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Revealed one more time.

Mom, I hate to interrupt your memories but we have a plane to catch. How come we’re in Pop’s closet?

I sat on the carpeted floor, my hands felt every seam. “At the cemetery, as we watched the casket lower, I turned to my youngest brother and said, “Who was he, this ninety four year old man who cast a long  shadow over all our lives. He was secretive, guarded, private and very wealthy. We never had a conversation and his one piece of advice to his only daughter was ‘never trust anyone.’

“So what did Uncle Garry say?”

“He said the answer was in a hidden pocket in this jacket.”

“That’s why we’re here? You’re searching for an answer to this. . .” “I think I’ve found it, Paul.” My hands shook as I fumbled for a tiny opening in the lining; you look, I’m too nervous.” So he handed the flashlight to me, I gave him the jacket; shined the light and indicated where the pocket was.

He inserted one finger, that’s all he could fit and said: Nothing there, Mom and he turned the jacket upside down, smacked it a few times in an atempt to dislodge anything.

“Nothing, I said. :The secret of my Father was remains a secret.” My heart hurt.

“That’s not right, Mom; there was no secret; he was whatever he was and that’s fine and he pulled me to my feet and we left the closet.

“Can I keep the jacket?”

for more snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

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It Will All be Revealed, won’t it?

“Too dark in here,” I said to my son, Paul, who had accompanied me to my father’s funeral in Chicago.

“Hit the light switch, Mom.”

“I did but the bulb burned out.”

“Like Poppa,” he said. “Like Poppa what?” I said.

“Burned out.” “Kaput,” I said in the dark, falling into the old word game we’d played since Paul was a pup.

“Fini.” “Bought the farm,” I said. A shared chuckle from the black humor.

A click in the dark and a narrow beam of light illuminated my Father’s  packed closet; I groped for his favorite jacket and there it was, worn brown leather bomber style. I pulled it off the hook where it hung for easy access by aged hands and hugged it to my chest. “Smell this,” my son, the jacket thrust in front of his nose where he couldn’t escape.

He inhaled and questioned, “what is it?”

“Perfecto Garcia Queens, Poppas favorites he sent me to the corner drug store to buy them, a quarter a piece.”

for more delectable snippets

http://www.wewriwa.com/

The Huffington Post article written by my son

Huffington Post article 5/13/15

I want Charmaine Gordon’s elderly women’s empowerment fiction to go viral and, while it might not, her work is deserving of it because it is devoted to a small, somewhat overlooked, yet important genre that deserves all the attention it can get.

This woman happens to be my 84-year-old mom and I unapologetically stand atop my desk (metaphorically, that is) trying to find a way to let the world know of this movement in women’s fiction that should have its own section at bookstores. Elderly women’s empowerment fiction certainly has as much value as a cat video or fail compilation, but lacks some of that immediate Oomph. The appeal of the viral videos harking to the wunderkinds, the GoPro thrill seekers and the likes are impressive, yet aren’t we just as moved to see the dance videos in which the elderly hear good music and abandon crutches, walkers and any assistance and kick in with power dance moves of their own?
(see * note at bottom for reference info)

I’m a self-serving son, I know. I’m comfortable touting my mom’s work and I’m proud of her for doing it, but this is not only for my mom. There are a few people out there whose parents could really appreciate this fiction for the hero’s problem-solving skills, romantic life and sheer chutzpah in the face of younger, strong authority figures ready to put the thumbscrews to the seemingly meek old lady. What’s more, Charmaine’s tales reminds us to “Do your creative stuff now!”… the kick in the pants my mom’s intrepid spirit offers to every aspiring senior citizen with an agenda of “shoulda-coulda-wouldas.”

Her books have “what are you waiting for?” written all over them.

Charmaine “The Mom Bomb” Gordon sent me a few of her credos to accompany this article. Being her own best advocate she was willing to equip her son with a few essentials she knows well: “It isn’t over ’til it’s over,” “Survive and thrive no matter who’s in the beehive,” “Life throws plenty at you… so keep dancing.” (That my mom would appropriate one of Yogi Berra’s quotes is fitting, since she and my dad ran a mom ‘n’ pop shop in golf equipment sales and sold Yogi his golf clubs for a stretch of time in the 70s and 80s.)

In the face of adversity, my mom found a voice in this semi-autobiographical niche writer’s market. Her declining health hampered her athletic, self-sufficient style and demanded that she trade her tennis racket for a cane, but it hasn’t slowed her down that much. She had a long tenure in New York’s theatrical productions — small parts in movies, plays and tv soap operas — but ultimately resigned herself to the realities of the spasmodic dysphonia that attacked her larynx. Getting older and no longer capable of enunciating onstage, she took to storytelling in written form. Short stories led to longer ones and when she had a novel-length tale, she shopped herself to agents and found a publisher, one she’s been with for 5 ½ years now. Her first book, To Be Continued is currently optioned for a tv movie.

The characters populating her fictitious neighborhoods always focus on an elderly lady beset by obstacles/prejudices. Through her own wiles she solves/fixes things and exacts retribution from a stalker or other persons with an evil agenda. Due to the tone in her first book — one in which an amorous heroine and her lover cavort and carouse through the first many pages on a sexual skill level reminiscent of the non-stop love world claimed by basketball hero, Dr. J — I lovingly poke fun at her efforts by referring to it as either “old-lady soft-core porn” or “soft-core, old-lady porn” a term of endearment that jokingly belies my feelings.

Gone are the days of despicable phrases like “too much information,” the popular 90s saying that tries to rebuff anyone veering away from some Groupthink form of standards and proper decorum. Bring on elderly women who delight publicly in the search for a satisfying love life. Just as Annie Sprinkle wishes to spread her message by encouraging people to proudly and sexually become their own machines of change and freedom, so can my mom’s writing inspire in its own way for seniors, because my mom’s characters stand strong and unflappable in their entire lives. This genre provides a voice and setting for active elderly women and it appeals to the ever-growing elderly population that shouldn’t be relegated to ignored corners of society. Aren’t these metaphors the same ones we wish taught to every young girl? It shouldn’t be a big leap for any woman over 70, 80 or 90 to be reminded of her potential, right? Perhaps this is the stuff of which revolutions in elderly care can take hold.

Aside from her writing skills, the small but steady fan base my mom continues to develop is due in part to her own spirited personal story, coupled with the senior hero’s story arc. Charmaine has a website, twitter and facebook pages, and works hard marketing her work and embracing current technology. She isn’t about to be left by the wayside and she is not alone in this, teaming up with other women writers to publicize their books in smaller forums around the web. Bearing in mind a lineage of fine women writers who managed to break the age barrier — from Flannery O’Connor to Joan Didion to Maya Angelou to Agatha Christie, this type of novel deserves some investigation and newsworthy attention, not merely because one of those writing in this vein raised me, but it is going to take some influential people offering their business and money knowhow to raise national-level awareness. I’m not claiming my family’s talents to rank with the finest, but I am saying that it always starts from a point of passionate investment, no matter what the investigation; and my mother is certainly passionate and has found a worthwhile cause… and I find myself wondering how to best help spread her message. I believe in the concept behind the brief, delightful TED talk by Derek Sivers, in which a movement gets started by a leader valuing the first followers who choose to embrace that movement, and in doing so become leaders themselves.

As a relatively recently graduate of Goddard College’s Masters of Fine Arts program in Interdisciplinary Arts (yes, a shameless plug for my beloved higher education program), I see many noteworthy examinations within my mother’s genre, including but not limited to social engagement and equality rights. In these times where race relations, handicapped empowerment and gender equality have loud voices, the voices for the elderly speak softer and still require vociferous support from media news outlets.

My mom’s vocal chords are weaker than they once were, not unlike so many seniors, so I suppose it takes words on news/blog sites like this one to push her message out there just a little more. After all, books like hers are only for you if you plan on getting older some day yourself, so it’s not merely a niche market, is it?

[* Because the music was removed by copyright infringement for the fun original, this link goes to the CNN-news version that still has the soundtrack.]

Follow Paul Gordon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GisforGarbage      

Paul, my dearest son, wrote this a while ago. He is married to a Dane, living in Copenhagen. We confer every day about what we call stuff. Eva, his beautiful wife and talented artist is the best I could ask for.

Love to all. I’m improving day by day and plan to keep up with weriwa on time.

You may have heard my latest book has been released.

Beware The Blue- Eyed Thunderbolt is the title. :2 young girls need a good home. Their new Dad is selfish; their almost new mom is great. They make a plan to work things out and by the end of the book, it does work out. Add in cats and one puppy; the story is fun.

 

 

Short story part 3

After that, it was Joyce and Bob, Bob and Joyce. Seldom was one without the other. What a team! They were everyone’s touchstone. Envious coup[es looked at them in wonder. First, a friendship blossomed and later on, love was added.

The Korean conflict came. It was called a police action, then why didn’t they send cops? Bob went into the aviation cadet program and became a pilot. Letters flew back and forth from Chicago and Joyecy was too revealing how she felt, She would reveal small fragments to her mom. Her mom said, “If he ‘s declaring all this passion for you, dear daughter, I can only guess what your  writing to him.”

Sarah’s face would flush. Those were the days when chastity was a highlly regarded commodiity. Good girls didn’t, bad girls didn’t.

for more snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

Short Story part 2

There he was hanging out with his pals, with no inkling his future was about to be determined. Joyce hurried over to him with only a few minutes to spare before the bell rang. She knocked on his chest to get his attentention, She said, “Hi ,I’m Joyce Cooper. My sorority dance is a week from Saturday. I’d like you to be my date.”

He smiled and then smiled even wider when he checked out this girl who showed up out of nowhere.

“Okay.” And then he said, “What’s your name again?”.

More to follow tomorrow

Short story

She was born and a few days later she got married. She could hardly remember a time when Bob wasn’t an inportant part of her life.

They met in high school, a suburb of the north side of Chicago. Joyce was a freshman, Bob the big senior voted the funniest in his class; a six footer with sand colored hair, green eyes and freckles.  Who could resist him? Not Joyce who made up her mind, setting her cap, the way people spoke in the forties. Like a detective on the scent, she tracked down his schedule to find out where he’d be at homeroom. where everyone had to be at 10 a.m.

Racing up to the fourth floor domain of the seniors, the freshman , wearing a red plaid pleated skirt, red cashmere sweater set with Peter Pan collar dickey and white bobby socks with white and brown saddle shoes, ran up three flights, taking the stairs two at a time.

.for more good snippets:

http://www.wewriwa.com/

Last week I had a nasty surgery

Sorry to say, this has been a dreadful time for me. I’m doing my best to keep my chin up BUT it’s not happening. So I write my Christmas story, stopping at a thousand words to hope I can do better. What you see is what you get this week, dear friends.

I hope everyone is well and happy, including me. Short and sweet is the blog today.The heroine is fifty, never married, she dances with the band leader at the Christmas Party. He is taken with the heroine. And Sunday, we move on.