Screwdrivers Turned (Into Drinks)


The motivation behind this post is my discovery, on this very day, that my new polling place has become an off in the distance church. Stunningly, I can no longer cast my ballots at the public school that’s situated, LITERALLY, right next door to my home!

I suppose this should not be all that surprising; seeing how, ever since Donald J. Trump’s Big Lie was allowed to take root, voter suppression has been rabidly, rapidly becoming the unbecoming (illegal) law of the unAmerican homeland.

  • Looks like I will be voting via absentee ballot from now on.
  • And I will miss copping that, in person, Election Day buzz.

Such a development caused me to consider other maddening, saddening past occurrences; how I’ve been witness to similar annoying changes within my own hometown’s “four corners” / business district; the type one can count on making life both inconvenient and unaffordable.

Little doubt, this is owing to the vast, personal wealth of our past / present City Fathers and Mothers; all of which has not only mutated them into poor city planners but has also rendered them utterly insensitive to the needs of untold, everyday citizens (such as moi).

And seeing how their knack for knuckleheaded decisions even wound up shuttering our local hospital / ER, we are speaking of a LITERAL life and death matter.

To further flesh this out, these high and mighty, empowered dolts think nothing of routinely thumbs upping…

  • Developers who, rather than build affordable housing, joyously erect (starting at) $500K mansions; and butt ugly ones at that! Worse yet, once farmable, fertile soil is getting permanently encased in concrete and asphalt; is now sprouting acres upon acres of useless, picture perfect, manicured, excessively chemicaled grasslands; lawns so toxic the homeowners wind up “pushing up daisies” decades before their time.
  • Big box stores / urban sprawl which has driven out of town (or out of business) many an indie entrepreneur. Absent from our main drag’s business district is the charm of the apparel, shoe, hardware and mom and pop grocery stores. Long gone, too, is our public library; relocated is our Post Office. In their stead, there’s no shortage of swank eateries and cocktail lounges.

Alas, nowadays, at the very heart of town, screwdrivers do not get turned; they get drunk!

Long sigh… all (dis)courtesy of those who get and stay drunk on political power.




Be people Vaxxed OR Unvaxxed, We
can still shed and spread the batcrap
crazy contagious coronavirus which,
in turn, spawns new variants; which,
in turn, could, eventually, render the
available vaccines worthless; which,
in turn, will drag out the pandemic’s
needless suffering, illness and death!

HENCE… this easy as pie, cover your
nose and pie-hole/hole-up heads-up:

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!









Then One Foggy Christmas Morn (Part 5 / Denouement)

Here are the links to parts ONETWOTHREEFOUR

My conflicting emotions go to war on the battlefield of the mind, as I soldier onward, on my December 25th walk at dawn. One faction symbolizes fond memories of hometown Christmases past… the other cabal represents the unmemorable hometown of Christmas present.

In the scant hour, since this all began, the still unseen, rising sun has gradually, somewhat lightened up the blue / gray overcast… driven off a bit of the misty swirling fog.

My observations inspired, recurring question:

“What the hell good is change within a community when there’s no apparent, appreciable betterment of society?

This brings to mind the recent bulldozing of, yet, another Elementary school. That I had never set foot within it, is really not the issue. What is, is what eventually got built in its bulldozer leveled footprint… how the city fathers and mothers had thumbs upped a crass, subdivision developer’s master plan / plot to construct dozens of butt ugly, gargantuan, too cookie cutter and closely spaced, boxy, monstrosity “mansions”.

They remind me of Star Trekian Borg Cubes with tacked on aluminum siding. True, that’s an exaggeration… the siding is not aluminum.

I’m now free associating Malvina Reynolds’ song, Little Boxes, and suspect this will become an all walk long… maybe even all Christmas Day long earworm.

• Why couldn’t the locally empowered have opted, instead, for more affordable and aesthetically pleasing housing?

• How could they justify the negative impact of too damned much, rich, arable soil getting paved over… how that can only worsen world hunger and global warming… the one-two punch that threatens the very extinction of humanity!

Far be it from me to fault folks who are successful beyond their wildest dreams. However, their dreams become our nightmares when high elective office morphs them into the high and mighty. This, for the most part, is what draws the new town vs. old town battle-lines.

And what’ll be next? Gated communities with posted signs warning the commoners to KEEP OUT? Will the mayor wind up in his UnWelcome Wagon’s driver’s seat? Hanging his head out the window to blast over a bullhorn, his bullcrap, “GET OUT” message to the masses? Will he be presenting the key to the city to some vigilante (such as George Zimmerman)?

If any town buys into “of, by and ONLY for the wealthiest of the wealthy”, then commoners, such as I, become class war casualties.

And what then would become of my Chrismases, yet to come? Might one of those walks… uh… the final one… find me outward bound from the main drag’s City Limits sign… unjustly banished… forever run out of town by well-heeled heels?

Well… at least for the time being… my Christmas walk now sends me seeking out the comfort of hearth and home… the house I had inherited from my folks. I’ll soon be scaring up some comfort food, too. Instantly coming to mind is a stack of mouth watering, made from scratch, fresh off the griddle pancakes… all doused with maple syrup and washed down with fragrant, freshly brewed coffee.

All the more reason to pick up my pace. And an even better reason… to leave the new town reality behind me.

No truer words were ever committed to paper than lyricist Kim Gannon’s “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams” and author Thomas Wolfe’s adage, “You can’t go home again.”

The poignancy of it all can easily well up tears in the eyes.







Then One Foggy Christmas Morn (Part 4)


While Part 4 can stand on its own two feet, here are the links to Part 1Part 2Part 3

My at the crack of dawn, Christmas walk keeps me advancing through my lifelong hometown… the dreary, grayish blue cloud deck above… the chilly, misty fog swirling at street level. At this hour, most of the townies are either still abed or about to break bread… maybe even don their Sunday best to attend midweek mass at their chosen Houses of Worship.

We can thank the Heavenly Father that the city fathers have yet to conspire with their like-minded counterparts… the evil, anything for a buck, wrecking ball oriented, developers who likely lust to either reduce the three churches near the town square to ground zero rubble… or, perhaps, re-purpose them… oh… say… as a chain of Pancake House / Houses of Worship?

WOW! What a time saver, huh? Hmm… might the phrase that pays soon become…

“Would you like to wash down your little cookie / communion wafer
with some Coffee? A Frappuccino? Cafe Latte? Milk? Chalice of Wine?

My sarcastic streak leaves me (ever so slightly) chuckling. With nary a soul in sight, my thoughts are free to wander back to where I’ve been wandering off to this very day… my boyhood home and hood, the town square and my folks’ rented domiciles… backdating to their earliest days as newcomer settlers of this Smalltown, Michigan community.

Then I wonder… where to wander next?

At the moment I’m outward bound from the very schoolhouse where my parents, both teachers, had educated young minds… where, later on, as a tween and teen, I had matriculated.

A vehicle whooshing by on the wet pavement disrupts my reveries… heightens the sense of my being afloat in a sea of rudderless, mixed emotions. My decades-old, old town warm memories, constantly clashing with the cold, new town reality, is not unlike the stormy collision of meteorological fronts. To acquiesce to my community’s evolution is proving difficult. After all, what the hell good is change when there’s no apparent, appreciable betterment of society?

Such thoughts bring to mind the bulldozing of, yet, another Elementary school. That I had never set foot within it, is really not the issue. What is? Well… a flood of melancholy, momentarily, tables that thought…

I realize that no amount of wishful thinking could ever, possibly, overcome the inescapable truths my walk is revealing to me… my yearnings echoed by lyricist Kim Gannon’s reminder: “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams” and author Thomas Wolfe’s adage: “You can’t go home again.”

I exhale my low, long sigh…


“Stay Tuned” for Part 5…






Then One Foggy Christmas Morn (Part 3)


While Part 3 can stand on its own two feet, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2.

My at daybreak, Christmas walk through my lifelong hometown now finds me outward bound from the town square… feeling just as blue as the dismal, grayish blue overcast above… just as dispirited as when I had exited my boyhood neighborhood scant moments ago.

Hmm… where next? Seeing how the house my parents had rented… my very first home… was a mere thirty seconds down the main drag, I figured why not?

Of course, there’d be some unavoidable issues. Firstly, my having resided there for only two months, as a newborn, meant any recollections, at best, would be as hazy as this a.m.’s chilly, misty fog. Lastly, only family photo album pics can attest to the existence of this neighborhood… i.e., since that era’s city fathers wound up rezoning the bulk of that city block… thereby clearing the way for a wrecking ball crew to raze a row of homes, houses of historical significance, just to make way for a factory. An ugly factory so close to the town square? YIKES! What were they thinking? Were they thinking?

With really nothing to see, here, I move onward, my “last man on Earth” delusion getting debunked, momentarily, by the sound of two yackety-yakking guys tanking up their SUVs at the Speedway convenience store / gas station.

My next stop finds me admiring the very first house my newlywed folks had rented. Both being public school teachers, they could not have chosen a better locale. They enjoyed a walking distance “commute” to/from the town’s (then) high school.

For a fleeting moment I consider a mid-course correction to reconnect to my old Elementary School… to revive / relive my kindergarten days … but… due to yet another wrecking ball crew… well… why even bother actually visiting a place that only virtually exists?

And so, onward I hike, along the very path my folks had traveled to get to work… simultaneously passing by the school I attended from grades 5 thru 8… where my 7th grade English class had convened in the very same classroom that an old yearbook photo shows my own mother teaching in… five years before I was born.

Alas… long sigh… while this school still stands, it is no longer what it used to be. Nearly a decade ago, the school board opted to auction it off to the highest bidder (the bulding is now repurposed as a Big Biz’s HQ).

And so… here I am, yet again, stuck within this new town reality clashes with old town memories… where these inescapable truths rule…

Lyricist Kim Gannon’s reminder: “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams.”

Author Thomas Wolfe’s adage: “You can’t go home again.”


“Stay Tuned” for Part 4…






An Open Letter To My Dear Deer Friends


Dear Jane and John Doe,

For starters, I am so sorry for needing to assign you made-up names. But… that’s because seven daybreaks ago there had been little time for formal introductions. And even had time permitted, there still is that language barrier between our species. After all, the two of you are majestic deer and I am merely human.

Why am I writing to you? Well, this open letter is to offer up my heartfelt apology for having frightened you off one week ago. Up till that moment, we had been able to coexist. But, in my defense, I did that in your own best interests. How so… you ask?

You see, the instant I threw open my patio window’s curtains that morning, I had to do a double-take. In spite of my having lived six plus decades in my lifelong hometown, I had never, before, seen a buck and doe paying me such an up close and personal visit… so calmly walking about my little corner of our neighborhood. Up till that moment, I had only seen you and your friends from afar… frolicking in that once-upon-a-time woodsy area right across that hazardous highway, which separates our home turfs.

And I do know you had a perfectly good reason for stopping by… namely… for too many decades, our formerly bucolic locale has been mutating into something more citified… changing too rapidly… and not for the better.

Perfect example… just this past spring, a tasteless, greed driven, environmental terrorist / land developer came to town. Obviously, he has never met a pristine natural habitat he didn’t want to sully… i.e., urbanize / pave over with wildly unaffordable, “luxury” condominiums, which are are butt ugly.

True, I don’t know for sure that we’re talking about an actual “he” here, but, that is a reasonable conclusion considering how I don’t believe womankind would be capable of / culpable for committing such a violation of Mother Nature.

As if evicting the deer population weren’t bad enough already, what makes his construction / destruction project even worse is it’s poorly chosen locale. Jane, John, I’m sure you’ve noticed how the two intersecting roads abutting this corner lot are elevated ten feet higher than the land itself.

Such a steep drop-off not only makes for an esthetically unpleasing view for both passersby looking in and eventual dwellers looking out their windows, but also makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Anyone with half a brain could’ve foreseen how, with the rooftops being at the same level as the roads… an out of control vehicle… oh… say… one spinning out on an icy patch of asphalt… could easily come crashing down… right through the roof… to maim and/or kill unsuspecting condo occupant(s).

And unbeknownst to most folks… who weren’t around back on 06/25/1968… is how a sudden, summertime cloudburst had left waste deep floodwater almost nowhere to go. Indeed, this particular parcel of woodsy land, likely from time immemorial, has proven itself instrumental in the drainage of such stormwater. This land, indeed, was what had limited 1968’s storm damage to my home’s basement.

So, I suppose I should feel a bit grateful that the condo builder, in question, hadn’t opted to truck in megatons of soil to raise the level of his land. Of course, keeping one’s own home dry probably won’t be a shared experience for those folks who eventually take up residence across the road from me.

Of course, who knows what the overall impact this newly paved over land might have on this drainage issue? And these concerns do exist even prior to our factoring in how rainstorms have been rapidly growing freakier… oft taking on biblical proportions. How global warming issues… the melting of our planet’s icecaps is causing rising water levels of our oceans and lakes… inclusive of Michigan’s Great Lakes.

This multitude of worries does raise many questions. Each and every time I take a gander at that local, ill-conceived condo project, I shake my head and ask myself…

How could our City Fathers have ever been so shortsighted to have green lighted the construction of these condos and destruction of an ecosystem?

True, I have absolutely no proof to back my suspicion, but…

Would it really surprise anyone if the mayor and councilpersons have recently come into some windfalls… now enjoy substantially larger, personal bank account balances?

But enough about me, Jane and John. I’ve only mentioned these issues to demonstrate to you, my dear deer friends, how humankind is harming itself, too… not to imply that one wrong would ever justify another.

Returning, now, to the morning I had chased you two away… I had fully realized that you’d been displaced by this ill-conceived condo project. In fact, while still remaining undetected while observing you, I could already hear the telltale racket of foremen barking out high decibel, yelled orders… backhoe and crane operators revving up their diesel engines… of carpenters carving up wood with their power saws and banging away at it with their hammers.

I had just about turned away to make my breakfast… just about left you two alone in your makeshift wilderness… when it suddenly dawned on me how this is deer mating season… how bucks like you, John, would be challenging every competing male who’d ever dare to woo over your mate. My immediate concern was that you might come charging in towards my house to attack, what, in reality, would’ve been your own image reflected in my patio window.

While I’d normally consider myself a welcoming person to creatures great and small… I had to prioritize your wellbeing… keep in mind how, were you to crash through all that glass, you could’ve easily become severely lacerated… might’ve even died from the severe injuries you’d sustain.

Not really knowing how the two of you would react I opted to risk it by cautiously sliding open my patio door. Well, you both did the rest… reacted to my just standing in the open doorway by taking that running leap over my next-door neighbor’s four foot high chainlink fence… btw… you two “totally rocked” with your gracefulness and athletic prowess.

Crisis averted? Nope, that’s likely only been postponed… that is… unless you, John, realize that, sometimes, it’ll be your own image getting reflected back to you in the windows of the homes you’re passing by… unless you can spread the word about this to the other bucks within your herd.

I’d also like to warn you, Jane and John, that not all humans will be as kind and considerate as I am. Indeed, in another Michigan community, Ann Arbor, many self-centered dwellers feel pissed off whenever deer visit their neighborhoods… have actually whined about this to their City Fathers. And these local politicians have been opting into a deadly solution… green lighting actual, within the city limits deer culls… i.e., the hiring of sharpshooters / hitmen to take you out.

Such small-minded humans deem deer as invaders of our territory… never once, even for one split second, realizing that it’s we humans, who are the invaders of deer territory.

It doesn’t need to ever be that way if humankind would stop chopping down, paving over and overdeveloping (y)our forests and wetlands. Regrettably, that MO is ubiquitous… proven out by my own hometown’s crazy condo project… one that has negatively impacted both the deer and human communities.

Jane and John Doe, I do hope we now better understand each other and that you, my dear deer friends, will accept my heartfelt apology for frightening you last week. Stay safe and stay alive!

Respectfully Yours,


My Sanctuary City’s 5-Star Bistro / Birthing Centre


For the past several weeks, quite by surprise, I’ve found myself wearing a diverse array of occupational hats… e.g., proprietor/head chef of a five star bistro (which I hadn’t even known I owned)… silent partner of a suddenly “christened”, necessity is the mother of invention, birthing center… and mayor of a sanctuary city, as it were.

Now, lest I needlessly raise the hackles of overly zealous U.S. federal ICE agents and my own home state’s inspectors of eateries and medical facilities … it is with both sudden alarm and alacrity that I must point out that the hungry patrons (inclusive of a new mom) are none other than a family of rabbits. 1

Undoubtedly, these refugees had been displaced by urban sprawl… the dirty deeds of avarice driven, excessively capitalistic fools… i.e., those who have yet to “meet” a natural, pristine parcel of land that they would not hesitate to violate.

Yes, I do get it… with the level of our global human population on the rise, there is a real need to construct new housing. Even so, would not renovating rather than razing existing homes and apartments slow that sprawl and, in the same breath, be far friendlier to the environment? Would that not show proper consideration for the rabbits and other creatures, which humans are supposed to live in harmony with?

After all, every living organism has a purpose… provides a natural balance within our Creator’s (or if you’d prefer, Ma Nature’s) grand scheme. One would think that in the interest of interspecies amity, humans, allegedly the smartest creatures of all, could find it within their heads and hearts to favor the carrot over the stick?

One wonders if humankind will realize this stark reality soon enough to avert an environmental cataclysm? Time will tell… but… alas… time is also running out… rapidly.

Well, this kindly “mayor” has opted for the carrot… as it were… to welcome my newfound rabbit pals and what a pleasant experience co-existence has been for all. Each new day we’ve been sharing our sit down breakfasts and suppers together… I at my dining room table, indoors, while they’re nibbling away at whatever they choose, al fresco.

As for their specific dietary requirements, most of the lush, verdant, naturally, abundantly growing vegetation within my backyard provides them an “all you can eat” vast smorgasbord of culinary delights.

As for their delivery room / maternity ward needs, mother, instinctively, knows best.

So you can clearly see, my new furry friends are no trouble… not in the least.

Of course, I don’t take my newfound “mayoral” duties lightly. I have felt one overriding concern… namely, unless it’s found within the vegetation, itself, what and where is their water source? Albeit briefly, just as many a restaurateur would do, I did think about setting their “table” with a few shallow containers of water but… factoring in my legitimate worries about standing, summertime H2O being a breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitos (perhaps even inclusive of the Zika virus), “quick as a bunny”, I wisely nixed that notion.

Of course I had actually had nothing to worry about. If needed, located less than a kilometer down the road, there is a creek, which could amply quench their thirsts. For them, the travel time would be no prob, either. On the rare occasions where I’ve unintentionally spooked them, watching them race away in a blur, indeed, establishes how well deserved their “quick as a bunny” reputation truly is.

But even so, that short distance does seem a long way to go. Why would they prefer moving into my yard rather than dwelling closer to that stream? And why my yard vs. the yards of my next-door neighbors?

I think it’s fair to conclude that rabbits find better tasting vegetation growing within my “sanctuary city”. How could they not? Unlike far too many urbanites ISO the picture perfect lawn, I believe stinky lawn chemicals are a bane… not a boon… are likely carcinogens, too.

The perceptive nature of rabbits amply proves they are not dumb bunnies.

NOPE, such nomenclature would be far more appropriate in describing the money-grubbing, land grabbing developers, who so thoughtlessly (oft needlessly) invade and pave over natural habitats. And the same goes for the lawn chemical industry, which (soon afterwards) steps in to con ill-informed new (and current) homeowners into poisoning our entire planet.


1 Please keep in mind that my intent is not to trivialize the suffering of human war refugees and émigrés. Indeed, I believe this blog will demonstrate how man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds.