Dealing with Stormy Family Relationships Isn’t Easy


As the fifth anniversary of my mom’s death draws ever near – it falls on Sunday, July 19 – I find myself in an emotional tug-o’-war, just as I have done over the previous four anniversaries. I’m trying hard not to let myself fall into a depressed fugue, but at the same time I can’tContinue reading “Dealing with Stormy Family Relationships Isn’t Easy”

Why July is NOT My Favorite Month: Part Two


I hate July. First of all, if you are a Florida resident – or a resident of any of the Deep South states that were once part of the Confederate States of America, for that matter – you know that July is when the summer heat starts rising to almost intolerable levels. It’s not, ofContinue reading “Why July is NOT My Favorite Month: Part Two”

Why July is NOT My Favorite Month: Part One


July is my least favorite month. Last Tuesday – July 7th – marked the fourth anniversary of a hearing I attended in a Miami-Dade County civil court’s probate division judge’s chambers to settle a dispute between my half-sister Victoria and me over our late mother’s estate. Vicky had filed a “Lost or Destroyed Will” petitionContinue reading “Why July is NOT My Favorite Month: Part One”

Movie-Watcher Memories: The Late Show and ‘The Longest Day’


I was 12 years old when I saw Darryl F. Zanuck’s The Longest Day for the first time. It was sometime during the summer of 1975 – I don’t recall the exact date, but it was around the tail end of my summer vacation from elementary school. Back then, my widowed mother, Beatriz Diaz-Granados, andContinue reading “Movie-Watcher Memories: The Late Show and ‘The Longest Day’”

Movie Watcher Memories: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ at 40


On May 21, 1980, Twentieth Century Fox released director Irvin Kershner’s Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to writer-director George Lucas’ Star Wars, which was retroactively retitled as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope for its Summer 1981 re-release. Like Star Wars, it opened mid-week close to MemorialContinue reading “Movie Watcher Memories: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ at 40”

Movie Watcher Memories, or: Mom Nixes Shark Pic


I was 12-and-one-quarter years old when Steven Spielberg’s Jaws made its theatrical debut on June 20, 1975 and lived with my widowed mother, Beatriz Diaz-Granados, in a house in the unincorporated community of Westchester in suburban Miami-Dade County. At the time, it was just us two living at the house on Southwest 102nd Ave; myContinue reading “Movie Watcher Memories, or: Mom Nixes Shark Pic”

Memoria Mater & Other Bits of My Mind II


With Mother’s Day – my fifth since my mom’s death in 2015 – getting farther and farther away in the rearview mirror of life, I still find myself with no shortage of things to write about her. A remarkable woman, Mom was, and she led an interesting, even adventurous life. Born and raised in theContinue reading “Memoria Mater & Other Bits of My Mind II”