An October Day

The view from my office window is simple, a beautiful sunny day, with an azure blue sky and a few wispy clouds. The temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit which requires a light jacket to endure. The trees around the neighborhood are holding their leaves and providing us with an array of yellows, reds, orange and some green. It is a beautiful fall day, one to behold and cherish. In the year 1961 this was the eve of my wedding. The actual wedding day was a carbon copy of today. The milestone matched the day, beautiful, exciting, refreshing, and eventful.

I kept busy on this day, washing and waxing my Volkswagen Bug in readiness for the great escape following our wedding. I hid the bug in my Mother-in-law’s garage so my groomsmen wouldn’t get any ideas about bedecking the little runt of a car with tails of dangling tin cans and white ‘Just Married’ signs painted on the windows. These acts of love were often carried out by friends of the groom in a show of endearment and jocularity. Our plan was to be chauffeured all day by Gene, my wife’s cousin, in his massive Cadillac. All I had to do was show up at the church which I did in plenty of time. Amazingly, I do not remember how I got there.

Barbara was of Polish heritage and I of Hungarian we decided to get married in her church which was heavily attended by Polish people. To appease my mother, I asked father Joe Adams, a priest from my parish Our Lady Of Hungary to officiate. To this day, I never understood my mother’s animosity towards any nationality not Hungarian. Mother never accepted Barbara until after our first child was born. At that point she must have figured that if she can’t beat her she would join her. We had a very happy family for the entirety of our years together.

Our wedding party was held at the American Legion hall in the town of Summit at 57th and Harlem. Chicago was on the east side of Harlem and the Legion hall on the west. This location was but a couple of miles from Barb’s home. It was ten miles from my family and friends. We hired Bill Kenny, the brother of Barb’s Aunt Frances to play for us. His repertoire was all Polish music. Needless to say we danced the Polka all evening. The food was cooked by a Polish lady, a friend of my mother-in-law, it was Polish faire. Right there are two reasons my Mother didn’t like me to marry outside my ethnicity. She survived, as did all the other Hungarian friends that attended. A few years earlier when my brother Bill married, Mom got to be the ultimate Hungarian hostess, so she was batting 500 between the two of us. Bill married a girl he met while serving in the army in Germany. She came to America to get married. After they were married here, they returned to Germany and married there too. Both mothers got to deliver their best.

I had called a motel in Chicago to book a room for our wedding night. The reservationist insisted that I was booking Saturday, and I persisted that we were arriving on early Sunday morning. That was my first lesson in booking hotel rooms. We got to the motel at three a.m. to learn that we did not have a room. They played my game and booked me for Sunday which in their world is includes Sunday night. I was wrong and they were right, I should have booked a room for Saturday which would have included Saturday night. After a considerable amount of time arguing who was right and who was wrong they relented and gave us their honeymoon suite for the night with our promise that we would move into a regular room the next day. I’ll skip the boring details of our activities of the next couple of days.

On Monday we fired up the Bug and headed for Miami, Florida. We landed in Indianapolis, Indiana in time for dinner. Barb used her iron to freshen her dress and that is how I learned that many hotels have only DC current. She burned out her iron, but her dress was wrinkle free that evening.

Along the way we stopped to tour a cavern along the Tennessee-Georgia border. It was another first for the both of us. We enjoyed seeing stalactites and stalagmites although we took a lot of shit from the tour guide once we let on that we were honeymooning. Eventually, we crossed the border into Florida and stopped at St. Augustine for a couple of days. We lived the uniqueness of the city. Old by US standards having been established in the 1600’s. There is a competition between St Augustine, Florida and Santa Fe, New Mexico for the title of first city in North America. I don’t think there are too many people that visit both towns since they are so far apart so the guides in each town make the claim and people go along thinking they know the truth. The truth is that the Spanish established Santa Fe first.

Eventually we landed in Fort Lauderdale. After a couple of days looking around we found a flyer advertising a three day trip to Nassau, Bahamas. We bit, and booked the tour. Another first for the trip, a flight in a DC3. It was noisy as hell but the trip only took 45 minutes. We fell in love with Nassau immediately. This was long before I knew what a passport was and didn’t know for many years after, as none were required. The unique thing about Nassau was that everyone spoke the King’s English. Coming from Chicago we were familiar with blacks and seeing blacks was not strange, what was strange was to hear them speak perfect English with a British accent. Twenty-five years later we returned to Nassau to find that the blacks had dropped the British accent and English in favor of Ebonics.

Our time in Nassau was unforgettable and a topic for another post. When our plane landed in Fort Lauderdale we found our car packed and ready to leave for home. I made a big mistake in navigation and instead of back tracking the way we came I routed our trip westward toward the Gulf of Mexico. I wanted to visit New Orleans. On the map it looked doable, but it is clearly five hundred miles longer going that way. We crossed Alligator Alley toward Fort Meyers and turned north along the Gulf coast. The drive could best be described as driving through jungle. Lots of tall palm trees and dense foliage along both sides of the road. Small town dotted the road sides and gave us views of the gulf. Occasionally, we stopped at a white sand beach to take pictures.

By the time we rolled into New Orleans I was tired of driving. It was dark and busy with traffic on very old and narrow streets. I got lost making four circles around the city until I finally found a corner that was the key to exit. I have never returned to New Orleans since. We found a motel north of town, and collapsed. The next morning we got a good start, and drove straight through to Chicago, my second mistake of the return. The drive took twenty-nine hours. I’ve never done anything so stupid again. Thank God we arrived home safely in time to go to work the next day.

A Billion Seconds Ago it Was 1959

Title: "No, No! Not That Way" Locati...

Title: "No, No! Not That Way" Location: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the Word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, But one advertising agency did a good job of Putting that figure into some perspective in One of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it. While this thought is still fresh in our brain… let’s take a look at New Orleans …. It’s amazing what you can learn with some simple division. Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) was asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS To rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number… What does it mean?

A. Well .. If you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman and child) You each get$516,528

B. Or… If you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or… If you are a family of four… Your family gets$2,066,012. Washington ,

D.C HELLO! Are all your calculators broken??

Building Permit Tax

CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Dog License Tax

Federal Income Tax (Fed)

Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)

Fishing License Tax

Food License Tax

Fuel Permit Tax

Gasoline Tax

Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax

Inventory Tax

IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

Liquor Tax

Luxury Tax

Marriage License Tax

Medicare Tax

Property Tax

Real Estate Tax

Service charge Taxes

Social Security Tax

Road Usage Tax (Truckers)

Sales Taxes

Recreational Vehicle Tax

School Tax

State Income Tax

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)

Telephone Federal Excise Tax

Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax

Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax

Telephone Recurring and Non-recurringCharges Tax

Telephone State and Local Tax

Telephone Usage ChargeTax Utility Tax

Vehicle License Registration Tax

Vehicle Sales Tax

Watercraft Registration Tax

Well Permit Tax

Workers Compensation Tax

And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes.


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago… And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt… We had the largest middle class in the world…

And Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened?

Can you spell ‘politicians’!

And I still have to Press ‘1’ For English.

I hope this goes around the USA At least 100 times

What the heck happened?????


Thank you Sharon.