Sunday Stealing: The Pen Company

The Good Book

Here’s the new Sunday Stealing, The Pen Company. But before I get to that, a couple of Independence Day announcements in Albany, NY.


First, the July 4 oration will take place at the Stephen and Harriet Myers residence, 194 Livingston Avenue in Albany, NY, sponsored by the Underground Railroad Education Center (UREC). Music by Magpie, who will be joined by Kim Harris.


Second, Sheila E. will be performing at 8 pm at the Empire State Plaza. One of her singers cannot make it, so subbing will be Rebecca Jade, who is my niece. Rebecca was backing Sheila when my wife, daughter, and I saw them at the New York State Fair in Syracuse back in September 2019.
Onto the show
1. If your house was on fire, which three items would you save?

A metal box in my office that has my birth certificate, my father’s death certificate plus other important documents. A box of photos. My laptop.


2. What is the strangest or most awkward date you’ve ever been on?

Oddly, it wasn’t my date. My ex-girlfriend was going to the Washington (NY) County Fair with her new boyfriend c 1996/97. She invited a friend of ours and me to attend as well, because we were all “mature” people. It was…weird. Interestingly, they broke up, I got back together with my gf, and we’ve been married 24 years.


3. What are your biggest fears?

The loss of freedom and justice in the United States, based on the actions of several governors and state legislatures, the rhetoric of several candidates for the 2024 Presidency, and recent Supreme Court decisions.


4. How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?

Usually playing double deck pinochle or backgammon on my phone.


5. What has been your most memorable birthday so far, and why?

Probably my 50th because I had a big party at my church. I made a mixed CD that I gave out.


6. What is your favorite snack?

Fig Newtons with milk.


7. What was your first pet?
Peter the cat. He was very smart. When he wanted to come in, he’d jump onto a piece of furniture and rattle the door knob.
I am where I am
8. What’s your favorite city in your country?

It might be Albany, NY because that’s where I decided to live. My favorite place to visit might be Galveston, TX; I’d go out to he pier at 5 a.m., watching the tide from the Gulf of Mexico come in.


9. Do you have a garden?

We have a garden. But I have little or nothing to do with it.


10. What is your favorite thing about your home town?

My hometown was Binghamton, NY. It was small enough – and my school was tiny enough – that I can to this day name most of the kids in my 9th grade class. And I’m still friends with three of them. Oh, and went to kindergarten with them too.


11. What was the last book you read?

A Century of Pop Music bt Joel Whitburn.


12. What is the best book you have ever read?

Quite possibly, The Good Book: Discovering the Bible’s Place in Our Lives by Peter J. Gomes. Here’s a reader recommendation from Thrift Books:

“Gomes takes the Bible off its pedestal and presents it to us as a tool for Christian living. This book is a must read for any Christian struggling to read and understand the Bible in modern terms. He explores many of the controversial topics of the Bible, including race, homosexuality, women’s roles, anti-Semitism, wealth, and more. [This is definitely true.]


“He challenges the reader to accept the Bible as an interpretation of fantastic religious events with historical and sociological significance. He teaches the reader to deal with contradictions within the Bible, even within individual books of the Bible… This book challenged my beliefs in positive ways and taught me to never ‘idolize’ the Bible again.”
Roger that
13. Who is your favorite author?

It might be Roger Ebert, whose movie essays I enjoyed greatly. His autobio, Life Itself, is the book I would liked to have written, if I had the skills.


14. Is there a food that you hate?

Olives. Black olives, green olives.


15. Do you get along with your neighbors?
The neighbor to one side, Al, is great. Now, the property on the other side is owned by an absentee landlord, so the quality of the tenants has varied. I’ve written about not great ones here and elsewhere, and the best ones here. But by far, the WORST thing that happened from that house was created by the landlord himself. What a schmuck.

I wrote about terrible neighbors across the street, but thankfully, they’re gone.


16. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Nope. And I was never seriously interested in doing so.
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