Tag Archives: death

Re-remembering my good friend Terry

Greetings, readers. Over the last few days there has been a large spike in the numbers of reads of an entry I did after the death of a dear friend, Terry Stewart, posted on July 29, 2016. Both Rebecca and I agree that this may be because my good friend Terry loved the holidays. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up – and Terry was a huge Christmas fan – it makes sense that there would be people wanting to revisit Terry again this time of year. So, we have decided to re-post this wonderful and touching tribute to Terry Stewart. Every time my neighbor across the hall opens his door when I am in the hallway, somehow I still expect to see Terry. We were very good friends, and I miss him dearly.

This blog entry will be posted automatically at 2:00pm tomorrow, and when I get back from Thanksgiving dinner, I will post it to Facebook. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Please, if you are traveling, drive safely.

 

R.I.P to my good friend Terry

 

Greetings, readers. It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know of the passing of my neighbor across the hall. Terry Stuart was a kind and gentle soul, always with a smile. He loved to play the piano, he laughed at my jokes, and enjoyed old movies.

I knew Terry for several years. Quite often he would come over and ask for help about a computer problem and I would be more than glad to lend a hand and solve it if I could. The last issue he had was with his printer; the problem was it kept printing the same page over and over. I never could figure that one out. That is where it gets funny. You always think you have more time to help people. But as Rebecca would say, Terry’s contract ran out.

I know all of our existences are finite, but somehow we always think we have more time to get things done. We really don’t know. Only the Lord does.

I shall miss my good friend Terry very much. During coffee hours he would often play the piano in the community room. I thought about asking our office manager to tape up a photograph of Terry, which I would give her, on the piano and she agreed.

Terry played the piano, sang, and read his own poetry at my performances. He performed during one of my Beatles shows, as one of the three Bedbugs who backed me up, on December 14, 2012. He played the piano and read a poem at my KISS show on December 20, 2013. Rebecca wrote about the Beatles show and the KISS show in these entries. I have a couple of pictures from his performances that I can share at the bottom.

It is a good thing that I had therapy yesterday. Among other topics I talked about, I talked about Terry quite a bit. I don’t like death, it scares me. Even though I believe in heaven and the afterlife, I still don’t feel like dying just yet.

I guess I’ll never really know what happened to Terry, my good friend, but this building, Addison Court, will be a lonelier place without him. Terry, I bid you a wonderful eternal rest. You were a good friend and I wish I had taken you to Maine two years ago. You would have loved it and the people would have loved you. Rest in peace, my friend.

Until next week, have a good weekend, give your loved ones a hug and enjoy them, and happy reading.

Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

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From Rebecca: Joe’s kitty cat Keekee passed away today

Greetings, readers. Keekee passed away this afternoon at 2:10. Joe will probably post a blog entry about this soon with his feelings and thoughts. I wanted to put up an entry with the news and a few photos of her today. She had cancer, and Joe didn’t want her to be in pain or suffer. She was at the vet’s for two nights and then today they put her to sleep. Joe was with her.

I am feeling sad, of course. I’m used to seeing Keekee every week when I go to work with Joe in his office/apartment. She was usually quiet while we worked, though every once in a while she would want all the attention in the room on her. I haven’t thought about it lately because it has been a long time since she did it, but once in a while she used to just zoom from one end of the room to another and we never knew what set her off. All work would stop for a few minutes until she calmed down again. A lot of times she would curl up on his lap when he dictated the blog entry, and then jump up ready to eat when he asked if she was ready for dinner.

Those of you who are long-term readers of this blog know that Joe goes to Bear Spring Camps in Maine every August and that while he was away for that week and a half, I would take care of Keekee. I made sure her water bowl had enough water, that her dry food was full, that she got half a can of moist food, and kept her company for a few hours. I would post entries about how she was doing and how much she was shedding (she shed so much when Joe was away!) By the end of the first week he was gone, she would want to be pet a lot. It was actually the only time I would pet her so much and for so long in one sitting.

I promised photos and here they are. I will miss Keekee very much.

 

 

 

 

Penn State did not cover up fraternity crimes

Greetings, readers. As I dictate this entry today, I’m trying to hold on to my sanity. Last night was not a good night. My neuralgia head pain would not let me alone. I finally got to sleep around 1am. With knitting needles poking me in the head every half-minute, sleep, concentration, and work is difficult. But Rebecca and I press on.

I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to blog about the charges against the Pennsylvania State University students at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity concerning the death of one of their pledges, Timothy Piazza. I was shocked to hear that after the young man fell down steps the rest of the fraternity members, except one, did nothing. They wanted to sober up first before they called 911. As I understand it, one young man wanted to get help immediately but was overruled by his fraternity brothers. He is not being charged. Eighteen frat brothers are facing many charges related to his death, including reckless endangerment and involuntary manslaughter. I applaud Penn State and the authorities for throwing the book at these young men. They were old enough to know better.

The two things that really angered me were how long they waited to call authorities and the lack of urgency in the caller’s voice (the 911 call was released the other day). As I was listening to this 911 tape on an Inside Edition YouTube blurb, it was evident that the caller was desperately trying not to get into trouble but knew the situation was much more serious than he was letting on. He made no mention of the young man’s head injury. The only thing he did right was he said yes when the 911 operator asked him if alcohol was involved.

If I had my way, all fraternities and sororities would be shut down for five years. But, as Rebecca pointed out, most of them do a lot of good for charities, especially in regards to our annual dance marathon for children’s cancer research every February. The fraternity in question has been closed permanently. I applaud this move. My heart goes out to the parents of this young man who wanted to be a brother so badly that he agreed to be hazed, and lord knows what else, and consumed enough alcohol to not to be able to navigate steps. I hope underage drinking was not part of this but I believe it was. To all those young men in the fraternity who endangered someone who trusted you and then did nothing to help him, I have news for you. You’re lives are fucked. Enjoy it.

I know I am not usually this upset when I dictate a blog entry but I hate senseless deaths and this was certainly one of them. This was absolutely avoidable.

Next week we will have two more blog entries for you, on a much cheerier topic I’m sure. I bid all the moms a happy Mother’s Day and I bid my readers a good weekend, and as always, happy reading.

I love my life, but not today

Greetings, readers. It has been a very frustrating morning but the worst is over. A simple task which should have taken five minutes took nearly an hour. Here’s how it all went down.

I noticed this morning that I needed to call the pharmacy and order a few prescriptions. The first three weren’t a problem. My one seizure med was the one that hit the snag. They said I had already picked that one up last week. Where was it? I had lost it somewhere. We went through four months of empty pharmacy bags and receipts and it wasn’t here. Panic time. I opened my bag with the current med bottles to confirm I didn’t have it, and there it was. Phew. But then I couldn’t remember the name of the med I did need to order. I know I take four seizure meds and after all this time their names should be burned into my brain. One of them wasn’t. Poor Rebecca had to sit here while we went through empty bags looking for that one empty ‘script bottle. Oh, joy, oh, bliss. Yes, she calls herself my assistant, but I think today she went over and above the call of duty. Thanks go to Rebecca. I got the name of the med and was able to order it from the pharmacy. My usual system of putting newly purchased meds in the current meds bag and of making a mental note for which meds are low and need to be called in that day, has worked perfectly for me for a long time, but today it failed.

We did get the problem sorted out and this afternoon I can pick up my new ‘scripts. But dang blast it, it really makes me nuts when the simplest of tasks takes way longer than it should. I know, I know, this happens to everybody from time to time, it just seems like it happens to me more than it should.

After about 40 minutes of what I would call a waste, we were able to begin my blog entry for the day. I was going to blog on a completely different topic, a RIP for my friend and neighbor Rita. I may still do that topic next week, especially if I can get her daughter’s permission to use Rita’s full name.

My friend’s death has hit me harder than I ever expected. Because of a language barrier (she was Russian) we did not have long conversations, though she did speak some English. It was more or less the daily pleasantries that we could exchange while passing in the hallways or outside the building. I think the suddenness of her death is what is effecting me the most. She is here one minute and gone mere hours later. It has made me think of my own mortality, not that I think I will die tomorrow, but it does point out that one never knows. We can be gone in the blink of an eye.

Rebecca and I will be in the office next week as usual on Wednesday and Thursday with two more interesting blog entries. If I get permission from Rita’s daughter to go into more detail, I shall on Wednesday. If not, I’ll choose another topic.

Finally, the Penn State Nittany Lion football team gave a valiant effort in the Rose Bowl but came up just short against the University of Southern California. This was the highest scoring Rose Bowl in history and the most exciting one that I have ever seen. Kudos to both teams on a great season.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

R.I.P to my good friend Terry

Greetings, readers. It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know of the passing of my neighbor across the hall. Terry Stuart was a kind and gentle soul, always with a smile. He loved to play the piano, he laughed at my jokes, and enjoyed old movies.

I knew Terry for several years. Quite often he would come over and ask for help about a computer problem and I would be more than glad to lend a hand and solve it if I could. The last issue he had was with his printer; the problem was it kept printing the same page over and over. I never could figure that one out. That is where it gets funny. You always think you have more time to help people. But as Rebecca would say, Terry’s contract ran out.

I know all of our existences are finite, but somehow we always think we have more time to get things done. We really don’t know. Only the Lord does.

I shall miss my good friend Terry very much. During coffee hours he would often play the piano in the community room. I thought about asking our office manager to tape up a photograph of Terry, which I would give her, on the piano and she agreed.

Terry played the piano, sang, and read his own poetry at my performances. He performed during one of my Beatles shows, as one of the three Bedbugs who backed me up, on December 14, 2012. He played the piano and read a poem at my KISS show on December 20, 2013. Rebecca wrote about the Beatles show and the KISS show in these entries. I have a couple of pictures from his performances that I can share at the bottom.

It is a good thing that I had therapy yesterday. Among other topics I talked about, I talked about Terry quite a bit. I don’t like death, it scares me. Even though I believe in heaven and the afterlife, I still don’t feel like dying just yet.

I guess I’ll never really know what happened to Terry, my good friend, but this building, Addison Court, will be a lonelier place without him. Terry, I bid you a wonderful eternal rest. You were a good friend and I wish I had taken you to Maine two years ago. You would have loved it and the people would have loved you. Rest in peace, my friend.

Until next week, have a good weekend, give your loved ones a hug and enjoy them, and happy reading.

Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

R. I. P. to a neighbor in my building [edited]

Greetings, readers. Rebecca is still recouping from a cold, so I am here typing the blog entry today. With the name withheld for privacy reasons, I do need to get something that’s been bothering me off my chest. So, here goes.

A gentleman from our apartment building passed away a few days ago. It has hit me unusually hard. I would see him at Panera café sometimes in the morning, having his coffee while reading his newspaper. We would wave or say hello. Sometimes if there was something on his mind, he’d let me know about it. I guess his death has hit me hard because I’m getting a bit older now, and the thought of my demise creeps into my brain every now and again.

He was a WWII Vietnam veteran, and was well liked and respected in the building. I won’t go into the details of his passing, but I will say that he apparently passed away in his sleep; a peaceful way to go.

Well, I salute my friend who came to a few of my shows and enjoyed them. *SALUTE!*

Until next week, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Top ten list of terrible disasters

Greetings, readers. Here is my top ten list of what I consider to be the most terrible disaster that I have heard of. I was born in 1965 and I’m certain that in the 1800s or 1900s when plagues were around that could be considered a terrible disaster, too. However, I have decided to go with topics that I’ve learned about in school or that have happened so recently that I was able to watch it on TV.

#10. Flight 19: 1945, December 5. [Five Avenger bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a military bombing practice run, and soon found themselves smack in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. Hopelessly lost when they ran out of fuel, they fell to the sea and to this day have never been found.]

#9. Loma Prieta California earthquake: 1989, October 17. [At the beginning of the third game of the 1989 World Series, at 8:04 pm local time, this earthquake struck the San Francisco area. Fans were startled and the players’ families were very upset. As far as the World Series went, there was structural damage to Candlestick Park, so it was decided to postpone the series until the stadium was repaired. The Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants resumed the World Series ten days later, on October 27. A much bigger story was all the damage caused by the massive quake, including two bridge failures, where whole sections of the top layer fell on the bottom layer, trapping people in their cars.]

#8. The B.P. oil spill in the Gulf: 2010 April 20. [The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded. It leaked massive amounts of oil in to the Gulf of Mexico. It took several weeks to get on top of the problem. Although the event is now over, the lasting effects on the ecology will be felt for years to come.]

#7. Three Mile Island: 1979, March 28. [On that date, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas almost became uninhabitable. Reactor 2 had a coolant problem and released a small amount of radioactive material into the air. Folks in the area were evacuated promptly, but through the news later it was learned that this accident could have been a hell of a lot worse.]

#6. Hindenburg: 1937, May 6. [This terrible air disaster occurred as the giant airship was docking at Lakehurst, New Jersey. It had come from Europe and was scheduled to head back later that evening. Due to a static charge of some type, the Hindenburg caught fire near the tail and the hydrogen-filled Zeppelin was quickly engulfed in flames. Thirty-six people died, including one ground handler trying to moor the ship. Some passengers and crew miraculously survived.]

#5. Great Chicago Fire: 1871, October 8. [At least 300 people perished in this terrible fire, and 100,000 people were left homeless. It began in someone’s barn and quickly spread to neighboring houses. Before firefighters could arrive the situation was out of control, and burned a lot of homes and businesses before finally being put out days later with the help of rain.]

#4. Japan earthquake and tsunami: 2011, March 11. [The underwater 9.0 earthquake off the coast set off a massive tsunami, causing horrendous flooding that devastated Japan and actually reached parts of Hawaii. At least 19,000 people died in the disaster and the aftermath. The event impacted three nuclear power plants, including the Fukushima Daiichi (plant one) which lost power and had meltdowns. Radioactive material was released into the air and water, and people were evacuated in a 12 mile radius. Clean up of the plants and the recovery of the country took many months.]

#3. Hurricane Katrina: 2005, August 29. [After striking Florida first, the hurricane set course for the Louisiana/Mississippi border and hit it after regaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico. Much of New Orleans, which is near sea level anyway, was wiped out due to the massive flooding when the levees broke. Several thousand people were evacuated to the Super Dome for more days than they would have liked. Once there they became trapped. The administration at the time unfortunately had a slow response with their forthcoming aid, adding to the frustration of the victims.]

#2. The Titanic: 1912, April 14 and April 15. [The sinking of the ship has always fascinated me and I have studied it much. According to several documentaries and movies, many mistakes were made during that fateful evening. For example, the chairman of the White Star Line was trying to set a speed record. This would have been fine had the Titanic not entered a field of ice, which included the massive iceberg it hit. Another issue I have is that if the person in command would have simply turned the ship without putting it in full reverse first, the whole incident might not have occurred. There are other issues, but we don’t want this to become a book in itself.]

#1. Chernobyl: 1986, April 25 and April 26. [The world’s most devastating nuclear disaster occurred when a test went wrong. When the Chernobyl power plant had an explosion and meltdown, it released massive amounts of radioactive material into the environment. Many brave men went back into the building that evening to try to contain what they could, knowing they would be dead in hours. Experts say that the town of Pripyat and the surrounding zone will be uninhabitable by humans for close to a quarter of a million years. This to me is utterly frightening, for I live only a couple of hundred miles from Three Mile Island. I might have had to evacuate from my home as those people did.]

There’s the list. Please chime in with a comment if you agree, disagree, or have your own. Until next week, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Has my mother become the grim reaper?

Greetings, readers. Monday morning, right before I woke up, I was having an unusually vivid dream. It was one of the nicer dreams I have had in quite a while. I had a girlfriend, and as we were spending the day together, I remember us being happy in one another’s company, as well as some intimate time. Then it went horribly wrong. The next scene in the dream, if you will, was my late mother standing in our driveway at the old house, telling me that she was going to Pittsburgh (where she and I were born) and that I had to go with her because she was coming to take me home. I remember in the dream not liking the phrase – taking me home – because I have lived in State College, PA since the age of three. I consider this place my home and Pittsburgh where I was born. The creepiest part of the dream, however, was looking at my mother’s old Cadillac, which was black including the interior. My mom’s Cadillac in real life was white.

When I awoke from this dream, it took me quite a while to get my day started. Even though I was awake earlier than usual, I sat in my chair and tried to make sense of it all. Yes, I do tend to interpret my own dreams. The two points that stuck out at me the most was that of my dead mother coming to take me home in a black Cadillac, which reminded me of a hearse. The second point was the phrase about taking me home. She had no smile on her face, in fact hardly any expression at all. My first reaction was, is this a death premonition dream?

After several hours I pretty much shook it off and went about my day. But my mind kept coming back to that eerie dream. Was my mom trying to warn me about my new dream girlfriend? Or was my time on earth about to run out, and I was looking at the grim reaper taking the form of my mother? Welcome to the world of how my brain works. Have I wished for death before, being depressed? Yes. Do I really mean it? No. I hope to live to a ripe old age of a hundred and something. I really do love life.

So, what would bring my mother and a black car into a lovely erotic dream? My best answer? She’s trying to look out for me so that I don’t make a wrong choice. Well, Mom, I have news for you. I didn’t and I won’t. I’m not currently in a relationship, but I am sure with lessons learned, and with me being older, if a lady comes into my life and a romantic relationship presents itself, I will be happy to go down that road.

Lastly, on a different topic, Central PA is having another blustery day, and I hope that warm weather reappears soon and stays until October. If you have good weather, enjoy it. And as always, take care and happy reading.

Pride goeth before a fall

Greetings, readers. What a beautiful day it is in State College. I’m enjoying the sunshine and was out and about early, before a 10:30 meeting. It was with a social worker who is extremely caring and took plenty of time to answer all of my questions. It must be made plain right now, I am a proud man. But as I said in my play Kimberly, the time to be proud is over. I need help.

I’m dealing with quite a few things that have been snowballing over the last few years. The two biggest are my monetary status change and the recent loss of family members. Having lost my Godmother last month, I am now on my own in State College, except for good friends. My family is with the angels.

For years I tried to help myself, deluded into thinking things will turn out okay. I ignored most of my problems by watching Netflix or playing PS3 games. After talking with Jan, I’ve set some goals for the next few months and will be taking the appropriate steps to meet those goals. I’m not afraid to ask for help anymore. As a matter of fact, I might go overboard the other way for a while. I am certain though, as I get more confident, I will be able to do the things I need to do and ask for help when I need it. Being proud at this time, for me anyway, is silly.

Two major changes in my daily routine will affect my mental status right away. As of tomorrow, I shall be waking up early and having coffee at home. The other major change will be doing my writing from approximately 8 or 9 until almost noon. Rebecca’s husband has told me that even if you write crap every day, go ahead and write everyday. I am going to heed that advice.

Now that I am open to assistance and suggestions, please feel free to drop a reply if you have any helpful tips about depression or general well-being. This ends this rare Thursday blog entry. Take care and happy reading.

News about my Godmother Katherine Young

Greetings, readers. Monday afternoon my Godmother, Katherine Young, passed away in her sleep after a long illness. She was in her late 80s. I will miss her very much. She was a wonderful woman, who enjoyed giving and going to parties.

Rebecca, as well as many other of my friends have been wonderful helping me get through this trying time. This is going to be an unusual week for me. With other family members coming in over the next several days, I will have to be available at a moment’s notice to lend support. Rebecca and I will work tomorrow and Friday, but possibly for shorter sessions.

The working plan for this week is as follows: with my kitty cat’s birthday coming up, Rebecca and I intend to write a very short blog entry tomorrow to try out the post-at-a-later-date feature in this blog, which we have never done before. Hopefully it all works out so that we will have something for Friday. On Friday, I have an appointment in the afternoon which was unavoidable and had to be scheduled for work time hours. Rebecca will be here for that shift. Next week Wednesday we will get back to work as usual.

Take care and be well. Please pray for us if you would. And happy reading.