Category Archives: family

Deep dive

I’m in the midst of writing my second book and it’s bringing up some old but heavy shit.

Where the first book was fiction, this one is non-fiction, a journey through care giving a loved one battling cancer.  In examining some of my beliefs and reactions through the process, I’ve gone back to examine how those beliefs and opinions were formed, which takes me back a long ways – to the age of two. I remember as if it were yesterday, a fall foto_westfield_101958_OakAve_Jimmy_front lawnOctober day in 1958.  My father was burning leaves (allowed back then) and Mom was doing whatever she was doing, one of those things being taking pictures of the 23 month old brat sitting on the steps playing with the carved pumpkin and sitting on the lawn watching dad burn leaves.  He wore a black and white plaid peacoat and brown lace up work boots that looked more like army issue that fashionable, utilitarian footwear.

At one point my Mom went back inside and Dad walked back to the garage, out of my sight, to get something.  He wasn’t gone but a minute or two, but I will never forget the feeling of loneliness and abandonment that washed over me, as if some invisible shroud of sadness drifted in and covered me.  Sitting there on the grass between two giant maples, feeling like there was not a soul left in the world. I was two what did I know?  Eventually these feelings would lead to all sorts of nonsense in later years, primarily paralyzing panic attacks that plagued my into adulthood.

I’ve done enough therapy to know where all this comes from and it’s not something I hold on to or get angry about, it’s just an old video tape I can put back on the shelf, realizing that it has no power – that was then, this is now.

This things I do for art’s sake…


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Filed under family, life, writing

Hitting close to home….

A woman from my Alma Mater, Nancy (Madera) Secor (Susquehanna University ’79) and her family have been having a rough time — much more than any family should have to endure.  Nancy, her husband, Steve, and their children Amy, Peter and Kelly were all diagnosed with Lyme disease.  For most of them, they responded to the treatment and are on the road to recovery.  Kelly, the youngest daughter, wasn’t as lucky.  She has been suffering for many years with Lyme, and Nancy accompanied her across the country for several years to get various experimental and aggressive treatments to try to restore her health.  The good news is that Kelly is on the road to recovery, and the Secor family will celebrate Kelly’s belated high school graduation soon.  She’s not completely “out of the woods,” but she is a fighter and she’s getting stronger.   To understand more about what Kelly has been going through, please see her uTube video below.

During Kelly’s illness and struggle, Nancy was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and she has been fighting it ever since.  Unfortunately, the cancer spread, and despite Nancy’s tenacity and willingness to do whatever it took to fight this nasty disease, the prognosis is not good.  She had hoped to fly to Germany at the recommendation of her physicians for an experimental treatment, but recent conversations with her doctor have provided her with two choices — continue aggressive chemo, which does not seem to be working, or turn to hospice care.  At the present time, Nancy is not giving up.

I have two favors to ask of you to support Nancy and her family:
1. Pray — pray often for Nancy, Kelly, Steve, Amy and Peter.  Pray for a miracle for Nancy; pray for strength and peace for all of them.
2. Make a contribution to Nancy’s family.  The amount of debt they have accumulated is enormous because many of the treatments and certainly the travel around the country to see different specialists have not been covered by insurance.  We all have our own life and financial challenges, but I believe that each of us, no matter what the amount we donate, can make a difference and help our sister and her family.  No donation is too small — every gift will make a difference.  If you want to enclose a short note or card with your donation to lift their spirits, I’m sure they would appreciate it.
To send a donation, mail your check payable to: Steve Secor, 185 Snowberry Way, Dillon, CO 80435, and put the word “medical” in the memo section of the check.

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Filed under family, health care, Medical, spirituality, YouTube


linked from Life Is Too Short – outstanding clip from Michael Pritchard- compassion – passion for a comrade – it’s getting lost….

How many stories in the news – tv, radio, internet or paper – are about compassion?  One out of every…what…20?  30?  If that.

How many video games are about compassion?

How much compassion do you show your kids?

Hom much compassion do we show the elderly?

It has to start early….


Filed under children, culture, education, family, life

mother’s day

feels like just yesterday that I wrote this post. still applies a year later.


Filed under family, holiday

digging thru the photo drawer again

the Mrs. has been on a quest to go through the giant bucket under the bed – 2 by 4 feet of Tupperware – that’s filled with family photos.  my, how they pile up over the years.  Concurrently I’m going through old photo albums…i mean really old photo albums.  I’ve bored you to tears with the old slides of my grandfather’s?  well these are his photo albums.  Between the Mrs. and I, the scanner is getting a thorough workout.

Here’s a shot of me when I had hair…and didn’t look like some applied sacks of pudding to my face and neck.  This was a publicity still from the late 80’s when I was writing and recording movie reviews for a couple of radio stations and a newspaper.  Hmmm.  I still have some tear sheets and audio tracks of the reviews –  I’ll have to try to post them here someday….and no that isn’t a full thing of popcorn.  It had a lid on it and I just piled a handful on top. The show was called All That Glitters.  I reviewed two movies every week…and got paid for it.  Paid to go to the movies!  It was awesome.  After five years, though, I got tired of it.  I tried to syndicate it out but didn’t have much luck.

November 1st was my Dad’s 84th birthday…had he lived to see it.  Here’s a shot from his 9th birthday in 1937.  That’s his dog named Geri.  He had a dog with his second wife named Geri as well.  Guess that was a whole Citizen Kane – Rosebud thing…nice knickers there, Pops…


Filed under family


Going through the downstairs bookcase while waiting for the brownies to finish baking, I came across a folder that contained two photos; one of my Dad – his high school photo I believe – and my college photo.  My hideously over oil colored photo – my eyes ain’t that green and my eyebrows are red – not that death-grey color. Not to mention needing spf 10,000 to guard against the glare of those teeth.

I don’t know…it was a bittersweet moment I guess. I had forgotten about putting these 8x10s together.  Maybe it is the resemblance.  Maybe I’ve come to a space of real forgiveness after all the anger.  My thought was that he had a tough life.  Actually he had a good life, but the emotional side wasn’t easy for him.  Maybe it’s just the whole father-son thing at a time when my own kid is having a rough time of it.  Just kind of hit me, you know?

PS: Now that I’ve looked at this, the photos in the previous post make me look 80 years old.  Was that kid really me???????



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where i was

the mrs. and i needed to get away. we didn’t do anything during the summer so a little away time was overdue.

My grandparents used to have a house in Jamesport, Long Island (I’m going to marry these two thoughts in a minute so just hang in there). I have tons of good memories of their house which was on a sandy lane filled with big fat maple trees that led to Peconic Bay.  It had been twenty years or so since i had been out there so some force greater than myself put the notion in my head to return.  Long story short, I found a house sitting on the bay  that was owned by a delightful young couple willing to rent out their second home.  It was also just three lanes over from my grandparents old place.  We had a few days of crystal weather in which to read…eat…drink…read…eat…drink…(sleep)…read…eat…you get the idea.

Where we spent a lot of our time on the “upper” deck…there was one below closer to the beach

the kewl part is that even though the north fork of the island has been yuppified over the years from horse and potato farms into vineyards by the dozens – which always attracts the yupsters – and many of the old small cottages have been gentrified into modern behemoths, my grandparents place still stands, minus a couple of trees and with new (blah) siding.

Circa 1962….

50 years later (and my biggest surprise is that the leaning garage is still standing….)


Filed under family, life, vacation