Friday, December 25, 2009

RONNIEISMS

WORK FROM HOME!
How many times a day do you receive e-mails containing information about working from home and making untold dollars from your computer. If you're like me, it's in the hundreds, not daily but weekly. The writers of these commercials are so good at what they do in making it sound so easy, a caveman can do it. (Pardon me Geico) This morning I looked into one about a woman in Kansas City who lost her job, answered an ad from Google and is making about $5,000.00 a month. Sounds good, doesn't it and if they print it, it must be true, right. After all, would Google lend their name to a scam? Just put $1.95 on your credit card and we'll send you the first of two kits, but you need two. So far, still sounds good.

Now before signing up and filling out all the information including your credit card number, read the small print at the bottom. After the initial period of 30 days or so you will be billed monthly $39.95, but you can cancel at anytime. If you fail to cancel, an amount, not sure exactly how much will be deducted from your credit card. If you try to get out of the site you will get a pop up telling you, Whoa, check this out before you make a negative decision. If you do you're directed to another site at a discounted price but you can purchase another product, and it goes on and on, telling you what a mistake you're making by not signing up.

I'm not saying this is a scam, definetly not, but why don't they show the actual cost up front instead of putting it in small print at the bottom. Unfortunately many people looking for the get rich quick system don't read the small print and get sucked in. After seeing the additional charges on their card for a few months, they attempt to cancel. In most cases, if the company is legitimate you'll eventually get it stopped but getting any refunds is another story. All I'm trying to say is, read the small print first.

For example; "For only $39.95 a month you can make a weekly income of whatever, no guarantee unless you put in the required hours" Some will be immediately turned away but others might think, "hey, this could be for real". I've found that these commercials are really worth reading, they're very well written and for the most part are successful, or they wouldn't keep producing them. Most of us that spend time on our computers think that with the limited skills we've learned while being logged on is enough for us to make that untold fortune just by sitting in front of our montor and inputting bits of information.

For absolutely no charge you can put a link on your desktop to "RONNIEISMS" and continue to read my blogs. Be sure to check one of the three boxes at the bottom and you can send a $5.00 donation directly to me, there will be no additional monthly charge. Have a Happy Holiday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

RONNIEISMS


WONDER OF WONDERS
Yesterday was my grandson Tyler's 24 th birthday. I remember the day he was born and the nurse placing him into my hands. His tiny fingers circled one of mine and this shiver went up my spine forming a connection that we've never lost.  The tears spilled down my cheeks as I stared into his partially opened eyes and I knew that even though he wasn't my actual grandson, it wouldn't matter. I was the first grandpa that held him.

The title of this blog is because as Tyler was growing, his eating habits did not. He refused most baby foods and was extremely selective about anything that passed through his lips. Mac and cheese became his staple and no matter where he ate, that was it and nothing foreign could touch his plate or come in contact with his beloved mac and cheese.

I sat last night at the dinner table with him and watched him eat two barbeque beef sandwiches and a half slab of ribs. "Are you O.K.?"  I asked. "Grandpa, I've grown up, it just took me a little longer to try other things."  When he was younger he used to call me Crapaw which I accepted as a showing of love rather than me being full of it.

Today he's back in college and doing well. In a couple of years he will have a degree and start his adult life. At this time I believe that music will be a major part of his future since his drumming is better than good. Tyler, I want you to keep that wonderful smile and sense of humor, (probably learned from me) and become the best at whatever you decide to be. Always remember that your Crapaw loves you too much.



Saturday, December 19, 2009

RONNIEISMS

AS TIME GOES BYE
During the last couple of weeks I've constantly heard the phrase "Where has the year gone?" "It seems that it was only a month or so ago when they turned out the Plaza Lights." Even my adult children are experiencing the fast way that time seems to travel. "Dad, I can't believe you've been married over 25 years." Seven years longer than my first marriage that ended in 1974 after 18 years. "You're going to be how old?"

These last 25 years, with my extended family have been beyond expectation. We've watched our children have children who seem to grow taller by the second and become more beautiful and handsome every day. When each child was a toddler I taught them all my simple phrase. "Who loves you?" answered, "You do", "How much", "too much", and to this day we still use it. Just hearing it brings a great big smile to my face and the fact that they remember.

Time is a precious thing and it's a shame the way some people abuse it by pushing aside a time in their life to accomplish their goals. After my discharge from the Army I was planning to go back to college to get a law degree. But as a poor excuse and probably a lazy one, I went to work to support my new family instead of fullfilling one of my life goals. Looking back, I still regret that I didn't take advantage of the GI Bill to continue my formal education. It was over 50 years ago and I did accomplish many things that I never knew that I could.

The NIKE ad that says DO IT NOW, is true. Look to tomorrow and do it now because before you know it, tomorrow is here. So as time flitters away, enjoy every day with your family, your friends and make the best of what you have. We've all shared deaths in our families, even more so since we've become the Sr. generation but time goes on as does life. Do away with the petty arguments that keep families apart. Learn to forgive so you can enjoy life without bitterness.

I'm not trying to preach but with age comes a little of life experiences that you hope to pass on to those younger. My biggest problems these days is waking up 3 times a night to relieve myself, it's much better than reverting to childhood and not getting out of bed. Going back to sleep is getting harder because my past life starts flashing through my mind as if I were in a movie. As the expression goes, "It's better than the alternative" The alternative being death or senility. I now have a fourth generation in my family, my great grandson Connor who will continue the Shapiro name. Maybe some day he can look back and see where his family came from and see the resemblance he has to those before him.


I'll end this diatribe with a simple edict to enjoy your life, count your blessings and if your name is not in the obituaries, you can shave.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

RONNIEISMS

THIS YEAR'S CHANUKAH PARTY
Our family party was on the second night at our son Hal and his beautiful wife Kathy's home. We had about 30 in attendance including spouses, grand kids, great grand child and a couple of girl friends. As usual the noise was loud but the loudness was created by everyone talking at the same time, the kids all running around, it was a beautiful noise. A noise of family togetherness, happiness and laughter. That kind of noise is always acceptable when you have (thank goodness) happy, healthy children.

Since almost everyone was there we couldn't talk behind anybody's back. Hal had wine flowing from his new decanter and I believe it had to be refilled a few times. The food, as usual was great. Hal made a tenderloin that was cooked to everyone's personal temperature. The latkes were so great that we ran out, which is a first. People were going back for seconds and thirds which is something not done in the past. The salad was outstanding and the cheescakes made by my wife Norma and Josh's girlfriend Rachel were unbelievably great.

People stayed longer than usual because everybody was having a good time. The kids were playing guitar hero in the basement as loud as the equipment would allow. My great grandson Connor attempted to play ping pong with his uncle Albert, who is over six feet tall but Connor had a great time smacking the ball.  Gayle was challenging everyone to play basketball and a few others played cards. A great time was being enjoyed by all. When the noise got too loud, the adults all headed upstairs to get some ear relief.


Watching the kids tear open all their presents, not bothering to check who they came from, until their parents directed them to the right person for thank you's was a sight to behold. All of the care took in wrapping was totally lost on the rippers as they tore and threw the paper to the floor. It was beautiful pandemoneum. Family parties are always a great time. Looking forward to next year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

RONNIEISMS

CHANUKAH
Tonight our mixed family will celebrate our annual Chanukah party. Our family consists of Caucasian, Hispanic and African.  We are so blessed that our grandchildren and great grandchild can all celebrate together. Tonight is really the Jewish portion for gift giving, especially to the young ones. Most of them will still have their Chrismas parties which means the kids will again have a gift unwrapping day.

Growing up as a child in Chicago with grandparents from Russia we never would imagine a Christmas party and never a Christmas tree although we really felt a little cheated when we visited our non Jewish friends.

Those mixed families called their tree a Chanukah bush and as long as the Christian ornament was not present it was OK. I remember our traditional family celebrations where (on my Mother's side) the entire family would get together, eight children with their families, these are wonderful memories. All the kids at one table and the adults at another. I remember that I sat with the adults after my Bar Mitzvah , since I was then a man.

All of the old family are gone except for a couple in their 90s, two widowed aunts and now the first generation Americans celebrate with their children and grandchildren. I believe that I'm the first of that generation to have a great grandchild that will carry on the SHAPIRO name. He's not being raised as Jewish since my grandson converted but I'm alright with it. As long as he believes in something. Most of our family have all married outside of the religion so acception is easy because we have strong feelings between us all.

I'm sure that my parents have turned over quite a few times in their graves and by now are again facing up. They lived in different times when divorce was an absolute no, no and marrying a gentile was frowned upon. When my uncle married an Italian girl my Zadie thought the world was coming to an end. After a short time he got over it and everything returned to normal.

To me family is everything, regardless of skin color, religion or hair color. Tonight will be a joyous occasion even though my son Mike won't be in attendance. For his own reasons he cannot find the time to participate in family functions. I miss him very much especially since his grandson will be there tearing open packages with all of his cousins.

I will think of the family that are all gone and the great memories we  shared. It's one of those times when I cry for the joy of today and the memories of the past. We light the second candle for "The Festival Of Lights" celebrating the eight days the candles burned at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem. I pray that the light shines on our family forever.

Can't wait to eat those latkes!

My Mom is the bright eyed one on the left. Passport photo is when they came to the US in 1921.

Monday, December 7, 2009

RONNIEISMS

IS IT IN OUR GENES?
I think it started with our cousin, the Nebraska professor. He published a few books, one of which was basis for a movie. Then my niece wrote her book "Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants". Then my sister wrote the Chicago Tribune 2006 award winning memoir "The Division Street Princess". Yours truly, earlier this year published my memoir "Making Happy" and last but definetly not least our cousin has illustrated a children's book. He's having a signing here in Kansas City at the Barnes and Noble store in Oak Park Mall on Dec. 13th at 3pm. I hope that many of my friends will show up. It's absolutely beautiful, what a talent. My sister has also written her second book, I believe the title is "She's Not The Type".

My nieces Jill and Faith started their careers producing and directing their versions of THE REAL LIVE BRADY BUNCH  which was extrememly successful and gave them and some of their cast a start in show business. Faith started her professional career with SECOND CITY in Chicago and is still producing shows in the Boston area. Jill has become a producer and writer of quite a few hit TV shows and is presently the executive producer of THE UNITED STATES OF TARA.

 My above mentioned relatives are all educated people that have graduated with degrees in their chosen profession. My actual degree came from the U of HK, which I'm sure that you all know means the University of Hard Knocks. I really don't know what that means but I've heard it so many times in my life that it must be good.

My sister was very instrumental in getting me to write and finish my memoir and her help meant everything to me. I actually think that she got as much joy from my book as I did when it was finished. The pride in her voice actually brought tears to my eyes.


As I think back to our younger years, I remember my Father Irv was constantly reading. He read paper backs and I swear, I think he read a book a day. Keep in mind, TV was not the entertainment it is now. Our big day was sitting around the 5" TV watching the test pattern. While we sat and watched and waited, he read . I believe that if he had lived longer than his 48 years, he would have become a writer. So, thanks Dad for instilling in us the desire to read and to grow. I did, but my sister only got to 5 feet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

RONNIEISMS


WHAT'S GOING ON?
Again, for the 2,650th time I didn't win the POWERBALL, didn't even have a replay. I can't believe it, I play every week, I deserve to win at least a little something. After all, I'm on Social Security and who needs it more. I know, there are more people that probably deserve it more than me but as Tevia said, "Would it be such a terrible thing if I won the lottery" or something similar to that.

 I would share it with my family and friends in need. I'd put some aside so my wife and I could have a little trip like an around the world cruise, before we're both on walkers. I would contribute to worthwhile charities. I'd make sure my grandkids and great grandchild would go to college, even if they didn't want to. When they were of age I'd give each of them a copy of my book, signed with a personal note, just to remind them of their crapaw that loves them too much!

At least someone wins every few weeks, maybe I should give them my address and they could share a little, probably not. I guess that without winning the lottery I'm already a winner, having such a great wife and surrounding family and friends. So, who's complaining, not me, but would it be soo bad if maybe a few balls would fall my way?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RONNIEISMS

DECEMBER HAS ARRIVED
YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, PRESENTS FOR THE FAMILY. WATCHING OUR GRANDKIDS TEAR OPEN THEIR PACKAGES, FROWN WHEN THEY SEE CLOTHES AND SMILE WHEN THEY SEE TOYS. WATCH ALL THAT WRAPPING PAPER GO INTO THE TRASH BAG, WHAT A WASTE. WHY NOT SAVE UNTIL NEXT YEAR, DO YOU THINK THE KIDS WILL NOTICE?

I'LL ADD TO WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING "DIDN'T THIS YEAR JUST FLY BYE?" MY STANDARD ANSWER, ESPECIALLY TO THOSE YOUNGER THAN ME, "WAIT UNTIL YOU'RE MY AGE, I NO SOONER SEE THE PLAZA LIGHTS GO DARK BEFORE THEY LIGHT THEM AGAIN." IT'S TRUE THOUGH, AS WE GET OLDER THE TIME ACTUALLY GOES FASTER OR IS IT JUST THAT WE'RE MOVING SLOWER SO EVERYTHING SEEMS FASTER. INSTEAD OF WALKING, WE SHUFFLE. WHEN SITTING DOWN, WE TAKE AIM AT THE CHAIR AND COLLAPSE WITH A SLIGHT SIGH. GETTING UP BECOMES A LITTLE HARDER ESPECIALLY IF THE CHAIR DOES NOT HAVE ARMS. WE TRY TO DO IT AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT PASSING GAS. WE KNOW WHO THOSE THAT DO, BECAUSE OF THEIR SMILE AND THE WAY THEY LOOK AROUND TO SEE IF ANYONE HEARD OR NOTICED.

ANOTHER YEAR IS ALMOST BEHIND US AS WE MAKE PLANS FOR  2010. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BEEN THAT LONG SINCE WE WERE TOLD THAT THE YEAR 2000 WAS THE END. WE ALL THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE THE COMPUTERS MIGHT NOT RECOGNIZE THE DATE THAT ALL ELECTRONICS WOULD COME TO A HALT. THE COMPUTERS WE HAD THAT YEAR WERE LARGER THAN THEY ARE NOW BUT THE INFORMATION AND SPEED HAVE TRIPLED. WE'VE GOTTEN SO SPOILED THAT IF IT TAKES THE COMPUTER MORE THAN A FEW SECONDS TO COMPLETE A REQUEST WE COMPLAIN ABOUT IT'S SPEED. EVERYTHING NOW IS MEASURED IN MILI-SECONDS OR GIGABYTES. AN "NCIS" SHOW A WEEK OR SO AGO WAS ABOUT A POWER FAILURE SO NONE OF THEIR EQUIPMENT WORKED. THEY EVEN HAD TO USE A POLAROID CAMERA. CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT A CELL PHONE CAN DO?  IT CAN HANDLE MORE INFORMATION THAN A LARGE ROOM FILLED WITH A CARD READING XEROX COMPUTER COULD DO AND IN ONE HUNDRETH OF THE TIME.

THIS YEAR I'LL BE ENTERING MY FOURTH QUARTER AND CAN LOOK BACK AT THE WAY WE USED TO DO THINGS AND TODAY WHERE THINGS ARE DONE FOR US, BY TECHNOLOGY. IT'S AMAZING HOW FAR SCIENCE HAS GOTTEN IN FINDING CURES FOR OUR ILLNESS'. THE BIG PROBLEMS ARE THE NEW DISEASES THAT HAVE APPEARED BECAUSE OF THE FOODS WE EAT AND THE AIR WE BREATHE AND CARELESS SEX.

WE USED TO BREW COFFEE IN A POT ON THE STOVE, THEN THE TEN AND TWENTY CUP MACHINES CAME OUT. IT WAS GREAT WE COULD HAVE CUP AFTER CUP OF HOT COFFEE. AND NOW, WE'RE BACK TO SINGLE CUP BREWERS, SOMETHINGS NOT RIGHT.

 WHEN I WAS A YOUNGSTER WE ATE FOODS THAT CONTAINED FAT AND CALORIES AND THOUGHT NOTHING OF IT.  TODAY WE EAT PROCESSED FOODS, WATCH OUR FAT INTAKE. OUR SUGAR AND CALORIES AND MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING SICK. OH WELL, THAT'S PROGRESS.

IN THIRTY DAYS  WE WATCH THIS YEAR CLOSE AND OUR FUTURE BEGIN AND AS YOGI ONCE SAID "IT'S DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

RONNIEISMS

THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks football season has ended, just the opposite from how it started at 5 and 0, ending with 0 and 7. Everyone is asking, "what happened?" We had a great returning squad with a great quaterback and two outstanding receivers. Our number one rusher was injured and didn't play but we did well without him. Then all of a sudden, fumbles, interceptions, lousy defense, it created 6 straight losses. Our last game, won by Missouri, could have gone either way. I think the Jayhawks played better but the decisions made on their last possession lost the game. Congratulations to the Tigers, great game and congrats to you too, Bernard. My depression lasted well into the evening but by this morning, after my lox and bagel, it was forgotten.
Now the basketball season takes over my psyche until the March madness ends it all. I'll try again not to miss a game either by radio or TV while trying not to consume an overdose of valium. My body automatically moves with every play. I jump left, right and up in hopes of helping the ball through the basket. That movement is my total exercise regimin along with my strict diet. I actually think I'm addicted to Jayhawks Basketball even though I've never been to a game in Lawrence. Maybe this year I'll accept one of the many invitations I've been turning down.

The team is so overloaded with talent this year that I hope their heads don't become too big for their jocks. Bill Self's coaching of such a talented bunch of young men will face the dual challenge of playing the right starters and making sure that the surrounding players learn from his experience. Rock Chalk Jayhawks....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

RONNIEISMS

THANKSGIVING
This is a day for us to give thanks for many things, but how do I find a starting point? Naturally, we're all thankfull for our families, for our friends, the weather,and most of all our health. We're also thankfull for Medicare, something at our age we can't be without. Something a little less important in the chain of thanks is Skype, that magical program that opens your computer to a whole new world that allows you to bother your closest friends with your picture while looking at your screen so they can see the top of your head. We have to figure out a way to put the camera smack in the center of the monitor. I shouldn't complain too much since my bald spot isn't as bad as it's going to be. Being able to speak with your friends across the country without paying for a long distance call, that's real progress. Thanks to my family for the love they bestow on Norma and me and for not moving out of the city. We're so thankfull that they all live within a 30 minute drive and save us all that money of flying across the country to see them. I'm thankfull for the sound of hearing my grandkids laughing and screaming (maybe not so much for the screaming) and the little shows they put on for us. I'm thankfull for our children and their spouses (those that have) that all love each other and the playfull banter among them. How lucky I am to have all this. What more can a person want? Happy Thanksgiving to ALL.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RONNIEISMS

THE SUPPER CLUB
EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOR THE LAST TWENTY OR SO YEARS, A GROUP OF US GOES SOMEWHERE FOR DINNER. WHAT STARTED OUT AS TWO COUPLES HAS GROWN TO 13 OR 14 PEOPLE INCLUDING SOME SINGLES. WE INITIALLY TRIED TO GO PLACES THAT HAD COUPONS FOR DISCOUNTS, TWO FOR ONE, ETC. THESE SUPPERS ALL HAVE THAT FEELING OF FAMILY AND TOGETHERNESS. SINCE OUR WHOLE GROUP'S AVERAGE AGE IS IN THE 70s WE TRY TO ENJOY EACH MEAL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A FEW OF OUR GROUP ARE NOT WELL BUT THEY CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE WHICH I BELIEVE IS SOMETHING THAT THEY ENJOY.
A FEW YEARS AGO WE TRIED TO FIND A NAME OTHER THAN "THE BELCHERS" BUT AS YET HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING ORIGINAL THAT WE COULD COPYWRITE.
IT'S ALWAYS FUNNY TO HEAR THE BANTER AND THE CONTINUAL "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" FROM SOME OF THE GROUP. IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SO LOUD ALTHOUGH SOME HAVE HEARING PROBLEMS BUT MOST JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S BEING SAID. NOT BECAUSE THEY'RE NOSEY (HA,HA)  BUT THEY  WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL OF THE CONVERSATIONS AND WANT TO BE SURE THAT IT'S NOT THEM THAT'S BEING DISCUSSED.
MOST OF THE WOMEN PLAY CARDS OR MAHJONG TOGETHER DURING THE WEEK SO THE GAMES ARE PART OF THEIR CONVERSATIONS. THE GUYS FOR THE MOST PART TALK SPORTS SINCE WE'RE ALL EXPERTS ON THE SUBJECT.
ALMOST ALL OF US ARE MEMBERS OF OUR CHIEF'S FOOTBALL GROUP SO THE LAST GAME OR THE PERSON WHO WON BECOMES THE MAIN SUBJECT ESPECIALLY IF THEY'VE WON MORE THAN THEIR SHARE.
 I GUESS YOU CALL IT JEALOUSEY OR ENVY BUT THAT'S NORMAL  REGARDLESS OF AGE. WE'RE A FUN GROUP THAT ALL CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER AND ALWAYS THERE IN TIMES OF NEED. A FEW OF OUR MEMBERS ARE NOT FEELING TOO WELL SO OUR PRAYERS ARE PRETTY CONSTANT FOR THEIR WELL BEING. WE ALSO TRY NOT TO FORGET THOSE OF US THAT HAVE PASSED AND TO KEEP THEM IN OUR MEMORIES.
WE'VE LOST A FEW OF OUR ORIGINAL FOOTBALL MEMBERS DUE TO MOVING TO THE WEST COAST OR  LIVING IN ST.LOUIS BUT WE STILL FIND TIME TO TALK ABOUT THEM.
WHAT'S REALLY FUNNY IS THAT EVERY AND I MEAN EVERY MEAL THE SAME THING IS HEARD FROM ALL. "I'M SO FULL, I CAN'T EAT ANOTHER THING" OR "THE FOOD WASN'T VERY GOOD TONIGHT".
 I FEEL THAT OUR BEING TOGETHER, PATTING OUR BELLIES AFTER STUFFING OURSELVES AND A FEW BELCHES, ARE PART OF THE ROUTINE. I LOOK FORWARD TO THESE EVENTS AS LONG AS THE FARTING IS KEPT TO A MINIMUM.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

RONNIEISMS


I THOUGHT SHE WAS GONE
SHE ARRIVED IN FLORIDA SAFE AND SOUND AND ALL WAS WELL. A SCRABBLE GAME VIA COMPUTER CONTINUED, AND A MORNING PHONE CALL, THINGS WERE GOING SMOOTHLY EXCEPT FOR MY NEIGHBOR ACROSS THE WAY. HE DIDN'T SMILE AS MUCH AS WHEN SHE WAS HERE, HE WALKED AT A SLOWER PACE AND HE SAID "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" MORE THAN ONCE. THEN ONE MORNING I AWOKE TO THE SOUND OF HER VOICE COMING FROM THE LIVING ROOM. WHAT THE HELL, HOW DID SHE GET HERE? I JUMPED OUT OF BED TO FIND HER AND MY WIFE SKYPEING. WHAT AN INVENTION. YOU CAN SEE PEOPLE BEFORE THEY PUT ON MAKEUP OR FIX THEIR HAIR, WHAT A REVALATION!
I'M STILL IN AWE OF TELEVISION AND MEN ON THE MOON AND NOW, THROUGH THE COMPUTER YOU CAN MAKE A NO CHARGE VIDEO CALL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
CAN WE GET A HEALTH CARE BILL THAT PLEASES EVERYONE? CAN WE FIND A CURE FOR CANCER? CAN THERE BE PEACE IN THE WORLD? CAN RELATIVES EVER SAY "I WAS WRONG, CAN YOU FORGIVE ME?"
HOPEFULLY I'LL STILL BE UPRIGHT WHEN ALL OF THIS COMES TO PASS BUT IN THE MEANTIME I WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SMILES TO THOSE I MEET ON MY MISSION OF "MAKING HAPPY".


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RONNIEISMS

SHE LEFT US!
Something had to be calling her. We left town only to return and find her gone and a neighbor in deep depression. This summer was really special to my wife and me. We were always in the company of our closest friends which compliments our life. We're a lucky couple to be part of a community of close friends and when one of them leaves for somewhere far away (it's really not that far) , the only thing left is to talk about her. We can now say things behind her back because she's our special friend.

In a few months we'll be heading south to join her in her island shack and to bring her news of the north. It was noted in last week's Chronicle that 5 card groups will be folding up, all because of her absence, very inconsiderate. Sure, she has the hard job of going on a cruise, with none of us to protect her. I'll have to plug in my Skype just to keep an eye on her. I wonder what time she's in the shower. So, in order to keep her in our mind I'll have to download the rain cap photo.

RONNIEISMS

MY LIFE AS A CAMEL
IT ALL STARTED WITH OUR VISIT TO LOS ANGELES FOR MY GREAT NEPHEW ISAAC'S BAR MITZVAH. LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT I HAD BEEN CHOSEN. I GUESS MY NIECE JILL HAD HEARD THAT I HAD ONCE WALKED A MILE SO THE CHOICE WAS EASY. THIS EVENT WAS LIKE NO OTHER. IT'S THE FIRST BAR MITZVAH I'VE ATTENDED WHERE NOT ONE PERSON FELL ASLEEP. IT WAS DONE AS A THREE ACT PLAY STARRING ISAAC AS THE BIBLICAL ISAAC. SINCE IT TOOK PLACE IN THE DESERT THERE HAD TO BE CAMELS, I WAS ONE OF THREE. THERE WAS SAMALE, WAYNEALE AND RONALE. WE WERE THE FIRST OF THE TALKING AND WALKING CAMELS. THIS WAS A VERY UNIQUE WAY TO PRESENT SUCH AN EVENT. WE HAD CANTORS, A RABBI AND THE TRADITIONAL READING OF THE TORAH PORTION IN HEBREW WITH FAMILY PARTICIPATING. IT WAS AN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL EVENT. THE CHILDREN IN ATTENDANCE SAT ON CUSHIONS AT THE FRONT AND PARTICIPATED IN THE SING A LONG PORTIONS. THE ADULTS WERE ALL SEATED BEHIND THE KIDS AND SINCE I WAS FACING THE AUDIENCE I COULDN'T HELP BUT NOTICE THE SMILES ON EVERYONE'S FACE. ISAAC DID A FANTASTIC JOB BOTH AS AN ACTOR AND IN HIS TORAH READING.

THE SHAPIRO TRIBE AND THE ELKIN TRIBE WERE IN ATTENDANCE AND THE TOGETHERNESS OF BOTH TRIBES MADE THE EVENING EXTRA SPECIAL. AS I'VE SAID IN MANY OF MY BLOGS, FAMILY IS VERY IMPORTANT. TO ATTEND A HAPPY EVENT SUCH AS THIS IS SUCH A MITZVAH WHERE WE ALL ENJOYED EACH OTHER AS WE SPOKE ABOUT OUR PARENTS THAT WERE ALL PRESENT, IN OUR HEARTS AND MEMORIES. THANKS TO JILL AND BRUCE FOR A WONDERFUL WEEKEND.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

RONNIEISMS

I want to talk about luck. There's bad luck and there is good luck. Bad luck is when the team you bet on loses. Bad luck is when the company you own or work for goes out of business. Bad luck can be when you have four of a kind and get beat with a straight flush, but there is always the bad beat, which in poker is usually good luck. Some people are prone to having bad luck, possibly caused by the little black cloud that floats above them, like the old cartoon character Joe Btifslik. Some people bemoan their bad luck but don't realize that they probably created it themselves.
Good people usually make their own good luck, some by being in the right place at the right time and others when they win the lottery.
The first of my good luck was the birth of my two children. The second and probably the most notable of my lucky streak was when I married Norma. I inherited a great family that added to my own. We have  five wonderful children, eight grandchildren between us, and now a great grandchild, another grandaughter by way of marriage and another great grandchild by that marriage.
My good luck is our family, what more could a person want.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

RONNIEISMS

For those of you that read my blogs you've probably noticed that I write about family quite a bit. Last Sunday my wife and I had lunch with my Grandson Brad, his wife Tanya, daughter Alicia, my Great Grandson Connor and my son Mike. Connor has grown a little since we last saw him about two months ago. Since they moved to the north side it's become a little harder for them to drop over our place as they did quite often. It's unbelievable how I feel when our four generations get together. I stare at Connor and think about how my Mother, if she was still with us, would try to hug him so tight that he would possibly scream or how my Dad, himself a hunk of a man would hold him while trying to stiffle the tears running down his face.
I remember so well when my Mother came to visit me before I left for Hawaii, with Bradley, Connor's dad, on her lap and couldn't stop smiling as she stared into his eyes rembering out loud how she held Michael when he was born. The memories and thoughts of those that are gone are both sad and happy. Happy that our family continues and the Shapiro name carries on.

On Halloween, Connor wore a costume that when you see it, you cannot help but smile. Unfortunately, one of Connor's great grandparents will not enjoy his dimpled smile, what a loss.
Look at that prominent jaw line, is that Batman or not? The other photo was taken in 1981 in Hawaii with Brad in my arms.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

RONNIEISMS


Many people say that a son in law is very different than a son.  In fact I was guilty in saying the same thing over 30 years ago. I thought my relationship with my then father in law was that close but was proven wrong. One of my stepsons is celebrating his anniversary today. I can honestly say that I could not love him anymore if he were my own. He, his wife and two beautiful girls are almost the perfect family. By this I mean they do things with their children rather than shuffling them off to sitters or family members. When their children are older their memories of good times will include their parents. I'm sure that if they log onto this blog both he and his wife will be embarrassed by what I have written but I felt good while expressing my love for them both and wishing them the same love my wife and I share. He's calls his Mother just to see how things are going and everyone is feeling and he treats me the way any stepfather would hope to be treated, with respect and love. Congratulations Kathy and Hal. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Facebook is really a wonderful way for families that live far apart to catch up with each other. In the last week I've heard from a first cousin that I haven't seen or spoken to in probably 50+ years. His family moved west when he was a child and the communication between his Father and mine discontinued. There was no e-mail back then and I guess other than traditional mail or telephone it was up to one or the other to keep in contact and I guess neither thought it important enough. I remember my Dad giving me fatherly advice to "Never burn your bridges", one of many he bestowed on me. I guess he didn't exercise his own advice about keeping in touch with family, something I truly try to do.

It's nice just hearing from him and possibly in the near future we'll be able to connect a little bit more via e-mail. I'm going to LA in a few weeks for a family Bar Mitzvah and I'm looking forward to seeing as many as I can. Our last clan get to gether was a Chicago affair with my Mom's side of the family. Thank goodness my sister and I still love each other and try to keep in touch as much as possible. I could never understand why some families hold grudges and  see each other at funerals only to realize how petty their arguments that kept them apart really were. Hurt feelings is something that can easily be corrected if one of the parties involved wants to take the first step. I usualy take the TEVYA approach, "But on the other hand" which sometimes upsets my wife. Life is too damned short to hold grudges between family members. So take it from the oldest cousin, smile and call someone today.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

RONNIEISMS

I was sitting at my computer yesterday when I received a phone call from one of my oldest friends while growing up on Division Street in Chicago. You know the Street I mention a lot because of my sister's book, THE DIVISION STREET PRINCESS, a wonderful book about growing up in the 40s and 50s.
My old buddy Fred Rosen calls to tell me how much he's enjoying my book and remembering the old days, as we call them, when we were kids. Fred is one of a kind. He's a year younger than me but still plays basketball, competitvely, on two reconstructed knees. He's the bionic man, believe it.
Other than my sister, he's the only one I go to see, usually for 30 minutes, whenever I visit Chicago. He worked in his Father's liquor business as I in the family grocery store. Our other friends, Shelly Goodman, now deceased, Sherwin Kunik, now deceased, Shy Greenberg, now who knows what, and Harry Zwerling now retired in Atlanta. Les Lobell, he of the purple trousers, now retired and living back in Chicago after his wife Lois passed away. Other old friends Ralph Ikenn and Arnie Orleans are also deceased.
Talking with Fred is always uplifting and brings back those wonderful memories of childhood. The days when you could play in the streets or in the park without the fear of a drivebye taking your life. Our parents were hard working people that wanted for their children to have a better life than they. Some of our parents came to this country from Europe when they were children and grew up during hard times, they wanted more and better for their kids and for the most part succeeded.
So here we are, 60 some years later, rehashing the good times we remember and remembering our friends no longer with us. The memories bring smiles and tears at the same time, but I think more smiles. Harry, do you remember ringalivio, I think that's the way it's spelled. I wish I had some old photos of our gang as it would be called today but it was just good buddies all doing for each other.
One last thing before ending, especially for my old passengers. Do you remember pushing the Old Buick down the alley to get it started so we could get to Roosevelt on the North side?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RONNIEISMS


It took awhile but "ronnieisms" is coming into its own. you can go to Google or Yahoo, type it in and up pops my blog site. I now have 39 watchers, not including friends and family. My latest blog about the discovery of the Azoi Tree has created inquiries about the actual location. The only thing we can remember, those of us that were part of the actual sighting party, was that it was close to the Macademia factory. We stopped to take pictures of it but later when the photos were developed, not one of us had a sharp picture, somehow they had all become blurred. Could it have been our imagination? Possibly, but when each of us tried to draw a picture of the tree, they all came out almost the same. A rough example is the picture on the previous post. Our traveling companion Dave, made embroidered copies of the drawing and presented each of us with our own shirts to commemorate our discovery and remind us of the great time we had bitching about the closed casino but enjoying the unbelievable sunrise and sunsets while touring the Hawaiian Islands.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

RONNIEISMS

DISCOVERY OF THE AZOI TREE
A few years ago a group of us, seven to be exact, went on a Hawaiian Cruise. Since I had lived in the islands for close to five years I was the un official tour guide. We had a great time both on the ship and each of the islands we visited. The only negative of the trip was the casino problem, it never opened. We were told that the ship had a casino, which it did, but this particular ship, due to it being  of Hawaiian registry could not open their casino. We played cards between ourselves during those times of intense need for gambling. The woman at the agency that sold us the cruise did not know of the casino problem until we told her, naturally she was apologetic, but it was too late.
Each island we visited we rented a van and I being the designated driver also became the tour guide which I really enjoyed. It had been over 20 years since I had been back but other than some new buildings and one way streets, not much had changed. We saw all the advertised tourist attractions including my old haunts and where I used to live. On Oahu we drove around the whole island and Vic, one of our companions kept using the word AZOI whenever he saw something unusual or extreme, such as the windmills on the way to the north shore. I even took them to Schofield Barracks, where I was stationed while in the service.
We tried deep sea fishing on the big island but caught nothing but a beautiful day out on the ocean.
However, also on the big island HAWAII we made a discovery. We found the AZOI tree which we named for it being a WOW or one of a kind. This unusual tree had macademia nuts growing from it, chocolate covered and on half of the branches were bananas. We had accidently found something rare. As we drove around and told people about our discovery very few believed us, but a few actually did. We explained where we had seen the tree so they could see for themselves.

To this day, there have been no other sightings but how could seven of us all be wrong. Oh well, someday, someone will see it .

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RONNIEISMS

A LITTLE SOMETHING I WROTE EARLIER THIS YEAR.
DEFINITION OF LOVE!
To love someone more than you think is humanly impossible is something that I experience on a daily basis. For twenty five years my wife and I share that feeling of love that I thought I would never find. From our first day together until the present my love for her has grown so much that I cannot comprehend it getting any better, but it does. I feel that we’ve been together all my adult life not just these 25 years.


We’ve had hard times but it seems to draw us closer together, to keep a balance of what love means. When I’m down, she picks me up. When I hurt physically and emotionally she heals me. When she hurts, I hurt. I refuse to let her suffer by herself; I want to share her pain. When she cries, I try to dry her tears with a smile rather than a tissue. My commitment to her is a smile a day and my unfailing and unfaltering love without any restrictions.


To love someone as I do her is my goal in life. To keep her happy is a chore that I cherish. Have you ever felt like hugging someone so tight that you bring him or her into your being? That you become one. That you cannot go on without that person in your life. Feeling the heat of her body next to mine as we sleep and the simple touch of a hand or foot as we cuddle as we tell each other that I love you more, every night, and it never gets old.


As we grow old together and our years go bye in the blink of an eye we enjoy the second, third and now the fourth generation of our family and wonder as to where our yesterdays have gone and what our tomorrows will bring. Whatever our future holds will be ours, no matter what.

I end this definition of love, as I believe it because I love her more.
Ron

This was originally written for our 20th anniversary. I’ve changed a few numbers but my feelings have not changed other than being much stronger than ever.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

RONNIEISMS


Another Sunday and another Chiefs day. Hopefully this is the day they make a positive display of their expensive talents. Once the season starts, especially after the Royals season ends, we hope that even in losing, they don't embarass themselves or the city. We all dress in our red shirts and become Chief's fans. When they win, although seldom, we all claim them but when they lose, as is often, we turn the other cheek. Many people have asked me how I could keep following the KC Royals as I have. My simple answer is "I love baseball and the Royals are my team. Coming from Chicago I was always a Cubs fan but I have since relagated that fandom to my son Mike who is a devout Cubbee. Besides talking of his Grandson Connor his second love is the Cubs. By the way Mike, if you happen to read this blog, give your old man a call.
Back to the Chiefs; with so many new players and a new coach, we all hope that this day will start a positive movement towards a possible playoff season, I said hope. Enjoy the day, cheer for your team, whoever it may be and Go Chiefs!

Friday, October 2, 2009

RONNIEISMS: RONNIEISMS

RONNIEISMS: RONNIEISMS

RONNIEISMS

I've come to realize that sports dominates my yearly calendar. I'm a devout KC Royals fan no matter how bad they play. I try to watch or listen to every game and naturally I hope that I will still be around when they make the playoffs again. This Saturday is their last game of the season and Zack is pitching, a fitting end to what could have been a great season except for injuries as the manager describes it.  Watching Billy Butler become a premier hitter and set new records has been one of the few positives during the season and naturally, watching Zack do his magic and hopefully win the Cy Young Award. I don't know the actual number of games he left with the Royals ahead only to lose but I'm sure he would have over 20 wins by now. Oh well, always next season.
So now football takes over, the KC Chiefs and  watching them embarass themselves to a national audience, but I'm still a fan which still gives me the right to complain when they screw up or cheer when they might win a game.
My real love is KU. I really enjoy their football team and believe that this could be one of their best seasons. I must explain though that I'm really a Big 12 fan and cheer for all of the teams except when they play KU. My second favorite is MU and I hope they have a great season so my friend Bernard will continue to smile. When the two teams play, we may have to have a wager on the outcome.
KU basketball is my ultimate sports team and when they play my days are counted by their games. I become totally immersed when they play and I just about shut out the rest of the world. Thankfully because of my KU basketball world, my wife has also become a fan and watches with me. She however, cannot sit next to me because of my body movements which are uncontrolled and could be harmful if an elbow happens to follow a dunk. Can't wait until their season starts.
College basketball ends with March madness and then baseball starts all over again.

I guess my wife is right except she is still my number one reason for being.

Monday, September 28, 2009

RONNIEISMS

WHAT IS THAT NOISE? A few weeks ago I picked up my friend and neighbor Milt in my Chrysler Van. We were going to a SMART MEN breakfast at the HERITAGE CENTER OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER that features someone from the sports world as a speaker. Today's speaker was Dayton Moore, GM of the KC Royals. As we headed toward the breakfast I heard this beeping noise while driving. I asked Milt if he heard it and he responded with a "no, I don't hear anything." I should explain that he is a little hard of hearing and wears hearing aids. I told him that after the meeting I would have to take my van into Chrysler to find out where that noise might be coming from. I turned off the radio but still heard this faint beeping sound almost like a cricket. We got to the breakfast and as Mr. Moore was giving his talk I started to hear the beeping noise again. I looked all around the room but saw no sign of anyone else hearing the sound. Most of the other guys at our table were also no help since most of them were also slightly hearing impared. Now, I was seriously starting to worry that I too was starting to have a medical problem concerning the continuos beeping since it was I alone that heard it. As we were heading home I heard it constantly in the van and told Milt that I was going to call my Doctor when I got home to see if I could get an immediate appointment and get checked out. Just as I was about to call my Dr. the phone rings and it's my friend Milt. "Have you called your Dr. yet?, he screams. "No, I was just about to do it" I answered. "Well don't, I just found my hearing aids in my pocket and I guess the batteries were low and that's the beeping you heard". After we both stopped laughing I asked him how he heard what Dayton Moore was saying. "I didn't" he replied, "I just thought he was speaking too low." I had noticed a few times that Milt's eyes were closed during the presentation but that wasn't too unusual when he got comfortable. Now, whenever I ask someone to repeat what they said, all I hear is " are you hearing the beeping again?"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

RONNIEISMS

A STORY OF MICE AND MEN Yesterday morning we met some friends and set out to spend a great day together, which it turned out to be but a few things happened along the way. We decided to go to an old restaurant in Westport that served a wonderful breakfast although we hadn't been there in a few years but we had been telling our friends that they could order a salami or lox omelete that was very good. As we were trying to decide what each one of us would order and telling the waitress that we had brought some first time customers with us we overheard another waitress say that they were out of lox. Here it was only 9am and they were out of lox. We then decided we would have different omeletes with a bagel, "sorry we're out of bagels" she said. We should have known right there that we were in trouble but what the heck, we're already here, we might as well eat and get over to the Plaza Art Fair that was next on our agenda. Three other couples came into our area and sat down. After about 25 minutes I asked our flighty waitress about our order and she replied that it was almost ready. How long does it take to make a few omelets? Also during all this time Ms Flighty had not taken any of the other customers orders that were seated around us. If they were loaded and busy, I could understand but they weren't busy. Finally she brought our orders. First, the great special fried potatoes were cold, the eggs were also cold and the bread had not yet arrived. We sat there and ate anyway, just to finish and leave. As we were just about done the couple across from us jumps up and runs out of the room. They had just seen a mouse run across the floor and the other Mann in our party had also seen it but didn't want to alarm our partners. As soon as my wife heard "Mouse" her feet came off the floor almost into her lap, I didn't realize she could move so fast. Our waitress came to the table and informed us that she had taken one meal off the bill since we had to wait so long. By the way, the remaining two couples had not even had coffee. We hurried our last bites and headed for the door. The manager asked, "well how was everything?" I proceeded to tell him of the lousy service, the cold food and his pets running through the establishment. He took the bill from my hand and said "If your meals were that bad, you owe me nothing." I told him that I wanted to pay and he refused to accept my money. He apologized profusely and asked us to please come back and give him another try. I was about to say something unpleasant but thought I had better not. Another try at what? Looking for additional movement on the floor or just watching where we step. All this made for a good laugh for the rest of the day but it also opened my eyes to the ultra fast movement of my wife. They don't call her Mrs. Rapid for nothing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I got to spend the whole day with my grandson Brad. He is my associate in doing photos at golf tournaments and yesterday we had a full day, double tournament for the LENEXA CHAMBER. It was a little cool in the am portion but as the day wore on the weather turned spectacular, a perfect 75 degrees. We've been doing this together now for quite some time and we have our routine down to a science. We can shoot a complete shotgun tournament, usually 36 teams of four, in less than 3 hours. This includes taking all the team photos, processing them on our portable printers and furnishing each player with a 5x7 photo in a cardboard mount before the tournament is finished, are we a team or what? Brad actually does all the work since my running days are behind me. I just drive the cart and enjoy the sun, well somebody's got to do it. I remember the first tournament I did in 1984, The Len Dawson Charity event at Longview Golf Course, twenty five years ago. When we had our photo store I would drive out take the photos (35mm film), drive back to the store, process and frame the photos and drive back to the golf course, some over 35 miles away. Today it's such a pleasure. We carry our printers and computers and make only one trip, what a difference. In the past I would do up to 30 tournaments a year but do to the poor economy sponsors are hard to find and we're lucky to do ten. But I'm always a winner because I get to spend the day with my grandson.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Two very nice things happened today. First, I received a phone call from a person that was almost finished reading my book and he couldn't stop raving about how much he has enjoyed reading about my life. The accolades he laid on me were beyond what I could have imagined. Thank you very much. Second, and keeping my fingers crossed, just received an e-mail from a famous Hollywood person that he is reading the book I had sent and so far thought there were some "very funny and exciting scenes" to my story. He will let me know when finished reading if there is any interest in going further. I sent out 4 books hoping that one of them would be read. I guess at least one has. Que Sara, que sara, whatever will be, will be. You (all who might read this blog) are hereby commanded to say a little prayer for me and those that haven't as yet left an Amazon review, get to it! Need all the help I can get. Hopefully, any review you send is positive, if not, don't bother.
I've told you about my Grandson Josh and his abstract paintings. Well, we have another and it too is beautiful and I'm not just saying that because he's my grandson. I'm going to attach it to this blog so you can all enjoy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Last night we had our family and a couple of friends over for ROSH HASHANAH dinner, a total of 20 including all but one of our grandchildren and his family of four. As usual it was noisy but a great sound none the less because it was coming from, thank goodness, healthy children. The sound of their playing is OK but when they start screaming, then it becomes a little too much. As usual, my wife's cooking and baking was outstanding. The turkey, the brisket, the tsimis, chopped liver, gefilte fish, mashed potatoes, rhubarb, apple cake, brownies and always her famous cheesecake. Everyone left with a little take home so there was very little left to put away. My grandson Dylan brought his guitar and played a few tunes, he's getting better by the day and with his long hair, I'm sure he'll become a rock star. My wife does all the work and is totally wiped out when she's finished but that look of accomplishment makes up for all the qvetches she experiences and the empty dishes make her smile from ear to ear. To both of us, family is everything. Life is so short that times like this are so rewarding that I honestly believe it extends our being. I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

RONNIEISMS

I just received an e-mail from my grandson Brad. He was right, I should not have written the last blog without first asking him if it was OK. I sincerely apologize but as I explained to him, the reason I wrote it was to hopefully help others that might be going through the same problem but cannot or will not forgive because they're too stubborn or too stupid, such as another person from my past, whose name I shall not mention. We all have pride, we're born with it and as we get older it becomes more instilled in our minds. I've been too so many funerals where a family member is crying thet they and the deceased had never made amends for something they can't even remember. Life is too short and goes by too fast for us to hold a grudge, that more times than not, is not that important. So,to my grandson, I again apologize and tell you "I love you too much."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RONNIEISMS

I found something I had written about 5 years ago and as I read it I realized that maybe someone else was going through the same thing and might learn something from reading it. So here it is:
STARTING OVER Holding my great grandson in my arms brought back the feelings I had when my son, and then so many years later, my grandson, was born. My body shook and I could feel the tears swelling up. I looked at this new baby and saw my family. We were back together. The journey to this day has been filled with ups, downs, and roadblocks that many my age likely experience. And, admittedly, some of those barriers were built with my own prideful hands. My story begins five years earlier when my grandson and I worked together in my photo lab. Back then, our relationship was pretty good, in fact, better than that. Our main disagreement concerned the hours he was supposed to come to work. Probably not unusual for a 22 year old. If I told him 8 am he would show up at 8:15, 9 am, he would show up at 9:30. As much as I tried to tell him what his start time was, he just couldn’t make it on time. We had a knock down argument (well, not really, as no blows were delivered; it just felt like that in my gut) and I told him to leave. A few days later I asked him to come back, if he could be on time. He came back and performed a lot better. Not perfect but better. My wife and I been in business for 20 years and had built a very good customer base with our neighbors and everyday photographers. Our commercial photo business was also a very large part of our income and included business from the city, the local churches and schools. I was shooting and processing film of graduations, kids sport teams, business I.D. photos, special events and especially golf tournaments, which were a big part of our growth. In order to keep up with technology we invested in new digital equipment since film was being overshadowed (pardon the pun) by the new format. Our commercial customers realized that they could purchase a digital camera and do the printing right in their office on their computer printer as long as the output was good enough for their use. Eventually the digital revolution not only caught up to us, but passed us bye. Even though we had invested in the latest equipment, it was not enough to sustain our business We made a decision to close the store before we lost our home. This is where the story really starts. After the closing I found another job and kept our heads above water. I called my grandson to see how he was doing and if he had found a job. He didn’t answer my call. I tried many times to reach him but no luck, no response. I sent him e-mails, no response. One year went bye and still no contact. The worst part of all this was that I didn’t know what I had done to create this problem. It had to be something I did without knowing, what else could it be. I searched my memory, spoke to my Son and he couldn’t tell me the reason. I called his Mother, nada, nothing, I was going nuts trying to find the reason for this very strange behavior. Another year goes bye and I hear that he and his lady friend are expecting a child, my Great Grandson. Maybe now that he’s going to be a Father, he’ll talk to me. I tried the phone the e-mail, everything I could to contact him. The worst thing of all was how it was affecting my psyche. It was not knowing why, more than the communication itself. I get along with everybody. I go out of my way to be friendly and courteous to all that I meet. I was blessed with a personality that made it easy for me to talk to anyone, anyone but my grandson. Another year was going bye and my Great Grandson was born and I had not had the opportunity to see him. What could I do? I had tried all forms of communication, even sitting in my car in front of his apartment hoping to confront him. No luck. Why, why, why. What was it? What could I have done that could be so terrible as to create this situation. My son showed me photos of the baby who was soon to have his first birthday and I still had not been able to hold him. He is the fourth generation of my family and we hadn’t met. I finally realized after 3 years that I was going about it the wrong way. Forget the reason, start over and not mention or ask what had triggered this problem. In fact, I thought to myself, maybe he doesn’t remember and is too embarrassed to call. Life is really too short and families should not be separated for any reason. It was up to me to make the first move, after all, I was the oldest. I called and left a message that we had to get together and start over. I promised to not ask why or what had caused the problem. We would start over from this day and forget yesterday. It worked, he returned my call and we made plans to meet for lunch. He would bring the baby and his girl friend and we would have a family reunion, as if none of this had ever happened. We met, had lunch, good conversation and I was finally able to hold my Great Grandson. I held him in my arms and all of the feelings I had when my son was born and my Grandson , came into my body. I started to get emotional, my body shook and I could feel the tears swelling up, I’m entitled. I looked at him and saw my family. We were back together and Starting Over.  

Saturday, September 12, 2009

RONNIEISMS

A few times a year the Lenexa Chamber has a blood drive and I usually donate my share of blood. I'll probably still donate after yesterday's debacle but the event was not the usual. What usually takes an hour including after donation lunch and little recoup time turned into about 2 hours. The first attendant asked which arm I would like to use and I suggested the left. After receiving the usual instructions about pressure on the ball put into my hand and lying still, she proceeded to find the spot of insertion. Let me explain something first. This was my sixth time with The Community Blood bank but I'm used to giving blood during my visits to the VA and my twice a year lab appointments and hardly ever experienced any pain or discomfort, in fact I normally congratulate the poker on the ease of their insertion. Yesterday however, was the exception. After marking the spot and inserting the needle I experienced a pain that created a loud discharge of OUCH or something a bit harsher. I guess I scared the attendant for a moment since her eyes almost popped out of her head. Nothing was coming out so she tried moving the needle around while still under the skin which produced too much additional pain. I tried to stifle my cries of pain but it got to the point where I told her to stop. She, however, became irritated and walked away to get her supervisor. They brought over another and she too could not find the vein which I was told had floated, which means it moved and this needle also had to be removed. In the meantime, everything had to be discarded because it had been in me. So after two puncture wounds with no success we decided to try the other arm. They reset the table and started the procedure again but with a different attendant. This girl found the vein, with no pain and started the procedure all over. All seemed to be going well until she returned to the table and started retaping the needle to my arm so it wouldn't move. She called a male attendant over and I heard her say, there's nothing coming out. I had only deposited 2.33 pounds, ounces, liters or whatever measurement they use into the receiving bag. "What's going on?" I asked. There answer in concert was " I don't know, it just stopped, we'll have to start all over." "Not on me" I replied, "I'm done for today." After many apologies from the supervisor and nasty looks from the three attendants I went over to the table for lunch. Since I only gave a portion, which I was told would be discarded, I thought I only deserved half a sandwich which is all that I ate. While sitting at the table, a gentleman that was a first and said his last time for donating had the same problem and he too had to switch arms. He too was bandaged on both arms. I'm not writing this to keep anyone from donating blood and I'm sure I'll do it again but after leaving with two large adhesive bandages around both arms with pretty hearts I might check out the experience of the people before the poking begins.

Friday, September 11, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Yesterday was a mixed day. Had to spend almost 3 hours with my lawyer on a deposition, hopefully all went well. Funny thing happened after I made a customer delivery in Lenexa. I had to make a quick restroom stop as soon as I could, I'm sure that you all have had the same urgency problem at one time or another. I stopped at a friends Mr. Goodcents restaurant nearby, used the facility, said my hello's and goodbyes and as I was leaving I was stopped by two of my old customers from the photo business. We spent a few minutes together talking about what I had been doing since closing the store and the conversation (I'm sure, by my choosing) came to my book, Making Happy. I gave them one of my cards, told them where it was available and left. As I got into my car I smacked my self "Shmuck, you've got a book right here, see if they want it". I took the book inside and asked if they would like a signed copy. "Certainly" they replied and book number 110 was sold.
Last night we went to a great concert at a local synagogue and saw many old friends and old family members from first marriage and the great saleman I am, handed out 4 more cards. I'm sure that at least two will buy. One of my old friends that purchased a copy stopped me and told me how much she enjoyed the story and was surprised that I told all that I did. It seems that all of my old friends never knew of my storied but true adventure.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Last evening our grandson Josh called and asked to stop over, he would like to show us something. When we got there we were pleasantly surprised to find that he had become an abstract painter and what I think, a very good one. His paintings show imagination, style and a lot of creativity. I think he will do well if he continues on this path. I've included a picture of the one he gave to us as a gift.

Monday, September 7, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Good news, 109 sold. Not too bad for a first time author as some call me. I seem to be selling all the time. I guess I should tone it down a bit. I saw a person in the grocery store yesterday that I hadn't seen in some time and after a few pleasantries handed her my card about the book. "Oh, you wrote a book, that's nice" she said. Maybe it was a little too much on my part, can I help it if I'm enjoying the ride. My son in law wrote my latest review, #8, and after reading I believe he liked it. He plays games with me whenever he writes trying to expand my knowledge of the English language and so far he's succeeding since I have to keep a dictionary close by. I met some of his family this week. One of his nieces was visiting from Germany, what a beautiful girl.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Friday I spoke at the Lenexa Rotary Club about my book. I knew most of the members from my previous business, Moto Photo and Rapid Photo that my wife and I owned for 20 years. We were a part of the growth of Lenexa during our years there and in fact I'm still a chamber member for the last 25 years. During our years at the store I watched the children of many of the Rotary members grow from childhood into college students and married couples. Where do the years go? As I gave my speech I was watching the faces of those in attendance and was pleased that they all had smiles while listening to me rambling on, at least I thought it was rambling. Afterwards they all came up shaking their heads in a sort of dis belief way that I had done those things I spoke about. During the years at the photo store very few knew of my past and were happy to hear about my adventure. I left out all of the sexual experiences so those that purchased will be in for an even bigger surprise.

Friday, September 4, 2009

RONNIEISMS

Monday night our great LG refrigerator went out. Tues. am, when opening the door and no light we first thought, we'll just replace the bulb but when we opened the freezer door, again no light. This meant a big problem. We checked our fuse box, the plug all electrical switches that might have caused the outage but nada. Our beautiful 13 month refrigerator had died and gone to cold heaven. We called the manufacturer but because it was over 12 months, the original warranty was void but because my wife is the smart one, we had purchased an extended 5 year plan. Thank goodness. When the Geek Squad finally arrived on Wednesday he told us the circuit board was gone and a new one had to be ordered but it would be overnite. Big LIE, it won't be delivered until Sat. am and hopefully a Geek will be available to do the install. We've had to throw out 5 bags of food and eat out each night. I think Best Buy is going to get a big bill.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ronnieisms

Just received an e-mail from a person in St. Louis that has just finished the book and wanted to tell me that he had been thinking about doing what I did but never had the guts. He said it seemed as though I had acted out his vision. It was nice to hear this especially from a complete stranger. I'll send him his check later. I now have a small web site set up. Http://www.makinghappy.net. I'll be adding to it in the following days.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ronnieisms

Sat. night we had our first football group get together at our apartment and all 19 members showed up bringing something for all to eat. The appetizers were great and the brisket and turkey were both delicious. Other than watching a bad team, we had a good time with each other and the fabulous desserts. As I mentioned in a previous blog, just getting together and doing something that we all seem to enjoy is worth the effort, especially when you hear the laughter. We were all MAKING HAPPY. When the game gets boring the ladies play their own game.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ronnieisms

The other day I was sitting at the computer and I wrote about an incident that had occured during my childhood when my folks had a grocery store on Division St. (so well described in my sister's book THE DIVISION STREET PRINCESS by Elaine Soloway) . See below! One Memorable Morning It was about 5am, I was ten years old and as I did almost every Morning, I slowly crawled from my bed rubbing my still sleepy eyes. I tried to be as quiet as I could but I knew that my Mom would already be awake and in the kitchen. It was my daily routine to go downstairs to our grocery store on the street level below our one bedroom apartment and let in the milk man and the bread man who normally arrived about the same time every weekday morning around 5:30. After they made their deliveries I would go back upstairs, have breakfast and get ready for school. This morning, something was wrong, I didn’t know what it was but as I looked around the store looked like something or someone had did some damage. Merchandise was all over the floor, our cash register drawer was laying on the counter, cigarette packs were scattered, and everything was a mess. I became scared immediately because I thought whoever had done this might still be there. I ran out the door yelling hoping that my Dad would hear me but he was in the tub and didn’t hear me until I ran into the apartment. “Dad, come quick, someone broke into the store.” He threw some clothes on, and his apron, which it seems he always wore, and we ran back down to the store. By that time both of the delivery drivers were in the store and hollering, “Irv, you’ve been robbed.” My Dad ran to the phone to call the police and report the burglary. While waiting for them to arrive we continued checking the damage and tried to see what damage had been done and what was taken. We got to the back room that was also a kitchen and saw that the back door was ripped from it’s hinges. My Dad’s cast iron 500 pound safe was gone and as he looked through the back door he also noticed his Buick Roadmaster was also gone. A few minutes later my Mom and sister came in shaking their head not believing the scene in front of them. The police soon arrived with sirens blaring and I’m sure waking everbody in the building and neighborhood. Two uniformed cops that we knew quite well came rushing in asking if everyone was OK. Some of our awakened neighbors also started into the store but were immediately stopped and asked to please stay outside. A couple more plain clothes detectives soon arrived and started asking questions and looking around. Since I was the first one in the store that morning, most of the questions were answered by me. Mom and Dad were walking around the store trying to find what ever else might have been taken. My Mom always left a one dollar bill in the register and even that was taken. The checks that were underneath the cash drawer were still there evidently useless to the thieves. I asked Mom many times why she always left that dollar bill in the register. Her patent answer was always the same, “If someone robs us they shouldn’t leave empty handed. Luckily the cash was always taken upstairs every night when they closed the store. About fifteen minutes later another officer comes running into the store shouting “we found the car down the alley and the safe is still in the back seat, unopened.” How they got that safe into the back seat of the Buick remained an unanswered mystery. It seemed the old Buick never made it to the end of the alley. I don’t know why, except maybe, just maybe, it didn’t like the person who was driving. When the car was towed to our backyard after the police had checked for fingerprints we had to hire some people to remove the safe from the backseat, I should say, where the back seat was supposed to be. I guess they needed the extra room for the safe. Since there was no cash taken except for the dollar bill and possibly a few cartons of smokes the only claim to the insurance company was for the damage done in the kitchen and the cost of cleanup. My dad said later that day that he should have claimed a larger loss and as usual my Mom said “Sure, that’s all we need, they would find out you’re lying and throw You in jail.”