Saturday, February 20, 2010


February 20, 2010

"Oh, I can't!" What terrible words to say! Shame on you for even wasting your energy to speak them. To say "I'm afraid" is a human emotion,,,and it is okay to express them.-----But, "I cant".......uh! uh! uh!

My daughter-in-law Vicki sends me lots of e-mails with audio attachments. There is one in particular everyone should see.....and, if and when I learn how to send it to you, I wll be sure to do so. It depicts the life of a young man about 20 years old, blind and crippled since birth, who has become a musical genius.

I recently posted a tribute to my dear neighbor, Milton Madans, who passed away on January 19th. When he was alive, all the other residents knew him only as a nice man. He never knew what I thought of him; I waited to express myself after his death. Because Time is limited for me, I want to be able to honor as many of those who have enriched my life. Let this be the beginning:

It brings me to my granddaughter Seeley. She is not of my flesh, but she is dear to my heart. When my son Tom married Vicki, a three-year-old beautiful blonde child became part of our extended family....and, immediately, we all fell in love with her. I remember Seeley in a bathing suit, waiting with four or five others, at the Amarillo, Texas Airport. waiting for a flight from New York City on which a dear friend, Everett, was arriving for the wedding which was being held at the Officers Club. (Tom was in the Air Force.) Everett was a heavy six-foot tall and after hugs and introductions, he leaned down and picked-up Seeley. Smiling broadly at Seeley, he said: "What a pretty bathing suit. Will you lend it to me?" Seeley placed her hands on his chest, pushed back, stared straight into his eyes, and perplexedly said: "No. You're too big; I'm small."

Seeley is now almost 48 years old....still beautiful, very charming, very intelligent, and extremely self-sufficient. She is the proprietor of an Employment Agency (Oliver Staffing) in New York City and loved by many of her employees and affiliates. Seeley has appeared on Television, hosted by House & Gardens; she has dabbled in Real Estate; and she has just recently completed the construction of a most magnificent waterside residence in Santa Domingo.

Just as I was unable to fathom how my dear illiterate Mother could add a column of numerals accurately; I still cannot understand, after all these years, how Seeley accomplishes all that she does with great impairment in her vision.

So....don't come to me and say "I can't." You can be sympathy will be extended to you by me!

Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from Seeley who lives in New York City: "Grandma, Miguel and I are coming up to Carmel. And , Grandma, we're kidnapping you. We're going to take you to a restuarant in White Plains where they make meatballs just like you do." After dinner, we went sight seeing. I had never been in White Plains, but I travelled many times on the roads surrounding it. I always thought of White Plains as a suburb of New York, so I was really astounded to see the huge buildings and all it encompassed.

What a wonderful, wonderful day!

Back in my apartment, Seeley and Miguel promised to kidnap me once soon as the weather was better. It will then be 'the new sights of New York City'. I haven't been there in ten years. I'm looking forward to it...hopefully, and full of Grace.

I love you, Seeley.

Grandma Elvira.

Friday, February 19, 2010


To-day is Friday, February 19, 2010

After a talk given at the Center I visited yesterday, the following ditty came to mind as I was riding on the bus driven by Houston, the ParaTransit bus driver. Its the way I remember it but I'm not sure if I'm quoting it correctly:

You can fool some of the people, most of the time
Most of the people, some of the time
But you can't fool all the people all of the time.

...............because we have Guardian Angels. I don't mean this in a spiritual sense; its meant by me to signify only that there are people everywhere who care for their fellowmen. I know that recently many people in these United States are disillusuioned by those in the political arena, but I hope they realize that they have a choice at the polls, and that many times we do elect those that are truly dedicated to a just cause, and we need them to maintain honesty and tranquilty. I'm certainly not a political activist; I'm just a person who has lived a long time and just expressing my views. Therefore, let me continue. I sincerely believe that the services rendered to us by the office of the Attorney General is one of them. Presently, in New York State, we are honored by the man we elected, the Honorable Andrew Cuomo. (I bet he's a paesano. If so, I hope he reads my essay "The Joy of Growing-up Italian.) From my perspective, he and his staff are Guardian Angels. One of his representatives is a young man (yes, young as compared to my age) who has been extending his hand to those of us who are most vulnerable in times of catastrophies. His name is John Katzenstein. I first met him last December when he visited the Golden Age Center in Patterson, New York. We are a group of "seniors" who meet every Thursday (weather permitting), indulge in a cup-of-coffee and a bun, play bingo and cards, and chit-chat. Occasionally, we entertain a speaker (or should I say he entertains us) and John Katzenstein is one who re-visited us yesterday (February 18) specifically to warn us about charitable-giving scams perpetrated by unscrupulous members of our society on the elderly. He spoke in a very friendly manner, eloquently and informatively about the proliferation of scams, particularly caused by the recent Haitain earthquake. He alerted us to the differences between good and bad Charities and he distributed leaflets and booklets, describing in more detail many of them.

On arriving back home, and because I sat down and enjoyed reading all the leaflets I had gathered at the Center, I felt that it was incumbent upon me to share with all my friends in the World, the vast information I received directly from John Katzenstein. And, here it is: Go to your computer and.........................Oh! Oh! I'm in trouble. I don't know whether I should say "click" or "go to the website". I'm still a novice concerning computer language...and I thought stenography was difficult back in the 1920's. Anyway, just to be sure...I turned on my computer, brought up Google and typed in the words I found at the bootom of one of the leaflets: sure enough, it brought up the websites I wanted to steer you to.

Now I ask you to please be sure this information is given to all your friends, young and old, who have not had the privilege of listening to John Katzenstein, as I have. I hope he visits us again real soon.....and I hope its okay to give you his office phone number: 914--422-8755. I don't know if he is a Blogger or a follower of other bloggers; but, if he is, I hope he is not offended that I took this liberty.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Cover Girl

February 15, 2010

I am realizing more and more each day that people are not surprised that I blog; it's only when they hear how old I am that they appear to have been struck by lightening. Then they are even more surprised to learn that I am existing at my age without any prescription medication. However, I do take a few vitamins each day.

In fact, when I was nearing my 94th birthday, I read an article in the local newspaper written by Liz Smith, the Celebrity Columnist, who said "Susan Sarandom somewhere over the 50 is the new face of Revlon. Her still dewey skin gives hope to mere mortals. How does she do it? (Aside from those Revlon products?". Although I am no celebrity and absolutely, for certain, no beauty, I was quietly chagrined. I said to myself "Huh! What a fuss over such a young lady! I'll soon be 94 years old and there's not a wrinkle on my face. I'll write to Cover Girl.". (Aside: This is what 'old ladies' do when they have lots of free time on their hands...they write letters.) Sure enough, that's exactly what I did. I got out my IBM electric typewriter and wrote to Cover Girl. I repeated what Liz Smith noted in her column and also advised them that I had been using Cover Girl make-up for over 45 years....and, further, that whenever anyone asked me to what I owed my unwrinkled skin, I always replied "To Cover Girl make-up". I also asked Cover Girl "Now what do you think of that! Perhaps (ha! ha!) you would like to use me as the new face of Cover Girl."

And, just as I did back in 1968 when I originally wrote my essay 'The Joy of Growingup Italian', I placed a copy of the Cover Girl letter in a drawer and forgot about it.

I won't tell you all that transpired over this Cover Girl letter; it would take up too much space. It was just a little bit frightening on my part...and then really! really! hilarious. Cover Girl graciously responded several weeks later and I quote one of the most significant paragraphs: "At this time. we have a full roster of Cover Girl models. We will certainly keep you in mind in case an opportunity arises. However, we did want to show you what you would look like in a Cover Girl advertisement, so just for you, we developed the enclosed sample ad. We hope you like it. We've also enclosed a bag of Cover Girl products as a thank you for being a loyal customer...and as an early birthday present! Thanks again and take care! "

I wish I knew more about the Internet; I do not know how to scan photos. As soon as I am knowledgeable, I will post the picture-ad that Cover Girl made up 'just for me'.

So to my peers: Get up and put your best foot forward!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Past & Present Holiday Seasons

February 13, 2010

Not too many years ago, the Christmas Season started the day after Thanksgiving.. It seemed like everyone got busy, Busy mothers, however, found it a blessing to control fussy or anxious children by simply saying: " Santa knows if you are good or bad,,,,so, no ifs or buts,,,,you better study and do your homework....if you want that doll or bycycle. " The daddys hurried with their breakfasts, before they left for their workplaces just a little bit earlier to avoid the sardine-packed subways and trolley=cars. It really didn't make much difference, because everyone had the same idea. Stores were decorating and stacking shelves. Christmas trees were bought some times as early as three weeks in advance and stored in the backyards. Then someone would say "Wouldn't it be nice if it snowed." In this way, the trees would remain fresh until Christmas Eve. The air was filled with friendliness and anticipation.,,,Hi! Merry Christmas. Then Christmas Eve. "I wonder if they are asleep." "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." Then, dusting off the tree, setting it up, putting all the gifts under the tree. One last check: under beds, sofas, closets. attic and garage,,,just to make sure all are there. Finally, you just plop into bed, but not for are awakened by the clattering of hooves, not from reindeer, but by gleeful children. And then, sometime later, the gathering of family and friends around the dining room table. consuming all the food, some prepared several days earlier. Lots and lots of talk...reminiscing about other times, and soon some naps wherever someone could lay down his or her head. Later, more aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Merry Christmas! Those were wonderful and joyous times; it was the PAST...the Twentieth Century.

The PRESENT....the Twentyfirst Century. For me, last Christmas was spent at my daughter Angela's house and it will remain in my memory as very enjoyable....but, it was different. Angela hosted her family and extended family, and, as I have already mentioned, I was there too. And true to her wee-bit Italian Culture, the food she prepared and served was traditional. However, the desserts were store-bought....and, in spite of 'no struffoli', we had a wonderful time. Leaving to go back to my apartment and while sitting in the car, I happened to mention that no one seemed to decorate their houses anymore, and that the usual carols were not heard in stores or on TV. Suddenly, I was transported into Christmasland by taking a different route home. Christopher, my musical Grandson, drove me to a community which I did not know existed, and for almost an hour Angela and I were in Heaven. Each and every home was decorated more beautifully than the other. This gesture on the part of Christopher helped to alleviate the sadness I felt not seeing Floyd and Tom-and-family; they live so far away and were not able to join us for Christmas.

The PRESENT is somewhat different. I see things through 'The Clock of Ages' and. believe me, just as all previous centuries have been different, so will the Twentyfirst Century. In spite of all that has happened during the 20th century, I think it is one of the most innovative centuries of all Time. And yet, it has brought about the destruction of the family structure....and unless morality is revved-up once more, all the future scientific innovations will be for naught and possibly even destroy civilization.

One evening, I just decided to surf the Internet and came across a website that greatly disturbed me. I can't even remember the category. However, I do remember it was about the
former oldest blogger on earth, Olive, who passed away last year at the age of 108. These two young men were saying such derogatory remarks about her; it upset me tremendously. Then I decided for me to stop posting would be exactly what they would like to see me do. So here I am again!