This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Sad night.

Just watched the final performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  They were kind enough to stream the even on You Tube.

For nearly 150 years, this circus has traveled across North America by train and trucks, setting up in cities and the circus has come to town for a few days.  And my dad, great dad that he was, use to take me every year when I was a kid.  I'm sorry now I grew out of it.

But watching the show tonite, it resembled little of what I remember as a kid.  First thing I remember is the smell, the elephants, lions, and tigers and bears, oh my, what a smell; but it is a good smell, a smell of childhood in better times, like the taste of Grape Nehi, just something that lies forgotten, waiting to be remembered.

But the elephants, the clowns before they were creepy, trapeze artists, the big cats; memories long forgotten.  Tonights show, well it is a different circus, different times.  There are no elephants anymore, clowns were not really a big part - but I remember a lot of those clowns were working the audience, not really part of the show, well except when like two dozen pile out of a VW Beatle.  But they did have the big cats, one man, 11th generation with the circus, in the ring with 8 tigers and two lions at one time making them do tricks when just one turning on him would created a feeding frenzy.  And the trapeze artists were amazing as a child and amazing as an adult.

All gone now, lost on the sands of time to video games and smart phones.  And age.  I miss what I haven't thought about for years, can't remember the last time I thought I should go see the circus.  So age and forgetfulness are as complicit as the video games.  Can't blame everything on the millennials.

In Chicago, the circus use to be held as Shriners Hall or Masonic Temple, can't quite remember for sure but leaning towards Shriners, and we'd drive downtown Chicago, off to the north or west, maybe south side, and as soon as you got out of the car, the smell of the circus would hit.

You know what else I remember?  Chameleons.  Every year, would get out the aquarium turned terrarium about a week before the circus and get it ready because at the circus you could buy a chameleon, in a box, and bring it home.  My dad would buy me two every year and every year I'd bring those things home, put them in the terrarium, feed them, play with them but no matter what, every year,  within two or three weeks the Chameleons would be dead - I wonder if that is why my folks were so nervous when I said I would take care of them in their old age?

And, checking Google Earth, yep, still there, in Blue Island on Maple Ave if you got back on the driveway of the house I grew up in, there is a little section of grass just off the south side of the drive before you get to the garage, and I bet if you dig up that area you will find the skeletons of two dozen chameleons, and a few turtles, in the ground probably remains of  small boxes that each of those chameleons.  Poor mom, she probably thought I was going to bury her in a box next to the driveway too.

Eleven generations of raising, training, taming and showing the cats.  And I'll bet there are clowns and trapeze artists with a longer history in the RBBBC and now it is over, gone.  I wonder what they will do now, now that the only life they have known is gone, the family is gone.  What happens to the clowns, the skaters, the lions, the trainers.  Train keeps a rolling, with no reason why.

Some things shouldn't change.

"I am forever searching high and low
But why does everybody tell me no
Neptune of the seas have you an answer for me please
The lily of the valley doesn't know

I lie in wait with open eyes
I carry on through stormy skies
I follow every course
My kingdom for a horse
But each time I grow old
Serpent of the Nile
Relieve me for a while
And cast me from your spell - let me go

Messenger from seven seas has flown
To tell the king of Rhye he's lost his throne
Wars will never cease
Is there time enough for peace
But the lily of the valley doesn't know."