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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.