My late, greatly loved husband, was a pack rat of gigantic proportions.  He has been gone for 45 years, I have moved twice since than and I am still finding items that he owned.  I have gone through his and my possessions, disposing of things I no longer want, or use, and sorting others many times so that I could find them if needed.  But I still come across some interesting items.

When we married in 1947 he brought with him all of his beloved possessions, in his mind, and things that he might need some day or would come in handy.  I was shocked when he presented me with a bag of socks that needed mending.  It was a big bag, so I am sure some dated back to his high school days. Needless to say, I was not going to spend my time darning old socks.  I don’t remember what he did with the sock bag, but I don’t remember his disposing of it.

One wall in our garage was stacked to the ceiling with newspapers that he had not gotten around to reading.  But couldn’t part with them because he didn’t want to miss some interesting story. When we moved out of that house into a larger one I thought he was going to cry.  But he survived the move, without the newspapers. However, he did bring his collection of old magazines that he hadn’t read yet. In addition, he had reams of paper, boxes of pens and pencils, and all sorts of items he might need for his writing activity.

This was in the days prior to the computer age, so we didn’t have one.

My husband, Jim, was an unsuccessful writer.  He loved to write. As a newspaper reporter he was able to use his talent to write the story that accompanied pictures of the event he had covered.  But wasn’t able to bring that ability into other types of publication. I still have some of the stories he wrote along with two scrapbooks of his news reporting days.

And, again today, I ran across a minor item that was typical of his collections.  It was a tiny box of one sided razor blades. I haven’t seen those in a very long time, but they are very handy to use.  It is a great gadget to use opening a taped- up box.

In retrospect, I believe that his need to have everything handy that he might need someday, or, perhaps was a result of his father’s untimely death.  That parent died at the age of 34 of a heart attack, at home. Jim was 8 years old and his sister was 6. His mother was devastated and could not take care of her children.  They were sent to live with relatives until she could recover. That family was not a loving one and the children did not thrive.  His mother never remarried.

Other than the need to have “things” and keep them, Jim did not show any bad effects of his childhood.  He was everything I wanted in a husband and I miss him to this day.

Crater Lake and my Honeymoon

My daughter, Circe, is currently in Oregon, with her friend, Linnaea, visiting friends.  (We live in California, in case you didn’t know.)  When Circe told me that she was going to see Crater Lake while there it instantly took me back to my honeymoon, 69 years ago.  That was the destination my new husband and I planned to drive up to Oregon to see.

My husband Jim, had a very curious mind.  This was before the days when everyone has a computer.  To give you an example of his personality, our first major purchase was the entire set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 25 volumes.  Circe has inherited that curiosity and it is reflected in her life.  She has multiple computers and services other people’s computers as a profession.  She is currently into photography and travels all over Southern California taking pictures.

But to get back to my Honeymoon, in August, 1947, we had planned on driving, (?) to Oregon to see Crater Lake.  I don’t remember why he wanted to see that crater, but Jim’s curiousity had many forms.  For instance, he was fascinated with the Greek myths, and our middle child, Circe, was given that name instead of something more common.  Jim wanted to know about everything.  He would have loved the possibilities of having a computer.  Unfortunately he died of a heart attack at the age of 46, in 1972, before he could take advantage of owning a computer.

We were married on August 14, by the same minister who married my parents, and left on our Honeymoon that afternoon.   We spent our first night at the Miramar hotel in Santa Barbara, and planned to drive straight through to Oregon.  But when we reached San Francisco, a few stops later, Jim realized that Las Vegas was just East of there, over the mountains.  And that was where we spent the balance of our honeymoon.

He never got to see Crater Lake, and, of course, neither have I.  But his daughter is seeing it as I am writing this, and I will be getting pictures of it when she returns.  I had completely forgotten the Honeymoon trip and the stops we made along the way.  But when Circe told me her destination, I was immediately thrown back to those wonderful days and the wonderful man I loved and married and enjoyed for 25 years.

How to Survive a Heart Attack When you are Alone

heart attack


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!! A cardiologist says If everyone who sees this post shares it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life. Rather than sharing jokes only please contribute by forwarding this info which can save a person’s life..


Tarzan Centennial

I grew up in Tarzana, a community in the San Fernando Valley in So. California. The community is planning several celebrations of their famous resident and founder of the neighborhood.

The first story about Tarzan, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, appeared in the 15-cent “The All Story” magazine of October 1912.  The title was “Tarzan of the Apes: A Romance of the Jungle” and the cover of the magazine depicted a brawny half naked man about to kill an enormous roaring lion.  It was an instant success for Burroughs, who up to that time had struggled to find his true calling.

The young Burroughs, from Chicago, had tried his luck as a cowboy, gold miner, shopkeeper, railroad cop and Sears & Roebuck manager.  He also joined the US Cavalry in Arizona to chase Apaches without success.  At the age of 37 with a wife and a 3rd child on the way he took a job as a sales manager of pencil sharpeners.   During this period, he had copious spare time and began reading many pulp magazines.  In 1929 he recalled thinking that…

…if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.

He sold his first story, “Under the Moon of Mars” in 1911.

Encouraged by that success he created 131 pages of the adventures of a true noble savage, Tarzan.  His hero, born of a marooned British Lord and Lady, but raised by a tribe of apes was an instant success and was the beginning of the Tarzan empire.  Burroughs wrote 26 Tarzan books, 50 Tarzan movies were made as well as appearances on TV, cartoons and comic books.   During his lifetime Burroughs wrote almost 70 books of science fiction and fantasy.

In 1919 Mr. Burroughs bought the Gen. Harrison Grey Otis estate and named it Tarzana Ranch.  In 1927 his estate was renamed the community of Tarzana.

He must have relished adventure because when over 60 years of age he applied for and was accepted as a war correspondent in World War II, the oldest one ever.

He died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950 at the age of 74 and his ashes are buried under a mulberry tree outside his former Ventura Blvd. office.