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Sunday, August 31, 2014



The way I see it, if there were no wars, no dictatorships, and poverty and despair and famine, no human trafficking, and, and, and, people would not immigrate anywhere. Everyone loves their country, they just want to live with dignity, have food to eat, shelter and to be safe and also, if possible, have some kind of opportunity. In Greece there are thousands of Syrian, Iraqi, Afgani, Palestinians, etc, etc, refugees (men, women and children) that are trying to get in the country daily with boats through Turkey and from there some stay in Greece and some try to go to Italy, Germany, England, Scandinavia, etc. 

With this horrible economic situation most of these countries cannot handle any more people, but what do you do when they are going to be slaughtered if they go back home? How would we feel if these were our families, or us? That's the way I see it. I see it everyday on Greek TV and the desperation of these refugees and if the Coast Guard sees them, the people that are bringing them in the country illegally, they sink the boat and most of these poor people drown, unless the Coast Guard manages to save them. It is horrible......Unending situation but to be honest I can't blame them. It is a human catastrophe.

I remember once in the movie Runaway Train (Andrei Konchalovsky, 1985) when Rebecca De Mornay at one point asked Jon Voight "are you an animal?" and he answered - "I'm worse than an animal. I'm human" ...

Copyright © 2014 Anastasia K Walters All Rights Reserved

I am honored to post this for a friend of mine--Anastasia K. Walters.
Sherry Hill

Thursday, August 28, 2014


With all the news of “going green,” recycling and the urgency of not wasting and reusing, guess what? It is nothing new to me.  Today’s younger set has no idea of what it was like when I was a kid or teenager at all. And if they did, they might be quite shocked and so here is my shock of what was done then.

When I was little and into my teenage years, there were no paper towels: They hadn’t been invented and what was used? Dish cloths, tea towels and clean washed old rags. Those rags cleaned up many a mess and were rewashed and rewashed till new ones had to be made. How were they made? People tore up old clean white sheets into pieces: Those pieces were the rags that were used.

Plastic hadn’t been invented yet either but there was vinyl. Everything was made out of wood, metal, glass, leather, fabric or vinyl. Drinking glasses were made out of glass as were pop bottles. I well remember my parents having a set of those different colored metal drinking glasses: Just to put my mouth to one set my teeth on edge! There were no Ziploc baggies yet and what was used? Bowls that were covered with plates that semi-fit. And there was aluminum foil which was greatly used.

Shoes were another story in itself as they were only made out of leather and so were sandals for girls. You had to take care of your shoes by polishing them with shoe polish that smelled to high heavens! I can remember polishing my brown and white saddle oxfords and trying not to get the white polish onto the brown part: Never did that well at all. When you went out to play, you had to wear your old school shoes and not the new ones: No one had tennis shoes at all except basketball players. We bought new shoe laces when the original ones wore out: Some were the norm while others became quite zingy! Worse was wearing those leather sandals because it never failed that I would step on a bee or get a stick caught in them. And guess what? You had to use white shoe polish on them too: That was the only color that they came in till I reached junior high when canvas flats came on the scene: What a welcomed relief that was if ever. There were patent leather shoes for women and girls but you had to put Vaseline on them and shine them or the patent leather would crack--- nothing like today’s patent leather at all.

Men’s shoes had to be polished and buffed. If the heels wore down, the shoes were taken to a shoe store so that they could have new heels put on them. But if the entire shoe bottom got bad, men had to have it replaced. Women’s heels had to have new heel tips put on: I couldn’t count the times I had that done as an older teenager.
Does anyone do this in today’s world? Of course not! People just go out and buy another pair of shoes and throw the old ones out. We didn’t: We kept the shoe repair stores in business.

One quirky thing I remember as a teenager was to go to the shoe repair shop and get taps put on my flats. Why? Everyone else was doing it—girls as well as boys. Guess we liked the sound we made as we walked the school halls. I can think of no other reason at all.

Back to things in the house: We had no cleaners like today. What was used was either homemade or bought at a store and the choices were limited. To clean windows you used window polish that came in a metal bottle: The polish was a pinkish-white. When you coated the windows with it, you let it dry and then you took a cleaning rag and wiped it off to see sparkling windows. There was furniture polish but nothing was in a spray can—yet! It like most everything else came in a glass bottle with the exception of Ajax, a cleaner that is still used today: It came in a metal can with holes on top.

There were no hair dryers:  Shock! You had to either towel dry your hair [male or female,] hold you head over a floor furnace to dry it or walk around with damp hair till you went to bed. No hair spray either until the sixties and so you just hoped your hair looked okay and that’s why most girls wore their hair in braids or pony tails. When the blow dryer came into being in the seventies, everyone had huge hair: You could tell that they had used a blow dryer. Sure there was hair dye and a lot of girls I knew used plain old peroxide to bleach their hair: I wasn’t allowed and my hair was a dark dark brown. There wasn’t any mousse or things like that around when I was little and became a teenager: You could use sugar water to make curls stay curlier but that was about it other than “Dippity Do” which was a gel that you put on your hair wet to make it stay in place or do something. That product is still around!

Sweepers were kept for a long time and never replaced from what I remember. They were made to last forever it seemed. They were heavy, cumbersome and did have attachments but a broom was used lots of times even on the carpet or one of those push brush broom things. Kitchen floors were waxed and over a period of time, the wax had to be removed so that a new coat could be applied. No one seemed to replace their kitchen floors for they were expensive and well taken care of. I don’t ever remember seeing a sweeper set outside to be taken away: It just wasn’t done.
Most people had two sets of dishes: One for everyday use and one for special occasions.  At my house, we had Fiesta for everyday use and oh how I loved those different colors: It just set my mind on fire. No one went out and bought extra anything such as bowls, platters or the like; you just used what you had.

Clothes were well taken care of and the ones made of wool were put away in the summer in a cedar chest or closet with moth balls [to this day I still love that smell.] If something got ripped, it was sewn and fixed and if kids outgrew their clothes, those clothes were either given away or passed down to other siblings. Clothing was not cheap then. But no one in my family ever darned anything such as socks: That was well before I was born. Still, socks and such were taken care of and sometimes worn even with a hole in the toe for your shoe covered it up. And you prayed that you wouldn’t have to take off your shoes less someone see that hole in your sock.

We didn’t have a television till I was about eight years old:  They were so expensive and only the middle class could afford to buy one and it only showed things in black and white. Did we have to pay for services to our televisions? No! We all had antennas on our houses: They were huge metal things that looked like a huge kite gone wrong. But we had no cable and we had no bill. I remember when my next door neighbor got a colored television: The only colors it had were the primary colors of red, yellow and blue. Weird to look at. But if you had a black and white television, there was a fix for kids: There was a television show called “Winky Dink:” You could go to a hardware store or big store and get plastic with crayons to put over your television: You colored over that plastic and you could see color. Have we come a long way or what regarding televisions?

Phones were always black and you had to dial a number. All phone numbers when I was little had five digits whereas today we have more than ten to dial. And most families only had one phone. My family never did have a party line for which I was so grateful. A party line meant that you shared your phone line with a nearby neighbor and you never knew who it would be! I knew someone who had a party line and of course as a teenager, it was fun to eavesdrop on other’s conversations. By this time, phones started coming out in different colors and shapes: What a godsend that was. We had no cell phones much less ever thought of such a thing: We did what we were told to do as kids or teenagers [well, some didn’t] and knew what would be waiting for us if we didn’t mind—either a spanking or being grounded or worse.

Grocery stores only had paper bags: Plastic bags hadn’t come on the scene yet. Those bags were reused into things that held household goods or cut up by kids and made into artworks. And when you went to the grocery store, you would not find fifty varieties of baked beans: There were none. You had to buy pork and beans and make your own at home. Other beans came in cans but mostly they were in bags so that they could be cooked for long hours. In retrospect, there weren’t many choices when it came to buying canned food and there was only one mustard: It was the standard yellow type. There were no fast food restaurants because they hadn’t come on the scene yet. If you wanted to go out to eat, you went to a restaurant or got food at a drug store that had a soda fountain. When you were home, you ate what was served for dinner and if you didn’t like it, you didn’t have to eat it but I did know a lot of kids who were forced to eat yucky things: Glad I wasn’t one of them! No one had ever heard of pizza till I was in junior high school: You had to make it because it came in a box with the flour, sauce and cheese. Tacos? Alien as they weren’t around then either.
And neither were obese kids for we all played outside in all kinds of weather and we ran, jumped, played football or did the then-normal kid stuff. Staying inside was considered miserable. We made camps out of tree limbs, created our own playthings and saw the world from a different perspective.

I have witnessed so much in my life that has been invented and now, like others, I take it all for granted. We have become a throw- away society for we know that we can just go out and get more for after all, it’s cheap and easier than fixing the old. Or is it? Perhaps it is because today’s things are not made as well as they were when I was little. They were made to last at that time and that might be one big difference.  When I go to the grocery store, I am more than baffled when I try to find a can of plain tomatoes: There is hardly such a thing but you will find fifty varieties of them. And yes, I have my cell phone with me and return home to watch a gazillion channels on my cable television. When I dial a regular phone number, it has at least ten numbers if not more. And let’s not forget computers for I am writing on one right now: How could we live without them in our lives? I did as a kid for I knew nothing of them.

Still, I find it hard to throw away things and if you did grow up in the time in which I did, you know exactly what I am talking about. It was the American spirit at that time to reuse, recycle and fix what you had. People were thrifty, conscious of their surroundings and what they used and wore. It’s a different world today and I don’t have to write that for you to know it is:  We are in major overload of this and that and it gets tossed out and replaced. And therein is the sadness of it all for I knew a different time way back when. I can only hope that today’s push for “going green” takes hold for it just has to. So think about reusing, recycling and fixing what you have or the world will only be in a worse shape. You already have it: Use it!

Sherry Hill
Copyright © 2014
Sherry Hill

All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


There were times when food actually came right to your front door and I’m not talking back in the time of Ben Franklin either. When I was little, my mom and I lived with my grandparents and their house was on a main street here in Charleston, WV. It was a thing of wonder to see a truck pull up into the driveway at their house and see a man get out and open up the back of it—the wonders of every kind of bakery item you could imagine was right there! That truck belonged to Blubaugh Bakery which was located downtown; they had many truck drivers on lots of routes. To me, it was heaven to see all of those pastries. And my grandmother would select what was needed and the truck would come back the next week—bringing delight all over again.

But that was not the only thing that came to the house. Every week a man pulling a vegetable cart would stop in front of the house. All of the neighbors would flock to this cart and pick out fresh produce; there was nothing wrong with it at all. It was all perfectly chosen and fresh. My favorite was tomatoes and to this day, guess it still is. Oh the joys of eating a tomato sandwich with just mayonnaise and salt and pepper was one of my childhood joys.

Another truck that came to the house weekly was The Jewel Tea truck. The driver would get out and open up the back to wonders upon wonders of things for house cleaning, things like beautiful teapots, dishes, aluminum glasses in every color of the rainbow, window cleaning liquid in a tin jar, furniture polish and you name it was in that truck. I was tempted som nay times to get in there with that man and just stay and look till I could look no more.

Another truck that came by weekly was a man that delivered fresh eggs and butter. To this day, I can still picture that man: He was old [probably in his forties but to a kid?,] wore a wrinkled white shirt and had on suspenders. He always seemed to be burning up and come to think of it, it was summer and he probably had hundreds of people on his route. This man was friends with my grandparents and I well remember my grandmother inviting him inside the house to get a glass of ice cold water. He needed it. As for the eggs and butter, they were top notch and always fresh—not like in today’s world.

Perhaps my favorite truck that came to my grandparent’s house and the neighborhood was the ice cream truck. What a wonder to see a man all dressed in white riding a bicycle of sorts with a big white box on the back. When he stopped, he would open up the white box and white smoke would fill the air. It was dry ice but as a kid, I had no idea what it was. It was mysterious. The ice cream, popsicles and other dairy treats were grabbed by every kid that stood around this man and his strange vehicle. Of course, grandparents or parents had the say so as to what was bought. I’m pretty sure that what I got didn’t survive to the front door as I had eaten it.

The last truck that came by weekly was one driven by a man that sold potato chips in huge metal containers. Oh my, those chips were fresh, crunchy and the metal container was taken into my grandparents’ house about every week. The tins were saved for storage of whatever but the chips certainly weren’t saved.

I miss these things of the past that will never be again. Mass grocery stores took over the jobs that these men had although there were grocery stores then trust me. It was a wonderful time in which to be a kid and no doubt to be an adult with such service right at the front door or driveway. No one ever got sick from eating the fresh produce or eggs as they do in today’s world with mass production and contamination. And when I think of the dinners that my grandmother cooked with all of these fresh vegetables, butter and eggs I am taken back to a wonderful time when real was real. As for the Jewel Tea man, I suppose he saw my wonderment when he opened the back of that truck.

Still have a Jewel Tea pitcher that my grandmother had bought: The pattern is Autumn Leaf. Saw a bunch of these dishes and a teapot at a garage sale but passed upon buying them. One reminder is fine for me of a blessed past when food and needed things came to houses. There was no crime then which was another factor that led to the downfall of such splendid home service. It’s such a shame that today’s generation knows nothing about what I wrote about—they’d think I was making it all up. But I wasn’t at all. It happened and it was miraculous.
Sherry Hill

Copyright © 2014
Sherry Hill

All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 15, 2014


The other day I was talking to a writer friend of mine and somehow we got on a discussion of how our mothers held our hands. Neither of our mothers held our hands in a loving way. Odd isn’t it? And even odder is that both of us are only children whose mothers have long since died. I told her “My mother had a death grip on my hand and would jerk it over to her if I did anything wrong.” Were any words spoken? Absolutely none.  She replied “My mother did the very same thing!” Silence for a few moments before we resumed talking about how our mothers held our hands. “My mother squeezed my hand so much that it hurt” I told her. “Same here” she retorted.

This led to a discussion of why they did that in the first place. Neither of us were bad children that did horrid things. “I’ve often wondered that myself” said my friend. “Tell me about it” I winced. Then I asked her how her father held her hand. “Did he squeeze your hand like your mother? Because my dad didn’t.” I got a reply of “No, he was gentle when he held my hand.” I completely understood that one as well. Our fathers held our hands as if to guide us or to soothe us and no way like out mothers. None.

Of course this led to a further discussion about how our grandparents held our hands and again, they didn’t squeeze our hands until they hurt. They did squeeze our hands at times and that was a sign of love.

Holding hands with a man you’re in love with has a completely different meaning and feeling. “You can feel the static running through your hand to his” I told my friend. “Of course you can” she said. I went on to say that holding a man’s hand that you are in love with can also offer solace, comfort or a guiding feeling. She agreed.

I told her of holding my sons’ hands when they were little. It was a wonderful feeling to hold those chubby little hands and know that what you held was a part of yourself. Unlike my mother, I never squeezed their hands until the hurt but there were times when I held onto their hands firmly. I didn’t want them to get hurt or run away into traffic. “Did you ever jerk your child’s hand over to you?” I asked her. “Naturally I did if there were some threatening danger near.” “I understand completely” was my reply.

And so I will leave you with these thoughts to ponder. If you were an only child or maybe had siblings, did your mother squeeze the daylights out of your hand and pull you over to her? To me it was a sign of “You’re not going to do that young lady!” without a word spoken.

Holding hands say a lot, without any words spoken at all, but all of us know the full meaning regardless as to who is holding ours. It’s learned and once learned, you never forget it ever—the good, the bad and the ugly way your hand is held.

Sherry Hill
Copyright © 2014

All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Robin Williams death stunned me; still does. He was a comedic genius, an incredible actor and had the distinct ability to make us all laugh.  Every single movie that he made had an impact on me but the two that stand out are "Dead Poet's Society" and  "Mrs. Doubtfire." Although each movie was different in genre, Robin still  had that jittery and hilarious appeal about himself. His being a graduate of The Julliard School was well known.   And I sit here as do you and ask "Why?" Why was he so depressed?  If he were, he hid it well to us the audience.

Every great genius has suffered too many bouts of depression--think past artists, poets, writers,
actors and actresses or anyone that has been in the public eye. They all possessed an artist soul as did Robin.  And that artist soul can be overbearing and consuming to one that has it for I know all too well about it as I have one as well. I feel deeply, see things differently and grasp for far reaching straws. No, I will never be as famous as Robin Williams ever nor do I know what was going through his mind when he took his own life.

He made this world a far better place with his comedic genius and will be revered down in history as one of the best actors and comedians ever. But most of all, he will be greatly missed by anyone that knew him or just watched him on tv or saw his movies.  Robin Williams was a shining star.

I will forever miss him.

Sherry Hill

Copyright © 2014
Sherry Hill
All Rights Reserved