Saturday, July 30, 2022

Pass the bar.

You sit at the bar. Friends talking. Strangers talking. People engaging. You think 100 years ago they may have been talking about, oh wait, maybe it was Prohibition so everyone was at a speakeasy. People were gonna get their booze. As Pop Pop used to say…near beer. You think about what dreams were born at the pub, the bar, the watering hole, the well (Springsteen), the dive. You get it. Maybe dreams were born. Maybe dreams died. Maybe it was cheers to a birth. Maybe it was cheers to a death. Maybe a cheers to a wedding. Maybe cheers to a divorce. Maybe it was celebrating the championship (Go Phils!) or maybe it was to drown sorrows from losing the Series in 93 (still hate Joe Carter!). A guy friend of me reached out and said “I miss you”. I know he was probably drinking. He’s a good guy and fun to be around. He’s working hard to support his wife and kids. Somewhere along the line, we all went our different ways. Connected today by social media yet not social. I felt bad cause it was too late to drive to his house and well that was that. I told him  we had a plan to all meet up. I thought to myself. Who knows if this would be the last time I could be talking to him? Maybe there was more going on. I didn’t ask. In 2022, we are bound in such different ways. Technology has disconnected our real connections. Part of me doesn’t like it and I work in tech. Tech has gotten me in trouble some times. Caught in the act we shall say. But in a way happy I was caught cause I was doing wrong. There lies my question. Are we engaging today? Are we being human to humans? I use tech a lot for my personal life (pictures, blogs). I admit that. But are we still there for each other? I don’t know. Maybe that’s how we get off track. We forget who our friends are. Are they people or images on a screen now? I can’t hug a picture.  I like hugs. Haha. Til next time. Next round on me! 

Here’s to you Aunt Joan. You were always enjoying a cold one. You always were engaged and entertaining. You always were interested to see us. You were empathetic. You had joy. You were independent. Your hugs and cheek kisses were always something I sought out. I never was in a bad mood around you. Even when Mom passed. You were there with that same empathy and you didn’t even talk cause I knew you loved my mom. I knew you I loved us. I knew we loved you. You lived good. You lived an honorable and joyous life. I never ever heard one person say one bad thing about you in all my 44 years. That speaks volumes. I will miss seeing you. I will miss you the way you drank your beers. If my memory serves me right. You just held your beer a way I will remember until my time comes. Say hi to mom and Kathy and “Joe”. My God he got a kick out of you calling him that. Say hi to Uncle Har. He is probably making everyone laugh. The two of you. Two special humans I will remember forever. Just your personality and temperament. Thank you for loving us. 

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight

and I'm going to drink till I get my fill

And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days

Glory Days. Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Before the mast

It’s usually the sun that gives you hope and light and all that stuff you read in a Hallmark card. The moon usually isn’t directly out the window of my balcony. I happen to lay down to watch a movie and I look up and the moon, in all its dark beauty shining through my door. It was so bright and vibrant that the sunrise can wait another 6 hours. You truly never know where you can pull hope from. The light of the moon can guide you just as much as the light from the sun…it’s all about perspective. 

I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now. Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

In the stars

About 2am the wind was howling. The trees were shaking off the road. A cool breeze of a summer not yet in flux. A clear sky, clean air, a calm heart. Summer nights always opened up the endless possibilities of youth. A hot day wrapped in a cool night under the stars. Opened up the balcony door. Bare feet touching the cool concrete. Arms dangling over the railing and asking for answers but not needing them. Desiring to know the purpose of this life but in the way of wonder and not in pressure. The stars above, shining above us now, have been shining for some time…shining over us as kids, as friends, as always. The light shining over the silhouette of the tree line. I wonder what’s past the trees and if the clearing will bring clarity. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

the landing

It was as if the rain evaporated before it hit the ground. Maybe that was it. Tears never landed. Maybe they disappeared like the past, gone in an instant....not to be remembered. It was all so fast. The time, the moments, the light...up in the morning, sunset, night. I grew up loving the light of the sun and then the darkness crept in and it was the light of the moon that garnered the attention. The sun shines....all over this planet. There are great things happening. There are bad things happening. The sun still shines. I imagine dying on a sunny could you be sad? All the while people die all over the world on every day of the year, my day will be no different. I hope the sun can shield my loved ones from the hurt that comes on that day. I can't recall one speck of the weather the day my mother died. I only remember my sister's phone call. She was gone. My sister shrieked as she said that to me. It was so final. In a dark sense I wish I could see my face at that moment. I was alone when I got that call. I remember the pain of hearing "gone". It is final when it's referring to that. My mother, gone, never to rise like the sun again, but she rises in my mind, in my heart and protects me from the thoughts and feelings to which I cannot control. She is the sun in the days when my darkness is not lit up by the moon....and she continues on in her life after this one. I can still look at the sun and smile. It sometimes smiles back...causing a salt-filled droplet in the corner of my different than the drops that filled up the ocean....mixed with the rain that made it to land so many years ago.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022


Maybe I was scared. Maybe I was afraid of what I would do when there were no other doors to open. Maybe it was all in my head. Maybe I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Maybe I was. Maybe where I am isn't really anywhere at all. Maybe it's as confused as we are. Maybe time is passing us. Maybe we are just passing through time. What will be 100 years from now? Will they remember us from the past? How will they refer to us? How will they see us? As a friend said, "the father leaves the legacy..." What about us individually...what is our legacy? Who was I really supposed to be or did I become exactly what I was meant to be? Did those off ramps derail my trip? "Even if you're standing on the right track, you can still get hit by the train.." Will Rogers was on to something. We can put things behind us...but they are still there. I remember a time, 2000, reading those emails so fast..I didn't know how much they mattered. Sometimes I re-read them. I didnt get rid of them all. It was a time when we didn't know that emails would become last forever. Maybe I am not really writing. 

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment."

Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, February 26, 2022


 “Mistakes are just opportunities to learn to be better…” That’s what I first heard this morning. Woke up at 330am worrying about things I couldn’t control run by people who choose to do wrong versus right. I would say I woke up on purpose since it was bothering me. I woke up and researched, read, checked processes until I thought I would go back to sleep. No chance. The mind was in hyper speed. Then something went off. I’ve missed a ton of sunrises. Natural ones. There was never a need to wake up when the sun was waking up. On the contrary I could’ve been going to bed when the sun was rising. Not often, but it’s happened. It’s about 28 degrees where I live. Nothing fancy about my area. It’s not a place you’d set your google map to go. It was home before, it has become home again. It’s a place of my past, maybe of my future. I can live where ever I want, yet I am here. Maybe by chance. The sun is rising. As I write (type) this to my notes on my phone, I see the sun in the distance. I am not afraid of a new day. I am grateful of the new day. The cold is the alarm clock my body always thrived off of. The cold was always my wake up call. The cold was this unsafe natural feeling I always enjoyed. Just as much as the sun. The cold makes me feel alive….the sun lets me know it’s a new day….a new opportunity to get it right. I hope wherever you are….you get to see the sun…because even on the coldest days, the brightest sun is there for you to know there are better times ahead. 

I've found that there is always some beauty left - in Nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. -Anne Frank

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Penn St.-Delco reclaims division baseball crown

October 4, 1996 | Delaware County Daily Times (Primos - Upper Darby, PA
Section: News
655 Words | Readability: Lexile: 1210, grade level(s): 11-12
Klein's goal wins for Widener in field hockey

WAYNESBORO -- Penn State-Delco rallied from a two-run deficit to post a 4-2 win over host Penn State-Mont-Alto yesterday to capture its second straight CCAC Eastern Division baseball championship.

The win sends the Lions into Sunday's CCAC best-of-three title series against Western Division kingpin PSU-Beaver at State College. Sunday's doubleheader begins at 11 a.m. Game 3, if necessary, will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.

After spotting Mont-Alto its two-run cushion, PSU-Delco roared back with three runs in the fifth. Tom Keogh got the rally started with a single and scored on Ryan Mattei's hit. Kevin Dorrain added a run-scoring double and Mike Pralle chipped in with an RBI single.

Mattei added an insurance run with an RBI double in the seventh to help make a winner of Mike Daloia, who scattered seven hits and went the full nine innings.

""Mike did a real nice job'' said first-year Delco coach Adam Winters. ""He never got in any serious trouble. Even when we had a little defensive lapse in the second inning, he hung in there and bailed us out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Phillies 8, South Philadelphia Cubs 5:

Bob Malin went 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBIs for the Phillies. Mike Pralle (three hits) drove in two runs and Ray Stillwell smacked three hits in support of pitcher Justin Cohen, who helped himself with three hits, including a homer.

Phillies' Central aim: One more win

August 3, 1997 | Delaware County Daily Times (Primos - Upper Darby,  PA
Section: News
498 Words | Readability: Lexile: 1330, grade level(s): >12
Ed Gieski earned a pair of pitching victories and teammate Greg Keck drilled a pair of homers as the Phillies swept the Bluerocks in the first two games of the best-of-five Central Division championship series in MABL baseball action yesterday at Williamson Trade School.

The Phillies followed an 8-5 victory in the opener with a 15-10 decision in game two for a 2-0 lead in the title series.

Game three of the best-of-five set is scheduled for 10 a.m. today at Kerr Field.

In the opener, Gieski racked up 12 strikeouts in a nine-inning, complete-game performance.

Keck drilled a three-run homer and teammate Ray Stillwell laced three hits and drove in a pair of runs.

For the Bluerocks, Scott Freeze (3-for-4) and Ted Miller (2-for-3, three runs scored) paced the attack.

In game two, Keck powered a two-run homer, Bob Malin lofted a three-run blast and finished with four RBIs and teammates Mike Pralle and Stillwell combined for four hits and seven runs scored.

Academy Park at ease with squeeze


May 8, 1995 | Delaware County Daily Times (Primos - Upper Darby, PA
Section: News
1235 Words
There is squeezing out a victory and then there is what Academy Park did to Harriton Friday afternoon.

The Knights squeezed out a 6-5 victory over the Rams.


The Knights squeezed not one, not two, but three runs home for their first on-field win of the season. AP received a forfeit victory from Sun Valley when it was discovered that the Vanguards had used an ineligible player, but had not won a game on the field until Friday.

""If you can pull the squeeze bunt off, it's a good way to score a run,'' interim coach Sal Oropollo said. ""(Co-coach) Doug Ambler always kids me that we were more daring when we were coaching the JV team and we were. We did a lot of things like squeeze and steal because we were preparing the kids for the varsity. When I took over for Tony (Gagliardi as the interim coach) I thought I had to be a little more conservative. This was the first chance we had to pull it off.''

Not once, but three times.

Ray Stillwell's squeeze bunt in the third inning chased home A.J. DiGrazio with the Knights first run. Oropollo liked it so much that he ordered winning pitcher Jason Fehrle to bunt on the next at-bat.

""They (the Rams) called time to talk about strategy and that allowed me to tell Jason to bunt without having to give him a sign,'' Oropollo said. ""They (the Rams) had no idea it was coming.''

Fehrle didn't give the Rams time to react. He laid down the first pitch he saw to send Craig Still home with AP's second run. And the Knights weren't finished. In the sixth inning, with Harriton holding a 5-4 lead, Bob Malin squeezed home Stillwell to tie the game and set the stage for sophomore John Scanlan.

Scanlan slugged a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to win it, but he wasn't the only hero. Catcher Mike Porreca threw out two would-be base stealers, and a diving catch by center fielder John Velardi prevented a big inning by the Rams.

""It was nice to win a game in the bottom of the seventh,'' said Oropollo, who has lost three games in either the sixth or seventh inning this season. ""The kids deserved it.''

Friday, February 18, 2022


5:25am East Coast time and it hit me in the heart. The sudden end of the life of someone. It replays the end of my mother’s life almost every time. Then the recycling of dates or anniversaries. As if that is anything to celebrate. I have to shift my focus. I have to shift the focus to celebrating the life and not celebrating the death of someone; or the how they died. There is no joy in that. There is no joy, to me, to say, well at least it was quick or at least they didn’t suffer or at least they’re at peace now. For whatever reason, if they had a choice, would they say that about themselves? I doubt it. I think about Drayke Hardman. A story so sad, so tragic, so shocking. It makes absolutely no sense and is wrapped in sadness and despair. We as human beings have to do better. Not just for us, but the kids, the grandparents. Social media isn’t just putting us against each other in some materialistic competition, it’s also putting us against ourselves in a completion of why not me? Why can’t I have that? Why doesn’t he or she talk to me? Why am I out of shape? It’s that daily reminder that maybe I’m not enough. I look down the road….2038…30 years of social media…are we a society who are totally unsocialized and our best friend is our phone? I pray to God we are more into our bodies and nature and our emotional intelligence. I can only hope.

When someone you love says goodbye you can stare long and hard at the door they closed and forget to see all the doors God has open in front of you. Shannon Alder

Saturday, February 5, 2022


 I listen to podcasts and follows yours now. Michael holds a special place in my heart. I was in the same grade, shared classes, shared small talk, always nice to me and me him, always that smirk or grin I got used to. I can see his face turning to me in the row behind him to hand me a paper from the teacher. I had friends in that class I played sports with, practiced with every day, but it’s Michael’s face turning to hand me that paper that is always embedded in my high school brain. We weren’t in the same circles. I was the hip hop white kid who was an athlete. I happened to be somewhat intelligent and that’s the only reason I had some classes with him. I was fortunate to have known him. After high school I kind of moved away mentally from the AP crowd as I went to college but he was always inside of me, in my heart. I always said I felt lucky we spoke and knew each other and got along but the part I wish happened was that I said hey man, how’s it going? What are you into? What makes you happy? I wish. I’m 44 now. I still have that wish that some day he will answer me. Bob

“The highest tribute to the dead is not grief, but gratitude.” Thornton Wilder

Friday, January 14, 2022



There’s always the before and after right? Before and after college. Before and after that first girlfriend or boyfriend. Before and after skydiving. Before and after that first loss of someone special. The before and after the excitement of that new person in your life. The before and after your darkest thoughts or fears. Before and after conquering them. I can remember the before. The me before. The me after. I speculate this is life. Moments time stamped that change our course or they change us. We’d all wish it was always something changing us for the better but such is life. Death is something I definitely no longer fear because it does happen to everyone at some point, so why bother worrying about it or fighting the inevitable. The element of surprise is tucked away in pandora’s box and explodes like a clown with that terrible crank that is used. I didn’t expect the news this week. We had just talked last week. Talked about old days, but quickly transitioned to our professional lives. You finishing school and me starting a new job at a new company. Hope became a theme. Many years ago I was a stranger who hoped to make some friends and you were a special one. I reckon God needed a fantastic hype man and oh man did he get one. Keep our fires going my friend. While there is a before and after of you in my life, I cherish the memories of you in my life and please help direct me down this path of life from the heavens above. We all need guidance….some day it will be a life after all of us. 

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” - Jack Lemmon

Sunday, January 2, 2022

to the surface

The new year. I can't even think to go into all that happened this year. I don't want to rehash what many of us have experienced cause there is so much more to life than just that. I want to wash away the sorrows, the frowns, the incompleteness, the missed opportunities, the what-if's, the what could've been and the goodbyes. The goodbye of a fine soul who missed our holidays. I thought of her often. I thought of calling her and couldn't. I know she's with her sister. I know she would've been disappointed at all we argue and bicker about on this earth; staring down, wishing they were with us. I felt shame when it started. I felt shame when it ended. Realizing the fragility of many of us have lost important souls, but we still find time to worry and fight about the same things. I thought about those moments recently. What would 80 year old (god willing) me say to 44 year old me. I thought what would my mom think about all of this if she were still here? I kept looking to the children around me. That hope, that glint in their eyes, they convey the feeling that possibilities are endless and hope is not fleeting. A new journey starts tomorrow. A new journey started yesterday. A new journey may not include those from the old journey, but such is life. I know that the people that are there for me know I love them. I want to turn this anxiety into excitement. I want to be excited about life again. Not annoyed with the daily requirements. Not bothered or jealous at what is not there and grateful for what is. The beating heart and the chance to get it right. 

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard