Saturday, March 30, 2019

50 or more came to Spring Peepers Program

Scott and I drove over to Pennypack Trust to attend the Spring Peepers Program. They hadn't had it for three years - due to muddy conditions - so folks came out on this lovely cool evening.

Tom Hibbs led us down from the Barn at Pennypack Trust to see and hear the spring peepers.

Fifty folks attended. Good to teach your grandchildren a love of nature, I said to John Keck, who wore his firefighter's sweatshirt. He reminded me who he was. He and Ed Quinn painted large areas of my house. 

 Cool dude walks barefoot. Later we'll learn why.
 Swampland holds noisy spring peepers. Usually when people walk by they stop their mating cries, but not this time. It seemed to excite them.

 Watch your footing! I got caught in some nettles and several people helped me out.
 Altho this may look like Monet's lily pads, it's the home to thousands of spring peepers. Tom Hibbs has a knack for catching them, then showing them to the kids. X marks the spot on the back of the males.
 Cool Dude is really the Buddha sitting under a tree.
 In the dimming light he sits.
Henry Wynkoop, a friend of George Washington, reads the sign. Click to enlarge. Thanks, I'll do dat after I've signed off.

Anything else, my dear?

Cleaned off my muddy boots with many napkins. They're still muddy. My muddy clothes are in the wash.

Many times during our walk, my boots got stuck in the mud. But my boots were made for walking, so that's what I did.

Spring Peepers Are Here

Peep peep peep.

One you may not hear.

Multiply that by a thousand and they create an orchestra about love.

Shall we find their songs?

Click here.

When Scott and I drove home, we saw a race car on our street. We walked down the street and found out what it was.

A McLauren.

Image result for mclaren p1 price

Top price: 2 million.

Spring Peepers - Poem: View from my Red Couch

Huge bird alights on phone wire. I noticed it this morning.

Am working now on my short story due at 2 pm at B's place.

While eating my usual egg breakfast, I watched HEAL on Netflix, suggested by my sister Donna.

Below is the famous Kardashian Family.

They look like creatures from Outer Space.

Star Wars, the dynasty continues.

In an hour, Scott and I are leaving for Pennypack Trust to listen for Spring Peepers.

For dinner he made Pasta Sauce with Lentil Noodles and Roasted Pepper with mashed potatoes and hummus.

Overflow crowd at Beatriz's, Barbara Custer came for the first time. She's a regular at the Thursday group in Hatboro, PA.

She brought a copy of her magazine in full color called Blood Red Shadow.

Linda was afraid I was gonna go home with it.

I told Barbara I might write something for it. Five dollars per story. I said I'm saving money for my new roof.

At Scott's we watched Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, great granddaughter of Herbert. Angus someone was her guest.

Honest, we saw, and wouldn't speculate about anything, but said we must read Bob Mueller's full report.

Hello Bob. Google him and you'll find dozens of photos of him.

People at the writers' group liked my short story AMSTERDAM, which was only four pages, but suggested I make changes, which I will.

Must I write a poem?


Bill's pickup gleaming in the waning sunlight
Speed Limit 25 on my curb
Pink birdhouse filled with a sparrow's nest
Soon I'll have more grandchildren
Feathers soft
Feathers lovely
Who but the great Whomever
Could create a bird.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Newspaper arrives in driveway - Poem: Newspaper - Thunder Paws by Bill Hess

Saw a fascinating film this morning at the HV Library.

At Eternity's Gate, an entirely new film on Vincent van Gogh. The title is also the name of one of his paintings.

At Eternity’s Gate review: A breathless, reverential portrait of Vincent van Gogh’s final years
En francais, I thought it was Willem Defoe and twas!

When I enter the movie room, I always close the doors, so we won't hear the ding - albeit pleasant - of the elevator.

I've gotta watch a film in total concentration!

How many cell phones went off?  Four.

Heads turned toward them, including mine, in approbation.

Went to Mom's after that. She could actually hear as I went up to her room and put on her shoes. Tres difficile.

Ellen made a delicious canned salmon lunch for us. They do not eat mayo like we do. We, of course, includes Scott.

When I got home, a newspaper was lying in the drive.


OMG, I accidentally deleted half the post.

Wrote about when I worked at the Intell/Record. Knew so many people. Ilga Johnson was the top seller of ads and classifieds. Just looked her up online. She's 81 !!!

Yesterday started physical therapy with the great Margaret Fitzpatrick out of her Hatboro office. Worked with student intern Tanya Morris from TU and Jackie Pedersen.

When Margaret poked her head in the room, I said They're torturing me!

Good! she said.

I read the newspaper on the floor. It wasn't particularly interesting, but I'll write a Letter to the Editor about what I enjoyed about it. The ads were interesting. So was an art show at Abington High School. One painting in particular caught my eye: blue background and the whorls of branches on a tree. I'd buy it for $50,

When van Gogh's mood was bad, he made pix like the chaotic one above.


Lying in disarray on the living room carpet
like huge puzzle pieces is The Times Chronicle.

Sitting on the floor listening to the jazz station I scan every
single page.

The obits bring good news. Folks are
living until their nineties.

Color ads make products look inviting
gotta have it, the detergent, the yogurt,

My excitement is visceral. My life
lights up, until I close the paper

And return to my life. Dull as
a hesitant conversation.

And that's when I pick up my book.

Hi Ruth!

I am amazed! And touched! I would never have thought Thunder Paws! would have such a long lasting affect on anyone. I’m glad you loves him, and hope you always will.

My wife and I have been traveling in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where we took a long road trip with our three oldest grandsons. I’ve been in kind of a lackadaisical daze ever since we returned. This explains my tardy reply.

I often wish I could get off Facebook, but it connects me with so many people I work with and among.

I did not post a thing while we traveled. I did not want to advertise that our house was empty. I just said I was taking a break from Facebook.

This is about all I’m good for right now. 

Kept the poems flowing…


On Mar 21, 2019, at 2:18 AM, Ruth Deming <> wrote:

Hello Bill Hess!

Am not on Facebook anymore so I can't read your delightful posts.

A friend of mine borrowed Thunder Paws for nearly a year.

The book is now home with me in my cozy quarters in Willow Grove, PA.

I think I shall celebrate by writing a poem. Ahem. Here goes.


Books, books, and more books.

That's my house, emptied now of two children, gone off on their own.

Books become my kids.

None more so than Thunder Paws.

In the early frosty morning I sit on red couch

I'd smoke a pipe if I had one

And turn the shiny pages of Thunder Paws

As the sun rises over Charlie's house

across the street.

Oh, Thunder Paws, I loves you so.

But off you must go, once again,

The world needs you more than ever

Your innocence, your faithfulness, your beauty

Chaos reigns across the land

And even the world

The Innocent shall save us

I hear the patter of her little feet

As she trots into the kitchen

To see what's to eat.

Oh, Thunder Paws I loves you so.

- Ruth Z Deming

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

 We must celebrate the great accomplishment of Bob Walmsley and his band of Muscled Warriors in establishing the second and last roof on Deming's Yellow House.

 With finesse unparalleled, they fearlessly mounted the roof, as if going into battle.

Tools aplenty they wore around their waists.

Some smoked cigarettes, whose plumes seemed to touch the sky.

All drank bottled water, gulping it down, glug glug glug, to refresh their parched throats.

Coffee, too, the great energizer of the Western World, was consumed in small cups - that's all you need - and these fourteen warriors carried on, joking and laughing, many in the Spanish language.

We thank the Almighty that these good men have work, know the value of hard work, and will save money for their children to go to college and take up chemistry or international trade or the culinary arts.

Not to mention horticulture.

Shall I plant a garden on my roof?

You must appreciate this moment, said I

I keep significant dates in the back of my address book.

Last roof was Jan. 4, 1997. Simon suggested the roofers. One of them had fallen off the roof to his death.

A couple of days ago, Bob Walmsley and his men began the new roof.

The noise was so loud I stuffed napkins in my ears.


Stayed away from home most of the day.

When I saw Bob, he said they'd probly finish on Friday.

Went to Dunkin Donuts for a cuppa iced coffee and finished reading Diana Athill's SOMEWHERE TOWARD THE END.

The book got worser and worser the more I read it.

Here are some books she liked. Middlemarch - she felt sad upon leaving that world.

Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety.

Ya know how writers are sposed to have pads of paper in their backpacks? Not me. Wrote it on a DD napkin.

BTW, the iced coffee was terrible!

Diana was an editor, who finally decided to write her own books. She edited H Rider Haggard, who lived down the street from her family - when I was in high school I read SHE, who must be obeyed.

She title page.jpg

JEAN RHYS, a female


capciousness of life - what does this mean?

Diana's mother's last words "It was absolutely divine."

 Among Mom's papers. I want the book back, said the author, whose name is Patricia Greenwald Ostergen. Mom thinks she's died.

The famous clock tower of Cleveland Heights High School.

When we lived on Marlindale Road, we'd look out the back window to see the time.

See Part II of Getting a New Roof.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

More competition for films - Bob Walmsley - Poem: Scott's New Deck

What a great photo! Say hello to Tim Cook of Apple, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg.

During the two-hour event at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple’s campus, the company’s leaders detailed its plans to take on Hollywood by creating its own TV shows and documentaries. They also announced a news subscription service and and a credit card.


I wrote a letter to my Diabetes Doctor, Cecelia, and asked her to override CVS who limits me to checking my sugar levels to three times a day.

Heard from her today. She will not and suggested I use another pharmacy.

I'm mandated to use CVS. The woman is clueless.

Just checked my sugar, which was 64, too low, so I'm eating Matzoh with peanut butter to raise it.

Will I ever learn or will I be found crumpled on the floor, book in hand.

Diana Athill, regal looking, ain't she?

Two sparrows on the outside of a birdhouse. When I checked today, there was a nest inside. Might I be considered an architect?

Bob Walmsley's truck. I knew he was there since I heard his big booming voice.

Tomro he will begin working on my roof. In the corner of my living room window a sign reads PERMIT from Upper Moreland Township.

He's done loads of work for me.

 The window above the red couch and also to the right, where a huge A/C unit was, before I got central air.

Believe me, I know how fortunate I am.
 The windows above the sink. I had him LOWER them so I could look out the window w/o standing on my tiptoes.
The previous owners, the Travis Family, put on this towel rack. Altho I never use it, I keep it as a memento.

When Bob arrives, I'll take a book and go somewhere and get a cup of coffee.

I only drink coffee when the situation is favorable.

Maybe I'll go to Mom's house, as I did today.

Dan visited her for the first time in ages. He dragged down the box springs from a mattress in the yellow room upstairs.

When I left my ex in Texas, that's where the kids and I lived.

Remember the days when you'd get photos at K-mart? They wanted you to buy the whole package, but I'd only buy one photo.

They make you feel guilty when you do this, but today I don't feel an ounce of guilt.

Guilty as charged...


Cool breezes caress our brows
as we sit like lords and ladies
on his second story deck

I lean over and watch a deer
stroll in from the woods
antlers like latticework
on a cherry pie

At night, he takes out his
telescope. We crane our necks
and stare one-eyed at Jupiter
and there they are: The moons
circling like deviled eggs.

Are those voices we hear?
Sounds of Life?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

WORLD POETRY DAY - The Hasids of Chernobyl

Just saw Friendly Dave at Staples, where I lugged my downstairs laptop out in the rain.

All is well, he said, and it is.

Correction. It may not work right.

Rem Murphy nominated me to be part of MARQUIS  WHO'S  WHO.

Danielle called me up this morning and we were on the phone for 20 minutes, while I prepared my morning omelet.

She asked me great questions, what I'm most proud of, am I involved in volunteer work. The longer we talked, the prouder I got.

Twenty minutes, a total waste of time.

There's a huge fee to appear on there.

I told her I'm not spending a cent to promote myself and New Directions. She kept pleading with me.



There's music all around
on this drizzly day
Close your eyes
and hear the harp notes
on the roof
the jazz trumpets
on the jonquils
in the back yard
and your steady
playing the most
important music of all.

THIS IS YOUR THING, wrote Ed Quinn. He painted part of the interior of my house with bright colors.


At the end of the day
I retire to my pink bedroom
It embraces me like an old friend
Everything I need is in this
master bedroom, and everything
is painted.

The border of the television
The two closet doors
The wall behind the bed

From the ceiling fan
hangs a painted mobile
made from a styrofoam insert

My pink bedroom
tells me it's time
to sleep. I yawn,
lean back and am gone.

* * *

Finally am listening to a wonderful audio book in the kitchen, THE MONUMENT MEN. Ooh, I have to tell my friend Tree!

Am making pear sauce with three ripe Anjou's. Took forever to ripen. Am shoveling peanuts in my mouth.

Hey, that's a chipmunk not a squirrel.

Click here for pix of Hasidic Jews from Chernobyl.

Anything else Ruthie?

 Yvonne works for her BF Bob Walmsley and came over to pick up a check for $3,000 as a down payment on a new roof.

As long as it rains, they can't work.
I asked her to take a picture of me, also.

Dyou think it's too late to email Tree?  Amazing bc we don't need to know their email, you just type in a couple of letters.

I'm going up to my room and start reading on my bike.

I'll tackle the Beaver book.

Oh! I signed up to receive the Glenside Chronicle, which comes out every Thursday.

Gonna sit on the living room carpet and read read read. Maybe with a cuppa tea or coffee at my side.

What are YOUR plans, mes amies?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Purple Heart - Lunch at Tim and Terry's - Poems: A Sky-Watching Tip from Sandy Wood - Mom at Ninety Six

Scott put out our Four Boxes of taped-shut goods for Purple Heart yesterday.

How good it feels getting rid of unwanted stuff. Where did I get all those sheets? Dozens of them.

Plus a Kandinsky-style carpet in the laundry room. They're all on Scott's front porch now.

Purple Heart will return next week.

Went to Mark's at Buxmont toe get 100 copies of my Letter to the Editor in the Glenside Times and Public Spirit.

I had told the editor, whose name I forget, that I had written dozens upon dozens of Op-Ed columns for the Daily Intelligencer while Alan Kerr was in charge. He retired a couple of years ago. I've never met him though I worked at the Intell/Record which is now closed up on Easton Road.

Tried something new and delicious at TNT. First, when I walked in, I called the owner Terry. That's his wife.

Rowan was my helpful waitress. I refuse to call them servers. Whose idea was that?

French toast with raisin bread and plenty of whipped butter and syrup.

I injected a lot in my belly.

Drank cold water which they served w/o a straw - good for them! - and drank their delicious coffee.

Finally I finished the book BECOMING by Michelle Obama. I probly sat there a good two hours.

When I returned to Mark at Buxmont Stationers he thought I had forgotten.

I can always count on you, I said to Mark.

Sun rises at 7 06  And sets at 7 11

For years I have listened to Sky Watch
the way as I kid I listened to The Time Lady
and The Weather Lady.

I must present a portrait
of Sandy Wood, though I only know her
by her plain but trustworthy voice.

At home now in her high rise in Houston
She goes to her window and views
the silky bayou with big swaths of
green. She wears yellow silken
pajamas and has a dry martini in hand.

She's been up all night recording
and is ready for sleep. Her bed is
fluttered with fan letters from
all over the world, including
one from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.


Like we did in Cleveland, our ancestral home,
we viewed the Christmas lights. Time disappeared.
Mom became an athlete again, playing tennis with Lenore
whose husband recently died of dementia.

Her dog Snappy Lou, a gift from her father, was a
barking and petting delight. Mr. Lucas from down
the street was knocked down by the exuberant terrior
and Mom was forced to put him down.

How we loved the Christmas lights. Reminded us
of the neon lights at NELA PARK in Cleveland.

Every color of the rainbow, especially Blue lights
on roofs and dangling from real Christmas trees
made the world feel young again.

Driving up the driveway of Mom's huge house
with white mailbox and huge front porch
I cautioned, Stay in the car until I come get you.

Her white hair gleamed like the moon.

When I came to get her after opening the house door
she was nowhere to be found.
Mom! I called. She had toppled to the ground.

When you're that old every fall is like
an arrow to the heart.

Sure, she delights in visiting her doctors
Sister Ellen, surely a saint, takes her after
folding up her walker, brilliant invention
for the Hobbled Ones

We meet on Sundays, with sister Lynn from New Hope
prancing in with quiche and cupcakes, and chocolates from Asher's.

It's important to pay attention.
To remember Mom's words, though her
heart is strong, and we expect her to
celebrate her centennial.

I never appreciated the woman. Her fortitude
and refusal to die is now an inspiration. Finally
I can say - and it took me over fifty years -
I love you Mom.

* * *

Mom has a great appetite and so do I.

Scuse me while I raid the refrigerator.

Should I make something?

It's nearly four o'clock.

One more thing. I wanna watch the trial of "The Butcher of Bosnia." He eluded capture for 16 years.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Great concert at Annenberg, followed by dinner at Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill

March 15-16  Dance Heginbotham Easy Win in Philadelphia at Annenberg Center.
Both sold out!
Here we are at the Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill PA waiting for our orders to arrive. We ordered Perrier Water which made me thirsty so I switched to regular water in bottle on left.

 Mary Creamer one of the most lovable people you've ever met.

 Here's her husband Tony. We drove from their house near Morris Arboretum in his white Porsche SUV. Very hard for me to get in with my bad left leg. I do exercises every morning and am hoping the leg will improve.

 Tony couldn't find parking, so he parked and kept his parking lights on.

Mary and Tony made us appetizers at their home. I believe they have about six cats now. One named Grayson is a dead ringer for our Blank except he is fatter but has the same green eyes. I reached out to pet him but he tried to bite me.

They also have a huge painting of a black cat, as if he rules their house. True, perhaps.

Forty degrees now, says Bob Perkins on the jazz station.

 Mary ordered a salad and shared some with me. I tasted arugula, as well as the usual greens and tomato. Very subtle dressing with a hint of lemon.

Trout Almondine with haricot verts - green beans - and some taters. I cleaned my plate and injected in my belly. When I got home my sugar was normal. 

Mary's order. Delicious mashed potatoes, devilishly high in carbs.

Mary's friend Lisa.

When I got home I got a 'fraud alert' call from my credit card company.

Someone tried to charge $6.06 at a restaurant in Virginia.

baI brought 4 copies of the Compass in my huge backpack.

The first copy I gave to Catherine the Uber driver. We had a very intimate discussion on the way to Annenberg.

Sarah found us - we were early - so we stopped in at a little bar across the street. We split an order of everyone's favorite - Deviled Eggs.

Earlier today Scott and I watched HIGH SIERRA on TCM's film noir.


Ida Lupino was b'ful. Bogey paid for a club foot operation of a woman named Velma, played by Joan Leslie.

Remember. movies are available at your local library!!!

Like Columbo, I always remember one more thing.

When we were about to leave the cafe, I said, Wait a sec. I have gifts for everyone.

I reached into my backpack and pulled out an envelope filled with tea bags.

   This is what I sipped on while watching Film Noir.

Ethan just sent out his blog with a great photo of the Dance Heginbotham Easy Win