A Time to Weep, and a Time to Laugh

January 16, 2017

alan-rickman

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 2016 were Pat Harrington Jr., David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty, Glen Frey, Abe Vigoda, George Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Robert Horton, Joe Santos, Joe Garagiola, Ken Howard, Peter Brown, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Doris Roberts, Prince, William Schallert, Morley Safer, Alan Young, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Noel Neill, Gary Marshall, Gene Wilder, Hugh O’Brian, Arnold Palmer, Robert Vaughn,  Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Ron Glass, Van Williams, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Bernard Fox, Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and William Christopher.  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, and our Aunt Joan, Uncle Joe, and Aunt Rita.  But we did get one blessing seven years ago with our grandson Evan, and another 4½ years ago with our grandson Noah.  So, remember to be thankful for those we do have close to us…

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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 8, 2017

Broadway

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

  1. Max Bialystock, Franz Liebkind, Hold-Me Touch-Me.
  2. Kenickie, Frenchie, Betty Rizzo.
  3. Nick Massie, Mary Delgado, Frankie Valli.
  4. Glinda, Fiyero, Nessarose.
  5. Mungojerrie, Mistoffelees, Grizabella.

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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!

December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve 2

So here we are, 2017.  It seems that every year I’ve said, “I can’t believe how fast this year is going!”  And 2016 is no exception.  Overall, it was a very good year that included selling and buying a new house, and I’m confident that 2017 will bring more of the same.  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.  A friend of mine did brave it once, but the best way.  It was for New Year’s Eve in 1999 (ushering in 2000, which I really don’t think was the true Millennium – that came a year later).  Anyway, she had entered a lottery to reserve a room at the Marriott Marquis (right in Times Square), and her number was picked.  Further, she was able to garner a corner room overlooking the activity in Times Square.  The room was expensive, but she shared it with some 5-6 other people, making the cost much more manageable.  Now, that’s the way to do it!  And this year, for the first time, the ball stayed on the pole the entire year…presumably in an attempt to attract more tourists.  As if Times Square really needs that; there have been many occasions in which I’ve found it difficult enough to navigate my way through the area!

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 friends holding hands for this year’s theme of Let There Be Friendship, and the lighting is provided by more than 30,000 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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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, 2016

Kwanzaa

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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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, 2016

Christmas

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 (which started last evening), 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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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 Christmas Eve…

December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

…and what would be more fitting than quoting the poem The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore or Henry Livingston (I never knew this, but evidently there’s quite a controversy about who actually wrote it.) My grandson Evan (and I’m sure his little brother Noah will also enjoy it soon) loves me to read this to him, so I’ll do exactly that tonight.  Enjoy the holidays!

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

‘Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!’

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound,

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

and laying his finger aside of his nose,

and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.’

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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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

Visit Bryant Park Over the Holidays

December 13, 2016

bryant-park-holiday-shops

Bryant Park, located behind the main branch of the New York Public Library, is a great place to visit in the summer for watching movies or people or just relaxing.  But it’s also a great place to visit during the holiday season.

The Winter Village at Bryant Park features an ice skating rink, complete with skate sharpening, skating lessons, and lockers that is open until March 5.  It also features the Holoday Shops, a collection of more than 125 boutique shops offering gift ideas for all.

It’s worth a visit to get in the holiday spirit.  For more info, go to http://www.bryantpark.org/things-to-do/wintervillage.

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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is Now Lighted!

December 1, 2016

christmas-tree

The annual celebration surrounding the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center did indeed happen last night.  A little about the tree first: it’s a 95-year old, 94-foot high, 14 ton Norway spruce that had been growing in Oneonta, New York and is the second tallest tree to ever stand in Rockefeller Center.  It’s been decorated with more than five miles of lights (50,000 bulbs) which with the star on top are the only decorations.  After the holidays, the tree is recycled and provided to Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the needy.

The ceremony, broadcast on NBC and attended by an estimated  500,000 people, was hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker of NBC, and included performances by Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Dolly Parton, and of course the Radio City Rockettes.  But in my opinion, many of the performances were marginal at best.

Whether or not you watched the ceremony, the tree merits a personal visit…

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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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 Black Friday Again

November 25, 2016

Black Friday

We’re in Virginia again for this holiday, and Black Friday brings back a memory from several years ago when I got up before 4 am (you read it right, and normally that’s something I’ll do only to play golf or go on vacation) to scoop up some buys at a local store.  Although I got what I wanted, I left with the conviction that I’d never do that again.

And I’m sticking with that.  I think I’ll head to Starbucks, catch a local parade, and maybe head to Total Wine to get some good wine at great prices.  Then I think I’ll just enjoy some of that wine and work on my novels…

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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

The history of this holiday in the United States is uncertain at best.  Some claim it started with Spanish settlers in St. Augustine, Florida an 1565; others look to the English in Virginia in 1619; still others claim it originated in 1621 with the settlers of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Whatever the actual origin, Thanksgiving became a legal holiday here in the United States when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the bill making it such in December of 1941.

Today, of course, it goes beyond giving thanks for the harvest and all that we have; it’s a time for families, travel, shopping, and parades.  And New York City is one of the leaders there, with its annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The parade, which began at 9 this morning, follows a new route because of the closing of Broadway for the new pedestrian mall.  It will still begin at 77th Street and travel south on Central Park West (Eighth Avenue) to 59th Street.  Then it will turn onto Seventh Avenue and continue to Macy’s at Herald Square (Sixth Avenue and 34th Street).  Although the 3-mile route is different, the floats and balloons and bands and performers are just as good as they always are, so enjoy the holiday!

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

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/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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