While the young people are mounting protests around the country, the wannabee dictator is working furiously with his evil friends and supporters to make the U.S. a totalitarian state. I am not a conspiracy theorist or anything of that kind. All I know, is that I can see in what direction we are headed.

Speaking to the NRA (say brownshirts) Trump has called for making our schools safe by hardening them, making the streets safe where our children walk to go to school and make our country safe again. Want to take a look at the verbiage from Dictators Mussolini and Shicklegruber; we will make the trains run on time and we will save the country from the communists.

Any time anyone tells you that they will save the country by.. . . perk up and listen. It is a foreshadowing of something bad. What else have I seen that makes me worry? How about a new group of ICE agents that will patrol the borders among other things. They will go into towns and cities and hunt down the rapists and criminals who have infested our country.

How about getting rid of . . . not Jews, Gypsies, handicapped people and homosexuals, but now illegal immigrants, Muslims, Black Live Matter people,Mexicans, the media and so on. Here is Pastor Niemoller’s famous quote about Nazi Germany

first they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak.

(Pastor Martin Niemoller)


So where are you now on this list?




This is a really tough one for me. For I am not a Christian, much less a “Good Christian.” In this time in history, the word Christian has undergone a miraculous change. No longer are those of the Catholic faith, the first Christian faith, considered Christians, but those of all of the Protestant denominations. I am not sure where Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Church of Latter Day Saints, etc. reside in what category.

I have now been told by the media and those who profess to be Evangelical Christians, that there is a specific kind of belief that makes you a “Christian.” I can gather from their explanations that you cannot be a Democrat and be a Christian. I am sure that there are Democrats who would probably be surprised by that statement.

Good Christians do not believe in certain parts of the bible. For instance, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you,” is not part of the Christian faith. As an unbeliever, I was always convinced that both the old and new Testaments were pretty much agreed that was a standard for Jews and the followers of Jesus Christ.

Who then is left to lead these new “Christians?” I dug back into history and came up with guys like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wycliffe, or Huldrych Zwingli; they don’t seem to mesh with any of the modern evangelicals.

There also seems to be a split between some evangelicals and others. The split seems to rest with whether  one follows the Reverend Hagge and religionists like him and people who follow Joel Osteen or other T.V. evangelists. I cannot tell why this is, but it sounds something like  the Sunnis and Shia. There are also many smaller divisions that have sprung up since Mohammed died.

There are also quite a number of schools of jurisprudence in all of these streams. Does that sound familiar? Judaism also has many of these same attributes.

So what are the attributes of the “Good Christians?” I believe that since most of them like guns and believe fervently in the second amendment, that must be part of their ethos. Supporting politicians, who pretend to be god-fearing church going men? Do not believe in the separation of church and state. Believe that since they have a direct line to the almighty, his word is above the law.

According to the faithful, this country was founded by the faithful Christians. Among them Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and so on. That means that there is a specific kind of religion that rules our country. The current president embodies each of these principles. That is why he is so supported.

Judge Roy Moore is a hero because of his steadfast belief in the Ten Commandments, not the Bill of Rights. All of his actions, both past and present are guided by the good lord. Why even the Governor of Alabama supports him, even though she believes the non-believers who were sexually harassed by Roy Moore.

Of course, this is all very confusing to a non-believer. Sometimes, I am happy about that. I am kind of frightened by the group of Evangelical Christians who believe that the current President is the anti-Christ.







Seems that recently we have had  a resurgence in common parlance of the word “Fake.” Heretofore it was mostly used to describe jewelry or artwork that some expert had identified as “Fake.” Now it appears to be used to describe news organizations, people within our government, political opponents and butter spread that is made from other than a product made from cream.

The final description of “Fake,” is now being used by opponents of the current inhabitant of the president’s office. The term describes the person as someone who pretends to be the leader of the free world, but is really not.

How is that possible, you say? Let us use the modeling by behavior description of a president. The first 44 real presidents, be they your favorites, or not, mostly inhabited the president’s home called the White House. The first few presidents did not have the opportunity to do so, but I am sure that they would have had the building been there.

The current fake person does not seem to live there. He spends most of his time in his palatial residence in New Jersey and Florida. That gives one a clue as to his authenticity. Yes, some previous presidents spent lots of time in their own homes, a ranch, a boat, a seaside resort, a home in Hawaii, or a health resort in Georgia. However, the time spent was relatively short.

In modern times, the first lady, no matter who she was, did some changing in the White House. For some first ladies, it may have only been to change the patterns on the dishes. However, some first ladies even took us on tours of the place and really revamped it entirely. The current female inhabitant has done nothing at all.

The Fake President is constantly spooling children’s stories about the past presidents. His stories do not have any facts about them. He tends to make things up at the spur of the moment. For instance, one of his latest stories was his audience to his fake, State of the Union campaign speech. He claims that more people tune in to him than any other previous president. Without even to look it up on Snopes.com, we know this is a tall tale. The fake president always speaks in fake stories.

He also regales us with fake history. He tells us that he went to fine universities and that he was the best student in the school and that he was a great baseball player. We know from people who were there, that this is all fake stuff. In actuality, he was fake even in his school days. He got into the school because his brother knew someone in admissions. All of his school stories are fake.

He really has a fake family. His wife is a fake, as was his previous wife and the wife before that.  Look them up and tell me that they are not fake. Our fake president hates immigrants. Not only was his mom an immigrant, his grandfather, his present wife an immigrant (probably an illegal fake), but he loves all immigrants. He believes that these immigrants should migrate to another country.

He also doesn’t think that people with foreign sounding names are really citizens. He believes that these are all fake citizens. He thinks that the people who live in Puerto Rico are fake citizens. He wants all of the fake citizens to go back to their fake country of origin.

If you are collecting the fake tweets that are sent by the fake president, you will know that they are all fake news. His desire is for the country to enjoy and believe all the fake news that comes with this twitter. He is now twittering his fake “Fake News Awards.” This is all part of his fake persona and fake ability to advertise his fakeness.

Let all of those fake supporters of the fake president continue to accept every fake word that comes out of his fake mouth.









There is no one like Judy. She is about 4 foot 10 inches and very slight. Her demeanor is one of a particularly bright person. She comes from intelligence. Her folks were both biologists in the 1930’s. Her mom was a staunch person who you really didn’t want to cross. When we had dinner at her house, my wife, Carol would put her hand over my mouth so that I could not speak.

So who is Judy ? Well, she is not a relative of mine. She is my wife’s sister’s sister in law. My wife’s sister’s husband’s sister. To us, she is just Judy. We have known Judy and her husband Bob longer than we have been married. We have been friends for almost that long.

Each summer we would go to Ashville, where they have a second home and spend time with them and my wife’s sister and husband. As time goes by and we become somewhat infirm, we modify these visits. This year we went on a cruise together and had a good time. It’s a ball to sit around a dinner table and exchange stories.

It is at those times that we learn not to get on Judy’s bad side. Judy never appears angry, but something wells up inside her and she becomes a hellion. Judy and Bob are two of the most benevolent people we know. I don’t mean they give away large caches of dough (although they do). They bring their charitable ways into their home.

They have fostered children for a long while. They maintain touch with the children after they have left their care. They also take in stray dogs and cats. That is something that annoys certain people. If you walk into their home there are liable to be a couple of dogs 5 or 6 cats, a parrot called Pamela Greenbird (recently found out she is a male), and assorted other pets.

Judy is formerly a psychiatric nurse. Her background includes a doctorate from a fine institution. She is kind and understanding in most situations. When unfairness, skullduggery,  and thievery rear their heads, Judy is there at the front of the line.

In Ashville, she has been fighting a toxic dump for a number of years. She has challenged the company that did it and is in constant contact with the EPA. It is certainly a hazard and she goes to city council meetings to voice her opinion. She writes copious letters to authorities, makes calls and writes letters to the editor.

She does not do all of this alone. She surrounds herself with like minded people who are active in trying to make things right.

In Hallendale, Fla, things have gotten to the point where Judy has been told to keep her mouth shut at public meetings. She has testified about sweetheart contracts, illegal executive sessions and so many other illegalities. The thing is, the mayor used to be one of Judy’s friends. That is not true any more.

Judy’s activities were viewed by some people in state government. I am sure that Judy was not totally aware of what she had done. She may still not know. However, recently, the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, removed the mayor from her office. I am not sure what comes next, but most of Judy’s public activities were a start to that process.

The moral of the story is. No matter how diminutive the person, there is no relation between stature and the size of one’s heart.


I am not usually a scene setter in my story telling tomes.  For some reason, there is no way that I can describe this part of my life without giving you some sort of background.

I had taught in NYC schools for two years and then married my sweetheart of three years in the summer of 1963. Carol had been going to Beaver College in suburban Philly for those three years and I spent my weekends travelling down to see her. All of that was ending as we moved into a small apartment a few miles from her school.

I was lucky enough to find a job close to where we lived and very close to Beaver College. Carol had one year to go before graduating and getting her teacher’s certificate. I got a job in the Cheltenham School District teaching 8th grade English and social studies. Eventually, I taught at the Thomas Williams Junior High School for three years.

If you look for that building on Church road, you will not see it there. It was torn down in the late 60’s to make way for a new Cedarbrook Junior High School.

As I look back at those years, I am pleased to report that they were very happy. Other than the fact that, in the first year, we lived as paupers. I was making 4,800 dollars and we counted every penny. I mean we actually counted every penny. I still have the log book in which we wrote down every single expense.

The students of Thomas Williams Junior High School included children from ancient monied WASPS and newly minted Jewish Wealth. It was a good combination along with some kids from the other side of the tracks. They were a ball to teach. You could kid around with them and get them to study things that no other students that I had later would want to do.

Once I told them that I was not going to be teaching the battles of World War I. They were disappointed.  “You mean no Baron Von Richthofen?” How many students anywhere today would rightly point to the Red Baron’s real name? They all suggested that they take a piece of WWI and do a project on it. I was astounded and certainly allowed them to do it.

Can you imagine the research that went on in the library and more probably at home in an era without the internet? The projects were amazing and we were asked to present them in front of the whole school. They were a success,

The faculty, other than my friend John, was a crew of kind of ordinary folks, not given to friendships or discussions in the faculty room. They were not distant. They just were not there. They consisted of people like Sleepy John, who was unaware of a student masturbating in his class. There was Jim, the art teacher, who personified the gay artist and also had five children. There was Kay who had her children help her when she laid her head on the desk and complained about being sick. There was Herb, the math teacher, who kept his windows open in the dead of winter to keep people on their toes. There was Big Ted who taught Phys Ed and taught the kids some other things. Who knew that John, the assistant principal was banging the Home Ec. teacher at lunch time? Then there was Bill the snitch who reports all happenings in the school to the Dragon Lady who ran the secondary schools.

Finally, there came Ernie, the principal. Ernie was a tall Ichabod Crane looking guy who was a deacon in his church. He played everything close to the vest and rarely said anything more than good morning. I felt his wrath one day when he observed my class. He said nothing to me about how things went, but his written observation was even more commanding. It read, “Mr. Hillman had prepared his lesson well. Students seemed to be paying attention. However, one should not take the lord’s name in vain by saying, “God, Bob, cut that out.”

Ernie is a major player in the November 22nd 1963 tableau. I will now tell you that my birthday is November 22nd. When I awoke that morning, I was 25 years old. Carol had promised me a chocolate cake for dessert and much merry making. I was kind of looking forward to it. It was my first birthday as a married man. It was a good day. It was also a Friday, so that we could so some other birthday kinds of things on our limited budget.

As usual we got up, we ate breakfast, and I drove Carol to school and got to work soon after. I actually did not have one single room that I could call my own. I had to drag a book cart and other materials around to a few different rooms. At lunch time there was some news about the President landing at the airbase outside of Dallas and driving into the city. Frankly, I did not pay too much attention to it. My next class was happening and I had to get myself together and prepare. My next class ended about 1:00. By that time, there were all kinds of rumors about shots being fired at the President’s limo. I perked up my ears to listen. Someone in the school, maybe a few had a transistor radio and there was evidently a plugged in radio somewhere in the building.

My next class was in Jim’s art room. By the time I got there, the students were really nervous looking. I saw one of them with his ear on a small radio plugged into the wall near Jim’s desk. His face had a look of horror and he spoke to the rest of the kids surrounding him. I called to him, “Phillip, turn off the radio and get to you seats everyone.” Phillip complied and said, “Mr Hillman, the president has been shot.” I was dumbfounded. Just at that moment, John, the assistant principal came into the room and beckoned me to the back. “Don’t tell them Arnold, let them find out when they get home.” I answered with a nod. These were the orders of Ernie the principal. I certainly did not want to disobey such an order.

I asked Phillip to turn the radio on, so that we could all hear. I am not sure who did the broadcasting, but at 1:30 the voice was clear for us to hear that JFK was dead. I then told Phillip to turn off the radio. The students were in shock. I figured that they had so many questions to ask, but did not know if it was o.k. I began by telling them that the progression if a president died was the vice president would then take over. That led to an avalanche of questions.

I still believe that withholding the news would have been a bad thing. Yes, I know that it is the responsibility of the family to take care of such announcements of family deaths and so on. However, this was a nationwide and worldwide occurrence. Parents might have even been happy that it was done. As a matter of fact, I did get a call from a parent thanking me for telling their son in such a way that he understood that everything was going to be o.k.

I left school at the usual time and went to pick up Carol at school. She had already heard the news. There were tears from both of us. Kennedy was our generation’s hero. His election augured better times for all of us. Strange, that it was then Lyndon Johnson who carried out most of JFK’s promises.

There was no birthday celebration that night. There was no chocolate cake. We watched t.v. and saw the nation beginning a period of mourning. One icon had died that day along with two more of our personal icons; C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley. The Day the Icons Died.





With my current Gluten free and Fod Map diets (no lactose, not legumes), I am a bear to cook for. Going out to a restaurant is always an adventure. The way things are going with gluten free food on menus, that’s one down and one to go. Milk and soft cheeses are pretty simple to avoid. However, even in the best restaurants, greens are often things I cannot eat.

This brings me back to my loving wife and her lifelong ambition to lose 5 lbs. and eat healthy. She always kind of glares at me when we come off a vacation and I have lost weight and she has gained. She tolerates my strange behaviors and eating habit.

You must understand that Carol is a very good cook. She doesn’t think so, but I do. I grew up in a household with women who had no idea how to cook. My grandmother would put cut up chicken potatoes, carrots and sometimes prunes in a pressure cooker for 8 hours or more. I was always afraid that it would blow. It never happened. Do you know what happens when you do that? You come out with long strings of chicken, which I have always referred to as SPOOL CHICKEN>

Carol’s mom taught her almost nothing about cooking. She had to learn on her own. Her first year’s cooking, because she was in her senior year in college was limited to shepherd’s pie. Her second year was mostly roast chicken and on and. She seemed to experiment with desserts, including the time she used Peach Schnapps instead of water in orange Jello. It was her most successful dessert because everyone got drunk.

As the years went by, she became expert. Our daughter and granddaughter are darned good cooks. They each have their own specialties. At this point in our lives, down here in Adult Disneyworld, Carol spends less time on cooking than ever before. Actually, she insisted that we purchase a house with a micro sized kitchen.

Once in a while Carol will get this yearning to create something new. She shares her creation with some of her friends, who also share their creations with us. When we have a gathering of our friends, there is usually enough food left over to feed all of the Marines at Parris Island.

Recently, Carol got a recipe for lentil soup. She does search out interesting recipes that are low in calories, have no gluten and are fod map free. She worked hard at creating this soup. She made quarts of it, s that she could share it with our friends. Our first meal with the soup as the first course was exciting. Love to sample new creations.

I have had lentil soup before and it is o.k., not one of my favorites. Carol told me that this was different. It even looked different; an amalgam of spinach looking stuff, a dark green color with little pieces of dark green in the mix. I raised my spoon to my mouth and ingested the soup. I did not get any taste at first, but as I swallowed, it kind of bit the back of my tongue. It was kind of how you taste wine as it goes down your gullet.

Carol saw the look on my face. She said nothing at the time. I finished the soup and went to the main course. At the end of dinner, Carol asked me about the soup. I am always honest with her. I did not like it. She suggested that I put in condiments to my taste. I told her that I would do that. I have not done it yet.

She gave the soup to one of our friends, who liked it, but suggested that she has to put salt and pepper in it. That’s the thing with Carol. She does not like anything spicy, or condiment laden. In most foods, that is fine. With soup, it may not be.

Carol was not too happy with me. Her response was to feed me carrot soup, which was made by a friend, offer me our favorite soup that she makes and that’s Gazpacho. She is also terrific with matzoh ball soup. Her matzoh balls are the best I have ever tasted. They literally fly off the plate.

There had to be redemption in this activity. Fortunately, we come from an area in Harrisburg, where people seem to drown in cabbage soup. Carol and her Harrisburg friends share recipes. The lentil soup fracas has been ameliorated by a large helping of cabbage soup and a great steak served piping hot with veggies. Bring on the next new soup.


Whatever you have, I have something that is bigger, more wonderful and certainly greater than anything that you have. For those of us of a certain age, those words sound vaguely familiar. As a kid during and after and after World War II, that set of words could almost always be heard between boys on the playground or in school.

It went something like this. My dad brought home a Japanese flag. Next boy would say that his dad brought home a swastika arm band. The next boy crowed that his dad brought home a samurai sword. Next came that my dad brought home a German luger pistol

This went on forever. Those boasts were probably not true. However, the final brag was always, “My dad brought home an atomic bomb.” Let’s see, “My button is bigger than your button.”