Happy Presidents Day!

February 17, 2020

When I was a kid, I used to love February. My birthday’s in this month, and we also celebrated two holidays – and had two days off from school – in February as well. What kid wouldn’t love that?

We were off on February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, and February 22, George Washington’s Birthday. Then in the 1970s, some lawmakers had the wonderful idea to move the celebration of Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday in February, and in the following years Lincoln’s Birthday was dropped as a holiday and the new holiday became a celebration of all of our presidents. It just seems strange that Presidents Day never falls on the actual birth date of George Washington (it’s always somewhere between February 15 and February 21). And it’s also strange that only 4 of our 43 presidents were born in February. But all I know is that we lost a day off from school…

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Questions to How Well Do You Know Broadway?

February 10, 2020

Here are the questions to the Jeopardy! answers in the category “Broadway Names” I posted last month:

  1. Brian Stokes Mitchell’s roles have included Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime” & Don Quixote in this musical. – What is “Man of LaMancha?”
  2. This choreographer-director and his wife Gwen Verdon were the subjects of a series on FX. – Who is Bob Fosse?
  3. Daniel Radcliffe has been horsin’ around on Broadway since his 2008 debut in this Peter Shaffer drama. – What is “Equus?”
  4. In 2019 the lights on Broadway dimmed in memory of this legend who passed away at the age of 97. – Who is Carol Channing?
  5. A Broadway theatre is named for this late caricaturist whom the N.Y. Times called “the most celebrated artist in the theater.”. – Who is Al Hirschfeld?

I again got three of them correct; how did you do?

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

It’s Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2020

Many of us have probably seen the movie with Bill Murray, essentially about reliving something many times, until we change our behavior and transcend it. And most of us probably associate Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil, the famous prognosticator in western Pennsylvania who predicts the arrival of Spring each year, based on whether or not he sees his shadow. However, did you know that each year no fewer than 15 groundhogs make their predictions? Take a look at this list:

  1. Balzac Billy – Alberta, Canada
  2. Dunkirk Dave – New York
  3. French Creek Freddie – West Virginia
  4. General Beauregard Lee – Georgia
  5. Jimmy the Groundhog – Wisconsin
  6. Josh Porter – Ohio, I think (I couldn’t find a more specific reference)
  7. Malverne Mel – New York
  8. Octoraro Orphie – Pennsylvania (Phil’s rival)
  9. Punxsutawney Phil – Pennsylvania
  10. Queen Charlotte – North Carolina
  11. Shubenacadie Sam – Nova Scotia, Canada
  12. Sir Walter Wally – North Carolina
  13. Staten Island Chuck – New York
  14. Wiarton Willie – Ontario, Canada
  15. Woodstock Willie – Illinois

Interestingly enough, half of the furry creatures typically predict six more weeks of winter each year, and the others predict an early Spring. So who do you believe? I think the best way is to do it yourself: walk out of your house at daybreak and see if your shadow appears. I would have done it, except the weather forecast was morning breezy and cold. So I stuck with the electric blanket and let the groundhogs do the work…

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

How Well Do You Know Broadway?

January 26, 2020

One of the categories on a recent Jeopardy! episode was “Broadway Names.”  Here are the answers; just come up with the correct question for each.  I’ll give those questions in a future post:

  1. Brian Stokes Mitchell’s roles have included Coalhouse Walker Jr. in “Ragtime” & Don Quixote in this musical.
  2. This choreographer-director and his wife Gwen Verdon were the subjects of a series on FX.
  3. Daniel Radcliffe has been horsin’ around on Broadway since his 2008 debut in this Peter Shaffer drama.
  4. In 2019 the lights on Broadway dimmed in memory of this legend who passed away at the age of 97.
  5. A Broadway theatre is named for this late caricaturist whom the N.Y. Times called “the most celebrated artist in the theater.”

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Let’s Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20, 2020

Since today is the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday (he was actually born on January 15, and would have been 91 years old this year), it only seems fitting that I share a few words about Dr. King. In case you don’t know, he was a leader of the movement to end segregation and discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s, leading to his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, as well as posthumous awards of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. His life was tragically cut short in 1968, at the young age of 39. His most memorable and inspiring speech was likely was “I Have A Dream,” delivered at the Washington Mall in August of 1963. If you’ve never heard it, I strongly suggest that you watch the March on Washington and Dr. King’s speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs.

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

A Time to Weep, and a Time to Laugh

January 14, 2020

You may recognize those words from the song Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds (and written by Pete Seeger), and earlier from the Book of Ecclesiastes in The Bible; in fact, I spoke those words at the memorial service for my father in 1998. And it’s so true at this time of year, when the list of celebrities who passed away during the year is published. Among those in 2019 were Doris Day, Peter Fonda, Cokie Roberts, Tim Conway, Bart Starr, Elijah Cummings, Peter Mayhew, Carol Channing, Ross Perot, Lee Iacocca, Georgia Engel, Gloria Vanderbilt, Toni Morrison, Peter Tork, Diahann Carroll, Luke Perry, Robert Forster, Valerie Harper, Kristoff St. John, Albert Finney, Katherine Helmond, Peggy Lipton, Rip Torn, Eddie Money, Rip Taylor, Ric Okasek, Ron Leibman, Carroll Spinney, Danny Aiello, Mel Stottlemyre, Frank Robinson, John Havlicek, Nick Buoniconti, Richard Lugar, and Birch Bayh. And let us never forget the US Service Members, Police, and Firefighters killed in the line of duty, protecting us. For me, the ones I don’t have around any more include my parents Lyman and Alice, my father-in-law Ray, my brother-in-law Jim and his wife Edna, my brother-in-law Mike, my sister-in-law Dottie, and our Aunt Joan, Uncle Joe, and Aunt Rita. But we did get one blessing ten years ago with our grandson Evan, and another 7½ years ago with our grandson Noah. So, remember to be thankful for those we do have close to us…

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Questions to How Well Do You Know Broadway?

January 8, 2020

Here are the questions to the Jeopardy! answers in the category “Behind the Musical Title” I posted last month:

  1. This Broadway musical’s title refers to the fabulous new footwear at the Price & Sons factory in Northampton. – What is “Kinky Boots?”
  2. A sham Vietnamese beauty contest gives us the title of this musical that debuted on Broadway in 1991. – What is “Miss Saigon?”
  3. Percy Jackson & his friends realize that war among Greek gods must be prevented in this musical named for the first Percy Jackson book. – What is “Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief?”
  4. “Professor” Harold Hill is the title character of this 1957 show. – What is “The Music Man?”
  5. The title of a musical set in Newfoundland beginning on 9/11 is a local slang term for a person not from the Maritimes. – What is “Come From Away?”

I again got three of them correct; how did you do?

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2020

So here we are, 2020.  It seems that every year I’ve said, “I can’t believe how fast this year is going!”  And 2019 was no exception.  Overall, it was a very good year that included two great weddings and two great trips, and I’m confident that 2020 will bring more good things.  My wife and I had our usual New Year’s Eve activity – stay at home, enjoy a great meal of beef fondue, and watch the celebrations, particularly the ball drop at Times Square, a mere 60 miles from our former house.  Actually, I’ve never really had the desire to go there in person.  Being squeezed in with more than a quarter million other people (the official estimates the past few years have been much higher) doesn’t really appeal to me.

In case you’re curious, the ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs almost 6 tons.  It’s covered with almost 3,000 Waterford crystal triangles, with the new patterns representing musicians working together for this year’s theme of Gift of Goodwill, and the lighting is provided by more than 32,000 LEDs in red, blue, green, and white.  Just for comparison, the first ball in 1907 was made of iron and wood, was lighted by one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, had a diameter of 5 feet, and weighed less than half a ton…quite a difference!

If you can’t make it to Times Square tonight (or if you’re like me and you don’t want to make it), you can watch it live at http://www.timessquarenyc.org/, starting just before 6pm tonight. Happy New Year!

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Kwanzaa Begins

December 26, 2019

I’ve learned a lot doing research for this blog, and the latest thing I’ve learned is about Kwanzaa. Most of you have probably heard of it, but I’d guess that most of you don’t really know what it’s all about (as was the case with me).

The official Kwanzaa website describes it as a “Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture.” Further words from the site add a little more meaning to that: “Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.”

It’s a seven-day celebration (December 26 through January 1) created by Maulana Karnga in 1966, and today is observed by up to 28 million people around the world. Kwanzaa is based on seven principles:

  1. Unity – to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race
  2. Self-Determination – to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves
  3. Collective Work and Responsibility – to build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together
  4. Cooperative Economics – to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together
  5. Purpose – to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  6. Creativity – to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it
  7. Faith – to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Not bad principles to live by, are they? You can learn more at their official website at http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml. Happy Kwanzaa!

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2019

Most of us know that Christmas is a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Over the years, however, it has expanded beyond Christianity, and other traditions and symbols have surfaced. Many of us don’t know the origin of things such as:

  1. The custom of erecting a Christmas tree goes back to Germany in the 1500s, and was perhaps decorated with paper flowers and candles
  2. Christmas lights, which actually started when early Christians, persecuted for their group worships, placed candles in the windows of houses where those gatherings would take place
  3. Hanging stockings popularly started when Saint Nicholas was looking for a place to put gifts of gold coins for the three daughters of a poor man; the only thing he could find were stockings that had been hung over the mantel to dry
  4. The modern-day Christmas tree ornament, known as a bauble, was first produced in 1847
  5. About that same time, candy canes were first hung on Christmas trees
  6. Christmas hymns have been around since the 4th century
  7. Even traditional Christmas Carols date back to the Middle Ages
  8. The first commercial Christmas card was produced in 1843 in London
  9. Santa Claus originated in Holland, and comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, which means Saint Nicholas.

Whether your customs and traditions are Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or even Festivus, enjoy the day and the season!

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale


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