El Paso, Texas

Dear Pam:

Since I received your nice letter of March 13, a lot of things have happened here in the supposedly, quiet and peaceful Village of Wistful Vista. Clarence and Josephina Fudge’s eldest daughter, Binny, (the one with the slight limp) who, as you know, had been engaged to Byron Pecksniff, broke off the wedding plans set for this April Abel says he heard that, even after graduating top of his class from Barnyard Fragrance Junior College with a major in Men’s Imported Colognes, he could not get a job at any perfume store or manufacturer in the State at all, and had to accept employment as an Assistant Septic Tank Inspector- but I hear it pays pretty good money. Binny says that it wasn’t Byron’s job that was the reason she broke the engagement, it was that Byron seemed to take a fancy to Loretta Lovelust’s skinny, flirtatious daughter, Mitzie. From the what-all I hear at Sunday Church, Binny really should feel blessed to be rid of that trouble.

Speaking of Church, old Reverend Snarl’s hemorrhoids got so awful bad he was obliged to step aside, the new Preacher, Rev. Abendigo Chuzzlewit, is nice enough, except for his always hiccupping a lot and his bad lisp which take away from the down-home sacred sound of his Sunday Sermons. His wife, Prunella-Jo Treakle, is a little, Lord forgive me, on the heavy side, but I understand that she won some blue ribbons for her famous gooseberry preserve biscuits. The new Reverend is in favor of wearing masks, not on account of the pandemic, but because he says that people do too much useless talking and that wearing a mask cuts down on sinful gossip and such.

I expect you are taking good care of your new bought chickens, Miss Henrietta and Mr. Purvis—just fooling. Regards to Fred and write back soon.


Elviry S.


Blogpost # 613 A PREAMBLE TO THE CHAUVIN PANDEMIC (pliny Editorial)

Yesterday was the opening day of trial of the accused white police officer, Derek Chauvin, for the crime of the brutal, choking homicide of George Floyd, an unarmed black Minnesotan resident. Two independent autopsies disproved purported defense theories as to certain alternate causes of death, and medically confirmed the criminal charge of homicide by asphyxiation. The horrendous crime, compliantly witnessed by several other white police officers, was demonstrably and inarguably, motivated by racial bigotry; as were too many other pernicious killings by white police officers of unarmed  African Americans. It is our view that every American in possession of a normally socialized sense of humanity and rectitude, has felt outrage and frustrated condemnation, regarding this recent act of cruelty, and toward similar past occurrences. In recognition of these bigoted killings, we have termed this widespread chronic pathology after the horrendous offense du jour, “The Chauvin Pandemic.”

In our estimation it is as a practical matter advisable, despite our ardent aspiration for moral and legal justice [and additionally declared recognition that every American life is equally precious], to responsibly assert an empirically realistic preamble to the pending case of Minnesota v. Chauvin. Our preamble, or cautious reservation, is as follows: the well-deserved expectation and justified perception that the decision in the Chauvin case will articulate an appropriate National repudiation for the persistence of Jim Crow bigotry may, in fact, not,  as an empirical matter, be realized.

It unquestionably appears to anyone, viewing the videos of the psychopathic gagging torture of Floyd by an officer of the law, that the perpetrator deserves the justice of a prolonged jail sentence. Similarly, hateful acts of murder practiced against unarmed black men by white policemen, as shown in videos, are also well deserving of severe criminal sentences. However, regardless of the essential merit and justice of such punishment, [especially as an appropriate National statement of justice and equality]  has not often enough been the case. The understandable frustration of right-thinking American citizens and unrequited calls for the justice of moral and legal retribution are undeniably, well justified.

Obtaining a judgment of guilty in any criminal case is made difficult by (a) the requirement that guilt be proven “beyond any reasonable doubt” and (b) that such a conclusion be reached by a unanimous jury,  is the mandatory rule of American criminal jurisprudence. Such difficult strictures imposed by statutory law, applicable to every American, regardless of color or ethnos, most especially the mandate that all jurors must agree, [to protect the innocent against wrongful conviction] however, makes the test, an inadequate and misleading measure of demonstrated National concern for rectitude in civil rights cases.

Whatever may be the outcome of the current trial [guilty or not guilty], it is our own supremely frustrated, but empirically considered view, that the same will not articulate, nor have an appreciative [curative] impact on the Nation’s perniciously bigoted, Chauvin Pandemic.



As we view the bizarre contemporary scene, it would seem that, given an appropriately receptive audience, a tactically convincing speaker could successfully maintain that fireflies are powered by a naturally occurring wireless internet; that owls are alien- monitored intelligence gatherers, or, even perhaps, that Dungeness crabs can do intermediate algebra. It took but four years of Donald J. Trump to disabuse his large cultish base of the principal, that objective facts do not exist, but that real factual accuracy is a matter of self-interested suggestive determination.

It is mandatory and definitional that in a Democratic Republic all citizens of legal age possess the right to vote for their own representation and leadership. It is equally presumed that a losing incumbent, President will peacefully and dutifully hand over the occupation of the Oval Office to the winner, his chosen successor. This is a systemic and characteristic feature of our republican political system. We credit Donald J. Trump with his characteristic failure to observe political propriety.

Since the Official proclamation of Joe Biden as the winner, Trump has grudgingly and neurotically failed to acknowledge his defeat, but has instead, gracelessly and irrationally concluded that the election was a fraud and that his actual victory was stolen [“Stop the steal”] by the Democrats. Like the audience required for credibility of the firefly assertion of its reliance on the wireless computer for its lighting phenomenon or that of the California crabs doing intermediate algebra, Trump’s cultish base believed Trump and set out to reverse the “stolen election result” [at his express instance] by the unprecedented commission of a large, violent, and criminal insurrection at the Washington Capitol Building.

The shameful event caused five homicides, a great many injuries, some permanent, destruction of property, including historical artifacts, as well as to the building itself. The most enduring injury was the essential threat imposed on our democratic system of government. The large and angry (Trump-inspired) mob was finally put down; but the Trump underbelly of the Nation, together with Members of Congress were not done in their malicious attempts to overturn the election. Their spurious claims of election improprieties were factually disproven by no less than three separate audits conducted by disinterested, independent firms, who certified the election as accurate and proper. A plethora of lawsuits alleging election fraud was summarily dismissed, as completely without merit. Courts, traditionally, do not believe stories about fireflies.

The Trump supporters, as expected, private citizen and politician, systemically unaffected by objective facts, persisted, with  Trump’s neurotic and egocentric encouragement, to wave, nonetheless, the tattered flag of “election fraud”. Most American citizens pay homage to factual accuracy and know that the objective findings were unanimous in certifying the election as sound in procedure and outcome. In point of fact, the only election misbehavior publicly demonstrated is Trump’s illegal and fraudulent telephone calls to the Secretary of State and Governor of Georgia, two of his sycophants, requesting them to alter the tally of the Georgia Presidential vote. This legally is known as ”chuzpah.”

By the same logic that would confer on Dungeness crabs, the ability to do intermediate algebra, the Trump camp, observing that the black vote in large part, supported Biden, that the alleged voter irregularities could be eliminated by hobbling the votes of American black citizens. This is detestable bigotry, camouflaged as prevention of fraud. Fireflies, again. What does an unconstitutional and immoral program of prevention of the black vote have to do with voter fraud?

It is painfully obvious that interference with the votes of black citizens is, evidently the prejudicial attempt to curb the black vote, which logically and for sensible reasons, supported the Democratic candidate. This perverse program was immorally and successfully performed in Georgia, by Kemp supporters, to defeat Stacey Abrams, and the sainted “protectors” of the American right to vote, have designed this abominable National policy to [hypocritically] tamper with the vote and undermine democracy. Trump [ cult’s] policy is to enact legislation and voter regulations that are designed to disproportionately affect voters of color. This, indeed, is election rigging fraud, perpetrated by the fraudulent election, religious inquisition itself.

Thus, numerous changes in voting hours, voting days, limitation of absentee ballots, removal, limitation, and strategic location of ballot drop boxes, all of which, tactically configured to impose stress on the voting habits of black citizens have been in the Republican legislative works, (353 enactments in 40 States) making voting difficult and inconvenient for black fellow citizens. Extreme laws, such as the prohibition of bringing water or food, to a prospective voter, waiting on an extremely long line [caused by the draconian voting strictures designed to limit the vote of persons of color] have been enacted to misrepresent the American vote; by self-appointed protectors of voting fairness.

Maybe fireflies do light up with power derived from the wireless internet.



The informed and thoughtful citizen will predictably note, from any rudimentary analysis of current events, that the most existential threat to our traditional American way of life, is not national disaster, the advent of a serious pandemic, economic break-down or foreign invasion, but rather one, internally posed by some of our own fellow Americans.

The Nation, construed, from its inception as a two- party democracy, with the grant of citizen guarantees of freedom of speech, religion, peaceful assembly, and liberty, has always condoned [in fact, encouraged] meritorious and useful differences of opinion, political and otherwise, together with the practice of amicable debate; the same to serve as a guide to legislation, in service of a Nation perceived and intended to be,” by and for the people”.

As we have noted in earlier writings, what developed, contrary to the Founders’ optimistic expectations, was instead, the angry, divisive, and insular phenomenon of antagonism between individuals and groups of disparate opinion, the disappointing dynamics of which we have examined in an early essay, “The Death of Civic Amity.” This unfortunate and unforeseen National development has been the source of bitter enmity, based  on differences in view on issues, ultimately resulting in a rift, or a politically divided Nation.

Inarguably, the most impactful and chronically enduring of all contested issues, had its inception during the several shameful decades of the American institution of Slavery, ultimately resulting in the American Civil War, followed by disputed issues of post-bellum rights for the freed slaves. The legal and moral issue of racial equality, unhappily, persists contemporaneously, kept alive by bigoted citizens in their obdurate and moral failure to acknowledge the essential  equality of all humanity, irrespective of color.

Disputed National issues also included gold standard versus silver, Native American policy, later, the Viet Nam War, gun ownership, women’s right to vote and to have an abortion, government health and labor regulation of industry, environment and global warming, the empirical primacy of science and education, immigration policy and a plethora of  contested, divisive subjects. Voters would normally cast their votes, for the [one of the two] candidates, whose platform was perceived to be closest to their point of view. Parties possessing disparate views on presenting issues, thus, had a recognized process by which they might express their individual political  sentiments. The healthy and enduring phenomenon of disparity of opinion became recognized and rationalized, within the generally inclusive designation of E Pluribus Unum. Thus, our empirically divided Nation carried on with its usual progress, albeit somewhat less efficiently than it could have, with less acrimonious divisiveness and more unity of principle,  in bitterly disputed areas such as immigration, abortion, gun ownership and civil rights.

 The election and re-election to the Nation’s Presidency, of the Nation’s first black President, Barack Obama, and his Administration’s acknowledged exemplary performance, had the effect of engendering in us, great and optimistic expectations, concerning the Nation’s seemingly  improved rate of progress in many areas, most especially, Civil Rights and the appropriate respect for science and education. The status of the  avowed, “E Pluribus Unum” was a representative reality; for the moment.

It all “went out the window,” with the election of an ignorant, incapable, and egoistic, former second- rate television game show host, and real estate grifter, Donald J. Trump. It is our view that Trump’s unexpected elevation to the Oval Office, was the combined result of (a) a low Democratic voter turnout due to the apparent lack of popularity of its Candidate, (b) the vast sums of money expended in support of anti- government regulation propaganda, by sociopathic captains of industry, who value profit, from their industry’s air polluting activities, over the health and life of human beings, plus (c) the vulnerability of our inadequately educated, dissatisfied, flat earth segment of the population  to Trump’s false and tactically, seductive “snake-oil,” demagoguery.

Donald Trump, concededly evaluated to be ignorant, incompetent and immoral, proved, somehow, to be an effective catalyst regarding a new and fundamentally different species of divisiveness in the Nation; one, dangerously differing from the normally expected phenomenon of  democratic, free disparity of opinion; causing, tragically, the Nation to thereafter to remain no longer entitled to the historic motto, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”[from many peoples, one].

The Nation’s realistic motto, following the election of President of Donald J.  Trump might be stated as  “E PLURIBUS DUEM” [from many, two]. The “two”  representing, for too many deluded Americans, the sole, determinative, and divisive two categories: “for, or against Donald Trump.” For Trump devotees, the determinative presenting issues were to be resolved not by personal consideration of their individual merits, but instead, reductively, upon whether the individual counted himself as a Trump supporter, and if so, adherence to the position of Trump on the  issue. Such cultish reductionism may have a degree of  practical application in certain autocratic countries but is many light years distant from a Nation that flys the banner of “Republican Democracy.”

 Trump denigrated science and education, ignorantly exacerbated the seriousness and mortality of the Covid pandemic, mocked vaccination and masking, expressed support, subtle and not-so-subtle for the White Supremacists and other bigoted, pestilential groups, overtly incited an historic insurrection at the Nation’s Capital, supported the NRA and unregulated gun ownership, demeaned women and minorities in general, opposed immigration and its asylum entitlements, opposed governmental regulations including, clean air and water, medicine and food safety, dismissed environmental concerns and existential global warming, manifested extreme hostility to the responsible media, and, incredibly, the existential value of “truth,” itself [himself, a chronic practitioner of serial mendacity]. Individuals who cultishly saw themselves as Trump supporters, submissively fell in line with his dark ages,  anti-enlightenment world view, and regressed to the status of his lifeless, submissive puppet-like sycophants.  

For Trump supporters, it became a populist, revered badge of loyalty and an overt submission to accepted populist identity to inhabit the announced Trump positions [including the Fascistic,” Big Lie] on all issues. It now appears that, in our newly construed divided America, that a signifying red line is to be drawn between those whose point of view is in hypnotic lockstep, cultish accord with the ignorant and biased opinions publicly expressed by Mr. Trump; and, on the other side of the line, the balance of the Nation. The Trump syndrome appears to have been transformative, alike, as to identity as well as derivative opinion. Frighteningly, there now appears to be a category, of uniform Trump endorsers, totally unconcerned with the relevant presenting  issue or its implications. It is the convenient and lazy way, for Trump sycophants to comfortably dumb down further, into the shameful role of a truly lazy reductionist, solely concerned with acting in concert with other cultish supporters of Donald Trump.

The other (second) category of  American citizens are, justifiably, principled, and moral opponents of Trump, consistently support the traditional American ethos and often are in sync regarding many of the day’s presenting issues, such as immigration, gun control, abortion, civil rights, prison reform, health regulations, minimum wage, environment and global warming, respect for science and education, and vaccination, and the other issues of the day. The existential and determinative difference is that these voters have their own, individualized moral and principled reasons, for their specific [and, at times, differing] views; as diametrically opposed to the thoughtless, submissive, and cultish, “group think” adherents to the views of the demagogic, arrogant and ignorant Donald Trump.

 This newly hatched, mindless, and potentially dangerous Trump category, as observed, entirely distinguishable from any naturally occurring, thoughtful brand of diversity, has no acceptable place in a Democratic Republic. To the contrary, acquiring a badge of (submissive) identity to a cult of personality, principally and historically, links one to such notably estimable members of the Planet’s human family as, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Mao Zedong.



The reader is doubtless familiar with the violent and treasonous storming of the United States Capitol Building, January 6, 2021, by a mob of hate-motivated and Trump-inspired faithful. The insurrection took place admittedly in response to Trump’s publicly communicated, behest, following his prior unsuccessful and undemocratic attempts to overturn the results of the recent Presidential election. The uniform and dedicated battle cry of the insurgents, was an exact replication of Trump’s propagandic, mantra, “Stop the Steal.” The angry battle cry, in civilized English, meant, prevent by force, the day’s scheduled certification by the Electoral College of a fraudulently elected Candidate, Joseph Biden. In truth and in complete negation of Trump’s tactical employment of the Fascistic ploy, “The Big Lie,” the Election count was certified as accurate, by no less than three separate independent auditing firms. The context and occurrence of this unprecedented insurrection were in embarrassing contrast to America’s consistent, post-election, democratic history, of the peaceful transfer of power.

The large, virulently angry mob, visibly and noisily, composed of Trump-inspired miscreants, was inclusive of such bigoted and pernicious groups as, White Nationalists, “Oath keepers,” the “Proud Boys” and other unwholesome and pestilential gangs, joined by several hundreds of unaffiliated, angry individuals, demonstrably, in hypnotic sync with the other insurgents. All participants were zealously receptive to Trump’s egregious call to arms and supportive of his delusional and unamerican quest to overturn a free American election. When apprehended and questioned, the uniform response of the rioters was some nuanced version of “Trump invited me,” or a self-justified attempt at understandable mitigation, with reference to the “call” of Donald Trump, as if he were their irresistible, Pied Piper.

The ugly and unprecedented event resulted in five deaths, a great many injuries [some permanent],   destruction of property, damage to the building itself, spoilage of valuable historic treasures, smashed windows, ransacked offices and angrily scattered books, and records. We must not omit the publicized, National “black eye,” presumably celebrated by the rioters, but publicly and effectively, constituting an existential danger to our unique democracy. Many of the insurrectionists had weapons, carried Confederate and Donald Trump flags, and wore Trump imprinted shirts. Congressmen who were present in the building, their staffs, and Capital Building employees, testified to personal experiences of traumatic fear and urgent attempts to hide during the frightening pendency of the siege.

It is disturbingly ironic to us, even Kafkaesque, to consider the bizarre reality that the only incidents of voter irregularities, included those [as revealed at the extensive Mueller Commission Hearings] consisting of conspiratorial and improper behavior, between Russia’s autocratic leader, Putin, and Trump, in the earlier election, to advance Trump’s chances of victory. In the recent election, Trump [alone] committed voter fraud by [television witnessed] telephonic requests, to the Secretary of State and to the Governor of Georgia, to “find,” in Trump’s electoral interest, a determinative number of voters needed to reverse the Biden victory in that State. Additional misbehavior consisted of the many Trump- lobbied efforts to reduce or purge the voting lists of minorities. The perverse actions of this pathological liar, many indeed, televised to the public, were the only determined instances of election fraud. Notwithstanding the objectively shown facts, Trump, himself, unashamedly and insanely, cried foul [“Stop the steal”] falsely accusing [projecting onto] his opponent his inclination to acts of election fraud. It is beyond the pale of imagination that, as objectively shown by the bizarrely misrepresented circumstances, he [the defrauder] should perversely claim election fraud; and even worse, to observe that such irrational claims were religiously believed, by mobs of angry, disaffected individuals.

We are satisfied to learn from the media that the hundreds of felonious participants in the insurrection are being investigated and, as appropriate, will be criminally charged by the authorities. Yet, above all, we are ineluctably concerned that the authorities calcify their backbones, and, at long last, render fitting and appropriately harsh justice regarding the sociopathic Donald J. Trump. In addition to his previous four years of manifold criminal acts, he, incontrovertibly, was the despicable and toxic puppet master who premeditatively, and tactically, manipulated the January 6, responsive, “Manchurian Candidate” style, hypnotic puppets, who, in compliance with his malevolent summons, obediently wreaked lethal havoc on our Capital Building and, conceivably, on the institution of Democracy, itself.


Post # 609 (poesie) PHANTOM SHIP [Tears] Redux*

Full laden, she rocked the waves
Hull full with gems
Facet-less, but diamond-like
Many sized, divers sourced
From brown, from white from yellow—
Glitt’ring, shiny
Jewel Boxes full, treasure trove
Sea chests, much bestuffed
With tears—
Tears, most precious of man’s jewels
Ripped ready-refined
Pure, Holy

Tears of Expectation. Of joy
Some born of laughter, of weeping
Most precious- tears of love
Windswept tears
Tears of growing up, of getting old
Tears of longing
Meeting and parting tears
Missing you tears, tears of relief
Salt-bedecked, rich warm greeting tears
Little girl tears, delicately dropped
From her loving temples
Tears from blind eyes-like jewels
Got, from a mine of darkness

Onward it sailed
To the edge of the Earth
This magic ship
Could I but discover its destination
A velvet world of diamonds!

Leonard N. Shapiro. [1950, N.Y. on death of baby niece]

*Rededicated to those lost to the pandemic


We would fundamentally, pose two basic principles which, inarguably, have universally affirmative and undeniable acceptance among every American citizen, without exception.

First: Democracy is a system of government by which the ultimate power is vested in the people and exercised by them through a system of representatives selected by periodically free elections, and,

Second: The foundational principle of the election process, is that it must reflect the free expression of the will of all the people.

Additionally, incontrovertible is the fact that universal voting is declared and protected in the Constitution of the United States Constitution, Arts. 15th,  19th and 26th which expressly mandate that the voting rights of any U.S. Citizen cannot be abridged on account of race, color, country of origin, sex, or age ( the latter, if over age 18). These vital and fundamental principles, unfortunately, by dint of empirical necessity have been reinforced in the Nation’s Voting Rights Act of 1925. Notably, the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Earl Warren once again, clearly articulated the basic definitional, democratic principle of “one man, one vote.”

Yet,  it appears that most Republican political leaders and Congressmen, have been actively bent on challenging, or seeking to limit, the free and universal right to the voting franchise albeit, in obvious premeditative violation of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, with the affirmative endorsement of its supporters. This phenomenon exists, in bizarrely inconsistent fashion. despite their awareness and principled support of the foundational American principle that the franchise to vote was expressly intended to secure the reflection of the will of “all” the people.

Indeed, since the end of the disgraceful term of Donald J. Trump, the Nation has observed an increased impetus in many not-so-subtle efforts on the part of the Republican Party, as well as its sycophant followers, to conspiratorially and selectively, reduce votes by means of various nefarious anti-democratic artifices. The tactically, and visibly intended targets, are Americans of color since it appears that said Nation’s minority voters were an essential element included among the principled and numerical reasons for the loss of the Election by Trump and the elevation of Joseph Biden and Kamila Harris (the latter a black woman) to the Oval Office.

The Republican Party’s ungraceful and un-American response to the election loss has been expressed, atavistically and undemocratically, by various illegal and unconstitutional programs to limit the votes of minorities, as stated, especially, Americans of color. These repugnant tactics are shamelessly reminiscent of the former, institutionally, anti-black Southern Wing of the Democratic Party circa.  1948, (the “Dixiecrats”) which bolted from the Democratic Party, largely over the issue of segregation. 

This populist, Republican, undemocratic program was preceded by absurd propaganda in the reminiscent memory of the Fascist tactic of “the big lie,”  viz., falsely declaring the Biden victory to be a product of fraud and artifice;  notwithstanding the uniform conclusion of no less than three recognized, independent, and professionally qualified auditors, to the effect that the election was fairly conducted and accurately computed.

It would thus empirically appear, to be easier for the anti-democratic, Trump supporters to seek to invalidate a fair American election, than in fact to win it, fairly and legally. These ignorant tribal adherents, despite their frequent articulation of pretentions to (some perverted form of) “patriotism,” seem to be unconcerned that their attack upon the American vote possibly, might create an imminent crisis of existential danger to the fundamental cornerstone of American Republican Democracy.

Reportedly, two hundred and fifty proposed bills have been shamelessly filed throughout the Nation with the (express) intention of restricting the number of minority votes. Hours and access to voting centers have been tactically limited, tailored to the proponents’ perceptive experience of black voters, who work full time and attend religious services, that they are often among the poor of our country and have limited transportation facilities and  less ownership of items of electronic communication. These immoral and undemocratic, black-focused tactics also include limitation of mail-in or absentee ballots, limitation of the number and change in location of “drop-off” ballot boxes, purposeful shortening of the hours for voting, tactical misrepresentation, cynically targeted administrative roadblocks, and other un-American and reprehensibly pseudo-subtle strategies to materially hobble the minority vote.

Our suggested paradox is as follows. If one were to inquire of any one of these “modern-day Dixiecrats,” whether he sincerely believes in the basic two American principles, cited at the outset of this writing, our money is on an enthusiastic and ardently expressed affirmative. This phenomenon is unmistakably text-book cognitive dissonance.

We wonder whether pharmaceutical science would be willing to, in the public interest, apply its recently confirmed marvelous capability, to the pathology of schizophrenic political morality.



El Paso, Texas

 Dear Elviry:

It has only been a short time since Fred and I moved away from Wistful Vista, to El Paso, but we already miss you, Abel, and the girls plenty. I have not made my rhubarb-apple pie yet because I have been feeling a bit down. Fred does not like the other men at his new job, so he spends a whole lot of time, when he’s home just angrily rocking. If you recall, Fred has the very same rocker as Abel does and the sound is making me bananas.

The Texas Governor declared that no masks are necessary, but to be safe, I wear one, anyway, when I go outside. Fred wears a mask day and night, even during sleep, because he says he doesn’t want to take foolhardy chances with a tricky virus that might sneak up and descend on him during the nighttime. I feel that the Texas Governor must have decided that masks are not necessary, because in Texas, most men (and some women) wear very big, wide-brim cowboy hats, chew tobacco and spit, which makes legally required distancing rules, unnecessary. I am unhappy that Fred’s mask doesn’t lower the volume on his loud snoring. We bought a big new hound, named Elvis, who barks too much, and two chickens named Ms. Henrietta and Mr. Purvis who keep wandering off. We are still boiling our drinking water.

Fred’s usual heartburn is worse than ever. He always gasps and shifts around in his rocking chair like a man with mean hemorrhoids. I always tell him to lay off the chicken-fried steaks with barbeque sauce and the Tex-Mex chili, but he doesn’t listen and usually picks up that stuff for dinner at one or another, of the many neon-lighted drive-in Barbeque Restaurants, on the Texas State highway.

I do like the local Church and its Preacher, Reverend Zebulon Oxcart, but Fred says that sleeping Sunday mornings was far better at our old Church back in Wistful Vista. Also, this Church choir sounds more like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, or maybe Gene Autry, instead of true down-home religious. I was very disappointed that our new Church does not also have a geranium committee, but still, there are many pretty Texas Bluebonnets growing just outside the main Church entrance, up close to the oil rig.

The Church always holds regular monthly dances, even during the pandemic, but for now, only virtually. It is fun to see each couple plus the dance band (fiddler and squeeze-box player), in separate little boxes on the television screen. Fred could never do the Texas two-step due to his dependence on his cane.

Well, that is all for now. I miss you, Abel and the girls, so let’s keep writing.

Sincerely yours,



It has been exactly one year, since the WHO declared the advent of Covid-19, a “Pandemic.” At newly elected President, Joseph Biden’s address to the Nation last evening, he took well-justified pride at the universal sighting of ”a light at the end of the tunnel” respecting this widespread, contagious,  and potentially mortal disease (more than 550, 000 American deaths in the year). The vision of the tunnel’s proverbial exit light was, in no small part, due to his, so far, brief, Administration’s efficient and empathic program of management of the viral disease outbreak, and his appropriate respect (unlike his incapable, ignorant predecessor) for medical and biological science. Programs of prophylactic caution, such as quarantine, distancing masking and effective handwashing, publicly encouraged by the new Administration and its knowledgeable and caring experts, where complied with, were rewarded by intended results.

Kudos are deservedly awarded for the brilliance and creativity of the American medical and pharmaceutical professions, for their demonstrated efficiency and unprecedented expedition in the development of (3) safe and effective vaccines; each capable of affording immunity from the scourge of the dangerous virus. As known, the Nation is presently involved in a governmental program of universal administration of covid vaccination, the efficient, complicated and nuanced logistics for which, is an additional occasion for the grant of well- deserved kudos; to the caring, sensitive, and empathic new Administration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris.

It may well be that the most profound honorable mention, in this instance, is to be reserved for our health-workers, most particularly, the overworked and under-protected, empathic nurses and nurse practitioners, many of whom actually died, while serving on the frontline of this dangerously infectious battle against the pandemic. Reports indicate that they continued to maintain their long tradition of generosity and heroism in their sincere and unstinting attempts to provide care and save lives; working long shifts, at patient beds and in crowded, dangerous, and nerve-wracking Intensive Care Units, often without a day off and at times, without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Reportedly, despite such arduous conditions, the (only) common complaint, reportedly (and admirably) was that they were limited in their personal interaction with their patients and frustrated by what they wanted to do for their patients, compared with what they could not do, by reason of the infectious pathology. The latter, incapability in many morally unforgiveable instances, was due to irresponsible shortages in supplies of protective equipment. Florence Nightingale would have been immensely proud, (see: our very early essay, “Florence’s Lamp”).

It is hoped that society, newly rendered cognizant of the essential role of the professional nurse in our empirically vulnerable population, will robustly support adequately funded nursing schools, nursing education and appropriately recognize and adequately remunerate the practitioners of this supportive and existential pillar of human survival and existence.



Wistful Vista, Ohio March 11, 2021

Dear Pamela:

Things have been awful quiet and lonely since you and Fred moved to El Paso on account of Fred’s job. Abel and the girls miss you all, especially your rhubarb-apple pie and Ed’s funny jokes. The winter snow  is melting fast, and it might well be that just about every house has a leaking roof. I am praying hard it will stop soon.

I like the new President. He smiles more than the last one and also because he says the words, ”Praise God” a lot, not like the other one. But his blonde hair wife looks to be a little chippy, but they do say that she is a schoolteacher. All villagers, at last, have now received their vaccinations after being threatened with exclusion from the Annual Square dance. I am hoping that the virus scare will be completely over son—the never-ending sound of Abel’s rocking chair is making me batty.

Things at the Village Church have taken a bad turn. Reverend Snarl has developed a fair case of painful hemorrhoids and his recent sermons have become more critical and less inspiring. Also, there were heated arguments about the counting of votes at the recent election for President of the Church Geranium Committee- finally settled by Reverend by appointing all seven members, co-Presidents. The toilet with the colored glass-stained window is still broken. Deacon Goodfellow sends his best regards.

Did you hear the foolishness about the beautiful black-American actress who got married to the English Prince? If they had asked me, I would have told them that there is always trouble after you marry, when you move in with the in-laws. Still, it is not as eventful, we hear, as living in El Paso, Texas.

Well, that’s about all for now,

Love and regards,