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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Writer's Life 8/23 - Of Service

If there's anything displeasing in today's blog, blame Colin Powell. He made me do it.

According to an article at Yahoo News, a bit of Americana has become extinct. In early September, the Howard Johnson's in Bangor, Maine will close, leaving only the Lake George, NY establishment standing. There were once more than 800 of the orange-roofed eateries. For waitress Kathe Jewett, it's the only job she's had since the place opened in 1966. "It's bittersweet, but it's nothing to be sad about," the 68-year-old said. "I've been here for 50 years — and it's time." Several times through the years my friends and I had ice cream in the Times Square venue, which closed in 2005. The first time we walked in, I was a naive teen unaccustomed to the protocols of service, as my family rarely ate out. In fact, I remember sitting down at a table only once, at the old Lundy's in Sheepshead Bay -- and the family bailing as soon as the prices on the menu were noted. Anyway, I led my buddies along and we were stopped by the guy in charge of seating, who referred to me as "Mr. Ring Leader." That tag stayed with me for a long time.

An acquaintance told me he'd been dropped by his GP, who has become a VIP MD who caters only to the well-off. She has cut her clients' lists from 30,000 to 1500. I'd never heard of such a thing. Steve, the poet laureate of Sheepshead Bay, a retired teacher, is in the market for a new primary doctor. As we were conversing, Mark, a retired postal worker/Vietnam vet, came along. He recommended his own doctor, who has an office nearby. Steve lamented that he didn't have pen and paper to copy the info. Never let it be said that the floating book shop is not prepared to offer assistance. I keep both handy on the fat chance that someone will show an interest in my books. Steve thanked me. It was the least I could do, considering he's bought two of my books... I also had a visit from Ol' Smoky, who had been MIA for about a month. He was hospitalized for several weeks due to a bleeding ulcer. At least he beat the heat and had a clean place to sleep and bathe, and three squares a day, all on the taxpayers' dime. Among the possessions in his rolling cart was a clear plastic bag filled with containers for five prescription drugs. He was also carrying a book on Brooklyn and Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man. He'd underlined a sentence in the latter and asked the meaning of "niggardly." I hadn't heard it in so long that it was a long moment before I recalled it means "stingy."

My thanks to the young woman who bought a Heather Graham thriller and Spring Fling by Sabrina James, to the gentleman who purchased a Humphrey Bogart bio, and to the one who took Frederick Forsyth's The Dogs of War at my suggestion.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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