Category Archives: united states






Well, folks . . . I did it!


Mae’s Revenge is available just in time for your first weekend of Summer, 2017!


The lovely ladies (pictured above) simply could not wait another moment to find out exactly what goes on inside this historical novella.


And now — you don’t have to wait, either!

Available on


Thank you, dear readers, for sharing this adventure with me, and I hope you enjoy Mae’s Revenge! (Available in E-book and paperback versions.) Please don’t hesitate to use the “comment” option, above.


Excerpt from my next book —

Mae’s Revenge

VanSant pulled a pipe from his inside pocket, opened a pouch of tobacco, pinched a bit between his fingers and began tapping it into the bowl. “You don’t mind if I have a smoke, do you Mae?”

“Of course not, my father smokes a pipe every evening and I’ve grown accustomed to the aroma of a fine tobacco.”  This man doesn’t need to know I lived above a tailor’s shop in a tiny apartment with four other people. I can tell him whatever story I want, and he has no way of knowing if I’m telling the truth or not! This encouraged Mae to expand on her tale. “Why, when my family received the ambassador from Cuba, he presented my father with a sterling silver tin filled with the very finest tobacco the island had to offer.”

“My, my! That is impressive, Mae,” VanSant said and lit his pipe.


The United States used to have a House of Representatives and a Senate.

They operated under different rules.

The House requires a simple majority vote to do anything.

The Senate requires at least 60 votes to pass much of what comes before the 100 members.

(In ‘the ol’ days’ there used to be something called a filibuster, where a Senator would actually speak on the floor of the Senate forever in order to block a vote on a piece of legislation — unless there were 60 votes to shut down the filibuster.)

Today . . . all of that changed.

The Senate changed its long-standing rule —and eliminated the need for a super-majority (60 votes) to consent to a nomination for a member of the Supreme Court.

Since 1954, only two Supreme Court nominees (out of twenty-six) have been approved with less than 60 votes.

Now, we have two houses of Congress where only a simple majority is required to pass major legislation; and in the case of the Senate – lifetime appointments.

What was once known as the greatest deliberative body in the world (The United States Senate) faded into the unremarkable today.

Can you hear the hammer striking the chisel as it chips away at our democratic republic?





Excerpt from — Bosses and Blackjacks: A Tale of the Bloody Fifth in Philadelphia:

Smith pulled a large white monogrammed square from his breast pocket and dabbed his broad face. “This damn August heat! How about a drink, Dave?”                                                                                Sure, why not.”                                                                            Lemonade, or something stronger, perhaps?”                                   As strong as you’ve got, sounds good.”                                            Tom Smith stood at the golden oak credenza across the room from his desk where several bottles of liquor, a silver ice bucket, and crystal glasses sat at the ready.                                                  Scotch?”                                                                                                 Fine.”                                                                                                  Dave leaned back and closed his eyes as he listened to ice clinking into glasses and the splashing of the Scotch as it hit the cubes. He’d been drinking one thing or another every day for the past couple of months, and today would be no different. Direct from the bottle or in crystal, made no difference. Blurring his senses was all that mattered.

If you’d like to read more . . .


Little Rock Voters Vote to Close Public Schools

Moments In Civil Rights History

On September 27th, 1958, a vote was held, with an overwhelming outcome, to keep the schools of Little Rock, Arkansas closed rather than integrate them. In September 1957, nine Black students known as the Little Rock Nine entered Central High School and were met by angry Protesters. Known as The Lost Year, high schools in the city remained closed for the entire 1958-59 academic term.

It is hard for me to comprehend that this happened less than sixty years ago.

There is an election coming up where one of the candidates wants to “Make America Great Again.”

The, “Again” part is what upsets me. Is this what he means? I remember the fire hoses and the dogs, and the people dragged beaten and bloody through the streets. Those images flashed across our TV screens almost every night when I was young. 

It’s disturbing to see and hear white supremacist groups brazenly supporting a presidential candidate “again” in this country. Many of us thought their time had passed—and we were all the better for it.


So—A young Jewish girl from Philly walks into a bar…(You haven’t heard this one, have you?)


Actually, it is the year 1888, and the bar is the Gem Saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota.

I’m about 4,500 words into writing my next book (an adult historical novel loosely based on true events) and I hope you will come along for the ride!


At the moment, our seventeen-year-old protagonist is on a train, headed for Chicago. An attractive thirty-something stranger has insinuated himself into her adventure by taking the seat next to her. Away from home and family for the first time in her life, Mae is both wary and excited!


I hope you will find the time, dear readers, to follow along for periodic updates on: “MAE heads WEST” — (my working title).


(NOTE: If any of my readers are, or know experts in early modes of transportation in the U.S., I would love to hear from you in the COMMENTS. I have several questions that my internet research has not provided answers to, and would appreciate your valuable assistance going forward.)


The following is a quote from my book, “Bosses and Blackjacks: A Tale of the ‘Bloody Fifth’ in Philadelphia”— Chapter Ten, 1907: Follies

          “Damn, Davey. Haven’t heard anything that funny in a long time!” Johnny took another swig of beer and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Smith’s got some sense of humor for such a big shot.”
          “Yeah, he does. Thanks for meeting me here at McGillin’s. I tell ya, after the day I’ve had, I needed a drink. Want another beer?
          “Nah. I’m finished. Think I’ll head home before the sky opens up.”
Dave patted Johnny’s back. “Yeah, you’re right, guess I should get going too. Next time, we’ll meet closer to home.”
          As they emerged from the cool darkness of the saloon, Dave blinked a few times to clear his vision, then looked up at the sky and announced, “Those storm clouds are lookin’ mighty serious. Take care, old friend.”

% % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %

(The following information is excerpted from McGillin’s own website:)

McGillin’s Olde Ale House threw open its doors the year Lincoln was elected president. That’s shortly after the Liberty Bell cracked and long before ground was broken for Philadelphia City Hall. The beer taps have been flowing since 1860 — making it the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia and one of the oldest taverns in the country.

Catherine & William McGillin opened the Bell in Hand Tavern.The Irish immigrants, who raised their 13 children upstairs, soon become known as “Ma” and “Pa” and the laborers who frequented the bar called it “McGillin’s.” The nicknames eventually stuck. The tavern grew to include the oyster house next door, the back alley/washroom and the house upstairs.


Abe Lincoln elected president. Although Lincoln visits Philadelphia, we have no proof that he visits McGillin’s. Of course, we have no proof that he doesn’t either.


McGillin’s customer, W.C. Fields, born. “Philadelphia is a wonderful place; I spent a week there one night.”


Pa McGillin dies & Ma McGillin takes over bar. No pushover, Ma has a list of troublemakers who weren’t allowed in. The list reads like the social registry, including some of Philadelphia’s most prominent citizens.

McGillin’s celebrates 50th anniversary with a new façade. Name officially changes to McGillin’s Olde Ale House.

Prohibition enacted. During Prohibition, Ma McGillin hires a chef. Serves food and ice cream and perhaps, a few tea cups were tipped on the second floor.

Philadelphia cheesesteak invented. A top-seller at McGillin’s.

Prohibition ends! Ma McGillin takes the key from her breast pocket and reopens the pub’s front door.


McGillin’s Olde Ale House
Open daily 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.(Kitchen open until 1 a.m.)


Let’s Begin, Shall We?

Dog with signA long time ago, in a galaxy far away…no wait, that’s not right.

Some time in the past (not necessarily yours), there was a world of generalities.

There were televisions (with three channels, that you had to stand up and walk however many miles to manually turn a knob to change); telephones (with heavy black receivers that had little holes that you listened through and spoke into, and rotary dials that wore your fingernails down if you had to dial a long-distance number); maps (that had so many folding parts it took an engineer to get it back into the original paper rectangle which was stored in your car’s glove compartment); ovens (that could cook a whole turkey in seven hours); tablets (made of paper, with lines on it so you would know where to write the words with your pencil or pen); and books (made from trees, that required the heavy lift of turning pages with your hand, over and over and over again, until you reached the end).

Now there is a world of bits and bytes.

We have HDTVs, smart phones, GPS, microwaves, electronics of all shapes and sizes in which to manipulate and store our data, and digitized devices that can hold up to twenty-eleven-gazillion different kinds of reading matter.

I have written a book – Bosses and Blackjacks.

When it becomes available – hopefully, by the end of this year – feel free to read it in any way you feel most comfortable – except under water…neither paper nor electronics fair well when wet.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be in touch.