Bobby…Los Angeles, California June 6, 1968

 Today is 49 years since Bobby Kennedy left us, courtesy of an assassin’s bullet, and coincidently, the 73rd Anniversary of D-Day.

I happen to be a big RFK fan, even having his picture framed on my window sill.

One could say, I could lecture on Bobby.

A friend asked, how could I worship someone so ruthless, someone who worked for Senator Joe McCarthy (1908-1957), and was known for being cold as ice?

He wasn’t cold, but yes, ruthless when it came to his brother Jack, whom he loved more than his own reputation.  Where JFK could bask in grace and goodness, Bobby happily did his dirty work, which is why he never got over his brother’s death feeling responsible.

It stretched his heart across America, convincing him he needed to pick up where Jack left off, and would have probably been president, if he wasn’t shot like a stag in full stride.

Along with Louisiana’s, Huey Long (1893-1935), he was the only U.S. Senator ever killed while in office.

He did work for McCarthy he had great reverence for.  Even went to his funeral knowing tongues would wag.  But you need to understand, Bobby was loyal, searching for the good, living up to his middle name, Francis, for St. Francis of Assisi.

He also fought for what he believed in, and for those he loved.

When asked, if you weren’t a rich man’s son destined for politics, what would you have been…and he said, “A revolutionary.”

He knew the chances of being killed running for president ran high, but the 82 days he campaigned were filled with joy and hope, almost making the risk worth taking.   

The famous photo of him sprawled on the Ambassador Hotel’s kitchen floor, haunts me still…his head slightly raised, hands wrapped in rosary beads a kitchen worker gently placed in them.

His last words anyone else hurt, before shutting his eyes for good, to join his beloved brother, Jack, in the great beyond.  

Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968) died on this day, June 6, 1968.  He was 42.

SB    Me, at Arlington National Cemetery, paying my eternal respects…2007.

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The Politeness of Puppies

Punctilio, a fancy word for good manners, not that you hear it a lot, but when you do, it reminds us of a different time when politeness wasn’t so rare.

Etiquette, rules of conduct, or just the customary code for courteous behavior can also apply.

I’ve often noticed how punctilious dogs can be, when you meet them in the park first thing in the morning.

They come over to greet you with what appears to be a whiskered smile like you’re old friends.  Owners, on the other hand, ignore you, while trying covertly to intervene.

“Come on now Skippy let’s go….”  “FIDO, GET THE FUCK OVER HERE…NOW.”

Yes, punctilio seems to only grace the 4-legged between the hours of 6 and 9, when dogs can roam freely off their leashes like the park’s furry hospitality committee.

If only they’d serve coffee-and Danish…then we’d be talk’in.

Nature instills that trait in animals, their innate cheerfulness existing in the moment making them not only pals, but teachers, reminding us to do the same.

Toss in that out-dated decorum, protocol and good-form they show, and if paid attention to, we’d have a different society, at least between the hours of 6 and 9.

Hey, it’s a start.





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My Old Little House

For the past year and a half, I have not been able to go by the old apartment building I lived in for almost 40 years, finding it much too painful.

I take Park rather than Madison just to avoid my former block.

But today, I decided it was time to get over this, and look up at those familiar windows, like long lost friends I hadn’t seen.

The shades were still there, drawn as I’d left them as if any minute I’d appear.  I know they’ve stoped renting because they have plans for the noble girl that’s been standing proudly since 1899.

I’ll bet my thirty year-old bed is still there, and the top of my desk that sat so long over the two black file cabinets Anthony the grocer took.  I was told not to worry about emptying the apartment, so I left those things behind, along with beloved French doors I hope someone rescues, and a ceiling fan that whirled and whirled over that bed for decades.

I wept gazing up, but not in the way I expected.  It was more like visiting a grave of a loved one you still missed, but whose passing you’ve made peace with.

I stopped at Anthony’s after that who said, “Ya look like you’ve been cryin Susannah.  Are ya hungry?”

So Italian…at your worst moment, you’re given a ham and provolone sandwich with a pickle the size of, well, we won’t go there, asking how you take your tea.

Food, the cure for all things.

So I sat on a stool in the back, with a bowl of minestrone and a chunk of baguette, blowing my nose between bites, while Anthony dusted off cans of tomato paste he then stocked neatly on a bottom shelf.


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Voyeurs Anonymous

 It’s no secret I’m an avid observer…how else would I have so much nonsense to write about.

I found myself, in the park, over the weekend, watching two squirrels play.  They were taking turns chasing one another…up a tree, down a tree.  Hiding in bushes, jumping out.  I remember thinking how cute and happy they were, until suddenly they started having sex, throwing me for a loop since one minute they were playing tag, the next, possibly making babies…right in front of my eyes.

It dawned on me, all that running around was their idea of foreplay.

I could never imagine being that frisky since it made a pole dance look like a walk in the park, no pun intended.

Or yelling, ollie ollie oxen free, in the onset of passion.

Donning lingerie is as athletic as I go.

But what disturbed me most, was me, staring like I was watching a porn flick at the local drive-in, just without a vehicle.

I’ve written about squirrels before, but boy… it’s obvious there’s a lot I don’t know.


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JFK at 100

That’s the one good thing about dying young, you still look pretty good, and how uncanny to have May 29 of this very special milestone, fall on Memorial Day.

I’ll bet he would have smiled at that.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States (1917-1963), is celebrating a big birthday alright.  His mother, Rose, lived to be 105, so who knows if he would have made it to 100 if his life wasn’t cut short at 46, in 1963.

I continue to be fascinated by the Kennedys, especially their derring-do, a jaunty term for their reckless behavior displayed over and over again.

I recently read a book called Dallas 1963, written in 2013 by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, that gave me shivers.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, JFK was warned repeatedly about the dangers lurking in Dallas…how hated he was and it was not safe for him to campaign there.

His brother Bobby, as Attorney General, got countless calls at the State Department, while citizens wrote to the White House….DON’T COME…but he did anyway, and we all know what happened.

Fast forward to 1999, his only living son, John, is told, don’t fly on a foggy summer’s night, ignoring all warnings, killing himself and two others.

Was it in their DNA to be this thoughtless and foolhardy?

JFK refused to put up the bubble top on his limousine that day in November. “I want the people to be able to see me,” he told his staff.  What about Jackie, and the Connellys who rode with him?  Governor John Connelly was also shot, luckily surviving, but his wife Nellie and Jackie could have been shot too, all so the people could see him better.

I shouldn’t be criticizing him on his centennial the country is celebrating, but it is food for thought. What might have been if caution wasn’t tossed to the wind.

You can’t help but to wonder.

Happy Birthday Jack, wherever you are.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on this day, May 29, 1917.   

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Notes From The Carlyle – May 2017

 I decide, since it’s the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, to pop into Bemelmans for a cocktail. The minute the weather warms up, it seems, so do I. So what if it’s pouring.


So here I sit, on a corner banquette, in my new, cheap J.Crew Factory dress, it’s alterations tripling it’s cost, with my favorite strappy, Valentino sandals showing off my newly painted (damp), pink toes.

Why, I feel just like a calf about to be let loose at the rodeo.

Alright, maybe not a calf, but it’s mom, who looks pretty damned good for her age…as long as you squint.

I’m not the only one with spring, holiday…heading to the Hamptons, fever. The room is packed for 2:30 in the afternoon, many Manhattanites, clearly getting their beakers wet for the weekend.

As for me, I’m in heaven having so many nuts in my midst, as well as a gigantic bowl of potato chips.  Takes so little, doesn’t it?

I’ll start with the tall couple in matching outfits pawing one another like panda bears, betting they’re from Texas, her boobs bopping up and down, his huge arms wrapped around them like sweaty salamis.

And she giggles. I just love that, how at her age, oh yes, neither one of them are youngsters, she can be so happily pubescent. Such a pity she can’t bottle it since, such cooing would make a great stocking stuffer.

Two stools down from Giggles, sits a very well-dressed (hate to use the word fat), fat woman reeking of cologne if my memory serves me, is Chanel No. 5. I had an English boyfriend who used to bring me bottles from the Duty Free Shop at Heathrow. I hated it, smelling more like bad air freshener, since they always seemed way past their selling date…but of course being from Connecticut, the pretentious, we’ll just pretend, capital of the world…it’s the thought that counts.

Next to Smelly is a pencil thin man in a dark suit, with a back so straight you could bounce balls off of it….alone, drinking something dark, to match his suit perhaps, neat, just like him. Smelly keeps looking his way, but he’s definitely not interested.  After all, a man who, let’s hope has a stuffed nose, needs to be careful since she could easily break him in half, making two pencils out of him.

Across the room are a group of five in their 30s, drinking champagne, celebrating something I hope comes with an expense account. If they clink their glasses one more time, I’ll scream, FIRE…and that’ll teach-em to be so fucking happy.

The barmaid in her red jacket that makes her look like a bellhop, is cleaning up, and I don’t just mean tables. A crowd like this, providing they’re generous, or just drunk enough, no longer able to count, could tip over her tip jar. I sure hope so since, if you can afford drinks at the Carlyle, you can afford buying your server a new jacket.

I spot a man I know who spots me…damn..I do not want company, not when I’m having so much fun alone, dissing with such delicious detail, but here he comes.

“Hi, how are you?” said Jack, I’ll call him, his bow tie slightly askew. “I was just thinking of you.”

“You were, were you?”  That’s what they all say. He was thinking of me, and a blonde, and a redhead our faces interchangeable.

“Mind if I sit down?”

“No, providing it’s over there,” I say, pointing to a deuce by the door.

I know…Susannah, you could use a little male company, but actually he’s such a bore, that the one and only time we had dinner, my head started to nod almost landing in my salad. A girl doesn’t forget a thing like that. And no, he’s not the type to pick up your check. He’ll actually sit and sip your drink, thinking it’s cute.

This is what happens when you’ve been to that rodeo one too many times. You’ve read all the scripts by now, knowing why, how rarely, one ever gets made.

My notepad, since now bulging with tittle-tattling tidbits says, it’s high time we leave.

I finish my Stolly on the rocks with extra, extra, extra lime…leave Laurie a tip that could easily pay, at least, for new sleeves, and stroll happily home, maybe not in a straight line, but it is the start of a holiday, after all.



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Trash Talk’in

Yesterday, I was about to begin my run, when I saw a bevy of beer bottles rolling beneath a bench.  I love Central Park and loathe littering anywhere, so often find myself, like this morning, picking it up.

As I was dumping them in a trash can, a woman came over and said, “What are you doing…are you crazy…touching those dirty bottles?”

Now in one glance I knew who she was…15 pounds overweight stuffed in pricy exercise togs draped in jewelry that shouldn’t be seen before noon, while nails, like stilettos, clutched her iPhone 7.  She was an Upper Eastside princess alright…over fed, overdone, over concerned with something with origins that should concern her, but don’t.

“Don’t you love the park?” I said, determined to keep it cordial. “It’s awful to see it disrespected this way, don’t you agree?”

“Yes I do, but what about all those germs you now have all over you?”

“You know, I believe if you live in a place like New York, you can’t worry too much about that.  You just wash your hands more often, that’s all.”

She was shocked by my response, staring at me like I had three heads.

“Well, I worry, and you should too.”

“Okay, but there’s a bottle behind you I’d like to grab, so could you move over a bit? Thanks.”

I left her on her phone telling Abbey, whoever the hell Abbey was, about the girl collecting bottles…

“and Abbey…she’s so thin.”



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Lust Is In The Air

It’s the mating season, and everybody’s doin it.  Squirrels, birds, bees, even educated fleas do it, to quote Cole Porter…

let’s do it…let’s fall in love. 

I could have sworn I saw two raccoons holding hands, turning out to be twins toddling in mini track suits.  A trip to the eye doctor is definitely in order, but even a coupl’a kids that small had a whiff of spring fever between them.

Teens, hot to trot, strolling in our midst…wooing…canoodling…girls with legs like ladders smooching boys in tights T’s showing off sculpted arms.

I remember being a lusty girl like that, in a short, pretty dress, galloping like a filly turning every head on the farm…sigh

Like anything old, there are remnants to be had, so I may just take a little stroll myself, over to the Carlyle sometime soon.  After all, if squirrels do it, bees and educated fleas do it…what the hell.  






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Remembering Jackie

It was May, 1994, when I was coming home through Central Park, wondering why there were so many news trucks along Fifth Avenue.

I had yet to learn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, better known to the world, as just Jackie, had come home to die.

She had been suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for almost a year assuming she’d recover.  When she learned it had gotten worse without a chance of that happening, she made the decision to call it a day.

I’ve often wondered how that must have been for someone like her who lived such an amazing life, now choosing to leave it.

I wandered into the grocer’s where Harry, the produce man, told me Mrs. Kennedy, as she was always called, just received the last rites, according to her longtime cook, not expected to live through the night.

The whole neighborhood was shocked and saddened since, though we didn’t see her often, she was still a member of our little community.  All the shopkeepers knew her, from Stanley Lobel the butcher, to Timmy the florist who said, no one was as kind and courteous as Mrs. Kennedy.  They also knew Caroline and John since they were kids.

I remember how quiet the streets were as we all waited while a shrine of flowers  flourished in front of her home. People, young and old, solemnly held vigil behind police barricades as reporters stationed, on all corners, whispered to the world, also waiting.

Family members, Ted Kennedy and Jackie’s sister Lee, nieces and nephews arrived along with her close friends, to say their farewells to a woman who symbolized elegance and grace like no other.

How can anyone forget her courage in November 1963, holding the country up by it’s heartstrings, walking behind her husband’s casket, flanked by his two remaining brothers.

When her beloved son came down to say she had passed, it was hard not to remember that little boy his mother taught to salute, as his dad’s coffin mewled by when he was barely 3.  Here he was, the best of both of them, to tell us, his mom was no more.

“Last night, at around 10:15, my mother passed on.  She was surrounded by her friends and family, and her books and the people and the things that she loved.  And she did it in her way, and we all feel lucky for that.”

I cried along with everyone knowing an era had passed, picking up a stray rose, pressing it to my heart.

In her brother-in-law’s poignant eulogy, Ted Kennedy said…”No one else looked liked her, spoke like her, wrote like her, or was as original in the way she did things.  No one had a better sense of self.”

Hear Hear!

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis died on this day….May 19, 1994.   She was 64.

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Dust To Dusk

If I needed an excuse to start drinking again, I have one now.

THERE’S A LEAK…coming from a pipe beneath my living room floor.

I have a plumber named Nico, who should be done by 5, if all goes well, coming to repair it. Let’s hope Nico is fast and works through lunch.

Frank, the super, says, they will do their best not to make a mess and well, that’s right up there with, my wife and I have an understanding to, don’t worry…I pulled out in time.

Regardless of what they say, I’ll be living in Pompeii, till they’re finished.

I also know from experience, you need to be present so Nico and his merry men don’t break anything or use one’s drapes as a hankie.

Frank said, “You got the neatest apa-ment in the building, just so ya know. You’re a regula, Joon Cleava.”

“Yeah, and I’d like to keep it that way there Beav.”

The building will replace the floor, molding, wall, any mice I might have (God forbid) but, Ms. Cleava all in all, definitely is not a happy girl.



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