The Ghost of the White-Tailed Pony

My dad upon the legendary white-tailed pony.

The Ghost of the White-Tailed Pony

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I have been all so reluctant to write about this little chapter of my dad’s life. Well, not so much just of my dad’s life, but of a legend, a most haunting and eerie legacy of the Mabey family. As most of you know, my dad was born and raised in the home that his father built at the end of Mabey Lane. There was once a large, open meadow lying between the home at the end of Mabey Lane and the old Mabey Homestead facing Route 202. My grandfather crowned this beautiful open field as “Earl’s Meadow.” For it was the very land upon which Grandpa’s brother, Earl Mabey, was planning on building a home upon, when he came home from fighting in World War I. Sadly, Great Uncle Earl was killed in action in France.

Growing up in Lincoln Park, my dad and his brothers had a most wonderful blessing in their childhood. They owned a pony! How the pony came to be the prideful property of my dad and his brothers had many legacies to it. My grandfather often told the story that his eldest son, Bud, had won the pony in a poker game. My cousins and I would sit at Grandpa’s feet, as he would tell this story, complete with animation and dramatic voice flexion. This story would always infuriate my grandmother because she was dead set against gambling.

My beloved grandfather, Watson Mabey.

Then there was a legendary story that Grandpa simply bought the pony from one his cousins who lived along the Mabey Lane in Towaco. Still another, more haunting and eerie family legacy, is that one day the pony simply walked out from the woods at the end of Mabey Lane and took a strong liking to my dad and his brothers. Everything in my heart and soul tells me that the story that Grandpa simply purchased the pony from one of his cousins, is the core truth.

Here is where the story takes on a most eerie and haunting twist. My great grandmother, Dora Mabey, owned and managed a little ice cream parlor at the corner of Route 202 and Mabey Lane. In 1959, Dad added on a few rooms to the old ice cream parlor, and it became the home of his brother Dave and wife Sue, and their two children, young Dave, and Kathy. Sadly, the “Little House” as everyone called it, no longer stands.

My great grandmother, Dora Mabey.

Great Grandma Dora would often fondly talk about the white-tailed pony. I remember as a young child, sitting on the front porch of the old Mabey Homestead, with my sister and my cousins. My great grandmother would tell us about the white-tailed pony. How she simply loved that little pony and how it would walk up Mabey Lane, on its own, two or three times a day to get the gift of a carrot from her.

Sadly, the pony passed away in 1944. My grandmother, Bertha Storms Mabey, often said that the pony simply died of a broken heart. That it missed my dad and his brother, Edward, so very much while they were away, serving their country during World War II. Grandpa simply accounted for the precious pony’s passing to old age. For nobody really knew how old the pony really was.

At any rate, here is where the story gets to be a bit of a Twilight Zone tale. Great Grandma Dora often told the story that she would be sitting on the front porch of her ice cream parlor, and she would hear the distinct cadence of the pony walking up Mabey Lane, even after the beloved pony passed away. Even my dad hinted that after he came home from World War II, from time to time, he heard the clip clop of his endearing white-tailed pony walking up Mabey Lane. And, yes, even my grandfather told stories that he had also heard the clip clop sound of the ghost of the family pony, walking up Mabey Lane.

From the time I was 10 years old till I was about 13, my pals and I would often sleep out in my backyard, along Mabey Lane, during the summer months. I don’t know if it was just my vivid imagination, but I did hear the clip clop sound of the white-tailed pony walking up Mabey Lane as I looked up at the canvas roof of my old tent, before falling deeply into sleep. Some of my buddies also attested to hearing the sound of the ghostly pony’s hoofs, in the midst of the summer nights.

Is it possible that a pony’s love for its family, brought its specter form back from the grave? Can the love between an animal and a person ever be limited? Does love ever die? Who among us can say for certain, that there is not an ethereal world that lies between earth and Heaven’s Gate? I really don’t know the answers. But I do know that my family truly loved the white-tailed pony. That it brought great joy to all of their lives.

Hold dear and true the faith of a life beyond this physical world. Try to see life as a most unlimited thing that cannot be boxed in, in any way, shape, or form. Love knows no limitations. It is a force, an essence, a spirit that abounds in heart, mind, and soul. For love has infinite possibilities.

Can science really understand the wonders, the power, the infinite possibilities of the loving heart? Is there a tie between people and animals that will never be truly, fully understood by the human mind? For truly, love is the greatest gift a person can give to another living being.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please put on the subject line: Ghost of the White-Tailed Pony.

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Farewell Not, Thy Brothers in Spirit

A reunion photo of the Three Musketeers. Left to right are yours truly, Joseph Manicone, and George Yost.

Farewell Not, Thy Brothers in Spirit

By Richard Mabey Jr.

There is in each and every one of us, deep within the core of our hearts, the gentle whispering call of a time gone by, of places that are but now ghostly ethers. But deep in the fiber and marrow of bone, residing in the heart’s deepest chamber, held dearly to our inner being, is the dearest memories of childhood and youth. And, who we are and what we stand for, was formed with the help of a hundred and one people. For myself, my two dear friends from my old neighborhood, my brothers in spirit, gave to me the gift of encouragement when I was so deeply questioning my talents and abilities.

George Yost lived directly across the street from me, when I lived on old Route 202 in Lincoln Park. And, Joseph Manicone, lived to the left hand side of George, diagonally across the street from me. To say that the three of us were neighbors, doesn’t really quite define it. To say that we were friends, still does not really fully convey it. For the most part, we were like brothers. In fact, I think that we were closer than a lot of biological brothers are.

We fell in love with the same neighborhood girls. But never allowed it to divide to us. We were blessed with a certain degree of intelligence, yet still struggled through some of our classes, and struggled with some of the stricter teachers we had. We weren’t poor, but we were by no means wealthy. We grew up in Christian homes, with hard working fathers and loving mothers.

The lay of the land, the unique geographical qualities of our little corner of the world, played an important role in our growing up. To the south lied the monumental Hook Mountain. To the north lied the sloping valley, the acres and acres of wooded land, the sacred path that led to the old Morris Canal and then across the canal, stretched out to the east and to the west, the long line of railroad tracks. Then, across the railroad tracks, stood the hundreds of proud apple trees, gleaming and shining with the harvest of red and yellow apples, calling up to reach up and take hold and bite into.

Atop Hook Mountain, just a bit to the east, was the vastly wonderful Lilly Pond. And there, just off of the western shore of the Lilly Pond, was the mysterious Adams Log Cabin. It was an abandoned cabin that was said to be haunted. And, as kids we developed a certain respectful awareness that Old Man Adams’ cabin may well have been haunted. We just weren’t taking any chances.

Summer days were filled with the joy and splendor of playing baseball upon Earl’s Meadow, which was a very large open field that lied on the right-hand side, at the end of Mabey Lane. It was so named Earl’s Meadow because it was the open field upon which my Great Uncle Earl had planned on building a home, when he returned from France, fighting in World War I. Sadly, Great Uncle Earl was killed in battle.

We were the leaders of the rest of the neighborhood boys. It was not something that we consciously sought. It was more like something that was granted unto us by Divine Wisdom. Whenever we would start to play baseball in Earl’s Meadow, a dozen or more boys our age would magically appear. Some coming from across the woods from Clover Lane and Long View Drive. Some would come from the woods, from their homes that were aligned with the Towaco ribbon of Route 202. And still other boys would come forth from the forest, from the little village of migrant farm workers that once abounded along the westerly section of the old Morris Canal in the area of the remains of Incline Plane Ten East.

During the days of Summer, George, Joey, and myself would often ride our bicycles down to Moe’s Sweet Shop. We used to have wired baskets in the front of our bikes. We would fill them with old soda bottles that we found in the woods. Moe would give you two cents for every soda bottle. Back then just about every soda company charged a two-cent deposit on every bottle of their bubbly refreshment.

We would cash in the old soda bottles and buy Milky Ways, Three Musketeers and Baby Ruth candy bars. Outside of Moe’s Sweet Shop, we would use our pen knives to cut each different candy bar into thirds, so that we would all have a feast of three different candy bars to delight our palates.

We built tree forts in our backyards. We even built tree forts in the woods. We used to have all-day marathons of playing our favorite game boards of Monopoly and Risk. We read comic books beneath the shade of the maple, elm, and oak. We collected baseball cards. We always debated whether the ink that got stuck onto the slab of bubble gum, that came inside the waxed wrapper of the baseball cards, was dreadfully harmful to your digestive system.

We flipped baseball cards against the concrete foundations of the lower outside wall of the basement of our homes. We put the baseball cards, that we had as doubles, inside the spokes of the back wheel of our bicycles. We would hold them in place with clothespins. We had this joyous love of life, we relished each and every day of Summer. Deep in the crevices of our hearts, we knew that someday it was all going to fade away, that time was going to steal our magical childhood and youth.

The three of us still do keep in touch with emails and telephone calls. There is a bond of brotherhood that still ties us together. Roughly 60 years have passed since our days of being free spirited boys, filled with adventure, wonder, and magic. Yet, they still live on in our hearts and minds. In all so many ways, we were closer than a lot of biological brothers are. 

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please put on the subject line: Brothers in Spirit.

Posted in Accomplishment, Acts of Kindness, Baseball, Beavertown, Believe in yourself!, Boyhood Days, Childhood Friend, Comic Books, Compassion, Creative Writing, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Earl Mabey, Earl's Meadow, Early Childhood, Encouragement, Faith, George, Giving, Humility, Humour, Joey, Journey to Truth, Life's Dreams, Lincoln Park, Mabey Homestead, Mabey Lane, Moe's Sweet Shop, My Old New Jersey Home, Mysteries of Old Lincoln Park, Never give up!, New Jersey, NJ, Nostalgia, Old Lincoln Park, The Old Tree Fort, To thine own self be true., Tree Fort, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Ne’er Be Forgotten, Thy Blessed Uncle

Uncle Pete with his trademark smile as he rode his lawnmower with his little cart trailing behind.

Ne’er Be Forgotten, Thy Blessed Uncle

By Richard Mabey Jr.

When my dad went Home to be with the Lord in May of 2006, my wonderful uncle, Peter E. Knothe, came forth from the shadows and took me under his wing, in the midst of my deepest sorrow. Uncle Pete gave me encouragement, spoke words of comfort, and shared the wisdom of scripture with me.

After Dad’s funeral service, Mom, my sister Patti and myself stayed at Knothe Farm for a little over two weeks. Uncle Pete took me under his wing. He became my adopted father. And his son, Cousin Pete, became my adopted brother. I owe them both, the sun and the moon and the stars. A debt I know I can never repay.

Uncle Pete had a great love of life. He genuinely loved people. He saw a person’s nobility, his or her fragile quality, their strength of character, and the inner most potential that lied dormant in the heart and soul of an individual.

There really are not words to fully explain just how much Uncle Pete loved his hometown of Randolph. He proudly wore his blue baseball cap that read in white lettering, “I Love Randolph, NJ.” And his love of Randolph, was just a reflection for his love of his country. For he served as a Medic in the front lines of France and Germany during the Second World War. Nobody will ever know how many lives he saved with his first aid and medical knowledge.

Uncle Pete loved to drive around his family farm on his riding lawnmower. He had this little cart that he would pull with the lawnmower. Uncle Pete would transport firewood from the back lot to the front door of his stone homestead, during the cold of autumn and winter. During the harvest of the corn, from early September till late November, Uncle Pete would bring stacks of ears of corn from the back acres of Knothe Farm to the country stand along Millbrook Avenue. What always amazed me about Uncle Pete is that 99.9 percent of the time that you saw him on his riding lawnmower, he would have a smiling grin, a mile wide.

During my two-week stay at Knothe Farm, following my Dad’s funeral service, Uncle Pete and I made a table for Aunt Alice’s dining room display of her Department 56 village of ceramic homes and stores. It was then that I came to fully realize Uncle Pete’s detailed precision in his skill as a Finishing Carpenter.

In his days of working as a Finishing Carpenter, Uncle Pete, specialized in the precision care of structuring and repairing bowling alleys in New Jersey, New York, and Eastern Pennsylvania. If you ever bowled in a bowling alley in any of these three states, rest assured that Uncle Pete probably built the bowling alleys or did some repair on them. He was one of the top bowling alley experts in all of New Jersey and New York.

Uncle Pete’s infamous little cart that still can be seen, out and about, at Knothe Farm.

It was during the time that Uncle Pete and I built this beautiful, wonderfully detailed table for his beloved wife, Alice, that I really came to understand the vast wisdom that Uncle Pete was bestowed with. Uncle Pete had a very deep knowingness of the existence of a Divine Being. He knew the Bible as well as any minister or priest, that I have ever known. He served as the Deacon of the Mount Freedom Presbyterian Church for many years.

In my heart, I know that a big reason that I am still writing is because of the inspiration and encouragement that Uncle Pete shared with me, when he and I built that wonderful display table for Aunt Alice, my mom’s sister. Right after Dad passed away, I thought for sure that my depth of grief had stolen my God given gift to write. I was blocked. The words no longer flowed like a stream through the forest. But it was my Uncle Pete who helped me to see that I needed to carry on, even in light of the heartbreak of grief that I was feeling for the passing of my beloved father.

I am immensely grateful to the guidance that my Uncle Pete bestowed upon me. Uncle Pete went Home to be with the Lord on the fourteenth of April in 2018. He was 96 years old. Today, Uncle Pete’s little cart, that he would pull around with his riding lawnmower, can still be seen out and about, in various places at Knothe Farm. A testament to Uncle Pete’s spirit of hard work with a smile.

Uncle Pete was a loving husband, a strong father to his four children, as source of faithful encouragement to his six grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. For myself, Uncle Pete was truly a lighthouse shining during my dark night of soul.  

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please put on the subject line: Uncle Pete Story.

Posted in Acts of Kindness, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Christianity, Compassion, Dad, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Encouragement, Faith, Friendship, Giving, Healing, Heroism, Kindness, Knothe Farm, Life's Dreams, Love of Family, Love one another, Never give up!, New Jersey, NJ, Randolph, Sacrifice, Second World War, Small Town America, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, To thine own self be true., Uncle Pete, Wisdom, World War II | Leave a comment

The Gentle Call of Home

The majestic maple tree, upon which I built my three-tier tree fort.  

The Gentle Call of Home

By Richard Mabey Jr.

It was the Summer of 1971, I had just graduated from high school. In September, I would begin attending college. I felt the need to walk from my home, in Lincoln Park, to my old grammar school, for old time’s sake. I just needed to see my old grammar school once again. To walk its perimeter, to visit the old baseball field.

I now had walked the mile-long journey, from my old grammar school, to my home. I finally arrived at the top of West Drive. There, standing atop the country lane, I could see my old home from an angle that I had not looked at the old farmhouse in a long time. I was weary and worn and the humble farmhouse was almost calling me to the warmth, security and love that abided within its walls.

I walked along Route 202, which was also known as Main Street, taking in the majestic splendor of the old Mabey Homestead. I then walked down Mabey Lane. The little country road once was a ribbon that led one all the way to the old Mabey Icehouse. Now, it simply stopped a ways down at the home that my grandfather had built when he was a young man.

I walked to the driveway of my house and for a moment or two, took in the wonderful scene of the tall, towering maple tree upon which I had built my three-tier tree fort. There beneath the canopy of maple leaves, humbly stood my sister Patti’s little dollhouse. It was essentially my sister’s clubhouse, a refuge for her and the two neighborhood girls, who were both close to Patti’s age.

Patti’s little doll house. If you look closely, you can see Little One lying there of the left-hand side of the photo.

As I looked at the cute little dollhouse, I saw my dear, sweet, gray striped cat, Little One, sitting beside the small white building. He looked up at me as if to be calling me home. As strange as it may sound, when Little One came over to me. It was as if he was welcoming me home. I picked up the cute little cat and held him in my arms. He looked up at me, and eyeball to eyeball almost spoke to me. It was as if my 17-year-old self was his daddy and he was thanking me to be held in the security of my arms.

At that moment in time, I noticed that Patti’s white, wood-framed dollhouse was in dire need of being painted. For one split-second, I felt a deep, heart-felt questioning that flowed from the core of my soul. I had put so much time, hard work and effort into painting the inside of Thorpe Hall, I neglected the painting needs in my own backyard. I was now only half-way through painting Thorpe Hall and I still had to paint the kitchen, the downstairs hallway and the five or six classrooms on the first floor. I took a deep breath. My beloved cat gently purred as I petted his forehead.

A gentle summer’s breeze swirled about me. I felt the presence of the Divine Spirit calling me home. My little cat looked up to me, as I held him in my arms. For one solitary moment there were no worries about SAT tests, final exams, book reports, term papers and the bullies at Boonton High. There were no worries about the time table to complete this vast painting project of the inside of Thorpe Hall, and figuring out how to raise more money to buy more paint.

There was only the warmth of the sun shining brightly from the heavens, a gentle breeze, the comfort of the shade of the old maple tree and a beloved little cat purring in my arms.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please place the wording “The Gentle Call of Home” in the subject line.

Posted in 1971, Accomplishment, Acts of Kindness, Baseball, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Boonton High School, Compassion, Creative Writing, Days of Being a Young Man, Dreams, From boyhood to manhood, haunting feeling, Humility, Life's Dreams, Lincoln Park, Little One, Love of Family, Love one another, Mabey History, Mabey Homestead, Mabey Lane, NJ, Nostalgia, Small Town America, Wisdom, Wisdom of Animals | Leave a comment

A Perspective of Alex Mabey’s Version of Hallelujah

A Perspective of Alex Mabey’s Version of Hallelujah

By Richard Mabey Jr.

The song, “Hallelujah” was written by Leonard Cohen and originally released on his album “Various Positions” in 1984. Since then, this wonderful song has been sung by hundreds of singers. There is something about this song that is both haunting and inspiring. A strange combination to say the least.

Alex Mabey sings a most unique version of this song. There is a music video on YouTube that features Alex singing this beautiful song. The video begins with the camera focused on a single candle burning in a glass that is set upon a table that is just to Alex’s left-hand side. It almost whispers of the ancient Chinese proverb, “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

The only musical instrument accompanying Alex’s voice is her six-string guitar. There are no electric guitars, no drums, no trumpets, no woodwinds, no flutes, and no synthesizers. There is a very real earnest and sincere quality to this particular version of this popular song. When the camera moves from the single burning candle, to Alex’s face, it is very subtle that Alex does not look at the camera. Rather, instead, Alex is looking upward. It is evident that Alex is singing this song with an appeal to a higher plane.

When Alex begins singing the first series of repetitions of almost crying the word “Hallelujah” her eyes are closed. The camera zooms onto the sincerity in Alex’s face and Alex’s eyes remains closed, showing that she seems to be in earnest prayer.

Alex is a woman with a gentle beauty and a most expressive face. But then, that’s to be expected, after all she is a Mabey. In the introductive lyrics, before singing the repetitions of the word, “Hallelujah” Alex wrinkles her forehead and then brings together her eyebrows, which add all so much to the sincere and earnest quality of this music video.

The sincerity, the earthy quality, of this music video resonates throughout the entire song. There is no flash, there are no background singers. It is amazingly simple, especially in this day of “hey look at me” music videos.

This video was filmed at The Treehouse in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s a restaurant. Back when I was a younger man, pursuing a dream to be an actor, I did my fair share of dinner theaters. There’s always the distraction of the clanging of plates, silverware tingling like little bells, whispers, shuffles of chairs here and there, and the constant battle of being upstaged by Jimmy asking Susie, how she liked the dessert. Alex remains focused throughout the entire song.

To say that Alex’s version of this song has touched my heart, is the understatement of the decade. Many of you know that I write weekly columns for a newspaper franchise in New Jersey. There are 15 newspapers in all, in this newspaper conglomerate. Most weeks, I write two or three columns or feature articles. I was at a crossroads.

My time spent filming and editing a daily YouTube video, writing two or three newspaper columns a week, had been robbing me of my time that I was devoting to writing my novel. My novel is about two-thirds complete. But at 68 and having some serious heart problems, I was becoming incredibly aware of the ticking of the clock and the tearing away of the pages of the calendar.

It was as if my blessed Guardian Angel had directed me to listen to Alex’s version of “Hallelujah.” I’ve listened to this song now, well over a hundred times. And through listening to this song over and over, praying, and taking long walks through my development, I decided to say fare-the-well to my gig of writing weekly newspaper columns. I desperately need the time to focus on finishing my novel.

I have no doubt that God guided me to find Alex’s version of “Hallelujah.” The earnest quality of Alex’s voice has greatly inspired me to focus more of my intellectual energy upon completing my novel.

Alex Mabey is a most talented singer and songwriter. But more than that, she is a most kind and good-hearted person. But then again, what else could she be? She’s a Mabey!

So, with earnest heart, I write these words. Thank you Alex Mabey for giving the world this beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah.” I do so appreciate your effort. And, as dear old Stan Lee would end every Spider-Man comic book of the 1960’s, “nuff said!”

Posted in Accomplishment, Acts of Kindness, Alex Mabey, Be Strong!, Compassion, Creative Arts Circle, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Friendship, Giving, Healing, Humility, Jesus, Kindness, Life's Dreams, Love one another, Mabey History, Never give up!, Newspapers, Nostalgia, Sacrifice, Spiritual Lesson, Stan Lee, Wisdom | 2 Comments

Remembering The Graveyard Shift!

Remembering The Graveyard Shift!

By Richard Mabey Jr.

For eight years of my life, from 2009 till 2017, I worked as a Security Guard at a large, gated community in Central Florida. Often times I worked as a Gate Guard in one of the many Gate Houses in this gated community. And, it wasn’t uncommon for me to work the graveyard shift. It was often a bit scary and eerie.

Most of the time, the graveyard shift meant that I endured hearing the ticking of the big clock on the wall. Time went very slow, painfully slow. One single hour seemed like eight hours. I would often bring my laptop computer and watch old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, from my collection of DVD disks.

I met a lot of interesting people, working the graveyard shift. It’s very interesting, who is driving around at two in the morning, in a reputable gated community. It was always a bit nerve racking when someone would drive up to my Gate House, in the wee hours of the night. You just never knew what to expect.

I no longer work as a Gate Guard. I take care of neighborhood dogs, when their owners go away for a day or two, or sometimes and entire week. It helps a lot in subsidizing my pension and Social Security. Sometimes, I wonder if the regulars, who would drive by in the middle of the night, are still suffering from insomnia.

Posted in Accomplishment, Andy and Barney, Be Strong!, Central Florida, Compassion, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Eerie, Gate Guard, Gated Community, Giving, haunting feeling, Humility, Humour, Kindness, Moving On, Nostalgia, Stand Tall, Television, To thine own self be true., Wisdom | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Old Racecar Track

The Old Racecar Track

By Richard Mabey Jr.

There is a racecar track close to my home, in Central Florida. It is about three miles from my house. My former neighbor, Dan and I used to go to see these races on somewhat of a regular basis. They have the car races on Saturday evenings. We would go to see the races, about once a month. Dan always liked going to the races, because he could eat a hot dog and drink a can of soda. Something his health food conscious wife was dead set against.

For about two years or so, Dan and I were great fans of this fun-loving, hot dog eating, racetrack. About five years ago, Dan and his wife moved away. I think they moved to Utah, or it may have been Colorado, I’ve forgotten exactly where they moved. After Dan moved away, I went to the races by myself about a half dozen times. Somehow, it wasn’t quite the same. I missed Dan’s outrageous enthusiasm for the simple act of eating a hot dog and sipping from a can of soda.

Some married men flirt with the lady at the convenience store, when they go in to pay for gas. Dan’s vice was eating hot dogs at the racetrack. Drinking the can of soda was just an added bonus. I remember that one Saturday night, Dan ate two hot dogs. He had had an argument with his wife that very afternoon. So, he was going to show her who was boss. He told me that as he began to chomp down his second hot dog.

I wonder if Dan, wherever he is now, still steals away on Saturday nights to some nearby racecar track with a neighbor. Not so much to watch the races, but rather to eat a hot dog and sip soda from a can. It was Dan’s way of showing his wife who was the boss of their home. Funny thing, before we left the races, Dan would eat a couple of peppermint mints. The last thing Dan wanted was to come home with hot dogs on his breath. But, rest assured Dan was the boss of his household.

Posted in Accomplishment, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Dan, My Old Neighbor, Destiny, Determination, Eerie, Friendship, Giving, Heroism, Humility, Humour, Memory, Moving On, Romance, Stand Tall, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Remembering Figaro

Remembering Figaro

By Richard Mabey Jr.

Little Figaro passed away a few years ago. I thought of Little Figgy tonight. She was such a good little cat. Adventurous, fun loving, and very loyal. Figgy loved to get a drink of water from a dripping faucet. Especially the kitchen sink. I used to set it up, so that the kitchen faucet would drip just a little bit. Figgy would kind of cup her paw, put it under the dripping faucet, then lick her paw. It was all so cute to watch. Poetry in motion.

When I leave this physical body, I’m looking forward to seeing dear little Figaro once again. Deep within my heart, I know that Rainbow Bridge has got to be filled with hundreds of dripping faucets for all the little cats like Figaro.

Posted in Destiny, Dreams, Figaro, Friendship, Giving, haunting feeling, Healing, Homecoming, Humility, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Memory, Mourning, Nostalgia, Rainbow Bridge, The Unexplained, Wisdom of Animals | Leave a comment

Remembering Thorpe Hall

Thorpe Hall, of the old Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, standing proud in all of its glory. During the Summer of 1969, I spent all so many days there, painting the walls of the second-floor all-purpose meeting room, plus all of the first-floor Sunday School classrooms.      

Remembering Thorpe Hall

By Richard Mabey Jr.

During the Summer of 1969, when I was 15 years old, Thorpe Hall of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church had become my little home base, of sorts. I spent nearly the entire summer painting the upstairs all-purpose room, the kitchen, the back conference room, the entire staircase, and all of the downstairs Sunday School classrooms. This was all part of my Community Serviced Project toward my becoming an Eagle Scout.

I would start painting Thorpe Hall, early morning each weekday and work till about 4:30 in the afternoon. Sometimes, I would bring my lunch consisting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, three oatmeal cookies, an apple, and a thermos of iced tea. About once or twice a week, I would splurge and walk over to Moe’s Sweet Shop and buy my lunch. At Moe’s I would have a grilled cheese sandwich and one of Moe’s fantastic ice cream sodas, with three scoops. Life was grand and glorious.

About once or twice a week, I would buy a couple of comic books or a Mad magazine at Moe’s Sweet Shop, after I ate lunch. I would read the comic books on my break, that I used to take from painting, at about 3:00 in the afternoon inside of Thorpe Hall.

Toward the back of Moe’s Sweet Shop there was one single round table that could sit six people comfortably and then seven or eight people, if everyone squeezed in. My friends and I used to call this table, “the girls’ table.” Namely because it was the table where a small group of teenage girls would gather to talk and laugh and share “did ya’ hear that….” The girls would mostly meet together for lunch.

I always sat at the counter at Moe’s Sweet Shop, the spinning stool that was closest to the cash register. I would often glance over to all the girls talking and giggling. I never once got the nerve to walk over to the girls’ table and ask them if I could join them. The distance between my counter stool and the big table was only a few feet, but it may well have been the width and breadth of the Atlantic Ocean. It was an unwritten rule, that was just understood.

The one question that I get asked the most, about my writing, is if my stories are reflections of true-life events. I would say that they are about 90 percent true. I often change names, mostly last names, of people. I’ll also change the names of streets. And also, I tend to change the workplaces of people. In my story, I might have the cool guy who flirts with all the girls at Moe’s Sweet Shop, be working at the corner gas station in town, but in reality he worked at the auto parts store. That kind of thing. But the main thing is that I do my utmost best to stay true to the spirit and feeling of the events in my stories.

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