July 27, 2006

At the Beach in Southeast Florida
It was hot, but I had to go. I can’t help myself. I’m addicted to the transparencies and colors of the water. I didn’t walk far in the hot sun, just from the wood ramp to waters edge. Even so, I got dizzy, and managed to totally exhaust myself. Today my feet, my knees and back are killing me. Never the less, it was worth the effort.

I put number 30 sun block on, and I know they keep saying it doesn’t provide complete protection, but good grief! I’m 86. I did the damage in my 20’s and 30’s. Then we just basted ourselves with oil and baked ourselves in the sun until we were an all-over bright pink. I also wore my panama hat to shade my baldpate, forehead and face. It is a yellowish-tan color with a few darker brown spots instead of pristine palest ocher.

The day I bought the hat, Rebecca and I were shopping at the market in
Merida, Mexico. It was 1957, and we were on a tour of the Yucatan Peninsula that took us to most of the ancient Mayan Indian ruins including Chitzen Itza (The tourists pronounced it “chicken pizza.”), Ushmal, and Tulum. It had been an expensive, truly fascinating and exhausting trip by plane and bus. I had learned that the Mayan civilization possessed advanced mathematics, and a written language, both of which the invading Spanish had destroyed. In 1957 Mexico was truly third world. The poverty was astonishing, and the Indians lived in tin-roofed and dirt-floored shacks called Nas. I know that many of them still live that way today. It is easy to understand why so many have come to the United States illegally.

I remember that day in the market the Indian women wore frilly white dresses with embroidered flowers of the brightest colors, the men clean white starched guayaberas, and the spotlessly dressed tiny children clutching and hung from their mothers hands. I don’t know how they managed to be so clean. The Mayan Riviera did not exist then, so we had not been to the East coast to see the bright aqua waters of the Caribbean. Merida is located on the North Coast of the Yucatan on the Gulf of Mexico and there the shallow gulf is like a huge muddy bay. Having been brought up in the Central Atlantic States, and experiencing only the brown opaque ocean at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, the Southeast coast of Florida with its changeable emerald ad aqua clear water is a special wonder to me. I also dream of going back to Mexico so I can see the Mayan Riviera, but I know that if I am to do that, It must be darn soon.

Wow, this entry certainly wanders all over creation!

I did take a couple of pictures on the beach yesterday and I include one here.


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July 24, 2006

Empty Nest

It sure is quiet. I am trying to occupy myself constantly so as not to be lonely. I have always been happy to be on my own. That's why I made my studio, Sanctuary, at Cherry Hill Farm. My work and that studio space gave me the solitude I needed. There is something about the creative act that demands privacy, at least for me. And, I’m addicted to making art. I will freely admit that I have no choice. I must create! My family never understood that. Rebecca struggled to come to terms with it, unsuccessfully, I think. And, Ruth, well, if you go back to my entries from 2003, you can see for yourself Ruth’s position concerning my work. The boys (my sons Abraham and Joseph) were and are stoic about my activities in general, though I think they are secretly pleased to have Ruth eternally upset with me.

spititual work/meditation - Ancient of Days (1794), William Blake
Here in South Florida I have you, dear Journal, to keep me busy. I also have my camera, and my photographic montages to occupy my time. In fact, I sometimes find hours have gone by as though I have been working in a trance. That aspect of doing art amazes me because it borders on the spiritual, as though work might actually be an act of meditation. I wonder if other artists have found that to be the case. And, I wonder if any/all work can be accomplished as though it were an act of meditation.

Be that as it may, I also have an interesting development to report. My hunky young neighbor, Pete stopped by yesterday and asked if Adam and Stephen were in. I explained that they had both gone back to New Jersey, and he looked totally crestfallen.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “ Would you like their e-mail addresses, Pete?


“Come on in. I’ll get paper and pen.” He followed me into the kitchen.

“The place sure is looking good, Sir.”

“Thanks, Pete.”

“Looks as though you’ve lived here forever.”

“I hope to,” I said with a chuckle. Pete looked at me quizzically, not knowing whether to laugh. “It’s Okay, Pete. At my age you take each day as though it were a gift from God.”

“That would be a good thing for each of us to do,” he said.

“Yes, it would. Here are the e-mail addresses.” I handed him a yellow sticky note. Our hands touched briefly, and I felt a jolt. I swear I did. It wasn’t static electricity either. I know I blinked. I also know that Pete hesitated – a moment of intense silence.

“Thank you, Sir. I will write tonight.” Again, he hesitated a moment. “I best be going now. I have to get to work.”

“You work during the summer, Pete?”

“I work all year in order to pay for my classes and pay rent to my parents.”

“I see,” I said as I walked him to the door. “I’m glad you stopped by, Pete.”

“Me too.”

“Come by again sometime, when you can stay and talk.”

“I will.”

“Say hello to your parents for me.” As I closed the door after him, I couldn’t help but wonder if he is one of the family. I hope he does stop by in the future. I would like to learn more about the young man. I have no illusions. I’m an old fart and he is twenty something. However, I like young people. I enjoy their energy and enthusiasm. And, this young man is hard working, kind and generous,and smart. His parents have done a good job, and he's got the ball and he's running.

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July 21, 2006

Adam Plans to Go Home
It will be lonely around here, but I can’t say that I’m terribly upset. This visit hasn’t been all that joyous. I was happy to have the help moving my things from Lancaster in to the condominium. However, all the boy’s melodrama has been a bit overwhelming. I do hope that Adam is able to work something out with Stephen, but, of course, it’s too early to know. He plans to find a new gay friendly psychologist in New Jersey so he can continue counseling there. He hasn’t talked to me much about his progress with his counselor here in South Florida, and I haven’t pried. However, he indicates that they have talked about his having a fear of intimate relationships of any kind because of the stress that has always been present in the relationship with – um – you know who. There I go again. More trouble. How do you write a personal blog without including personal information?

Ah, well - It will be nice to have the place to myself again.

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July 17, 2006

How do I make amends?
I called Ruth, but she won’t talk to me. I’ve written a lengthy letter of apology as well. I hope she reads it.

My Cyber space apologies to Samuel and Ruth, my daughter and son-in-law appear here today. I do not plan on changing my ways. However, if there is an entry in the future that will reflect directly on you and / or the rest of the family I will at least inform you in advance so that you are not taken by surprise. Also, please remember that all of your names are fictitious, as is my own surname in order to protect the innocent.

I do love you all!

July 13, 2006

Dirty Laundry?!?

It was about 8:00 in the evening. I was cleaning the kitchen, a job I hate because of the bending and stooping involved, and the phone was ringing.

“Adam,” I said, “Can you get that?”

“Sure.” I was making so much noise putting pots and pans away that I didn’t hear the conversation, and was startled when Adam tapped me on the shoulder. “It’s my Dad, Grandpa.” With his hand over the receiver, he whispered, “He wants to talk to you, and I think he’s pissed.”

“Samuel, Hi.” Ruth and Samuel haven’t been on the phone at all because Ruth is still upset about my move to South Florida, so I added, “What’s happening?”

“Isaac, you know what’s happening. You are! That damned blog. You just outed Adam, which is the least of it. You announced to the world that in addition to being a sexual pervert, he is also sexually irresponsible and promiscuous as hell.”

Even though I have some hearing loss in my right ear, his voice was raised to a pitch that made the phone break up, and I had to lift the receiver away from my head.

“Samuel. Please, lower your voice.”

“It’s a bit hard to think right now, Isaac. I’m so angry! I’m happy you are almost1200 miles away. I’d probably be arrested for inflicting violence on a family member if we were in the same room.”

“I didn’t out Adam, Samuel.”

“Ruth is locked in her room and won’t come out.”

I said, "I didn’t out Adam.”

“According to Sam Jr. that’s not the way it reads on your blog. He called with the information that Adam is screwing with every gay man in Fort Lauderdale.”

“That's over stating the facts a bit. Besides, I didn’t out Adam.”

“How so?”

“As you know, I use all fictitious names on the blog.”

“So what! Anyone reading that Pennsylvania Dutch Queer Soap can tell whom it’s about.”

“Right. Your farmer neighbors in Lancaster County read my blog.”

“They might.”

“Samuel, I'm not that important. Only my family knows I exist. In the world of blogging, I’m a nobody. In your neighborhood, I’m nobody. Think. Has anyone said anything to you about “Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal,” ever?”

“Isaac, it’s out there for all the world to read.”

“Yes, and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 high, any personal news I report is worth a 1. And, nobody knows who we are, and all names are changed to protect the innocent. Think about it. Relax.”

“I can’t relax.”


“You are being totally irresponsible.”

“I am not.”

“Hellfire and damnation, Isaac. You are impossible.”

“Yes, I suppose I am.”

“If and when I can get Ruth out of her bedroom, I need to talk to Adam.”

“Why not now.”

“Because he’s not acting like my son. I don’t know who he is. I am so angry with him… there’s no point. I doubt I would make sense just now.”

“It might help him to know just how upset you are over his promiscuity.”

“Isaac! I don’t know what I’m most upset about. I haven’t gotten over the fact that my son is a homosexual; much less that he can’t keep it in his pants. At the same time, his grandfather manages to spread the family dirty laundry all over the World Wide Web.”

“I’m sure Adam would like being referred to as dirty laundry.”

“Damn! Isaac, I’m going to hang-up now. When you are able to call and apologize, I suggest you do so.” The phone went dead.

I looked at Adam who had tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry Grandpa.”

“Ruth spends 90% of her life being upset with me, Adam. I’m used to it.”

“But, that was Dad.”

“You just came out to your parents last year. He hasn’t had time to come to terms with that. I guess I should have thought about your parent’s feelings before I wrote about this episode in the blog.”

“Who would have thought Mom and Dad read your blog?”

“They don’t. Your brother does.”

“Great. Once a snitch, always a snitch.”

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July 10, 2006

The Prodigal Grandson Returns
I was good. I didn’t lecture. I didn’t fuss. I even welcomed him back with a hug, at which he immediately broke down and cried. We had a long talk, the first of several about this, I hope. Adam said that he doesn’t understand why he wanted sex outside his relationship with Stephen. He said, “I was taken by surprise, Grandpa. I thought I was so happy with Stephen. I didn’t know. I mean, it was overwhelming. I just wanted the guy at the health club so bad that I couldn’t think.”

“Yeah, you used your dick instead of your brain.”

“I guess I did. But, it was like I couldn’t think.”

“I know the feeling.”

“You do.”

“Of course. Any man who says he doesn’t lies through his butt hole.”

“So, how do you control it?”

“First, I didn’t always control it. My dick led me out of the Amish order when I was nineteen, thank God. But, I did learn to recognize when it was about to take over. That’s the most important part, to know when you’re being led around by your desire. Then you can learn to use it.”

“Use it?”

“Sure. There is such a tremendous energy there. And you have a choice as to how to use that energy, channel it. I learned to know when to let it take control, and when it was absolutely necessary that I use the intellect God gave me to control it. If I hadn’t done that, my life would have been laid (pun intended) in ruins many times over.”

Later we made a list of things Adam must do this week to try to repair some of the damage his indiscretions have caused.

    1. Call Stephen to beg forgiveness.
    2. Call compass and made an appointment for an HIV test.
    3. While at Compass ask about a good psychologist or psychiatrist for counseling.
    4. Examine his spiritual life and his relationship to/with God and the church.
    5. Explore areas of interest in order to find something he can become devoted to other than his work and sex.

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July 06, 2006

Apologies to Mike
On June 4th I received the following comment in reference to my posting for that date, “The Constitutional Amendment to Disenfranchise an Entire Class of Citizens.” I bungled the attempt to post it to “Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal”, so I am presenting it today with my apologies to Mike, the writer of the comment.

Dear friend,

You wrote this, "Instead, this constitutional amendment is designed to limit the happiness of one group of people in order to satisfy the religious truthiness of an enangelical Christian minority."

This is not true. You assumption is a huge leap. There was no intent to limit happiness. You assume too much here. And, you blame Christians for this. Let me encourage you to think and write better. You show a judgmental bitterness that is not appropriate for a man your age.

Best to you,

Dear Mike,

I thank you for your comment of June 4, 2006, though it is “self-centered in opinion with curious lacunae of astonishing ignorance” (Frank Norris).

    1. First of all, there is a typo in the quote which of course makes the quote inaccurate.
    2. Second, in the last paragraph, your grammar leaves something to be desired. “Better” should be changed to “more correctly,” or perhaps the entire phrase might read “Let me encourage you to think and write in a more sophisticated fashion.”
    3. Third, whether or not the intent is there, the shortsightedness and self-serving bigotry present in the attempt to create a constitutional amendment that would limit the rights of ten to thirty million citizens of the USA would obviously put limits to their happiness.
    4. Fourth, I am a Christian. I do not blame Christians in general. Instead, I blame evangelical Christians. There are those Christians who believe that Jesus Christ would be the first to stand against the proposed and (thank goodness) failed (for now) constitutional amendment.
    5. Fifth, your final statement is so ageist that it demonstrates a total thoughtlessness concerning your elders. We are indeed, all of us, capable of “judgmental bitterness,” and I thank God for that capability. I, and all seniors would be vegetables if we were not capable of such. Indeed the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament often demonstrated such judgmental bitterness.

All of these points are made with “judgmental bitterness,” though with no personal malice.

My best wishes to you,


And My Life?

Is a shambles right now due to the recklessness of my grandson, Adam? He and Stephen are not speaking. I drove Stephen to Palm Beach Airport yesterday, and he flew back to New Jersey. Adam took the train to Fort Lauderdale, an extremely self-indulgent act to say the least. He still has not spoken to me about the sexual indiscretions that caused this imbroglio in the first place. I am so disappointed in Adam and I’m wondering why he is running from this wonderful relationship as though it were a building on fire! Actually that is not a good metaphor because Adam would have had to set the fire before fleeing the scene of the crime.

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July 04, 2006

Fourth of July Trouble in Paradise

It would appear that Adam has been a bad boy. While I have waxed “rhapsodisical” about my boys, Adam has met someone at the health club he and Stephen go to. Stephen is practically crazed because Adam did unmentionable things with this “hottie” right in the health club sauna, and Stephen walked in on it. As I write, Stephen is out in the car, somewhere, and Adam is sulking in the other bedroom.

I, in all my grandfatherly wisdom, have tried to remain out of it so far. I’m hoping Adam will come to me, so I can give him a solicited scathing, but gentle, lecture about the stupidity of being led around by his erect dick-head instead of the one where his brain is seated.

At the same time, I’ve been reading about the young U. S. soldier who raped an Iraqi woman, and killed 3 others including a 5 year old this past March. I will definitely write more about that incident in my political journal. I will only say here that things are extremely troublesome both personally and nationally on this special patriotic holiday.

Eleven Thirty A.M. EDT

The successful launch of space shuttle Discovery this morning at 10:39 A.M. EDT gave us a special big Fourth of July Rocket to raise the spirits. Yes!

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July 01, 2006

Clubbing in West Palm Beach
The boys took me out last night to Kashmir, a dance club in West Palm Beach. I had a good time watching the dancers, and I had too much to drink. Of course, at my age that means I had two Captain and Cokes. Oh, to be young again. I know it’s a cliché, but if I could go back, knowing what I know now, I could turn the gay world into my toy. However, if I could turn back the clock, and lead a gay life, all my adult life – I wouldn’t have my children, or grandchildren. I wouldn't have Adam, and I wouldn’t have spent all those difficult but wonderful years with my Rebecca. Would my life have been better?

I know that it is best not to live a lie, but life is not black and white. It is a terribly complex and wondrous gift. I think all those lovely young men and women on that dance floor last night have a better chance to lead a truthful gay life than I did, though there are still so many obstacles. (Since the Neo-con evangelical Republican machine took over the country in 2000, chances for honest living seem to be on a down-curve.) As I was saying, those young men and women might someday be able to marry, have children, and have a moral life sanctioned by their society in which they can be first class citizens. In fact, I know that so many have already decided to have children despite a reactive climate that prevents the non-biological parent from adopting his/her partner’s child. My own new state, Florida has a specific law that prevents gay and lesbian families from adopting despite the fact that many orphans will spend their childhood as wards of the state. Ah well, I’m getting political and I’ll save that for “Isaac’s Political Journal.”

I watched my boys dance last night. I saw Stephen’s head rest on Adam’s shoulder during one of the rare slow dances. As they turned in unison, I saw that Adam had closed his eyes. His face was composed, like that of an angel, filled with peace and contentment, as though God had kissed him on the forehead. Tears came to my eyes.

“God, please bless them,” I said softly, and my words were lost beneath the loud slow-music thunder of the huge club speaker system.

South Florida Waves

I've been taking photographs of waves at the beach and I will inlcude them often. Here's the first.

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