Archive for April, 2012

Mondays with Melitas – April 30, 2012

I’M B-A-A-A-A-K!                                                             APRIL  30, 2012                                           


Okay, awright, awready!!!  I was on a sabbatical, of sorts — not of my  choosing by any means, and I will make a disclosure as to what was going on … whether you want to hear the gory details, or not.

Three weeks ago, I awoke with a terrible OUCH pain in my right knee, so off the Warden drags me to the ER, only to be told after an ultrasound that I had a Baker’s Cyst in back of my right knee — and I couldn’t remember when the last time was that I had spent any time in the kitchen baking.  A week later, the dumb thing ruptured and it oozed down into my leg where it disguised my leg as a great big huge balloon.  I could’ve printed “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” on it, then stick the leg up in the air — it was supposed to be kept elevated anyway.  Anyone stopping by would’ve wondered who sent me that?

So it wasn’t the Gout as one Doctor (?) kept telling me, and still maintaining it was last week.  My very own wonderful Doctor kept maintaining it was NOT the Gout.  We went along with her thoughts since I didn’t have any painful big toe, or any other joints, and I’m going along taking a wonderful antibiotic — and you know what that means.  No Tequila for me.  Oh, dear!  What will my body do?  It’s been going along quite well, thank you.  No Tequila since the 9th, when that Doctor (?) said it was definitely the Gout.

My favorite Forster family of all the Forster families inSan Juan Capistrano— they pay lots more attention to me, and I have them snowed into thinking I am very wise.  (If they only knew!)  My brothers offspring — Niece-in-law  Anita (widow of dear, dear Mickey) and her brood:  Michael, Michele with grandson Josh, daughter-in-law Kathy whose hubby, Robby, had to slave away and couldn’t make it, then Roberta who is probably Chief Organizer of the entire bunch..  All this gang surprised me on Sunday, the day before my birthday.  So there was not one person, not even the Warden, who thought I shouldn’t have my usual Tequila on the rocks in salted glass, and lemon squeeze (the Mexican lime tree is busy making some new limes for me, not quite ready, but the lemon tree is filled to overflowing, thank goodness.) I was so happy to have them arrive, and they brought me gifts, and the real fun one is a tee shirt which says: “Out of Tequila.  Life is crap.”

It’s been quite stressful around here.  “It’s 5 o’clock inPhoenix” has been forgotten.  The 5 o’clock clock is not in sight.  The Warden is taking all this to-do very serious.

Now I want to tell you what I had planned for the past 3 week ends here in theCoachellaValley.  Every year there is the Coachella Valley Music Festival, and this year they devoted 2 weekends for it, then after that there is the Stagecoach Music.  They are presented at the huge Empire Polo Grounds.  Hordes of music(?) lovers show up, maybe 95,000.  These so-called concerts bring folks from everywhere.

One day while standing in front of the mirror, rubbing wrinkle cream on — this particular wrinkle cream does not take away the wrinkles, it just adds more —I decided that I show a resemblance to Willie Nelson, so I tied a bandana around my wispy, barely-there head of hair, and found a very small guitar to finish off the “Willie Nelson” look. Then the Warden clicked a picture of me in my W. N. disguise.  Do you see the resemblance in the accompanying picture?

I was going to amble over to the Polo Grounds where the 3 up-coming concerts are heard, very deafenly (I know that is not a word, but it works for me.)  I would leave the hearing aids at home.  They would let me in at the Performer’s Gate, thinking I was ol’ Willie himself.  I shouldn’t call him “ol’ Willie,” he’s probably at least 20 years younger, but then he IS ‘ol to all the younger set.  So there I would be wending my way through the mob of music (?) lovers.  They would be clamoring  for my autograph.  They would ask about the teeny weeny  guitar, and I would say “ All the easier to get through the madding crowd so everyone had a chance to even just get a glimpse of me.”

All my plans went bye-bye when the fat leg arrived on the scene.  I couldn’t walk, and if they saw me  with Traveller — the wheels that get me around — they would know I was just a fake Willie.

There’s always next year.


THANKS to all of you who missed my stories, and were concerned about my well-being.  I love you all,  Melitas


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Mondays with Melitas – April 23, 2012

A message from Tammy Coia:

I know, I know, you don’t really want to hear from me today…unfortunately Melitas is still on the mend and I gave her another week to rest up.

Today Melitas turns 94, I will be seeing her later and will post a picture in tomorrows blog!

Please leave your birthday comments for Melitas here on the blog…I know she will be checking them and I look forward to hearing what she wants to share with us next week!

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Guest blog by Peter McCabe

Several months ago while working at IVHP in Palm Springs, I met Peter in one of my classes.  He is a wonderful man with a great sense of humor and wit,  he recently sent this to me and I asked him if I could share with you! 

I’m in my Golden Years now …reluctantly…slowing down like old
Grizabella – T.S. Eliot’s cat. I don’t think any house should have a
mirror or scale. I remember Margaret Garrity – an old Irish maid we had one summer in her nineties – she could still do the Irish jig in the kitchen and touch her toes. She once said, “I can’t believe the old person who looks back at me in my mirror….I don’t feel like her.Who is she?”People often say age is a state of mind. Personally, I’d like to murder the person who penned the term “Golden Years”. I think they really meant “golden showers“. I knew I should have bought the tee shirt that read, “Growing Old is Not for Sissies”.

I was born in New York City on June 17, 1936 up on Riverside Drive. My parents bought a house in New Jersey for $9,000 in 1941 and we moved to Allenhurst, a beautiful town by the sea where my younger brother Jay and I grew up. The town/borough measured five blocks by five blocks (Cedar, Spier, Corlies, Allen, and Elberon Avenues with cross streets Ocean, Norwood, Page and Main Streets)and bordered the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Deal Lake on the other. There were very few lights in houses back then in wintertime: most of the people only used their homes there for the summer. The locals commuted into New York four hours per day on the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central lines(they competed with each other)The Pennsylvania train went right into Penn Station – midtown New York and the New York Central went into Jersey City where people caught the ferryboats to downtown New York City. There was no New Jersey Turnpike or Garden State Parkway. Most people commuted to New York daily on the train (4 hours round trip)
Often I have flashbacks where I remember everything as a child growing up during World War II in an age without T.V. or washing machines or refrigerators or even heat in cars…..I know there was great closeness then….we didn’t have all the modern day distractions of technology and families were closer together. We’d gather around the radio as a family and listen to FDR’s “fireplace chats” and Baby Snooks, One Man’s Family, Lux Radio Theater, The Lone Ranger,etc…imagination went wild…absolute thrilling experiences.Our country was involved in World War II (we actually had to “house” three soldiers who were in training at Fort Monmouth six miles away – two of them lived in a room over our garage and the other (“Gundy”)inhabited the back room off off the kitchen) There were no T.V’s, refrigerators or even heat in the cars (blankets sufficed) There were no turnpikes going into New York City.
allenhurst boardwalk.jpg
Allenhurst had a little village of stores that included Schultz’s Pharmacy (with a soda counter where we’d order “Dusty Millers” and
blow the malt all over each other) Bill’s Delicatessen (with
the best sandwiches: he’d put cole slaw on the ham and cheese
sandwiches) the five and ten cent store, one bank, the quaint
railroad station with a newstand and candy store.
Everyone knew everyone else and far too much information. Families intermarried and the homes all had great big wrap around
porches with awnings in the summer time. When my folks bought
their home at 206 Spier Avenue in 1942 they paid $9,000 for
it. In 27 years we never had a key for the back door. The
iceman delivered blocks; the milk man let himself in and put
the bottles of milk (with cream on the top)right in the
icebox…no one ever entered the house or ripped it off.
201 SPIER AVE.jpg
The best part of the summer was the Allenhurst Beach Club..
The pool and bath house area were huge with a bandstand (live music playing often) and a snack bar underneath it….the shuffleboard courts were on the south side with a large restaurant/clubhouse overlooking the ocean. At the north end of town, there were lots of cabanas (with double dressing rooms with a shower in between, an indoor room with a refrigerator and a nice porch outside) a boardwalk ran the length of the whole town with a jetty and lagoon on the north end touching Deal, New Jersey.
The famous city of Asbury Park (Bruce Springsteen territory) was only seven streets away with its huge boardwalk and a much larger population. It really was a Shangri-la growing up there.
The beach club would open right after Memorial Day and close on Labor Day.There were lots of activities: dances every weekend, free
dance lessons… beach parties,swimming races with other
beach clubs, outdoor movies at night on the shuffleboard
courts (we’d buy pickles at the deli and throw them) and we’d
bundle up in blankets and sit on benches….
F.Scott Fitzgerald once drove over from Princeton and wrote about
the bathing beauties on the Allenhurst beach.
3-24-2012 2;07;05 PM.JPG
The highlight of the summer each year was the Allenhurst Antics Charity show we gave for Fitkin Hospital. A professional director would come down from New York City with lots of skits, musical numbers, costumes, practice sessions and the whole town would get involved. We’d perform the show for one weekend in August at the Berkeley- Carteret Hotel on the Asbury Park boardwalk. The lyrics of every grand finale were:
“Allah Allah Allenhurst -our beautiful town by the sea
Where sunshine is brightest and hearts are the lightest
And everyone’s gay as can be
“Let’s all sing to Allenhurst –
It’s Heaven to you and to me…
So Allah be praised for Allenhurst –
Our Allenhurst by the Sea.”
3-24-2012 2;07;27 PM.JPG
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Mondays with Melitas – April 16, 2012

A note from the desk of Tammy L. Coia:

I know you are expecting to see our dear friend Melitas spreading her laughter and wisdom on this blog today, but unfortunately she is feeling a little under the weather.  I did go by to check in on her yesterday to make sure she really was not feeling well and not just playing possum.  I was ready to give her a lecture if I saw her in her tiedie t-shirt heading out the door to Coachella to rock and roll with all the other 85,000 visitors here in Coachella Valley this weekend. 

But no…she was still in her cute little pj’s and snuggly robe drinking a cup of coffee with the paper next to her side.  Her hair did look a little disheveled, but she is on the mend.  I told her I would give her a reprieve from the weekly grind of blog writing and told her to get better soon!

With only one week away from her 94th birthday she needs to get all the rest she can get.  The warden told me that she slept for 14 hours straight the night before, so I am assuming she must really need the rest!

I know we all look forward to hearing from her next week with her weekly blog.  I am enclosing a picture I took of her (not yesterday, but a few weeks ago).  Feel free to leave Melitas some comments today as I know she loves hearing from each of you each week!

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My newest batch of graduates!

 Wow, yesterdays luncheon was fabulous!  My newest batch of graduates lit up the stage with their amazing stories.  Nearly 50 women gathered together (and 2 men!) to listen and honor these 6 women. 

Our luncheons are becoming so much fun for all those who participate.  I love the sharing of the women and the friendships that have developed. 

These 6 women have been so much fun to work with, I have loved each and every moment we have shared in our classes.

Congratulations for all the words you shared and the feelings behind your words.  You six are amazing!

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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