Archive for the ‘Our Children’ Category

Hard to describe in words

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

window
You may find yourself…
One day I woke up here and the sun was spilling into our bed in what seemed to be huge buckets of yellow and orange paint. We had breakfast together and then went outside into the garden.

People come in and out of your life for a reason
I come here immersed with gratitude. I am very lucky blessed and God has been very good to me. As I look back on Gods impeccable track record a glow of thankfulness covers me like a warm blanket in my new home.
In all that was chaos is blessings. I have done some of the footwork for I have no idea where I would be today if I wasn’t sober. Most times my mind goes faster than what I can keep up with but even that is getting better. It seems like so many many years ago I walked thru the doors of a place in Piscataway NJ, fresh out of jail, jobless and confused. It was a big room on the second floor covered with windows by a railroad track. There was always cofee and sweets, there was always clouds of cigarette smoke (yes, that’s how long ago this was.) but most of all there was always meetings. The building was not dedicated to anything else but recovery. Everyday, several times a day. And during holidays it was 24/7. I am very lucky blessed to have found people to talk to and phone numbers (there were no cell phones back then but I knew where every phone booth was)

she died a Hartman

she died a Hartman

I continue to be in awe of life …. and death. If you take for granted the billions of miracles that are going on around you and within you then you can lose touch with this whole amazing thing. You were actually a very sweet person, you just got a little lost. (like we all do) I’ve lost count of how many people have just slipped away from my life just so suddenly. They are up here, swimming and struggling* to stay afloat like the rest of us and then you turn around and
they are gone.

* and some people can just float

One day, a long time ago, I woke up on this farm in Canada too.

One day, a long time ago, I woke up on this farm in Canada too.

So this past June 16 was the 45 anniversary of my fathers death. I remember him telling me about the “7 year locust” next to that funny looking tree that is (still!) in our front yard. Obviously the seven year locust only come out every seven years. The story is that he was working on the rose bushes which he loved to do and one of those huge MF’ers flew into that tree and let out one of his crazy long noise/scream/bug sound. It freaked me out but my father soothed me by saying, “Don’t worry it’s only a seven year locust. He wont hurt you.” And that’s the end of the story pretty much. It’s funny how I can have memories that long ago! Actually if you asked me what my deepest longest memory EVER was, I might think it was the 1964 Words Fair in Flushing NY.

I lost you in the butterfly tent
So basically I have obtained a Flux Capacitor on Ebay and with the help of a friend of mine from New York City, we have created a Time Traveling APP. In a nutshell, when the phone is charging I can transfer through communication lines into different periods of time. My current quest is to travel digitally to a bar in West Carteret (Mikes Bar) and transfer my image onto the TV at that bar. The date I picked is October 10, 1968. A Thursday. My father frequented this bar ofter especially on Mondays and Thursdays when the Westfiels Sewing Center was opened until 9PM>
Since my father has never seen my kids, HIS grandchildren, I plan to show photos and small movies of them projected thru this black and white TV in Mikes Bar. My only hope is that dad sees them.

I haven’t traveled into the future yet. I’m too scared.

IDGAF
Sometimes I wish I never connected this blog to the family website. Sometimes creativity is hard to understand. Many

once a long time ago I woke up on the third floor of this Victorian mansion and had just impregnated my wife at the time with my first son.

once a long time ago I woke up on the third floor of this Victorian mansion and had just impregnated my wife at the time with my first son.

people need pure logic and straight thoughts. Sorry I don’t have much of that nor does this blog feature happy butterfly clipart and borders of flowers. I can view the number of times this blog gets “hit” which is actually pretty high probably only because it’s so public. So I’m sorry I can be so deep and dark and I know my audience isn’t keeping up with me nor caring but it’s this: Writing for me is incredibly therapeutic and the creative energy it creates just knowing I have a little corner in the world to turn to is so very nice. At least there is some family tree stuff and heritage so maybe one day one of our kids or their kids might be interested in that. I seem to be the only one.

Every time I start feeling Sorry For Myself I watch The News
I used to think I knew too much about life to have optimism. I was very wrong. When I was a teenager and into my twenties I wasn’t a very good person. In fact I was a big dick. I was indeed a racist, a sexist, an egomaniac and an irresponsible punk ass hippy. I’m very sorry to all the people I hurt, especially my family.

Everything that makes you happy is going to end at some point. I have gotten over that and have diligently tried to be a better person. I used to think that letting my divorce happen was one of my biggest mistakes. One day I woke up in my car and said “what the fuck have I done?” I should be waking up with my kids and teaching them how to sheetrock a fucking house or something! How to make a living in life. How to cook. How and when to put on underarm deodorant.
Actually I don’t have the first clue of how to sheetrock a house.
And today I don’t regret the sloppy one-sided nightmare divorce one bit. I know in my heart of hearts I did the absolute best that I could…..stressing with WHAT I HAD.

I am extremely blessed with these guys. You can not put a word to parental love.

I am extremely blessed with these guys. You can not put a word to parental love.

I have been calling Uncle Billy and I did that because I had some kind of crazy resentment with him. That he “abandoned” us or something. See, I can still be an idiot. After Carol died we used to think Barb was the last elder left in the family, then we found Jerry Jones but she sadly passed away almost as soon as I found her. Our fathers brother is still here and he such a nice, intelligent man with many many memories. He was so pleasant and patient when I last spoke with him and I had a hundred questions(knowing me yes some of them were strange) He is doing very well and will soon be out of assisted care.

Westfield NJ 1919. The Westfield Sewing Center not yet here (second store from the right) I hope to time travel here some day.

Westfield NJ 1919. The Westfield Sewing Center not yet here (second store from the right) I hope to time travel here some day.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve conquered it all except death. And maybe heavy merges on Rt 46 during rush hour.
When I see people in their twenties freaking out in their car, I laugh to myself. I was like that once too. Climbing the ladder of life. Knocking people down. Building a wall around myself and possessions. Yeah, this materialistic fever fed by American TV and movies. I’m reading a book now that changes all that. After the last France truck terrorism episode… it changed me greatly and I needed to find myself again. I’ll tell you one day soon how I made out.

Brooke Marie Cordray and Blame The Gun

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The Riddle Road Market World Turtle Day Party - published on YouTube in May 2015 by pinballpoolshark

lost clips II (always look up)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

materialism

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Every year i want to make the garden bigger until there is a farm there maybe and mountains instead of the neighbors hoovering houses. Besides the white dog there will suddenly be two big cows and you will teach me how to talk to them in cow language and how to milk them without stressing them out, I will have my first drink of hot foamy milk right out of the bucket. Chickens lay eggs and have to be killed one day to be put on the grill.
So Im never happy, i was told by a hater. im extremely content with a simple humble life and my real goal in life is to fall off the grid.
Maybe like an old friend of mine, (same age, same long ago HS school), i should have two houses, one at the beach, two pick up trucks, exotic antiques, two snowmobiles, a motorcycle, three jet skies, a sloppy sex affair, a son that secretly shoots heroin and a chocolate lab named sparky. ahhh yes. this is the true american life. maybe people will like me then.

Or the guy that abandoned his life in new jersey, googled his sons name twenty years later and got the boys obituary. i always wondered where this dude went. we were so close in our teens and twenties. we dropped acid, laid on our backs in carteret park and watched very low flying 747’s fly by directly overhead to land at newark airport. he comes back from missing after several decades and turns out he was having a fucking blast. the west coast baby. the sunsets. the chicks. the open air concerts. learning and working a new trade. converted a lesbian to have sex with him and getting her pregnant and abandoning them too. never a dime of child support and then another kid- getting some random chick preggo at Burning Man Festival in nevadas black rock dessert and oh yeah the methamphetamine. it brings the best of us down to our knees empty handed holding our dripping soul in our hands. where were you when your kids needed you out having fun going to concerts that i wanted to go to fucking all the chicks that i wanted to get pregnant and all the icy cold northern crabbing jobs that i wanted in alaska and cooking and smoking meth you lucky fuck. damn you. turns out-even if you’re a fucking dick they will have a parade for you when you come home
F_tunnelBLOG
one late night this past summer, there were three of us jetting down lost highways somewhere in upstate new york. just coming back from an exercise in small theater, menopause the musical and there we were. i pulled the car over. there were no houses. no streetlights. no other cars on the road. we were sandwiched by two empty fields. i turned off the headlights. i turned off the car. i rolled down the windows. and there it was: the single most amazing moment of my summer (damn i miss summer) it was just blackness..and blazing stars. the cascade of crickets. and lightening bugs. yes the lightening bugs. hundreds flickering and i wanted to get out of the car. open the door. get out and look around and embrace the moment but i was talked out of it. (SAFETY???) and i understand that. kinda. i should have got out of the car. so now one day i will go back there before i die. whether i am alone or with someone…i will go back there and get out of the car. Only this time I will be driving the Lexus LFA Nurburgring.

truly people, how important is Consumerism and One-upsmanship when spirits of the past constantly whirl around you and moan “it means nothing you foooooool nothing. money shouldnt be your journey to happiness…” these bastards should know. been there done that they say and if you ever stop your Lexus LFA Nurburgring in the middle of nowhere just to listen to the crickets and star gaze then you will understand

in a very recent blog post i wrote of my fascination with my brothers Glenns earthly clean up. he had nothing. he had nothing and he was extremely miserable. so maybe im wrong about all this Buddhist horseshit. LIVE LIFE and go crazy. buy things. big expensive things. surround yourself with materialistic happiness. life is short. go for it. take as many vacations as you can. if you cant afford this, then charge it all on your credit cards. after all my brother Glenn lived this way with drugs. it made him happy and he couldnt charge the drugs so he begged borrowed and stole for forty years.
Actually the third sibling death in our family should have been ME! i am number three. third born first son.
We aren’t dying IN ORDER damn it so be very fucking careful

one day i would hope to come to this blog and type “dear readers…” but not one word of that would ever be true. laughing my ass off.

josh when you graduated high school im sorry couldn’t get you that laptop you wanted as a graduation gift
jonny i wish i could give you tuition to four years rutgers with on campus room books and a six pack (abs not beer)
layla remember the kites at the giant games tailgate windy parking lots. i wish could have done more for you but thank god for Buc. and ill find that canvas one day
ashley such a sweet girl my first daughter. remember that time i made you swim in the ocean?
anna there are times i really feel like your dad but i just want you to know this: if i was in Ikea with you when you were a little girl i would have purchased that play kitchen set you were crying for

mom empty your stinking ashtrays and open up the windows of imagination to your kids. remember when you gave us every shop rite food can in the kitchen, flipped over the wooden toy-box to make a counter so we could play “store”?? And that lasted for hours on that cold rainy day. if you use your imagination you can own anything. i never expected you to turn our back yard into a fake farm on our birthdays but you always made us feel special somehow. we all do the best that we can do with our kids. parental love is indescribable until we remember to be human
there will come that day when they don’t need you anymore. there will come that day when they don’t come home.
so now, so so so now …so now..we sit here with our empty arms out stretched waiting for something to fill them

) maybe grandkids?)

Bread, the Primary Colors and a Raven

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

"The Travelers" Digital Art composition. PS CS5 - 20"x26" Mixer brush experiment.

“The Travelers” Digital Art composition. PS CS5 – 20″x26″ Mixer brush experiment.


I can count on one hand how many times I have found a real feather in my life. It is such a rare occasion. I always pick them up and find them so fascinating.
Each time you pick up a feather it is a reminder that you are on the right path and that your life is sacred again. This is a part of the symbolism I put in this digital painting. I love digital art. I love the tools available to cut, paste, move and color. Kyrsia is an old school artist. She is not a fan of digital art. She works with real paint, paper and canvas. She only uses the primary colors to create her art. This is the way she teaches. Red, yellow, and blue are primary colors. They are the three pigment colors that cannot be made by mixing any other colors. These three colors are mixed to create all other colors and can be combined with white or black to create tints (lighter tones) and shades (darker hues) of these colors. If Kryha is teaching, you can’t ask for an “aqua blue sky” in a tube. You have to create it with the primary colors.
The bird is generally thought to be a symbol of freedom. They can walk on the earth and swim in the sea as humans do but they also have the ability to soar into the sky. Birds are free to roam to earth and the sky. Many cultures believe that they are a symbol of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth. The Raven is generally thought to be a symbol of sadness, loss and death. The ancient Greeks believed that the raven was a messenger bird of the god Apollo.
In this digital work the green pasture speaks for itself and the group of lilies at Brenda’s feet represent Mathew 6:28, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing” Pretty much tells us that God will take care of us. I don’t think much about where Bev, Brenda and Glenn are. I consider myself more spiritual than religious but I recently read a book by Anita Moorjani called Dying To Be Me. A great read but it really confused me about all my conclusions that I had about the afterlife. If anything, it did give me great hope that there is AT LEAST something there and it’s not just a dark voided end.
My spirituality coveys great sadness that Glenns second grandchild was born just a few days after his death. This is the same sadness I felt when Brenda left behind two beautiful daughters. One of them so young, that she would never truly “know” who her mother really was in this physical world.

The raven flying off the canvas tells us that life is fleeting.  That is Ardea Raven, Glenn Jrs newborn baby!

The raven flying off the canvas tells us that life is fleeting. That is Ardea Raven, Glenn Jrs newborn baby!

Still hot!

Still hot!

When you go to the market do you buy bread OR do you buy REAL bread? Can you take home an unsliced loaf of bread baked right out of oven? The American market is flooded with mass produced, preservative filled sponges that they fool people and call it “bread”. I’m in love with a woman that loves bread and this is a big reason why I love her. This is my girl. Complex in so many ways yet loving so many simple things. She would take a hot fresh loaf of bread and a glass of milk over a fancy restaurant and a glass of champagne. This is a path in the journey, I have found. Cutting thru weeds and dirt trails instead of taking the Cadillac on the newly paved road. Go ahead and build your mansions in isolated woods, surrounded by rich white people. Go ahead and find your perfect schools, your unblemished politics, your English speaking neighborhoods. Take your perfect vacations while the sun sets on your bank account. This is NOT what life is all about. Tell me you are happier than the scavenger dancing for food on a rain washed sidewalk and I will tell you that you are full of shit.
FINAL_SHEBELONGStoMeI hope everyone finds happiness in their own special way and I would never condemn you for whatever it is that makes you happy. Find magic in every moment in life because it is fleeting. Death is inescapable lately. It is everywhere I turn. Personally, old friends are becoming memorial pages on their social network. The news is beheading peace and understanding in the world. Danger lurks everywhere. On the highways, seas and skies. Drugs take to the streets like a terrorism this country has never seen before.
One time when I was boiling inside myself with pride-filled anger towards my girl and I found myself on the verge of ugliness. I put away my pride and came to you. I was able to make this heroic step by being sober. By looking at a reflection of myself in a stainless steel pool of self pity. Why do we divide our homes with walls? Eskimos live as an entire family in a one-roomed igloo. Well, anyway, you were there in that room and I was there, boiling up inside in the other room. I came to you. I came to you past these divided walls and rooms. I came to you, thinking you were bitter and ignorant of my needs. I came to you expecting anger and shouting.
When you opened up to me you were crying within seconds. You were not the explosive witch I was expecting. You told me a story of your aunt when you were a child. How you were so grateful to her for bringing you art supplies on Christmas. It was such a simple heartfelt story. A simple long ago Christmas gift that you remembered and here I was expected an ugly showdown.
That moment, as simple as it seems now, was when I just fell deeper in love with you. How you became such a real person thru your tears and compassion. I love you for who you are. From deep in your past to this moment. From this I had learned a great lesson about pride and anger. No matter how hard it can be reach out and communicate!

Art fills Krysias soul. When you lost your job that you loved so much to a layoff, the school children cried when you were gone. No time to mope in negativity. You used the spare time to get your Masters degree and you kept getting interviews but there were no offers at first. So you went out and created your OWN Art school. You created your own web site, your own marketing, your own classroom and you built it up with your love of teaching art. Much like when you were a child and used anything you could find to make art and you hung it from the trees.
Yes, there were art teaching jobs that finally came to you but these were jobs that nobody else wanted. Tough teaching jobs, embedded in the troubled inner cities of North Jersey, you went with dedication and faith. So now you teach color, texture and composition to troubled kids, just hoping to plant an art seed in their mind. Maybe change someone. You wait in the empty rooms of Parent/Teacher nights, hoping that maybe one parent will show up and express that they care. You stand in the empty hallways of students art shows thinking that maybe the parents got the memorandum. Maybe they will show up to see all your students hard work hanging on the walls in display.
You see first hand what is absolutely wrong with this country. You witness and hear the destruction of the family core. The parents that are no-shows in a kids life. The administration that turns the simple truth of teaching children art into a big damn lie. You weave your way through political bullshit, labor unions, angry teachers and a mountain of “I dont give a fucks”.
I have had bad teachers and good teachers in my life. And then I had a few great teachers in my life. Teachers you remember forever. When I meet a teacher I always tell them, “I always wanted to be a teacher.” Most times the reaction to that is “Are you freaking kidding me?” Sometimes it can be a thankless job. Todays teacher is blamed for the students failures. Todays teacher has more homework time than most students and they do not get paid for it. In art there can be a ton of prep and cleanup. The job never ends.

fig1Why Has This Blog Post Turned Into a Rambling Mess?
The answer lies within my drug of choice which just so happened to be a doppio espresso right before hitting the keyboard. We had our best year ever for tomatoes and one plant in particular must be responsible for 10 to 15 pounds! Barb told me at our brother Glenns funeral that we all mourn in different ways. I found this so true after I found myself in a rage. Like I mentioned earlier, so many people are dying way too young. Some of these early deaths are just bad choices and that angers me. When you think you have reached a level of sobriety and maturity, God takes his mighty hand and crashes it all down looks you straight in the eyes and says “What are YOU KIDDING ME GEORGE?!” and yes, I don’t know shit about nothing. Live and let live. Hey people that don’t drink alcohol, eat good, quit smoking and don’t do drugs….guess what? We’re all gonna die anyway!
Why does the United States of America always have a target on it’s back? It is the most hated country in the world. All things in life can be derived from NFL football and thus begins my story. There once was (still is) a team that was very successful and won over many fans by winning championships and having fancy cheerleaders and uniforms. Eventually this teams success was so incredible that they garnished the nickname “Americas Team” So now all the other teams and fans began a growing animosity towards this team that had singled itself out of everyone else. Indeed, who are YOU to call yourself “Americas Team”? And thus the hatred and jealousy brewed over time and eventually even “Americas Team” felt pressured to deliver. They knew they were hated by their own pompous ego and struggled to become the great team it once was.
I’m a fan of being patriotic. I’m proud of my country in many ways. It isn’t always a great country but it does lead the world in helping others. I don’t fly an American flag in my yard nor do I carry anything patriotic on my car or person. But I am proud of our countries ability to help other countries in need. Period. We need leave it at that. The thing is this. We aren’t humble anymore. “God bless the US” “We are the greatest country in the WORLD” “Don’t mess with the US!” “We are number one!” ….shutup! Just shutup. Being humble goes a long way.
The fact that America has become the worlds police is also extremely troubling. Nobody wants that title.
After the horrific tragedy of Malaysia MH17 plane crash over the Ukraine a Dutch father was on CNN discussing his loss of a family member that was on the plane. His final words: “I hope Obama finds the people that did this and punishes them.” Really? What about YOUR leader Mark Rutte? The plane was filled with Dutch Nationals so send America out to get the bad guys! Can’t we all just get along? Or as the Beetles said so many years ago; All You Need Is Love.FIN

May strong arms hold you,
caring hearts tend you,
and may love await you at every step.

Happy birthday Raven!

Happy birthday Raven!

from our Brooke 10/18/13

Friday, October 18th, 2013
Really missing my mom lately. Found this of her saying goodbye on my first day of school. She was the greatest most amazing mom and person God sent to this earth. I just wish he hadn't taken her away so quickly..

Really missing my mom lately. Found this of her saying goodbye on my first day of school. She was the greatest most amazing mom and person God sent to this earth. I just wish he hadn’t taken her away so quickly..

Movie Still #3 from Home Movies

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Bev


Nobody misses Beverly. It’s all about Brenda. I just don’t understand it sometimes. Can you believe Bev is gone 13 years this August already. Maybe that’s why. It was so long ago. Pretty soon your existence on this planet becomes nothing. Unless you are a president or a celebrity. Unless you are leaving something important behind, like a legacy of inventions or books.
One hundred years ago our great grandfather struggled everyday with making ends meet for eleven children. He had hundreds of different relationships with family and friends. He walked down the streets of Jersey City to the German butcher to talk in his native language to the people that worked and hung out there. In his mind this world that he knew and loved would be here forever and in the back of his human thoughts maybe he would be here forever too. New technology to him was cars going down the street, photography, indoor plumbing and electricity. Now the entire family is dead. All their everyday worries, heartaches and triumphants don’t mean a blessed thing anymore. Think about how minuscule your deepest desires will be in one hundred years. Some freckle-faced little future cousin of ours will be looking at a photo of you posing with your large family from Carteret, New Jersey and thinking, “He’s dead now. I wonder what concerned him in 2013?”

Soon the breeze you feel pushing against your face as you walk down your sidewalk, surrounded by your own technology friends and family will make you smile at the simple joys of being alive. You carry a phone in your pocket and you have almost three hundred friends in your combined social networks. Your Great Grandfather had chickens in his yard and you buy your chicken already cooked at a place called KFC. Did you ever look at old photographs and wonder just WHO those people were? Are they still alive? What kind of life did they have? Was it happy?

The human experience.

The human experience.

What Number Am I Thinking Of?
I believe in ghosts, UFO’s, the after-life, angels and God. I used to believe in magic until my brother Gregory actually “became” a magician. He collected magic tricks and purchased them at a “Magic Store” I think in Westfield NJ. We got most of our cool stuff from downtown Westfield. He paid a lot of money for this magic because basically he was paying, not for the props but for the “secret” of how this magic trick worked. This is why I don’t believe in magic anymore. It’s not magic. They are all tricks and delusions. I was very disappointed when I saw all this in my closet that Greg and I shared.
This was the same closet where my brother collected Charlie McCarthy dolls. There were seven of these dolls “living” in our closet. I saw all the magic tricks and their secrets. The hidden doors and collapsable boxes.

For the record Greg had a few great moments as a magician. He may seem quiet and a little anti-social but once during one of Beverly’s three weddings (maybe it was the denim one with John Morgan the ex marine and steel worker) that Greg performed one of his best magic shows. It was magnificent. I remember people actually saying “oooooohhh” and “aaaahhhhhh” after one of his tricks. This was the last night that I ever believed in magic.

If You Believe In Ghosts…
pepBoys…then Joan, Carol and Fred are sitting on the empty table next to you in the dimly lit bar. They are giving you Keno numbers written on Pep Boy match book covers. You wonder why the numbers aren’t all winners. You can’t see a ghost of course but sometimes if the light from a mirror bounces off a wall at the right angle… I do believe in the other dimension, the one right in front of you. The one defined by quantum physics. There is no present, past or future there. Smoking their fucking brains out and lining up cans of Bud and shots of Rock and Rye. The lushes they were, they will always be and hoping that this time in upside-down-land they might finally feel the buzz. Joanie as she is known here, would do anything to fall and break her leg (again) and feel the pain because you can’t feel anything in that ghost dimension. Who can forget Mom laying in the dark middle room in agonizing pain from her sciatica. Sciatica can be induced with pregnancy. My mother was very good at pregnancy. In a micro moment they are walking with Rebel down the property line of 2850 Pioneer 9th street.
“I just can’t fucking believe it.” Rebel says over and over again.
“I just can’t fucking believe it!” as he walks a straight line down the outskirts of his property. He looks down at this imaginary line and paces to the northwest corner. Stops. Turns left. Then continues down the invisible line.
“That fucking Butch. That god-damn son of bitch fucking no good Butch!”
“Where’s my property?? Son of a bitch!!”

dummyThere were moments when I fantasized living there. It was always sunny and there were cows and horses everywhere. A perfectly symmetrical cornfield. Chickens clucked during the long hot days and rooster woke me up at 4:30 in the morning. Kryha told me that the cows are a lot of hard work but they are worth it. The froth at the top of fresh warm milk in a bucket is supposed to splendid. Perhaps even containing secret ingredients to good health and a long life. (I’ve never had it) Technically I was the only homeless man that actually owned a home and property in the whole world. It was one of aunt Carols greatest last wish in this life here in the non-other-dimension that the property remain in the family. Greg tried. Then nothing. Truth is the place is better off with someone to take care of it. To give it the love and attention that it needs. Nethertheless I failed greatly. Carol doesn’t care much but Rebel has been trying to kick the shit out of me for the past month. He is stalking me with this southern rage. I find his beard hairs on the bathroom floor. I feel the whiplash of the breeze every time (six or seven times a day) he tries to punch me in the face. His ghost arm goes right thru me. So the ghosts of our heritage past watch over us, speak to us in German in our dreams, they toast to our upcoming deaths with Irish whiskey.

James Fredrick Gill our cousin keeps in touch with me since we rediscovered his and his sisters existence again on the cute social network FaceBook. Basically we text one-liners to each other during the football season and exchange cool emails. This has been a great find in my life. I am really grateful for the internet in this respect. His love and knowledge of sports is ferocious and he has turned out to be quite a great dad and person. Since our reunion he always stretches out his arms in invitation and tells me that there is a free room waiting for me and Kryha in Ohio. All we have to do is get there. This invitation has become relentless. In the beginning it was nice and then it started to piss me off. It made me crazy because as simple and sweet as the invitations were….I just couldn’t make it a date. I always had an excuse. Work, money or time. I never had any of them…..and THIS just pissed me the hell off. That if I can’t take advantage of this beautiful thing….then there is something deeply wrong with me. Life is too short as I have explained in detail this entire post and actually my entire blog.

My Death
My great grandfather died at age 55 and he had diabetes. Before he passed away he had his left leg amputated because of the disease. My grandfather also died of diabetes but he lived to be 71. He also had his left leg amputated before he passed away. My father died at age 38. He didn’t have diabetes but his death was very complicated.
Here is a page from his autopsy. Click Here.
This was so long ago and officially they say he died from a bleeding ulcer. It is so obvious here that we inherit so much from our past generations. Do you think it’s ironic that both my grandfather and great grandfather had their left legs amputated? It’s surely not a coincidence also that our sister Beverly also died from diabetes although drug usage and anorexia also played a part. Beverly had begun to slowly kill herself in her teens. I called her death a slow-motion-suicide because that’s what it was. Do we believe that alcoholism is inherited? Or any of the other addictions. Do I have my fathers nose or my great grandfathers penis? I am glad I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that he made his living as a printer. I am a printer.
So what is the lesson here? Should I have a doctor check out why two middle toes in my left foot are slightly numb?
I have already out-lived my father by fourteen years and in two my years I will have caught up to Charles Hartmann from Jersey City. What happened to my dad? There was something burning his insides out. They couldn’t figure it out. The doctors seemed to have did everything wrong. I was never one to go around suing everybody for every little thing but this was quite possibly an open and shut case of medical malpractice. I even remember hearing someone telling that to my mother shortly after Dads death. Just think how much more complicated and deadly our little family of ten would be with a couple million of dollars injected into the already chaotic state?
This is why so many people have become so interested in their heritage. Where did we come from? It is an amazing journey through time to catch a glimpse of your past. A photograph. An old letter. A lock of hair. I hope it is, that whatever my father died from, is NEVER inherited into the family. Hopefully it was just botched doctor work. For the record all his siblings were “sick” to some extent. His brother William (that is still alive) is a polio survivor. His sister had lupus and was told she wouldn’t be here long (but lived an very long life).
There are two sides to every heritage however. We have a father and a mother. We are the combination of both heritages. Mixed in a blender and spread out on a plate of surprise. Nobody knows what the heritage blender is gonna mix up as a person. Sometimes it even creates a new trait, feature or addiction for the next generation to handle.
For the most part I have succeeded in obtaining a huge chunk of the Hartman side of our family. Two years ago, I thought I would never see a photo of my great grandfather or his children. Not only do I now know what they look like but I have also obtained two huge documents they contain an oral history of the family. They are written by two of the eleven children. In my next post I hope to have them obtainable here in PDF form for downloading/printing and reading.

I have neglected the Gill side of our family. My mother Joan’s heritage for the most part is a complete mystery. The people that I would like to ask even the most basic questions to…are all ghosts now. That is very frustrating because I had my entire life to ask these questions to all of these people when they were alive and now when I need them they are in another dimension chain smoking Viceroys.
I always did have a curiosity for the past. My mother was a strong story teller and I loved when she would get into that story telling mode. Sometimes she would get TOO HONEST. A couple of “King of Beers” in the white can and a pack of smokes and she would sit at that kitchen table and tell us all about Grandpa Gill and May Gill. How they would get their children into the cinema for free during the depression just by saying that their dad was a policeman in town.

Somewhere, somebody named “Bernie” had or took what was called the “Gill Family Bible”
I do remember this thing being mentioned in one of my mothers rambling stories. Supposedly it contains names and layers of the Gill tree. Photos and other information too.
It is now the quest of cousin James and I to find that treasure.

For the Hartman explosion of heritage discovery it all began with a letter. Barb took the time to write to a nuns retirement home to ask about our great aunts who were nuns. The information we received back helped greatly in the discovery of our Jersey City New Jersey heritage. I am surprised that even the simplest facts of Gill family tree heritage is not even know. Grandpa Gill, the Westfield cop…did he have any brothers or sisters.

From what I remember he did have at least an uncle Frank but I wasn’t sure. I also remember my mother telling me the story of how Frank went to WWII as a sailor in the Navy and his submarine was lost at sea. Nothing or nobody was ever recovered from the water. How could a young boy like me who obsessed with combat movies ever forget that tale.
Here indeed is a letter verifying “Uncle Frankie” existence.

"March 25, 1938 8:30 AM"

“March 25, 1938 8:30 AM”

Here is what is inside the letter. HERE This beautifully scripted hand-written letter post marked almost exactly seventy-five years ago, a short but sweet introduction to a newborn is just classic. Real letters like this, from the heart are almost extinct now. FaceBook, twitter and emails are the new norm. There were probably hundreds if not thousands of letters delivered between all the members of the Gill/Hartman family and yet this one ended up saved. It survived I believe because it was written by a man that he would “see you soon” and maybe that never happened. Uncle Frank was lost at sea and never found.
Are there any more siblings of Fredrick Gill? Perhaps we think a sister Caroline? (according to ancestory.com…not confirmed.) Maybe this is who our aunt Carol is named after? Also with this letter we get a different address presumably the one they lived at before Austin street.
austinSt
The lost art of letter writing and the US Post Ofice has announced that they will soon end Saturday deliveries! At one point in the beginning of the century, when our great grandparents were not ghosts, the mail was delivered seven days a week and two times a day!! Twice a day deliveries ended in 1950 and it’s been pretty much downhill from there.

Does expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected?

Things Greg collected:
Legos
albums
charlie McCarthy dolls
horror movies
books

Magic
What happens when you say that you don’t believe in magic anymore? Your life can become a dull senseless voyage to nowhere. I have always been connected with the news. I waited by the door for the newspaper to be delivered when I was a kid. Three different times I worked for newspapers and I read every daily issue from from to back everyday. Now with the internet the news is at your fingertips everyday. There have been so many sad news stories lately that I keep telling myself that I am just going to stop reading the news. The Sandy Hook school tragedy affected everybody greatly. For me it was comparable to 9/11 which took me months to get over. Or do you even ever get over something like that? I haven’t. It changes you. It changes the world.
In my news musings I found this viral video of a little girl who was going to ride on a train for the first time. She was almost the same age as the children that were machine-gunned to death in Connecticut. That video is HERE.
When I first saw this I realized how magical life is when you are a child. Everything seems fresh and new and then what happens? There is magic, never lose faith. Even when you think you have seen all the hidden doors and collapsable boxes, you really haven’t. There is always another magical trick awaiting around the corner. It will surprise you when you least suspect it.
“There is magic, but you have to be the magician. You have to make the magic happen.”
SIDNEY SHELDON, Are You Afraid of the Dark?

764 Central Ave Westfield

764 Central Ave Westfield

When is the spaceship coming to pick me up?

Day 9 -The End of the World

Monday, January 9th, 2012

December 2011:
If I was in a coma, I’m all better now. Through out all the blackness of the dream there was no hope and no escape. I knew I would emerge and Christmas would be waiting. When you are buried alive in work and you can’t escape, it is worse then a windowless jail cell.
Kryha:
She is very good at hiding her love.
Why I’m a bad fan:
I gave up on this team a long time ago. Even after their miracle of 2007/08 and even after knowing football for over forty years. So much can happen…quickly. The philosophy of a football season is totally unpredictable , even more then life itself. I gave up on this team so many times and never give them hope. I am a bad fan. (I think it is all because I don’t want to get hurt)
Getting Hurt
Hurts.
Fear:
Fear and I have been walking hand in hand along the beach my whole life. It is so romantic and sexy. I just never want to let go.
Alcohol:
When I see people at the Giants games, so drunk, so stupid, that they probably won’t remember anything, I say to myself; “That should be me. By the grace of God, there I go.”
I don’t miss drinking, I don’t crave it. I don’t hate people that drink, I have no desire to drink. The dreams, (like that work coma) have gone away a very long time ago. Once I was sitting/standing in a bar with Kryha in Hoboken, New Jersey. She had one beer. She had so so much fun and I envied her a little. Everyone else was having fun and drinking. A great fear (my beach walking friend) came over me for about two seconds that I was missing out on living life and that I was gonna die soon. Then I realized that if I didn’t stop drinking 8,089 days ago…..I would already be dead. I can guarantee that.
Church:
A place where Fear never goes. (he is on the beach) I feel safe there.
The end of the world
If (when) Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it will be the start. When the globe begins to get micro-waved, I pray that I am in church when it happens. They say the world is supposed to end this year. I don’t think it will. It is supposed to come like e thief in the night….so maybe next year.

My son Jonathan and I at the first playoff game at the new stadium. The crowd was crazy. Sometimes I feel so far away from Johnny. I love him so much. This was a great day. A day to always remember.

a MAJOR heritage Hartman BREAKthru

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

In my on and off extensive search for our heritage I have found out some very cool and very important information. Only because of our sister Barbs brave dig into our great aunts sisterhood on Menham NJ, (a letter mailed about 4 years ago) was I able to obtain the complete list of our Grandpa’s 12 brothers and sisters. With this information, I may have contact with someone who has access to even more information and even more exciting some photos of our great grandparents and their 12 children.
We already knew there were 13 children and that one had died in infancy but now it has been uncovered that two had indeed very sadly passed away before their first birthday. (this was actually a pretty common thing back then and the life span of most adults back then rarely went past 50)

So here it is, In order of their births:

1. Gertrude b:1888 d:1973 (In 1913 became an nun “Sister Clarella.”)
2. Fred b:1889 m:1920 (Married Lydia Marklein) d:1941
3. Clara Mathilde b:1890 m:1914 (Married J.Van Duzer) d:1932 (Relatives
located on this side of family.)
4. Emmy b:1892 d:1892 died as infant
5. Frieda b:1894 d:1973 became a nun “Sister Richardis”
6. Charles Richard b:1895 d:1895 died as infant
7. Katherine b:1896 m:1918 (Married Henry Jager) d:1969
8. George Joseph b:1898 m:1917 (Married Florence Swaine) m: 2nd time in 1929 (Alice Anderson) d:1970
9. Margaret Helen b:1899 m:1919 (Married Frank Robarge) d:1971
10. Clara b:1901 m:1927 (Married Henry Ulrich) d:1962
11. Rose Anna b:1903 m:1925 (Married William Ross) d:1974
12. Alfred b:1906 m: 1933 d: unknown?
13. Marie Elizabeth b:1909 (never married) d: unknown ?

#8 – George Joseph is our Grandfather . Also very new information is that he was married twice and his second wife – Alice Anderson our Grandmother, was the mother of our father George Charles. It is important to note here that in the 1950’s which was shortly after World War II and the holocaust, our Grandfather knocked off a ‘N’ on our last name. I remember our mother telling me it was a business decision based on the name Hartman (one ‘N’ Jewish) and Hartmann (2 ‘N’s’ being German). Since most salesmen in America in the 1950’s were Jewish, it was said that they merely avoided any contacts with German people.

I am trying very hard to get in touch with the woman that posted this information on the web. Her Grandmother was our Grandfather’s sister; Clara Mathilde. I have emailed her twice so far with no return. Of corse I will never stop trying.
Somewhere out there are photos of this family and I think she may have them. It would be amazing to look into the faces of a one-hundred year old family of fifteen and to see, perhaps, our own likeness’. You must understand that DNA and generation to generation chemistry is carried on and passed. We are what they were and although every individual that has ever visited this planet is entirely unique, but that families are in some spiritual and chemical way… are tied together for all eternity.
-more info to come-

On the road with ‘Becca

Sunday, September 19th, 2010