Saturday, October 31, 2009


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


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


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


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.

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


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




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.