The Birthday Card

In September of 1977, for my 24th birthday, my old girlfriend, Linda gave me a handmade birthday card. The card dearly touched my heart. Now, over 40 years later, I still have it.

The Birthday Card

By Richard Mabey Jr.

Going through some of my old journals today, I stumbled upon the birthday card that my old girlfriend, Linda, gave to me on my 24th birthday. Something inside of me trembled as I held that cherished card in my hands. Linda had given me her handmade birthday card, back in September of 1977.

I was so deeply in love with Linda. We dated for well over a year. I asked her to marry me and she accepted. Sadly, we didn’t make it to the alter. Something that to this day, deeply saddens me.

Linda was an artist. She was an exceptionally talented artist. I believe, I truly believe, that Linda was a genius when it came to artwork. At the time, I was working hard to get my play produced. It was the true story of my grandfather, Watson Mabey and his brother, Earl Mabey, growing up along the old Morris Canal.

Linda had this Bohemian perspective on life. She loved folk music. She spent hours upon hours working on her artwork. Linda had this little store in northeast New Jersey, where she sold handmade greeting cards, drawings, and three-dimensional miniature scenarios of nature.

This is the inside of Linda’s birthday card that she gave to me over 40 years ago. I still cherish it.

Linda would often wear long cotton dresses. She had an array of old hats that she would wear at her little store. She often wore old denims with old flowered patterned cotton blouses. She loved to wear colorful scarves around her neck. She had long brown hair that hung down past her shoulders. She never wore makeup. Linda had this beautiful aura, a shining countenance, and a smile that could warm up an entire room with a hundred people in it.

At the time that I dated Linda, I worked three jobs. I worked in the Public Health Department of my little hometown, I wrote for a local newspaper, and also worked as a salesperson in this catalogue showroom. I was working like a madman for two reasons. First, to buy Linda a diamond ring. Secondly, to bank enough money to put down on the purchase of a starter home. I was bound and determined to skip the apartment stage of early married life.

O. Henry may not have dreamed up this ultimate irony. The more I worked, the further apart Linda and I became. At one point, I was working 60 hours a week. I was weary, worn and exhausted from working too hard. Sadly, the physical, emotional and spiritual closeness that Linda and I shared was ebbing away. It was such a sad thing.

Linda was the last Bohemian type woman whom I was ever to date. Soon after Linda and I broke up, I took a job in the Marketing Services Department of a national toothbrush manufacturer. It was the dawn of the 1980’s and I began dating women who were more closely aligned to a corporate mindset. The driven type of women. I confess that deep inside, I missed Linda and her Bohemian, carefree, artistic spirit tremendously.

I was never to see Linda ever again after we broke up. Except for one special night at one of my poetry readings.

In the summer of 1994, I presented a poetry reading workshop at one of those big bookstores. I remember that there were at least 50 people in attendance that night. To my amazement, as I stood in front of all those people, I saw Linda in the audience. My heart melted like an ice cream cone on a summer’s day.

When the poetry reading was completed, I thanked everyone for coming out. I will never forget this. Linda was sitting in the third row, all the way to my left hand side. Immediately I began walking over to Linda, after thanking everyone for coming out to the poetry reading. This lady stopped me and asked me some question about writing poetry. I politely answered her as quickly as I could and looked over to where Linda was sitting. She was now gone.

I scanned the area of the bookstore. I left the group of people who were all gathered about talking about poetry. I searched that bookstore, high and low, Linda was gone. I went back to the podium and gathered up all my notes and waved goodbye to everyone. I went out to the night sky of the big parking lot. I scanned the parking lot as well as I could. Linda was gone.

I got into my car. And, before I turned on the ignition, the waterfall commenced and I cried my eyes out. I’ve never seen Linda again.

I pray that Linda is alive and well. I pray that she is happy. I pray that she is still an artist. I pray that her Bohemian spirit still burns brightly in her heart.

Posted in 1977, 1994, Birthday Card, Broken Heart, Compassion, Destiny, Determination, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Friendship, Giving, haunting feeling, Humility, Kindness, Linda G., Love Story, Moving On, New Jersey, Oral-B, Poetry, Poetry Readings, Romance, Small Town Weekly Newspaper, Spiritual Lesson, The Unexplained, To thine own self be true., Wisdom | 2 Comments

The Plight of the Working Class in America: The Orange Juice Bottling Plant

Old Factory

The Plight of the Working Class in America:

The Orange Juice Bottling Plant

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I shall be as concise and precise as I possibly can here. Herein lies the truth. You can recant with the usual conservative Fox News and radio talk host jive, with statements like, “there’s work out there, people are just too lazy to work.” But here is one example of truth.

Jim Farlow graduated high school in 1971. His dad, Bill Farlow, worked at the orange juice plant in Orange Blossom, Florida. The plant was owned and managed by two families; the Terhune family and the Salem family. Both families had their entire family work in the orange juice plant. The Terhune’s and the Salem’s were decent people. They were fair to their employees.

Bill Farlow was the Chief Operating Mechanic of the gizmo whizmo gearing apparatus, better known as GWGA. Bill had worked at this very orange juice plant since he was 16 years old. Bill worked hard, he worked very hard to climb up the ladder to become the COM of the GWGA. His son, Jim, dreamed of one day following in his dad’s footsteps. But for right now, Jim worked the packing and assembly factory line for the concentrated orange juice division. It was tough, hard, mean work. But young Jim did not mind.

At night, Jim would study his dad’s manuals and books about the workings of the famous GWGA. Jim was becoming a bit of an expert in the mechanics of this huge orange juice bottling machine.

In 1981, there was a cold front that swept through Central Florida, during the month of January. The frost took a heavy financial loss for the Terhune and Salem family. Their orange trees, covering many square miles of orange groves, were affected by this freeze. But even still, property taxes had to be paid.

The plant was closed down for the months of January and February in 1981. The Terhune and Salem families were barely able to pay the property taxes, let alone the wages of several hundred employees.

In desperation, the two families sold their orange juice packing plant to the Quick Maid Orange Juice Company. Quick Maid Orange Juice Company, or QMOJ as the locals called the company, was a subsidiary of Macho-Cola Company, which was a subsidiary of Best Quality Foods Corporation.

By March of 1981, the old orange juice packing plant was in operation. But change was in the air. There were rumors that the big wheels at QMOJ wanted more production out of the plant. By the Fall of 1982, the GWGA apparatus was replaced by a fully computerized, automatic mechanized, state of the art orange juice bottling system. Sadly, Bill Farlow was laid off, along with a few hundred other employees. Bill took a job at the local Rip-Ya-Off Department Store, located out on the highway. It had just been built.

Bill was not able to get a full-time job right away. He took on part-time work, with the promise that if he was a good enough employee, he would be considered for full-time. Sadly, Bill retired from the Rip-Ya-Off Department Store as a part-time worker, with no pension. He kept his family above water, by doing odd jobs for neighbors and friends.

Jim stayed on in the Concentrated Orange Juice Division, or the COJD as it was frequently referred to. He was never offered a promotion. When QMOJ bought the plant in the little town of Orange Blossom, Florida, they brought down their own crew of supervisors and managers to run the operation, the way that they felt was best.

In June of 1991, a group of big wheels, from Best Quality Foods Corporation, came down to inspect the production effectiveness of the orange juice bottling plant. Their final report recommended to the CEO of BQFC that the plant be closed down and bottling operations be moved to Gamojero, Mexico. Everyone was laid off.

Jim tried and tried and tried to get another full time job. But in the little town of Orange Blossoms, Florida, the orange juice bottling plant was the central economy for the entire town. Finally, after six months of looking for a job, Jim followed in his father’s footsteps and took a job at the Rip-Ya-Off Department Store. He was promised by the management, that if he did a good enough job, he would be moved up to full time status.

Jim was never moved up to full time status. In May of 2003, Jim turned 50 and was fired for having too many absent-tee times. You see Jim’s mother, Sue, was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2002. Jim was his Mom’s only care taker. His Dad passed away two years before. There were times when Jim was just needed at home, so he had no choice but to call in that he could not make it to work that that day. It wasn’t a frequent thing, but enough where the management had an excuse to fire the “older guy” at the store.

Jim tried and tried and tried to find another job. He was faced with being the victim of age prejudice. When he told family and friends about his plight, they reassured Jim that he was imagining it all. That age prejudice did not exist at all.

In August of 2004, Jim’s mother Sue passed away. Today Jim still lives in the very home that he was born in, in the little town of Orange Blossoms, Florida. He is now 64 years old. he gets by, by doing odd jobs for neighbors and friends. He truly followed in his father’s footsteps.

The old orange juice bottling plant is now a big eye sore in town. Quick Maid Orange Juice just let the town have it for taxes. Weeds grow in the parking lot. The local kids throw rocks at the windows, you know, the windows with chicken wire in them. The remains of the plant is just a heap of red bricks and concrete blocks and broken glass.

This is just one story of what the big corporations are doing to small town America. You won’t see this story featured on Fox News. You won’t hear the conservative radio personalities tell this story on their radio programs. They’ll just keep babbling the same old rhetoric, “there’s jobs out there, people just don’t want to work!”

Posted in Age Prejudice, Big Box Stores, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Help the poor, Humility, Inc., Modern Life, Orange Blossom, Florida, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Leave a comment

A Turning Point for Peter Onorati, “The Wedding”

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Peter Onorati and Susan Saint James in the “Kate and Allie” episode, “The Wedding“.

A Turning Point for Peter Onorati, “The Wedding”

By Richard James Mabey Jr.

I think that when Peter Onorati’s biography is written, “The Wedding” deserves to be a chapter onto itself. I’m not referring to Peter’s real life wedding at all. Rather to the episode that he starred in with Susan Saint James in the sit-com, “Kate and Allie.” I think that this episode was a turning point in Peter’s acting career. For in this episode Peter showed his acting range, from funny sit-com moments, to moments that were rather sensitive and heart warming.

For Peter Onorati’s debut in a recurring role, in a television series, was on the television sit-com, “Kate and Allie.” Kate was portrayed by Susan Saint James. And, Allie was portrayed by Jane Curtin. It was December of 1988 when the show’s sixth season began. The reason that the show did not start in September, was that there was a big Writers Guild of America strike at the time.

Peter portrayed the character Lou Carello on the show. Lou was the Superintendent of Kate and Allie’s new apartment, that they had just moved into. And, Lou had a big fat crush on Kate. It was in the 18th episode of the sixth season, that Peter’s character brought on a full dimensional scope. It was in this episode that Lou convinces Kate to be his date at his cousin’s wedding. But Kate really does not want to go to the wedding with him. To put it another way; Kate really, really, really does not want to go to the wedding with Lou.

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Peter has this moment of sincere humility, when his character Lou Carello asks Kate to accompany him at his cousin’s wedding.

I personally, love the scene where Peter’s character, Lou Carello, asks Kate to his cousin’s wedding. I really liked the way that Peter played this scene. He has this kind of thing going, that Don Knotts often did in his role as Barney Fife in a lot of the scenes with Thelma Lou. There is this outgoing, confident, rather full-of-himself side to Lou Carello. Then, there is this other side to Lou. He’s insecure about himself. His heart is beating like a big bass drum, trembling to ask Kate for the big wedding date. And, Peter played the scene fantastically.

The viewer actually develops an empathy for Lou Carello. I don’t think there’s a man on planet earth, who could not identify with Lou’s plight. That insecure feeling of asking a woman for a date, whom you really like a lot.

At the wedding, Lou Carello is in his glory. He could not be happier. There at his cousin’s wedding are all of his relatives, and most importantly his Mom. There is something heart moving and tender about this entire wedding scene. Lou Carello is at the wedding with the beautiful woman, with whom he has a most painful crush on.

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Throughout the wedding scene, you can just read Lou Carello’s mind. You can feel his pain. He is so taken with beautiful Kate, but he knows deep in his heart, that when the wedding reception is over, he goes back to being the Superintendent of the apartment complex. And, sadly, Kate will be just another one of the residents there.

Throughout this entire wedding scene, Peter has these moments where his face shines like a diamond, he is so happy. But then there are moments where you can see the sadness in Peter’s eyes, for his character knows that the clock is ticking. And, when the wedding reception is over, he’ll go back to being the Superintendent of the apartment complex and beautiful Kate will become just another tenant. There is this bittersweet feeling throughout the entire wedding reception for Lou Carello. And, Peter Onorati plays it beautifully. The viewer really does develop an empathy for Lou’s plight.

I think this scene hits hard for a lot of men. Because, while most men don’t want to admit it, most men have been in this situation themselves. It’s both a beautiful dream and horrible nightmare, all at the same time.

So what happens after the wedding is over? I don’t want to spoil all the fun of watching this great episode of “Kate and Allie.” You can catch it on Youtube.

Simply put, it’s a great episode of “Kate and Allie.” And, aside from seeing our good friend, Peter Onorati, in a great comedy role, you get to see Susan Saint James dressed to the nines. And to think that dear old Peter got to dance with her! Well, as good old Rod Stewart sang to us, all them years ago, “some guys have all the luck!”



Posted in 1989, Accomplishment, Acts of Kindness, Compassion, Destiny, Determination, Don Knotts, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Friendship, Humility, Kate and Allie, Peter Onorati, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peter Onorati Smashes The Myth That “Over 60” Means Retirement

!1 Peter

Peter Onorati smashes the myth that “over 60” means retirement, in his dynamic performance of Jack Mumford in SWAT.

Peter Onorati Smashes The Myth That “Over 60” Means Retirement

By Richard James Mabey Jr.

The second episode of SWAT just recently aired on CBS-TV. And, in that episode Peter Onorati gave one dynamic, dramatic performance; smashing that horrible myth that “over 60” means retirement. Peter still has all of the fury, the controlled anger, the subtle arrogance, the powerful presence that made him a star in “Civil Wars,” the courtroom drama television series of the early 1990’s. There are certain trademark qualities, that run like a golden thread, in Peter’s various characters that he has portrayed over the years.

!2 Peter

There is no doubt that there is a unique quality to Peter Onorati’s acting style.

You know it in your heart. But it’s so hard to define, to put into words. But there is no doubt that there is a unique quality to Peter Onorati’s acting style. It’s the kind of thing when the boss gives you a hard time at work for no reason. That facial expression that befalls your face as your boss walks away, after he or she has just given you the business. Well, that’s the face of Peter Onorati as he fights for a cause, in his various roles.

!! Peter Onorati

Peter’s character of Jack Mumford, called me back to another time and another place.

After having seen the first episode of SWAT, I felt that I knew Peter’s character, Jack Mumford, from another time and another place. It drove me crazy. It’s like when a song plays over and over in your mind, say a song from long ago, and you cannot remember what singer or group sang that song. It was that kind of thing.

!4 Sgt Fury

Peter Onorati’s character of Jack Mumford reminds me a lot of Stan Lee’s comic book character, Sergeant Nick Fury.

Then the other night, while watching the second episode of SWAT, the old light bulb went on. It was just like an old Road Runner cartoon, where the light bulb turns on just above the head of Wile E. Coyote’s head. It came to me, when I least expected it! Peter’s character reminded me of none other than Stan Lee’s comic book character, Sergeant Nick Fury. With all due respect, not the modern day Nick Fury, but rather the Nick Fury of the comic books of the mid 1960’s.

!5 Richard's Tree Fort

My old tree fort, from where I read dozens of Nick Fury comic books as a kid.

When I was a kid, I read dozens of Nick Fury comic books from high atop my old tree fort. Sergeant Fury worked from instinct, he was rough and rugged, and had true-blue natural leadership skills. And, did not necessarily go by the book. I could see Peter Onorati playing the role of Nick Fury. I could just see Peter leading the Howling Commandos into battle where they are outnumbered 10 to one, but still come out victorious!

!7 Peter

Peter Onorati is a hard working man, who has never forgotten his thousands of fans!

I think that Peter Onorati is one of the most talented actors on television today! He is a hard working man, who has never forgotten his thousands of fans. I hold a very high degree of respect and admiration for Peter, for all he has accomplished, in a very tough and competitive field. Peter really is one in a million. In some ways, Peter’s character of Jack Mumford, who is the no nonsense guy with a heart of gold, reflects a bit of who Peter Onorati is in real life. Believe me when I tell you, Peter has a heart of gold!


You just don’t want to miss one single episode of SWAT. It’s on every Thursday night, on CBS-TV at 10:00 eastern time and 9:00 central time.

If you have not yet watched an episode of SWAT, you really need to check it out. It’s that kind of edge-of-your-seat, action packed drama that is generally reserved for the movies. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to take out a bank loan to watch SWAT. You don’t have to sit in a crowded movie theater. And, you don’t have to sweat out finding your car in some crowded parking lot after the film is over. Yes, for absolutely no admission fee you can check out one of the most dynamic action-packed dramas on television! SWAT is on every Thursday night on CBS-TV; 9:00 eastern time and 10:00 central time. Believe me, you really don’t want to miss another episode!

Posted in Accomplishment, Acts of Kindness, Avengers, Believe in yourself!, Boonton, Civil War, Comic Books, Compassion, Destiny, Determination, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Leadership, Life's Dreams, Peter Onorati, Sergeant Nick Fury, Stan Lee, Stand Tall, SWAT TV-Show, The Old Tree Fort, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Leave a comment

For Peter Onorati: With Much Respect and Appreciation

# Peter 1a

Peter Onorati knocked the ball out of the park in his role as Jeff Mumford in SWAT!

For Peter Onorati: With Much Respect and Appreciation

By Richard James Mabey Jr.

Peter Onorati’s role as Jeff Mumford in the new CBS television show, SWAT, was electric, high-energy and incredibly intense. Once again, Peter brings his trademark controlled anger and intense energy to a network television series. Peter’s vital acting skills sizzle and electrify in this new role.

There is something very unique in Peter’s approach to acting. In pantomime, without Peter even delivering a line, the television viewers can sense what Peter is thinking, they can feel Peter’s frustration and anger. To say that this energy flows is an understatement. It is like saying that the water coming down Niagara Falls flows downward. When, in reality, we all know that the water dropping down from Niagara Falls ferociously roars down the cliff side.

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Peter Onorati uses every muscle in his face and neck to bring intensity and controlled anger to his character in the new television drama, SWAT.

Peter seems to use every muscle in his face to convey the emotions that he is feeling. And, in his role of Jeff Mumford, Peter’s acting skills seem to jump out from the viewer’s television screen. Peter’s intensity in this role seems to shoot out from the pores in his face. With wrinkled forehead, clenched jaw muscles, tightened neck muscles, fire bursting from his eyes, anger bursting from his furrowed eyebrows; Peter Onorati knocks the ball out of the park in this new role!

I hold a very high respect for Peter Onorati, both as an actor and as a person. He is a good, family man with high principles and earnest values and a caring heart. For being such a big celebrity, Peter is a very down to earth, really nice guy. And for those reasons, among many others, Peter is a most beloved television star and celebrity. I don’t think Peter could act stuck up, even if he tried. I mean in real life, not in the role of a character.

I don’t think the average person realizes how many long hours and how much hard work that an actor puts into creating just the right facial expressions to convey certain emotions in a role. When I was a younger man, I tried my hand at acting. I hit the jackpot in landing the role of Jefferson Smith, in a theatrical adaptation of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I must have spent well over a hundred hours rehearsing that famous filibuster speech in front of a mirror. I wanted to get just the right facial expressions for every single word of that heart rendering speech. Good acting does not come easy. It is hard, hard, hard work.

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Without saying one single word, the television viewer can feel the controlled anger, the frustration, the fury that Peter’s character is feeling in heart, mind and soul. Truly, the mark of a great actor!

There is a point in the show, where Peter’s character does not say a single word while the camera focuses on his face. But still the television audience can feel Peter’s emotions jump out of their television screen. The controlled anger, the pent-up frustration, the wild fury; all of it roars like a lion. And the amazing thing is for a few seconds, Peter does not say one word. His eyes, his facial muscles, his neck muscles, his jugular vein popping out; bespeaks it all!

# Peter 4 Sal Malavolta

Peter Onorati in his role as Sal Malavolta in the “Slice of Death” episode of the “Castle” television show.

The trademark acting quality of Peter Onorati, bringing to life the controlled anger, the frustration, the fury through facial expressions came to life, big time, in Peter’s role as Sal Malavolta in an episode of the Castle television show. Sal is brought in for questioning. And in the process of being questioned for a murder, Peter rips.

There is this thing that Peter does with his facial expressions. In many ways, he represents that frustration that we all feel from time to time. We are doing our best, working hard, towing the line; and it just seems like the whole system is working against us. But we can’t put it into words. And, better than putting it into words, Peter Onorati emulates this frustration, this anger, this sense that something is totally unfair, through his varied facial expressions.

There is something so very important that needs to be recognized about Peter’s integrity. Peter grew up in the small town of Boonton, New Jersey. He was a most talented football player on his high school football team. As a young man, Peter went on to play football in college and also played football for the semi-professional football team, which was based in his hometown of Boonton. In high school Peter also shined in wrestling and baseball.

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As President of the student body, Peter Onorati would often give speeches to the entire student body!

But not only was Peter a star athlete at Boonton High School. Peter was elected as the President of the entire student body at Boonton High. Peter did an outstanding job of serving as the President of the student body. Even at a young age, Peter developed outstanding stage presence. You see, as School President, Peter would often give speeches to the entire student body.

This was no easy task, by any means. At that time Boonton High School was a regional high school, with a student population that more closely resembled a stage college than a high school. Back then, Boonton High School took in the towns of Boonton, Boonton Township, Montville, Pine Brook, Towaco and Lincoln Park. There were close to 2,000 students attending Boonton High at that time!

There were too many students to fit into the school’s auditorium, so the administration would have all-school assemblies in the gymnasium. But, even then, all of the students could not fit into the bleachers. Many of the students would be sitting on the gym floor. Peter would come out with his famous number 17 football jersey and give an incredibly inspiring speech to the entire student body. You could just sense that Peter was marked for fame.

If you missed the first episode of SWAT, you just don’t want to miss it again. SWAT is on every Thursday night at 10 o’clock, eastern time, nine o’clock central time, on CBS. If you’re not going to be home then, or if you go to bed early, be sure to set your DVR to record SWAT. You just don’t want to miss it.

Alas, it’s time to wrap up this blog chapter. To Peter Onorati, a toast for continued success in his acting career. And, a most earnest prayer that SWAT becomes TV’s number one television show! For truly, Peter Onorati, is the celebrity who never forgot his old friends and never forgot his way back home to dear old Boonton!



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O’ Sacred Bridge, Yet To Be Found

O’ Sacred Bridge, Yet To Be Found

By Richard James Mabey Jr.

There is a calling that every man hears at some point in his life. It is a gentle whisper. It is more gentle than a summer breeze. It beckons a man. It is the feeling of walking in the forest, deep in the forest and coming upon a stream. But there is no bridge to cross the stream. So, the man walks further along the stream and then finds the bridge. The bridge. The bridge that will allow him to cross the forest stream.

And so it is with time. A man is walking along in time. The big hand on the clock ticks away the minutes. The sun rises, the sun sets. The pages of the calendar are torn off and tossed away. Still, a man yearns to find the bridge that will allow him to cross into his yesteryear, his youth, his childhood.

He longs to take one more ride on the swing in the old park. But, alas, the old park is not there any more. Brick and mortar have replaced the beautiful little park. He longs to stand in the outfield, just one more time. To catch a fly ball. But condominiums now pillar where the open field once hailed.

A man longs to see childhood friends just one more time. And he finds a childhood friend. As if the odds are ten million to one, he finds one of his oldest childhood friends. He connects with her on social media. They exchange the usual “what they’ve been up to” reports. And then the unthinkable happens, that dear old friend, defriends the man from his social media page. No reason, no rhyme. The pain feels like a knife in his heart.

And the man thinks, yearns to climb the old tree fort just one more time. To play Monopoly with his buddies in the old clubhouse. To look for arrowheads in the forest. To walk the path along the old canal. And then the man realizes that a huge development of mansions has been built on the wide acreage of that beautiful forest. Greed and corruption has won out.

Still a man yearns to go back. He tries to bargain with the Time Master. For just one week. Then he bargains for just one day. Then he bargains for just one hour, to go back to the old homestead. To buy a comic book at the old corner sweet shop. To get a haircut with his father, on a Saturday morning, at the little barber shop. To play fetch, just one more time, with his old collie dog.

But alas, it is all gone. His little home town is now a city, with corporate stores, condominiums galore and rows upon rows of million dollar homes on postage stamp lots.

O’ dear soul. O’ precious memories, O’ sacred loved ones. Gone. Gone. Gone from places here and there. Gone. Gone. Gone.

Posted in Barber Shop, Believe in yourself!, Big Box Stores, Boyhood Days, Broken Heart, Childhood Friend, Compassion, Creative Writing, Dad, Destiny, Divine Protection, Early Childhood, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, From boyhood to manhood, Giving, haunting feeling, Homecoming, Kindness, Life's Dreams, Lincoln Park, Love of Family, Memory, Moe's Sweet Shop, Morris Canal, Mourning, New Jersey, NJ, Nostalgia, Small Town America, The Old Clubhouse, The Old Maple Tree, The Old Tree Fort, The Unexplained, Time Travel, Wisdom | Leave a comment

The Eerie, Haunting Quality of Madeline Avenue

In dreams, I return to my old childhood home on Madeline Avenue. The homes were very close together there.

The Eerie, Haunting Quality of Madeline Avenue

By Richard James Mabey Jr.

For the past few months, I keep dreaming that I am returning time and time again to my old childhood on Madeline Avenue in Clifton. Some of my dreams are quite haunting. They have an eerie quality. They are so real that it often shakes me up when I awaken from my dream.

The homes on Madeline Avenue were very close together. And, we were on the hilly part of Madeline Avenue. I remember that as you walked up Madeline Avenue, about a block up from my old house, there was a little corner grocery store. This was by no means a big supermarket. Rather, it was a small mom and pop grocery store. They mostly sold fruits and vegetables. I still remember that the store had this unique odor to it. While it was a kind of musty odor, it was also an odor that flowed from the fruits and vegetables. It was very subtle.

Lately, I am wondering about my dreams of Madeline Avenue. They seem so very real. Could it be that I am going back in time? Or, am I visiting a parallel universe, where my younger self is reliving the day to day life that I knew on Madeline Avenue on another Madeline Avenue somewhere in space and time?

I know all of that sounds Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. Still, I can’t help but to wonder. Because these dreams that I have are that real.

My younger self, Dicky Jim, standing on the front porch of my dear old home on Madeline Avenue.

Sometimes, in my dreams, I find myself standing just outside the front door of my old home. I want to knock on the door. But something stops me. I get ready to hit my knuckles on the front door and knock on the door. But, it is so strange, something stops me.

Then the strangest thing of all happens. I look to my left and there is my younger self, Dicky Jim. He is standing tall and proud, this little boy, about four years old. I kneel down to talk to him, then I realize that he cannot see me. And, I wonder if he can sense my presence.

All of these things have caused me to wonder. I confess that lately I have felt an incredible homesick feeling for those precious days of innocence of my early childhood at Madeline Avenue. All I am saying is that I am not closing my mind to any possibilities.

Posted in 1958, Boyhood Days, Clifton, Compassion, Destiny, Dicky Jim, Divine Protection, Dreams, Early Childhood, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Giving, haunting feeling, Homecoming, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Life's Dreams, Love of Family, Madeline Avenue, My Old New Jersey Home, New Jersey, NJ, Nostalgia, Small Town America, Spiritual Lesson, Time Travel | Leave a comment