Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerFinally, I printed volume three of my memoirs titled “Jun-e-or.” I began writing them seven years ago. I thought it would be great to document my earliest childhood memories for my grand children. I scibbled every memory I could into a tablet by hand, recalling FDR declare war on Japan, riding home with Dad in his new -used car(1929 Buick Special). I stood on the front seat next to him and looked out the back window over the top of the seat. As I wrote each vignette, more memories surfaced until I had recorded over three hundred. The next step was to have them converted to the word processor. I talked my good friend Judy into doing this for me. What an angel, she did it without changing a thing. The final step was the hardest. I had to clean up the grammar, and make the stories sound interesting. 

I published Volume One and presented it to my children and grandchildren for Christmas 2006, Volume Two came in 2007, now Volume Three. It is not completed yet, because I still want to insert art and family photos to enhance the text, and to make it more meaningful to them. Finally, I will bind the book with a nice cover and it will be finished. The three volumes complete my story up til hIgh school.

 My next work will be called “My Love Story.” I want to leave the kids with the narrative of how Barbara and I met, fell in love, and began our life together. This story will end with the birth of our last child. I figure the kids can begin their own stories from that point on.

Here is a sample vignette from Volume Three of “Jun-e-or, Recollections of Life in the Ninteen Forties and Fifties.” 

There were many street vendors such as the ice man, the milk man, and others. They used horse drawn wagons to carry their wares. The horse often dropped a load in the middle of the street. If Mom spotted a pile within a couple of houses to either side of ours, she’d shag me out to pick it up. I shoveled the pile into a bucket. It was lousy duty, but I did it. Mom used the manure for fertilizer. Before she did, she aged it for a long time. Fresh manure is too acidic to use. It will burn the vegetation that it’s used on. Aging it cuts the potency. Aged manure is excellent in the garden.








Grumpa Joe Looks at Flower
Late last night, I watched Barbara Walters on the Oprah show. I don’t really like Oprah so I don’t watch her program often. This time, I wanted to hear what Barbara had to say. She just introduced a book of her memoirs titled, “Audition.” During the course of the interview, Barbara said a word that rang true to my ear, “regret.” Barbara said she regretted not having been at her sister’s death bed, because she had a speaking engagement to keep. 

How often I have repeated that same word to myself over the last five years. It is nearly that long since my wife Barbara died. Now one would think that five years is a very long time to grieve for someone, but as hard as it is for me to believe it myself, I am still grieving. Even though, I have met and married a wonderfully, beautiful, loving and sensitive lady, and I am truly blessed to have a second life, I still miss my Barbara.

I have coached my three children to live their own lives so they will never have “regrets.” Regrets are haunting. They lurk in the recesses of the sub-conscious and jump out at you at the strangest times. How many times have I regretted not saying “I love you,” more often, or giving that bear hug, or a kiss for no reason. How many times have I regretted staying late at work while Barb was home alone. What was so important that I neglected to see that the little things are what count?

I never expected to be writing about grief, because a man is usually the one to die first. I always planned for Barbara to have to live without me. All of my energy went into “providing” for her. Yet, her I sit with all of those “provisions” in my lap, and all I want is her to be with me physically as well as spiritually.

Live your life in a way that you will not have regrets.