Pulpdiddys Permutations My Way

I’ve been writing Pulpdiddys Permutations many years now and several weeks ago felt it was time for a change.  The change is not because I am burnt out but because the nasty stories which is our current history has caused me to shy away from writing.  Frankly, it’s too ugly.  I still am a news junkie and when reading it still have my peculiar take of it.  The battle to stay afloat amongst the vast majority of the constituency, especially in a world in which the wonders are so great that we all can benefit, is a battle which depresses me because it should not be.  What we should be doing is focusing on worldwide problems first, like Climate Change, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Basically, the old format has been this – Monday – Sunday writing about politics or social issues or economics except for Wednesday which I reserved for Neurotic Man, and Friday, which was Thursday repeated, and Sunday which was an explanation of the purpose of the column.  But I realize I’ve had it, I’m pulling a Duran.  So Neurotic Man will be taking a rest and the rest of the format will remain the same in which I write my memoirs.

While rare instances of man helping man remains, the rise of so much cynicism and jealousy and greed have forced me to re-examine the past, starting with my own.  Where did the dreams of fairness and democracy start, and where did they all go?

I know this is simplistic but we all began somewhere and mostly it is different.  While all stories can be similar, essentially, they are the same.  Well, for my story it all began in the city of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, Section of Brighton in the apartment of my loving family that will be re-examined for fun and maybe a few truths along the way.  And if it doesn’t work out for either of us there’s always the possibility of the return of Neurotic Man.

____________________________________________________________________________________

THIS IS THE WAY I’VE BEGUN EVERY SUNDAY FOR THE LAST TEN WEEKs

During the last ten weeks my chronic back pain has slightly lessened and I am now but a sixty-four-year-old man bent into a re-examination of the sidewalk.  I still read a lot but my revulsion with much of the news I read continues to grow and has become white hot anger so I must put the memoir aside and focus once again on the inhumanity I see performed by those supposedly elected to be servants of the people.  The sad, sad, thing is that they are not supposed to be despots. With what that horrible group has done and continues to do has helped me decide Pulpdiddys Permutations will re-appear with my take on the news at least for a little while.  And then my itch to get back to the memoirs must, well it must be scratched.

Christmas has just passed and so has New Year’s but the reason for them has not and that is to be good to each other – for all time.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Here we are again, back to the memoir, talking about the past, which seems as current as the present, at least for me.  It is narcissism, my telling my story. But with every contact with someone in my past comes a hint from what the future might bring.  Thank you for allowing me this time and for me to tell my story.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

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Cousin Lloyd

Lloyd and his brother, George, grew up in a home.  Their mom had been hospitalized and their dad, I never understood Nathan.  I was told by my mom that Nathan had a hard time looking up after children.  As a child I didn’t understand this – I guess I still don’t.  The brothers were about twenty years older than me and loved their cousin, my mom.  I guess the bond came through to me.  Anyone loving my mom was good enough for me.

Lloyd, the older, take care of many things.  George was more of a dreamer and became a scientist, and Lloyd, the more practical one, became a businessman (but that didn’t stop him from getting a Master’s in Geology.

When they got out of the home they came back to Brooklyn and as an infant I was introduced to them.  George got married early and with the science, was a very busy young man.  Lloyd got married later and had more time to share with me.  I met his mom, still institutionalized, and his dad, and his girlfriends.  In some ways he felt like an older brother but really, the relationship was like a close uncle/nephew.  Lloyd introduced me to his eventual wife when I was a little boy, before any of the other family members.

He was stiff and unyielding and went life without the love of his parents. It didn’t alter the fact that I loved him very much.  He was proud of our intelligence and his way to make money but not my failures.  I loved my Dad so very much, but Lloyd just as much.  I learned that being loved can create love.

The one difficult time was when I stopped working in his store.  He didn’t let me modernize and with that increase profit.  He was happy with how things went he was content with the static.

When he got old and sickly he lost much reason to live and he stopped trying and sat in his chair much of the time.  He was married and he cared for others, including me, his nephew, but his passion was gone.  I would look at him and then look away with tears in my eyes.

Eventually he stopped but not the love for him that others felt.  Lloyd’s wife, my aunt my cousin talks a couple of times a week, and learned to care for each other.  God Bless.

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Bernie

My uncle Bernie is a wonderful man who has done much good through his life.  Unfortunately, he has also not been the best uncle.  Or perhaps I haven’t been the best nephew.  He is busy with the Zen Peacekeepers or with projects helping the poor in hunger and shelter.  He is done much to help people.  I understand why he is too busy for me, but it still hurts.

Bernie is fifteen years older than me and he had three older and one younger sisters.  I’m sure he spent time with all his sisters but I know he spent lots of time with my mom and her family.  There is no way a boy whose mom died when he was so young and was brought up my grandfather could be spoiled, and he wasn’t.  But his sisters, and then their children, loved him very much.  Family means so much and its bond can be so strong.  After Bernie married Helen my sister and I accompanied them on a trip to Colorado Springs where Bernie and Sheldon had been invited.  The trip was full of lunacy as Sheldon drove his Corvette in that special Sheldon way (Sheldon and I got stopped by the police in New Mexico for possibly being bank robbers, another time Faith was driving with Sheldon and a light came on the dash.  Faith asked Sheldon what that meant and he confessed to not knowing, speculating that the car might explode. After the next meeting spot Faith stayed with Bernie and Helen most of the rest of the way.)

Bernie studied to become a rabbi but didn’t, got his doctorate at UCLA, worked as a supervisor of mathematicians at McDonnel Douglas, studied Zen, and became a Rabbi, a very innovative Rabbi.  At times he was too busy for me and I became angry.  But I never doubted his greatness.  I haven’t see you in many years my dear uncle, you with your infirmities and me with mine.

The love remains and that love can tell you how proud of you I am, Bernie Glassman, Roshi Tetsugen, my dear uncle, and have always been.

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Sheldon

Sheldon was my uncle Bernie’s friend and the most brilliant man I ever met.  He was also very kind and very easygoing so that his brilliance was often forgotten and his erraticism remembered.  Sheldon, Bernie, and several other guys were mathematicians with PHD’s who worked at McDonnell Douglas.  They worked on all kinds of projects but the job lost any luster with their full-time work on missile trajectory for the military and eventually they all went elsewhere. Around this period of time they often came over to my parents’ house. My parents always had good food and they and the house were warm and friendly. The house was an ideal meeting place for a bunch of bachelor’s who has small, cramped apartments.  The house was often full of these visitors with Sheldon the closest – he was a friend to my parents and like an older brother to me and my siblings.

Bernie eventually became a Zen Roshi and Phil and Stan (with some help with Sheldon) opened the Bodhi Tree, a soon to be revered book store in Los Angeles. Sheldon had the knack with the stock market.  For an example his early major purchase of Flying Tiger stock soared as the name inferred. He also walked one day from a joint friend’s house to ours and worked out a mathematical process in his head.  Arrived at our house and asked for paper and writing utensils and locked himself in a room for several hours.

We would good naturedly laugh when Sheldon did something unintentionally funny.  If he got engaged in conversation he would slip a shoe off and use it as an ashtray.  Sheldon would buy a box of shirts at a time, wear a shirt for a few days and then slip a new one on.  Of course, he bought a new corvette and got a ticket for being a hazard – driving too slowly.

Sheldon’s love-life was like the rest of him.  Once he took me to a meeting because he like a woman who would be there.  He ran off when we go there and what he didn’t tell me was the house was full of Nichiren Buddhists.  It was like fending off piranha until he returned.  Another time he fell for a woman in the Hells Angels so he bought himself a motorcycle.  Thing was, he didn’t know how to ride it. Actually, he never had ridden a regular bicycle and was extremely uncoordinated.   He borrowed my 10 speed and crashed into parked cars several times.  By the time he mastered the bike the romance was over.

I could go on and on with Sheldon stories and perhaps someday I will.  But for now, suffice to say, I loved Sheldon as a very dear friend very, very much. I wish he was still with us.

Sheldon

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Drinking

It was Friday afternoon and Lennie and I were sitting in his parents’ house drinking tequila and talking.  His parents were out for a movie and dinner so we figured we had the house for at least three hours.  The conversation soon turned silly and Lennie plopped on the floor and proclaimed he was now a crocodile.  A couple of the boys came into the house having been informed early on that Lennie’s parents had left.  They came into the house to find me laughing hysterically standing on the kitchen table (even drunk I was a good boy and took my shoes off before standing on the table as I didn’t want to scuff the table).  I yelled to them to be careful of the crocodile who suddenly emerged from around the corner, moving slowly on the floor, baring his teeth.  One of them said to me “aren’t you supposed to go to work soon?”  That sobered me up a bit and I went out to my car struggling to get my bike out of the car figuring a ride would clear my mind. I rode my bike to Donnie’s house, which was about six houses away.  Donnie was a very smart, very creative boy.  Donnie’s dad was a world renown surgeon.  Neither was home.  Who was home was Donnie’s mother who was a very unhappy woman.  We each could tell the other had been drinking.  She invited me in for a drink.  It was karma – she was drinking tequila.  I shrugged and went in and we drank and talked.

I stood up straight after a frantic pause ad told her I had to get to work.  Fortunately, the restaurant was just a couple of miles away and traffic in those days was nothing like it is today.  I changed into my busboy’s uniform and the waiters, all five of them looked at me and said they’d keep my father, who was managing that night, away from me.  They worked me hard!  Every time I started to wave a bit one of them would take me into the locker room and fill the sink with cold water and dunk my head into it.  I remember the sweating, the nausea, the shock of the cold water.  The waiters were good to their word and kept my dad away from me.  The restaurant was usually busy and that night was no exception.  By the end of the night I was sober and weak as a newborn kitten.  All I wanted to do was get into my bed.  When I got to my house the lights were on and my mom and one of her friends were talking.  Mom asked me if I could drive her friend home (she didn’t drive) I ignored the pain and nodded yes.  As we were leaving I heard my mom tell her friend that Charlie (my dad) had a great idea in having me drive her friend home.

Drinking

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Pulpdiddys Permutations My Way

I’ve been writing Pulpdiddys Permutations several years now and several weeks ago felt it was time for a change.  The change is not because I am burnt out but because the nasty stories which is our current history has caused me to shy away from writing.  Frankly, it’s too ugly.  I still am a news junkie and when reading it still have my peculiar take of it.  The battle to stay afloat amongst the vast majority of the constituency, especially in a world in which the wonders are so great that we all can benefit, is a battle which depresses me because it should not be.  What we should be doing is focusing on worldwide problems first, like Climate Change, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Basically, the old format has been this – Monday – Sunday writing about politics or social issues or economics except for Wednesday which I reserved for Neurotic Man, and Friday, which was Thursday repeated, and Sunday which was an explanation of the purpose of the column.  But I realize I’ve had it, I’m pulling a Duran.  So Neurotic Man will be taking a rest and the rest of the format will remain the same in which I write my memoirs.

While rare instances of man helping man remains, the rise of so much cynicism and jealousy and greed have forced me to re-examine the past, starting with my own.  Where did the dreams of fairness and democracy start, and where did they all go?

I know this is simplistic but we all began somewhere and mostly it is different.  While all stories can be similar, essentially, they are the same.  Well, for my story it all began in the city of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, Section of Brighton in the apartment of my loving family that will be re-examined for fun and maybe a few truths along the way.  And if it doesn’t work out for either of us there’s always the possibility of the return of Neurotic Man.

____________________________________________________________________________________

THIS IS THE WAY I’VE BEGUN EVERY SUNDAY FOR THE LAST TEN WEEKs

During the last ten weeks my chronic back pain has slightly lessened and I am now but a sixty-four-year-old man bent into a re-examination of the sidewalk.  I still read a lot but my revulsion with much of the news I read continues to grow and has become white hot anger so I must put the memoir aside and focus once again on the inhumanity I see performed by those supposedly elected to be servants of the people.  The sad, sad, thing is that they are not supposed to be despots. With what that horrible group has done and continues to do has helped me decide Pulpdiddys Permutations will re-appear with my take on the news at least for a little while.  And then my itch to get back to the memoirs must, well it must be scratched.

Christmas has passed and so has New Year’s but the reason for them has not and that is to be good to each other – not only the next holiday but for all time.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

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Hope

My days in Culver City were filled with hope.  Yes, there was that extremely tragic war in Vietnam and its neighboring states.  The last few had their eyes opened to the terrible way America had treated its African-American citizens.  We learned how badly agents of this government treated citizens in other countries – especially non-white citizens of other countries.  But our various voices often spoke as one.  Those in the High School who looked at the time there as a way to get their advanced degrees mostly agreed with us and on occasion would help the various movements.  There was hope.  We didn’t trust our politicians but there was Jack and Bobby and Martin and Malcolm and though their lives were cut short somehow there was still hope.

What we didn’t realize was that hope was already fading.  It had already registered in our brains that if you tried hard and didn’t go along with the status quo and had power you would be extinguished.  The student in the high school felt the solidarity but also realized if you spoke up and were listened to it was very, very dangerous.  Pragmatism won out over hope.  Some of us who still maintained ourselves as Sancho’s to Quixote’s played a dangerous game except or one fact – the powers that be didn’t take us very seriously so we were mostly ignored.

Indifference won out over hope with a demonstration here and there.  But we hoped – I still hope that we can help the people of this world from suffering.  Hunger and lack of shelter and disease can all be conquered – I still hope.  It takes less than all of our resources to make sure everyone’s life is at least bearable.  Hope is not the lovely word it was of my younger days but still I hope, I hope that we do so much more that I know we can do, for all of us.

Hope

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Words

As sensitive to words that we are today, some of it deserved, in those days there was a greater selection of words that would cause people to shut off and not hear your message.  Bernie as a Socialist, would not be elected forty-five years ago because of that word.  Same message, just that one word.  Lots of words, first used disparagingly have been shifted and refined over the years.  We can now use African-American but not too long ago would mostly say Black.  Before that here was Negro but is often used disparagingly today.  And the words before that?  I wouldn’t, couldn’t say.

Words were difficult during my early political days too.  We wanted to let people know that we marched for equality but the word we wanted to be equated with was not evil or anti-American.  This meant segregation from the rest of the movement because those other leaders were too squeamish to use our group’s name.  We could work for the cause just not be identified.  When all the smaller groups came together on an issue it was a beautiful thing.  You felt strong, and also felt the solidarity.

Lennie and I ventured North to the big anti-Vietnam War demonstration in San Francisco.  Travelling was fun in those days.  It was like getting on a bus but for a much greater distance.  PSA, the state-wide airline of that time, did a first-come, first serve system ad the flights left every half hour or so between LA and SF.  You could board the plane and pay the stewardesses after you found a seat.  There were no Security lines and I think for this flight for the protest we left Culver City thirty minutes before take-off and made the flight easy.   We stayed with one of Lennie’s friends who had moved North a few years ago to Berkeley.  A couple more kids from Culver City showed the day before the protest from Culver City.  Our host drove us to downtown where the march was due to begin.  We went early and the crowd got larger and larger.

By march time the crowd had swelled to an estimated 500,000 which we didn’t know at the time, only that it was a lot of people there.  Both for your own spirit and the visuals for the news it was a wondrous event. Walking in a big group is of such great power.  The one downer was that listening to conversations I learned that some of the protestors were there only for the free concert following the march.

That day I learned to power of big crowds, how feeling that you are right would cause lots of people to your rally and a free concert by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young didn’t hurt either.

Words

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Culver City Again

I’m back in High School in Culver City.  We were a mixed-up bunch, full of lots of adventure and inquisitiveness and inhibitions.  We had so many cliques and sub-groups that our breakdowns were almost that of couples.  Lots of us were Jewish – in those days Culver City was controlled by the Jewish population though there were lots of other groups in the city’s population.  Culver City, which had several poor sections, was largely the poor man’s version of Beverly Hills.  The City was also the testing ground for potential employees – young, high quality teachers after a few years were poached by Beverly Hills as were people in all kinds of services.  But some stayed, enough stayed especially at the High School so we were still provided decent foundations for further exploration.  As I mentioned before this is when my grades started to slip and I was out performed until I became competitive about something, like passing AP tests because my teachers said I couldn’t pass and my counselors said I could.  My counselors were proven right.

I was horny as hell – there were so many sexy, lovely girls out there.  I went out with more than a few but didn’t engage in any sexual activity outside of kissing.  I felt it dishonest to have sex with someone unless you really cared for them, loved them.  And the one thing I didn’t feel was love.  I had a big façade of sexual liberation but it was more than a little fake imagery.

Come to think of it in this age of experimentation I didn’t smoke or try social drugs of any sort, I was not sexually active, I didn’t attend concerts or get tattoos – for a few years I drank and then gave that up late in College and haven’t touched any liquor for thirty years.  I was kind and sensitive but kept them well hidden.  There was anger against inherited wealth and how little chance the poor had to move out of that class.

I seemed happy enough and my brother and sister seemed to be doing fine.  My parents and I talked politics and got closer, if that’s possible.  I joined groups supposedly formed to help people but had little faith in them.  I was hoping the travels I would soon take would help with the emptiness I felt inside.

Culver City

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Back to It

On November 27th of last year, I wrote the last segment of my memoir and I feel it is time to get back to it.  In that six weeks the Donald has exhibited enough mania so that the one-third that decides elections and flirted with him once will never elect him again.  As a quick review before we get back to it the third that supports Trump will curiously support him no matter what he says or does.  Another third would never consider the Donald for any office.  And the aforementioned third, mad as hell at the status quo, will not vote for the Donald again (some of them did once) but are also not in favor of the old way, the return of the Hillary way. While we flirt with disaster during the Trump administration the 2/3s a bit more sane have to become more active, have to tell their representatives their feelings and concerns.

While we play along the abyss following the Donald there has been an increase of recognition of the danger we are in from various short term and long-term ways.  While this craziness sorts itself out it is time for me to take a breather ang back to it, retelling my ow story.  From what I recall I was in High School during the waning days of the Vietnam War and I was in Culver City, with my loving family who had pressures mounting of their own and that’s where we will start beginning tomorrow.

Back to It

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