Thank You, Mom

One of my favorite blogs…..

Journey to Truth

#1 Mom

My beloved mother has always been a dear, sweet mom to me.

Thank You, Mom

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My mom, Janet (Kemmerer) Mabey recently celebrated her birthday. Mom, my sister Patti and I went out for dinner at one of the Italian restaurants in our gated community in Central Florida. It was a nice little time.

My dear mom played a monumental role in my own personal development as a young child. During my days of very early childhood, Mom would read a story to me each and every night before I dreamt off to sleep. I think that the time Mom invested in reading to me, helped me in a great way to develop my creativity and imaginative thinking. I am so dearly grateful to my mom for reading me a story, each and every bedtime, in my early childhood.

#2 Mom

My mom was, and still is, a devoted…

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A Cherished Moment at the 1985 Boy Scout Jamboree

Journey to Truth

# Richard Scouts

A rare photo of myself during my “bearded period,” with three scouts of Boy Scout Troop 170, at the 1985 Boy Scout National Jamboree. I found this photo in my dad’s collection of scout pictures.

A Cherished Moment at the 1985 Boy Scout Jamboree

By Richard Mabey Jr.

In 1985, at the age of 31, one of the dearest dreams that my dad and I shared came to pass. That dream was to attend a National Boy Scout Jamboree. There really is not any one scouting event that is more grand and glorious than a National Boy Scout Jamboree. For myself, I made an important discovery in the week that Boy Scout Troop 170 attended this incredible scouting event.

It was at the National Boy Scout Jamboree that I discovered my purpose and place setting in Troop 170. I was the youngest of the Assistant Scoutmasters. My dad, the other…

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The Wonderful, Incredible, Life Changing Issue

The famous October 1967 issue.

The Wonderful, Incredible, Life Changing Issue

By Richard Mabey Jr.

Growing up in the small town of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, life was actually a bit boring at times. There was the steadfast feeling, the comfort, that down home feeling of knowing just about everyone in town. But, on the other hand there swelled in my heart and mind, a calling for excitement. A gentle breeze, the sound of a train going by, the roar of an 18-wheeler speeding by my old farmhouse on Route 202. All of it called me. It was as if it was calling me to another time, another place. A place where life might not be as stifled, as conservative, as rigid, as the lifestyle that was afforded me in my little hometown of Lincoln Park.

In October of 1967, I had just turned 13 and was adjusting to my freshman year of high school. I was painfully shy.

In the dawn of October 1967, amidst the changing of the colors of the leaves of the maples, the elms, the oaks and they sycamores, I was to come to a crossroad that would forever change my life. As the leaves of the trees were going through a metamorphosis from various shades of green to lemon yellow, bright orange and burnt red; I too was to go through a metamorphosis that would forever change my life. From which, I would never be the same. This was to be a giant step in my journey from boyhood to manhood.

The old Moe’s Sweet Shop, where we would go to buy comic books, Mad magazines and candy bars.

For it was in the dawn of October 1967 that I had just recently turned 13. I was getting acclimated to high school life. And one day, after school, what began as a simple thought to buy the latest Mad magazine, turned out to be a life changing event. Still now, 50 years later, it brings a certain joy, a kind of firecracker excitement to my heart, mind and inner being. For this is a story of one boy’s monumental step from boyhood to manhood. From which, he would never be the same again.

The newspaper and magazine rack at Moe’s Sweet Shop was truly a magical little corner.

It was in the back of Moe’s Sweet Shop, where the comic book rack was located. On the wooden platform beneath the big display of comic books and magazines was an incredible array of newspapers. There were the big daily New York papers: The Daily News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Tribune. Then there were the big New Jersey dailies: The Star-Ledger, The Herald News, The Daily Record, The Bergen Record, The Trends and three or four other daily papers. Then there was my all time favorite, which at the age of 13 I wrote for, The Lincoln Park Herald, our town’s weekly paper.

Comic books, magazines and newspapers were cleverly displayed in the back of Moe’s Sweet Shop.

There are moments in our lives, from which we will never be the same. There is the strange and almost unexplainable moment in time when two people, so very different, cross paths for just a few minutes. And, from that few minutes, there is a most illuminating, amazing and incredible result. As if the odds were 10 million to one, of these two people meeting, crossing paths, and sharing a monumental, unforgettable moment. Such was a moment in time, for me, there at the comic book and magazine rack at dear old Moe’s Sweet Shop. Standing there, overwhelmed with the decision to buy a Mad magazine or two 12-cent comic books with the one quarter in my pocket.

And, then it happened. Big Lou came into the sweet shop. He wore a white T-shirt and blue denims. He kept a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of his T-shirt, above his left shoulder. Big Lou looked as though he has a quart of motor oil in his hair. Lou had dropped out of high school to become a mechanic at the corner gas station, just down the street from Moe’s Sweet Shop. Big Lou was cooler than cool. He was a living legend to all of us kids living in Lincoln Park.

Well, Big Lou entered the sweet shop and said “hey Moe,” to Moe. Moe returned the greeting. Big Lou was smoking a cigarette. He walked up to the magazine rack, took a puff of his cigarette and flipped a few ashes unto the tile floor. With no hesitation, no shame, Big Lou brazenly grabbed the latest issue of Playboy and began flipping through the pages as he clenched his lit cigarette with his lips, in the corner of his mouth. He purposely held the magazine waist level, to give me the opportunity to see the photos in the magazine, as he checked out each page.

I knew Big Lou fairly well. He had been my Patrol Leader when I first joined scouts. He taught me how to swim, how to cook and how to tie all the scout knots. Still, there was a certain fear factor that went into high gear in Big Lou’s presence. Big Lou took the cigarette from his mouth, let out a big puff of smoke and then said something like, “I’d like to have just one night with her. Hey kid, wouldn’t cha? Just one night with her, huh kid?” Then Big Lou let out a wise guy laugh that came from somewhere in the inner fibers of his diaphragm.

Well, I grabbed my Mad magazine. Big Lou clasped the Playboy magazine his right hand. We both walked to the front of the luncheonette, to pay Moe for our respective magazines. I paid for my Mad magazine and turned to the front door. As Big Lou reached into his denim pockets for his money, he called out, “hey kid, hold on, I need to talk to ya.”

Yikes, Big Lou wanted to talk to me! I shuttered. I replied with a sheepish, “okay Big Lou.” As a kid, you knew never to call Big Lou by anything else but Big Lou. It was simply understood.

Moe put Big Lou’s Playboy magazine in a brown paper bag. Big Lou and Moe exchanged friendly “take cares.” Then Big Lou and I exited out the front door. Just outside the front door, Big Lou threw his cigarette butt onto the sidewalk and crushed it. He took out another cigarette from the pack rolled up on his right shoulder. He lit his cigarette. Then he simply said to me, “here kid! Don’t say I never gave you nothing!” And then he handed me the brown paper bag with the Playboy magazine in it.

“I gotta get back to work,” was all that Big Lou said as he let go of the brown paper bag and walked on down the street, back to the gas station. I grasped that Playboy magazine with a death grip. I was in total amazement. Total amazement. The October 1967 of Playboy magazine was mine! All mine! It wasn’t some Playboy magazine that one of my older cousins had hidden in their clubhouse. It wasn’t some Playboy magazine that one of the older scouts had hidden in his knapsack, bringing it to a campout. This was my Playboy magazine. All mine! Totally all mine!

The October 1967 issue of Playboy featured the lovely Reagan Wilson. At 13, I fell off the Empire State Building, in love with her.

Well, the featured model of that issue was a wonderful lady by the name of Reagan Wilson. I kept that issue of Playboy magazine hidden in a wooden box in my tree fort. At 13, I fell off the Grand Canyon, in love with Reagan Wilson. I thought that Reagan Wilson was even more beautiful than Julie Newmar, Batman’s Catwoman. I was never to be the same!

Posted in 1967, Acts of Kindness, Advice to the younger set, Big Lou, Boyhood Days, Compassion, Destiny, Encouragement, Giving, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Lincoln Park, Mad Magazine, Memory, Moe's Sweet Shop, Old Lincoln Park, Reagan Wilson, Small Town America, The Old Maple Tree, The Old Tree Fort, Tree Fort, Wisdom | 1 Comment

Remembering The Creative Arts Circle

I am proud of the success that the Creative Arts Circle enjoyed. In many ways, it was one of my major accomplishments of my life.

Remembering The Creative Arts Circle

By Richard Mabey Jr.

The Creative Arts Circle was a medium for positive thinking and improving self image. We met monthly at the Lincoln Park Public Library, from 2000 till 2004. The group enjoyed a great success and made headway for many people to step out of the job they were in and move on to another employer to find a better job. Or, better still, some people dropped out of the corporate ball and chain and found the courage to venture out to start their own businesses. When I look back, I am happy that I took the time to start up the Creative Arts Circle.

This is one of the articles announcing one of my favorite talks that I gave at a Creative Arts Circle:

Posted in 2001, Accomplishment, Acts of Kindness, Advice to the younger set, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Compassion, Creative Arts Circle, Creative Writing, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Independent News, Journalism, Journey to Truth, Life's Dreams, Lincoln Park Public Library, Love one another, Memory, Never give up!, NJ, Small Town America, Small Town Weekly Newspaper, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, Wisdom | 1 Comment

The Changing Face of Newspapers

Journey to Truth

! ! ! ! Kid selling papers

The Changing Face of Newspapers

By Richard Mabey Jr.

There is a new trend in newspapers. Maybe it is just a Central Florida thing, I don’t know. The physical size of the daily newspapers has been cut down, both vertically and horizontally. Local feature stories no longer fill the inner guts of the local newspaper. You know, the kind of stuff like, “Jim Thompson Awarded American Legion Scholarship,” or “Suzie Wilmont Makes Dean’s List at Central State College,” or “Mabel Maguire Receives Church Award for 50 Years Serving as Sunday School Teacher.”

Instead, the inner guts of local newspapers are filled with tid-bits that you find on the Internet. Nothing wrong with that kind of thing. But the reason that editors use this stuff is because they have laid off so many of their writers, that they get this stuff on the Internet and fill their newspapers with it.


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Reflections of the Old Independent News

Journey to Truth

Richard writing at LP Museum

When I was a young man, I wrote for the famous Independent News. Often I would write my articles in the old historical museum in Lincoln Park.

Reflections of the Old Independent News

By Richard Mabey Jr.

For well over 10 years, mostly during the decade of the 1990’s, I wrote articles for the famous Independent News. During these years, I also held down a full time job, working in the International Public Relations Department of AT&T.

The Independent News was a great regional weekly newspaper that had a circulation of well over 50,000 copies a week. It was circulated throughout over two dozen towns in northeast New Jersey. I was blessed to have a significant amount of artistic freedom in the area of themes and subjects that I wrote on.

One of my all-time, absolute favorite themes to write about was on the subject of the history of northeast…

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To Debbie Brown, Wherever She May Be

To Debbie Brown, Wherever She May Be

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I wrote this poem when I was 20 years old in the Summer of 1974. I was living in Spartanburg, South Carolina in the famous Spartan Villa Apartments. I was nearing the completion of my first year of chiropractic college.

Debbie Brown lived in the apartment across from me. She had long blonde hair. She had blue eyes. Simply put, she was beautiful. Debbie was older than me. She was 25. We dated during the summer of 1974. In early September of 1974, on the morning of my 21st birthday, she told me she had found another man. Nice birthday present.

I confess that today I did do some slight editing of this poem.

Alas, here is my poem that I wrote in the Summer of 1974.

To Debbie Brown, Wherever She May Be

Trapped in murky stagnant water,

my spirit is low.

Long lost the desire to fight her,

the love hath lost its flow.


Empty stores with remembrances,

bring her back in my imagination.

In romantic, slow dances,

lost in the depth of infatuation.


She touched me when

I needed her touch

way back then

I needed her so very much.


Pretensions shed

in a long walk.

In quiet bed

with low talk.


In her dimly lit bedroom,

by the moon’s soft light.

Like the sweep of a broom,

love’s depth took flight.


And us, by each other’s side,

the darkness of the night,

the gap becoming wide,

and love promises doth take flight.


And she looked me in the eye,

and simply said,

with a deep regretful sigh,

“another man now knows my bed.”

Posted in 1974, Broken Heart, Debbie Brown, Destiny, Friendship, From boyhood to manhood, Happy Birthday!, Journey to Truth, Love Poems, Love Story, Moving On, Romance, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Spartan Villa Apartments, Spartanburg, Wisdom | 3 Comments