My Tribute to Tonya Jo

My Tribute to Tonya Jo

By Richard Mabey Jr.

It was some time in the Summer of 2016 that I first connected with Tonya on the Private Message mode. But actually we had connected long before that. Tonya had been very supportive of my blog, for quite some time before she and I first connected on the Private Message medium.

Then, Tonya and I continued our friendship via email. We became very good friends. We became confidants for each other. I was to discover that Tonya had a lot of things in common. And, we had a lot of things that were not in common.

I think that Tonya is an incredibly kind and insightful person. She has a true gift of understanding human nature. I don’t think that she fully understands just how immense her talent to cut through the chase and see the bottom line of people’s motives, for the things that they do.

Tonya is one of the most interesting people, whom I have ever known. She has this incredible intrigue. At times she has a heart of gold, filled with a compassion that is wider than the Atlantic Ocean. At other times, she is tough as nails. Tonya cannot be conned. She is just too insightful and smart to ever be conned.

At times, Tonya is shy and quiet and unassuming. Then at other times, Tonya roars like a mountain lion. It is a most interesting aspect of Tonya’s personality.

Tonya has a very high degree of  inner strength that I have observed in very few people. It is a quiet strength. None the less, it is a very real strength.

Tonya has a deep belief in God. She is a very spiritual woman. It is a belief that goes beyond the average person’s faith. There is a quality within Tonya that resounds a very real knowingness of the existence of a Divine Being.

Over the years, Tonya has been a true friend to me. She has been very supportive of my blog. To which I am immensely grateful to her. She is also very wise. Many times, I have confided things to Tonya, asking her for her advice and insight into a problem that I was facing. Tonya is more insightful than Ann Landers and Dear Abby put together.

Tonya lives in Tennessee. It is a funny thing, I’ve never met Tonya, eyeball to eyeball. Sometime this summer, I plan on selling my home here in Central Florida and traveling about the USA. I do hope to meet Tonya, eyeball to eyeball, at that time.

Life is so strange. My blog drew Tonya and I together to become very good friends, I would say best friends. This modern world really has turned everything upside down.

In sacred humility, I bow my head and thank the good Lord that Tonya came into my life and became my very good friend. I really and truly do not know what I would do without her.

Posted in Acts of Kindness, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Central Florida, Christianity, Compassion, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Friendship, Giving, Humility, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Leadership, Life's Dreams, Love one another, Modern Life, Oak Ridge, Sacrifice, Stand Tall, Tennessee, To thine own self be true., Tonya Jo, Wisdom | 1 Comment

Treatment for a theatrical play

Background for Theatrical Play

By Richard Mabey Jr.

Peter Marconi is a 65 year old barber, in the small town of Squirrel Valley, New Jersey. His barber shop is located right on the corner of Main Street and Oak Lane. Peter has been a barber all of his life. Peter’s father was a barber, as was his grandfather. All three generations of the Marconi family were barbers, in the very same barber shop that Peter now works in.

The set will be incredibly simple. There will be two barber’s chairs on center stage. Then, behind the barber’s chair, there will be a shelf for Peter’s scissors, razors, hair tonic, etcetera. At stage right will be three very plain and ordinary looking chairs for the men to wait to get their hair cut.

At stage left there will be an old black and white television set that stands on an old wooden table. The television is so old that it has rabbit ears antennas atop it.

Peter now works in the barber shop, by himself. It was a little over a year ago that the paramedics rushed Peter’s Dad out of the barber shop, with a heart attack. Peter now feels the loneliness of working alone in the barber shop. For Peter had begun working in the barber shop when he was only nine years old and in the fourth grade. Peter would walk directly from school to his Dad’s barber shop, every afternoon after school let out. At his Dad’s barber shop, Peter would sweep the floor and run errands for his father.

In the course of the play, men come in and out of the barber shop, to get their hair cut. Throughout the conversations that Peter has with these men, Peter shares his inner, heart-felt reflections that he feels a deep loneliness and emptiness in his life now. At 65, he wonders what he has really accomplished in his life. Nagging at Peter’s heart and his inner thoughts, is that Peter had always wanted to be a forest ranger. To work in the great outdoors. To be with nature. To have that cosmic connection with the great out of doors. In dialogue with some of the regular customers, Peter shares more and more of his sense of failure for not following his own dreams and perhaps being a bit too true to his father’s dream of having Peter work with him in the barber shop.

Sadly, Peter’s father is now in a nursing home. At times, when there are no customers in the barber shop, Peter talks to his father’s barber shop chair. Peter shares his concerns for his father’s health. And, he talks to the barber shop, as if it is his father being there, that he should have followed and pursued his dream to be a forest ranger.

There are hints of Peter’s personal life, throughout the play, through Peter’s dialogue with his customers and his talks with his father’s barber chair. Peter is a widow. His only son is a lawyer, who works in New York City. Peter does not see his son that much. Peter also has a daughter who lives in San Francisco. She is single and Peter constantly worries about her. From time to time, throughout the play, when he is alone in his barber shop, he tells his father’s empty barber chair that he needs to call his son or daughter. Peter picks up the phone, but never calls either one of his adult children.

In the beginning of Act II, sadly, Peter gets the news that his father has passed away. It comes in the way of a telephone call. When the fateful call comes through, Peter is alone in his barber shop. Right after he hangs up the phone, he sits down at his barber chair and breaks down and cries. Peter tries to compose himself. In his time of composing himself, he talks to his Dad’s barber chair and tells his Dad’s barber chair how much his father meant to him. But, he also tells his Dad’s barber chair how he really wanted to be a forest ranger, from the time he was a little boy.

At this point in time, I am not sure how I will end the play. But, it will end in an upbeat spirit.

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When You Are Broken

When You Are Broken

By Richard Mabey Jr.

There may come the time when it seems that the tide has turned against you. When it all seems hopeless. It could be a bad medical report, a break up with a dear loved one, the passing of someone dear to your heart. Whatever it may be, it is not hopeless.

This week I found out that I have a 4.4 centimeter Aortic Aneurysm at the base of my aorta, right where the aorta meets the heart, in very close proximity to where the coronary arteries come off of the aorta. Combined with a rheumatic heart condition, from two serious bouts with rheumatic fever at 12 and 30, things are looking pretty bleak for me. Also, as if all of that isn’t bad enough, I have a congenital heart defect.

But I am still alive, right now, I am still alive. I have two major goals. The first is to write one more stage play. And, the other major goal that I have set for myself before I pass away, is to see that my book becomes published. Two goals to accomplish. I am fiercely pursuing these goals, like there is no tomorrow.

This is a rather short blog, I know. But I want to get this thought out. No matter how bleak things look, do your best to find that glimmer of positive hope. That one shining spark of glory that remains in the midst of all the bad news that may have been bestowed upon you.

Never give up. Never, ever give up. Hold tight to the slimmest ribbon of hope that you can find in the midst of the heartbreak that you may be enduring.

Never give up. Never, ever give up.

Posted in Aortic Aneurysm, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Broken Heart, Compassion, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Giving, Homecoming, Journey to Truth, Moving On, Never give up!, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, The Mourning Heart, To thine own self be true., Wisdom | 2 Comments

My Tribute to My Cousin, Douglas Hines

My Tribute to My Cousin,

Douglas Hines

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My cousin, Douglas Hines, most recently went Home to be with the Lord. The news brought great sadness to my heart. Douglas was so much more than a cousin to me. He was my neighbor, when I lived in Lincoln Park. I could probably throw a stone from my backyard to his backyard. When I ran for Town Council, in Year 2000, Douglas was my Campaign Manager. And, Douglas and I loved to throw the frisbee around with his good son, Kenny.

Douglas had the gift of encouragement. I remember the evening of the big candidates’ debate. I was a nervous wreck. There were so many issues and situations that I had to show expertise on during the debate. The debate was held at the Lincoln Park Community Center. In the foyer, leading to the main room, before the debate started, Douglas could see that I was in a state of mind that made Don Knotts look calm and serene.

Douglas gave me a little pep talk in the far corner of the foyer in the Community Center. Douglas’ attaboy talk gave me the encouragement to face that big crowd and hit the ball our of the park, during the big debate.

It’s hard to explain, but Douglas’ home was very closely situated to the back field, Earl’s Meadow, of the old Mabey Homestead. I remember when I would go over to Douglas’ home to set up my campaign trifold, campaign posters, or other campaign literature. Douglas was a great help to me. And his lovely wife, Sandra, was always there with a glass of lemonade for the two of us.

I will never forget the great Saturday afternoon, when Douglas, his son Kenny and I threw the frisbee around on the quiet street in front Douglas’ house. Douglas and I were like kids again. It was just a great time and we all had a lot of fun. But that was Douglas. He could take something as simple as a frisbee and turn it into a medium for an afternoon of fun, kidding around, and returning to kiddom for a couple of hours.

Douglas was incredibly smart. I remember talking computers with Douglas. He taught me a lot of little shortcuts on so very many different computer packages. He knew all the tricks, to make computer life easier. What I liked so much about Douglas is that he could take some complex computer program and explain it in very understandable terms.

Douglas’ brother Art lives in The Villages, the very same town that I live in, down here in Central Florida. When Douglas came to visit his brother, Art called us up and invited us over. Art was just moving into his new home.

My Mom, Janet, my sister, Patti and myself sat around Art and Fran’s living room with Douglas. We sipped iced tea and lemonade and had a great old time remembering the good old days. It was just a very magical moment. Looking back, I cherish it now even more.

When I read of Douglas’ passing, my heart sank. I felt a great sadness. Douglas was a great man, a true gentleman. Even though, I no longer lived near Douglas, I felt he was still a neighbor of mine, even after I moved to Florida. I shall miss Douglas very much. He shall be missed very much, by a great many people.

Posted in Acts of Kindness, Compassion, Divine Protection, Douglas Hines, Encouragement, Faith, Giving, Humility, Love one another, The Mourning Heart, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Perspectives on Dr. Chi’s book, Being Empowered

Perspectives on Dr. Chi’s book, Being Empowered

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I totally enjoyed reading Dr. Phoebe Chi’s book, Being Empowered …for a Healthy Heart. It is such a good read and I learned a lot from this book. It is a very well organized book and chock full of useful information, for one to maintain good health. This book is a must have and a must read for anyone interested in attaining maximum health.

As a chiropractor, I was very impressed with Dr. Chi’s chapter on back exercises. What I like so much about this chapter is that Dr. Chi writes to communicate with the reader, not to impress the reader. There is a kind of unique conversational tone in Dr. Chi’s writing style. Which is rather rare in self improvement books in the field of personal health.

The graphics and illustrations in Dr. Chi’s book are outstanding. Returning to the subject of Dr. Chi’s chapter on back exercises, I was very impressed with Dr. Chi’s emphasis on back extension. The beautiful thing about Dr. Chi’s back exercises is that you do not have to go out and get a back loan for special equipment to do these exercises.

Not only does Dr. Chi provide back exercises to maintain healthy flexion and extrension of the spinal column, Dr. Chi also provides exercises to strengthen one’s spine. Again, the directions for these exercises are written very plainly, in cookbook recipe style.

As an additional treat, Dr. Chi provides the reader with a scattering of poems, that she has penned, throughout the book. These poems are uplifting and inspiring. They add a touch of class to the book.

This book is 343 pages long. So bang for buck, it’s quite a bargain! This is a must read for anyone interested in having a healthy heart!

Posted in Accomplishment, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Chiropractic, Creative Writing, Destiny, Determination, Dr. Phoebe Chi, Encouragement, Faith, Giving, Healing, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, Wisdom | 2 Comments

Remembering the Ad Agency

At my desk at the ad agency that I worked at from January 2000 till November 2004.

Remembering the Ad Agency

By Richard Mabey Jr.

From January 2000 till November 2004, I worked as a proofreader, then editor, then writer, then executive editor of Mind Control Advertising Agency in northern New Jersey. No doubt, you have figured out that I changed the name of this ad agency. Basically, so that I do not get sued.

I worked there for one month shy of five years. I like the idea of doing something for five years, then moving on to some line of work that is totally different. It keeps life exciting.

I started at the ad agency as a humble proofreader, I worked my fingers to the bone, broke my back, stayed late at night most of the time, to finally work myself up to the point where I was serving as Executive Editor, reporting directly to the Vice President, with six employees reporting directly to me. I was making decent money. It all seemed like I was riding on the gravy train. But was I?

As time passed, I dreaded going to work each morning. I had the worst case of the Sunday night blues that you could ever imagine. The pressure cooker at my job was getting hotter and hotter. The demands and deadlines were becoming more absurd, with the passing of each and every week. I was secretly popping antacid tablets, just to deal with the outrageous stress of my job.

So, one day, during my lunch hour in November of 2004, I typed up my resignation, complete with two weeks notice and handed it to my boss. He flipped a gasket. He went berserk on me.

Mabey, you can’t quit! We’ve got that big ad campaign to polish off for the post holiday season. No way! No! Absolutely not! I won’t let you quit, you hear me!” I remember my boss shouting at me. But I ignored him and quit any way.

It was at the end of April in 2005, that I left my hometown of Lincoln Park and took on a writing job at a big daily newspaper in Central Pennsylvania. It was a blast. I learned a lot. My editor gave me a lot of artistic and creative freedom. I wrote a few hundred articles and feature stories for that paper, while I lived in Central Pennsylvania from June of 2005 till June of 2008.

If you’re feeling stuck in a job that feels like a dead end, where you are simply not appreciated and treated like dirt; here’s an idea, quit! Trust your talents and abilities to land a better job. Trust your innate, inner self, to guide you to a better place where you’ll be much happier. Don’t put it off. Life is too short to be miserable in a job where people are treating you like dirt. Move on. You can do it. Yes, you really can do it!


Posted in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, Accomplishment, Ad Agency, Advice to the younger set, Be Strong!, Central Pennsylvania, Cold Hearted Ad Agency, Dangers of being too trusting, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Eerie, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, haunting feeling, Journey to Truth, Leadership, Modern Life, Moving On, Never give up!, Wisdom | 2 Comments

Senior 65 By Patrick McCarthy

This is a humorous essay that my good friend, Patrick McCarthy wrote. Patrick and I are old friends, going back to Mrs. Jacobchick’s fourth grade class at dear old Chapel Hill School. It is my honor to premier this great essay that Patrick most recently wrote.

Senior 65

By Patrick McCarthy

When I was young, 65 was old people territory. As I got closer to that number, I was starting to hear things like” 60 is the new 40” and “age is just a number”. Well, come folks, let’s face facts. 65 is the new 65.

For the last few years, I’ve been feeling all kinds of aches and pains that I never felt before: bones, muscles, knees, back etc. So I thought that perhaps it’s time to get a physical; it’s been 15 years since I had my last.

So, with my Medicare card in hand, off to the doctor I go. A series of tests follow: MRI, pet scan, cat scan, blood work, pee in a bottle and poop in well… you get the picture, as unsightly as it is.

Do you smoke? Do you exercise? Do you have feelings of doom and gloom”? This is just the beginning of a series of questions thrown at me. The list goes on and I’m afraid that if I answer some truthfully, I will either be arrested or institutionalized.

So, most of the results have come back and for the most part, I’m normal. Normal? Is this what normal is supposed to feel like? Now I know why old people don’t smile.

OK, enough of the doctor stuff. Now that I am retired, I need to find things to do to keep occupied and stay in shape. Does walking the dog twice a day count? How about taking out the trash?

So, off to the senior center I go. I explain I’m kinda new at this, where do I start? So the nice girl hands me a brochure and starts to tell me about all the programs available to senior citizens (wait, I’m a senior citizen?). There are all kinds of programs for us folks. There’s senior softball (have you ever seen me play softball?) There are pot lucks, music programs, including a kazoo orchestra. A kazoo orchestra, seriously? Let’s not forget quilting classes, pottery and pickle ball. I still don’t know what pickle ball is – I’m almost afraid to ask. Then there is bingo, how to grow your roses, and accordion concerts. Whatever happened to Grand Funk?

So I looked through the catalogue and decided on senior golf. I have played with friends for the last few years, and have always been bad, but what the heck.

Further on in the catalogue, I see that they offer bus tours including trips to the casinos. You know the kind, you’ve seen them. A bunch of old people going on a bus tour – I used to say “ look at that bus with old people going to the casino”. Guess what? That’s me! How did this happen?

Gotta go now. I’m about to book a cruise that will take me and 100 other old people to faraway places in other countries. Just hope I have all my meds.

Posted in Accomplishment, Believe in yourself!, Childhood Friend, Compassion, Creative Writing, Destiny, Determination, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Friendship, Humour, Life's Dreams, Modern Life, Patrick McCarthy, Stand Tall, To thine own self be true., Wisdom | Leave a comment