Jeff on a Roll

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Grinding to the American Dream Part 2

(Continued from Part 1…) Ugolini had used his savings to buy a shoe shinning kit. He set up his station on the corner of Seventh and Main. People would recognize him and ask where his cute little monkey was. He would always respond, “Whatta monkey? I never knowa a monkey.” One day, Becky stopped by to check on Ugolini. ...
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Grinding to the American Dream

The passenger ship pulled into Ellis Island on a hot summer day. The newly arrived Italian immigrants poured off the ship with hopes of finding a better life. Among them was Ugolini, an older man in his sixties, who was short with well-toned, aged muscles that were covered by bushels of curly hair. He walked with a slight limp ...
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Can we Fast a Little Faster?

Being a Catholic, every year I’m hit with this thing called Lent. This is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. The Lenten season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline (Of course they would pick all the things I’m not good at). The purpose is to set aside ...
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A Fish Story

I had decided to go fishing that day. It seemed like a good thing to do; to get away and clear my head. I wanted to spend a little quiet time with myself. Besides, I wanted to prove something, that I could catch a fish. Not just for me, but for my mother. I wanted to bring home a ...
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Chit Chat

It’s good to have friends in life. They say that when you’re older, you can count all your friends on one hand. Where did all the friends in our lives go? One week you’re doing everything with this friend, from dining out to talking on the phone and then, poof, they’re out of your life. Many times, friendships just ...
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Dying to Know

I just recently found out from my doctor that I’m dying. He says that everyday I’m getting closer to death. He also thinks that I may not make it past ninety-two. He predicts that I’m probably going to die of old age. Wow, can you believe that? Now it’s all I can think about. I never really thought that ...
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Come Back as a Kitty Cat

I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I could come back as any animal after my death, it would be a kitty cat. As a writer, I’m at home throughout the day and able to observe my cat, Olaf, as he goes about his life. It’s not much of a life but, damn, does he have it good. Too good. It’s sickening looking at ...
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Sleepy Time

I only sleep 3 or 4 hours a day, but at night I get eight hours. Every day I wake up at 6 A.M., and then I roll over to get a few more hours of sleep. Some people get up bright and early in the morning; others get up bright and early in the afternoon. But, no matter how you slice and dice ...
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Another Wrinkle?!

  I always thought that other people got old, not me. The joint pain in my hands has made it difficult to turn back the clock. Father Time what’s your deal? I’ve given you the best years of my life and this is how you repay me? I guess I first realized I was getting old that morning I ...
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Nursery Rhyme Reasoning

I’ve always enjoyed those cute little nursery rhymes that I heard as a small child. I never put much thought into those stories, but now that I’m older, I have started to rethink some of them. Call me a maverick, but as I examined the verses, things just didn’t add up. Who were these characters; and, what was their ...
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Shrink on Wheels

The interaction of human beings has always fascinated me. It’s funny to watch the reactions of some people when they meet someone who’s disabled. Most of the time, people are normal, but there’s always a few that seem a little uneasy. Sometimes, it’s hard to get direct eye contact from them. Maybe they think, “I better not get too ...
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Beach Day – Humor Therapy

When people want to take a vacation, the most common place is the beach. They rarely say, “I’m going to take the family to the jungle,” or “we’re going to kick it for a few weeks in Damascus”(that’s where the terrorists are hanging out.) So, the beach is the place to go. But is it the best place to go? The packing is the hard ...
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Year After Year

This year, while visiting the family in Florida for my annual holiday vacation, I ventured over to The Miami Project to get an evaluation and see if there was anything new in the world of spinal cord injury (SCI) research. The Miami Project began in 1985 when Marc, the son of Miami Dolphin’s player Nick Buoniconti, tragically broke his ...
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Unlocking the Truth: Part 2

…continued from Chris Wood issue The year was 1948. I had been a cop most of my life until I was asked to turn in my badge. They just didn’t like the way that I did things… which way? My way. Good cops would spend hours, or days, following the rules to get vital information on crimes. Me, I’d ...
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Tis’ the Season to Partay

The holidays are once again upon us. Many people believe it’s that special time of the year when we take a step back, stop thinking about ourselves, reach out, give to the needy, and become a little closer to the ones we love. Oh, please. Let’s face it, the holidays really mean… time to par-tay! And, isn’t that the real reason for the season? In the ...
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Hieroglyphics, Algebra & Philosophy

The Egyptians were one of the first great civilizations to arise along the Nile River. These tanned people wore diaper-like outfits and drove around in compact chariots. Their big claim to fame was constructing giant pyramids so they could store dead pharaohs wrapped from head-to-toe in adhesive tape. They must have been extremely big rulers because their tombs were ...
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Part Deux

In the 15th century, medieval knights hung up their lances and suits of armor in their castle closets. Chivalry was dead and the Renaissance was born. It spread with great speed from its birthplace in Florence, Italy to the rest of Europe. Every region seemed to have its own take on humanism as there was a yearning to get ...
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Physical Torture

Snap, crackle and pop is not just the sound you hear when you pour milk into Rice Crispies, it’s how your body talks during physical therapy (PT). Actually, after a rigorous session of being man or woman-handled, it’s quite like ly that you’ll lack the strength to talk. Many disabled people are all too familiar with the world of ...
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Better Things to Do

Like cell phones, super bowls and Starbucks’ lattes, Facebook has become an indelible part of our lives. For some reason, it’s now imperative that the world be updated on every thing we do. Not only are we informed of one another’s daily activities, but also there are pictures to back it up. We now know what each other’s day ...
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Slam into the Cockpit

After a lovely holiday with the folks in Florida, it was time to get back to reality. I had two kitties back home wondering where the hell Daddy went, and why he hadn’t at least called to check in. I also knew that Los Angeles shuts down when I leave town. (I wish, for once, the city could function ...