Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, November 22, 2017



The turkey is an ugly bird. The small wattled head pink and white. The feathers are gray and back and white and quite lovely and must protect the bird from rain, cold and heat. They are reputed to be rather dumb. The few I have seen alive seem slow and laconic. I understand from reading that they can run very fast when they need to.

At Safeway and Costco I saw hundreds of turkeys minus heads wrapped in plastic bags frozen stiff. Some were thawed. The 12-15 pound ones frozen were very heavy for me to lift. I asked the butcher to help me lift one up for perusal. I saw no turkey just a plastic bulk. I take it on faith that there was a turkey wrapped inside.

I have eaten my share of turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. I often wanted the leg until I discovered it was overcooked, full of tendons and difficult to eat and having little good meat.  The white meat is usually cooked dry. I like the dark juicy meat best. Frankly, I think turkey is highly overrated as a good dish. From childhood on I managed to eat far too much food on TG day. The bird, stuffing, vegetables, root vegetable, gravy, corn bread, cranberry sauce piled high was consumed with glee and then some regret.

A family I heard of, immediately after dinner, was sent out to the lawn to rake leaves to work off the stuffed feeling. I suspect the servants did the dishes.

At 86 and ½ and for some years previous, I take small portions of some of the many items to eat. I fill up quickly and sat back rather self righteously watch others stuff themselves. Although I have noticed in the last few years people are a bit more abstemious about the portions they eat.

Turkey left overs for meals; sandwiches and soup are very popular. OK, I’ll go one day but no more. I tire quickly of quaint.

Big family meals are supposed to be wonderful. There is something joyous and heart felt about being together with family. My trouble is that I miss talking with more people. At table we chat with those nearest. I seldom get to chat much with the people at the other end of the table.

I don’t want to end without mentioning pies. I like apple best. Pumpkin and mince are high up on the list. One friend loved to bake pies and produced at least five homemade pies for every Thanksgiving feast he hosted.

PS – From Wkipedia. “ In 1620 the Mayflower brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts. They made their new home in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, 380 km northeast of what is now New York.
Many of the Pilgrims died during their first winter in North America. They were cold and did not have enough food. The following year, though, the Native Americans, who were from the Wampanoag tribe, helped them grow crops. At harvest time in the winter of 1621, they were very thankful that they had a good crop of food to eat during the coming winter. They thanked God and the Native Americans for teaching them how to grow the local foods.
They invited three of the Wampanoags who had helped them to their feast. They were SquantoSamoset, and Chief Massasoit. The Wampanoags brought their families. This was over 90 people. There were so many people that the Pilgrims did not have enough food to make the meal, so the Wampanoags brought along their own food for the feast.

The Wampanoags brought turkey, duck, fish, deer, berries, squash, and cornbread. They also brought vegetables that they had farmed and shown the Pilgrims how to care for.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Sexual harassment of women is a terrible activity. The present allegations against Rose, Moore Franken and the rest must be taken seriously. They should be punished to the full extent of he law. I also believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty. That is the American way.

It took courageous action for women to reveal that they have been harassed. Many women have suffered physical, emotional, extreme pain and los of employment.

Punishing politicians is slow. Media moguls immediately fire actors, broadcasters and thus entire casts of programs. This fascist behavior is irresponsible.

Allegations whether true or false will drag harassment behavior to the shining light of public knowledge and will produce a change in illegal and disgusting behavior.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


I am glad that ex-Mormon Rep. Jared Huffman has come out of the closet as a non-believer. So much blatant stupidity and Biblical manipulation by members of Congress disgusts me as a serious, left wing Christian. Huffman’s integrity as a non-believer pitted against 91 per cent of so-called Christians in Congress is refreshing. Many of these followers of Jesus, the healer, vote against health care for all. These Christians favor a selfish capitalist system that leaves a huge percent of Americans without food and homes. These Christians put money and profits before caring for the sick and the hungry. Getting more non-believers in government is probably healthy for us.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Here are two quips from the Sunday’s NY Times.

“I want to dance…or (hear) an indecent story….The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.” –Virginia Wolfe)(Times  Book Review 11/12/72 back page.)

Betty Tompkins, an artist says  “I became an overnight success at 72.”  (NY Times Style Section 11/12/17,  p.112)

Saturday, November 04, 2017


Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon
Harper Collins 2016

I was shocked to see that this book was published in 2016 and I did not find out about it until we had dinner with Beth and Robin New York on October 13, 2017.

Murder with humor should be the sub-title of this engaging mystery story. The plot and characters amuse entertain and kill or be killed. The very name of the hotel setting is Osqussoc Mountain Inn. That in itself is a tongue twister.

Maine, Long Island, Pennsylvania and Hollywood rattle the brain figuring out who does what to whom where and when. A woman is describes as so thin she looks made from bicycle parts. Another character wonders if they thought he was fully grown from the head of Zeus or Donald Trumpet. A woman says she worked at SaksFifthAvenue like it was one word.
The author describes one character as if his hands were folded in prayer and the possibility of punching someone.

Murder, arson, snakes, brutes, chefs, cops and good old country Maine people are shaken like martinis in a cool and exciting mix of intrigue and dialogue.

I loved it and Ann may give a try although she is not found of murder and police procedure. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Manhattan Beach by Jenifer Egan – I was very excited by the first half of this book. Egan write beautifully with detail and wisps of wisdom. The characters are thoughtful, well drawn and real. I could not wait to get on to the reading. The world of Brooklyn, the depression and the mob were gripping. She gives us soon a long complex essay on deep see diving and the dangers and the prejudice against women. Then there is section of one of the characters who has gone to sea and whose ship has been torpedoed. Then a switch back to how an untrained man goes deep sea diving with no previous experience. Then the absurd picture of a man surviving being tied up in chains, thrown into the river and surviving.

Egan won a Pulitzer Prize for her earlier book Goon Squad. She is no slouch of a writer and this book shows us that. But the absurdity of the plot makes me cringe. I have some more pages to finish Eagan’s book. I sure am disappointed.