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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/lastrada
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17 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by LaStrada
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
This is the type of poem I have always been attracted to.

It has scenery, scents, odors, humidity, a little observation in the narrative and sums it up cleverly with a bit of reality.

Yes, this is a reflection that comes on those days or in those moments when someone is finding that their loneliness reveals a reality.

"Born on the banks of the backseat bayous...." Beautiful opening line. Swampy, moist and is she alluding to that "back seat" as a place -- deep as you can get into the heart of that mysterious dark snake infested country or was she born or conceived in an abandoned car sunk deep in the banks of the bayou mud?

I guess it's for the reader to decide.

"....where muddy palm prints smeared across beer breath tinted windows....." is that a clue? Could it be a car? Muddy palm prints smeared.....I can see it. Beer breath windows (from young lovers' passion?). Sounds like a great opening to a noir Cajun film. Noir Cajun film? Is that even a film category? For some reason I see this scene unfolding in black and white because it must be all in the past -- two teenage lovers, maybe tragic, maybe sad -- back in the 30's. The air is thick with some mystery.

"....and the way the fish are always bitin' when it's rainin' -- is really nothing new."

From that I get the assumption that what has transpired has been going on for centuries. Nothing shameful, nothing horrible. Just nature and two drunk passionate people from long ago.

Now for more reinforcement. Someone else is -- "...Born in backwoods off back roads where the bruises from a bible belt whoopin' welts gapped thighs like a relief map headed in the direction of anywhere but here..." Perhaps living a similar tragic life in the woods of Appalachia? Again, an existence not front and center, not noticed by others, but in the back woods off back roads. That's faraway.

This is the place where secrets fester and people don't talk or connect any family dots. Lots of skeletons in those pine closets. I like the "bruises from a bible belt whoopin'...." nice play on words. The family must be hell-bent religious zealots and strict and probably abusive. These lines are inspiring and thought provoking: "...and the same people who pray with you, prey on you -- - but that's nothing new."

Again, clever word play and yet with all the soup of pain, fear and loyalty -- yes, loyalty -- despite abuse -- these people still remain with their blood. They will pray with you, and even for you. But, they will also prey on you like the human predators they are. Yet, just like the bayou -- it's nothing new. It happens everyday, throughout the world and it's ignored. Because it's nothing new.

There are changes I would make to some of the writing but more about that suggestion toward the end. I think it just needs a little tightening, a little more flow. There are some great words in here but it's also gets a little awkward. It's an easy suggestion of a fix.

Now this poem reads a little like someone who has been affected by this lifestyle and realized the same thing suffered by someone else in another part of the country.

But the author wants to affirm that she isn't going to be the same victim as the others because she was...."Born from back-sliding into the depths of the same ol' trash barrel bonfires, bellying the rocky bottoms, and clawing and crawling a way out...."

A strong-willed determination is surfacing. The wise personality that is shaping -- somewhat like Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird," where she wasn't necessarily poor or abused but she lived during hard times, in the Depression South, racism, bigotry, ignorance and yet -- that little girl saw goodness in some people, was smarter than most and was an "adult" in many ways except in body. She was going to rise up out of that life and she was going to -- rescue herself.

So in realizing that she is "....Born from walking away....Born from running away....Born from not looking back. That's something new."

Yes, "that's something new."

Being able to understand how and when to walk away from desperate situations, being able to understand that sometimes you have to leave before you can come back, and knowing you have inherited the soul to not look back at something that will not make you better, bring you forward...offer satisfaction, create an opportunity.

It's nice to have roots but sometimes those roots are in a poison soil.

When the time comes if your seedlings can float away on the wind to another field -- where the soil is rich and there is a harvest -- then you have to relinquish your dark bayou or back woods because it will never change. You have to find your way out of the back woods and find a main road that will lead somewhere eventually. For those places will never offer anything new.

As dark as this poem is it's actually optimistic. It's in a simple way, but a very definite and definitive one. The lesson is clear in three stanzas.

My suggestions are simply an opinion. First, the title.

More compelling if it were: "Nothing Something Everything."

No "ands."

With some lines structured like this:

Born on the banks of backseat bayous
where muddy palm prints are smeared across...
beer breath tinted windows,
and the way fish are always bitin'
when it's rainin'....
- is really nothing new

Born in back woods off back roads
where the bruises from a bible belt
are whoopin' welts on innocent thighs
like a relief map headed in
the direction of...
anywhere but here,
and the same people
who pray with you,
prey on you....
- but that's nothing new

Born from back-sliding into depths of
the same ol' trash barrel bonfires,
bellying the rocky bottoms,
and crawling
and clawing a way out
Born from walking away...
Born from running away...
Born from not looking back...
- that's something new.

I added "innocent thighs" because I just pictured someone defenseless and the sudden mention of a gentle word among the bruises, back roads and back woods -- would be a little jarring. I have seen so many images of attractive young girls from the back woods in films and novels that are scarred by beatings -- yet because they want to still convey an image of sexuality they wear shorts and halters displaying their injuries along with their scratches and mosquito bites. Ugly beauty?

Perhaps.

The poem is small -- but it has a very large image and resolution attached to it. In the end it tells you something. It's written in the voice of someone who is compelled to not be another victim. To not just go along with her environment. No, that's not good enough for this person. There's hope -- but, that hope sometimes comes from your own determination: because no one else is going to do it for you.

Tayla has walked that writer's tight rope of dark images, desperation and bravery to produced something of optimistic beauty.

Sometimes writers who write this way get lost in heavy adjectives and futile imagery but Tayla has this one balanced.

As I read it I almost could predict that it was leading up to a quietly profound conclusion and it did. The title hints to that and it also nudges a reader to want to read it to find out what "everything" ultimately is.

Poet Charles Bukowski made a career out of the ugly underbelly of this world and sometimes he would surprise a reader but showing how ugliness can lead to beauty. His was of a very harsh world -- but, he saw the truth the way many of us seldom see it.

Tayla has both eyes open and seems to poetically sew the world beyond the picket fence and its tawdry relationships with a strong beguiling thread.

Good job.
2
2
Review of American Suffrage  
Review by LaStrada
Rated: E | (4.5)
Read this copy through twice carefully and though I think it requires some suggestions I am not qualified to critique this because it's a little out of my genre.

However, being the opinionated gremlin that I can be, I will nonetheless offer some thoughts.

Overall, I find the sample compelling.

It is written well and it is interesting.

However, I do find it "see-sawing" between a romantic pulp paperback tale and something really good by Margaret Mitchell or Emily Bronte. This is my dilemma.

There are moments in the writing where it is sparkling and could be easily compared to Mitchell and Bronte's finest. And that is where I believe the possibility of influence may have originated. Ok, it is not the time period or subject that either female author wrote about -- but that is where April Desiree has her opportunity and this subject is an ideal choice.

There are scatterlings of dialogue and word choices that chop away at its authenticity and render it -- not often -- into a more paperback, movie of the week type tale.

But, I am not convinced this story is destined for that.

First of all, much of the dialogue is actually rich.

I like the banter between characters and it flows in a manner that keeps the reader interested throughout.

We must remember that this is basically the Victorian era. Turn of the Century. There is a style to their speech whether poor or priviledged. The descriptive comments are wonderful. Some could be embellished. This entire woman's movement was not as calm and collected as some accounts may have described. Just like today, some knew how to protest and get attention, others were trouble makers.

The beginning paragraphs are all well written and the "charcaterizations" are also nicely described down to the twitch in a moustache.

April has a command of dialogue early on and may even have a talent for writing screenplays or teleplays to existing stories written by others.

The tone is good, the flow keeps it intriguing. I could "hear" their individual voices clearly. The conflict was set up early. I believe Joan needs to be developed just a little edgier and harder. She needs to be even more stern in her choice of words. Her distaste must be more Victorian. I am not sure the word "honey" -- in reference to a woman -- was used often in this era.

The dialogue between the two women seems a little too gossipy, whereas I was beginning to believe one was strong of character and not given to such whimsical talk. There is stern talk mixed with whimsical and maybe that should be toned down a little.

"Oh, God," Nora groaned.
"What is it?"
"Mrs. Duvall." Nora quickly pointed her finger in the direction of her future mother-in-law,
and Joan's eyes followed. She turned back to Nora with her eyes wide.
"What are you going to tell Jackson?"
"I have no idea."

When she noticed her future mother-in-law and Nora groaned having seen her -- would she turn her face away not to be seen? Shouldn't she being doing something to support her exclamation at seeing this woman? An action of some type? Speaking under breath, pulling a scarf across her face? turning away, walking away in another direction as to not be detected? A mention of what kind of face Nora would be wearing as she saw this woman. A frown? Cowel? Squint of the eye? An angered detestable face?

Dialogue that followed the asterisks ***** was excellent.

This is Mitchell-Bronte quality. I may add, that even the dialogue of the elders in the Shelly novel Frankenstein was dialogue that was tight, proper for its time. Especially when the Baron was speaking. There are moments here of awkwardness that need to be polished into that type of exchange.

The basis is here it just needs to be fleshed out. A little more tension needs to be added between the speakers because it feels like there is a conflict under the surface that has not come out yet. The clock's pendulum is excellent to parallel this tension. The sound of the clock should sound louder than usual and have her say so -- to herself. The problems that should not carry over into the marriage should be developed further. It may not be part of the suffrage issue but it is very pertinent to their relationship.

Now there is a little paperback romantic pulp: "The sun became shy and hid behind a few clouds...." -- Nah. This is not in keeping with the quality of everything that came before it. It's cliche. You can still use it, just get creative. "The sun was like a shy child and hid behind the gray feathered skirt of the clouds....."

Again, some words that may not be in keeping with Victorian times: "A shudder came over her at the thought. Slaps across the face met with profanities and cursing the day she was born came crashing into her mind."

The word "crashing" -- I think something a little more with mental acuteness. "....came vividly into her mind." "....came harshly and penetrated her mind." Crashing just sounds too -- modern.

This next line starts off very traditional Victorian but then there is a phrase that will disturb the observant reader: "Father proved he was worth his salt as a parent, catering to their needs in his own way. He wasn't the touchy-feely sort of man, as few were."

The words "worth his salt," is excellent. "Catering to their needs," is wonderful.

BUT, the "touchy-feely" is modern day slang/ jargon and not of the era you are writing about. No one spoke this way in the turn of the century. You may have to resort to something more traditional. "He wasn't a man who showed his emotions or displayed any outward signs of affection." This could be it.

The strict form of description of that era. Suggesting -- but never really saying it. As another example unrelated to your story: In those days also, you didn't say you were going to pee. It was "going to relieve oneself," or "pass water". You had a bowel movement. They weren't crass.

To give the story authenticity, some dialogue or description must adhere to the era. Your story is so good -- that it deserves the added care of that type of detail.You don't want a real critic saying the dialogue wasn't true of its time. I realize many movies today are making that error. The Spartans did not say "okay." Cowboys didn't walk into a bar and say "what's up?" to patrons.

The rest of the story continues in a very dignified writing style. Still lots to appreciate.

The confrontational dilaogue is excellent but it does need a little description of what they are doing as they verbally battle.

Example: "Nora picked up a fan and opened and closed it nervously and quickly several times as she spoke and then as he answered her, she tossed the fan down hard on the vanity in a heap...."

More little scenes like this to add to her anger.

I need to know where she is standing, how she looking, what she is doing. Is she pacing back and forth like Jean Harlow or standing her ground like a Marilyn Monroe? Is she being spiteful in her anger like a Scarlet O'Hara or arguing dignified like a Joan Crawford? Your dialogue is rich and adding little asides to what the characters are doing as they discuss their views will make the scene more colorful and vivid.

Stopping in the middle of the parlor, his eyes shot up to hers. "Then this will not work."
"Whatever do you mean?"

Add after her statement: Nora said suddenly and loudly as she shook her hair and turned toward him and folded her arms across her chest with authority. Standing in disbelief she shouted again -- "Whatever do you mean, I said?"

I just believe this gives her a little more strenght and aggressiveness.

This exchange is gold. You just need to add some background to what is going on around them as they spar. If she is walking around the room as she is spewing these words you could add things like "as she passed, the candle on the table wavered back and forth quickly almost as if it too wanted to escape Nora's wrath."

More: "Forgive me, I didn't know what I was doing. Forgive me, for I have acted wrongly. Oh, would you forgive me?"

I don't disagree with his change of heart and being apologetic but I don't see this guy dropping to his knees and cowling around her feet. This changes his character from what I thought was a strong willed man to a wimp. If he must appear weak, just turn him into a hen pecked mama's boy who would plead....but not wimper.

"Get up, you fool," she snapped.

If he remains at her feet, here you can describe her vain attempts to walk away from him with him hanging on, or a more stronger scene where she steps back and actually gently kicks him away with force.

He can continue to be a wimp but you are playing out a scene that would look far better in a motion picture if he became -- confused. Even a bit surprised at her determination and resolve. You need visuals. Her dialogue is great but he is not playing up to her dialogue to make the scene stronger and this part of the story deserves a strong scene of dialogue between two stubborn people who DO love each other. Even if he wimps out, his words must be more sincere and desperate.

But be careful with this type of scene because while some women could get away with being tough and contemptuous -- a young woman trying to follow in their footsteps in regular 1910 society would be reprimanded quickly. It was a tough movement that had peaks and valleys. These were the times. Women had their place and in proper society, unfortunately, they had to tred carefully.

So what am I saying?

You must write her dialogue with an air of care and caution. She can be strong but she also has to have some fear of being heard by the wrong parties. She must exhibit a little concern for her safety. It's the same type of concern the the political activists in Russia had during the Bolshevik Revolution. Dr Zhivago was a tough cookie but he had to be careful what he said and when he said it. You must exhbit also -- careful, discreet dialogue between characters. This is a different conflict. A parallel one to her romantic conflict.

She can belittle this man, but she won't want to say too much about her involvement with the movement for fear he may say something to someone who disapproves....even unintentionally.

I am not certain if the suffragate movement was violent as the one that Carrie Nation led to stimulate prohibition. But, I know the rights of women really came to a head when those women in NYC were all killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy in 1910. Not sure how it played a role, but maybe somewhere in your story -- mentioning this tragedy could give it additional weight.

I found the tale interesting and I think you have created a great little period piece of a story. I am assuming it didn't just end with this sample. There must be more to come?

The dialogue is what shined best.

You have a talent for that. Many people don't realize how difficult it is to write compelling consistent dialogue, believable dialogue. I can hear it in motion pictures & plays I watch -- whether the story was written well.

"The Shootist," with John Wayne is brilliant because the story is filled with colorful dialogue of the era. Right down to the "Sunday go-to-meeting" clothes. "A RIver Runs Through It," also has brilliant dialogue. "Field of Dreams," has great dialogue. "Anything by Tennessee Williams is excellent when it comes to dialogue, Steinbeck and Hemingway. These authors labored over this. "To Kill A Mockingbird" is filled with brilliant dialogue.

I think your tale is destined for a film with great dialogue and if so -- don't give up your right to approval on the dialogue.

That is your forte. I would go as far as to say that if I wrote a story and needed someone to add dialogue to a script based on my story -- you could be trusted. You're that good.

Anyway, my apologies if my suggestions didn't meet with your approval but I want to be honest.

You are a good interesting writer....that's for certain. It was a great read and I was pleasantly surprised.

LaStrada
3
3
Review of Tears  
Review by LaStrada
Rated: E | (5.0)
April,

At first glance, what appears simple is actually fairly intense.

Lots of thoughts going through this persons mind yet somehow the voice doesn't ever ring with any malice.

Tears
Fall slowly
As I sit
And he watches
He doesn't even know why I'm crying

I like this because I have seen relationships that involve people who do not "see" how they are affecting their partner. Oblivious to their needs, or just a simple acknowledgement. It's a selfishness that many people aren't even aware they are doing. The last line is very powerful in its simplicity. There are people who are in this state all their lives. Even between them and/or their parents.

Rose
My thorns
They prick me
I'm bleeding out
He offers me no aid as I'm dying

Again, a reminder here that something you love can be hurtful. Someone has not realized just how serious things have gotten. Maybe they have low esteem? Maybe they have no answers? Maybe they...I hate this word, are in denial? I have known people in who loved each other and there was no sex, no love making, no caresses or kisses. No aid....and they were dying.

But what about that line "Rose, my thorns they prick me...." That reference to "my thorns" and not "your thorns" bothers me. Something is beginning to reveal itself.

Love
Shattered
Broken glass
In our window
Why must you always loathe and despise me?

Excellent image. You can see through the window (a relationship) but now it has so many cracks in it. People can grow to hate their spouses and their children but they never leave them. They suppress. Ignore. Sometimes they blame these family members for the life they were denied. But it in reality, it is a life they themselves created. They just didn't know how to use it to their benefit.

Stars
So bright
Emeralds
A moonlit night
Forever thought our love would thusly be

And here is where the doubt comes. The second guessing. Someone still has a romantic hope. Someone always seems to have a dream going on -- some abandon it and some keep hoping. But is it the writer or the person being written about? Not sure yet.

But my arrogance overshadowed us
I sought dreams that
Had eclipsed
Your own
True

Now it seems the person I thought was being hurt is actually blaming him/herself for the situation. The writer.

Sometimes when there is abuse (abuse comes in differernt forms) in a family the victims blame themselves for the actions of others. The speaker seems to think their own dreams and ambitions are to blame for their partner's disinterest now.

A selfish need to be unique and free
Led me astray
Away from
Soulmate
You

Here there is a kind of confirmation that the blame is on the writer/speaker. The tables are turned but, I as a reader -- seem to think there is more going on than is being told.

What can I do to regain precious trust?
Plant a flower
Sow a seed
Purpose
Aim

Realization now that trust is a very important thing to have and you do not want to lose it. Regaining it, starting anew will require planning and sincerity. Yet, I am still questioning whether the speaker is to blame. Despite the change in this as you read on, the writer had been sincere at the beginning. What made them put them blame on themselves?

I'll light my own path with honest effort
To prove to you
There exists
Our old
Flame

This is somewhat like conceding.

The writer knows they must make an honest effort on their own and "prove" that whatever he/she believed in at the beginning is something that still burns in them.

And hopefully, if it's not too late, still burns in their partner. Their soulmate.

If that person was actually a real soulmate -- I am convinced there will be a happy ending. If that person is a selfish individual with self interests -- the efforts of the writer to reshape their lives together could be a rocky road. Not an impossibility. Just a rockier road.

For me, streamlined poems like this don't always succeed in getting through to me. I am more of a storyteller. But this one succeeds for me on many levels. I could be totally wrong about everything I said here but -- it is what I got from the copy. It is what got through to me clearly.

It is written in a simple yet distinctly beautiful style that is reminicent of Emily Dickinson.

These are the types of poems that usually find a home in people's hearts. Thankfully, it is not lame. Many people who write simplistic poems border on the dangerous areas of lameness. This poem is far from those regions. Carefully chosen words. And I didn't have to read it five times to get a hint of what was trying to be said.

The points "Tears" are making are simple yet -- intense. "...honest effort," "precious trust," "a selfish need to be unique and free," "arrogance overshadowed us," "my thorns prick me," (not "your thorns prick me.") That was the hint in the poem that it would turn. Why were her own thorns pricking her? She was realizing the error of her ways. Her conscience bothered her.

The other night I watched an old film with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg called "Going In Style." One of the most poignant moments in the film was when Art Carney -- going back to his room after having gone to the john in the middle of the night passed Lee Strasberg's bedroom and saw Lee staring out into the moonlit night. He came in, sat down on the bed and asked his old friend what was the matter? Strasberg, not only an actor but the foremost acting teacher of many award winning major actors, began to recount a tale of how years ago he came home and had to spank his little son. The scene is poignant and intense. He kept recounting how every time his son denied he had done bad he would spank harder. Strasberg began to weep that guilty father weep many of us possibly will experience one day. Strasberg then tells Carney his relationship with his son was never the same after that.

My point? Realizing you have done something wrong and knowing you have hurt others, including yourself -- is a very powerful emotion. This poem is tapping into that. We fall in love, we fall out of love, we apologize and go on our way, we make amends, we do favors, we pat each other on the shoulder and back and smile. But, some actions go deeper. Apologies won't work. Smiles and pats on the back don't matter. Opportunities to correct something are no longer there.

Reassurances of that type of pain is never resolved. Guilt builds a mansion in your memory.

Carney got up from the bed and all he could do was tell his friend -- it was a long time ago. Strasberg remained to weep alone. The scene had little to do the film's story yet it was a lesson in human fraility. A scene that should be studied because one day we will be sitting in the dark looking out that same window and weeping about something we did to someone, said to someone, forgot to say to someone.....and we will pay with our tears.

When you grow older the price of tears goes up. Because there will be no one to share them with or to know you are sorry.

"What can I do to regain precious trust?
Plant a flower Sow a seed Purpose Aim
I'll light my own path with honest effort
To prove to you
There exists
Our old
Flame"

Too bad Lee Strasberg never had the opportunity to regain his little boy's precious trust. Or light his own path with honest effort.

I started to give this poem 4 stars -- after I realized the parallel between the poem's consclusion and the scene in "Going In Style," I had to give it 5 stars.

The poem seems to sum up what that character -- Willie -- was haunted by.

I can't see anyone with a heart not coming away with a warm feeling after reading this poem. If Hallmark ever decided to create a serious line of greeting with real poetry instead of greeting card garbage -- they should start a line of soulmate cards with "Tears."

LaStrada
4
4
Review of Brick by Brick  
Review by LaStrada
Rated: E | (5.0)
YellowRose -- Sometimes the most brief poetry is the most powerful. I have been contracted to submit material to a greeting card company and the pay offered is fairly good. The greeting card firm is a legitimate one.

When I started reading this inspirational poem I was struck by how much better it is than the standard sweet, syrupy poetry found on most greeting cards.

Your poem was to the point, no BS. Someone who needs lifting, encouragement, reinforcement and a kick in the ass -- needs to read these strong bits of advice. Procrastinators could use this as well. You are sending a tough love message but you are being politely strong about it. It's another take on that "when one door closes another opens," but you tell it with a fresh twist and it's not cliche.

I like it so much that if you are interested in submitting to the greeting card company I will send info. A poet like you would do well spreading your word personally amongst people who would need that type of word for their predicament. The recognition would be priceless.

This poem is perfect for that. I also believe your talent might eventually warrant a card line with your inspirational verse. Not many people are talented enough to write this type of material without getting too bogged down in the heavy handed religious aspect. Hallmark included.

With people increasingly trying their best to discredit Christmas -- inspirational cards for Christmas that would benefit ANY religion or culture would be a miracle. The Christian message is not just for Christians. It's a hospitality message, a sharing message, a clean your heart out and do something for others message. I can not see a competing religion having an issue with this. Jewish people believe the same. Muslims must. Islamists must. At least the ones that believe in the roots of their religion and not the madness they interpret.

I am not a very religious person but I have faith.

I would buy a card with your message on it and would proudly hand it to someone knowing that everything you wrote is gospel. It's the truth, it's honest and it just may push someone gently into the right direction when they thought they were lost.

There's a commercial on TV with the song "Amazing Grace" playing under faces from all walks of life looking into the camera and saying things like...."I was lost," "I was angry," "I was abandoned." So many things -- until that one face came up at the end and said "But now I'm saved." It's one of the most powerful commercials I have ever seen. It's beautiful and it's message clear to all. Not just Christians. And I think it was put there by the Mormons or Born Again Christians.

With your permission, I may include your lovely poem in a Christmas card to a friend.

I often send blank cards to friends so I can write something poignant and bring them up to date. But, this poem "Brick by Brick" may be perfect for her because she was recently laid off. I will send it with your permission only and I will add your appropriate copyrights and name at the bottom. (And I will boast that I know you.)

Thank you for writing something solid in it's message without being flowery. We have used certain words to convey our messages to death and many are cliches. We need to rethink the value of our messages. Even "I Love You" has lost it's punch.
"You are my everything" is lame. A new "love" mesage is needed. A sincere one.

I think your message -- if it appears on a card -- that card will not be tossed in the trash but kept.

I would just suggest adding one more verse to create a second version -- something to help give support and comfort to someone who has just experienced the passing of a mother, a wife, a child etc...sympathy cards are often filled with the standard message. And ther word -- sympathy -- is over used and -- I'm sorry for your loss -- is old fashioned. There must be a better way to convey the feelings you have without resorting to every word used since the beginning of time.

Be brief. If you can think of something clever -- something that will help someone grieving be able to at least realize they must go on -- they have to. Their importance to others in this world still exists. This would be another great version of "Brick By Brick."

That's it. I love it. Should be read by more people.

I am not going to apologize for saying "have a Merry Christmas" to you. You sound like a Christian.

These jerks who downplay Christmas don't realize it's a universal wish for brotherhood, hospitality and well-being. To all. Screw the ACLU (who will probably close on Christmas Day) and all those who poke at it. My Jewish friends wish me a Merry Christmas and they don't celebrate it. But they are respectful. If it wasn't for Christmas and President's Day our economy wouldn't have a chance to recover.

Have a Merry Christmas with your family YelloRose and I mean it sincerely.

The long winded.....

LaStrada
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