Born in Newark, New Jersey into the family dry-cleaning business. My grandfather became a laundry man after emigrating to the US, so I guess my dad had to raise the bar and become a bit more high-tech. I was one of those six -year-old kids you see behind the cash register. Cops and firemen got free dry-cleaning. So did celebrity clients like the Three Stooges and James Brown, who sometimes played the crumbling vaudeville houses across the street. Summers were spent working at the store, yanking condoms and dried vomit out of the pockets of gold-flecked jackets, dumping loads of cleaning into pre-EPA machines full of perchloroethylene, and “go-fer” ing pepper and egg sandwiches for the Italian tailors who worked in the back. In my free time I wandered through Macy’s, (coveting toys like Crackers the Talking Parrot) read the old and much more lurid) black and white National Enquirers, and inhaling the scent of air conditioning and alcohol while sipping Shirley Temples (with extra cherries) at my dad’s friend’s bar. At the start of the ’67 riots, I dutifully helped my father write “Soul Brother” on his boarded up windows in the hope his store wouldn’t be hit before driving home, navigating sniper fire and National Guard tanks along the way.

Moved to Ohio at 12 1/2 after dad died.  Massive debauchery ensued during my teen and college years.

BA/Communications, MA/Journalism. Two and half decades crisscrossing the country as on-air radio “talent” (an employment term rather than a subjective one.)  Chucked the radio thing, moved to the desert for too much sun and too little money. It takes me 45 minutes to change my address for an electric bill, because I have a habit of becoming intimate buddies with customer service reps.

Loud Voice. Low thrill threshold. Finely honed bullshit detector. Simultaneously cynical and romantic. Never too busy to laugh. Never too rich to be thrifty. Born with two uteri (I’m twice the woman you are!) Husband. Stepson. Two grandkids. One dog. Sister. Brother. Mother. Nephew. Family discount on anti-depressants.

Now I’m past Puberty 2.0: Menopause , but still navigating the emotional acid trip, the hormone blender. Cooing to my dog one minute, verbally eviscerating my husband the next, having digital thermostat reboots on a whim. The zits are internal this time around, and they’re much more difficult to pop.



3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. janebasilblog  |  September 20, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I clicked on the Conversely link and read your piece. I love the fast-paced, cool style of writing. You brought those days vividly to life.
    Those two images – of you sitting opposite Randy at a card table, and of Randy’s body lying undiscovered for two weeks – make for a hard-hitting and shocking contrast.
    You have told this tragic story so well…

    • 2. ro  |  September 20, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Thank so you much. It’s great to meet kindred spirits, albeit virtually. We are all so different but there are parts of us that just allow us to “get” each other as well as support each other. And that feels great.

      • 3. janebasilblog  |  September 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

        I love the way I can get away with wearing strange combinations of clothes, and nobody on WordPress looks askance, or makes harsh judgements.


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