Monday, August 21, 2017


Today's date, my brother's birthday, is burned in my mind.

My  brother, David Frankel, was the only male child in my father's family,  the one child who could carry on the family name. He drowned in a boating accident a few months before his 19th birthday. He was a freshman at Antioch college just beginning to figure out what he wanted to be and do. And he never got a chance to drive the second-hand convertible he bought. I wrote about this and how his death affected me and my family in "Spiffy Cadillac Cars."

As I say his name, I think of my mother, how she loved him, celebrated him, lived through the ups and downs in her life, and helped me -- never stopped helping me and being there for me -- how she gave me her strength. I celebrate her birthday every September in "My Mom's Birthday."

Mom and David are gone, but are part of what makes my mind wander  here-and-there, find significance in the many things that are changing, and write-talk about them -- about the sense that I have that the future is mile-a-minute coming in around me, and I am racing into what the earth will be like when I am gone.

David and Em

Yes, people who are gone have shaped you, and made you what you are right  this minute.


Celebrating them keeps them very much alive and present  in your life. Celebrating them is celebrating YOU. Thanks, Mom, I celebrate David's birthday today, Mom, for us.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Emily Frankel praises her husband for handling things that scare her -- she thinks he's always wise and brave.

John describes how he handled some dangerous situations back in the days when he was drinking too much, but his bravery had more to do with booze and bravado, little to do with courage.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Wish you could temporarily disappear from your present world and see a whole different EVERYTHING?

I'd love to be here!!!!!!

'Taint a fantasy -- I saw the photo in a magazine touting super vacations. You can rent this room for $250. You get breakfast in bed served by a butler. You get a 360 degree view of the alps, the true sense of nature, freedom, space.

Hey, is it something to consider? Switzerland’s tourist season peaks during the months of July and August, when the weather is most pleasant. You'd probably need to book an accommodation months ago -- Switzerland’s hostels, hotels, and inns fill up quickly in the summer. But, if you'd like to explore the alpine nation with less shoulder-rubbing, September and October are ideal -- less crowded and the weather remains agreeable, or try next April, or May.

Laugh this away, realizing -- it's impossible -- you're too busy -- you don't really need a vacation. Or put this vision in the corner of your mind, visit it, and dare to dig into it, and find out if it's something you could really do.

WOW!!!!! With all the grim dark things in the news today, wouldn't it be lovely to wake up in this  room tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


  A well-known actress we know is suing a major movie website because when it revealed her age, she started losing jobs.

My husband, a legendary performer, is currently being offered jobs for  dying grandpas, and great-grandpas with Alzheimer's. Why? Because his  age is more or less known, and producers  feel if you're over  sixty, you are old. (J.C. would probably do better if he gained 20 pounds  and walked with a cane.)

Picasso's haunted, sad-faced self-portrait of his older self is on the left.  There are wonderful memorable words about age in in Shakespeare's plays. In all the arts, and in life, words/words like birds, ads/fads, a-mill/a-thousand new, true, cure-you things are affecting, infecting people with AGE-itis.

It's what every one gets soon or later in little and big ways before or after a birthday....well... maybe every birthday, Guys, maybe daily, so you need to do some little and big things, even very major things NOT to get it.

Starting now, keep away from ANY food, food supplements, pills, talk shows, advisers, therapists, knowledgeable friends, counselors, TV doctors, real doctors--keep away from humans who say, "At your age you should... you shouldn't..."

ALSO, keep away from I should be earning a good living. That's deadly. Also historical summaries: At age (?) others in my field were already established. Beware of "a person my age shouldn't wear..." Beware of "a person my age can't..."

If you're trying to sell a book, play, painting, style, a concept -- trying to land a job, go to college, learn a new language, craft, skill, technology, do not think about age. Do not wonder if anyone else has tried, at your age -- to become a famous, successful, income-producing whatever... Just do it.

Watch out for age-cliches, age-rationales, age as a factor. NEVER think at my age I need a flu shot, vitamins, must keep my weight down, exercise, walk, jog. It's okay to be aware of bladder control, but why do I forget things, why didn't I hear that -- THAT will get you to conclusions about how often you need to see the doctor, the dentist, the optometrist.

See doctors if, or when you absolutely need to.

Also,  if you're registering or joining something that asks your age, lop off a large chunk of years. If you can't lie, then skip whatever it is.

A world science panel recently said "Age 90 Is the new 50.” I don't think 90 is  the new anything, but if age 90 IS the number that says you are old, think of Betty White, and Warren Buffet, and if you're  actually approaching the 80 number, don't utter, mutter, or murmur it to anyone, including yourself.

So what about celebrating your birthday. I suggest DO NOT. If you get birthday cards, get the return addresses from the envelope, and throw the cards out. You can't stop people from saying "happy birthday," but a bunch of people singing "Hap -py  B i rth- day To Y O U" should be studiously avoided.

Aging is easier if you do the things I've mentioned above, carefully, discreetly, and gracefully. If you can't lie, or avoid your loved ones, well... you will age a little -- not a lot -- if you wisely, carefully, cautiously keep eyes and ears open, keep on your toes, and steer clear of the pitfalls listed above.

Am I worried about age? Well....


Not really. I just worry about getting AGE-ITIS.