False Idol

I can’t understand those who wish to canonize him. He is certainly no saint. Yet here they are, literally erecting a statue of his likeness atop a concrete platform in the center of town.

I have to give him credit. He is clever and fleet of tongue. He can manage to get people to hand him anything he asks for on a silver platter. But he is quick with barbs and briars directed at those who know the truth about his sordid past and dare to speak up.

Someday he’ll get his comeuppance, though, once the dark truth about him is revealed. And then the people who put him on a pedestal will realize their mistake and will take him down and bash the statue to bits. I just hope it won’t be too late.

Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (canonize), Ragtag Daily Prompt (platform), The Daily Prompt (fleet), My Vivid Blog (platter), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (briars), Fandango’s One Word Prompt (sordid), and Word of the Day Challenge (bash).

Throwback Thursday — Family Stories

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie wants to know about saying hello and goodbye.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1. Did you live close by or far away from close family or grandparents?

My parents moved the family from Newark, N.J. to the Washington, DC suburbs when I was about five. My mother’s brother and his family lived one suburban town away, and we saw them quite often. As to my grandparents, the only one who was still alive when I was born was my mother’s mother, and she lived with us until she passed away when I was only six.

2. How often did you see or visit extended family?

We probably spent at least every other weekend visiting my Aunt and Uncle and my cousins. Again, they lived in a neighboring suburb.

3. Was the coming together cheerful and celebrated in some way?

We often had large family get togethers around holiday times. And yes, I recall them being cheerful and happy times.

4. Which relative did you enjoy seeing the most? Why?

I had a cousin six months younger than me and he and I were very close. We were both the youngest child in our families. I had two considerably older sisters and he also had two older sisters and an older brother. So my cousin and I bonded.

5. Were there relatives you dreaded visiting? If so, why?

Not that I can recall.

6. If you were the visitor, was the trip short and easy or was it a journey?

The relatives we visited were in a neighboring suburb, so it was only about a 20-30 minute drive between our homes. Easy peasy.

7. Were your visits short or extended? If extended visits, where did you sleep? Bed, sofa bed, couch, floor?

Most of the visits were short, but I would often spend the weekend at my cousin’s house. He had twin beds in his bedroom, so that’s where I slept when I stayed overnight.

8. When it came time to leave, was it difficult to say goodbye?

No. We knew we’d probably be getting together again within another week or two, so it was no big deal.

9. How often do you visit extended family now?

Never. They’re all gone now. These days our “extended family” consists of our son, his wife, their two kids, and our daughter and her fiancé. We all live in the Bay Area, so we can and do get together often. My wife’s brother and his wife live in Florida and their two sons and their families live in Michigan and New York. But these days, my wife and I aren’t doing much traveling to visit them, although we are close and very much in touch.

10. If you could see a relative who is no longer alive, who would it be? Why?

As I mentioned in last week’s Throwback Thursday response, one of my greatest regrets is that I was too self-centered in my younger days to ask my parents for details about their childhoods, their immigration to America from Ukraine, and their early years in this country. If I could, that’s what I’d ask them about now.

Thursday Inspiration — Lonely Boy

For this week’s Thursday Inspiration post from Jim Adams, he gave us the image above and the word “lonely.” My mind immediately took me to the 1959 Paul Anka song, “Lonely Boy.”

Anka had a talent for writing about the teenage experience in the 50s. “I was a lonely boy and I’d see these lonely boys at all these hops,” he said in the cover notes on his Greatest Hits album.

Anka was just 16 in 1957 when his song “Diana” topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, making him an international star. He quickly became one of the biggest stars of the late ’50s. But he felt there was something missing. “In moving around so much, I never had time to spend with the people really close to me,” he said. “I wanted to experience more than just the success syndrome.

In this song, Anka revealed that, despite his success, he was still lonely: “I’ve got everything you could think of / But all I want is someone to love.” He said, “I was reaching out, saying, ‘Hey, I want somebody to share this with me.’”

When I was researching this song, I came across another song by the same name. Andrew Gold had an international hit with his song, “Lonely Boy,” in 1977. It spent five months on the American charts, peaking at number seven in both Canada and the United States, and number 11 in the United Kingdom.

Gold’s “Lonely Boy” is about the life of a child who is neglected by his parents after the birth of a younger sister. Many assume this song was autobiographical, yet Gold has denied this, despite great similarities between the lyrics and Gold’s own life. The lyric, “He was born on a summer day in 1951” matches Gold’s August 1951 birthday, and “In the summer of ‘53 his mother / Brought him a sister” matches his sister’s birthday.”

Which “Lonely Boy” song do you like better?


A few weeks ago, fellow blogger Jim Adams wrote a post in which he mentioned the number of views some of his most popular posts received. You can click here if you want to read the post I’m referring to.

What I found extraordinary about that post is that Jim, who started his blog about a month before I started mine, had some posts that received a huge number of views. His most viewed post had 23,144 views. That number of views on a single post blew me away. He mentioned another post that had gotten almost 11,000 views, yet another with more than 8,500 views, and still another with more than 7,500 views.

Jim didn’t say how many total views his blog has gotten since April 2017, but the fact that, as he pointed out, 18 of his posts have garnered over 1,000 views each, is remarkable.

I decided to see how many views my most popular posts have gotten. Since I started this blog in May 2017, my blog has received 765,703 views across 8,729 published posts. That averages out to 87.7 views per post over the 5 1/2 years I’ve had this blog.

But more important, in contrast to Jim, I’ve had zero posts that received 1,000 or more views. In fact, my most viewed post, other than my “Home Page/Archives (160k+ views) and my “Who Am I” page (2,068 views), was an April 26, 2018 post titled “Snidely Whiplash.” It received 734 views.

The only other post of mine to reach more than 700 views was an August 2, 2019 post, “Tygpress.com.” It had 728 views. No other posts of mine have reached even 600 views!

So you can see why I was flabbergasted when Jim reported that he had 18 posts with 1,000 or more views, including one with more than 23,000 views and another with close to 11,000 views. That is impressive, isn’t it?

Maybe you want to take a few minutes to find out how many views your most popular posts over the life of you blog have received. Do you have any posts, like Jim’s, that have received megaviews? Or are your stats more like mine, where you’ve yet to crack 1,000 on any one post?

Tell us in the comments below, or if you’re so inclined, write you own post and link it back to this one.

FOWC with Fandango — Sordid


It’s October 20, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “sordid.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.