Stagecoach

StagecoachYou find the most interesting things in old, classic movies … if you pay attention. Take John Ford’s iconic western Stagecoach.

On a stagecoach to Lordsberg there is a fine collection of passengers Chaucer would have been proud to represent: the whore, the pregnant patrician, the gambler, the whiskey drummer, the drunken doctor, the wise Marshal, the feisty driver, and the Ringo Kid who just busted out of prison and is planning to get his revenge on the naughty boys who framed him. Oh, I forgot: there is also the town banker, Gatewood, who unbeknownst to the other travelers has stolen the $50,000 payroll from his own bank (boo, hiss).

Continue reading

Money, Money, Money

dollarNo, it’s not a Richard Prior routine: it’s the Democrats.

Everyday I step through my email and discard the endless number of requests for money from every Democratic level imaginable: state, federal, senate,  governors, etc. Now I’m not against giving to causes I support and I inevitably send a significant amount to the most important election groups (as if anyone can really know which are the important groups).

So I send them $100 and that gets me five or six daily requests for even more money. Just as I was feeling I had done my duty with the $100 they repeatably jump on me for another $3 or $5 dollars. Do they know about my other donation or are they just indiscriminately (and embarrassingly) begging?

Continue reading

Fair Wages and Sexual Harassment

waitressFor several summers and even during the school term, my daughter earned her keep by waiting tables. Her assignments varied from locavore delights at a small college town luncheonette to the midnight shift at a shiny New Jersey diner. Other jobs included burgers & fries in a tavern, strictly kosher fare on the Jersey Shore, and even some inappropriate attention in a revealing costume at a cocktail lounge in the big city. Now she has finished her education and gone on to her chosen profession at a large university … she is adamant that she will never wait tables again.

I don’t doubt it but I still tell her that she will always have a skill that she can use anywhere in the world if she needs to cover the basic necessities like food and shelter. But at the same time I realize that working for tips is a difficult way to earn a living and too often leads to being taken advantage of, by patrons and bosses.

Continue reading