Saturday, December 31, 2016



BSC, CA - Here is what Jewish experts tell us about the New Year.

And our 'What If' question is...

Saturday, December 24, 2016



BSC, CA – [Ed. Note. This commentary was filed Wednesday when the rain started, not today when posted]. The current controversy comes to us from the Establishment, the people who brought you 'being politically correct' as a way to join the country's peoples and viewpoints. Today as I look at my smart phone which says 0% precipitation though the ground outside is wet with a slight sprinkle, I can only think that the FedEx pouch with the weather forecast from Raytheon, the defense contractor that owns the Weather Channel, didn't arrive in time for the smart phone robots to enter the corrected forecast.

I propose the holiday way to disconnect the PC plug is to watch the movie in the city where Freddie Gray had his back snapped by two bicycle cops with a move learned from our war on terror, Baltimore, or to the locals, B-more. The movie I speak of is Hairspray [the original] with Ricki Lake and Devine, Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Ruth Brown, and Ben Stiller's dad, Jerry, by John Waters. The movie's first 30 seconds bring reality back because the movie is set in the day when I danced on a TV dance party show.

And now, approximately an hour after I started this report, the last before Christmas, the new forecast is up, 87% precip and the rain is coming down. Well, they're getting better. As we enter one of the most stalwart fantasies of the year, it seems a good time gaze at what's real and what's labeled fake, in the news department and what that means to us and for us. I know, a lot of 'ands' but no 'ifs' or 'maybes'.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016



BSC, CA – I may kid about being this valley's male Lois Lane, but I am not joking. Take, for instance, the latest story about a soul food cafe opening up in Murrieta. In a place with no grid system where every street either turns a bend or goes over a hill in either direction you look, and a journalist who finds it easier to obtain a Shungite stone in Orange Country than go across town having moved beyond personal transportation, well you get my point.

So, how does a wizard who lives up on a hill find out about a family with ties to LA, Arkansas, and Louisiana, with a cousin who dresses better than Don King? And is a Panthers Fan? It's as they say in Hollywood, it's who you know. This time I knew the family who chiefed Sonny Boy's restaurant location before he did. It had been an Afghan ethnic food cafe. Though I never visited the business, I helped the fam move into the valley through their cousin and my friend, AJ, the guy who brought Fingerlights into the valley before Dip 'n' Dots [now the Triple Beverage tea-juice-ice spot next to Shakey's, Palm Plaza].

As we rode around the valley one day AJ says, “The people who bought the [old location] were offered the contact for the gyros because that item was a main seller and had a market, but they turned it down.”

“What kind of restaurant are they putting in?”

“Soul food.” As the opening bars to the Sam and Dave Stax Records hit popped into my head, I chimed back, “Nobody goes to a soul food place for gyros. They go for the soul food.”

Sunday, December 18, 2016



BSC, CA – This time of year always carries special meaning for me. Before it was my mother's birth month, and now it is my youngest son's birth month also. A few days ago, J.R. entered boot camp at about the same time as I was working on Gem Bones. Perhaps it was a combination of the three things that brought to mind one of the two most 'magic' episodes in my life, times when it seems reality was suspended. The first was a Christmas time when I was seven or eight.

This particular Christmas was very good that year, probably 1952 or '53, and everyone was happy, I remember. The country was doing well, the grown-ups were doing their grown-up things, and the world was moving along in it's segregated way, except as a kid, in my bubble, the word segregation didn't have a meaning. It was part of the grown-up drama and I was a kid. In those days, a kind stranger would bring you home and Louisville, KY was that way toward kids, any race. 

Although my family had some community renown, we were always bottom rung middle class. Being only one [kid] in the fam, I didn't have to share budget finances with a sibling. I could get a big toy at Christmas and assorted kid toys [trucks and cars] but never the rich kid toys like those giant hook-n-ladder die cast firetrucks that shot real water. {To Nikki Giovanni, I got a Schwinn Corvette}I was always happy for what I did get and was taught to be so. As I said, this particular Christmas stood out because my mother had gotten a bonus, all the school teachers had. My mother and I went off Christmas shopping in a happy, happy mood.