Two-Minute Memoir

July 22, 2015

Summer Fedora

By Suzanne M. Royer

summerfedoraHe seemed nice enough from his profile—college degree, a good-paying union job doing skilled work, loved to travel, and in one of his photos he was wearing a jaunty summer fedora, sitting in a lounge chair in a garden and holding a glass of wine—so we met.

We met at Panera, one of my regular choices. You can just get a cup of coffee or tea, blend in with the Moms with young kids and the elderly couples. And, alone with your coffee, you don’t look out of place if your companion doesn’t show.

I had gotten the idea he had two children, or was it three? It came up in the profile questions he’d answered, and there was that photo captioned “me and my youngest daughter.” We had exchanged email addresses, something that I prefer not to do until I’ve met someone in person. My email address contains my last name, the key to unlocking all sorts of personal information. His was Dadov8 . . . was his last name Davidov? Davidoff? Was he Jewish? Was he possibly a Dad of eight?

So we chatted about his job – night work but it paid well. His kids live in a different town and he drives there and back to get them for weekends. A subsequent relationship recently ended —a relationship with a different woman and her kids. But he’s still sharing a small house in the suburbs with them because they signed a lease together, and who has the money to move out before the lease is up? He’s lonely, not angry, but he can’t understand why she would rather be on her own than with him. He keeps to his bedroom.

So I asked him: How many kids do you have? “Eight,” he said, “from three marriages.” Two in their thirties live in the middle of the country and he’s estranged from them. Maybe it was his ex-wife’s doing. Three from his second marriage—they live in Florida. That ex-wife was an alcoholic. He loved her so much. Three kids from his third marriage. The third ex-wife was much younger than he, and she got pregnant, so he did the respectable thing and married her.

How do people become estranged from their blood relatives? It’s not just Dadov8 and his oldest kids. A friend of mine, his father and uncle haven’t spoken to each other in maybe 20 years. They apparently don’t speak about each other, either. No second-hand news. And my sister’s classmate from California, from a very educated family—doctors, a librarian, an engineer and such—one of the four adult children checked out years ago. I know them pretty well. I don’t think there is some unspoken childhood trauma.

People just check-out of their familial relationship? Really? No matter what hurt or grudge or annoying behavior, they are willing to miss the births, the deaths, the opportunity to reminisce, to say goodbye, to say I love you? How does this not eat away at them every day? Is it a coping strategy, to not get hurt, feel pain, lose control?

The seemingly nice guy in the summer fedora, we didn’t meet again. Never heard from him. Maybe he sensed my reticence without me saying anything. Maybe something in our conversation made him reflect on other things he needed to figure out first, before trying to start yet another relationship.

Copyright © 2015, Suzanne M. Royer

MsSRoyerSue Royer is an enthusiastic and highly-skilled local dancer; she is also known in some circles—and by this editor—as a very good blog-post writer.


Today’s Portfolio

November 9, 2013

Halloween Hip Shots 2013

By Jim Sizemore

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The “Hip Shots” series of photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly,” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method the more frames exposed, the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting—a related series that may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

One-Minute Memoir

May 8, 2013

Warren and Me

By Bob Fleishman

Warren Beatty

Walking up Madison Avenue in November of 1972, I spied what had to be two of the so-called “beautiful people” one often sees in New York City, standing on the corner just outside Georgio Armani’s. Both were wearing full-length fur coats and were disengaging themselves from what appeared to be a prolonged clinch. The woman could have just stepped out of a Vogue Magazine ad — beautifully coiffured black hair, perfectly formed features and bright red lipstick. The man also had beautifully coiffured black hair and perfectly formed features, but no lipstick.

It was Warren Beatty!

Stunned at first by coming upon such a sight, I quickly recovered and, not wanting to interfere with the couple’s sad parting, I continued toward my destination some blocks away. While waiting for the light to change at Madison Avenue and 58th streets, I happened to glance at the gentleman standing beside me.  That’s right, once again it was Warren himself.

I realized that since this was just before the Presidential Election of 1972, and I was a supporter of the Democratic nominee, I had to say something to this Hollywood Idol who was known for his intense political involvement. To my own surprise, considering how excited I was, I came up with something timely — and I thought, rather clever. “Where’s your McGovern button?” I said, proudly pointing to the round plastic McGovern badge featured prominently on my comparatively drab brown jacket. “Right here,” he quickly responded, opening his fur coat to reveal a solid gold McGovern button. Feeling that I was on a roll and could do no wrong, I came back just as fast, if not as strong. “That’s quite impressive,” I said. “You got me there.”

The light still hadn’t changed, so I gave it another shot. “I saw you on the Dick Cavett show last week. I thought you handled his questions very well.” (Cavett, the host of a popular TV talk show, had tried to pursue Beatty’s love life while Warren was attempting to steer the conversation to the issues of the campaign). The light finally turned green, and I expected Warren to just mumble something like “Thank you very much” or  another glib response and move on. But much to my surprise, he said, “Oh, really! Well, I didn’t think I did well at all. He just wouldn’t let me talk about what was important”

Incredibly, our talk about the campaign continued for another four or five blocks. But soon, because I had initiated the encounter, I felt compelled to be the one to end it. I picked my spot and said, “It was great chatting with you. Then — rather lamely I now think — my hoped-for big ending came out as, “Keep the faith!” Warren just nodded and smiled that mysterious smile of non-commitment that made women all over the world swoon. “Nice meeting you,” he replied, and was gone.

In my daze during the experience I had actually walked three blocks farther than intended, so engrossed in our conversation that I never noticed. And for the last forty-plus years, I’ve tried to think of a better punch line with which to end a conversation with Warren Beatty — just in case I do run into him again. Recently, in one of my daydreams, I’m at some social function  and, sure enough, there he is across the crowded room. I saunter over and say, “So, Mr. B, we meet again!!!”

Copyright © 2013 Bob Fleishman.

lzBobFBob Fleishman is a retired General Dentist who is using his newly found extra time in more creative pursuits. He has written two plays, The Man Who Makes You Laugh and The Session and is currently writing a book about growing up in his old neighborhood in Northwest Baltimore. In addition, he is a professional videographer currently working on a film for Baltimore City College’s 175th Anniversary.

Doodlemeister is looking for short memory pieces up to a thousand words, on any subject, in any style — as long as it happened to you. Whatever the subject, we have a bias for the lighthearted tone. And if need be we’ll help you to edit and/or cut your piece. If you’d like to submit a story, please contact us by leaving a comment or inquiry below.


Today’s Gag

May 6, 2013

1305-Lean-In-Blog

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

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Today’s Gag

December 3, 2012
1212-Guaranteed-BlogCopyright © 2012 Jim Sizemore.

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