Sunday, October 31, 2021

Ending Halloween on a creepy note...

While doing some Halloween research I came across this and it seems to me to be an appropriate way to end this creepy season.

This is the tomb and last resting place of Felix-Henri Bataille who died in 1922 at the young age of 49. I knew nothing about him but found that he was a famous French dramatist. His passion plays, based mainly on stifling social conventions, were extremely popular at the beginning of the 20th century.

Wanting to pay homage to the Renaissance, if and when he were to die, Bataille left precise instructions for the construction of his tomb. He was adamant that the placement of a copy of his favorite statue by Ligier Richer would be the first thing that visitors to the tomb would see and his instructions were followed precisely.

The first thing a visitor sees when approaching the tomb is a grinning cadaver in a state of advanced decomposition holding a human heart, (supposedly that of Bataille) aloft in one of its skeletal hands. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021



My mother was born in 1896. She, her older sister and their parents lived in West Brattleboro, Vt. Also living there, just two houses down from theirs, was my Grandmother’s sister, my great Aunt Emma. She was the epitome of the frugal New Englander. She lived a very simple life and every expenditure, no matter how small, was carefully itemized in her diary. Her life was spartan to say the least.

However Aunt Emma had one passion. She had lovingly planted and cared for the award winning rose bushes that took up most of her small front lawn. As you can imagine Aunt Emma was the perfect target for a bunch of rowdy boys on Halloween night. The story goes that the morning after Halloween Aunt Emma walked out front to find that her beloved rose bushes had been completely smothered in toilet paper.

Was Aunt Emma angry? That was probably her first reaction but then her frugality took over. She got a wooden dowel and preceded to wind the paper around it. The boys had used at least three rolls to cover her foliage so she had a huge ball when she was done…enough to last a long time and it was FREE!

I’m sure this wasn’t the result that the little Halloween Hooligans were looking for but it must have made the day for Aunt Emma.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

My life shaping memories (#2)

By 1944 World War II had ended . Our days of hosting British sailors from the Union Jack Club in Boston were over and I dearly missed them. Of course I was happy that the boys could finally go home but, with the exaggeration of youth, I felt like my life was forever doomed to boredom.

Of course this was years before TV but I did find solace in the big wooden radio that was proudly displayed in the living room. In those days all the shows were “live” and would often go off script which made them even more fun to listen to. So, slowly, I recovered and realized that life was what I made of it.

I doubt if I knew it then, but I was very fortunate. My parents and my 4 older sisters were the backbone of my life and, although we had little money, we had an overflowing love that made up for that. Basically we did our best to see that each of us would thrive.

Here are some of the highlights of my life for the next 14 years. We lived in Wellesley Hills, Mass, and I was fortunate to have Mr. Crockett as my English teacher for the last 2 years of High School … sitting next to Sylvia Plath who we would never have dreamed would become one of the greatest poets in the world.

My parents made known to all 5 of us that they would encourage a college education, but the lack of money meant that we had to obtain scholarships in order to make that a reality. I am proud to say that all of us did just that. Mine was $1,000 a year for 4 years and, believe it or not, that covered the admission to Boston University and I graduated in 1954 with a degree in Journalism.

The next 4 years I managed to crunch together a variety of jobs in different areas of the country ...Type setter in an Ad Agency in Boston, “Jack of all trades” in WWNY Radio station, Watertown, NY., Advertising and Promotion Mgr, KEY-TV in Santa Barbara, Cal. and finally, after each and all of these jobs helped to shape my life, I decided to follow my dream of a lifetime ... a bite of the BIG APPLE I headed to New York City.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

My life shaping memories (#1)

 In 1943 our family moved to Massachusetts. My dad had a new job in Boston and it was a big change for him, as it was for all of us. The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 took us into the thick of WWII and, although I was too young to understand the horrific effects of that, I was well aware of the drama.

I loved seeing the boys (and some girls too) in their uniforms and to my 9 year old self it was a time of great patriotism and wonderful music. Of course we didn't have TV then but our one big console radio in the living room was on non-stop and it was there that I heard about the British sailors bringing their war torn ships into the Fargo Naval Base for repairs.

I also learned that the crews from these ships stayed at The Union Jack Club. It was a place to eat and sleep but if their stay was long they had virtually nothing to do to pass the time away. This gave rise to “Host Families” who would invite the sailors to stay with them instead of being bored at the Club. The minute I heard about this I knew it was a way that our family could help out the war effort.

When my unsuspecting Dad asked if I had anything special that I wanted for my 10th birthday I told him that I wanted a British Sailor. Not only did I get my wish but, over the course of the next 2 years we entertained 126 boys and many of them that worked at the base became like family and would come to our house whenever they could. Let me introduce you to a few.

                                                            Ron and Bert


...and my favorite, Happy. He was an Australian in the Air Force. His plane went down and a British ship picked him up and brought him to the Union Jack Club. He said I was a dead ringer of his sister.

In September of 1943 the war came to an end … as did our hosting days, but I will always credit that event as being the opener for me that we are part of a HUGE WORLD (not just caught up in the wants of our country alone) and we need to recognize that and open our hearts and minds to differing customs and beliefs… truly an eye opening experience. 

Monday, October 11, 2021


 My Canadian blogger friend AC has presented me with a challenge. After my recent series of “Memories from the ER” he wondered what my next series of memories might be. You would certainly think that to be an easy question since I've lived more than 88 years and should have a lot to share, but the problem is that I've been blogging since 2006 and there's little that I haven't already written about.

However I like the idea, AC, and have decided that I am going to attempt it. I will start it here with a brief overview of my background and then follow it every 6th day with a chronological look at the events that have shaped my life. 

I was the youngest of 5 girls, born in 1933 in Plainfield, NJ. My mother was from Brattleboro, Vt. and a retired art teacher. Dad was a production manager in an advertising agency in NY City, and all of us were living in Plainfield where he grew up. (My mother sketched this picture of me while she was still in the hospital after the birth.)

I didn't realize it as a child but I was extremely lucky to have been born into a warm and loving family. It was at the height of the Depression and less than a month after I was born FDR became president ! That was the start of an amazing journey for our country and for my family. We weren't paupers but we had to scrimp to make things work and FDR's weekly “fireside chats” (which the family listened to on our big old wooden radio) were comforting. No wonder that I've been a lifetime Democrat …

So that's my background and my series will start with memories of our move to Wellesley, Mass. when I was nine.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

HATRED in our country...

I know that this is a big change from my last 5 blog entries where I took everyone, myself included, back to a time of 'NORMALITY' in our country. However those days seem to be gone forever and my own clash with it last week brought it front and center to me.

I needed to stock up on some things and decided to go to Walmart. It was the usual busy place and the check out lines were long. I gave a smile to the woman (with her overloaded cart) at the end of one line and said something inane like “I guess this will test our patience.”

I realized too late that I shouldn't have tried to be friendly. She immediately took it as an invitation to spout out her hatred of the way things were now and the minute she mentioned Trump I put up my hand and said “no politics please”. Well, as you might imagine, that opened the gates and, after she'd spouted more hatred she shook her fist at me and said (in her loud, angry voice) “I'll bet you're one of those damn, f__ king Democrats.”

I wanted to ignore her but she kept on ranting so, once again, I held up my hand & said, “yes, I wouldn't characterize it as you put it, but I am a very proud Democrat.”

Luckily it had become her turn to check out and she didn't have time to continue her ranting. I was glad it was over, but looking back on it I realized that no one had agreed with me (and, in all fairness, had not taken her side either), but it was a very sad awakening of how low our country has become. 

I pray it's not too late.


Saturday, October 02, 2021

ER Memories (#5 ... and the last)

I've had fun relating some of the crazy things that I remember from the 32 years that I spent in the ER of our local hospital, but it seems only fitting that I end this series with a tribute to one of the ER Docs that I worked with for over 15 years.

My fondest memory of “Moose” (as he is lovingly referred to) was on a September day in 1990. My husband of 32 years had passed away on the 22nd and this was my first day back at work. I was working beside Dr. M. that day and, other than a quick hug in the morning, there was no indication that he was aware of my sadness. It was the usual hectic day and I found comfort in the hustle and bustle of things that I was used to doing.

That was one of the longest days of my life. I found that if I concentrated on each task as it came up that I could get through without crying; but, it was very taxing and I was exhausted when my shift finally ended.

It was a very strange feeling to approach my empty house. It had so recently been filled with family and friends who had helped me cope with the loss of Dick. Now they were all gone & I was on my own. The tears were streaming down my face as I unlocked the door and entered.
Once inside the house I was overcome with emotion. Giving in to my exhaustion I headed for the bedroom and that’s when I noticed that the light was blinking on my answering machine. I was so tired I almost didn’t listen to it but I did ... and here’s what it said:

Hi, Ginnie, this is Moose. I knew you’d be walking into an empty house and just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. We love you and are here for you. See you in the morning.”

I have never forgotten how much that simple message meant to me. I’ve kept it close to my heart and I bring it out on occasion, even now at the age of 88, when the healing process falters. Thanks, Moose.