Friday, June 22, 2018

'YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW OR - LIFE IS A BITCH AND THEN YOU DIE' By Ann Kmit


                                                   
It was a fine night to die. The full moon showered light on the ocean waves, causing them to shimmer and dance.


Dominick sat quietly on the deck of a beautiful yacht. He heard the waves gently rocking the boat, but he did not take pleasure from this. For his arms were painfully bound behind him and he was tightly secured by coarse ropes; he no longer looked like a boss of the mob. At 60 years of age, he had become careless, made too many enemies, and now it was his time to pay. He had lost the power he once wielded so fiercely.

Overweight, sweating and unkept, his smartly dressed days were behind him. With his head hung low he awaited his fate. Someone had tied a towel around his head, shielding his eyes from the painfully beautiful view of the waters off Long Island Sound. Alone, he waited.

Then he heard footsteps behind him. “Who is it?” he asked.
“Can’t tell ya, Boss. I’ve got some work to do. Just relax, this won’t take long.”

He thought he recognized the voice; it was someone he hired ten years ago to keep one of his mansions in order. “Henry, is that you?”

“Dang, ya recognized me, Boss. It don’t make no difference though, not now.”

“What’s that noise, what are you doing?” Dominick asked.

“I’m mixin’ up a bucket of fast setting cement, you know, for you to soak your feet. When it hardens, you are goin’ to swim a little bit – and then it will be all over, almost painless, not like your ‘hits’. Boss, you are legendary for the slow agonies you dreamed up. 

Remember fat Tony from Brooklyn? They say it took him two days to die in the winter cold, tied to a tree out there in the woods naked as a jay bird. That was mean, if you ask me.”

Dominick whispered, “Look Henry, I still have connections and I could make you a rich man , , , if you would let me go. You could say I . . . “

“Save your breath Boss. You’ll need it for your swim! Now do you want to wear your shoes, or takwithe them off? Dang, they must have cost $700.00 – they from Italy?
Dominick remained quiet.

“I’ll take them. They’re made real nice and this leather is soft as a baby’s behind. You gotta admit, it would be a shame to soak them in cement. Okay, it’s ready. Now we’ll just put your feet in the bucket – there! Comfy Boss? I’ll be back in an hour for the final curtain. Hey, I made a joke – it will be ‘curtains’ for you too! Now I gotta watch my favorite show, ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Don’t go anywhere.” He left, chuckling to himself.

Dominick felt the mushy cement cover his feet halfway up to his knees. He moved his toes around – maybe he could manage to slip out of this . . . but he couldn’t. Hell, he couldn’t swim now even without the cement. His mind wandered back to his childhood when he swam freely in the East River as a kid. That was yesterday. Damn, those were carefree times. Then he remembered his Ma telling him he had the good looks and the wits to make her proud and be – somebody special. Well Ma, I did well in the mob. When I talked, people listened because they were afraid of me! But he had chosen a dangerous path which ultimately led to today, to this. He felt the cement harden and waited.

Henry returned and as he pushed Dominick over the edge he said, “Yeah Boss, life’s a bitch.”

And as Dominick sank down, down into the darkness, he thought, “And then you die; there is no tomorrow.”
                                           ***
© Ann Kmit - Waverly Writers Workshop - North Oaks, MN.

Our author Ann is writing on next month's topic: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Scan down to read several new postings. Your comments and recommendations are appreciated by our writers workshops members.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

"A LOVING HERITAGE" By Rhoda Locklear 'HAPPY FATHER'S DAY'








Remembering my father. The things you taught me and did for me are endless. 

Be helpful to those in difficulty. You study long you study wrong. How to swim. How to row a boat. 

How to shoot a bow. How to shoot a rifle. How to pick ticks off a dog. 

How to tell different types of wood. How to play croquet. How to read a map. How to play badminton. How to cast with a fly rod.



 How to ride a sled. How to gather hickory nuts and black walnuts.

 How to pick out the kernels. How to bid at an auction. How to refinish furniture. how to play Rook. 

How to treat a spouse. And the things this fully employed man found time to do. 

He planned the lake in back of our house. He installed the plumbing and electricity in our house. 

He made me an in ground swimming pool. He built a patio in our home. He repaired antique clocks. 

He planted and cared for our garden. He built a full size badminton court. 

He decorated the outside of our house at Christmas. He sang bass in the choir. He was a church deacon. 

Our resources were limited but he knew how to make the most of everything we had. 

I did not expect this post to be so long but I have not even scratched the surface. 

While caring for my mother during her terminal illness he 

exhausted resources and sold his prized coin collection and most of his stamps. 

One year after his death my sister called to say, "We're 

rich...Daddy had a $100. bond to support the new Butler Co. 

Park and the bond has matured. $50 for you and $50 for me. 

We already had everything of value....a loving 

heritage.
                                                    ***

 © Rhoda Locklear - Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop - Las Vegas, NV.



"THE TRUTH IS" By Joyce Ross





Have you ever thought how we are human magnets? How we attract or draw to ourselves those things and people who respond to or are like our thoughts and our ideals? The Scientific explanation is, all matter and energy vibrate as particles or rays. You attract to you whatever is similar in vibration. Your thoughts are energy and will attract the same energy to you. You become in life what you think about, talk about, attend to and feel deeply about.

As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. As a woman thinketh in her heart so is she.

For centuries the world thought leaders have taught that desire is the inner motivation that keeps us moving forward in pursuit of our goals. This concept was presented in an audio program in 1950 by Earl Nightingale, called “The Strangest Secret”. The secret being, ‘You become what you think about’. That we are moved by our dominant thoughts, the thoughts we dwell on and think about most of the time.
 
Belief and desire release our abilities. 
 
What you believe is the key OR barrier to what you desire. Belief as a positive force is the fulfillment of what is hoped for and unseen. As a negative force it is a premonition of your fears. Your belief determines your self-fulfilling prophecy, positive or negative. You are in charge of your control panel. Will you select negative and halting or positive and full steam ahead to what you desire?

What you expect to happen makes it happen. Your mind can not distinguish between what is real or what is imagined. Many health issues have been proven to be psychosomatic. The placebo effect, placebo meaning I shall please, has been proven, in many cases, to be as effective and longer lasting than actual medication. So…. what you imagine, expect and believe will happen, becomes the reality.

I have found that good fortune is aided and supported by positive and grateful beliefs. I have always said. “I’m so lucky!” If something bad happens, my response is, “So lucky it wasn’t worse.” Perhaps this belief stemmed from the snapshot I remember of my mother looking straight down at me, she was 5’2” so I had to be very little, and saying, “Joyce, you could fall into a mud puddle and come out clean!” 

I know my faith, my belief, has been paramount in my success, health and happiness. My parents did not allow for sick time. I have adopted the same attitude, and it is amazing how well it works. However, allowing in negative thoughts and beliefs can quickly squelch the good fortune. Do not allow self-doubt, fears, any negative energy into your thoughts.  

Negative thoughts deprive the body of endorphins, which leads to depression and more negative thoughts. Positive thoughts and beliefs, as well as physical exercise, create endorphins and a natural high. An endorphin natural high helps with nearly all discomforts; pain, stress, anxiety, depression on and on. Why not be an endorphin junkie? You can be because you are in charge of your control panel! 

Many of us fail to reach our full potentials because we assume we can’t so we don’t even try. If we have not tested our strength, the strength of our abilities, how do we know what we are REALLY capable of doing? Go after your dreams, believe you can achieve them… and you will amaze yourself.

To tell the truth, the truth is, our lives are the result of our thoughts and choices.
                                                         ***

© Joyce Ross - Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop - Las Vegas, NV. 



This month's topic: "To Tell the Truth"
Scan down to read several new postings and visit our Comedy Writers Workshop with over forty original comedy stories and poems.   suncityww.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 17, 2018

"HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" By Geri Bedrosian


     


         The linoleum lipped over the edge of the top wooden cellar step.  These were the steps of the house my father built with his own strong hands.  For six days a week, every night at half past 6 in heavy black automotive-oil coated shoes, he trudged from his parked Pontiac through the breezeway onto the kitchen linoleum floor past the wooden table and sat at that top step.  His blue uniform sunk at his shoulders tiredly as his elbows pressed on his knees and his hands covered his face in his Boraxo washed hands.  I watched him.  Very quiet...…I wonder if he knew; he sat there longer and longer as I grew a little older, a little older.  The odor of car grease and oil permeated all of him.  Where ever he went, even under the spicy niceness of Old Spice from his neck to the top of his rounded hairless head, that smell never left him.  He manicured his own finger nails with a pen knife carving out the layers of his trade, never quite clearing the quick of a thin black tar line.  I loved him.  I loved the tired lines of him bent over on that top step.  I would sit beside him and put the littlest of arms up over his right shoulder and lean my head against that smelly blue work shirt.  The smell quivered the edges of my nostrils and turned them up a bit but my love for his quiet strength and silent, tired sadness never stopped me from reaching out tenderly to touch him.
           
        His rest came on Sundays.  We would get up and have toast and coffee, me – coffee milk.  We bathed, dressed and he would drive us in his Pontiac to St. Matthew’s ten o’clock mass.  I played piano for that service and sang my little nine year old voice to the hymns I played for the congregation.  The line of his shoulders set straight and crisp under the white shirt and plain tie and he stood refreshed, not so tired at the sight of me being more than he could ever be…that’s what he gave to me, that’s what I gave back to him….stature.  Somehow the Neapolitan song in his genes gave me a gift of music and the ability to give it away.  Something went right in his life every Sunday from ten o’clock until eleven o’clock. “Look at my kid.”
            
        Then the blessing and release:  oremus (let us pray);  pleni sunt coeli et terra (heaven and earth are filled); panem celeste non sum dingus (bread of heaven I am not worthy);  eigitur, vere dignum et justum est, et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere (therefore, it is fitting indeed and just, right and helpful to salvation for us always and everywhere to give thanks);  benedicat vos omnipotens deus, Pater, filius et spiritus sanctus (may almighty God bless you, the father and the son and the holy spirit); Dominus vobiscum.  Et cum spiritu tuo; ite, missa est. Deo gratias. (The lord be with you.  And with your spirit.  Go, you are dismissed.  Thanks be to God).  Homeward now to a home my Mom filled from the cement cellar past the topped linoleum cellar stair to the roof gables with her aroma of love, her wonderful Sunday feast.  Happy?  Mostly…he is always with me.  Father? He is always with me. Day?  Day in and day out.
                                                   ***

© Geri Bedrosian - Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop - Las Vegas, NV.

"HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" 

Friday, June 15, 2018

"RHYTHM OF A BOXER" (Father's Day Submission) By Rena Winters



 Wednesday, April 9, 1930 - An extraordinary day.

This is the heart of the depression. People do not have money to spend. The bread lines are long and run for blocks as people wait for a mere ration of food. Yet for some, the world is on a high note. My father, Frank Tucker, had just recently won five west coast titles, The PAA title and the Pacific Coast Boxing Championship for two years in a row in both the Light Heavy Weight and Heavy Weight divisions.

He was on an extreme high as he came to Boston sponsored by the San Francisco Olympic Club to compete in the National AAU Championship. This was his first trip east. The Boston “Madison Square Garden” was an impressive building that seated 18,000 people.  Boxing was one of the few escapes that allowed people to cheer and jeer at the participants thus releasing their fears of the outside world.  The average man felt he was being plummeted by the government and the corporations, the politicians and everyone in general.

The smoke rose to the upper levels since smoking was allowed in the auditorium. Through the gray haze one after another of the boxers climbed into the ring either to be declared a winner or a loser.
     
     Most of the boxers paced nervously before their competition. My Dad would sit on a chair or lay on a table and go to sleep.  This was a habit he acquired during the previous years of club fighting, bootleg boxing, and later amateur bouts in and around Oakland and San Francisco.  Some fights lasted 20 rounds and some nights he was fighting twice or more in a night. This was a big night. He slept intermittently, anxious to fight and finally he was called.  Walking from the dressing room to the ring, the roar of the crowd seemed deafening as people cheered. They especially liked light heavy weights and heavy weights.
     
     His opponent, Arthur Huttick of New York, looked menacing. Frank Tucker was called “that good looking boxer from San Francisco” fighting for the Olympic Club. He had previously also been referred to as the “Oakland Adonis” when he was club fighting for the Athens Club, Oakland.  At a husky 175 pounds, Tucker left handed his way to a three round verdict early in the evening. Later, after a rest period, he entered the ring again to score a technical knockout over Frank Mills of Worcester, Mass. The “San Franciscan” carried too many guns for the boy and the referee stopped the bout in the 2nd round.  Frank Tucker became the National AAU Champion that Wednesday, April 9th night in 1930. Not bad for a boy born in nowhere Idaho in 1908.
     
     Earlier, in 1928, he had been pushed to train for the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam which featured boxing. Since he was born at home his birth certificate had been filed in the County building. The County building had at one point burned and his birth record was lost. It would be necessary to get affidavits from living people to verify his birth for them to grant a passport out of the country. All of this took time and he could not make the qualifying deadline date for the Olympic Team scheduled for Amsterdam.     
      
     After winning the National AAU Light Heavy Weight title in 1930, he turned pro. He signed with Johnny Frayne as his manager. In his boxing career he had over 200 amateur fights and 19 professional fights.  Some of the fights were with Art Mayer, Cooley in LA, Walter at Dreamland, Joe Baxie, Gene O’Grady, Antoni Paloni, Frank Mills, Martin Levindowski twice in Soldier’s Field Chicago and Grand Rapids, Maxie twice at Soldier’s Field Chicago and Ball Park San Diego, Fast Black, Fred Feary, William Laniz, Tommy Lewis, Red Williams, Homer Brandis, Harry Glaniz, and William Tiller Zysunarow.

Upon retirement, he was approached by a Hollywood producer to star in a motion picture. He had married and was starting a new career in the automobile business and wasn’t interested. He suggested they contact his friend, boxer Max Baer, who did go to Hollywood and made several movies.  He and Max had trained together in earlier years and had remained friends.

His automobile career flourished and he became General Manager for several dealerships along Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. Years later, when he would walk down the street people would call out “Champ.”  He was lucky to have fought during the golden years of American boxing 1920-1940.
Rena with her dad. 
                     ***

© Rena Winters - Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop Las Vegas,NV. 

 "Happy Father's Day"                          

"THE GIFT" ( A Father's Day Submission) By Ann Kmit


           
                                                             
“What kind of a gift is that?” I wailed at my father’

He remained stalwart and unmoving, as fathers are wont to do.  He said in a firm voice, “You have a choice for the summer. Either go to school in Winnipeg for further education in Ukrainian history, or work at a job to earn money for your tuition to the University of Minnesota. That is my gift to you. Which one will it be?”

“Well, I’m not going to Winnipeg! Why should I have to study in the summer! I’m 16 and I want to have some time off before I hit the books again!” I even tried to shed a few tears, trying to sway him.

“Fine”, he said evenly. “I have a job lined up for you in St. Paul. The pay is very good. You are to start on Monday.” He dismissed me with the wave of his hand.

“Wait! You have a job for me? I wailed again.

So, there I was early on Monday morning, catching the #18 streetcar and then transferring to the #6 on my way to the ‘twin’ city of St. Paul. As far as I was concerned, it could have been on another planet. It was in no-man’s land.

I found the street where my glorious ‘job’ was located. It was in a seedy part of town, that’s for sure. I looked at the numbers on the doors of the dingy shops, and realized my destination was at the end of an alleyway. As I made my way, I saw a street person relieving himself. Wait till I tell my father! I nearly turned around and went back home. But I persisted and went on, thankful to close the door on that scene.

What I found inside was not much better. I had entered a dingy and cluttered sort of a factory room. My two coworkers were already busy doing their work, and although I was on time, 7:00 on the dot, they didn’t seem to be impressed. This was an all Ukrainian work force of two middle-aged women and me. Our task was to manufacture and package hair straightening solutions for black ladies.

(I never even knew black people needed such a thing!) We worked very hard. I could hardly keep up with these more experienced worker bees, but I did my best. Finally, it was time for lunch. Goody. Now we could rest a spell and maybe get to know each other. I brought a squashed peanut butter sandwich and an orange for lunch. Both ladies had a LARD sandwich which they ate in silence. I tried to engage them in polite conversation, but to no avail. We resumed work at a furious pace until 3:30 when I took the streetcar back home.

How long do you think I lasted in this job?

By the end of the week, I was on my way to Winnipeg to study Ukrainian culture for the summer. It turned out to be a far more rewarding experience. I sang in the choir, ate wonderful Ukrainian food and met many new friends. Oh yes, I learned some history too.

My father didn’t have to say it but he knew better. He gave me a gift that lasted a lifetime.
                                          ***

© Ann Kmit - Waverly Writers Workshop - North Oaks, MN. 

"Happy Father's Day"

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"GRANDPA" By Rena Winters


          


Grandpa and girl friend number three.
She seems so young to me.

Grandpa sporting new clothes
and stepping out buying her a rose.

His kids are grown and on their own
Grandpa romancing her by phone

Spending money, having a fast fling.
Reliving youth with his beautiful young thing.

Perhaps it’s OK, too bad she’s not here to stay.
At the moment, he’s completely carried away.

Then the day comes when she’s gone.
And only the memories still linger on.

Back to playing golf, books, music and TV
His eyes are cloudy, but he can see

Reality of the years has finally taken place
Now he can relax and enjoy his private space.

The quiet solitude of life alone is not so bad
When one can think of pleasures one once had.

Actually there’s something quite inviting
about cheating the odds and surviving
***

© Rena Winters - Summerlin's Writers and Poets Workshop Las Vegas, NV.


"Happy Farther's Day"