood up for something, sometime in your life.
H.'s Wedding Day:)
and the grass grows by itself.
For those that seek it, there is inexhaustible evidence of an all pervading intelligence.
Admiral Richard E. Byrd
Trample the weak.
Hurdle the dead.
Attila the Hun
A dog that fetches a bone will carry one.
Scottish Proverb (re: Talebearers)
Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.
William Arthur Ward
If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.
All miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.
Real wealth is never to be around assholes.
For three hours Branch Rickey acted out all the worst things likely to await the first black player to enter baseball's all-white world: cursing, shouting, menacing, spitting, until Robinson had to clasp his hands together to keep from retaliating then and there.
"Mr. Rickey, do you want a ballplayer who's afraid to fight back?" Robinson asked.
Rickey answered: "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back."
The fool thinks everyone else is a fool.
He did each single thing as if he did nothing else.
Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son
Barbara Hatzmann, Patti Orlando and Tracie Case
Teresa Conforti and Mel Guarin
Cheryl Gross and Karen Boyle
Beth Umland and Linda Ekizian
Alfred E. Neuman
Mike "Hack" Donnellan
Ray Scalone and Tony Maresco
Scott "Boneneck" Klarer
Tom Funicello, Cathy Castagnetta, Tom Theohary, Sue Lilienfield
Jerry Kolosky and Kevin Flood
Johnny Gesson and Wendy Boehm
Christine Bagge and Dave Mastafiak
Geoff "Zeke" Zieman
Mark McCaffrey, Tom Tarpey, Peter Rillero: Something Nefarious is going down here...
Debbie Sutton and Cynthia Ramsey
Janet Kunkel and Laura Murphy
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
John Quincy Adams
Timeline: 13:24h 12 December 2012
I had a dog growing up. Man, did I have a dog....
As with everything in this lifetime, it all started with my mom. She had a dog, and her name was “Lamb-chop”. Lambchop was a medium sized grey poodle, and she was a good, good dog. My mom used to tell me she guarded my crib. Lamb-chop had a litter of pups just about every year. (This was before everyone got their dogs "fixed.").
My mom would get a big box, cut out one side, put it in the kitchen, line it with newspaper, and watch Lamb-chop very, very closely. Then I would get shooed away and my mom would become a doggie mid-wife. Because Moms can do anything.
The next day there would be six or seven or eight tiny little mewling creatures in that box. They were white or black or grey or a mix of all three; Lamb-chop would lick them constantly, lovingly, and pant contentedly. I’m positive she looked at my mom with pure Gratitude, forever.
The tiny little creatures nestled and pushed and groped blindly around her belly; I would often try and get the runts in for their turn (I must’ve empathized). Soon their eyes would open up (puppies are blind for a time, as I remember it), and Lamb-chop would begin to sit up and move about more often. As the pups began to grow I would be allowed to pick them up and play with them (under the watchful eyes of both Lamb-chop and my mom). As the weeks went by they would begin to pee and poop mercilessly, and the box would have to be moved to the basement along with every stray newspaper we could beg, borrow and steal. The whole basement floor would be lined as the puppies found their legs and wandered under couches and boilers and into corners, and just wreak awful havoc down there. As I got older it became my job to clean up the mess. And then we would have a picnic or a party and give the puppies away. One summer, I was about 7 years old, there was a litter and we took the box and the puppies to an IBM picnic (my Dad worked there at the time). I was charged with sitting by the box and watching over the puppies so they wouldn’t stray. I had become fond of a little black one, and as people came over to “oooh” and “aaahh” and perhaps select, I kind of pushed this little black puppy to the side so she wouldn’t be taken. At the end of the picnic she was the only one still left, and I’m pretty sure my mom knew my ruse as I begged to keep it all the long car ride home. She smiled, and I don’t remember when and how, but eventually she said yes. We named her “Bobo”, which means “clown” in French (or so I’m told…). Me and Bobo grew up together, and she was my dog, heart and soul. I loved that animal, and to this day I still think and, sometimes, dream about her. She followed me everywhere, and I mean everywhere. She fought with the front door when I had to leave her behind, and waited there faithfully until I returned. She sat at my feet when I ate my meals, watched TV, read, or did homework. She waited outside the bathroom door for me (I kid you not). She slept on my bed every night, not at my feet but on my pillow. When I had nightmares (a frequent occurence) she would lick and nudge me awake, and snuggle close until I fell back asleep. When I played ball (which in that neighborhood was every possible spare moment) she ran along-side me to first base, or in the outfield, or to the hoop or the hockey net. This was often problematical. If it was a contact sport she nipped at everybody who came close to me. Sometimes a kid here or there would lose their temper and kick at her, and he would have me and five others on him like white on rice. All my friends knew Bobo, and looked out for her like she was their own. Back then when a dog had to go to the bathroom it would simply scratch on the front door, the closest person would let her out, and 5 or 10 or 20 minutes later (depending on how cold it was or what was interesting out there) she would scratch on the outside front door, and we’d let her back in. The only time anyone would put a dog on a leash was when it was sick and had to go to the Vet. The idea of “picking up” after your dog is still so foreign and repugnant to me that I can hardly stand the thought of it, let alone the reality. Often Bobo would return to the front door with a big soup bone in her mouth. We never really knew who in the neighborhood gave them to her, but she apparently had connections. Sometimes I would be walking down the street and someone would say “Hi Bobo!”, and I wouldn’t know who they were… My biggest, greatest fear was that she would be taken by the dog catcher--or worse--get hit by a car. For a period of time there was an actual dog catcher in a truck who would come around and swoop up dogs (remember the Little Rascals episode, with Petey? I lived it). Us kids tried to determine who was calling the catcher to the 'hood: it was most often new people who just moved in, or crabby older folks without pets or small kids. Suspects would become instant pariahs, and get treated accordingly come Halloween. As for getting hit, my small heart almost stopped more than a few times as a car screeched to a halt when Bobo trotted across the street after us carelessly. We gave away Lamb-chop’s puppies freely to those who asked, and consequently Bobo had brothers and sisters running around to frolic with. My good friend, Steve Shaw, owned her brother “Smokey”. Pals of mine in neighborhood at that time, the three Rosenberg boys, owned Bobo’s other brother “Pepe”. Those dogs had as much fun playing together as we kids did. One of the trickiest times to escape Bobo’s ever watchful eye was each morning as I left for school. She would try every trick to scamper out the door with me as I left to catch the bus, and she often succeeded. Sometimes my mom let her out before realizing I was still at the corner waiting for the bus to come. Then Bobo would chase after it, and I would anxiously (very anxiously) watch her out the back window, praying so very hard that she wouldn’t get hit by a car. We would often lose her at MacArthur Boulevard, where vehicles could pick up some speed. The problem was I never knew if Bobo made it home until I came back from school at the end of the day. Little kids really do have lots of things to worry about…I remember it. Michael Rosenberg was a year older than I, and entered Lakeland Middle School when I was still in the last year of elementary school (George Washington). He was home an hour earlier than I was for one whole school year, and Bobo would follow Mike around knowing he would eventually lead her to me. One day she followed him all the way to GW as Mike rode his bike there to play basketball on the outdoor courts. I saw them out of my classroom window (because every boy stares forlornly out of his classroom window all day long). Sure enough, Bobo picked up my scent, and began to run frantically around the building looking for me. Mike was oblivious. She made her way to the front entrance of the school. When an opening appeared she scooted inside and sprinted down the hallway. Teachers and kids were in an uproar at the scampering black mutt. Word got to the front office that it was my dog. As I was wondering where Bobo went, the classroom intercom crackled on in Mr. Cosgrove’s room: “Ahem, John S., you have a, hhmmmm, a visitor; please report to the Front Office immediately.” When I opened the classroom door, in ran Bobo. It’s a true story. Bobo had her enemies. The Frosts moved in next door when I was about 12. They were deer hunters, and had two Weimaraners. Big and sleek and greyish-brown; there was something menacing in their demeanor. They had had their vocal chords removed so they couldn’t bark (and scare off prey or victims, I guess…). These dogs reflected their owner's personality, as all dogs do. They were expertly trained to respond to whistles and commands, and were always, always on leash. Anyway, Bobo would sometimes wander over to the Frost’s yard and do her business. No big deal to us, as all dogs used all yards everywhere in our neighborhood for these matters. It was up to us kids to be aware enough to not step or fall in it, and sometimes we were successful, and sometimes not. Though I did not realize it at the time, Bobo's mess was a declaration of war in the Frosts’ minds. One day my little sister and Dougie DePaoli and I were walking down the street to play stick-ball. I had a broomstick for a bat in my hand and not a care in the world. Bobo, as always, trotted along behind us sniffing at this or that just for fun. I looked over as we passed the Frosts’ yard and there was the Mr. and Mrs. and their two boys, standing on the front stoop, with the dogs. Suddenly, instinctively, Bobo sprinted off, and the Weimaraners, uncharacteristically off leash, shot off their stoop like big grey darts. They were on Bobo immediately, biting silently. I ran off after all three dogs as they sped in crazy circles in the yard across the way, whacking at the Weimaraners with my broomstick. It had no effect whatsoever, and the dogs were chomping and Bobo was yelping and I was crying. Suddenly my older brother Steve appeared. He was home from college and studying. He heard the commotion and my cries, and jumped up and out the front door, grabbing a shovel from the garage as he sprinted after me and the dogs. Steve was a collegiate wrestler at the time, and he was built like Hercules. It was as if the Gods had sent their Greek hero to my aid. He beat those dogs off with one, at most two blows, and they were suddenly back on their front stoop, sitting at their master’s feet like nothing had happened at all. I could have sworn I saw a smirk on the Frost’s face. There was a period of time, I was 16 or 17 and in high school, when I was down about things, maybe even almost semi-despondent. One remedy that always seemed to work was a long walk in the woods; Bobo always came with me. She just helped me immensely: her utter loyalty, her unwavering love and company and friendship, in many ways, carried me through that time. I can honestly say she was my best friend. Bobo was mine until I was 23 or 24 years old. I guess she was about 15 when we had to put her down. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t go inside that Vet’s office with her. My mom did. Because Moms can do anything.
I waited outside, at the door, and drove my mom home while she quietly wept.
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.