I will preface this posting by saying I think Facebook is one of the “star elements” in these early years of the Internet.  It has given everyday folks like you and me a place to come chat, exchange ideas and information, meet other people and basically have a free, free-wheeling communications channel with the world.  How much you choose to participate is totally up to you.  Facebook, overall, is great BUT….

Every once in a while l get this false sense of responsibility that because I have a “Marc Kuhn Author” page on Facebook I should make its appearance worthy and representative of my impeccable standards…after all, it does represent me and the books I have written. Usually, this sensation of angst gnaws at me for a day or so. Then, I discard it and move on with my life, my Facebook page left in the cyber dust to fend for itself.

Here’s the problem: Either the nerdy techy designers at FB have no idea how to set up a web page and make it intuitive for users to input their materials, or my senility has eaten away at two/thirds of my brain and I should not even be allowed to cross the street by myself let along attempt to understand the ways of Facebook.

I have tried several times to neatin’ up my Facebook author page, at least making an effort to have it appear presentable. But every time—evvvvvvery time—that I attempt to do this, I get this incredibly compulsive need to rush off to the Fort Lauderdale Airport, purchase a one-way ticket to New York, board a plane and immediately upon my arrival at LaGuardia I grab a cab to the Empire State Building. There, I make my way up to the highest observation platform, climb over whatever barrier it has and then take the giant leap into the air and enjoy my descent to the final spat on the sidewalk below. Thank you Facebook.

Now, as if I am not desperate enough, my overseers at Facebook notified me that if  don’t show some activity on my author page they will assume I have abandoned the space and will turn it over to a consortium of chimpanzees. So, recently I bit the petunia and spent time attempting to make sense of a page that FB has purposely made confusing, disjointed and dysfunctional just because they like it when I talk about booking a trip to the Big Apple.

True, I was able to accomplish the placement of some new materials on the page, but not always exactly where I want them or at the size I prefer. There’s also some redundancy that I couldn’t figure out how to do away with without doing away with everything…there is no such thing as picking and choosing on FB. Oh yeah, they added a few items too that I don’t want added, but whatever FB wants, it seems to get. Thank you FB.

What happens next, my dear friends and associates, is not my doing. You may or may not be pestered to hell by FB to come look at my new page. I have tried to take measures to ensure this does not happen but with FB anything is possible. Their main tactic in getting you to see changes I have made to my page will be to annoy the crap out of you with pictures from my page and constant beggings to go see it. I apologize. I regret you may have to go through this.  With luck, it is unlikely that my little FB page will be much of a nuisance to you, if at all, but I can help you deal with any frustration you may experience…I know just the right observation deck on the Empire State Building. In the meantime, if you are the least bit curious about the page all you have to do is search “marc kuhn author” and it should open for all to see.


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On January 9th 2012, I posted a piece on my blog titled, “Passion, Writing and Taylor Swift” (it’s in the archives on the lower right). It was still early in Taylor Swift’s career given her prolific history since, but I was already a big fan then even though I am waaaaaay outside her primary demographic target.

What I like about Taylor Swift is that she isn’t one of those one-phrase song writers, you know, where there’s usually a short phrase like “baby oh baby oh baby” repeated a gazillion times between maybe one or two other lyrics. No, Taylor is a full-lyric song writer who has honed her skills since being a young unknown bed-top guitar strummer with dreams of being a rock star. Well, her dreams came true and she continues to be a wise and savvy artist who keeps up with the times, changes with them and usually marches a step or two ahead. The release of her latest album, Reputation, is just another case in point.

Now if you don’t care for Taylor Swift or her music, at least give her some credit for being one of the better showbiz people representing our country. For years, Taylor Swift has given away thousands (probably millions by now) to individuals in need, victims of natural disasters and endless others suffering some fate or another. Her generosity is unquestionable.

So now, being the risk-taker that I am, I will make note of another new artist I’ve been keeping up with for a year or two now. Again, she is even more so out of the audience my age assigns me to, but music can change your seat faster than a Broadway bribe. She is, in fact, an even younger singer than Taylor was when popularity hit. The every-singer’s judge, Simon Cowel, has crowned this newbie, quote, “the next Taylor Swift.” I agree.

graceukaGrace Vanderwaal is the young lady’s name. She just celebrated her 14th birthday. At 12 she was America’s Got Talent winner where she dazzled both the audience and judges with a self-authored song called I Don’t Know my Name, accompanied by her rudimentary strumming on a ukulele of all instruments. Well, if you go to youtube.com you can’t help but know her name now as you can watch how fast and furious this young walk-on has turned pro with all the poise and style of a seasoned hit-maker…which she will no doubt will be.

Yes, her voice is a bit crackly at times and her “can’t-help-myself” bouncing around to the music will eventfully live up to her name…but this girl has it all. I just hope all hasn’t come too quickly for her to handle it. But whether it’s a good painting, a compelling love story or a dramatic movie, don’t you just love good art when it’s so much in your face you simply have to stop everything , watch and enjoy the moment. Grace Vanderwaal knows how to make you do that.


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Colorful spiral lollipop isolated on white

As some of you familiar with my blog may know, I am near publishing a collection of my mother’s writings.   One last-minute suggestion from a good friend was to include in the book some brief personal remembrances of her by the grandchildren and me. I have since recreated three incidences my mother and I shared.  I decided to post one of them here.  It is not a happy remembrance, not at all, but I think I lucked out when I consider how devastating it must be for a young child who has to live through his parent’s divorce.  So, in that respect, my story ain’t so bad after all…

My parents were a pretty compatible duo. They were married a little over 43 years when my father died. In most of that time that I was around I can hardly remember any kind of serious dispute between them.  I think my mother would have liked my father to be a bit more assertive and my father would have welcomed a little less of that from my mother.

I recall only once witnessing a serious divide between them, so serious I still remember the horror I felt as the dispute played out. I had to be about six or seven years old. I do not know what the issue was. They did a pretty good job of keeping it hidden, except for one highly unusual and unsettling circumstance. That was revealed one Saturday morning to my brother and me by our mother. She explained that she and my father could not come to agreement over something and she felt it best if she were to leave. WHAT!

I actually have no recollection of how I reacted other than I still distinctively recall this horrible feeling engulfing my entire body. It was part fear, part sadness and part everything else on the menu that feeling upset includes. But I do not remember acting out in any way. I think I was numb or maybe even in shock.

Mom explained that my father was off running an errand of some sort and that she was going to take my brother and me to this popular shopping area where we used to go to just about every weekend. There were no malls back then, just sections of the city where store-lined streets were clustered. It would be there that she would say goodbye and leave my brother and me on this one corner where my father would arrive shortly to pick us up and take us home…but only after Mom had gone her separate way.

Any other details of the day are beyond me. I cannot remember them or I do not wish to. It was the end of the world for me and I felt nothing but fear and a horrible sadness that I would never see my mother again. I must have been really traumatized by all this and I am sure you think my parents where frightfully inappropriate in handling the situation.   Perhaps so, but despite the fact that I never discussed the event—ever—with anyone except maybe my wife, I must have gotten over it because there are far too too many loving memories of my parents and the four of us as a family, that this was simply an anomaly, a bad hiccup.

Mom was true to her word. She kissed us each goodbye on a street corner, and my brother and I watched her walk off as we dutifully stayed put, waiting for our father to arrive. That took only seconds so he had to have been close, probably watching over us. He told us the car was parked up the street and we began walking that way—the same direction my mother had taken. I kept hoping we would catch up with her. But that wasn’t necessary because there she was, walking back toward us, looking at my brother and me and holding out a lollipop in each hand for us. While my brother and I unwrapped our goody my father took my mother’s arm and the four of us walked up the street, got into the car and went home.



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Today is January 1st, my annual day of reflection. It usually takes only a minute or so of shallow thought. I don’t even sit in my thinking chair. The reflection this year is the same as last. It’s not the most desirable, but it’s probably the most natural. Hold that thought.

It has always been an annual tradition to watch the ball drop on New Years Eve. Never missed it. When I was dating Rosemarie we’d usually go out somewhere, but somehow we always arranged to be in front of a TV at midnight.

I have notoriously bragged for many years that I even know who preceded Dick Clark as host of the annual mob scene from Times Squares. But this year it took me a day or two to remember the name…but that’s part of the “natural” mentioned above. His name, by the way, was Ben Grauer, a long-time personality on NBC radio back in the day when most folks kept a radio on almost 24/7. Anyway, Ben would do the standup bit from Times Square each year throughout the 60’s. He was the featured midnight element of the Jonny Carson show (and Jack Paar before him) every December 31st until Dick Clark took over, rockin’ it in the 70’s.

When you grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, launched your career in the 70’s and attempted to make it and your family expand and flourish throughout the 80’s and 90’s and into the next century, each year becomes more and more a remarkable benchmark. When I read Orwell’s 1984 in high school, that year was so distant in my future it was hard to accept when it actually arrived the night I watched the ball drop in its honor. That said, you can just imagine how difficult and daunting it is to realize that today marks the beginning of the year 2018 and I am here, no longer working, but alive and kicking, if even with a bad leg.

Those earlier New Years Eves were fun, encouraging and optimistic. It was easy counting UP.   But somewhere, sometime along the way, more recently, all that changed. Suddenly the timetable reversed itself and it now seems that each New Years Eve I count DOWN…it’s a whole new direction. Encouragement and optimism have become more challenging as the number of doctor visits, the variety of pills and the spread of pain all continue to expand. This is the reality for just about everyone my age. Not everyone handles it in the same way. I am open-mined about it and still see the glass of water with which I take my pills as half full.

So last night, I watched  the ball descend once more as yet another generation, now hosted with Dick Clark’s successor, Ryan Seacrest, rang in the New Year. I counted down the ten digits with everyone else and watched 2018 light up and begin its reign. 2018…WOW! And then, the reflection—the one I said that is not so desirable, but ever so natural…is this my last ball, or do I get another one to watch next year?


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Thermometer on snow shows low temperatures under zero. Low temperatures in degrees Celsius and fahrenheit. Cold winter weather twenty under zero

It was cold. How cold? It makes no matter how cold once it reaches a certain depth. You feel it in your bones. Your blood thickens to syrup and your cheek bones, never really felt before, now tingle with pin-like punctures and your brain begins to sense doom.

So, where to begin? Rosemarie and I have been away for the holidays. We went to the middle of Pennsylvania to visit our niece’s family for Christmas and then it was off to Philadelphia to spend a few days with good friends. The only negative was the weather. After living in Florida for several decades, your blood begins to thin. Temperatures below 50 degrees now feel much colder than you remember. If you have chosen to suddenly transition from a tropical to an arctic environment, great surges of insanity pulsate throughout your mind. Confucius say: Floridians who venture north in the winter suffer brain freeze. True, we must have been brain dead to travel to the American hinterlands in the wintry month of December.

It was a grand display of opulence put on at my niece’s house. Their family room was the scene Christmas morning as ten of us whipped up a frenzy of gift giving. This is how it looked just before the morning massacre commenced. Afterwards it was a site of mass destruction.


Did I mention it was bitter cold? Yes, bitter, bitter cold…like in the teens. You have to feel that kind of temperature on your cheeks to really get an appreciation of exactly how horrible it is. I sense that once you reach this depth of natural cruelty there is little more distinction between the teens and any degrees colder. I am sure it gets worse even though it is hard for me to imagine what that would be like.

It is almost laughable how you can board a plane in Philadelphia where it is 25 degrees, fly south to Fort Lauderdale in 2 1/2 hours, and then get off the plane where it is a balmy 78 .

We had a very enjoyable time seeing friends and relatives this Christmas holiday. Now we are home and it’s back to the routine…back to warm.  Guess where I’m staying? That’s right: Put!


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Christmas Lyrics


I was listening to Christmas music this morning when I suddenly realized it takes on a whole new meaning this year…or maybe non-meaning. Here are some lyrics I picked out that sort of ‘splain all this.

 Lyric #1: I’ll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me…

Well, this year you’re going to have a long wait. For the first time in my life I won’t be home for Christmas. Actually Christmas this year may be a little more like Christmas. Christmas in South Florida is usually hot and sunny. We will be in Pennsylvania where it should be cold and maybe even snowy.

Lyric #2: Deck the Halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la…

Nope, we are not decking the halls this year. We wont’ be here. So, there is really no need for me to go nuts and string lights and garland everywhere. I suppose I could have shown you a picture of the house from last year, but showing Christmas past for Christmas present, well that’s sort of like fake xmas. We’ll be staying at our niece’s house where, knowing her, the halls will be decked along with everything else from the basement to the top of the chimney.

Lyric #3: Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches…

It kind of sad. The Christmas tree stand on the shelf in the garage will remain on the shelf this year. There is no tree and hence the stand will have no gifts around it come Christmas morning.   Talk about being left standing….

Lyric #4: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…

This is silly, actually. See, we never ever ever roast chestnuts and Jack Frost never ever ever comes to South Florida. I am sure we will meet up with him this year.

Lyric #5: We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar…

‘Tis partially true. King Marc and Queen Rosemarie will traverse afar as Pennsylvania. That’s a little over a thousand miles. And, oh yes, we will be bearing gifts for everyone there. We make an excellent royal couple.

Lyric #6: Said the little lamb to the Shepard boy, do you hear what I hear?

Well this sure hits home. One early Christmas gift Rosemarie got a few weeks back was a pair of hearing aids. This should seriously reduce the number of times I hear “what?” throughout the day. Boy does that get frustrating.   It took me over a year to finally raise the volume by which I talk to her and now she keeps tellin’ I’m yelling…well yeah! This is a new frustration because she doesn’t have her gear in her ear all the time. So I will say something innocent, like “Hey, wanna mess around?” and she’ll either act like she doesn’t hear me or tell me screaming demands will get me nowhere. Go figure.

 And finally, Lyric #7: We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Okay, now this is the first one that makes sense because it expresses exactly what Rosemarie and I wish to extend to all our friends and family…and maybe even some enemies here and there!  And, guess what–I dug up last year’s tree anyway…it’s still holding up and hasn’t dropped a needle!



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It has begun. I’m told the process can enter and take over almost overnight…or, it will take its time, slowly eroding away every functioning component of your brain.   The topic: dementia. I chose it because it has moved up in ranking on my paranoia scale. I do believe dementia is beginning to infiltrate my fortress, setting up shop in little dark pockets in my mind. I am not a doctor and this is self-diagnosis so I suppose it is unreliable. Maybe I just have the mumps.

It starts with the basics.   Lately, little things are happening to me all the time, like memory loss. I forget names, events, places I’ve been and activities I’ve done. True, you say everybody does that, but this is different because it’s more penetrating and prevalent. It’s no longer a trivia contest with prizes for those who can conjure up the most obscure.  Nope, it’s the kind of memory loss where large blanks take over the space in your brain where it previously stored important data like the date of your wedding anniversary or the combination to your high school locker.

There are other failures mechanical in nature. I’ve had a check returned to me because the amount I wrote out in longhand did not match the amount entered in digital form. But it wasn’t simply a matter that the amounts disagreed. What was startling was that the amount in longhand was jibberish. It represented no number at all. I must have been in a stupor when I wrote it. In fact, come to think of it, my handwriting has changed lately. Sometimes it doesn’t even look like my usual scribe, so much so that I may not even be able to read it. See, dementia!

I agree, these are all little signs that appear innocent and unthreatening, even humorous.   But these are slowly beginning to multiply. Forgetting names, appointments or what day of the week it is are common symptoms. The second phase features more tangible evidence, things like doors left unlocked when you leave the house or finding yourself roaming the parking lot attempting to locate your car because you have absolutely no idea where you parked it. Then finally, the hardcore situations begin to display unwelcomed testimonials that confirm the diagnosis. These include things like failure to recognize loved ones, believing you are living in another time or place, or having conversations with the voices you hear.    All these phases are common to a very natural occurrence many people suffer with in their later years.   It is called dementia. Stop by any nursing home and you will see it firsthand.

My mother showed signs of her wiring being withered away when she was in her 70s. Hey, guess how old I am!! Anyway, we were at a restaurant one night years ago, Rosemarie, my mother and me. I noticed Mom’s collar was messed up and I reached over to straighten it out. It was then that I realized it was messed up because it was the collar on the blouse underneath the second blouse she was wearing. But Mom always matched and it only followed that she was wearing two skirts too. It was then that I had to face reality—mom was a double dresser. When I asked her if she noticed she was wearing two sets of clothes she just sort of smiled at me, a little embarrassed. She looked like a kid caught doing something wrong. I just giggled and said “silly you.”

Well, the bad news is, that incident shows that dementia runs in the family. The good news is–today at least–I am wearing only one layer of clothes.





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I admit it, I am hung up on time. I spend way too much time thinking about time. At my age you begin to watch time go, sometimes day by day. Each day I awaken and for a brief moment I wonder…well, let’s just say I wonder….

But if you’re wondering, today brings you yet another one of my fine poetic efforts. Bullwinkle the Moose just loves when I get inspired to rhyme.   The subject is, well, WhaddaYaThink….it’s about time.


The years pass faster now than before.

Already there’s a new one to explore.

Time is relentless, abusive and unkind.

It’s ever present, constantly on my mind.

Time is the one subject I write about most.

It is ceaselessly disruptive, this hostile host.

It plays my day as it selfishly controls my fate.

It shares little and cares less if I am early or late.

It insists on letting me know it’s always there

With calendars and clocks and watches I wear.

Every tick and tock paces me, timing out all my whiles,

The whiles when things get done and the whiles I travel miles.

It accompanies me everywhere and everywhen.

It was there, now it’s here and it’ll be there again.

Time transpires, consuming every moment of me

From my first breath until whenever my last will be.

Then cruelly, unceremoniously, time will slam my door,

Leaving me behind while it travels on, ever more.


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It’s Time!


Opened shirt reveals USA Flag

When it comes to politics, what is important to know about me is simple: I am a citizen of the United States of America. As such, I have certain rights, among them Freedom of Speech. Those words represent an incredibly unique concept that any American citizen has seen or heard countless times.  Having a fear that I can no longer rely on this basic American principle to protect me should I say something against my government is the greatest threat to my wellbeing that I have ever felt as a proud member of the American society.

Even during the war in Vietnam I never sensed this fear to speak up despite the fact that I never expressed my opinion publicly or joined any formal anti-war initiative. Nevertheless, I was solidly against the war and stood a good chance of being sent off to fight it.

Protesting one’s government today is not as simple as burning a draft card, holding up signs and joining protest marches to Washington.   Despite the conflict with the leadership of our country back in the 1960’s, I never lost trust in the principle of Freedom of Speech and making the assumption that if I spoke out I would suffer no consequences. I do not feel that way today. I have questions.

What is different today? I am not quite sure, but I suspect it has to do with the one aspect that has become part of the American culture that dictates winning is everything. We do no like to lose. Losing is shameful and, according to some, is like death. Hence, people are more emboldened, more arrogant and less likely to compromise. If you think I exaggerate, I suggest you review the performance of the United States Congress this past decade…better yet, review the that same performance but for just the past ten months.

So what is it exactly that I fear? I fear harassment. This could be as simple as neighbors and friends no longer talking to me because I do not agree with them, to a more sophisticated response such as the government giving me grief over my annual tax return or regulators suddenly enforcing every petty mandate relative to my home or car. Yes, I know I sound a bit paranoid—no, a good bit paranoid—but this is how these kinds of situations have progressed in the past in other places.

So really, what is all this about? Well, it’s about one individual American citizen exercising his right to Freedom of Speech in hopes that it will stimulate others who share the same opinion to do likewise. I have no money to support a movement; I have no base organization to mount a campaign; and because of my age and health I lack the stamina that it takes to cause change.  But change is what must happen. Our colonial forefathers understood the risk when they first took it. They also understood that even though they achieved their goal, their descendants may well have to fight the battle again.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants…it is its natural manure.”         Thomas Jefferson

SteyerThere’s a campaign on national television right now that I am sure many of you have seen. It features a soft-spoken individual American citizen named Tom Steyer (right). He has mounted a drive to have President Trump impeached, declaring him “a clear and present danger who’s mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons.” Being a very wealthy man and one who heads up a non-profit climate-change organization known as NextGen America, Steyer has been politically active for many years. He had donated significant dollars to the Democrats and earned a solid position on the Republicans’ enemies list. I have signed in, supporting Mr. Steyer’s campaign.  If you agree with his opinion, I encourage you to do the same. Google Tom Steyer to learn more.

As a long-registered independent, I have never participated in a political endeavor other than voting regularly. President Trump has changed that and, knowing how passionate his followers are, I am sure I will be criticized. So be it. I’ve watched enough news, seen enough evidence and felt—for the first time—embarrassed for my country, that I support Mr. Steyer’s efforts to oust Donald Trump.

I am but one formerly non-participating political activist who now exercises his right to free speech. Based upon the brave people who established this country and the principles for which it stands, I not only have that right, but I also have the obligation to exercise it.

I am one voice now speaking out. Not much. But if you become two, then someone else becomes three, and so it begins:  the process by which the citizens of the United States of America make the decisions that guide their destiny, the by and for the people, if you will. That process is called democracy and we are each responsible to see that it continues and that those who disrupt it are quickly stopped.


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Forgive me, but I want to talk again about growing old. I realize if you are not old you could care less. I understand that. I was once young like many of you are. But the aging process, as depressing as it is, intrigues me. My wife is always on me for something, or so it seems. I think a wife needs to pick on her husband, if only to deflect concerns about her own wellbeing. Of course any sensible husband knows not to return the favor. It’s one of those one-way streets in marriageville. My wife has been nagging me lately, telling me to put my shoulders back and stand up straight. She says I look like an old man, not realizing, dammit, I am an old man.

Standing up straight has become a problem. It must be very common because so many older people walk around bent over. I admit I am pretty much on a tilt these days and it’s not from too many beers. Instead, arthritis is the culprit. It is slowly spreading through many of my joints and I fear it will eventually lead me to the wheelchair showroom to make a selection. I’ll want power steering and one of those nifty baskets.

I am not really sure what mother nature had in mind when she started bending us over as we grow older.  Who knows, maybe she had a thinking chair and she conjured up lots of scenarios featuring bent over old people. I don’t sense that this particular posture alleviates any pain. Perhaps she set it up as a warning sign to drivers that a senior citizen is crossing the road ahead , most likely at a slow pace.

Then too, older people are more prone to fall. Maybe mother nature is looking out for us. See, If you are bent over, this could be a good thing. You are closer to the ground, hence your fall may not hurt as much and, more importantly, you may suffer less injury.

Now, if you are like my late father–in-law, you may be bent over automatically because you are always looking to see if anyone may have dropped some money. This was a walking style my father-in-law perfected, always telling me it resulted from living during the depression.

Come to think of it, depression may be another cause of a bent-over posture. I know when you are not feeling good about your world you have a tendency to mope around, usually with your head down. That qualifies as bending over, although depression does affect young as well as old.

Well, regardless of the cause, I am making an effort to stand up straight and keeping my shoulders back. I don’t think it makes me appear any younger and it certainly doesn’t make the arthritis go away. But it keeps Rosemarie happy and therefore I am happy. In fact, she knows I’ll bend over backwards to keep her happy…although nowadays I probably shouldn’t do that.


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