For his funeral, Dad had long talked about having a New Orleans jazz band. We don’t have that. Instead, you’re stuck with me. I’m Christopher Mele. Eugene’s only son, or his “favorite son” as he would often tell me. On behalf of Eugene’s wife, Winnie, and my sisters Cathy and Lorraine, I want to thank … Continue reading A Eulogy for My Dad
A story about Jim Dwyer, The New York Times columnist and reporter, who died today: When Jim Dwyer’s book “Subway Lives” came out in 1991, I was five years into my journalism career but a longtime admirer of Jim’s work. As a kid who grew up in the Bronx in the 70s and 80s and rode the trains constantly, I had a … Continue reading Jim DWYER: A LUCKY GUY
I met Dick DePuy covering my first Village Board meeting on my first day working at The Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake, N.Y. It was November 1986, and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Sure, I had gotten a degree in journalism at a New York City college and was thrilled … Continue reading REMEMBERING DICK DEPUY — MORE THAN A PUBLIC OFFICIAL, A MENTOR
Your two favorite Bronx philosophers are back and dispensing their unique brand of self-help tips to get you through “The Rona”. Will there be cussing and potty humor? Of course! Now, buckle up and take a listen to the annual About Men Radio podcast — coronavirus edition.
Thirty-three years ago today, I walked into the newsroom of The Adirondack Daily Enterprise and started my full-time career in journalism. This year also marks the 125th anniversary of The Enterprise. Here is an essay I wrote for its special edition to toast its success: In 1986, when I was just out of college and … Continue reading Celebrating local journalism with two anniversaries
In case you haven’t heard, Woodstock — the mega concert that was held in a farm field in the Catskills that defined a generation in 1969 — turns 50 this week. I wasn’t at the original concert. I was a wee lad of not-quite 5 in 1969 but I was part of an army of … Continue reading WOODSTOCK 50 YEARS LATER
… and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Chris and Pedro are back with a new season of your favorite podcast (um…hosted by two knuckleheaded, middle-aged Bronx-guys, of course). On this episode we salute all the hardworking — and the lazy-ass — Dads out there. Our holiday doesn’t get the same hype as “Mother’s Day” but … Continue reading Father’s Day: The Afterthought Hallmark Holiday
Some people go to exotic locales, cruises or romantic getaways on their vacations. Me? Because I know how to show my wife a good time, I whisked her away to a remote resort in Godkowo, Poland, a village with a population of 260, about an hour east of Gdansk. The community does not have a … Continue reading Finding Connections Through Language
For more than 20 years, Mike Levine was a columnist at the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. His name was as well known in the region as Jimmy Breslin’s was in New York City. To readers, he was “Mike Levine.” To his colleagues, he was “Mike.” And to the politicians he pissed off, he was … Continue reading Finding Healing by Editing a Book
Kate Smith, the singer famous for her rendition of “God Bless America,” is in the headlines and that calls to mind the headlines she made after her death nearly 32 years ago when I was a cub reporter at The Adirondack Daily Enterprise. My coverage of Smith, who was a longtime summer resident of Lake … Continue reading How Kate Smith Got Me In Trouble
In the predawn darkness outside the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State, it sounded like an all-night rave was in full swing, complete with thrashing guitar music. Inside, a kaleidoscope of colors – thousands of students wearing bright T-shirts of blue, green, red, pink, white, yellow and purple — filled the arena. From the upper … Continue reading At THON, Students Dance for a Cure
Kitchen utensils and equipment have more than just practical uses. Some are imbued with personal meaning and emotions. For instance, I’ve got a rectangular pan that is misshapen and looks like it was manhandled by a gorilla. It’s rusted in spots and dented. Yet, I’d never give it up. Why? It belonged to my late … Continue reading A Special Kind of Love for Some Kitchen Utensils
My son Daniel is petrified of spiders. We live in the woods. There are spiders in the woods. Therefore, Dan will sometimes see spiders in the house. He recently described how at 1 in the morning he saw one that he killed but then saw another bigger one on the wall. The second one he described, with a scrunched-up face of … Continue reading Spiders? No Problem. Water Bugs? Holy S***!
Yes, it is true. I finally got back on the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge and made real progress. My amigos from AMR chidded me on the podcast that I — very Kramerlike — declared myself out of the competition before it even ramped up. Yep, I was OUT! Earlier this year I noticed a … Continue reading How I Lost Over 50 Pounds by F___ing
Editor’s note: This is the latest post from Michael Scully, a journalism professor and friend of Chris Mele’s who will be sending dispatches from his newly adopted home country of Australia. Michael will chronicle what it’s like adjusting to things there: the driving, the sites, the culture, and, in this case, the scary scary things … Continue reading Australia: Land of Creepy Critters and Apex Predators
When I graduated high school, my parents got me a Panasonic TV. It was great, my very own TV. For Christmas the month before, I was given a VCR and now could tape all my favorite shows. Several years later, I had a VCR dedicated to taping “Star Trek: The Next Generation” weekly and another … Continue reading Fade to Black: Parting With Old TVs
My third mud run is behind me and here is what a nearly 54-year-old guy can tell you: I was definitely representing the ahem, senior class. That is, the 50 and older crowd. I was surrounded by youngsters, most of them in their 20s and 30s, with some even younger, like in their teens. I … Continue reading Another Mud Run in the Record Books!
Facing hostility comes with the territory of being a reporter. Your job is to ask pointed and sometimes uncomfortable questions, so you’ve got to have a thick skin. I’ve been harassed by corrupt cops I exposed, browbeaten and threatened by readers and subjected to bizarre low-level stalking by a conspiracy theorist and his followers. I … Continue reading The Real and Growing Threats Against the Press
Editor’s note: With this blog post, we introduce to you Michael Scully, a journalism professor and friend of Chris Mele’s who will be sending dispatches from his newly adopted home country of Australia. Michael will chronicle what it’s like adjusting to things there: the driving, the sites, the culture, and periodically sending us updates about … Continue reading Postcards From the Edge (of the World)
The rampaging wildfires in California that have claimed the lives of at least six people are a reminder of the unpredictability of nature but also the bravery of those on the front lines fighting such blazes. The so-called Carr Fire — one of several raging in California — consumed nearly 100,000 acres and destroyed more … Continue reading My Harrowing Experience in a Wildfire
I will let industry experts pick apart why Tronc, the corporation that owns The Daily News, decided to slash its newsroom staff by half. I know by heart the back story of the decline of newspapers but I don’t care about The News’s circulation or revenue figures. For me, what’s happening to The Daily News … Continue reading The News for the Daily News Is Grim and I’m Taking It Personally
Life has a way of tapping you on the shoulder to ask if you are making the most of what time you have. And then there are times life punches you really, really hard to ask if it’s got your attention. A friend and former colleague dying one week after he learned he had cancer … Continue reading When Death Sends You a Message About Life
As a kid I was captivated by the mysteries of U.F.O.s, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts and other paranormal doings. I grew up watching the television series “In Search of…” hosted by Leonard Nimoy and read whatever books I could about unexplained phenomena. During free reading time in 7th grade, I was the nerd … Continue reading In Search of Champ, the Loch Ness Monster of North America
The House speaker, Paul Ryan, recently lamented how his personal SUV parked back in his Wisconsin hometown had been “eaten by animals.” He said woodchucks chewed the wiring out from his Chevrolet Suburban. “And so my car was eaten by animals, and it’s just dead,” he said, according to a story in The New York … Continue reading Of Cars and Critters
I was walking along Eighth Avenue on a Sunday night, headed to Penn Station after work when a woman coming in the opposite direction cast her eyes to the sidewalk, scooted to a stop Fred Flintstone-braking style and said loudly: “Oh hell no!” I looked where she was looking and said in return: “Oh yeah. … Continue reading Rats?! Oh, Hell No!
Why am I posing in front of the Paris Theater in Columbus Circle at 59th Street in New York City? Why would I pose in front of a non-descript theater marquee when so many other historical sites are in that area of New York City? Why am I bothering you with this meaningless information and … Continue reading A Horror Fan Forged in the Fires of Hell
Tris Korten is a man with a mission and vision. I should know, having worked with him a long, long time ago in newspapers and seeing up close his dedication to his craft. As with so many work colleagues, Tris fell off my radar for decades but then resurfaced thanks to Facebook. And what he … Continue reading How One Man Followed His Dream (and What We Can Learn From Him)
Pretty swiftly on my arrival at work one evening at The New York Times, word spread that the singer Rihanna was somewhere in the building filming a scene for a movie. The excitement about her presence was electric. Messages on the communications platform Slack stacked up speculating about where in the building she was, what she was … Continue reading Rihanna, ‘Ocean’s 8’ and Me
To celebrate Father’s Day, I thought I would share some of my dad’s best stories from his days in the Navy, where he served on the USS William R. Rush. He served in the Navy from Aug. 30, 1955, to Aug. 8, 1958. He was not quite 17 when he signed up so my grandfather … Continue reading My Dad’s Best Stories From His Days in the Navy
In this final installment about movies set in or about New York City, Rich has this to say: Growing up in New York City was something else. I was exposed to so much multicultural lifestyles, which my kids will never experience living in a semirural area of New Jersey. New York City has a unique vibe … Continue reading New York Movies: Which Ones Are the Best? A Final Look
In this installment of our favorite movies set or depicting New York City, Silvio weighs in. “Fort Apache, the Bronx” (1981) What a controversial film. There was massive pre-premiere hostility in the form of protests by Hispanic groups about the treatment of Hispanics in the film. It did nothing to stop the release and did … Continue reading New York Movies: Which Ones Are the Best?
“Ghostbusters” (1984) Columbia University; Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company # 8 in TriBeCa as their office. The New York City Public Library on 5th Ave was also used along with the building located at: 55 Central Park West (actually at 66th St.) was known as “Spook Central.” The movie also featured one of my favorite ambulance conversions … Continue reading John’s Favorite Movies About or Set In New York City
If there is one thing guys can argue about, it’s movies. Put three guys in a room and ask them to rank the best movie in any category and you will get five different opinions. Now, suppose these guys are New Yorkers. You can get five different opinions — this time with attitude. Which bring … Continue reading Lights! Camera! New York!
I heard this story from my parents: They had my oldest brother Ralph as a baby and lived in an apartment on Simpson Street in the South Bronx. There was a hole in the wall where the baby slept and there were rats in the building. My parents complained time and time again to the … Continue reading A Rat Meets the Business End of a Bowling Pin
When I first heard that Netflix rolled out a reboot of “Lost in Space,” I reacted with “Danger, Netflix! Danger!” The TV series, which aired from 1965-68, was a childhood favorite of mine. It featured space exploration! And aliens! And a very cool robot cleverly named Robot! And, oh yeah, two young female leads, who were … Continue reading “Lost in Space” on Netflix Is a Fun Fresh Reboot
In the world of social media, everyone appears to live in a happy, carefree place. But do we really? Is it more the reality that, as Henry David Thoreau once observed, that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I wrote the following as a snapshot of some of the struggles that I — and … Continue reading Hello, Darkness
Ah, Mother’s Day. That day of the year that brings with it a mixture of guilt, apprehension, obligation and confusion. You know: The essential ingredients of any familial relationship. For Pedro and Chris, the relationships with their mothers are fraught with baggage — some more than others. In Chris’s case, it’s more the size of … Continue reading Talkin’ Mother’s Day
On this Mother’s Day, we remember our mother. Like a lioness with her cubs, our mom was always with her “boys.” When I look back on some of our photos, there is mom in the middle of her four boys. I recall one time when my mother was talking about not having any daughters without … Continue reading Mom and Her “Boys”
It has been many years since you’ve been gone mom but you live with me every day. Not sure if you knew this when you were alive but you were my best friend as I was growing up. You spent your life raising your boys and making sure we had everything we needed. Even when … Continue reading A Mother’s Day Tribute by Rich Rodriguez
You know how Redditt has a feature called AMA for “Ask Me Anything”? Well, here at About Men Radio we’re rolling out “AAMA”: Ask A Man Anything. The concept is simple and is offered especially as a service to our female listeners and readers: What do you want explained about inexplicable guy behavior? What questions … Continue reading Ask Us Men Anything!
A story in The New York Times suggested that there could be cognitive advantages to learning how to dance, that it could be good for your brain and help offset some of the effects of aging. As the story noted: “The demands it places on the mind and body could make it unusually potent at … Continue reading Dancing in Cinderblock Shoes
Farmville. Mafia Wars. Poking friends. Ah, Facebook. Not that many years ago it seemed so innocent and harmless. Taking online quizzes about which Harry Potter character I was? Checking in with the locations of places I visited? Sharing personal details of my day-to-day life? Of course! Why not? What could possibly go wrong? Fast-forward to … Continue reading Facebook Does a Faceplant and We’re Paying the Price
There is nothing more exciting in parenthood than cheering on your kids in the things they do — sports, music, dance, etc. — and seeing them have fun. Through the years I have worn many hats from Soccer Dad, Baseball Dad, Swim Dad, Cheer Dad, Marching Band Dad, Gymnastics Dad…the list goes on. Of course you … Continue reading Life as a Super Fan of My Kids and Their Sports
I’ve been out of work for some time. I have been sending out resumes and going on interviews, though. I had one interview in which they said that they needed someone “right away.” When I said that I wasn’t working and could start immediately, there was a pause, then an “Oh, you’re not working?” I’ve … Continue reading Middle Age and the Challenges of Finding Work
Congratulations to us! We are four years old today. Considering much of the content we produce, that will come as no surprise to our listeners and readers. Four years old? Yeah, sounds about right. But if you have not already, catch up on four years of insightful, sometimes serious and revealing but almost always fun … Continue reading Happy Birthday to us!
My column last week about my misadventures with coffee stirred up memories of other food mishaps. Here are three such stories: Reader Judy Young writes: When we were kids, my dad was always grumpy when he worked a different shift and we learned to stay out of his way. He came down from a nap to … Continue reading More Misadventures With Food
I discovered recently that there are a number of ways to have your coffee. There is, of course, black (no sugar, no milk); light and sweet (lots of sugar and milk); or some combination that excludes one or the other or substitutes sugar with an artificial sweetener or substitutes milk with cream. But did you … Continue reading Do You Take Bacon Fat With Your Coffee?
There is a kitchen magnet I have that boasts about drinking coffee: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Yeah, it’s a similar feeling I have about retirement. I’ll retire when I’m dead. When you are in your 20s, retirement, pensions, 401(k) and Social Security are a foreign language. Saving for when I’m in my 60s? Pshaw! … Continue reading Retirement? Hahahahaha!
A recent video making the rounds on Facebook about a baby squirrel made me cheer. If you have not already seen this clip, take a moment. Watched it? Good. For those who could not be bothered, let me give you a quick snapshot of what you missed. A man is gently holding a squirrel, clasping … Continue reading Just Plain Squirrely
Iceland, which bills itself as the land of fire and ice, has also become the land of foreign visitors. I should know: My wife and I honeymooned on the island nation in July 2010 and returned for a 48-hour visit in January. We love it there and so, apparently, do many, many others. And therein … Continue reading Iceland: Loved Too Much?
I just finished the second season of “Stranger Things” and if ever there was a perfect streaming series for middle-age guys, I don’t know what is. For the uninitiated, “Stranger Things” is a bit of “The X-Files” meets “Stand By Me,” the coming of age movie based on the short story by Stephen King of … Continue reading Why ‘Stranger Things’ Is the Perfect Show for Middle-Age Guys
It is nearly 3 in the morning on the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend and the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University in State College, Pa., looks to be hosting a celebration that is a cross between a rave and Mardi Gras. The circular corridor teems with college students wearing leis, beads or frilly … Continue reading THON at Penn State Banishes Despair
I was a skinny kid. My mom took me to the doctor, who prescribed this yucky elixir to gain weight. I also had to add a powder to my chocolate milk to bulk up. They didn’t seem to work. I recall walking home from school and getting pushed into cars by strong winds. It wasn’t … Continue reading Finding Fitness Is Like Getting Back on a Bicycle
Dear Mother Nature, Why do you hate me? I have tried to be a good steward of the Earth. When I was a kid, I made “Do Not Litter” signs. I led a crusade to clean up Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, spending two summer days stabbing and bagging trash by myself after getting … Continue reading Why Do You Hate Me, Mother Nature?
I recently saw firsthand what an airliner would look like if my crew of childhood friends who make up the About Men Radio posse were running it. The instant I laid eyes on the baggage check-in of WOW Air (a name I swear I am in no way making up), I saw flash before me … Continue reading Come Fly Us! No, Really. It’ll Be OK. Come Back!
Some guys like cars. Some guys like comic books. Some guys like gardening or even theater. Many guys, however, like sports. Me? I was always somewhere in between. Growing up, I was good at sports but I was more the lonesome, artsy kind of dude. I liked graffiti and visiting art museums on weekends. To be honest, … Continue reading Sports: Maybe It’s Not Such a Waste of Time After All
You know those earworms you get when you listen to a piece of music and it sticks in your brain and plays over and over again? My wife and I have something similar but it works a bit in reverse. We call it our “endless playlist.” For my wife, who is widely read and deeply … Continue reading An Endless Playlist of Nonsense
Let’s be honest: Our attempt in 2016 to launch the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge — in which members of the posse pledged to improve our eating and exercise habits — collapsed quicker than a football handled by Tom Brady. But wait! Brady recently came up in a conversation between Chris and Pedro, and it … Continue reading Putting Fitness Back on Our Menu
The storm battering New York City and much of the East Coast today is exactly the kind of snowstorm I yearned for as a kid growing up in the Bronx. We didn’t get a lot of snow often, but when we did, it was cause for jubilation. I had gotten a Red Flyer wooden sled … Continue reading Memories of Snowstorms in the Bronx
WARNING: This episode of About Men Radio contains spoilers for SW:TLJ!!! A small arthouse film by the name of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was quietly released in a few theaters across the known universe this past week. It’s getting good reviews from critics but decidedly mixed reviews from its paying customers. While it comes as … Continue reading This Is Not The Star Wars Movie You Were Looking For
Big bold disclaimer here: IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE MOVIE, DO NOT READ THIS! “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was perfectly fine, which is a passive-aggressive way of saying I liked it but did not love it. It was certainly no “The Force Awakens,” which in my book still ranks as the best … Continue reading “The Last Jedi” Was Fine
My daughter volunteers as an altar server at our church and we were headed there one cold and rainy Sunday morning. The weather report was predicting dropping temps and freezing rain and my daughter was apprehensive about going. I was hellbent on going because she had this obligation and we left, disregarding her protests. I … Continue reading Black Ice and Faith
Every other photo of Carla, my fiancée who died 11 years ago today, shows her with some kind of animal. This is no exaggeration. Carla with a horse. Carla with a cow. Carla with a cat. Carla with a camel. Carla with a llama. Carla (and I am not making this up) sitting on a … Continue reading Photos and a Winged Visitor Help Reconnect With a Lost Loved One
We at About Men Radio always talk about doing it yourself but I came across two things recently that I couldn’t easily do alone. The first: My brother called me last month that he got the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” on his computer. I thought, OK not a tough fix. He was already on … Continue reading When a Man Can’t Fix It
Thanksgiving is a time for gathering of loved ones and sharing what we are thankful for. In my family it also includes being thankful for our pets. That brings to mind something that happened to our special dog, Smokey. He was part of our family for 14 years, helped raise four kids and was … Continue reading When Our Dog Ate the Thanksgiving Turkey Thermometer
In this episode of About Men Radio, Chris and Pedro debate the finer points of country vs. city living. The discussion is not exactly the opening credits of “Green Acres,” but let’s just say that Chris was more the Eddie Albert character in this talk and Pedro identified more strongly with Eva Gabor. (Well, that’s … Continue reading Who’s a True New Yawker? We Put Ourselves to the Test
I read recently of a former CNN employee, a devout Christian, who filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging, among other things, that his co-workers frequently used profane language. Profanity in a newsroom?! I am shocked! Shocked I say! Pardon me while I wipe tears from laughing so hard. Newsrooms are among the few remaining workplaces that … Continue reading Do I Swear at Work? Damn Straight!
I had my annual physical and all was well. Except that my blood pressure was a little high. And my blood sugar was borderline. Oh, yes, I had gained 10 pounds, which the doctor wants me to lose. No problem. I kind of expected those results. But then she lowered the boom and said she … Continue reading Clean Living — Is It Worth It?
If it’s Halloween time, it must mean it’s time for Chris to show the bravery of Sir Robin from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” You remember him, right? He was not exactly brave but pretended to be. Well, in the spirit of Sir Robin, Chris went on a haunted hayride at Woodloch Resort in … Continue reading On a Haunted Hayride, A-Shrieking I Will Go
When people ask how long my commute is to New York City from the Poconos and I tell them it’s two hours one way, they look at me horrified. “Two hours?!” they say. “That’s crazy!” No, I will tell you what is crazy: Paying rent for a postage stamp-sized apartment in New York City that … Continue reading I Am Happy to Be an Inmate in the Green Prison
In this episode of About Men Radio, Pedro and I discuss the thorny intractable issue of racism and how we’ve experienced it. It’s a white dude (me) and a Puerto Rican (Pedro), who both grew up in the Bronx, talking about a topic that in many ways is the third rail of polite conversation. I … Continue reading A White Guy and a Puerto Rican Talk About Racism
My aunt worked for Time Life Magazine, so growing up we’d get some unique toys at Christmas time. One year she gave two of my brothers a pint each of Polo cologne. They in turn passed it onto me. I didn’t shave yet, so I still had about half of a bottle when I did start … Continue reading Some Autographs Are More Valuable Than Others
The comedian George Carlin said he had a rule: He would not eat any food that had a “y” and a “g” in its name. I have a similar rule as it applies to exercises. The way Carlin felt about yogurt is the way I feel about yoga. Before all you yoga practitioners get all … Continue reading Yoga Is a Four-Letter Word
It’s a ritual at my annual physical: My doctor asks how many cups of coffee I drink a day. Three or four, I say, and she gives me the thumbs down, indicating she disapproves and wants me to reduce my caffeine intake. And I am always like, c’mon! It’s just coffee! Where’s the harm? Heck, … Continue reading My Wake-Up Call About Caffeine
I am a Luddite Lite when it comes to advances in technology and the digital economy: I embrace some of it and am confused or skeptical about the rest. I am a dedicated Facebook poster but use Twitter occasionally. I don’t really understand SnapChat, Instagram and Reddit, and therefore don’t use them. I am fine … Continue reading I Spent Six Nights at AirBnBs and This Is What I Learned
It is daybreak No. 3 after the storm. We are still without power. Our utility company has all hands on deck trying to restore power. I am certain that they are doing their best. We prepared for the eventuality of not having power for up to a week. The maximum ETA is that power will … Continue reading Applying Boy Scout Motto to Hurricane Irma
We went through a few scares early last night. While we still had power and were listening to the weather predictions, I noticed water seeping into the family room — right where we had placed the sandbags the day before. I left the comfort and safety of the house, put on a hard hat and … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Surviving Tornado Sirens and Power Loss
We just lost power. We had a pretty good run as I followed many of my close neighbors over the last three hours, announcing their power loss. Just when we thought we could be clear, and just while the whole family was enjoying reruns of “Frasier” on Netflix, buoooooom. I think that’s the noise it … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Who Needs Lights Anyway?
The latest on the stormfront from Silvio LaFrossia as he awaits an unwelcome gust named Irma: Completely battened down. Plywood on all windows. A quick aside to those questioning the reasoning on plywood barricading homes when images from post-hurricane areas typically show total devastation of property. what can a thin sheet of plywood? The plywood … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Of Battened Hatches and a Little Elbow Grease
Maybe it is a case of “boys and their toys,” or some kind of wish fulfillment, but I have been a fire buff every since I was a kid. (To clarify: Being a fire buff does not mean being a pyromaniac or arsonist. It generally describes people who support or admire firefighters and firefighting.) I … Continue reading Being a Fire Buff Goes Beyond Trucks and Sirens
Silvio LaFrossia is sending bulletins about how he and his family in Florida are preparing for Irma’s arrival. Here’s his latest dispatch from late Thursday night: Thursday was the last normal business day at work. Our office will be open but employees were given the option to work from home if possible and allowed blackout … Continue reading Irma Checklist: Family, Plywood and Backyard Furniture
We will be fine. We are well prepared. The only thing I wish I could get fixed is my chainsaw, which won’t start. I just may have to get another one. I am pretty sure there will be branches to cut away. Here is my hurricane tale through the years. Andrew, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Dennis, … Continue reading Bracing for Irma: Tales From the Florida Stormfront
Silvio, who lives near Orlando, Fla., offers this tale of hardship in the lead-up to Irma’s expected arrival in southern Florida. He will be providing further updates on Irma as long as he still has power — and wine. I had already pretty much completed my hurricane supply run during the Labor Day weekend, beating … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Forget Bottled Water. Getting Wine Is Tougher!
When I was about 12 and at a weeklong Boy Scout summer camp, I recall walking through the woods with a bunch of my fellow Scouts on our way to an outdoor Sunday Mass. Paul Naehle, who was one of the senior scouts and had a booming voice, called out: “C’mon, Mele! You’re bringing up … Continue reading Finding Meaning in the Mud
Inspiration: To draw, create or write. It comes in many forms. One can draw inspiration from a sight, a sound or from a blog post written by a friend. This story comes from the latter. My good friend Chris recently penned a coming-of-age story about his first brush with mortality (someone else’s) in the summer … Continue reading A Chilling Childhood Memory of Murder
OK guys, it is time we had a serious conversation about some men’s fashion trends and choices that simply must die. I ordinarily do not pay much attention to men’s “style” because I am not one to run with the crowd. I also just find these things to be silly. However, a new wrinkle has … Continue reading Stomp On RompHims
Not since the days that Ronald Reagan was in office have I paid as much attention to the potential of nuclear war as I do now. In the ’80s, the thermostat on the Cold War was set at below zero and headlines were filled with talk of a “Star Wars” missile defense project and a railroad-based ICBM launch … Continue reading Duck and Cover? Not Me
What would summer be without a visit to an amusement park and a trip on a roller coaster or similar thrill ride? I’ll tell you what it would be: a helluva lot better. Miss out on the vertigo-inducing stomach-churning “fun” of feeling weightless on the Toss-a-Hurl or the Vertical Death Drop From Hell? Yeah, no … Continue reading I’m a Turtle on a Roller Coaster
Sleep but not nearly enough. Wake. Drink coffee. Drink more coffee. In fact, just pour the pot over your head to wake up. Rinse and repeat. If this sounds familiar, welcome to the crowd. Some of us might rise, but we won’t shine. As a society, we’re chronically not getting enough sleep and let’s face … Continue reading Heavy on Coffee and Light on Sleep
In the summer of 1977, I had a paper route delivering The Daily News in the Bronx to almost 100 customers, many of them older. One of them was Mr. Norton, a tough-talking grizzled New Yorker who frequently sent me to the deli to get him a six-pack of beer. He was a shut-in and … Continue reading Coming of Age in the Summer of 1977
Here’s the scene: It’s April and the Rosado family is deciding on summer plans. “How about the Caribbean? We could visit family and save some money.” A trip like that always sounds great during the planning stage but in practice, things invariably end in tears. Next… “DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD!” Hot as Hades … Continue reading Just Call Me Rattlesnake Pete
Stunning news out of the toy world: Ken, the doll who was Barbie’s original blue-eyed chiseled boyfriend, is undergoing a huge makeover. If, like me, you grew up with GI Joe action figures or your sister played with Barbie and Ken dolls, this is a major development. (Notice, by the way, GI Joe was called … Continue reading Here’s a New (More Realistic) Line of Ken Dolls
“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Don’t do it!” In the mid 1970s that was the intro for the hit TV show “Baretta” about a street-smart quick-talking undercover cop with the NYPD who lived with an old man and a cockatoo. When “Baretta” came on, it was dad-and-me TV. Dad and … Continue reading Recalling ‘Baretta’ and the Blackout
Each generation shares some moments in history that leave an indelible mark, and everyone alive at the time can recount where they were and what they were doing. Where were you when John F. Kennedy was shot? When the space shuttle Challenger blew up? During 9/11? For me, one of those moments was: Where were … Continue reading Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?
There are some behaviors on the road that drive me crazy. And clearly I am not alone. I read a report recently by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health that cited the results of a random telephone survey of more than 2,400 licensed drivers that asked them about road rage. The results from … Continue reading Drivers Who Frost My Rage Cake
One of the best movies this summer far and away has been “Wonder Woman.” The movie stars Gal Gadot, who is not just a pretty face. She’s got poise, comic sensibilities, acrobatic fight moves and a presence that really lights up a screen. And a special bonus: The movie is now the highest-grossing live-action film … Continue reading Does ‘Wonder Woman’ Signal a Culture Shift in Hollywood?
The highly acclaimed podcast “S-town” reinforces two notions I’ve tried to follow in my professional and personal lives: Every lunatic caller deserves 10 minutes of your time and so does every person – lunatic or otherwise – you meet. For those not familiar with “S-town,” it is the real-life story set in a tiny Alabama … Continue reading What I Learned From the “S-Town” Podcast
A funny thing happened on my way to Father’s Day 2017. I became a grandfather thanks to my stepson and his wife. The thing about becoming a grandfather is that it brings you sharply back to when you were a first-time parent. That moment is filled with an overpowering brew of emotions, among them anticipation, … Continue reading Despite Their Flaws, Fathers Still Find Success
I’m the only About Men Radio member who is unmarried and childless, but I do have four godsons. The first was born with some complications. I remember being in the waiting room with my brother reassuring him that everything would be OK and praying. I may have also offered whatever was needed, such as blood or … Continue reading Reflections of a Godfather on Father’s Day