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Modified from Google Images searching 1959 Olds

Billy and Irving washed cars at Irv’s house, around the back where the oily little creek intersected the railroad. The culvert under the tracks carried the runoff to a small lake where the kids skated in the winter.

Billy and Irving offered a car wash to customers if the repair job would span the weekend. If they had the cars running by Friday night they would take them to Irving’s on Saturday and wash them. It was excellent customer service and resulted in good word-of-mouth and repeat customers.

In the summer of 1961 Irving lost his home to the bank…


Get to work and listen to your mother.

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I’m quitting this monkey business. I have neither the time nor patience. There are too many other things to do. My efforts go unappreciated. This is thankless work.

It started when I came to Rwanda. If your memory needs refreshing, this is the small, central African country that nearly offed itself in 1994. The majority group tried to wipe out the minority. And when the minority seized control, the majority fled by the thousands. While this is interesting, it has nothing to do with the “monkey business” I’m talking about. It’s just a starting point, a historical perspective.

I don’t…


If you can still breath perfectly with a mask on, you might have the wrong mask.

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This mask scored too well on the Easy-to-Breath scale.

I hope the best masks for preventing Covid-19 infection are on the faces of the people who need them most. Even the front-line workers are scrambling around for the right masks. There are not enough available. There’s a rumor that all the healthcare workers have been stealing the masks to meet OSHA requirements at their moonlighting jobs at ventilator factories.

So if you’re unsure about what constitutes a good home-made mask, it comes down to this: Any mask is better than no mask as long as it covers your nose and mouth.

So how about that little Batman mask from…


Home haircutting is a fad. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

I admire the folks on Facebook and Instagram showing their home haircutting outcomes. Maybe these skills are newly acquired or re-discovered. But I assure my barber friends that home haircutting is not going to take hold. It will not drive you out of business. People will come flooding back to you. How do I know this?

There is a bucket on my back patio. It’s there if I store rainwater and want to pour some of the precious liquid onto plants or trees or grass. This bucket was once…


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Photo Credit: George J. Schroeder

Ok Boomer, micro-dosing shroomer.

It’s not just a rumor that your joints are achy and stiff and you’ve traded your spliff for vaporizer. Smart move.

You only get one set of lungs. People die waiting in line for those.

That rolling paper contains formaldehyde. That’s embalming fluid. And you’re not ready for that.

But I digress.

(I was smoking when I wrote this. So sue me if I go ash tray.)

OK Boomer,

micro-dosing shroomer.

There’s a rumor, a scientific hypothesis,

world peace can be achieved

if everyone takes psilocybin or LSD.

Tripsters are imbued with empathy and love.

Step…


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Some say we are post-racial because we had a Black President.

Our country is not post-racial.

The effects of racism are generational.

White George joined the Navy in World War II.

He became an electrician.

Black George was not taught a trade.

He loaded ammunition.

What would you rather be standing next to when it goes off?

A light bulb?

Or a bomb?

1953. White George buys real estate at the Jersey Shore.

In 1953 Black George could not buy property

with a view of the sea.

1973. 8-year-old me. A plea on TV.

Give to the United Negro College…


No schedule, no agenda, just puttering

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Photo: George J. Schroeder

For the first hour of puttering, I read the newspaper. I read as much as I please and not a word more. If an article interests me, I read its entirety or until I get tired. I will not put it off until later. I will not fold up the paper and put it down. I read until satisfied.

Completing the paper, I walk to the recycling bin and place it in. While there, I may notice someone is recycling an unrecyclable thing. I will honor their effort to do the right thing as I walk it to the trash…


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When MaryBeth found Old George’s record of baptism from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, we knew he attended a church with sexually abusive priests. The Grand Jury report mentioned this church specifically. So now we can speculate that Old George was sexually abused as a child. Of course, It will always remain a mystery. Of course, the document only provides circumstantial evidence. And George never mentioned it. Sexually abused people bottle this stuff up for years. Sometimes for their whole lives.

Sexual abuse by a respected member of the community could be sufficient to explain Old George’s behavior and life course. But it…


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The tiger on the tiger mug was a branding icon for Eastern States Standard Oil (ESSO), later Exxon. This is the tiger from the Put-a-Tiger-in -Your-Tank advertising campaign. The mug was a free giveaway with a fill-up. There was also a bowl, a spoon, and a round metal tray with cartoon images of the tiger in flattering poses…happily pumping gas into a tank, lifting weights, and most certainly providing excellent customer service. This tiger ruled the day of gasoline and auto repair co-location on the Jersey Shore. Arco and Texaco could not touch this. (So take that, you second-class oil…

George J. Schroeder

To reinvent ourselves we must understand our origins and the events that shaped us.

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