Anthology of Short Stories – Hollywood Beach (and Other Nefarious Locations)
The Anthology is both a stretch from reality and a blur through childhood memories.
Somethin’, Somethin’ Diner… an executive from a southern California “dot.com” enterprise stops at a roadside diner for a respite from his gastrointestinal growling while driving in central Indiana. He encounters a small town atmosphere replete with a partially-toothed waitress who can’t spell her name (most likely) and is starry-eyed just at the sound of “California.” She serves up the house speciality to the suave gentleman who fights his way through the piece of meat, only to get a stomach-turning surprise.
Dialogue with a Seagull picks up where Jonathan Livingston Seagull leaves off and is based on a nephew of the now-famous bird of beach fame. The daily routine of the in-elegant bird serves as a backdrop for his bird-brained philosophy. In the case of Diamond in the Rough, a hapless widow whose Jewish husband had left her a fortune but whose body reflected the ravages of years on the beach in the sun challenges a young nephew to marriage and riches if he’ll just…
In Troll Under the Bridge, we learn about beachlife reality, but through the eyes and antics of the seldom-seen troll who rules life on his terms. An octogenarian who lives in a completely unique, eclectic house that attracts lookyloos and nosey neighbors has a sordid past which ties Ellie to the Japanese submarine shelling of beachfront property during World War II (wherein lays fact and what is fiction – a challenge to determine).
In Tortillas to Matzah Balls, the author’s accountant spells out in dialogue his philosophy on how to cope with the influx of illegals that seems to unhinge the current White House dominator.
Small Town… Smaller People relates, more or less from a position of reality to time he would spend during visits on the front porch of his mother-in-laws stately home in smalltown, Indiana. The characters are from Oz or whatever, but reflect a realistic cut through small town society. In a much different turn from reality is a slice of “oh my God, what has happened” as You Know You’re Getting Fat looks at existing and likely consequence of aging and the absence of time spent in Gold’s Gym. At some point everyone has one of those daunting moments where a schizophrenic spin unseats the reality that our tedium endures and races out of control. So is the case in One Last Sleepless Night where our character cannot tell if he is actually dead or alive.
Gargoyles attempts to frame that awkward circumstance when high school classmates come together at a class reunion 25 or 50 years after the high point of the lives of many of the participants. The term “Gargoyles” is used to depict the sentiment attached to seeing how many of “yesterdays” classmates remain in yesterday – they’ve updated their wardrobe but not their exposure to the world around them. When a young teen, with the looks of a Hollywood starlet, the body of a porn actress is confronted with the deception of a “big night” with the Congressman from her district, the Boinker turns the tables on the would be stud who uses his position to try to put the young lady into one as well. The beach area is crowded with those whose lot in life has left them homeless and in tatters.
The Ogre on the Pier is one such individual… or is he? Is he actually there in conversation with a young boy on the pier or is the growing presence of homeless people in the area making area residents paranoid and look with dubious concern at anyone who doesn’t match their expectations and comfort zone?
Walt Pizzotts is / was a real person… kind of, anyway. Everything that went wrong at his high school seemed to magically be hung around his neck like the Salem witchcraft trials or the need to find the “anti-Christ” during the Inquisition. Poor Walt seems to be easily blameable, but then the moniker of guilt doesn’t seem to bother him so much as he wears a constant smile suggesting some sort of inner joy at the turmoil that shrouds his presence.
The Stranger is one step away from the armageddon that the White House and a hawkish Congress seem hellbent upon engaging. The White House seems willing to engage at the cost of countless soldiers’ lives, including The Stranger. The thinly-veiled fear of cataclysm the White House uses to promote war envelopes a nation of sheep busy with soccer practices, work, and TV while corporate America will prosper lavishly from the personal gains that a wartime economy engenders. This charade must be stopped and The Stranger casts the first thunderbolt.
… a collection of drawings from an individual who can’t draw a straight line but manages to characterize many of life’s situational moments that we see daily or from the back of our mind when our eyes are closed. The collection expanded to dozens and then the decision was made to tie the pictures to a calendar – use the book as you will… a handy calendar, a book of humor for bathroom reading, or for the paper if the “TP” runs out at an unfortunate time.
Der Schlussel: Hitler’s Key
Two young boys come of age… one growing up in Germany, the beloved son of a WW I war hero who returns home with a shattered body and a wife you detests the sight of him. The other boy grows up under the love and tuteledge of him hardworking Amish farmer-father. The young German settles with his godless mother, ends up in Landsburg prison in an ajoining cell to an older man with a funny mustache who obviously has important political ties. He is embraced by the older man, taken into the German arm upon his early release and grows to excel in the army rising rapidly. When war is initiated in 1939 he has already spun his web of deadly stealth eliminating one of German’s enemies after another – impediments to his Fuhrer’s plan for growth of the Fatherland. He is used by the Fuhrer interchangeably as an assassin and the star character in the Waffen-SS. While Der Schlussel (meaning “the key”) excises one enemy after another earning him a chestful of medals and promotions his counterpart in the U.S. has learned how to plow the fields behind his two Percherons and lead a life of simplicity and familiality. When the war reaches into the countryside of his Indiana farm, a consuming sense of responsibility to aid the country that has blessed his family – he joins the Army but in a non-confrontational role… an MP guarding German prisoners at a POW camp in central Indiana. The paths of the two boys … young men, cross at the POW camp and lead to a startling conclusion.
Out of the Shadows
The President of the U.S. wants a second term… no surprise there. But he needs a veritable “star burst” to propel him into the lead for the White House this time. He concludes a Nobel Peace Prize is the ticket and the resolution of peace accords between the IRA and the British-backed Northern Ireland contingency would be the ticket. He has one of his generals seek out a sniper-assassin from the Special Forces at Fort Bragg as his ticket to clean out IRA leadership and smooth the process and his award. It simply doesn’t go
Troubled Women Series
Brenda: A Whimsical Look at a Fallen Star
Brenda crawls out of a twisted household in Terre Haute, Indiana, where her father paid off his drunken gambling debts with her body while her mother lay in contorted ecstasy in the adjoining room with whomever she could seduce from the locals streets. Brenda ends up on the streets of Hollywood, like so many young people lost in society’s melodrama of survival. Drugs and sex, using her awesome body for both bring her to the attention of a casting couch producer who after his own spoils have been realized elevates her to the pinnacle of success in the porn industry. But that was yesterday… . Today another new face, another awesome body rises past Brenda also grassing for that ring of glamour and fortune that porn will provide. Brenda realizes days of despair and agony missing the adulation that had once been her own tickets to an emotional high and financial success… both now conspicuously missing. Brenda’s girlfriend, a true friend, helps to balance her emotional state while a Professor of Psychology at USC attempts to use Brenda as a research lab rat for a government-sponsored grant into how to re-integrate adult film actors back into mainstream society. Unfortunately, the professor is a dim-witted moron and causes Brenda more grief than she can handle. The girlfriend intercedes, provides her own “lesbian body” (awkward term) to a legitimate Hollywood producer to garner Brenda a new lease on life. With Brenda’s success, the two girls lead a happy, fulfilling life together (absent any male bodies – also awkward). *
Ruthie: A Life Out of Focus
The family is overjoyed. Finally, after repeated tries, a beautiful young girl is born to the loving parents. On the drive home from the hospital under blizzard conditions in Muncie, Indiana, with heavily-iced roads, a cement mixer truck slams into the family car – injuring the father, dismembering the mother and causing the infant girl serious brain damage. Ruthie struggles through life in foster homes and orphanages never fitting into the picture. She is now considerably overweight, always disheveled, and has the proverbial screw loose unable to learn in school or fit into a social environment. One day, she meets “the Dude” who , a small leage drug dealer with glitz and glamour and a big Cadillac. He is dumbstruck by the awesome sight of Ruthie’s buxom chest. The Dude leads Ruthie deeply into drugs and disgusting sexual perversion to fulfill his own apetites. Eventually, the Dude is drafted and sent to Vietnam. However, he is followed to the trash-strewn trailor life of Ruthie by a gang of minor leage drug dealers from Indianapolis. Ruthie’s life plummets even further down life’s sewer. Through rehab Ruthie meets a club dancer who manages to get Ruthie to dance at the club. Her nearly 400 pounds of gyrating lust brings the college students in droves to laugh and taunt the dancer… but she manages to sell a zillion bottles of beer based on the business her peculiar act brings in. Sadly, this isn’t even the lowest point in her miserable life but there is a surprise ending. *
Betty – A Life Rejoined
A debutante from the aristocratic Meridian Hills district of Indianapolis whose family wealth is what legends are made from marries and shortly thereafter has 3 children in quick succession. It becomes an overwhelming burden and Betty unravels from post partem depression and sinks into psychological oblivion. Her money-grubbing husband has her committed in quick order and then summarily divorces here. He’s paved the way to access the family wealth and guarantees that Betty not return by bribing a corrupt official at the sanitarium. Actually, Betty’s illness runs its course in quick order – it was no more than a minor setback but her husband used it to “shoe horn” himself into the family money.
The corrupt administrator at the hospital uses a local cop to as his “tool” to gain wealth of his own. By providing personal files on patients, the cop is able to seek out and rob the homes of the patients’ families and along the way he has had to make several kills to throw evidence in a different direction.
Find out how Betty manages to beat the system, corruption, and the lethality of The Hack Swicker – the corrupt cop to eventually reclaim her life and all that had been bequeathed to her.
Water: A Concept Plan to Reverse Flooding and Droughts
We continue through the endless cycle of flooding in the east, Texas, and the upper Midwest while at the same time land adjacent to the flooding regions suffers catastrophic droughts and in places like Texas both of these happen in alternating cycles. Is this really necessary? The author thinks not. We built a massive pipeline to carry oil across Alaska; and, we built a massive interstate highway system to interconnect all parts of America for the travelling public. Why is it not possible to build an interstate system for water movement around the country? A system operated by the Army Corps of Engineers (possibly) that draws water from streams and river being deluged by rains or soon to be deluged and move the water into the pipeline system for temporary storage, or sent to lakes and reservoirs for temporary or permanent storage. Even more idealistic… why not send the water further west to arid zones east of the Rockies to create arable land, increase our food supply and use the land for something other than a radio dead-zone while driving from the west coast to the east. The water could even be sent as far as California to enrich the “salad bowl of America.”
The thrust of the book is to suggest to politicians and other decisionmakers that there might be another, better way to deal with flooding and drought rather than just accept the consequences every season.
The Military Series
U.S. Army Installations – World War II: A Research Reference
During the period of World War II (1939 – 1946) the U.S. was divided into a series of commands on a geographic basis. These Service Commands, 1 through 9, were for the continental U.S. and were a management tool for the military to better direct the nation’s wartime efforts – they were comprised of groups of states. As of this time, 4 of these volumes have been completed:
- First Service Command: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont – $53.07 – Pay at Paypal (Price includes postage)
- Third Service Command: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia $53.07 – Pay at Paypal (Price includes postage)
- Fifth Service Command: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia $53.07 – Pay at Paypal (Price includes postage)
- Sixth Service Command: Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin $53.07 – Pay at Paypal (Price includes postage)
- Seventh Service Command: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming $53.07 – Pay at Paypal (Price includes postage)
Personal visits to army air fields, ground forces posts, pow camps, and a host of service installations across this expanse of the country, visiting the sites, taking countless photos, interviewing vets, researching at local libraries, museums, and historical societies has provided a wealth of information. Sample pages have been randomly drawn to provide some characterization of the material compiled. Work continues on the balance of the series – 17 years have been committed thus far.
* The author has kids and grandchildren. There’s the clear risk that one or more might read one of these books so you will find that these are not “dirty” books; suggestive to make the argument but without vile language or “pictures.”