Cromey Online

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

Saturday, July 01, 2023


 Olivia nee Robert was in college when he said he felt more like a woman than a boy. He changed his name. He went on to medical school and now practices medicine with ttrannsgender people in Oregon. His mother and father are lawyers. Mother is fine father does not speak of Olivia at all. Olivia married his high school sweetheart and they live together. I do not know if they fuck or has she had surgery.

I do not know of any who want to change back. There may be some who do. I do not know if the surgery can be reversed. I have not heard that transgender people have any particular health problems. I don't know whether more men than women more women than men. I'll bet you could google for that information.


 Transgender is confusing for all of us. At Trinity we had Alice She had been a male journalist. Married and had two children. When she became Alice she brought her son to church.  One day the boy came up to me and asked, "Have you seen Alice, my Dad?"

The first time I saw raw male power was when I was in seminary 1953-56. The movement was in the air to ordain women to the  priesthood of the Episcopal church. I witnessed ridicule, sexism and lying by clergymen that women should not be ordained. It took 20 more years before the first women were ordained. I was an early supporter, in the 60s, of the ordination of women.

Male dominance has been a menace to women but also to many men not driven to power and money.



The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws that regulate an establishment of religion, or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Here is the first sentence of the Bill of Rights of The United States. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

This means Congress may not create an established church as in England, France, Spain and Germany. They did not want a Church of the United States, like a Church of England about which the colonists knew. They also did not want Congress to interfere with the practice of religion.

They did not want to restrict religion. They wanted to restrict church. They did not want an established church. Religion was not to be interfere with. Congress may not  prohibit the free exercise thereof; religion.

Putting a creche or a Menorah in a public place is not establishing a church. It is allowing the free expression of religion. Many people in this country have a religious bent. They are free to exercise it.

People are free to resent those symbols. They may be in poor taste. They may offend some. But, we should not have laws preventing such public displays of religion. Religion is here to stay.


 The idea of the separation of church and state does not appear in the Constitution. The first Amendment prevents the government from making laws that that regulate the establishment of religion and or that prohibit the free exercise of religion. Religious groups may ask government for financial assistance. The courts and governments may or may not approve their requests.



We, the undesigned strongly protest your relieving The Rev. Deacon Jacqueline Cherry of her duties at Church of Saint John the Evangelist, San Francisco. You have banished and told her to stay away from the church for a year. We acknowledge that you have the canonical right to do so as Vicar, in consultation with the Bishop.

Jackie has won the love, friendship and respect of many of us in the past 32 years she has been a member of St. John’s. We huddled with her through two kidney transplants. She ministered to the sick and dying amongst us, especially during the AIDS epidemic. She has shared her life and trials and joys with us in her sermons. She was  a member of the congregation before she was ordained Deacon.

Jackie has the care of her teen son Felix and her former partner Beth Feeman, seriously ill with cancer and her own delicate health. Jackie needs the love and support of her Christian community. 

We protest your lack of compassion, caring and love in your banning her from worship in her parish community.  We urge you to restore her to full membership in the congregation where she has worshipped all these years. You have the power and option to restore her to full membership for the year. Please do so.


Robert Cromey ET AL


 Saturday, June 24, 2023

Dear Sandy,

I am a decisive person. I make up my mind to something and I do it. Since poor balance is my new nemesis, I have to think about which foot goes where, when I stand up. While blessed Ann recovers, I have to decide, to empty the dishwasher or make breakfast. Put the pots and pans in the drain board before the dishwasher or wait until after lunch. Standing up, do I get up first and then push the chair back, or push it back first and then stand up. I am just in “sixes and sevens” about what to do.

Ann is healing quite clearly each day. I am proud of her to staying in bed and then getting up for small doses of email answering. The big test is how much weight can she put on her left leg before pain sets in.

We get wonderful help from our church members and friends. Claudia brought us whole cooked chicken and. “fixins” dinner plus pink tulips flowers. Roz got our special olive oils and took my red, blue and green winter sweaters to be dry cleaned and will pick them up. Jan took me grocery shopping on Tuesday and carried the goodies up the fifty steps to our kitchen. Dani and Iris brought us us home baked cookies, a bowl of apples and flowers. Michael and Rory brought us bottles of sweet and dry vermouths for our favourite boozes.

As a general rule don’t linger more than15 minutes when visiting the sick. We have had a few abusers.

Here is my daily schedule. Up at 5 AM Breakfast for two, set out prunes and orange health drink for Ann, empty dishwasher and take a nap. Then I write for an hour and prepare lunch for Ann and me. Nap. Read, Cocktails, prepare dinner, eat dinner, fill up the dishwasher, watch Netflix shows and to bed by 11PM. Ann reads in bed. She also has been watching Jane Austen novels written for TV. I do some exercises each day. To the gym on Wednesday. 

About twice a month we entertain friends feeding them Thai, Indian, Mexican, Pizza or Chinese take out. We make them clear the table and put the dishes in the dishwasher. They cheerily help.

We are very happy that Sarah and Leigh are coming to visit next week. They are always so helpful while they're here. Maybe more so this year, We will dine at Harris’ restaurant, my fav, on Wednesday next week. Poor Ann will still be confined to bed.

I see that Putin is harassed by internal military mercenaries to make it harder to fight the Ukrainians. Good, I guess. I still hate war.

All for now,

All love,


Sunday, June 18, 2023


 to KDFC - Between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM, Ann and I have cocktails, make and eat dinner. We like quiet restful dinner music to calm our nerves and quicken our appetites. Often KDFC presents loud, fast and disturbing music.

We know that many listeners eat in a hurry, often standing up. But I’ll bet many still have less hurried schedules and might enjoy music to calm the digestion.

OK, I’ll confess. My wife is 80 and I am 92, so we are slowed but interested in fine music.



Saturday, June 03, 2023


 Saturday, April 29, 2023

Dear Family,

I read these two books twice. They both depict the problems, lives and opportunities of today’s thirty year olds. Climate change, late marriages and child bearing in an age of apocalypse. This from a short review I wrote.

Sally Rooney

Normal People

Beautiful World Where are You?

These two books picture the lives of men and women in their thirties. Excellent dialogue, good insights into thoughts feelings and behaviour of the people in their thirties in the period of the 2018-2022 years. Sex is  vivid yet restrained and poetic. Plots are interesting and so are the men and women depicted.

To celebrate Ann’s 81st birthday last Tuesday, we went to a Turkish restaurant of her choice. Good friend Jan Solish joined us. We all had “three days marinated” lamb chops. Tastes, flavours and aromas nourished our bodies, minds and spirits. A honey, cheese dessert knocked us out. Rich dark thick Turkish coffee for me rounded out a perfect meal and celebration.

Biden is not too old to run again for president. He is experienced, smart, knows the senate, house and how to get things done. Since he has a slight speech defect, I think he is smart not to too many press conferences. He is not secretive. He is a unifying figure. He has experience in foreign policy. He is keeping us out of war.

I had to laugh at the House Republicans who worship a cap on debt. Then they want. to cut funding for the IRS, because they examine tax cheaters who don’t pay their fair share of taxes. If everybody paid their share of their taxes we would be able to fund the government fully and help the poor and disenfranchised.

We had a big shopping day yesterday. To the cleaners for Ann’s skirt, Costco for my hearing Aid repair, fresh blueberries and raspberries, salmon, soups, prunes and more. Then to the bank for cash, Cliff’s for light bulbs and shelf paper, Mollie Stones for milk, Walgreens for cosmetics  and finally to the cutlery to get our steak knives sharpened. I was exhausted just getting in and out of the car. My wrist hurt from turning over the credit card so often.

Our overhead light in the kitchen went out. We had to call on our young and vigorous neighbour and tenant  Chris Lara. He brought a ladder and had the bulb changed in five minutes. Neither Ann or I climb ladders any more. He pays us rent and he fixes our lighting. Good deal.

Some welcome warm weather has descended on us. I even wore shorts in the afternoon. Not only to keep cool but to show off my gorgeous legs.

On that humble note, I bid you adieu.

Love and hugs,



 I want to view

Friday, May 26, 2023


Thursday, May 26, 2023

The City

All those people living so close to each other. I love the city. I was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived in the New York City Area for 31 years. I moved to San Francisco and have stayed for 61 years. I love the freedom of the city. I freely choose my friends. My neighbors known and unknown leave me alone. Yet in an emergency I know I can get immediate help. People do that.

People have “eyes on the sidewalk” to use *Jane Jacobs’ expression.

I came home from work one day and got out of my VW. My 6 year daughter was playing on the sidewalk. I came over to her and knelt down to chat. Suddenly I felt someone behind me. I stood up and turned. The woman said, “Oh it’s you. I was afraid it was a stranger.” I did not know this neighbour.


Good neighborhoods are diverse neighbourhoods. Mixed use, residential and business, is found in the Noe Valley 24th Street stretch from Church to Castro Streets. Restaurants, Groceries, Real Estate offices, clothing shops, banks, Liquor stores, spas, Yoga studios and antique shops file along the way. The mix of races, Asian, Black, White. Languages Parsi, French, German, Tagalog, Spanish, Irish brogues, drawls and even English, astonish.

I personally would like to see more diversity. More stores on street corners especially for seniors to shop. There are many long blocks of residences before  a store emerges. Note the blocks between 18th Street to 24th Street and Dolores between 18th Street to Caesar Chavez there are almost no stores.

Cities are concrete jungles. Yes, lots of concrete and bricks pave the city. But there are jungles of green trees, blue flowers, red roses, bushes and plants in front yards, between buildings and hanging from lamp pots and doorways. There are lush parks with blue skies above. The meridians between lanes on major streets are filled with green, red and blue flowers and plants.

City people are nosey but not prying. We are interested in the behaviour of our neighbors. That lends to cheery gossip and good communications. Generally we don’t spend much time trying to judge behaviour unless it is threatening or bordering on illegal.

One can walk in cities. I have walked New York, London, Paris and Munich.  My wife loves country walks, long hikes and even treks. I like urban walks where I can see people, admire store windows, walk into shops and get bite to eat. We walk together along the promenade at the end of Golden Gate Park above the beach and the Pacific Ocean. Blustery fresh air and the smell of the ocean delight.

Eating is the heart of the city. We can easily walk to Mexican, Asian, Guatemalan, Peruvian, Greek and Italian restaurants. Short drives take us to French, Japanese, Philippine, Beef and Argentinian venues. Food and drink is everywhere. Pizza counters, espresso stores, bakeries, bars and grills, luncheonettes and fast food joints delight our tastes. Food is nourishment and it is also entertainment. We chat, meet new people and whine and complain.

Part of city life is to be critical. We love to moan  and groan about the police, public transportation, taxis, schools, the mayor, politicians and taxes. Our frail human nature leads us to see the bad stuff, often forgetting to be thankful for all the good stuff that happens to us every day, living in the city.

Our city planners teach us to see that city living is the most efficient way to save the planet, clear the air, save water and keep the ocean clean. City living uses less airiable land. Three families live in one building on a piece of land. In the suburbs one family lives on the  same size piece of land. 

Cars are less needed for commuting. Improving public transportation will make cars less important. Water is saved by not watering pools, lawns and huge gardens. Programs limiting plastics use are organised in cities will help clean the oceans and preserve sea life.

The city nourishes me. I feel close to people but free from their demands. Everything I need is in walking distance. I feel safe in the city. Hospitals, doctors, dentists, medicine and care givers are close by. I can depend on my close family and friends and the many others with eyes on the sidewalk.

* The Death and Life of the Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

CRUISE to Hawaii


Here is my evaluation of the cruise. Just back from a 15 day cruise to Hawaii on the Princess Royal, a pretentious appellation. March 25-April 11, 2023. Here’s my review.

Got off the boat last Tuesday. On embarking on our journey to Hawaii, We noticed all these old people….and their parents. Many appeared to be very well fed indeed.

The Princess Royal ship (not boat) is 16 decks high. It looked like two giant apartment building afloat. Three thousand passengers joined us every night for dinner. The Captain and is staff were all Italian. The wait staff and stewards were all Philippine and gloriously friendly, efficient and proficient.

The guests we met at meals were friendly and pleasant. I had a short conversation with a doctor about abortion. We agreed.

One man pointed out that the basic work of the voyage is to make the passengers comfortable and happy. I agree that this is what happened.

The worst event of the voyage was breakfast one morning with a very large couple from Kentucky. They spoke in loud and shrill voices that dominated all conversation muting the other three couple at the table. Charley posited that he went shooting his guns for recreation. He was happy that he gave his son his first rife when he turned six, and taught him how to use it. He looked forward to giving his wife a new rifle for her birthday next month. She said hey were prepared, if anyone threatened their home. Charley bragged that he has been a member of the gun lobby, National Rifle Association since he was 14. They showed no sense of the damage that the proliferation of guns has on our culture and behaviour. We do not often people with the values those kind of people.

We met a charming couple from British Columbia. Our waiter was Vanessa from the Philippines, as were Myrna and Joe.

The trip was in fact very enjoyable. I had plenty of rest and reading. I read Sally Rooney’s Normal People(again) and the Beautiful World Where are you? I also read Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby and re-read Sula.

Re-reading two books was new for me. I seldom read a book for the second time. Re-reading I got below the plot to some of the underlying values and points of view of the authors.

Ann was wonderful supporting me by her arm when walking as even this enormous ship gave a wobbly feeling of the Pacific Ocean. Ann did excursions on Kona, Honolulu and Maui. I lazed in our stateroom reading and napping. I never got off the ship once.

I found the ship to be very noisy. Loud music, dance and exercise lessons, raffles and contests ere played displayed with very loud amplified sour on the roof deck and the Piazza inside. There was no public quiet place for reading or enjoying a cocktail from the many bars on four decks overlooking the central Piazza.

I like that we could order second or third helpings of any meal.

There was no deck for long walks. Then at the top the ship was too wide for me/us to enjoy walking.

The ship was very solid and secure and immaculately clean.

The food was imaginative and served in small portions. Starters, salads, mains and dessert at every lunch and dinner. I wanted more spices and herbs to deepen the flavours. On a scale o 1-10. Ten being the highest, I would give it an eight. The wait service at all meals was excellent.

More on the cruise. Lots of fun and games for the populi. Karaoke Singing, Bingo, Raffles, Full Casino, Hula Dance lessons, exercise classes and cocktail piano and Jazz. Daily forty five minutes on The Sea, Hawaii, Kona, Maui, sharks, Dolphins, Plant Life and Conservation and some more. Two or three dreadful movies every day, we did not attend. Musical shows, we did not attend. We were disappointed that there was little intellectual or thoughtful events planned. For instance ten years ago on the Queen Mary, the Royal Shakespeare Company put on plays and conducted us in theatre classes and in short plays and skits.(Not that I’m a snob.)

Happily home again We had to adjust to two three hour time changes while aboard. We seem to have survived.

Thursday, March 09, 2023


 Those who fight transgender people show again how sex negative we are. Girls wanting to be boys seem to threaten some people’s sexuality. Anti-abortion people talk about murder while the real fear is that some women have sex outside of marriage. Critics of sex education fear that children might learn that sex is fun.


Thursday, February 23, 2023


 February 23, 2013

Shared with Public
I wish I could write something original about gun control. All the cogent arguments are out there. I’ll be content with whatever the President can get through the congress. I’ll have to be. It astonishes me that so many Democrats, including Harry Reid, a good guy, can be staunch believers in gun availability for most people.
I am a moralist enough to hate hunting for sport. Grown men and women loving to kill helpless birds and animals for fun is sickening. Respect for life, all life, is not a bad motto for Christians and also for all human beings. A hunting guide in the TV show Downton Abbey said animals deserve a merciful death. A touch of civility for a professional hunter.
I loved toy guns as a youngster and so did my brother. We played kill the Japanese and Nazis during World War 2. Cap pistols, handguns and pieces of wood sat in for rifles around our toy boxes. Eventually I outgrew them. Dad forbade BB guns, fearing we might shoot someone’s eye out.
The summer I worked a the farm in Oneida, NY, in 1944, I shot a woodchuck and a robin. I was glad I hit the targets, but felt bad afterward. I did like handling the rifle, however. Once in the 1980s I helped clean out a man’s apartment and discovered a small revolver. I took it to a gun store and sold it. I felt creepy just handling it and a bit afraid, too. I might shoot myself or someone else because I was too ignorant of how it really worked.
In high school I thought about going to Annapolis or West Point. I liked the uniforms. Then I found out you needed math and science to prepare for those institutions. I realized that was not for me. I barely passed either subject. It never occurred to me until later that those academies were places where one learned to shoot and kill. Like most kids I idolized the military for its glamour, not seeing deeply that one learned to kill and be killed. I certainly never thought of the pain inflicted or received. The notion of suffering never entered my adolescent mind.
I wobbled between support and opposition during the Korean and Vietnam War. However, during the anti Vietnam war days I realized I could only be a pacifist. I do not want to kill other people. War is madness. The civil rights movement and the writing and speaking of Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired by Gandhi solidified my antiwar convictions. The natural result were my anti-gun sentiments.
As a life long-Episcopalian I heard precious little teaching about the ethics of war and guns. The late Norman Pittenger at The General Theological Seminary did give a powerful talk against hunting. Today the national and diocesan church is silent on gun control. I seldom preached or wrote about gun control. I’ll remedy that. I often preached anti-war sermons.
The Quakers have always seen it as their Christian duty to oppose war. I see it as mine.
I certainly hope churches and seminaries will provide study and sermons dealing with these important issues. Youth groups could expand their programs to include issues of war, guns and alternatives for military careers. Kids can be taught about the joys and perils of being a conscientious objector.
Those of us who follow Jesus as a revolutionary rather than a pale pilgrim, notice his voice rang out for peace, forgiveness and compassion. That plus feeding the hungry and healing the sick were the essence of his words and ministry. We Christians could be leading the way to peace and safety from guns.