Archive for the ‘Observations on the Strange and Unexpected and on Life Itself’ Category

It’s Memorial Day – A Time to Remember Our Veterans

May 29, 2017

Most of us think of Memorial Day as another Monday holiday, another day off from work, and baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie.  But the real purpose, as the name implies, is in memory of our men and women who died while in the military service.

On this day, I remember two friends who were killed in the Vietnam War.  The first is Jonathan C. Shine, who was in my company at West Point and graduated 2 years before me.  The second was Michael J. Callahan, a friend and neighbor when I was growing up in New City, New York.  Both are memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and which you can visit virtually at http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/.  Please remember those who have given their lives for our country.

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

Look Who’s Five!

May 22, 2017

Unlike our experience with the birth of our first grandson Evan, five years ago today, my wife and I were ready this time for the birth of our second grandson Noah.  And the experience was just as exciting and emotional as the first time; we had a second healthy grandson!

Fast forward to today, and our little man is now an active 5-year-old with a great sense of humor and a love of family.  I just love this picture from his baseball game this past weekend.  Happy birthday, Noah, and many more swings to come…

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

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo!

May 5, 2017

I think we’ve all heard of Cinco de Mayo, and probably associate it with Margaritas and dinner specials at Don Pablo, and that it means “5th of May.”  But you may not know the origin of the holiday (which, by the way, is apparently a minor holiday in Mexico, but celebrated widely in the U.S.), so I did some research.

The day actually commemorates the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.  France had sent troops to Mexico over a defaulted loan, and the two armies clashed at Puebla, with the French finally retreating after the day-long battle.  Although it was more of a symbolic than strategic victory for Mexico, it did bolster the resistance, resulting in France’s departure 6 years later.

So enjoy your Margaritas, but remember the origin of the holiday…

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

Celebrating May Day

May 1, 2017

When I was growing up, I never thought there was anything special about May 1, other than we had less than 2 months until summer vacation.  But in many cultures, particularly those in the Northern Hemisphere, do in fact celebrate it, and the day is a declared holiday in many of those cultures.  Many pre-Christian cultures regarded February 1 as the beginning of Spring, and May 1 then became the beginning of Summer, with cause to celebrate. In other cultures, it was regarded as the end of the unfarmable winter season, another cause for celebration.

What it seems to have become now is a celebration of culture.  Here in the United States, it’s known as Lei Day in Hawaii, where it is now a celebration of the island culture and Spring.

 

Whether it’s a holiday or not where you are, enjoy Spring!

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 April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2017

But I’m not going to write something to fool you or pull any pranks.  Maybe.

I have seen some good ones, though.  Years ago when I lived in Reading, Pennsylvania, I was a faithful listener of the Mike and Dave Morning Show on WRFY radio.  On this particular day, I turned on the radio in my car on the way to work, only to find that the late morning DJ was hosting the early show.  I heard no mention of the change for several minutes.  Finally, an announcement came on air that Mike and Dave were no longer employed by the station.  Now, they (particularly Dave) had a reputation of pushing the airwave envelope – not to the point of being shock jocks, but pushing it nevertheless – so their termination did not surprise me.  But it really disappointed me.  In fact, I was really in a funk the rest of the day.  The next morning, I heard their familiar voices on the radio.  And then it occurred to me that the day before was April 1!  I called them and let them know that they “got” me.  They just laughed and said that was the point.  So go ahead and play your pranks, and maybe leave a comment abut the funniest April Fool’s prank you’ve seen!

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 St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 2017

st-patricks-parade

This seems to be an appropriate time to write about St. Patrick’s Day, so I will.  Today is the national holiday of Ireland, and celebrates the life of Saint Patrick, a Christian missionary who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries.  It began as a religious holiday, and became a public holiday in 1903.  The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in Boston in 1737, but the longest-running and largest parade is in New York, which has run every year since 1762, and today attracts two million spectators and 150,000 marchers.  And green is the color of choice, with a river dyed green in Chicago, a canal in Indianapolis, and fountains in Savannah.  Even those not of Irish ancestry participate in the festivities (in fact, I’ve gone to several “St. Paddy’s Day” parties in the past few years, and I’ve got only one connection – McCracken – and that name hails from Northern Ireland).  So regardless of your background, enjoy!

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 February 27th Birthday!

February 27, 2017

longfellow

It’s February 27, so a hearty Happy Birthday wish (past and present) to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (that’s him above, not me!), David Sarnoff, John Steinbeck and Gene Sarazen (same year), Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Taylor, Van Williams and Ralph Nader (same year), Howard Hesseman, Mary Fran, Adam Baldwin, Chelsea Clinton, Josh Groban, and…me!  I’m not being narcissistic; I just realized that I’m in pretty good company, three of us are writers, and two of us were born in New York.  If you want to find out what famous people share your birthday, one resource is http://www.famousbirthdays.com.  But you won’t find me on the February 27 list…yet…

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 Presidents Day!

February 20, 2017

George Washington

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…

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 Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2017

punxsutawney-phil1

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…

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

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


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