John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Things change: A short story by John William Tuohy


The perception of the comic is a tie of sympathy with other men a pledge of sanity and a protection from those perverse tendencies and gloomy insanities in which fine intellects sometimes lose themselves. A rogue alive to the ludicrous is still convertible. If that sense is lost his fellow-men can do little for him. Emerson

300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly  Emersonsaidit.blogspot.com

  What Love is…..
There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love. Erich Fromm

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” Mark Twain

Things Change

A short story
John William Tuohy

He sat alone in the booth waiting, alternating his gaze from the rain- soaked parking lot to the stopped clock on the wall to the front door, waiting.  Finally, he spotted him in the parking lot, running in from the rain, his expensively coiffed hair covered by an equally expensive imported leather briefcase. He watched him push open the glass door and shake the raindrops off and look around the Diner.
“Sal!” the lawyer said with a handsome grim. “Good to see you, you look good.”
“Al,” he replied, “sit down. Have something to eat.”
They sat down and the lawyer held up his palm. “Sal, I’d love to but I’m running late and,” he said, patting his washboard-flat stomach under his white Oxford-collared shirt, “I’m watching the weight. We’re not in high school anymore, kiddo.”
“You wish we were though, huh?” Sal asked, and, embarrassed by his own remark said, “but that was then, and this is now. How’s your sister?”
“Phoebe?” he answered, “she’s fine. We’re very close. She’s got two kids now.”
He looked around the Diner and said, “Look at this place. It never changes. This is how it looked in high school, remember? Time stands still in this place.”
Sal reached across the table and grabbed the lawyer’s arm tightly.
“Hey, listen. Thank you for coming by, all right? I’m on the go all day, so this is easy for me. I appreciate you coming by. I know you usually meet people in the office.”
The lawyer waved it off. “We’re teammates. We’ll always be teammates, and you’ll always be my captain.”
Sal sat back in his chair and looked out into the rain while he spoke. “School seems like—like a million years ago.” He turned and faced his friend. “I wish I could go back, you know? I was something then, you know: somebody.”
“You’re somebody now, Sal,” the lawyer offered.
“Naw,” he said looking down at the table. “I’m an in-home medical equipment salesman. That’s what I am.” He pointed a finger at the briefcase. “Maybe you were right. Maybe I should have gone to law school, huh?”
He noticed the waitress approaching and waved her off. “Give us a second, will you huh?”
She smiled and returned to the counter. Turning to the lawyer, he asked,  “So, you get a chance to talk to her? Get her straightened out?”
“He answered carefully, “I spoke to her counsel. I’m not allowed to speak to her directly, since she’s represented.”
“Her lawyer’s a shark in high heels. She’s worse than her.”  “Be that as it may,” the lawyer said, “there’s nothing she or I can do about your ex-wife and her issues with—”
“I call my little girl,” Sal said, cutting him off in mid-sentence. “I can’t talk to her on the phone. She’s not here, or she’s asleep, or she’s in the shower, and when I do talk to her she doesn’t talk back. She’s got the kid hating me. Her own father. You think that’s right? She turns a child against her father? That’s why I say we drag this thing before the courts and examine it.”
“Sal,” the lawyer said as soothingly as he could, “expert testimony alone will set you back ten, maybe even fifteen grand. Then there’s court costs, filing fees, depositions, time missed from work. And for all that, I can’t promise you a thing will change.”
“Okay, go ahead. Do it,” he said turning his attention back to the parking lot. He didn’t mean it. He didn’t have that kind of money.
“Sal,” the lawyer said.
“I can get a loan on the business,” he lied.
“Sal,” the lawyer said.
“Sometimes you gotta spend—” he continued.
The lawyer leaned forward across the table and held his friend’s face in his hands.
“As much as anyone, I love you. I’ve known you all my life. Now what happened to you with her, that’s not right. I’ll be the first to say it, but kiddo, forget it. Just give it up. Sometimes you just have to walk away, and this is one of those times.”
The lawyer sat back in his seat. “It’s not fair, it’s not right, but that’s the way it is and throwing good money after bad won’t change a thing. Time changes things. Stay in contact with your daughter any way you can. She’ll come around. Kids are sharper than you think. They see more than we think they do. Give it time. It could be five years, ten years, but she’ll get curious and you never know. In the meantime, and I know it’s a long meantime, find somebody. Don’t go through life alone expecting not to be alone in the future.”
Sal shook his head. “She left me after seven years. Seven years. That’s nothing, seven years. For who? For a punk.” He sat back, exasperated.
They sat in silence for several seconds and Sal reached into back pocket and pulled out a checkbook. “What do I owe you?”
The lawyer slid the checkbook from Sal’s hands and gently hit him on the head with it before returning it to him.
“A promise,” he said, “that you’ll consider what I said.”
“I heard you,” he said with a waning smile. “You’re right.”
The lawyer stood, collected his briefcase, and said, “I’ll work out the custody and the child support. You’re going to come out all right on that end, I promise.”
Sal stood like a defeated man, and the two friends embraced.
“Let me ask you something,” the lawyer said. “Do you remember the Ansonia Derby game?”
“I remember,” he answered, “every moment of every one of them. Which one are you talking about?”
“The one we lost,” the lawyer said, buttoning his raincoat. “The one we lost because I fumbled. Remembered that?”
Sal smiled and put his hand on the lawyer’s arm. “Forget about that,” he said. “It was a million years ago.”
“I thought my life was over,” the lawyer said. “I hated myself.” He pulled up his collar and said, “Do you remember what you told me? Do you remember what you said to me that day?”
Sal thought about it for a second but he couldn’t recall.
“You said to me, somebody has to win and somebody has to lose and today it’s our turn to lose. You’ll win next time, I promise. You’ll see, it will work out. And I went on to live another day because of those words and everything worked out.”
The lawyer stood from his chair and grasped his friend’s hand and he said,  “You’ll see. You only fumbled. It will all work out. Things change. Give yourself a break. Go out and meet a nice girl.”

And he left.


                                                                Sid Grossman
Mark Ruwedel

Once in the 40s

By William Stafford 

 We were alone one night on a long
 road in Montana.  This was in winter, a big
 night, far to the stars.  We had hitched,
 my wife and I, and left our ride at
 a crossing to go on.  Tired and cold - but
 brave - we trudged along.  This, we said,
 was our life, watched over, allowed to go
 where we wanted.  We said we'd come back some time
 when we got rich.  We'd leave the others and find
 a night like this, whatever we had to give,

 and no matter how far, to be so happy again.

One hit literary wonders

Brian Moss and Lorraine Murphy

Harper Lee isn’t the only author who wrote a worldwide bestseller yet decided not to try to repeat that success. Brian Moss and Lorraine Murphy look at other members of this elite club
It is the book that frustrated wannabe writers for decades — how could Harper Lee produce the literary behemoth that was To Kill a Mockingbird, and then resort to reclusion without ever producing anything of note again?
Over five decades on from the release of the novel, Lee has cemented her place in history as the world’s foremost one hit wonder author.
As fans from across the globe await the release of the prequel to Lee’s seminal work, we take a look at some other one hit wonder authors.

The Catcher in the Rye: JD Salinger
The book was already doing great business but was further propelled into the spotlight on December 8, 1980, when Mark Chapman — the man who assassinated John Lennon — was arrested with a copy of the book in his possession.
Originally released in 1951, the book details the teenage struggles of protagonist Holden Caulfield and is said to be a semi-autobiographical account of the author’s own youth. Salinger detested the spotlight and gave his last interview in 1980.
The book has sold over 60m copies thus far, so perhaps there wasn’t the motivation to write a second. Salinger did produce a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953); a volume containing a novella and a short story, Franny and Zooey (1961); and a volume containing two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963).
His last published work, a novella entitled Hapworth 16, 1924, appeared in The New Yorker on June 19, 1965, but The Catcher in the Rye remained his only novel.

Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte
Although now considered a literary success, this wasn’t always the case. Upon its release in 1847, the novel was criticised as being depressing and morose — those who studied it for the Leaving or Junior Cert might well agree.
Part of literature’s first family including sisters Ann and Charlotte, Emily also wrote poetry but Wuthering Heights would be her only published novel, lucky for Kate Bush fans that she at least got around to producing one.

Gone with the Wind: Margaret Mitchell
Immortalised in film history with Clarke Gable’s iconic line ‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn’, Gone With The Wind was Mitchells portrayal of the American Civil War and the turmoil it inflicted on the fledgling US.
Released in 1937, the book was an immediate hit and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and was adopted into the film two years later, earning Gable his third Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Rhett Butler.
Mitchell reportedly didn’t want to write another due to the unwanted attention the book brought her.
A timeless classic which stills shifts over 70,000 copies a year .

The Bell Jar: Sylvia Plath
Another staple of the Leaving Cert and junior cycles over the years, The Bell Jar was Plath’s only novel published in 1963 originally published under the pseudonym ‘Victoria Lucas’.
A celebrated poet in her time, the novel on reflection is considered to be a semi-autobiographical work of a young woman’s descent into madness.
Sadly the protagonist’s journey was mirrored by Plath’s own mental health issues and battles with depression (she committed suicide the same year as The Bell Jar’s publication).

The Picture of Dorian Grey: Oscar Wilde
A world renowned poet and dramatist, arguably Oscar Wilde’s most controversial work was his only published novel. First published in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in the late 19th Century, editors feared the story was indecent, and deleted 500 words before publication, unknowns to Wilde.
Despite such censorship, The Picture of Dorian Grey gravely offended Victorian book reviewers, with many even calling for the prosecution of Wilde, for violating the laws guarding public morality.
The narrative driven by immorality, obsession, murder and hedonism outraged Victorian society, with critics at the time describing the book as “contaminating”, “effeminate” and “unclean”. Wilde never wrote another novel.

Dr Zhivago: Boris Pasternak
Due to its controversial stance on socialism in Soviet Russia, Doctor Zhivago was refused publication in the USSR. As a result, the manuscript was smuggled to Milan, where it was published in 1957.
Demand for the novel was great — it was translated into 18 languages well in advance of publication. The following year, Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, humiliating the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Threatened with arrest and exile, Pasternak was forced to turn down the honour by Soviet authorities.
However, it was not fear of imprisonment which meant Pasternak never published another novel, but the fact that he died a short time later of lung cancer.

“People have many cruel expectations from writers. People expect novelists to live on a hill with three kids and a spouse, people expect children’s story writers to never have sex, and people expect all great poets to be dead. And these are all very difficult expectations to fulfill, I think.” C. JoyBell  

“How has it come about so suddenly, so irrevocably, that this letter should be your last? Nay, nay; I will write, and you shall write — yes, NOW, when at length I am beginning to improve my style. Style? I do not know what I am writing. I never do know what I am writing. I could not possibly know, for I never read over what I have written, nor correct its orthography. At the present moment, I am writing merely for the sake of writing, and to put as much as possible into this last letter of mine… . Ah, dearest, my pet, my own darling!.” Fyodor Dostoevsky, Poor Folk 

James Tate, 71; Pulitzer winner and UMass Amherst professor

By Bryan Marquard Globe Staff  July 10, 2015

UMass Amherst

A distinguished professor of English at the UMass Amherst since 1971, Mr. Tate was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
At times during readings, the poet James Tate once said, the audience found humor in lines he “nearly wept while writing.”
Mr. Tate, who died Wednesday at 71, didn’t mind when listeners laughed, and sometimes their response sent him back to those passages to discover some new promontory in the landscape of language he created over the course of a half-century.
A distinguished professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he had taught since 1971, Mr. Tate was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award in 1992 for his “Selected Poems.” Two years later, he won a National Book Award for “Worshipful Company of Fletchers.” In that volume, the poem “A Missed Opportunity” begins:
A word sits on the kitchen counter
next to the pitcher of cream
with its blue cornflowers bent.
perhaps a guest left it in a hurry
or as a tip for good service,
or as a fist against some imagined
insult …
The unexpected was always to be expected in the poetry of Mr. Tate, who saw potential in what no one else noticed. “I love to take a poem, for instance, that starts with something seemingly frivolous or inconsequential and then grows in gravity until by the end it’s something very serious,” he said in a Paris Review interview published in 2006.
“Jim Tate was undoubtedly a genius, and certainly the surrealist branch of American poetry would not exist in its current form without him,” said Jorie Graham, herself a Pulitzer winner and the Boylston professor at Harvard University. “He mixed Beckett-like black humor with his own flat Midwestern brand of the Kafkaesque absurd.”
She praised his “profoundly original vision,” and said that “quite a few generations of poets in the United States simply could not have found their voices without his guiding, mischievous, brilliant, darkly-lit spirit.”
Mr. Tate, Graham added, “had a front-row seat at the apocalypse before anyone else even knew that circus was coming to town.”
He discovered his own voice almost immediately. While attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his first collection, “The Lost Pilot,” was selected for the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1967. The title poem alluded to his father, who flew missions during World War II until his plane crashed in 1944, when Mr. Tate was 4 months old.
When the Yale award notification arrived, Mr. Tate stood in the post office reading it over and over, and he recalled to the Globe that he was just as flummoxed to hear by phone he had won a Pulitzer in 1992: “I said, ‘Will you please double-check that?’ ”
He published more than two dozen collections and chapbooks of poetry, along with a handful of books of prose and collaborations. Mr. Tate also had taught at the University of California Berkeley and Columbia University before joining the UMass Amherst faculty.
“The great gift that he gave to students is that he was always writing. He had a daily practice that was just always there,” said Gillian Conoley, a poet and former student of Mr. Tate’s at UMass Amherst.
As he did with his own work, Mr. Tate taught his students “that a poem is an act of discovery, that it opens a path into something exciting and not anticipated,” said James Haug, a poet who studied with Mr. Tate and teaches occasionally in the UMass poetry program. “You’re there to discover something grand or devastating or funny.”
Mr. Tate taught in the UMass MFA Program for Poets and Writers, and his own writing was often the finest lesson. “He had both a comic and tragic sense in his work, and they were beautifully balanced,” Conoley said. “While strange things happened, there was always a sense of a cloak of love and tenderness for the misbegotten who peopled his poems.”
Born in Kanas City, Mo., Mr. Tate had by his own description a childhood filled with the mix of happiness and sadness that someday would sit side-by-side in lines of his poetry. After his father died, he spent part of his childhood living with his mother, maternal grandparents, aunts, an uncle, and cousins. His mother remarried a couple of times unhappily before finding someone with whom to spend her last decades.
In the Paris Review interview, his memories of the short-term abusive stepfathers are chilling, while recollections of other relatives seemed fodder for future poems. His paternal grandfather “was a one-legged zookeeper in Kansas City.” Tracking down ancestors was impossible because “most people in my family don’t even have gravestones. They were too cheap. I’m serious.”
Mr. Tate found friends in high school and a calling in college that drew from his early years. “I don’t think you can define how you acquire your imagination any more than you can define why one person has a sense of humor and another doesn’t,” he told the Paris Review. “But I certainly would lean to the side that says all those solitary hours of daydreaming were a kind of training for poetry.”
He wrote his first poem within two months of arriving at what was then Kansas State College of Pittsburg. “I was just sitting on my bed in a dormitory room and I started writing,” he told the Paris Review. “The thing that was magic about it was that once you put down one word, you could cross it out. I figured that out right away. I put down mountain, and then I’d go, no – valley. That’s better.”
Mr. Tate was married to the poet Dara Wier, an English professor at UMass Amherst. He also leaves two stepchildren, Emily Pettit and Guy Pettit. The university said in a statement that a memorial gathering will be announced.
Much honored during his career, Mr. Tate received a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for poetry, a Wallace Stevens Award, and the Tanning Prize for Poetry. He was chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007.
“And his sweetness was the stuff of legend – his generosity as a teacher, his kindness to other poets,” Graham said. “Mostly, though, he was our guide. He did not flinch from his dark visions – and he understood that the power of laughter involved much more than the drive to entertain.”
His death leaves “a huge hole in American poetry,” she said, adding: “So many of us loved him so very much.”
At the MFA program, Mr. Tate “was a brilliant teacher,” said Matthew Zapruder, associate professor and director of the creative writing program at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga. “He was there for poetry and he wasn’t messing around. I learned so much from just from watching him read poems and talk about them, getting little glimpses of how he lived and worked.”
For Mr. Tate, the hard work was “creating the situation, this new reality,” he told the Paris Review. “Once that’s done I can work within it, follow the implications. I take a step, I see what the new implications are, I take another step, I see what the next implications are – and I just proceed like that.”
His last reading was two weeks ago at the UMass Amherst Juniper Summer Writing Institute. “It’s always a delight to see his readings unfold,” said Jennifer Jacobson, associate director of the MFA program. “At the beginning, the audience doesn’t know if it’s OK to laugh, and by the end they can’t stop. He was able to reach so many people with his poetry.”
Bryan Marquard can be reached at bryan.marquard@globe.com.

How to Write a Love Letter in Latin

 by Brittany Britanniae in Latin Language

Whether you are writing a love letter to a old or new romance, it is always a good idea to “spice” up the normal, same, banal content with something unique to make your significant other feel special. Why not add a little Latin? This post is dedicated to add some Latin to your love life in a love letter (Epistula Amoris).
 It is often said that French is the Language of Love, but before there was even a French Language- It was Latin.
Latin Love poetry is some of the most refined and beautiful pieces ever. Some famous love poets are Catullus, Horace , or even Ovid. So please use the rest of this post to add some Latin to your love letters or maybe even try to compose your own!

You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen You have not seen me yet but love is trust. As they say, love is blind. As long as you trust me, I will love you. You and I can spend our lives together. In my eyes you are a goddess. Instead, we can spend eternity together.

Te caeteris feminis quas cognoui pulchriorem esse censeo. Nondum me uidisti, ast amor nil nisi fides firma. Ut dicitur, uenus ipsa caeca est. Dum mihi credas, te amem. Una uitam uiuere ualemus. Mihi diuina uideris. In aeternum potius coniunctim uersari quimus.

Dearest ______,
carissima (female subject)____________,
carissime (male subject)_________________,

Te amo “I love you”
Nunc scio quid sit amor “Now I know what love is”
Amor vincit omnia “Love conquers all”
Nunc scio quid sit amor “Now I know what love is”
Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur “We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving” (Syrus)
Amor caecus est “Love is blind”
Amor meus amplior quam verba est “My love is more than words”
Amor est vitae essentia “Love is the essence of life” (Robert B. Mackay)
Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori “Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love” (Vergil)
Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit “True love will hold on to those whom it has held” (Seneca)
Si vis amari, ama “If you wish to be loved, love” (Seneca)
Sine amore, nihil est vita “Without love, life is pointless”
Numquam periit amor “Love never dies”
Eis quos amo “For those that I love”
In aeternum te amabo “I will love you for all eternity”
Sine amor, nihil est vita “Without love, life is pointless”

The abbreviation S.P.D. stands for Salutem Plurimam Dicit, which means something like “sends fondest greetings”.
Ab imo pectore “From the bottom of my heart”
Semper fidelis “Always faithful”
Amor sempiternus “Eternal Love”
Tibi magno cum amor “For you with great love”
Fide et amor“Faithfully and lovingly”
Tuus perdite sodalis amans “Your ever loving soul mate”
Te valde amo ac semper amabo “I love you very much, and always will forever”
Una in perpetuum “Together forever”
In perpetuum et unum diem “Forever and a Day”
Numquam te amare desistam “I’ll never stop loving you “

Amore nihil mollius, nihil violentius – Nothing is more tender, nothing is more violent than love.
Qui amat, tamen hercle si seurit, nullum esurit – He that’s in love, for sure, even if he is hungry, isn’t hungry at all (Plautus).
Dicere quae puduit, scribere jussit amor – What I was ashamed to say, love has commanded me to write (Ovid).
Rivalem patienter habe – With patience bear a rival (in love) (Ovid).
Omnia vincit amor, nos et cedamus amori – Love conquers all things, let us too yield to love (Virgil).
Militat omnis amans – Every lover is a soldier (Ovid).
Militiae species amor est – Love is a kind of warfare (Ovid).
Qui in amorem praecipitavit, pejus perit quam si saxo saliat – He who plunges headlong into love, perishes more irremediably than if he leapt from a rock (Plautus).
Dulcibus est verbis alliciendus amor – Love must be allured with kind words.
Ubi idem et maximus et honestissimus amor est, aliquando praestat morte jungi quam vita distrahi – Where there exists the greatest and most genuine love, it is sometimes better to be united in death than separated in life (Valer. Maxim.).
Ubi inerit amor, condimentum cuivis placiturum credo – Where love is an ingredient, the seasoning, I believe, will please anyone (Plautus).
Multi te oderint si teipsum ames – Many will hate you if you love yourself.
Odero si potero, si non, invitus amabo – I will hate if I can, if not, I will love against my will (Ovid).
Credula res amor est – Love is a credulous thing (Ovid).
Lucrum amare nullum amatorem decet – No lover ought to be in love with pelf (Plautus).
Qui non vult fieri desidiosus, amet – Let him who would not be an idler, fall in love (Ovid).
Notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit; tempore crevit amor – Proximiti caused their first acquaintance, and their first advances in love, with time their affection increased (Ovid).
In amore haec omnia insunt vitia: injuria, suspiciones, inimitiae, induciae, bellum, pax rursus – In love there are all these evils: wrongs, suspicions, enmities, reconcilements,war, and then peace again (Terrence).
Moribus et forma conciliandus amor – Pleasing manners and good looks conciliate love (Ovid).
Improbe amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis? – Oh, cruel love! To what dost thou not impel the human heart? (Virgil).
Incitamentum amoris musica – Music intices to love.
Quisquis amat ranam, ranam putat esse Dianam – If a man is in love with a frog, he will think that his from is Diana herself.
Qui finem quaeris amoris, cedit amor rebus; res age, tutus eris – You who seek to end your passion, love gives way to employment; attend to business, then you will be safe (Ovid).
Haec scripsi non otii abuntantia, sed amoris erga te – I have written this, not from having an abundance of leisure, but of love for you (Cicero).
Uratur vestis amore tuae – Let him be inflamed by love of your very dress (Ovid).
Audax ad omnia femina, quae vel amat vel odit – A woman, when inflamed by love or by hatred, will dare everything.
Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem – It is difficult to suddenly relinquish a long cherished love (Catullus).
Simulatio amoris pejor odio est – Pretended love is worse than hatred (Pliny the Younger).
Nullis amor est medicabilis herbis – Love is to be cured by no drugs (Ovid).

I’m trying to teach myself Spanish and this is what I learned today……

Borrar (boh-rrahr') To erase; to delete
1. La maestra borró el pizarrón al terminar la clase.
The teacher erased the blackboard at the end of class.
 2. Borré mi trabajo de historia por accidente y se supone que lo entregue mañana.

I accidentally deleted my history paper and I'm supposed to turn it in tomorrow.

Can Shakespeare help reform prisoners?
By Laura Bates

'Shakespeare can help modify prisoners’ behaviour in a way that counselling cannot.'
Aapo Haapanen licensed under CC BY 2.0 and adapted from the original.
Laura Bates, Professor of English at Indiana State University, has worked in maximum security prisons across the US setting up Shakespeare programmes. She explains how the world's most famous playwright can help bring about prisoner reform.
'How do you get prisoners to read Shakespeare?' 'Why Shakespeare?' These are the two most common questions I am asked about my work. I tell people it's not difficult to get prisoners to read Shakespeare, they want to read Shakespeare; they recognise him as the most respected and revered icon of world literature.
Shakespeare can help modify prisoners' behaviour in a way that counselling cannot. Counsellors typically begin with the premise: 'you are "broken", I know how to "fix" you'. Naturally, this kind of approach meets with resistance.
Inviting a prisoner to read Shakespeare begins with the opposite premise: 'I believe you are capable of reading the most challenging of literature.' Flattered, and often surprised, by such an invitation, many prisoners relish, and rise to, the challenge. And when they succeed, they feel a sense of accomplishment that can't be got from reading Hemingway or Dickens.
This is the first and only Shakespeare programme created for a maximum security (supermax) prison
A supermax is the long-term solitary confinement unit within a prison. It houses the most dangerous prisoners in the US. Prisoners in this unit spend close to 24 hours a day in windowless concrete cells – not for days or weeks, but months and often years at a time. Any movement out of their cells is a monumental undertaking.
The prisoners who joined my Shakespeare programme each week were escorted from their cells and placed in separate cells where the classes took place. In between each class, I asked them to write down their responses to the play we were reading, scene by scene. When they arrived, I collected their writings through the opened slot in the steel doors.
I sat in the little hallway between two rows of cells as the prisoners spoke to one another, sharing their insights and debating interpretations of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Their discussions took place through these little slots. They could only see the eyes of the prisoners across from them, and they could not see the prisoners next to them at all.
Reading Shakespeare can save lives
I spent ten years reading Shakespeare’s plays with prisoners in solitary confinement, working with hundreds of prisoners in all. One of them, Larry Newton, spent ten years living in solitary confinement. The effect of the programme on Larry has been profound. 'Shakespeare saved my life', he says. 'I was really self-destructive, on the razor’s edge every day for years and years. I'm confident that I would've done something drastic and ended up on death row. Or I would've one day found the courage to take my own life. So literally, he saved my life.'
Reading the plays teaches prisoners skills such as communication and comprehension, as well as analysis, critical thinking, and looking at issues and characters from multiple perspectives. For Larry, studying Shakespeare led to deep realisations about his crimes; he looked at them anew:
'Shakespeare offered me the opportunity to develop new ways of thinking through these plays', he says. 'I was trying to figure out what motivated Macbeth, why his wife was able to make him do a deed that he said he didn't want to do just by attacking his ego. I had to ask myself what was motivating me in my deeds, and I came face to face with the realisation that I was fake, that I was motivated by this need to impress those around me, that none of my choices were truly my own. And as bad as that sounds, it was the most liberating thing I’d ever experienced, because it meant that I had control of my life. I could be anybody I wanted to be.'
Education is pivotal in helping released prisoners reintegrate into society
The Shakespeare programme I created in the segregation unit in Indiana has expanded into other prisons in the state and across the US. I had the opportunity to design the curriculum for the four-year bachelor’s degree programme that was offered by Indiana State University through its Correction Education Programme. As a professor in the programme, I included a bit of Shakespeare in every course I taught, even in Introduction to American Literature.
Recently, I received an email from a successfully reintegrated offender. Dennis was a student in the college-credit classes I taught for Indiana State University, when the state of Indiana still had a correctional education programme. The email had the title ‘Shakespeare saved MY life, too’.
Dennis wrote: 'Ever since I was released from prison, shortly after graduation with a bachelor’s degree, I've been addicted to education. I've often attributed this second addiction to my prison education, as it taught me the value of education to improving my ability to process information and make better decisions, all the while, working to improve my own lot in life while helping those I can. Naturally, the Bard has been at the forefront of my interests. Whether confronting male-female relationships with a shrew or the internal moral and ethical struggle of a king, Shakespeare has given me insight to the human condition.'
Dennis has now earned a Master of Liberal Studies degree, focusing on Shakespeare and political science. He is currently finishing his second year of classwork for his PhD.
Shakespeare programmes in prison create a lot of controversy
Some academics see these programmes as ‘high culture’ forced on vulnerable people for the benefit of the prison administration. Others see it as entertainment only, an ‘escape’ from serving hard time – an impression the media compounds when it shows convicts having fun as they rehearse a play and bow to the applause they receive. But far more important than the fun they are having are the lessons they are learning and the benefits this has for wider society.
Larry Newton remains in prison, but he continues to be a positive influence on others who will be released one day. Statistics are not encouraging for released prisoners: most will return to prison. While I can’t offer comprehensive data on the recidivism rate for offenders who participated in my Shakespeare programme, I can report that among those who took part in the programme and have since been released from prison, not one has returned.
It may be harder to see the therapeutic effects of delving into Shakespeare’s characters – analysing why Macbeth commits murder, for example. But it can help prisoners come to terms with their own motives before deciding not to kill again. It is impossible to ‘see’ the victims that have been saved as a result, but they are there.
Laura Bates is the author of Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard.
The British Council is planning a year-long global programme celebrating Shakespeare’s works in 2016. Find out more about the Shakespeare Lives programme of activities.


In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were promptly split apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more than ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny compelling story will make you cry and laugh as you journey with this child to overcome the obstacles of the foster care system and find his dreams.


John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.

Contact John:

From Professor William Anthony Connolly

This incredible memoir, No Time to Say Goodbye, tells of entertaining angels, dancing with devils, and of the abandoned children many viewed simply as raining manna from some lesser god.
The young and unfortunate lives of the Tuohy bruins—sometimes Irish, sometimes Jewish, often Catholic, rambunctious, but all imbued with Lion’s hearts— is told here with brutal honesty leavened with humor and laudable introspective forgiveness.
The memoir will have you falling to your knees thanking that benevolent Irish cop in the sky, your lucky stars, or hugging the oxygen out of your own kids the fate foisted upon Johnny and his siblings does not and did not befall your own brood.
 John William Tuohy, a nationally-recognized authority on organized crime and Irish levity, is your trusted guide through the weeds the decades of neglect ensnared he and his brothers and sisters, all suffering for the impersonal and often mercenary taint of the foster care system.
Theirs, and Tuohy’s, story is not at all figures of speech as this review might suggest, but all too real and all too sad, and maddening. I wanted to scream. I wanted to get into a time machine, go back and adopt every last one of them. I was angry. I was captivated.
The requisite damning verities of foster care are all here, regretfully, but what sets this story above others is its beating heart, even a bruised and broken one, still willing to forgive and understand, and continue to aid its walking wounded. I cannot recommend this book enough



GOOD WORDS TO HAVE..................................

 Foist   \FOIST\ 1a :to introduce or insert surreptitiously or without warrant b :to force another to accept especially by stealth or deceit 2 : to pass off as genuine or worthy

 An early sense of the word foist, now obsolete, referred to palming a phony die and secretly introducing it into a game at an opportune time. The action involved in this cheating tactic reflects the etymology of foist. The word is believed to derive from the obsolete Dutch verb vuisten, meaning "to take into one's hand." Vuisten in turn comes from vuyst, the Middle Dutch word for "fist," which itself is distantly related to the Old English ancestor of "fist." By the late 16th century foist was being used in English to mean "to insert surreptitiously," and it quickly acquired the meaning "to force another to accept by stealth or deceit."

Denmark's wind power just exceeded their energy demand

Yesterday, Denmark's wind farms were able to produce 116% of the nation's electricity needs. By 3am on Friday, when electricity demand dropped, that figure had risen to 140%.
Interconnectors allowed 80% of the power surplus to be shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for use later. Sweden took the remaining fifth of excess power.“It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for trade body the European Wind Energy Association. “Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonisation – and also security of supply at times of high demand.”


Oregon Becomes Fourth State To Pass Paid Sick Leave Law

by Douglas S. Parker and Don H. Stait

On June 12, 2015, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 454, legislation that will require most employers with 10 or more employees in Oregon to provide employees with up to 40 hours per year of paid sick leave.  As discussed below, Portland employers with six or more employees already must provide sick leave.  Oregon employers with fewer than 10 employees (or six in Portland) will be required to provide up to 40 hours per year of unpaid sick leave.  Once the new measure is signed into law by Governor Kate Brown as expected, Oregon will join California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts in enacting state-wide paid sick leave legislation.
The new sick leave law applies to virtually all people working in the state:  full-time and part-time hourly, salaried, commissioned and piece-rate employees, as well as home care employees who provide hourly or live-in care to the elderly or disabled and who receive money from the Oregon Department of Human Services.  Only independent contractors, employees who receive paid sick leave under federal law, participants in certain work-training or work-study programs, and children employed by their parents, are excluded from coverage.
Passage of sick leave legislation applicable to all Oregon employers follows local government initiatives in Portland and Eugene.  The Portland ordinance, enforced since January 1, 2014, requires employers of six employees within Oregon to provide paid sick leave, and employers with less than six employees to provide unpaid sick leave.  That provision of the Portland ordinance will remain in effect.  Portland employers must comply with the new state law in all other respects.  However, the City of Eugene's sick leave ordinance, which was to go into effect on July 1, 2015, will now be preempted, meaning Eugene employers must comply with the state law only.  The new law prohibits any other local government from imposing different sick leave requirements on private employers and instead requires adherence to the new state law.
Under the new Oregon law, paid sick leave will immediately begin to accrue for current employees on January 1, 2016 at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours of actual work.  Employees hired after that date will begin accruing sick leave immediately upon hire (although they cannot begin using it until the 91st calendar day after they begin work). 
Sick leave pay will be based on the employee's regular rate of pay.  Employees paid on a commission or piece-rate basis will receive sick leave pay at the current Oregon minimum wage.  Salaried employees exempt from overtime are presumed to work 40 hours per week for accrual purposes unless the actual workweek of the employee is less than 40 hours, in which case sick time accrues based on the actual workweek of the employee.
Oregon employers will not be required to pay out accrued sick leave balances when an employee resigns or is terminated, but any accrued sick leave must be restored to an employee who is rehired within 180 days.  An employee will not lose his or her accrued sick leave if transferred to another Oregon facility of the same employer or upon the sale of the business to another employer.
Employees are permitted to use accrued sick leave in one-hour increments, which for the most part tracks allowable incremental time uses under the Oregon Family Leave Act ("OFLA").  These uses include leave taken for their own or a family member's illness, injury or health conditions and/or medical diagnosis.  Paid sick leave may also be used for any of the following reasons:
•           To care for an infant or newly adopted or foster child;
•           To care for a child who needs home care;
•           To make funeral arrangements, attend the funeral or grieve for a family member who has died;
•           To seek legal or law enforcement assistance to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee's dependent;
•           To obtain, or to assist a dependent in obtaining counseling from a licensed mental health professional or services from a victim service provider, or to relocate or take steps to secure an existing home because of an experience of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking; or
•           To deal with situations in which the employee is excluded from the workplace for health reasons or because of the closure of the employee's place of business, or closure of the school or place of care of the employee's dependent, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.
The new Oregon law also provides that employers may require employees to make reasonable attempts to schedule sick leave when it is least disruptive to the employer and to provide reasonable notice of their intention to take sick leave when that leave is foreseeable.  The employer may also require documentation only for periods of sick leave of three days or more.  Under the new law it will be illegal to deny, interfere with or retaliate against an employee who has taken sick leave as provided under the statute.
The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) is charged with adopting rules for implementation and enforcement of the new law.
Employers should examine their sick leave policies now to determine whether they will need to make changes to bring them into compliance before the law takes effect on January 1, 2016.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

"Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.”

Compiled by

John William Tuohy

Police Reports

The following are copies of written statements submitted to the police on report forms The drivers were instructed to give a brief statement on the particulars of the accident in their own words.

Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't know.

 I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my Mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.

 The gentleman behind me struck me on the backside. He then went to rest in the bush with just his rear end showing.

 In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.

 I had been driving my car for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.

MD: An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.

The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him.

I saw the slow moving, sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.

The guy was all over the road, I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.

 I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the roadway when I struck him.

My girlfriend kissed me. I lost control and woke up in the hospital.

When I saw I could not avoid a collision I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other

As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.

I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat, I found that I had fractured my skull.


Architecture for the blog of it

Art for the Blog of It

Art for the Pop of it

Photography for the blog of it

Music for the Blog of it

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

The art of War (Propaganda art through the ages)

Album Art (Photographic arts)

Pulp Fiction Trash (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)

Admit it, you want to Read this Book (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)

The Godfather Trilogy BlogSpot

On the Waterfront: The Making of a great American Film

Absolutely blogalicious

The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)

Good chowda (New England foods)

Old New England Recipes (Book support site)

And I Love Clams (New England foods)

In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener (New England foods)

Wicked Cool New England Recipes (New England foods)

Old New England Recipes (New England foods)

Foster Care new and Updates

Aging out of the system

Murder, Death and Abuse in the Foster Care system

Angel and Saints in the Foster Care System

The Foster Children’s Blogs

Foster Care Legislation

The Foster Children’s Bill of Right

Foster Kids own Story

The Adventures of Foster Kid.

Me vs. Diabetes (Diabetes education site)

The Quotable Helen Keller

Teddy Roosevelt's Letters to his children (Book support site)

The Quotable Machiavelli (Book support site)

Whatever you do, don't laugh

The Quotable Grouch Marx

A Big Blog of Irish Literature

The Wee Blog of Irish Jokes (Book support blog)

The Wee Blog of Irish Recipes

The Irish American Gangster

The Irish in their Own Words

When Washington Was Irish

The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)

Following Fitzgerald


The Blogable Robert Frost

Charles Dickens

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation

Holden Caulfield Blog Spot

The Quotable Oscar Wilde

The Quotable Thoreau

Old New England Recipes

Wicked Cool New England Recipes


The New England Mafia

And I Love Clams

In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener

Watch Hill

York Beach

The Connecticut History Blog

The Connecticut Irish

Good chowda

God, How I hated the 70s

Child of the Sixties Forever

The Kennedy’s in the 60’s

Music of the Sixties Forever

Elvis and Nixon at the White House (Book support site)

Beatles Fan Forever

Year One, 1955

Robert Kennedy in His Own Words

The 1980s were fun

The 1990s. The last decade.

The Russian Mafia

The American Jewish Gangster

The Mob in Hollywood

We Only Kill Each Other

Early Gangsters of New York City

Al Capone: Biography of a self-made Man

The Life and World of Al Capone

The Salerno Report

Guns and Glamour

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Mob Testimony

Recipes we would Die For

The Prohibition in Pictures

The Mob in Pictures

The Mob in Vegas

The Irish American Gangster

Roger Touhy Gangster

Chicago’s Mob Bosses

Chicago Gang Land: It Happened Here

Whacked: One Hundred years of Murder in Gangland

The Mob Across America

Mob Cops, Lawyers and Front Men

Shooting the Mob: Dutch Schultz

Bugsy& His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill

After Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate on Organized Crime

Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee (Book support site)

The US Government’s Timeline of Organized Crime (Book support site)

The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)

Joe Valachi's testimony on the Mafia (Book support site)

Mobsters in the News

Shooting the Mob: Dead Mobsters (Book support site)

The Stolen Years Full Text (Roger Touhy)

Mobsters in Black and White

Mafia Gangsters, Wiseguys and Goodfellas

Whacked: One Hundred Years of Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Mob (Book support site)

Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal (Book support site)

The Best of the Mob Files Series (Book support site)

It’s All Greek Mythology to me

Psychologically Relevant

The Rarifieid Tribe

Perfect Behavior

The Upscale Traveler

The Mish Mosh Blog

DC Behind the Monuments

Washington Oddities

When Washington Was Irish

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