Betsy Doll – What My Life Would Have Been Like

Sure, there were other women I knew, but they were not you.

What my life would have been like had I married them, there’s no way of knowing, nor do I spend much time in contemplation.

The past is the past.

Water flowing by under the bridge.

I’ve lived a good life, mostly pleasure, a bit of strife.

Our life has been an open book, easy to read, and easy to follow.

If my luck holds I will leave this world as Betty did, with a smile on my face.

I’ve had a good “run,” a few problems, but mostly fun.

So dear family, “Goodbye and good luck. I love you all.”


Meanwhile, I’m rocking, thinking, rocking.

* * *

I rock in my chair

It’s been a pleasant day, but still I rock, my brain afire of thoughts.

Betty and I have traveled the world, yet there’s much more that remains to be seen.

In all modes of transportation, by rickshaw, by sled, by propellor and jet plane, in all kinds of weather to 14 below zero, cold enough to freeze my **** off.

Betty’s hands, with wool gloves on, went white with frostbite, a danger.

Landing for refueling at an Alaskan army base, we went by army bus to a nearby “canteen” restaurant. 

Betty wrapped her white hands around a hot cup of coffee for instant relief.

A “story book wife.”

Betty is gone. 

She left this world in my arms with a smile on her face.

Here I am rocking and rocking, rocking, a large picture of her behind me.

I led a wonderful life, great kids and a wonderful wife.

Who can ask for anything more.

Not me, for sure. Nothing lasts forever.

Judy, Steve, Jadwiga and my much loved grandchildren. I love you.



(January 1, 2021)

“J” Doll

So sorry “J” I could barely hear you.

My hearing is “Kaput.”

I can barely hear Danny. If you can’t hear Danny – you can’t hear.

I’m not complaining I’ve had my hearing for a long time.

In my early days working as a machinist, despite the loud clatter of shop machinery, I could hear when my lathe or milling machine bearings needed oil.

Loss of hearing is a phenomenon of old age. (Considering how old I am (106) and the many years of good hearing, I can say, “I’ve heard enough.”)

Nothing lasts forever, including us.

Have a good day.

Be prudent, do whatever is necessary to survive this pernicious pandemic.

Avoid going out (if possible). The “sneaky” virus is airborne, looking to infect people.

Let’s do our best to survive this dangerous time.

Lots of love, Grandpa

P.S. Your new dwellings look warm and comfortable. Wishing you a lot of love and “good luck.”


(January 1, 2021)

Betsy Doll & The “Loner”

I have been self-sufficient all my life.

In my younger Harlem days, I was known as a “loner.”

I am on the verge of tears when I think of Betty.

I miss her.

It’s hard for me to accept she will be gone forever.

As in my youth, I am once again “a loner,” but I won’t be for long.

At the close end of my long and fruitful life, I won’t be around long.

Surrounded by attentive living friends and children, having no bodily aches or pains, with the help of my walker I am able to get around. 

I have no complaints.

Nada, Zilch.

I am one “lucky hombre.”

I wish you have my luck.

A song goes through my mind.

“Those were the days, my friend

I though they’d never end”

Love to all,


A wish …

I hope in the next life I have the same family.

(January 1, 2021)

That’s America To Me

The house I lived in, the rat infested room, the cockroaches and the lice.

That’s America to me.

The river I would swim in, the garbage floating by.

The diseases I contracted.

The treatments that I had.

Some were painful, others not bad.

That’s America to me.

The butcher and the baker, the people I would meet.

That’s America to me.

The schools that I went to, “hooky” I would play.

I liked school but there were other ways to spend my day.

Exploring the subway system.

I traveled far and wide. 

I rarely paid the fare, money I did not have.

The subway workers often saw me ducking under the turnstile.

They turned their backs, often gave me a smile.

That’s America to me.

In poverty in the slums of New York.

With very little education, many a school day a vacation.

Truant officers on my “tail.”

They never caught me. I never went to jail.

I liked schools. I liked learning, my teachers liked me, a small handsome bright child, an A+ learner, no problem in class.

Patrick Henry Junior High School was as far as I went.

I needed to work full-time to pay our rent.

Our schools are free, this is the land of liberty.

That’s America to me.

I have much more to tell, my days are running out.

(January 1, 2021)

To My Family, When I’ve Departed

Don’t cry for me.

I’ve had a full life.

Surrounded by people

I love and adore.

Who can ask

for anything more?

Not me.

Fairy Tale me,

I hope I will see 

My Betsy


To Emily and Thomas

Both show so much promise.

Gifted, born with much talent.

You have a full life before you.

Make it the best that you can.

Fulfill your destiny.

I’ll be watching from above,

Betsy beside me, my love.


Jeanne (My hero, a tribute)

My hat is off to you. Born with a disability, expert doctors said it was not polio.

At that time, little was known about polio. You couldn’t walk.

Expert polio doctors said your affliction was temporary. It would go away.

So wrong they were, it was polio, it was permanent.

One leg would be shorter than the other. You would need a brace to walk.

More than 50 years have passed, I cannot keep track of the time. Years have silently slipped by.

Tons of time has passed. You proved the learned doctors wrong. You became powerful and strong, and with the help of a cane, was laboriously walking. Defying all odds, you went to law school.

Through many years of hard word and study you passed a difficult bar exam and became an attorney.

To make this “brief” I will lay my pen down.

I want to emphasize the pride I have in what my granddaughter is doing.

Defending the poor, fighting “deep-pocketed corporations.” To their chagrin, she often wins. So keep going Jeanne.

Be a thorn in corporate sides, costing them a lot of money.

My pride knows no bounds. You are a shining example of doing public service. Long may you reign.


To Nora and Paul

Just a word to Nora and Paul. Wonderful neighbors who became our good friends, local and dependable to the end.

Many years have gone by. All is ending well. Nora and Paul persevered.

“Never give up,” was my mantra to them. Time is on your side. 

Right from the beginning, Nora and Paul were admirable people, our instincts were right. 

Due to my age, I don’t get around much. I’ve forgotten the last time I saw them.

My guess is that Paul is fixing things in his garage, Nora harvesting the fruit she has planted.

Happy Holidays, from me and Betty above.


Forest Lawn, a prestigious cemetery, people dying to get in. They make a lot of money from the flowers they sell, fragrant and full blown.

If you like good, classical music, not raucous “razz and jazz,” that’s the place you should be. If you want a good view when you are departed, that’s where you ought to be.

I’m in no hurry. I’m still making up my mind. I’m thinking, I’m thinking.

To be or not to be.

(December 30, 2020)

Bring Them Back

Oh, Betsy Doll, only we can bring back those wonderful days. Poor we were, but not of pleasure, rich in what made us laugh. 

Though not conceivable, nor retrievable, many days beyond recall.

Coney Island. College Point where you were born. Childhood friends. It’s all water under the bridge quickly flowing by.

We live our lives as best we can, hoping we have good luck.

(December 30, 2020)

Roll Up Your Sleeves

A vaccine has been found for the deadly coronavirus. Pfizer will start 24/7 production immediately. A world catastrophe has been avoided.

Mankind will survive.

Roll up your sleeves.


(December 13, 2020)