October 10, 2007

I'm placing this image as I have no news to report concerning Isaac's disappearance at this time.


September 11, 2007

My Stand

I am publishing my Granddad’s poem, “My Stand,” as he has done every September 11th since Nine-Eleven as a commemoration of those who died in that horrible International Terrorist event, and to commemorate Granddad’s life as well. I wish that more people were able to think as thoroughly and lovingly as my grandfather did.


My Stand

Isaac Stolzfuts

I was born on September 11, 1919.
I was with my great grand children
On September 11th, 2001,
My 82nd birthday.
We celebrated by playing together.
Drawing pictures, they told me what they saw;
The farm, our orchard, friends at school,
Their Mom and Dad.

Black space...

The TV’s white-noise-background
Suddenly startorian to my mind
Though the anchor man’s voice
Even and measured announced
Pulled us away
And, no longer laughing at play,
We watched "live" as thousands died.
It felt as though we were there
Engulfed in that ebon cloud of dust,
The taste of death in our mouths.

Rebecca (named after her Grandma)
Cried, “That’s just a movie, Grandpa,
Right?” And Abe Junior said,
"Where are all the super heroes?
When we need-um!"
Well, the super heroes are in Iraq today,
Fighting for what they believe.
I pray for their safety even as
Mr. Bush says, “ I pray for peace.”

I was born on September 11, 1919,
At the end of WWI and the flue epidemic.
A Surreal world of horror
Was born on September 11, 2001.
Flowers and fireworks opposed to cinders and soot.
A world in which the lost lives of Iraq's
Women and children are not counted.
A world in which stolen artifacts
Testament to the beginning of civilization
Are casualties to Imperialist ambition.
A world in which a 21st century crusade has begun.

I do not believe in this war.
I do not believe in the "New American Century."

I do believe in a United States that stands for peace and trust.
I do believe in a United States that leads the world by example.
I do believe in a United States that bequeaths to the world
A vision of democracy and freedom.

Each American in Iraq is a hero and a patriot.
Each American who states his or her opinion
Opposing this war is also a hero and a patriot.

Dissent is one of the freedoms we believe in!
Would you have 225 years of national endeavor destroyed?
Do not call me anti-American.
Do not tell me that I did not suffer on September 11.
Do not tell me that I am not a patriot.

I was born on September 11, 1919.
My life always circled around Nine Eleven.
By birthright I am Nine Eleven.
I am a child of Nine Eleven.
I am freedom.
And, like Whitman I am part of you
And all of you are a part of me.
I am American.
I don't believe in this war of American conquest, and
I am a 21st century American patriot!

September 07, 2007


The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth--it is the truth which conceals that there is none.

Jean Baudrillard

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mohandas Gandhi

I am posting this last post as a memorial to Granddad, and I will leave this journal in tact, at least for the short term as a testimony to his life. I hope others will find it, read him, and because of that, he will help to shape the lives of others as he has mine.

For those who have been his regular readers over the years, I will post news concerning the resolution of his disappearance as it occurs.

In recognition of his life, and as he would have it said in the end (I'm sure),

"God bless each and everyone."


September 03, 2007


Granddad’s car has been found. It is one month since his disappearance, and several children who telephoned the police yesterday discovered his Saturn VUE. The car was near Sarasota, Florida, on cinder blocks and stripped. The State Police said there was no blood in the car and there was no evidence of foul play. But, there it was, an empty, ruined Saturn, and no Isaac. Of course, my reaction is that the stripped car found 150 miles from Isaac's home is evidence of foul play. The police say that it was stipped because Isaac abandoned the car. Instead, I ask - did he abondone the car willlingly?

I’ve talked with Granddad’s lawyer by telephone and he said that disposing of Granddad’s estate would be a protracted process. Nothing can be disposed of until it is demonstrated that he (God, this sounds terrible!) is dead. The process is further complicated because another legal assumption must be met. Legally, a missing person is presumed to be alive, and that presupposition is called “the assumption of the continuance of life.” In the case of missing persons, a thorough search must be completed, and it can take many years before the courts are willing to declare the person “missing and presumed to be dead.” The process can take up to seven years. Also, anyone, namely Mother, who wishes to dispose of, and or acquire possessions of Granddad’s must either have him declared missing and presumed dead or have legal power of attorney. Since Granddad had granted power of attorney to me last year, and since I am named executor of his will, I am the only person who can legally begin the proceedings, and / or dispose of his estate. So, it would appear that I am in control of this process, and I do not intend to allow anyone to sell Granddad’s condominium and dispose of his possessions until I am satisfied that he is no longer living.

I know Mother will be difficult. I know my father will go to bat for her. I know we may end up not speaking for a time. However, I’m just going to do what I must and let the mother machine be a witch if she will.

August 31, 2007

Granddad Helped me to Know Why I Teach.

There’s nothing new to report on Isaac.

I miss calling him every week and talking with him. He was able to make the biggest problem seem unimportant, and the most inconsequential items of ordinary daily living became magnificent when he examined them. For instance, in my last entry here, I made teaching sound burdensome when that is the farthest thing from the truth, and Granddad would have called me on it. I do love teaching, or I wouldn’t be doing it. I like working with my students – notice they are “my students” – because I take them, problems and all, and together we create a special place where we all work together to help one another learn. And, I learn from them. I know this sounds like Mr. Pollyanna, head in the clouds fairy science teacher. I suppose that the reality of teaching lies somewhere between today’s statement and that of August twenty-eighth. However, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, and Granddad is the reason I know that. He helped me to see that I will be spending at least 30 years as a gay male adult teaching children and or young adults (the second option is based on pursuing a masters and doctorate in science), and that is wonderful, because I like doing just that. So many people don’t like their work, and therefore suffer, and cause others to suffer. Sometimes I suffer from doing my work, but it is because I am a type A personality and perfectionist. However, I actually love the work. Granddad helped to give me that focus.

Please, be sitting by the water somewhere, Granddad, taking photographs, drawing, or reading. I love you and I miss you.

This drawing is one of Granddad's last. It was on his drafting table on the porch in North Palm Beach.

August 28, 2007

Still Nothing

My students are back this week, until Friday. We will all be off four days for the holiday. Of course, it’s maniacal at school. Start up always is - new forms to complete every day - both for the students, their families, faculty and staff. Every school administrator is required to take a course titled “Forms 101,” when completing Masters requirements, and the first thing the professor teaches in that course, rule #1 is, “Thou shall have your secretary design at least one new form every week.”

One of my personal stumbling blocks is learning all my new student’s names. I play name games in every class ostensibly so students can learn one another’s names quickly. Never the less, I hope they don't know that Mr. Stolzfuts struggles just as much as they do - perhaps more so. Of course I’ve given two assignments in every class already, so I end up correcting and grading papers every evening because I insist on immediately returning papers –else how’s a student to learn new material? Each student must know as soon as possible what he/she reported correctly and incorrectly – as well as misspelled words, improper syntax and grammar, and so on. Well, I guess I could continue this diatribe on the problems of a science teacher at the beginning of the school year. However, that is not my purpose, and this is not my journal.

I have nothing much to report concerning Granddad at this time. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office and Florida State Police have finally put out a missing person’s report on Isaac. I will try to continue updating, perhaps once a week.

Thank you everyone, for your messages of concern.

August 26, 2007

No News Isn’t Necessarily Good News.

I talked with Mother on the phone last night. She said that whether or not Isaac is located she and Dad plan on returning to Granddad’s condominium during the Thanksgiving holiday to sell the furniture, empty, and put it up for sale. My heart sank through the floor, and I’ve been terribly depressed ever since. I’m not sure they can do that if Granddad isn’t legally dead. Nevertheless, I will check into it, and at the very least, I will go along, or separately by plane so I can save his laptop, records, artwork, and writing from my compulsive and obsessed mother.

There’s not much else to report at this time. I certainly don’t feel like doing a lengthy personal expose of my feelings. The media drive me mad with their obsession concerning personal confession and disclosure. I’m tired of hearing and reading emotional and trivial life stories, because such things should be private. Besides, there is nothing in most diurnal existence to interest anyone other than the individual. Perhaps Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Buddah, and a few others took personal experience and transformed it into something that all humanity can learn from. The rest of us, well - Twenty-first Century America is a wasteland of hyper empty-headed emotion.

H-m-m-m-m-m! I guess I can do a crazed diatribe just as well as my Granddad. Thus, this is the first moment possessed of a certain and positive cathartic feeling since Granddad disappeared.

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August 22, 2007

Static State!

I’m back in New Jersey, because In Service has begun, and my students will return to school next week on Monday. Mother is still in South Florida, and Dad will leave Orchard Hill Farm by car and drive to South Florida tomorrow. He and Mother plan the return trip to Pennsylvania by car on Friday and Saturday. I told them that they ought to wait until next week because they will run into shore traffic all the way up the east coast of Florida and Georgia on Friday. But, as usual there is no arguing with Mother once her mind is made up, and she wants to go home.

It still appears that Peter is the Palm Beach Sheriff’s primary suspect in evil doing, though as I’ve said, I personally don’t believe that is likely even though Peter continues not speaking to me. That makes him look guilty as hell - but, I think he’s just deeply hurt that anyone would think he is capable of hurting Granddad. And, I also think he feels guilty he and Granddad had not sorted through the complications in their relationship before Granddad disappeared. Upon my return to Woodbury, I had Stephen (my partner) call Peter, but Peter did not answer the phone, nor has he returned Stephen’s call though Stephen left a message on Peter’s machine. I feel badly, but there is nothing else I can do just now.

We are in stasis down in Florida. Granddad is still missing. His condominium will be left as is, at least until we have some definitive answers to the questions surrounding his disappearance. The police haven’t found his car, though they’ve widened the search to include Broward and Dade counties. Mother and I complained that the search should be widened to include the entire state, but so far, that has not been done. I can’t help wondering if the sheriff and police wouldn’t be a bit more proactive if Granddad was a more important person. The longer this thing drags on, the less optimistic I am that Granddad is alive, though I hate to admit it. I love him and miss him. He is extremely important in my life at least in part because he has been such a great help and an example to me in sorting through the problems created by growing up gay in our heterosexist culture. I plan to keep his journal open and running as long as there is some hope that he will be found alive, and perhaps I will keep the blog in tact as a testimony to his life after that. However, I guess I should cross that bridge at the appropriate time.

For now, I’m tired, and I’m writing this on my laptop during In-service. In short, I’m not focused on the blithering speaker at the front of the auditorium, and I will get in trouble if I’m caught uploading this through the school’s Internet hook-up. So, I will use my own wireless hook-up during our break, or upload tonight after work.

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August 19, 2007

Primary Suspect

We’ve been here almost one week, and mother and I are bumping into one another. We are both temperamental. My mother has always been difficult. She can’t help it. She’s just complicated as all get out, and high maintenance, plus, plus. She and Granddad never got a long. In fact, she cleaned out his studio - the bolted and locked “Sanctuary” in the Orchard Hill Farm attic - in the late 1990’s. Granddad had retired from the farm and moved to Pine Needle Retirement Home at the time. Mother said she was just making the farm ready for her own family, but she gave all his paraphernalia and artworks away. I don’t think Granddad has ever forgiven her.* I think she’s feeling guilty now, and that fuels her anxiety and temper. I have no excuse for my irritability.

The state police told Peter not to leave the county the other day, and he still isn’t speaking to us. I drove over to his place yesterday afternoon, but he refused to let me in, saying, “just go!”

“I know you didn’t do anything to Granddad, Peter.”

“That’s not what your mother and the police think.”

“Mother is a mess, and the police are being ridiculous.”

“I don’t want you here, Adam.”

“I had hoped you would help.”

“With what? Apparently I’m the primary suspect. The police have made all kinds of disgusting innuendos about my relationship with Isaac, and they told me not to leave the area. I feel as though I’m stuck in some horrible piece of trashy fiction.”

“Won’t you let me in?”

“Adam, No!” He shut the door and I heard the dead bolt turn, then silence. I knew there was no point. I’ve called repeatedly, but I get his machine. I worry because Peter is actually acting guilty, and I wonder, could the police be right? Did Peter have something to do with Granddad’s disappearance?

*See Granddad’s journal 2003 and 2004 entries for details concerning the Sanctuary debacle.

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August 16, 2007

The Search

I am Adam Stolzfuts Groff, and I am completing this entry in my grandfather’s Weblog because my grandfather, Isaac has been missing since August 2nd or 3rd. His last entry in this journal was made on Thursday, August 2, 2007. You can refer to my entry in Granddad’s journal from August 11, 2007 for an account of our family’s discovery of Isaac’s disappearance.

My mother, Ruth and I flew to Palm Beach International airport from Philadelphia International this past Monday, rented a car, and drove to Granddad’s condominium. Peter, Granddad’s best friend in North Palm Beach met us at the condominium, and we knocked on the door and rang the doorbell repeatedly before unlocking and entering the apartment. Granddad was not there, though everything was neat as a pin, and cool, the air conditioning running full steam ahead, cutting the humidity to a fraction of the August swamp outside. I add this last detail because it is important to note that Granddad had the thermostat set to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. He is frugal and environmentally conscious so I know he would have turned the thermostat up to 79 degrees if he were going away on a trip. We did not conduct much of a search at the time, and Peter suggested we touch nothing until we could convince the police to investigate.

We have visited both the state police, and the North Palm Beach Sheriff's offices. We filed a complete report on Granddad’s disappearance, and finally have convinced both state police and sheriff's office that Isaac is missing, and not just on an unannounced and whimsical junket. They have conducted a thorough search of Isaac’s condominium for anything of significance that might be helpful in finding Granddad, including taking finger prints. A countywide search for Isaac’s Saturn has been instituted though the Saturn hasn’t turned up. In an alrming move the state police have insisted on questioning Peter repeatedly and at great length. I have been wondering if they consider him to be involved in Granddad’s disappearance, and my Mother has been entirely obnoxious with Peter, all but accusing him of doing away with Isaac. Because of her, Peter will no longer talk with us. I don’t blame him because I think this journal itself proves that Peter could not have been involved in Granddad’s disappearance. In fact, I think he loves my Grandfather as much, perhaps more, than any of us in the family.

Meanwhile Mother and I have moved into Grandpa’s condominium after staying in a hotel for the first few days. I feel his presence around me all the time. It is as though he stepped outside for one of his constitutionals. There is a book laying upside down and open on the table next to his chair in the living room - notes in the margins as always, an almost finished drawing on the drawing table in the porch, and a partially completed digital photo montage in a folder labeled “New Work,” on the desktop in this computer. It feels as though he should walk in the door at any moment, and I’m hoping desperately that he is still alive and well.

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