Local Authors Book Signing at Crown Books 8/17/14 2-4 PM

On Sunday, August 17, from 2-4 PM, local authors, Daniel C. Lavery,(All the Difference-memoir) Richard Weekley,(Already There, poetry) and Douglas William Douglas,(The Black Lake, mystery)will discuss their most recent book, read an excerpt, and coffee, tea, water, cookies, will be provided at Crown Books, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd. #1340, Woodland Hills. Each author will discuss his work at fifteen minute intervals followed by fifteen minutes of a break for mingling with the crowd and book signing. This will be Douglas William Douglas's initial book signing for his startling mystery, The Black Lake.

New Flyer:

Meet the Authors

 

Douglas William Douglas

The Black Lake

 

Daniel C. Lavery

 All the Difference, memoir

 "From a Pawn to a Crusader for Justice"

   

Richard Weekley

Already There

Poems Not to Read

 

Sunday August 17th

2 PM – 4 PM

 

Crown Book Store

6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd.

Woodland Hills

 

Join us for a fun time of coffee and cookies as these popular writers read from and sign their books.

   

(The image is for our last event at the same venue. A new poster will be at the location.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADan Reading poem at Onion Fall Poetry Festival 11102013

       

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Back From Nam

Vietnam Helicopter at My LaiVietnam My Lai torching a homeSoldier with flamethrower

Vietnam Jeep with gunners Cam Rahn Bay Vietnam My Lai children and others in a ditch of water

                                                     Unarmed Vietnamese hide from US Assault at My Lai

Vietnam Women and children huddled by tree at My Lai

Vietnam F-4 flyover

Vets cradled by rehab nurses in pool with shot off limbs.

Some in wheelchairs tell themselves what they did was right.

They repeat an embedded phrase: “We did it for our freedoms.”

“We killed people to allow the Vietnamese people to be free

And not allow the enemy to force their will on them.”

 

“But that’s what the draft did, man,said one with a beard.

“They forced me against my will to fight and kill people.

That’s the worst thing in the world. What about my freedom.”

“If you had a chance would you go back again?” asked one.

“No, I’d go to Sweden,” a Black with no legs said in a chair.

 

Another said with head up, chin out, and anger, “Yes, I’d

Go back out of an obligation to do what’s right for America.

No one has the right to tell anyone to do anything against their will.

That’s what I went to Nam to fight for” said the patriotic man.

“But then you are saying the draft isn’t the same as being forced.”

 

“I’m saying no country can force others against their will.”

“Some have to justify the war and can’t say it was useless.”

“Many can’t live with what we did there killing people and stuff.”

“They would be lying to say this was OK since I got a medal.”

“Killing can’t justify paralyzed people. We can’t face we did wrong”

 

How many admit we did wrong and face the rest of life crippled?

You don’t know what’s going on, you been away too long.

You’re out of touch my poor discarded man.

Yes, your left out, out of there without a doubt.

Your obsolete my poor old disabled friend.

 

Remember the Tet offensive and people blown away in Saigon?

I felt like an athlete in an Olympic event in combat city.

We have wasted a lot of time waiting for this opportunity.

What a time it was. Innocence, confidence, long ago.

Man fights battles on the land and sea.

 

My friend had brains but now is paralyzed in the psycho ward.

Earns more than those working on him from disability he can’t use.

Man strapped on a cart uses crutches to move around.

They feed all the Vietnam psychos Thorazine to make them zombies.

Take me to the station. Put me on a train.

 

I don't think I'll ever pass thru here again.

 “I want to volunteer,” says a youth

 Without a clue after brainwashing by recruiters in uniform.

 Once I was a strong man. Now I am so weak. Never in my

Sorry life have I ever felt like this, before.

 

Anti-was We can Bomb the world to piecesAnti-war poster old soldiers never dieAnti-war Peace NowAnti-War not healthy

Vietnam MapVietnam Hugh Thomspon forgotten hero

Vietnam Winter Soldier they risked everything to tell the truthVietnam My Lai 20 May 2010

My Lai Today

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Romping with Birches and their Music

 

The resilience of Birches

How they buckle, contort, and curve

So different from their companions.

Thoughts turn to childhood when I could

Manipulate them pushing or

Pulling their branches in the wind

With brother after strong snowfall

Or rain storm, when the breeze explodes

Making them sing like instruments

In Nature’s chamber orchestra

Playing haphazard symphonies.

 

When Sun’s swelter melts icy frost,

A musical chance offering

Percussive bursts crashing branches

Through supple arms as if wildwood

Fairies dropped rare glass chalices

Composing unique tones, rhythms,

And unsynchronized harmony

Unheard by city residents.

 

When summer arrives we return

To our Birch playground leaping up

And pulling the wood nymphs tresses

To Earth while their leaves, like nightgowns

Circle the warm soil that cushions

Our feet when we cascade to ground.

 

Every season our Birch comrades

Entertain us with euphony.

Companions relish joyful mirth

Frolicking with our forest friends.

 

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Legal Karma

At 9:45 AM in Hollywood, California, a man in his fifties and his son, twenty, approached the tall office building for the young man’s deposition at a busy intersection on Sunset Boulevard. Tall father in his blue pin striped suit, and muscular son, three inches shorter, in slacks and a sport shirt, strutted through a cross-walk. A crowd waited for a street musician to begin. Father and son passed the gathering to a nine-story office building, through glass revolving doors, into the foyer over black granite tile to the elevators. A swift ride to the ninth floor took them to a snazzy law office where the defense lawyers rented space. They stepped out of the elevator on to dark oak floor that led to the reception area.“We are here for John Kelly’s deposition,” Matt Kelly said to the slender dark- haired receptionist. She wore a professional grey suit bearing a name tag, “Fran”. She whisked them to the law library, where legal treatises ascended from floor to ceiling, and Joe Murphy, John’s attorney, closed the doors, “All the defense lawyers have read the hospital and psychiatric reports, and everyone wants to settle except the attorney for the driver of the Toyota who caused the accident without your deposition, John. She seems argumentative. The insurance lawyer is a professional and will begin the questioning. Just stick to the facts.” They walked to the conference room. Joe opened the heavy oak doors and they entered. Set on red carpet, an oak table had nine empty captain’s chairs with a court reporter at the far end in a dark blue suit. She had just placed new paper in her shorthand machine. A long glass window overlooked Sunset Boulevard to the east. They remained standing as the defense attorneys arrived. An obese female lawyer for the driver of the blue Toyota sauntered in with the insurance company’s lawyer, a husky red-haired attorney with a crew cut, Jack Levine. The reporter arose and pointing at the seat next to her said, “Would the deponent please sit here?” John took that seat, Joe sat adjacent, and Matt moved next to him. “Mr. John Kelly, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” the court reporter said. “I do.” “Counsel may proceed.” “Mr. Kelly, what time did you begin the trip in question?”asked Levine. “About ten AM.” “Where did you leave from?” “542 Newton Avenue, San Fernando, California.” “Who else joined you?” “My wife Barbara.” “What course of study were you engaged in at the time of the accident?” “I was a Microbiology student at UCLA in my third year.” “What speed were you going at the time of the collision? “I used cruise control at 66 miles per hour.” “Tell us how the accident occurred?” “The defendant’s Toyota entered the freeway on my right at high speed. I tried to avoid the collision but was surrounded by trucks. I honked and moved over but her car slammed into mine sending it into a spin. My car crossed into oncoming traffic, a van broadsided me, and knocked me unconscious.” “So you didn’t see the van coming ? “No, everything went dark once the spin ended.” “What do you recall next?” “I awoke at the UCLA hospital in the ICU.” “How long did you remain there?” “Two weeks.” “Do you have any symptoms today?” “Emotional distress from the loss of my wife, unable to finish my science major, and constant back pain.” “Have you seen any medical professionals?” Joe Murphy interposed, “May we take a break so I can discuss the medical records with counsel?” “Off the record for a conference,” said the court reporter. Joe whispered to John and Matt, “Why don’t you gentlemen go outside and relax. It’s a lovely day. I’ll get them back into settlement mode.” Joe took defense counsel through the medical records, hospital charges, and car repairs. John and Matt left. “Dad, can you hear that saxophone around the corner?” John said. “Yeah, that’s a Glenn Miller tune I played in high school. Let’s go listen.” “That old music jumps and the sax wails.” “That’s a mellow tone he must have amplified.” Matt pulled out a five spot and handed it to John, “Toss it in the man’s hat.”John placed the bill in a red and white brocaded leather hat with the name “Zeke” embroidered in gold on one side. Zeke winked and nodded acknowledging the gift reeling, rollicking, and blowing on his mouthpiece. His cheeks puffed like balloons as he manipulated the sound. With fuzzy white-hair covering his chin, standing and rocking back and forth, he sound-sculptured “In the Mood” with melodious notes that wafted from his gold sax. A crowd of smiling pedestrians had gathered clapping their hands and moving their feet, heads bobbing, and fingers popping to Zeke’s music oblivious to the dust, smell of garbage, and clamor of the street. “My brother played that on sax and I played trumpet in high school.” “Why not ask him to play another?”John said. “Zeke, can you play ‘Little Brown Jug?’” “Sure can, friend,” Zeke said winking his eyes catching a sparkle from the sun. His gold-plated 1950 Selmer Alto spilled notes that affected the crowd who rocked, moved heads and shoulders, feet and hands, to his rhythms and riffs. Some danced to Zeke’s spicy improvisations as his fingers raced over the brass keys like a hummingbird’s wings. Time seemed to stand still for the Kellys relieving them of the morning’s tension and restoring balance. After a half an hour Matt said, “How long will you be here?” “Hell, I’ll stay here until 8 PM.” “Do you play any Brubeck?” John asked. “I’ll save 'Take Five' for you.”They went back to the office and sat in the reception room with a cup of coffee. “Let’s get lunch” Joe said coming out of the conference room “and discuss settlement.” After ordering sandwiches they took a seat overlooking Sunset Boulevard. Jack met them, “I’m sorry Joe, but Griselda insists on her opportunity to question John before she’ll agree to any contribution from her client.” “Just like her. This’ll be over soon,” Matt said putting his arm on John’s shoulder. The court reporter said, “Mr. Kelly you are still under the oath.” The Insurance attorney, a woman in her thirties, blond-brown bouffant shooting skyward, large pointed nose piercing forward, started the attack with pursed lips and eyes glaring: “Mr. Kelly, why do you expect our insurance company and my client to give you any money for killing your wife with your reckless driving?” “How dare you attack my son?” shouted Matt face red with rage. John’s pained expression looked as if he had just witnessed his wife's death. His eyes welled up and he slumped in his chair as if all the air went out of him. Joe jumped up a little cooler and made his record: “Objection! Ms. Crass, your question assumes facts not in evidence, is argumentative, unethical, and unprofessional. You know the police cited your client for gross negligence and exonerated my client who has lost his young wife and had his dreams of a future crushed. You have interfered with the progress counsel, except you, have made toward resolving this matter. I shall file a complaint with the state bar against you for unethical misconduct. This transcript contains the evidence. The deposition is over.” Matt and John arose and joined Joe as they walked into the reception area. They were followed by all the attorneys. Ms. Crass fumed from the accusation. She arose, pointed her nose skyward, and stomped out bouffant trailing. One could imagine smoke erupting from a train stack as she chugged out the door. The court reporter agreed to send the transcripts to counsel and be a witness in further proceedings. “Don’t worry Joe, we’ll settle. Crass only represents the driver’s personal funds as a high school student. She’s been cited by the police and has a driving record that will follow her,” Jack said, “I don’t want any money from the young girl,” blurted John. “Good for you,” said Matt. “The case ends when you sign the settlement agreement,” said Jack. “I’ll send it to you tomorrow,” Joe said. Everyone shook hands and parted. John and Matt left the law office, took the elevator down to the first floor, walked into the foyer, and through the revolving doors. They heard a loud SCREECH and then a THUD. A leather hat lay in the crosswalk with a crowd of witnesses. A crumpled old white-haired man was ten feet in front of a black Cadillac Escalade with the tires on both sides of the crosswalk. A policeman at the scene opened the door and out stepped Griselda Crass, screaming “That man darted in front of me. I couldn’t avoid him.” “Tell it to the judge, lady. You’re under arrest,” said the policeman as he handcuffed her, while his partner started taking witness statements. An ambulance pulled up and immediately began treating Zeke who started breathing again. “What happened?” Matt asked a pedestrian in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. “Zeke was halfway in the street when the SUV slammed him,” said a bystander. “That driver was on a cell phone when she hit Zeke,” a woman of thirty said. “What was the last song he played?” John asked the man with the drums. “‘Time out’ by Brubeck.”

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There’s a Man on the Roof

                                              “There’s a man on the roof,” I said to my Duke University roommate. “How did he get there?” “You won’t believe this. He climbed up the bricks of the Chemistry building from the bottom using his fingers, shoes, and balance all the way to the roof.” “I’ve never seen anything like it. How long did it take him?” “I’ve been watching him since I first saw him half of the way up.” “Do you know him?” “Yeah. That’s Dave Craven.” “Hey, I know him!” “He’s the psychology major who wants to study ESP. Remember when he hypnotized you?” “That was when I met him two weeks ago. Look, he’s starting to come down now.” “Notice how he slides his fingers to the next point to find the lower line of bricks to come down.” “I’d never do it. I’m afraid of heights. What balance! Is he a gymnast?” “No. He goes rock climbing.”He carefully grabbed the top of a window to the third floor, swung to the window ledge, and placed one foot on the bottom of the ledge. “What agility.” “Foolishness if he falls.” “Hope he finishes soon.” Our classmates were gathering at the entrance to the Drama building to witness live drama from the Duke Players doing T. S. Eliot’s "Murder in the Cathedral." I thought from Dave’s angle the freshman class of eight hundred must have looked like a herd of blue ducks in formal clothing with their required Duke-blue dinks on their heads oblivious to Dave’s climbing, just a misstep from his death. “We still have plenty of time. The ushers have to seat every freshman before they begin.” “He’s walking along the second floor ledge about to drop down one level. Let’s go.” “We have to critique T. S. Eliot’s play, so get us two seats up front.” “OK. Hurry, so the ushers don’t close the doors.” Dave reached the top of the first floor window ledge and began to drop as I beckoned, “The ushers will shut the doors soon. Hurry, Dave.” “Relax. I’ll make it. A few more feet and a jump.”The last of the line had reached the concrete steps and were about to enter the doors manned by ushers wearing dark suits, white shirts, and ties. Unbelievably, Dave had climbed the entire height up and down a four-story brick building in a grey sports coat, slacks, blue pinstriped shirt, and maroon tie, but he wisely wore tennis shoes. I raced up the steps yelling, “Keep the doors open; another student’s coming. My roommate saved seats for us.” The skinny usher said. “We have instructions to close the doors at 7. The play begins in a minute. Your friend can’t make it.” “Please let him in.”Dave jumped to the ground; his class of 1962 blue dink fell. He retrieved the cap; and put it on as all freshmen were required to the first month of freshmen orientation. A white “62” embroidered on the front above the short bill made the freshmen resemble Donald Duck. I raced to the door, showed my I.D., and shoved my foot against the door. Dave ran behind me, sweat dripping from his face shouting, “Hold the door open.” “You’re late,” said the skinny usher. He began to close the door, but my foot blocked it, as did the muscular usher’s body. Dave leaped at the door, swung it open, and knocked down the muscular usher. He helped that usher onto his feet, brushed him off, and said, “Thanks for holding the door open for me.” That usher smiled, “Enjoy the play. You earned it by your balancing act, agility, and strength. I’m the captain of Duke’s rock-climbing team. You’re going to enjoy the steep mountain rocks we climb. Oh. Dean Jones, what’s the matter?” “I’ve heard a report,” the Dean of the freshmen said, with a worried expression. He gazed up, and looked around. The lights went down, and the play started. He said in the dark, “There’s a man on the roof?”

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