Tag Archives: writing


Had another good week last week (this week was just for relaxation and recharging my energy) with a four day trip to Maryland. If you looked at my Facebook page you saw the picture of my wife holding our latest great-grandchild when we made a stop on our way back to Virginia. We were in Maryland to do our usual thing, gamble at the casinos. We headquartered at Maryland Live’s hotel which put us between Horseshoe and MGM. We get perks from all the casinos but decided to use Maryland Live’s because it was between the other two.

Look at it this way; four day stay at their hotel, their perks and our acquired points gave us all our meals and each gave us slot machine money. All I needed was the gas money and a little more to keep it interesting. In fact, we came back with money in our pocket. Can’t beat that for a four day stay at three casinos. Plus we got to visit the baby on the way back (got through Washington the day before the inauguration).

Thinking about that, this is what we ran into. Usually, on week days, the hotel does not have many people staying. I noticed the parking lot almost full and more cars were coming. All the other hotels had the same thing. Then I started calling myself a dummy because, after talking to a couple that was checking-in, I was told that they were getting the hell out of DC before the crowds hit. Then I noticed that most of the cars had DC plates.

After visiting the baby it dawned on me that it was the same area that The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman (an article I wrote) lived. In fact, I am still trying to get the article printed for the general public. It have been approved by the MPP (Mighty Pen Project) and they have a copy but the Richmond-Times dispatch turned it down. The newspaper say it does not have a Virginia connection although the man live in Ashburn, Virginia. It does not make any sense to me, but who am I to say? Also, the man is Black and his wife is White, they had to live in Washington because of segregation, that is the same as the Loving story that hit the movies last year.

The highlight for this week came on Monday. Four of us from the Mighty Pen Project had a townhall type panel discussion, at The University of Richmond, for a freshman class that is writing about war. They included my two writings on protests in the 1950’s. The question and answering went well and, in fact, we could have gone on much longer than we had time for. This is our second time doing this. The first time was at the Library of Virginia and that went very well also. I hope to do it again.

This year I work on my birthday and my wife is out of town. As I get older, holidays, birthdays, etc. does not mean as much as it did when I was younger. I prefer peace and quiet plus time to read or write. I stay busy, although my wife say otherwise, and I believe staying busy help the body stay active, younger and spry. Inactivity bring on more aches and pains, more than usual, and it can be avoided without medication for that particular ailment. I see too much inactivity around here (Imperial Plaza) although there are so many programs and events for the residents. Most do not attend any of them. Alas, what can I say or do about it? Not a thing.

Until next time…Stay warm, keep on keeping on. I’m out!


I Am Retired

For the moment I will get back to talking about Imperial Plaza, not all of the happenings but as much as I dare for now. Since I have been here and have written about this place, I have found it quite intriguing, to say the least. Imperial Plaza have gone uphill, downhill and now uphill again. I was involved in some of it by being on committees but there have been some people that were quite radical about what they perceived as needing to be accomplished and how it should be accomplished. There is one or more that gives the perception of “my way or the highway”. There are others that will go so far as to jump the chain of command and go straight to the top.

In everything, like the government, there are parts of a problem that is not seen by the average person. In other words, the whole picture is not seen, therefore, the problem can not be solved as it is seen because one must first see the whole picture (the big circle…). There is always another element to look at unless you are at the top and definitely know the whole picture. Then, alas, there may be an element of that picture that is hiding something, for whatever reason, which makes the picture cloudy and a commendable resolution difficult if not impossible.

There are a few people at Imperial Plaza that come from a world where they are the boss and are used to people complying to their every whim but now they are into a world of retirement. They still have the mindset that when they say something, everyone must jump to do whatever it is without question. They also have it in their heads that they know the best way to do things only if they can get people to get on with the task they have alluded.

Since the previous head of Imperial Plaza got the boot (some say not), the new person have done a great job getting things moving without too much conflict and discontent. There is still a hic-up here and there but nothing is perfect and never will be. There was a large shift in the dining facility and the food and wait staff got to be pretty bad. With the new head chef and quite a few new wait staff, things are beginning to look up. I hope so because I have stopped eating there.

The one thing that have, on one hand, gotten stagnant and, on the other hand, gotten bad is the entertainment. I know most of the seniors want old music (thirties, forties and so on), but, it is always the same old thing. There are two or three bands that always come here and I can tell you the line up of the music. I know what tune is next, because there is very little deviation from that line up, and usually what comment the lead person will make. There is a very good man playing good music in the White Squirrel but he have been relegated to twice a month, he was playing every week for months. He would fill the place on Tuesday and everyone was eating, drinking and dancing. The new group that replaces him every other Tuesday does not take requests nor do they fill the place. Alas, you can’t fight city hall. It’s the dining facility’s lost and I keep my money in my pocket. I either stay in my apartment to eat and drink or I can go out to eat. My wife and I are mobile and I don’t care what we do for that day. There are always choices and I try to take advantage of them because I am retired and I’m not nailed down to do anything I don’t want to do.

I’ll stop here although there is so much more to talk about but I don’t want to make this too long and boring. I want to continue this at the next writing and go into other parts of what is going on as well as, hopefully, getting into my travels. As I said before, I am retired and I love writing, salt water fishing and traveling. As time permits, I’ll write something else soon. Be kind to your neighbors for you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. By the way, the photo is one of the jobs I retired from.



I Am Retired

To be retired is greater than expected. To be able to do whatever, whenever and never have to worry about rising in the morning and going to a job. It is so nice to just lay in bed and think/relax. That is when I do my best thinking. I think about what time of morning (afternoon?) it is, what to fix for breakfast, what to wear today and dose off again, for however long it may be. Time belongs to me and not the job. Time is all there is now and I have worked a long time for this. I have been approached and chastised for not writing an article for the last two weeks. All I can say is I am retired. The article is not a job, it is pleasure, however, I ask “am required to submit an article each and every week?” I am retired and, this year, there is a lot of traveling that have been done and more to come.

While away, I do not carry my laptop, I-Pad and barely want to use my phone. There is a cruise coming up real soon and there will be very little communication for ten days plus, a wedding halfway across the country and much more. I am retired and deserve to go everywhere I can and enjoy myself without obligations to anyone (except my wife, of course) or anything. My wife and I just came from a week in Puerto Rico and I sent out, maybe, four pictures over Facebook. I really didn’t want to do that but to just stay in touch with anyone that was worried about why there wasn’t any communication. Again, we are retired. That is what retirement is all about, is it not?

Then there are people that wonder why I have a part-time job. First, the job is not hard work. Second, it is only four days a month. Third, it provides me with a tad bit of cash for my casino trips. Fourth, over the years, I have watched many people do one or two things and die. They continued to work and never had any real pleasure before or during retirement. They never retired or could not afford to retire. And those that did retire but just sat around and did nothing, passed away early and/or needed assistance to survive, never having enjoyed their retirement.

I said all of that to say this, or at least hopefully having this fact understood. The blog was to be about retirement, it is not a job to be done. The blog is to be done between my exploits, not a thing that causes everything to be stopped in order to write and print this. The blog is a pleasure writing, not a chore that is kept to a hardwired structure. And, lastly, it clears my mind for the true writing that I am into, novels and printed articles.

Hopefully I did not ruffle anyone’s feathers by writing this but truth is truth. I am on my own schedule, no one else. My wife and I do many things together and then we have our own things that are done separately. That is retirement. To do things that you want to do, at your leisure and not a calendar or clock in sight is retirement at it’s best. Most days I have to look at the paper or something else to realize what day it is and then check my pocket calendar (I have a phone appointment calendar also) to find out what I have to do today and what is coming up tomorrow. To me, today is tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised and, therefore, do whatever today because you may not be here tomorrow.

So, I’ll try to get out a blog on retirement every other week and one on religion in between that but it is not a promise or guarantee from me. If I recall correctly, when I first started this, I said I would try (I repeat “try”) to do this every week. Try is the optimum word. If there are other things you would like for me to write about, contact me and let me know. There is a comment box, use it. Until the next time…”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them.”IMG_0234


Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected putting out my blogs for good reasons. It is not because I am lazy (some may argue that is the case but I’ll never waver) but have been busy with my MPP (Mighty Pen Project) classes and with the board of the MPP. I am also getting together (finally) the website for the MPP that will give much more information than I could give to you here. As you know, it is geared to all active duty military, ex-military and the families and/or friends of each service. To go further, in case you have not read my other blogs, it is for writing. These papers can be for memoirs, books or just plain getting things off your mind. The course is a once a week, ten week class taught by an instructor from a college, university, etc. In other words, this is a free college level course Who can argue with FREE?

How can this be free? That is where the Virginia War Memorial come in. With their help and guidance, we have come a long way. Now we have our own board and is attempting to function (some day) on our own. I have the task of setting up the website and keeping it running. A daunting task, to say the least. I hope to premiate myself by accomplishing this in a very expeditious manner. Wish me luck and the fortitude to carry on.

As far as Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza is concerned, it is slowly but surely moving right along… making people angrier and angrier along the way. The director (I should say “ex”) is no more. She was fired (she say she left on her own) but the rumor mill is really humming. I strongly believe the rumor mill (I have my sources). I will not say what those rumors are because, if wrong, I could be charged with slander. There is enough going on that I don’t want to be in the middle and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum. I have not seen nor met the lady that’s holding down the fort until a new director is named but I hear she is nice. I don’t remember her name but I do know she is from another facility that is in the Brookdale family. And, I want to add, people are not happy with the changes at the Magnolia Room or any of the dinning rooms, to be exact. Like I said before. People are always against change, whether good or bad. It doesn’t matter.

I am also a member of the grounds committee and, just think, I am suppose to be retired. I am doing more now than when I wasn’t retired. I guess being busy does not give you time to think about your age. I think about it every now and then and cringe. Personally, I think the two guys that do all the grounds work does not need anymore supervision or oversight than they already have. They do a fantastic job. I’m one that believe in the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” I am told that I am expected to attend the different building gatherings in order to get their input about what they want done on the grounds. NOT!!! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it plus I don’t have the desire or time to commit to such an endeavor.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog going. I have so much coming up. A trip to Puerto Rico, a cruise, a trip to Colorado and, of course, the casinos. Add to that the MPP and I should finish my classes by the end of March. I forgot the Neighborhood Watch program, I am committed to that also. In order to be a good neighbor, commit your services to the neighborhood. If we all did a little, crime would be at an all time low.

Until next time…be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. BYE!!!

Mighty Pen Project

It was a great night, 1/6/16, at the Virginia War Memorial where we had the reading and reception of the Mighty Pen Project. Quite a few people were there, the food was good and the readings went very well. There was six of us, that was in the second class of the Mighty Pen Project, and I was first to read one of the pieces I wrote for the class. All of the written material was well written, very moving and covered a wide area of military life from Viet Nam to the present time.

Mr. James Triesler, Education Director of the Virginia War Memorial gave the welcome. Dr. David Coogan, Associate Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University and our instructor for the second class of the Mighty Pen Project, gave the remarks. Mr. David L. Robins, program founder/author/teacher at VCU, gave the introduction of readers.

The Mighty Pen Project is in need of students, like myself or better, that is military connected, past or present, and want to write. People that want to write about their military experiences, feelings, just to get things out of their system or just to leave something for their loved one, to name a few things, need this class. It’s too late to registrar for the class starting on 1/20/16 but contact can be made for the class starting in April. Each class is every Wednesday night for ten weeks and involve reading, writing and supreme insight into the material from the instructor.

Go to the Virginia War Memorial web site, www.vawarmemorial.org, for information on the Mighty Pen Project ( MPP) and the Virginia War Memorial. The Mighty Pen Project also have a Facebook page and a lot of information can be gained there. A web page and blog is in the works. Since I have joined the board, I have been appointed to help with initiating the web site and helping with future entertainment. I hope my work goes well. If anyone need information or know someone that would qualify, they can either contact me or go to one of the sites.

I know that this is not like my normal blogs but I feel that I can at least help get the word out with one or more shots from my blog. Don’t hesitate to do this and I will surly get back to you as soon as I can. There are a lot of retirees out here that would like to try this and the person does not have to be good or retired. That will come with time and it’s not to write a book (it’ll give you a start, if you want), just snippets. Well, I’ll see ya the next time. Contact me.


I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and will have a very Happy New Year! This being the last blog for 2015 (on both sites), I would like for all of us to reflect on the good things and the bad things that have happen to us in 2015. But, always remember that even though things may seem bad for us, there is always something worst that have happen for someone else. We have survived our worst and is hoping for better things in the upcoming year. Always look ahead because it’s no use looking at what has happened. There is nothing that can be done about that now, only try, during the next chance, to be better or do better.

I always have to remember that there is no use to bury my head in the sand and hope things will go away. It will not. I constantly remind myself to keep on pushing and smile. Always smile. I see many people with a frown on their face and never a smile. A smile make you feel better and people will perceive you as a better person (and they don’t know what you are really thinking).

There are things I have accomplished, done good, and I smile and wonder what I can do to top that. There are things I have failed in and I smile but try to think about ways to do better. Smiling goes a long way and is on both sides of the coin. One good and one bad. But, smile and it will all even out in the end. There is always an end.

This year, at Imperial Plaza, there have been good and bad and I really don’t want to get into which is what. I just smile and keep going. I just remember that I have had a long and fruitful life and there is nothing that can ever take that away from me. It is time to take it easy and let the next generation fully take over. They have been an apprentice long enough. If they make mistakes, oh well, I am retired and can live through it. It is no use moaning and groaning about what is happening because it won’t do any good. No one will listen to me anyway.

Therefore, we all should sit back and let someone else drive. Give a little direction, a nod of approval or a little advice in the disapproval but we are too old to drive. I’ll keep my eyes open during 2016 but do my own thing. I have plenty of writing to do. I still have The Mighty Pen Project board that I am on. I still have my every other weekend part-time job. I have plenty on my plate. Then add in travel and other pleasures which will have the plate overflowing, but I still smile. I am trying to enjoy retirement and being a senior (I don’t like that word. I’ll try to put another word in it’s place). I’ve had a full life and it’s time to enjoy what I worked all those years for. You should try it, you may like it. And Smile! Remember, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.

Merry Christmas

It’s been a while, however, I’ve been busy and sort of lazy in the off times. But the Holidays will do that to you although that should not be an excuse. When I think of the season, I feel sort of guilty every time I look at the national and international weather. Here we are basking in the sun, warmth, mild winds and just plain unseasonable weather. Reminds me of when I was stationed at MacDill, AFB, in Florida. I remember sitting under a window air conditioner on Christmas Day. It was a nice day although on the hot side but very nice all the same.

As I walk around, here at Imperial Plaza, I often hear people complaining about how warm or cold it is. I hear people complaining about the rain or no rain at all. People just have to complain about everything that does not need complaining about. We could be in the Mid-West and have the feet of snow along with the cold. We could be on the west coast and be in the drought stricken areas.

There is a saying: “Be careful what you wish (ask) for, you just may get it.” There are areas, on the west coast that were wishing for rain, now there are floods. There were areas on the west coast that wished for snow in the mountains that will give them water down below. Now the complaint is the snow came too early and it’s too much. We have people here wishing for cold weather. Are they going to get it? Will it be too much or not enough or just right? Be careful what you wish for.

There is another complaint at the Plaza. There is one group of people, in Dogwood, that say the new lobby furniture is too high. There is another group that say it is too low. Then there are those that complain it is too dark colored. I say, be grateful and happy new materials are showing up all over the place. It cost us exactly zero and it is new. There is a saying for this also: “You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all the time.” I personally love the new furniture and carpet. The place look beautiful. At least to me it does.

There is another saying: “The difference between men and boys is the size of their toys (or the cost of their toys.)” I just bought my Christmas toys and I already have them out. I just love getting toys and acting like a kid, even if it is not Christmas Day. However, I don’t go overboard and have it carry me into bankruptcy. I like to pay as I go. Try it. This time next month will feel good knowing everyone else is knee deep in debt and I have no bills. Oh, what a feeling it is. Puts a permanent smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart. There is another way to be without debt at Christmas. Start saving a nice amount, monthly, for next year. Start now and keep doing it.

I’ll shut down, for now, and do some other writings. I have three writings that I want to finish, at least by the end of next year, and some smaller writings that I hope to sell sooner. This really take a lot of time, especially concentration and rewrites, rewrites, rewrites. This article, that you are reading (I hope), can be done in one sitting with only a little editing. There is a gold mine of things to write about, here at Imperial Plaza, but being careful about what is written takes time and a lot of thought. Thinking before it is sent to the internet will save a lot of heartaches later. Plus having finger crossing luck.

Have a very Merry Christmas and the best Happy New Year ever!!!!