He was so charming that nobody noticed. A unique noiseless extravert that everyone loved.

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Photo by Isabela Ferreira on unsplash

Our family was overjoyed to bring home Jonathan (aka: Knuckles, Providence, White Shoes), from a shelter to keep the irascible Jasper company

Everyone in our cat loving clan had a different suggestion for the new cat’s name. Jonathan was everyone’s grudging compromise, honoring a good friend of our youngest family member.

I must confess, the other three names were used occasionally according to the whim of the caller.

It took a full year before any of us realized that Jonathan remained forever silent.

Maybe it was that Jasper was high profile and so over shadowed Jonathan we didn’t notice he was soundless. …


Men and women are unevenly judged by society; especially in areas sexual.The question to me has always been, “Why?”

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Photo by Claudia von Zyl on unsplash

There was an article on Medium written a few months ago by Charlotte Ivan: “I Tried Dating Two Men At The Same Time — This is The Unsurprising truth of What Happened.”

It was well written and thought provoking.

Since high school, I’ve consistently been made aware of the uneven judgement standards for girls and boys — who went on to be women and men. …


The case for teachers to be paid on a par with bank presidents.

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Photo CDC on Unsplash

Unequivocally, the most difficult profession in which I’ve ever worked has been education. Specifically, teaching elementary and middle school.

Directly out of college I got a provisional certificate. This enabled me to teach in New Jersey in spite of having my college degree in political science with very few courses in education.The provisional certificate provided for the staffing of schools in hardship areas in need of college graduates to teach; mostly inner city schools.

Teach during the day.

Take education courses at night at an accredited college.

My school system was Camden, New Jersey. …


His son mooned the girls cross country team and he was suspended from middle school for two days. They turned out to be the most beneficial days of education in his life.

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Photo by Rena Laithienne on Unsplash

Brooks and I had been partners in a financial planning firm for a number of years. We shared an office in which he had an old fashion speaker phone.

Our way of dealing with the firms ever expanding number of employees and the fact that Brooks was a little hard of hearing.

An added benefit;I could talk all day and he didn’t have to respond by virtue of not being able to hear me. However, he was able to carry on his important phone work with his clients.

An unavoidable circumstance, Brooks always had his phone on speaker. He could actually hear what the caller was saying and he could sit back in his chair and bellow out responses. …


Discover the real story behind the talented mouse that missed the Disney team but forged a career of his own.

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Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

My daughter loves the subject of food. She can and will talk about it forever when she gets a conversational partner.

It’s no irony that she is the hardworking owner of three restaurants and a catering service in Seattle, Washington.

In these odd challenging times food seems to be one of the only topics that’s interesting but benign enough for almost everybody to share without making each other angry or depressed.

Non pandemic summers are the busy time in Seattle for the catering business. It’s the season for the multitude of festivals and outdoor music concerts that Seattleites have been waiting for during the long rainy months of winters. …


We’ve all been through it. The feeling of vulnerability making the first physical move to consummate the relationship with a new love.

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Photo by Third serving on Unsplash

I had a friend who was chronologically only one year older than me but years ahead in the ways of the world.

You see, I had lived my entire 16 years in the suburbs at the Jersey Shore. In the middle class neighborhood where I came from we were pretty niave when it came to boy-girl connections.

Oh, yeah; our glands were slopping over just like most teenagers world wide. …


My cousin and I didn’t care what you saw in the Lord of the Ring, Gladiator, Chronicles of Narnia, Night at the Museum or King Arthur; we designed a catapult for the common kid. And it had potential to get us in more trouble than we could have ever imagined.

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I’m sure the few of you that are reading this have a preconceived notion of what a catapult may look like from the movies you’ve seen


My Dad and I worked all day to put up the first Christmas decorations our house ever had. Would it be enough to score a 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the Elberon Park Civic Association’s contest?

Would the house survive; would we survive?

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Photo by Hayden-Scott on Unsplash

This whole thing started when the Elberon Park Civic Association announced that they were giving a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for the houses that had the most impressive Christmas decorations. Members of the Association were to judge on Christmas Eve.

Actually, this announcement came 2 years ago. My Dad didn’t hear about it until my parents went to their bridge club. It was somewhere in mid January after the holidays that Al Moore mention that he had coped 3rd prize that year — $10. …


When the venue is for free and the talent cost nothing; how can you lose? Continue reading, I’ll show you.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

In our constant quest for money, with no money to invest ourselves my cousin Kit and my options for earning were limited.

We’ve already tried a lemonade stand using Aunt Betty’s lemons, sugar and water. That was a success but it was now winter. We sensed a diminished demand for cold lemonade from a stand encrusted with a layer of snow and ice.

No, we decided to use the talent possessed by our neighborhood friends and allow them to show it off in a variety show. …


Every once in a while things just seem to work out.

Maybe the stars are in proper alignment.

Maybe anything!

You have the feeling, life seems so well-choreographed that you want to throw back your head, raise your fists toward the heavens and shout: YES, THERE IS A GOD — drums rolling, cymbals clashing.

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Photo by Chris Karakis on Unsplash

Her name was Norma Eberhardt. The name Dauphin was added after she married famed French director and WW ll French Resistance hero Claude Dauphin in 1955.

Norma lived about a mile away from my family in Oakhurst, New Jersey close to the beaches of the North Jersey Shore about 50 miles south of New York City. …

About

Brian Dickens Barrabee

A lifetime of psychological, physical and fiscal involvement brianbarrabee@aol.com

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