Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Considering all the "Twilight Zone" episodes I'd watched over the years, I should've known better.... you NEVER go into a curio shop that wasn't there last week, and you certainly don't buy anything.

Thing is, I was twenty one, and stupid, and literally boiling over with curiosity. So, armed with a few bucks, I ventured inside.

The proprietress greeted me warmly, and asked if I was looking for anything specific. "No", said I, "just browsing; I'll know it when I find it. "

My eye was drawn to a case near the register....I wandered over, looking at the usual assortment of rings, bracelets, and such, when I saw a small medallion near the center of the case. It was about the diameter of a quarter, perhaps as thick as a penny, gold-colored, with a design printed on its surface, an inverted five pointed star, with a lectern standing in the center. Upon the lectern was an open book, and between the points of the star were irregular shapes which I realized were letters, spelling out the word, "FATAL".

I asked for a closer look, and the woman took it from the case, and handed it to me; it was ice-cold to the touch. The woman couldn't recall exactly where she'd aquired the medallion (another bad sign), but I could have it, with matching chain, for seventy-five cents.

When I got home, I took the bag out of my pocket, and removed the object-it was still cold to the touch. I hung it around my neck, admiring the way it turned into a firey gold ball when sunlight hit it, although it never warmed up.

I looked at it under a large lens....no maker's marks anywhere, front or back. Just to see, I focused sunlight on it for several minutes through the glass, and it remained cold.

That night, I was awakened by a terrible nightmare, one which faded as soon as I awoke, leaving only the terror behind. The next two nights were the same. I decided to take the medallion off, because it might have something to do with the dreams. So....what to do with it?

I noticed my black cat, Satana, stretched out on the couch; I figured it'd look smashing on her. I walked over to the couch, the medalion dangling from my hand by the chain....Satana took one look at it, jumped up, hissed loudly, and bolted for the back room.

Well, ya dinna need tae drop a house on me....I put the medallion in a drawer in the kitchen.

Dave came over a couple hours later....we hadn't seen each other all week. I was telling him about the medallion, as I went into the kitchen to get it.

When I opened the drawer, it was gone. I turned the kitchen upside down, to no avail.

Perhaps 'twas best, nu?

Friday, July 22, 2011


This has been on my mind for a while....I've no idea how many people read this blog, but, as so much of it has been about my history, I felt it only fair to let you know about this.

From September of 1997 to August of 2006, I was locked up, mainly at Grafton Correctional, near Lorain. I was not one who was wrongly convicted-I was guilty of the crime, and it was a serious one; I nearly killed a young woman. As it was, I left her paralyzed for life.

Know this, however....it was not my intent to harm her, or anyone else needlessly. I carried a weapon, for self-defense (I worked in downtown Cleveland, late), and carried a blade in case I was attacked on the street.

At the time, I was taking antidepressants, as part of a study testing drugs for their antidepressant qualities....depression runs in my family, and I had suffered from it myself. In addition, I'd had side effect problems with such drugs, and had joined the study in hopes of finding one I could use safely.

To make a long story short, while under the influence of such medications, I stabbed an eighteen -year old prostitute on the West Side of Cleveland; I barely remember the event, or have any understanding as to why I did this-she was a stranger to me, and I don't even recall being angry with her.

I called 911, and pled guilty to a charge of Attempted Murder-my hand, on my weapon, my responsibility.

I imagine some of you might stop reading this, knowing this now....after all, I was a person who committed a terrible crime.

So be it. I don't ask your forgiveness....I didn't stab YOU.

I did something wrong, paid for it, and now live my life just as everyone else, one breath, one day at a time.

FTR, I don't wallow in guilt over it, but I can never forget that I did it, and cannot change it-

indeed, what kind of man would I be if I COULD forget?

Just thought you should know....see ya soon, Lord willin'.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Someone e-mailed me recently, to tell me how much they enjoyed POINTING THE CANNON, and to remind me of someone they knew, who spoke quite highly of me in the past.

Flattered though I was by this, I've no recollection of the person in question, although I'm certain the individual was as advertised.

I'm fifty-five-point six years old, the same age as Disneyland and other things a lot better known than me, and some stuff don't work like it used to....my brain, 4-X.

An older post shows a photo of a bunch of kids enjoying a birthday party....except for myself and my two younger brothers, I dunno who these kids are, or even whose party it is. As much as I may think otherwise, entropy is creepin' up on me, and bits of my personal history are droppin' off like the little bits from an EC Comics walking corpse.

Sure, I'm not the only one, but I'd hoped it would wait a bit, like another fifty years.

Maybe that's why I write this blog....so that when the brainbucket is naught but cobwebs, I can re-read it, and capture some of it back.

Perhaps it helps you, as well.

Lord willin', I'll be here for a bit, regaling one and all with stories of Lorain, and of me.

Say hi to everyone.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I've made no secret of the fact that I spent a lot of the 70's high....a lot of the 80's, for that matter. Back then, almost every town had at least one store, usually referred to as a "head shop", that serviced the needs of those who got high, not with the drugs, but with what was called paraphenalia, which was legal for sale.

The best known of these in Lorain was the Stash Box, which started off by the tracks downtown, then moved to the corner of 8th and Broadway, which had been the site of another head shop, the Cosmic Boutique.

To be sure, I bought my share of papers, roach clips, bongs, and Power Hitters at the Box, but there was so much else there to be had....there were funky clothes, hats, vests and jackets, jewelry of all sorts, and even stash boxes....I bought my mother a beautiful engraved wood box from Poland, inlaid with silver wire, that she kept for years-I think my sister-in-law has it now.

When the new Utopia released their first album, RA, I bought my copy at the Stash Box, and played it all day, over and over. The first jewerly I bought for myself new I bought there, as well as a black Greek fisherman's hat that Mark Leach talked me out of.

I'd run into people I knew there, and Ron and Sly, the cats who ran the place, were cool-If you just wanted to browse, no problem.

In the very late 70's, Lorain enacted anti-paraphenalia laws, which spelled the end for the head shops, the Stash Box included.....these days, the building houses the Swiss-American Watch Repair Shop.

Time passes....

Friday, July 1, 2011



This isn't so much about the movie itself, as it is about when it was, and how it seemed to relate to everything going on then.

It was 1968....I was twelve, and my brother Mike was ten when we saw this at the Tivoli one fall evening. The movie was scary enough on its own-I'd never seen anything like it-but I think a lot of the impact it had had to do with the times, and the state of the world, particularly for those of us just becoming old enough to start to wonder about our place in it all.

Everything seemed to be in turmoil....in the span of five years, I'd seen seven of my heroes, a President, three astronauts, my favorite aunt, a beloved Pastor, and a respected Senator all die, violently, with nothing to help me understand why. We were fighting a hideous war overseas, as the country seemed to be locked in a sort of civil war, black against white, young against old, rich against poor. We'd gone from middle class to poverty in no time at all, and I was driven by a frustrated anger that even I couldn't understand; I cared about nothing, but wanted desperately to care, for something.

No wonder the images riveted me....loved ones, dying, then returning as ravening ghouls, mothers, children, those we trusted to keep us safe, shambling, multuiplying, unstoppable in their numbers. The stark black and white, so much like the news broadcasts, without a recognizable Karloff or Price to ground the horror.

Then, to see the hero, after surviving a night of unspeakable horror, lose his life to what would come to be known as "friendly fire".

This movie WAS the year 1968, and like the year, it left its mark.