Rest In Peace, Earl the Pearl


“I’ve just found out that my oldest friend, Earl, has died,” I told Paul. “We were friends in Jackson Heights until we were twelve years old. Then I moved to Lindenhurst.”



“Even today I can remember his parents’ thick Puerto Rican accents, and how his brother, Junior, used to pick on me.  It just goes to show what happens when someone makes a really lasting impression.  We never got a chance to meet again, in person, after September 11, 1971, though it might as well have been yesterday.”



I then went to Youtube to listen to Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were the Days”.



Welcome back to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.  On her site, you can read the rules.  Dale Rogerson has supplied this week’s photo prompt.


the bookworms

“Whenever I see a daffodil,” chanted Francis to his friend Gunther, “I can never forget my girlfriend Muriel, the English major. Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’ was always her favorite.”

“Oh I know that poem,” Gunther mused. “Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy were walking near a lake at Grasmere in Cumbria County. He was inspired by a shore lined with daffodils. It’s a classic of English Romantic poetry.”

“Wow!” Francis reminded him.” I wish we could get away from this dreary city to that relaxing environment.”

“Well,” Gunther nudged him, “Your habit of hanging around with bookworms helps.”

This week’s photo prompt was supplied by the Reclining Gentleman. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, each week, guides us with Friday Fictioneers.

the adventures of larabie and miss kitti at death’s vestibule


Larabie and Miz Kitti had a long standing friendly rivalry.

One Saturday morning she truly overwhelmed him.

“Go through the tunnel. I double dip defy you,” was her ultimatum.

“No thanks. I’ll have to face God in there and I haven’t been to confession in a few weeks.”

“Heaven, Purgatory, Hell,” he stammered. “I’m in no hurry.”

“Nobody likes a sissy,” she chanted.

“People only call it Death’s Vestibule as a joke. You don’t honestly believe that crock, do you?


Torn between cold logic and traditional local legend, Larabie was stumped. He couldn’t wait to

settle this score but good.

are you liberal, conservative or what?

If I were ever forced to come up with exactly one question, the answer to which would be the deciding factor in whether or not I could befriend a given individual, I should assume it would be a question about whether he’s a liberal or a conservative.  The right answer, inevitably, would be a staunch assertion of his being quite a conservative. Of course real life is always so very much more complicated than that, so things will never work out that way. I happen to think, though, that’s it’s a good idea for friendships always to be cultivated between and among like-minded individuals. The distinction between liberal and conservative makes an exceptionally significant difference.  It covers all the most profound significant questions that come up in life.

those weidermeyers

Reginald and Rachel  Weidermeyer were quite a most unusual couple.     Their best friends, Harvey and Shirley Garrity, were the only people who could even so much as presume to try to understand them.    The Weidermeyer’s were so  eccentric that over time, they managed to become the talk of all of Lindenhurst, New York, their hometown.     Their house on Lido Promenade East was quite a labyrinthine maze, with all sorts of  large spacious rooms, quaint old fashioned furniture and decorations that seemed to have been at least a hundred years old,  and an exceptionally high ceiling.  


Reginald and Rachel Weidermeyer were quite a most unusual couple.   Whenever anyone visited them he was invariably treated to the couple’s version of “Love’s Old Sweet Song(Just A Song At Twilight)”, with Rachel’s singing solo in her off-key soprano to Reginald’s accordion accompaniment.     The Weidermeyers’ clothes were always quite out of style and they spoke in some obscure anachronistic slang which no one else seemed to be quite able to figure out.    The Garrity’s were quite fond of them though.    Harvey and Shirley always got a kick out of all their peculiar antics and quirks, and never neglected to rush to their defense whenever confronted with any complaints about them.    Each Saturday the couples made quite a point of taking the two and a half mile walk to Fireman’s Park over on Wellwood Avenue where they sat around for a few hours at a time and enjoyed a nice relaxing morning and early afternoon.  


Reginald and Rachel Weidermeyer were quite a most unusual couple.    Even when they went out in public their clothes, speech and mannerisms were just as off kilter as when they were home.   Their problem most certainly wasn’t that they did anything that could possibly be construed as even the least bit mean or dangerous.     They were simply incapable of being inconspicuous.    All their antics were part of some other world, a world in which only they, and their two good friends, could be expected to get the point of things.      It was truly quite a happy, friendly and joyful relationship, all thought.   Why, then, should they mind especially if no one else could handle their silly world?     Reginald and Rachel Weidermeyer were quite a most unusual couple.   At least it worked out to everyone’s advantage.

you’ve got a friend


For as far back as I can remember I’ve always been a bit of a square in certain ways.    I’ve never felt sufficiently comfortable with either new people or new experiences.   I’ve always referred to my big move from Jackson Heights to Lindenhurst, at twelve years old, as the perfect example of how hard it is for me to deal with change, though I’ve gotten much better at it since then.    Because I’ve never liked sports or animals, and I’ve never been married or had kids, that leaves me with a shortage of things in common with others.    It always helps, when meeting someone new, to be able to establish a common bond.    In my dealings with new people I’ve always been strictly a speak-when-spoken-to kind of guy.    If someone wants to say hello to me, I can handle it but I tend to shy away from making any attempt at an overture.    actressI’m at my best in a classroom, workplace, bowling alley or any other environment where people are forced, by definition, to associate with each other anyway.    It always helps when one’s sources of  conversation are intrinsically built into his circumstances.    A common responsibility is just as good as a common interest in forging new friendships.   Another major advantage is when I get to meet someone who’s already a friend of Mary Anne’s, Steve’s or of one of my cousins.   I’ve always been good with those collaterally connected characters.   Do former classmates and teachers, when they come back into one’s life, count as new friends?    Someone like that isn’t new because I already knew him long ago.   At the same time, though, he’s entirely new because of our having yet to establish a current relationship.   As I said earlier, it always helps to have something in common.   That’s why I always like to try to keep my eyes and ears open just in case someone either is left handed, went to Catholic school, dreads left turns or is somehow otherwise in cahoots with something I can identify with.   By now I’ve grown quite comfortable with both my supposed lack of popularity and my feeling of discomfort with new people.   I’ve learned to attribute things like that to my always having been such a distinctive character.    For obvious reasons I never even think of presuming to unleash entirely too much of my colorful side on someone new.    My obnoxious habits, and distinctive tastes and character defects require quite a lot of preparation.   Long ago I learned to save them for only the people who’ve already gotten quite accustomed to having me around.    To a large degree my attempts at making new friends are at their best when I go about things with a sense of moderation.    It pays not to go too crazy.    I know what all my strengths and weaknesses are and can easily recognize all the things I shouldn’t do in the company of someone new.    Things always work out reasonably well for me anyway.  It’s just so terribly annoying for me to have to deal with the beginning of anything.