701 Main Street Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

August 18, 2017
6:35 AM

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New Members are welcome!

The group meets every Wednesday at 10am in the Carmen A. Biase Center at 719 Main Street.
Please contact Irene Maran, Director at 732 774-2447

Writers of the Round Table

The Harriet May Savitz Writers of the Round Table
Our History
In February of 2001, author Harriet May Savitz, at a Senior Citizens meeting, extended an invitation to any interested persons to come together and form a creative writing group. That was all that was necessary. The rest is history.
On February 14, 2001 a group of eight Senior Citizens, namely Rose Cirelli, Milton Edelman, Mildred Koweek, Ann Marzano, George H. Moffett, Elia Reyes, Harriet May Savitz, and Edna Wilkins met for the first time under the enthusiastic leadership of Mrs. Savitz. They decided to name the group, The Writers of the Round Table of Bradley Beach.
Present Information
As the writer’s group continued to meet weekly, a bond formed amongst the members and we knew we were here to stay. So many exciting articles and essays are being written by our group, that we decided to go out on the internet and share them with you.
We are not professionals and we do not pretend to be. We are a group of creative Senior Citizens who are promoting the motto of our organization: “Let’s not look back!  Let’s give back!”
We welcome new members at our weekly meetings on Wednesday at 10:00 A.M. at the Carmen A. Biase Community Center in the Municipal Complex, 719 Main Street, Bradley Beach, N.J. 07720.
                                    THE AMERICAN FLAG
                                          Ruth J. Abramowitz
The American Flag is a symbol of courage and freedom that continues to wave in good times and bad, through war and peace and at half-mast at times of tragedy and loss.
 America is known as the melting pot of society. We are a nation of all faiths, color, race, ethnic culture and the American Indian. Our founding father’s wisdom and foresight provided a Constitution that has guided us for over two centuries. We are a Democratic Republic and will continue to use the laws and values our founders provided to live in a free and open society.
             Most Americans fly our flag during memorial and holidays, as we remember and honor those who were lost and the heroes who gave their lives to save others.  We pledge allegiance to a Flag that represents the land of the free and home of the brave.  May it forever fly high and wave through the winds of time? 
A Troubled World                                                                 Ruth Abramowitz    
The majority of the world’s population lives by the laws and rules of civilization. In times of war and crisis we reach out to help the suffering. We don’t  ask what their color, nationality or religion. We bind together with money and resources during times of disasters, tragedies and destruction. As people who care, we unite to help fight those who want to destroy our freedom and security. History shows that, as a united people we have overcome what many thought could not be won. It is the political views we often have to fight as well as floods, hurricanes, bombs and wars. America has been a leader in these tragic and financial times. Questions arise asking are we strong enough to win the present battles?  The tragedies of nature have destroyed and disrupted thousands of lives in America and other countries adding to the burdens of the past twenty years.
Technology, scientific research, and medical achievements, may have improved our daily lives. However those brilliant minds are unable to find a solution to stop acts of terror, hatred and evil that fester within some human minds.  All we have accomplished materially have not given us safety or peace.  Communication without human contact leaves us disconnected.  A machine shows no emotion. I find it disturbing that all our great achievements during the past two decades have divided us.  I am in my 90th year of life and would like to live long enough to see a world where the human race, regardless of nationality, color or religion will live together in unity and peace. 
I believe our cultural behavior needs re-evaluation to help change our troubled world.
Aware and Indignant                                                Veronica Cullinan Lake
    There are two people I’m very annoyed with. Two people I don’t even know have invaded my life. One is the person in the early 80’s who injected substances into Tylenol capsules. I believe they never did find out who was responsible. To insure consumer safety every container of medicine, packs of soda, even tissue boxes are now mummified in plastic. More people cut their hands opening containers with a knife than were ever affected by the original product tampering. That tamper-proof:  screw-turn-pushup-squeeze slits on either side at arrow tops are an impossible chore for senior citizens with arthritis. It is a safety and caution issue subsistent on paranoia.
    The second person on my list is the man who boarded a plane with a bomb in his shoe. Millions of people daily in the New York area alone could be asked to perform the “take off your shoes” ritual in his honor. At the worst possible moment nearing completion of a journey to the airport and the tiring security line where you heave all baggage on the conveyor belt to be x-rayed, you dutifully jettison all metal objects: keys, cell phone, and belts into a plastic bin to be inspected. Standing on the other side, a helpless waif minus your belongings, you are then asked to remove your shoes and socks. I witnessed a mother with an infant on her hip and two other whimpering children having to take off a thin soled pair of sandals- sandals mind you. This situation has traveled to a place far ahead of any common sense. My comment to people in the airport is, “Be grateful he didn’t hide the bomb in his shirt or we’d all have to stand here naked from the waist up.”
     Here is a baffling phenomenon that starts with an unknown person. Who is responsible for phrases that pop up and infiltrated public conversation for months on end? Remember “No problem!” I believe it originated in the Caribbean and was made popular in a subsequent song. Any complaint or inquiry you addressed to the phone company, druggist, sales clerk, etc. was covered with those two words,” No problem.” Remember “Have a good day “which morphed into “Have a good one.” Most recently, it is the younger generation’s favorite “Whatever” with a grown-up version “It is what it is”.
     There are two conventions, contrary to the others I mentioned, that have disappeared, namely, that of the public telephone booth and big beautiful hats adorned with veils, feathers, and flowers. I suppose with the advent of cell phones it doesn’t pay the telephone company to maintain public phones. That reminds me how much I miss the body-enclosed booths with folding doors. It was a time when privacy in public still needed to be honored.     
     I truly miss spring. Today it lasts a few hours. On Easter Sunday I felt joyous wearing new patent leather shoes, a pastel colored fancy dress with matching hat. I’d wear this delightful outfit only on Sundays through April to June, then next year inherit my older sister’s outfit.
     In the 60’s I noticed in church women switching to mantillas, ala Jackie Kennedy, and then wearing nothing on their heads. Hats had disappeared. I was waiting for the priest from the pulpit to announced “Ladies, you don’t come to church without a hat.” He never did. Was it because the younger generation started growing hair- huge amounts on their heads and faces? Maybe hair became their hats.      
    Again, I can’t help wondering where some behaviors come from, and why some stay or not stay long after they are relevant.
THE CAR POOL                           Veronica Cullinan Lake
A black 1990 Toyota Corolla with grey upholstery riding north on Broadway out of the city is picking up the third and last passenger.
DOROTHY is driving the car and wearing a good-looking, grey mohair coat. She has long bangs, glasses, and is slim with a child-like appearance, although she is easily 40 years old.
CAROL around 25, is wearing a black coat with pie-shaped vinyl shoulders. She has long, black, premed hair and is wearing reflective sunglasses.
JOAN is wearing a fuchsia coat, and is carrying a lunch bag, and Walkman with opera tapes. She has a lock of grey hair in front and is beginning to look middle age.
MARYANNE is in a black down coat, and wearing a black beret studded with glass and jewels. On her lap is a pink nylon bag with a Velcro flap, a newspaper and thermos. Around 45, she has a pear-shaped body, and wears a flowered scarf tied gypsy-style around her head.
      (CAROL is seated next to driver, looking straight 
CAROL: Good morning!
      (DOROTHY sips her coffee, places the cup down into the 
       circular plastic holder between the two front seats.)
DOROTHY: How are you this morning, Joan?
      (JOAN gets into the back seat behind the driver, 
       walkman in place and coffee in hand.)
JOAN: Fine thanks, and you?
DOROTHY: I'm a little tired, actually. I've been having some 
         difficulty sleeping.
      (MARYANNE leans forward hunched over her pink nylon  
      bag and speaks in a soothing voice.)
MARYANNE: I understand those herbal teas are worth a try.   
          Have you ever used any of them? They have delightful  
          names such as "Sleepy Time" and "Restful Place".
      (DOROTHY opens a bottle of orange soda and takes a
      few sips.)
DOROTHY: I don't trust these "faddy" foods! They contain 
         all kinds of crazy ingredients. I've read that no one 
         really understands too much about herbs, and besides 
         they aren't regulated by any agency as yet.
JOAN: (shuts off her Walkman) Actually, Dorothy, they are
        good for you and so is yoga. Have you done any exercise
        to relax yourself in the evening?
DOROTHY: (Sips coffee) If you consider eating pop-corn,
        drinking vodka, and watching TV. exercise.
      (CAROL raises her hand up to eye level, inspects her  
      nails coated in pink paint.)
CAROL:  God, would you believe these nails! I just had them 
        done yesterday and already one of them is chipping. Do
        you like the color? (Raises her hand in the air for all    
        to see.) It has the obnoxious name of "Barbie Doll
        Heaven". But it makes such a statement, and it goes so
        well with this blouse.
DOROTHY: That's funny. (Looks over at CAROL.) I was at Jane's 
         yesterday too! What time was your appointment?
CAROL: Probably around 6, because right after that David and
       I went downtown for dinner.
DOROTHY: (Glances over at CAROL in the front seat.) Dinner!
       You mean you actually stayed out in that freezing 
       weather. I just went home and boiled myself a hot dog.
MARYANNE: (earnestly) Why a hot dog? Some of those frozen
       dinners are quite tasty and very reasonably priced.  
       Dorothy, stock up on a few the next time you visit the
       supermarket. (Pause) That reminds me ... Joan, have you
       been using your juicer lately?
JOAN: (Shuts off her Walkman) Now that I know I can't have 
       fruit juice; it elevates my blood sugar, I'm  
       experimenting with vegetables. (Pause) But I don't know
       what to do with all that bulk that shoots out as waste.
MARYANNE: (in a low and sweet voice) Throw it into a
          pot with a little bit of chicken. It would make a 
          delicious soup. Nice and warm for this time of year.
      (Looks in DOROTHY's direction.)  
      Well Dorothy, I won't be teaching my 8:00 class any
      more. That will give you a few extra minutes of sleep   
      in the morning. It might help.
DOROTHY: (Turning her head jauntingly toward the back seat)
         Actually, Maryanne, I think my problem is I'm still 
         suffering from jet lag. What I need to do is take   
         another trip to Hawaii. That would straighten me out. 
CAROL: (Slouches down into her seat) I'm pretty tired myself
      this morning, David and I went to Pen & Tell last 
      night. His company gave him some free tickets. They
      weren't the best of seats, but the show was   
      surprisingly good!
DOROTHY: (Takes a big sip of orange soda) Gee! A play! That 
      would be a change. I just hit every VCR store in the
      neighborhood. Rent two or three a night in case one's 
      a dud, then I can keep forwarding until I get to the  
      good parts.
JOAN:  Oh, Dorothy, let me tell you now before I forget about
      it. I won't need a ride Thursday or Friday. I'm taking  
      a one long weekend and going home to New Jersey to see
      my parents.
MARYANNE: (Opens her hand bag, hunting for a napkin to give 
      to JOAN whose coffee just spilt over her hand and onto     
      the floor) How is your father doing these days?
JOAN: Unfortunately, we've just received some bad news. 
     They've found out that the ulcer is ... cancerous. And
     at his age - he's over eighty you  know - and in his
     general condition - the asthma and all- an operation
     would be quite risky.
MARYANNE:  Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this news. How is your 
     Mom taking it?
JOAN: (Sighs loudly): Not well, she's panicking! Her whole
     life has centered around my Dad. She can't see beyond 
     his death. She's a very dependent person, controlling
     and nasty to boot. I'm really not looking forward to
     this trip.
MARYANNE: (Roots into her bag and moves things around.)           
     Here's some inexpensive tranquilizers. It will take the  
     edge off of your stress. Don't worry, they're not habit
JOAN: Thanks, but walking usually works for me. It clears my
     head and help me feel in control again. I think it's  
     because I can get so easily distracted by what I see 
     around me.
CAROL: Speaking of walking, David and I are going up to 
     Mohaunk next weekend. They have some great walking 
     trails. David is excited by this. I told him next time 
     to sign up for "Chocolate Lovers Weekend", then it will
     be my turn to get excited.
DOROTHY: All I want to do this weekend is to curl up with a              
     good movie. See any lately?
(Radio is playing “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” as the lights dim.)
(It is now Tuesday. A gloomy day with a slight drizzle. The roads are a little slick. Everyone's loaded down with rain gear.)
JOAN: (Stepping into the car) Good morning! Right on
CAROL: (Flings back her head back and speaks with some     
     What's good about it! I've got some terrible news!     
     David's lost his job. We're so upset. I'm so upset. He's  
     thinking of cancelling homecoming weekend: our trip to 
     Ohio. The trip to Mohaunk is still on, thank God! We
     really need to get away, especially now.
DOROTHY: stating matter-of-factly)  You better face it,
     Carol, in this economy, it might be a while before he     
     finds anything.
MARYANNE: (Speaking reassuringly) Don't worry! With his 
     background a job will find him!
DOROTHY: Speaking of jobs. Last night I figured out how
     many days I have left to retirement - 2,220. Twelve    
     years  180 days a year. (Sigh) I need 30 years of service   
     that'll bring me to the ripe old age of 58. Sounds 
     like a god-damn prison sentence.
MARYANNE: Well, there are two ways you might handle this.
     Leave! (pause) Think about it, really think about it.  
     There might be a wonderful opportunity waiting for you 
     out there in that great big world. (Another deep sigh  
     from DOROTHY.) If that doesn't appeal to you, just take 
     very day as it comes.
CAROL: Talk about coming. I have two friends coming in from 
     Upstate for the holidays. And my roommate had better 
     clean up that bathroom. She's a slob! She's an out-and-
     out slob. I made it perfectly clear to her what her   
     responsibility to me was. Imagine having to get into
     this. Like I don't have enough to think about right now.
     (looks into the back seat) We're baking Santa Claus 
     cookies this afternoon!
JOAN: (Glances over to MARYANNE, looks startled.)
     Maryanne, what happened to your wrist? I just noticed  
     the bandage.                                              
MARYANNE: (Nods her head and speaks softly): I slipped on
     the ice once I left the car yesterday. Didn't anybody  
     see me? It's only sprained. I'm taking Tylenol. 
     Unfortunately though, it still hurts. When I went to the
     school nurse yesterday, she said she was moving my   
     folder into the high- risk file.
DOROTHY: Speaking of high risk! I'm really afraid to be alone
     in my apartment now that Stan has moved out. You're
     aware that I live in a borderline neighborhood. (sigh)
     So ... I play the radio a lot, and walk around in
     circles. The apartment is small. It's only a studio. A 
     studio with no view at that.
JOAN: Maybe it's time to start using that Y membership. Don't
     forget they have that great pool and jogging track! Come
     to think of it, I haven't seen you there lately.
DOROTHY: I let my membership run out.
JOAN: Well, renew it!
DOROTHY: (speaking indignantly) At $870, that's not an easy  
      decision to make. And I only used my card 
      about 5 times last year.
CAROL: That reminds me, they have a $75 special at Macy's.
      You get a complete make-over: facial and hair style. 
      It's a great bargain. I intend to take advantage of it.
MARYANNE: Sounds like a lovely idea to me. I'd go for it! 
      Dorothy, maybe you could treat yourself. It might help      
      you feel better.
DOROTHY: Actually, my class mothers gave me the same thing as
      a gift certificate at the end of last year. I came home
      made-up like a clown. I couldn't wait until I washed my  
      face and shampooed my hair. You should have seen it all   
      curly and sticking out. I hate it when they use all 
      that hair spray. Besides I'm not use to being without           
CAROL: Well, if you wanted to look the same way, why did you
      bother going? A make-over should be a make-over! Right?
JOAN: It's good to try different things, and treat yourself
      when you need to. After my visit home I'm going to  
      check in at Kripala, that yoga retreat near Lenox,  
      Mass. I'll need some quiet time. I don't like being 
      emotionally strung out. It's too exhausting! Families
      can kill you.
(Radio is playing “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby” as the
lights dim.)
Today is Monday of the following week. Car pool is on its route. Picking up the last passenger.
     (DOROTHY turns around in her seat to flick the switch 
     that opens the door.)
JOAN: (looks around): Where is Maryanne? You didn't forget
     her again, did you?
DOROTHY: (Looks straight ahead, sipping on coffee) No, I
     didn't! Friday was just a bad day. I was distracted that
     morning. I stopped at Chemical Bank's cash machine and
     realized I didn't have my card. I had lost it! It   
     happens every now and then. I suppose I'll call this  
     morning and report it. After all, I've given someone the 
     weekend to try a few thousand combinations. I sometimes
     have fantasies of people in Chemical banks all over the    
     city randomly playing numbers hoping to hit my code for
     some big bucks.(laughs) 
JOAN: Kind of like sponsoring your own lottery.
DOROTHY: Thank goodness the rest of you are here to keep me
     on the straight and narrow. It was Carol who told me to  
     go back and get Maryanne. But speaking of schedules, I
     think Maryanne's is getting to her. She's having that 
     wrist x-rayed today. It might be more than a bad     
     sprain. It's difficult working in two places where
     schedules and philosophies are so different. You know I 
     read in Time magazine that stress can cause accidents, 
     You become preoccupied with trying to balance everyone's 
     concerns. It becomes a hassle and you loose it.
JOAN: (loudly) Red light, Dorothy. You just went through a  
    red light.
CAROL: (Glancing over at DOROTHY) Speaking of hassles. I, out
    of concern for David's feelings, agreed to pay for dinner
    last night. I realize he's worried about money. But if he 
    thinks I'm going to compensate for his loss, he's  
    mistaken. I was brought up to expect the man to provide 
    financially. It's funny, I'm liberal in some ways but 
    very traditional in others.
   (Puts hands on the dashboard as DOROTHY rushes through a
    red light.)
    This situation with David could get awkward. I like him a
    lot, but I can't be making too many concessions. It's not  
    my fault he doesn't have any savings, and I didn't move 
    into the city just to sit around in my apartment every
    night doing nothing. I'm paying astronomical rent, when I
    could be living free at home, bored silly.
DOROTHY: What do you say we do something different this
    morning! We have time. Let's go to Hobo’s and get some
CAROL: (in a loud voice) Look I've been up since 5:30. It
     takes me an hour to get my hair and make-up right.  
     Besides I've eaten already. I don't want to spend any of 
     my time at HoJo's.
     (Car swerves into another lane. Everyone jostles to  
     maintain an upward position.)
DOROTHY: Sorry, I'm not my best in the morning hours!
JOAN: Look Dorothy you need to be more careful. There is a ...
DOROTHY: (Interrupting and parking the car next to the curb
    rifling thorough her purse): Do you mind if we stop here   
    for a few seconds, I want to get some coffee. Oh, damn! It  
    looks like I left the house without my wallet. We're going  
    to have to double back.
JOAN: I'll lend you the money. Here's $20.00
DOROTHY: Thanks anyway, but I don't need to get another
     ticket just for driving without a license. Look, girls,  
     I'm  sorry! I'll try to make up the time when we get on 
     the highway.
CAROL: (dejectedly: If it isn't one thing it's another.
     (Radio is playing “Is Life Troubling You Bunkie?,” lights   
     dim then brighten. The car is back at DOROTHY's  
     apartment. The passengers are parked and waiting for 
JOAN: You know, Dot's behavior is beginning to concern me a 
     little. Do you suppose she has a drinking problem?
CAROL: I was thinking the same thing. Sooner or later we're
     going to have to confront her with this.
JOAN: Let June do it. She's usually so cheerful and
     accommodating. As soon as she's feeling better maybe we  
     can suggest it to her.
DOROTHY: (Re-entering the car): O.K. ladies, let's get on  
    with this little adventure.
(Radio is now playing “Friends”.) 
DOROTHY: Oh God, we're coming to a red light and those guys
    are going to slap my windows with all that dirty water.
     (Pulls up to the red light, two black men stride up to  
     each side of the car and start to wash the windshield.  
     The light is almost turning, DOROTHY rushes the motor.)
CAROL: (Goes into her purse, looks around for money to hand 
     them when they're finished): Open the window, will you
     Dorothy, so I can give them some change.
     (The men start kicking the tires, banging fenders and  
     yelling obscenities.)
ONE OF THE MEN: All three of you and you can't afford a
     fucking quarter!
DOROTHY: (Locks the doors and blares the horn. She then opens
     the window and yells): Why don't you get a job like   
     everyone else. Get away from my car!
MAN: (Reaches in the window and slaps her face with the wet   
    rag.) You firkin bitch. What do you know about life!
CAROL: (Bolts out the door of the car and starts yelling):               
   Help! Help! We're being attacked!
   (The car behind them speeds pass, hitting the open door  
   and knocks CAROL down. Radio is still playing “Friends” as 
   the lights dim.)
     (It is Tuesday and DOROTHY stops to pick up her only  
JOAN: (Looks inside the car.) Where is Maryanne?
DOROTHY: Well, she's taking the Metro-North. She claims it's 
     safer, and she can use the time to do some reading. 
     Carol is home because of the accident. I'm sure everyone 
     is going to hear about this, knowing CAROL. Look, if she  
     had stayed in the car she wouldn't have gotten hurt.  
     It's as simple as that!
JOAN: She's saying you aggravated the situation by gunning                                                                                                        
     your motor at them and blasting the horn.
DOROTHY: (angrily) Look, they started banging on the fenders
     and pulling on the door handles. Carol panicked and  
     bolted out of the car. If she had waited a few seconds  
     we would have cleared the light.
JOAN: She's badly bruised. If her hip needs to be operated 
     on, she claims she's going to sue you.
DOROTHY: (screaming) Sue me! For what? I was stopped at a red
     light; she got out of the car. The car behind me hit    
     her. I had nothing to do with it.
JOAN: She claims you were drinking.
DOROTHY:  Drinking! It's her word against mine. No, actually,
     it's slander. Did I get the ticket? No! Neither did the 
     other driver. I tell you Carol caused her own accident.  
     I'm sorry she's hurt, but liquor had nothing to do with  
JOAN: If it isn't liquor, Dorothy, then what the hell is it?
     What's going on?
     (DOROTHY turning on the radio, speaks with indignation.)
     Nothing is going on!
JOAN: You know, if things don't change, you're going to lose
      all your riders.
DOROTHY: I could use the peace and quiet!
JOAN: What are you going to do about Carol. Besides being
     physically hurt, she's badly frightened.
DOROTHY: She's so pampered anything would frightened her. She
     needs a little toughening up. If Carol wants to live in  
     the City so badly, she better get use to crises. Look,  
     do you mind if we change the subject! I've done all the 
     thinking about Carol I intend to do for one day.
JOAN: (muttering under her breath) I give up! (pause) Listen.
     I have some tickets to the City Ballet on Saturday. Do 
     you want to go? I'd offer them to Carol or Maryanne, but  
     right now they're a little "under the weather". Sally 
     and I had  plans, but I'm going home instead. The 
     doctors are talking about the possibility of radiation
     treatment for my Dad's tumor.
DOROTHY: You know I was talking to Stan the other night and 
     the prognosis for your father isn't that good. Cancer of         
     the esophagus can bring a horrible death. In his 
     opinion, your best bet is to hope for a successful  
JOAN: (sarcastically) Thanks for your concern.
DOROTHY: (talking in a singsong, carefree voice) I'm going to
     pass on those tickets. I've never really liked the  
     ballet. After awhile it becomes rather repetitive. Once 
     you've sorted out their personalities, it gets pretty
     routine. But thanks anyway. (Leans over and turns up  
     the radio.)
     (The radio is playing “When You Wish Upon a Star” and the
     lights dim.)
THE END                                                                   


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