U.S. Senate Seats up for Reelection in 2022

There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate, and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Each state sends two Senators to represent their state in the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, the majority has the power to schedule when various bills come to the floor for voting, but a single Senator can slow legislation from coming to the floor for a vote.

Since debate in the Senate is not concluded until 60 Senators vote for a cloture motion to approve a bill for consideration, the majority must also coordinate with the minority party to set the rules for debate on legislation.

Under this system, legislation can be debated for one or two weeks on the Senate floor alone.

The United States Senate elections will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats are up for regular reelection, and one special election (R-Okla.).

The GOP will have to defend more Senate seats than the Democrats. As of now, there will be 22 Republican Senate seats on the line, while Democrats will need to protect 14 seats.

The winners of those seats will serve a six-year term from January 3, 2023, until January 3, 2029.

Elections to the Senate are staggered over even years so that only about 1/3 of the Senate is up for reelection during any election.

To contact your Senator click here.

Below are the 34 Senate seats up for reelection in 2022 in alphabetical order by political party and state, as well as the listing of Senators up for reelection in 2024 and 2026.

Democrats up for reelection in 2022:

Arizona: Mark Kelly

California: Alex Padilla

Colorado: Michael Bennet

Connecticut: Richard Blumenthal

Georgia: Raphael Warnock

Hawaii: Brian Schatz

Illinois: Tammy Duckworth

Maryland: Chris Van Hollen

Nevada: Catherine Cortez Masto

New Hampshire: Maggie Hassan

New York: Chuck Schumer

Oregon: Ron Wyden

Vermont: Patrick Leahy (Retiring)

Washington: Patty Murray

Republicans up for reelection in 2022:

Alabama: Richard Shelby (Retiring)

Alaska: Lisa Murkowski

Arkansas: John Boozman

Florida: Marco Rubio

Idaho: Mike Crapo

Indiana: Todd Young

Iowa: Chuck Grassley

Kansas: Jerry Moran

Kentucky: Rand Paul

Louisiana: John N. Kennedy

Missouri: Roy Blunt (Retiring)

North Carolina: Richard Burr (Retiring)

North Dakota:  John Hoeven

Ohio: Rob Portman (Retiring)

Oklahoma: Jim Inhofe (Retiring) Special election to fill Inhofe’s final four years.

Oklahoma: James Lankford

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey (Retiring)

South Carolina: Tim Scott

South Dakota: John Thune

Utah: Mike Lee

Wisconsin: Ron Johnson (Retiring)

Democrats up for reelection in 2024:

Arizona: Kyrsten Sinema

California: Dianne Feinstein

Connecticut: Chris Murphy

Delaware: Tom Carper

Hawaii: Mazie Hirono

Maryland: Ben Cardin

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren

Michigan: Debbie Stabenow

Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar

Montana: Jon Tester

Nevada: Jacky Rosen

New Jersey: Bob Menendez

New Mexico: Martin Heinrich

New York: Kirsten Gillibrand

Ohio: Sherrod Brown

Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr.

Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse

Virginia: Tim Kaine

Washington: Maria Cantwell

West Virginia: Joe Manchin

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin

Independents up for reelection in 2024:

Maine: Angus King

Vermont: Bernie Sanders

Republicans up for reelection in 2024:

Florida: Rick Scott

Indiana: Mike Braun

Mississippi: Roger Wicker

Missouri: Josh Hawley

Nebraska: Deb Fischer

North Dakota: Kevin Cramer

Tennessee: Marsha Blackburn

Texas: Ted Cruz

Utah: Mitt Romney

Wyoming: John Barrasso

Democrats up for reelection in 2026:

Colorado: John Hickenlooper

Delaware: Chris Coons

Georgia: Jon Ossoff

Illinois: Dick Durbin

Massachusetts: Ed Markey

Michigan: Gary Peters

Minnesota: Tina Smith

New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen

New Jersey: Cory Booker

New Mexico: Ben Ray Lujan

Oregon: Jeff Merkley

Rhode Island: Jack Reed

Virginia: Mark Warner

Republicans up for reelection in 2026:

Alabama: Tommy Tuberville

Alaska: Dan Sullivan

Arkansas: Tom Cotton

Idaho: James Risch

Iowa: Joni Ernst

Kansas: Roger Marshall

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell

Louisiana: Bill Cassidy

Maine: Susan Collins

Mississippi: Cindy Hyde-Smith

Montana: Steve Daines

Nebraska: Ben Sasse

North Carolina: Thom Tillis

Oklahoma: Jim Inhofe (His 2022 special election replacement)

South Carolina: Lindsey Graham

South Dakota: Mike Rounds

Tennessee: Bill Hagerty

Texas: John Cornyn

West Virginia: Shelley Moore Capito

Wyoming: Cynthia Lummis

Current Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

The 435 U.S. House of Representatives, along with the 100 who serve in the Senate, composes the legislature of the United States.

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held on November 3, 2020, and since they serve two-year terms, all 435 will be up for reelection in 2022.

A member of the House is referred to as a Representative, Congressman, or Congresswoman.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives each represent a portion of their state known as a Congressional District, which averages 700,000 people. Senators, however, represent the entire state.

Under Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, in the House of Representatives, a state’s representation is based on its population as measured by the U.S. Census.

Each state, however, is entitled to at least one Representative. For example, smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative, while larger states like California have 53 representatives.

The Constitution does not provide for the representation of the District of Columbia or the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marina Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, although each is represented by one non-voting delegate. They have a voice on the floor but have no voting power.

The House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, otherwise known as bills, which, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.

The House also has the exclusive power to initiate bills for raising revenue, impeach officials, and choose the President in the event that a presidential candidate fails to get a majority of the Electoral College votes.

The House of Representatives is informally referred to as the “lower” house, while the Senate is referred to as the “upper” house.

The party with the majority of seats in the House is known as the majority party.

In the House of Representatives, the majority party holds significant power to draft chamber rules and schedule bills to reach the floor for debate and voting.

In most cases, House rules will limit debate so that important legislation can be passed during one legislative business day.

To run for House of Representatives, he or she must be at least 25 years of age, have been a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years, and at the time of the election be a resident of the state they represent.   Members are not required to live in the district they represent, but they traditionally do.

Of the current 435 members of the 117th House of Representatives, 221 are Democrats, 209 are Republicans, and there are five vacancies (Alaska At Large, California District 22, Minnesota District 1, Nebraska District 1, and Texas District 34).

To contact your Representative click here.

Below is the complete list of current members of the United States House of Representatives by political party and State:

DEMOCRATS

Alabama (District 7): Terri Sewell

Arizona (District 1): Tom O’Halleran

Arizona (District 2): Ann Kirkpatrick (Retiring)

Arizona (District 3): Raul Grijalva

Arizona (District 7): Ruben Gallego

Arizona (District 9): Greg Stanton

California (District 2): Jared Huffman

California (District 3): John Garamendi

California (District 5): Mike Thompson

California (District 6): Doris Matsui

California (District 7): Ami Bera

California (District 9): Jerry McNerney (Retiring)

California (District 10): (Vacancy to replace Josh Harder, who is running in District 9)

California (District 11): Mark DeSaulnier

California (District 12): Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House)

California (District 13): Barbara Lee

California (District 14): Jackie Speier (Retiring)

California (District 15): Eric Swalwell

California (District 16): (Vacancy to replace Jim Costa, who is running in District 21)

California (District 17): Ro Khanna

California (District 18): Anna Eshoo

California (District 19): Zoe Lofgren

California (District 20): Jimmy Panetta

California (District 24): Salud Carbajal

California (District 26): Julia Brownley

California (District 27): Judy Chu

California (District 28): Adam Schiff

California (District 29): Tony Cardenas

California (District 30): Brad Sherman

California (District 31): Pete Aguilar

California (District 32): Grace Napolitano

California (District 33): Ted Lieu

California (District 34):  Jimmy Gomez

California (District 35): Norma Torres

California (District 36): Raul Ruiz

California (District 37): (Vacancy to replace Karen Bass who is running for Los Angeles Mayor)

California (District 38): Linda Sanchez

California (District 40): Lucille Roybal-Allard (Retiring)

California (District 41): Mark Takano

California (District 43): Maxine Waters

California (District 44): Nanette Barragan

California (District 45): Katie Porter

California (District 46): Luis Correa

California (District 47): Alan Lowenthal (Retiring)

California (District 49): Mike Levin

California (District 51): Juan Vargas

California (District 52): Scott Peters

California (District 53): Sara Jacobs

Colorado (District 1): Diana DeGette

Colorado (District 2): Joe Neguse

Colorado (District 6): Jason Crow

Colorado (District 7): Ed Perlmutter (Retiring)

Connecticut (District 1): John B. Larson

Connecticut (District 2): Joe Courtney

Connecticut (District 3): Rosa DeLauro

Connecticut (District 4): Jim Hines

Connecticut (District 5): Jahana Hayes

Delaware (At Large): Lisa Blunt Rochester

Florida (District 5): Al Lawson

Florida (District 7): Stephanie Murphy (Retiring)

Florida (District 9): Darren Soto

Florida (District 10): (Vacancy to replace Val Demings, who is running for U.S. Senate)

Florida (District 13): (Vacancy to replace Charlie Crist, who is running for Governor)

Florida (District 14): Kathy Castor

Florida (District 20): Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick

Florida (District 21): Lois Frankel

Florida (District 22): Ted Deutch

Florida (District 23): Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Florida (District 24): Frederica Wilson

Georgia (District 2): Sanford Bishop, Jr.

Georgia (District 4): Hank Johnson

Georgia (District 5): Nikema Williams

Georgia (District 6): Lucy McBath

Georgia (District 7): Carolyn Bourdeaux

Georgia (District 13): David Scott

Hawaii (District 1): Ed Case

Hawaii (District 2): Kai Kahele

Illinois (District 1): Bobby Rush

Illinois (District 2): Robin Kelly

Illinois (District 3): Marie Newman

Illinois (District 4): Jesus “Chuy” Garcia

Illinois (District 5): Mike Quigley

Illinois (District 6): Sean Casten

Illinois (District 7): Danny K. Davis

Illinois (District 8): Raja Krishnamoorthi

Illinois (District 9): Jan Schakowsky

Illinois (District 10): Brad Schneider

Illinois (District 11): Bill Foster

Illinois (District 14): Lauren Underwood

Illinois (District 17): Cheri Bustos (Retiring)

Indiana (District 1): Frank J. Mrvan

Indiana (District 7): Andre Carson

Iowa (District 3): Cindy Axne

Kansas (District 3): Sharice Davids

Kentucky (District 3): John Yarmuth (Retiring)

Louisiana (District 2): Troy Carter

Maine (District 1): Chellie Pingree

Maine (District 2): Jared Golden

Maryland (District 2): Dutch Ruppersberger

Maryland (District 3): John Sarbanes

Maryland (District 4): (Vacancy to replace Anthony Brown, who is running for Attorney General)

Maryland (District 5): Steny Hoyer

Maryland (District 6): David Trone

Maryland (District 7): Kweisi Mfume

Maryland (District 8): Jamie Raskin

Massachusetts (District 1): Richard Neal

Massachusetts (District 2): Jim McGovern

Massachusetts (District 3): Lori Trahan

Massachusetts (District 4): Jake Auchincloss

Massachusetts (District 5): Katherine Clark

Massachusetts (District 6): Seth Moulton

Massachusetts (District 7): Ayanna Pressley

Massachusetts (District 8): Stephen F. Lynch

Massachusetts (District 9): Bill Keating

Michigan (District 5): Dan Kildee

Michigan (District 8): Elissa Slotkin

Michigan (District 9): Andy Levin

Michigan (District 11): Haley Stevens

Michigan (District 12): Debbie Dingell

Michigan (District 13): Rashida Tlaib

Michigan (District 14): Brenda Lawrence

Minnesota (District 2): Angie Craig

Minnesota (District 3): Dean Phillips

Minnesota (District 4): Betty McCollum

Minnesota (District 5): Ilan Omar

Mississippi (District 2): Bennie Thompson

Missouri (District 1): Cori Bush

Missouri (District 5): Emanuel Cleaver

Nevada (District 1): Dina Titus

Nevada (District 3): Susie Lee

Nevada (District 4): Steven Horsford

New Hampshire (District 1): Chris Pappas

New Hampshire (District 2): Ann McLane Kuster

New Jersey (District 1): Donald Norcross

New Jersey (District 3): Andy Kim

New Jersey (District 5): Josh Gottheimer

New Jersey (District 6): Frank Pallone, Jr.

New Jersey (District 7): Tom Malinowski

New Jersey (District 8): Albio Sires (Retiring)

New Jersey (District 9): Bill Pascrell, Jr.

New Jersey (District 10): Donald Payne, Jr.

New Jersey (District 11): Mikie Sherill

New Jersey (District 12): Bonnie Watson Coleman

New Mexico (District 1): Melanie Stansbury

New Mexico (District 3): Teresa Leger Fernandez

New York (District 3): (Vacancy to replace Tom Suozzi, who is running for Governor)

New York (District 4): Kathleen Rice (Retiring)

New York (District 5): Gregory Meeks

New York (District 6): Grace Meng

New York (District 7): Nydia Velazquez

New York (District 8): Hakeem Jeffries

New York (District 9): Yvette Clarke

New York (District 10): Jerry Nadler

New York (District 12): Carolyn Maloney

New York (District 13): Adriano Espaillat

New York (District 14): Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

New York (District 15): Ritchie Torres

New York (District 16): Jamaal Bowman

New York (District 17): Mondaire Jones

New York (District 18): Sean Patrick Maloney

New York (District 19): Antonio Delgado

New York (District 20): Paul Tonko

New York (District 25): Joseph Morelle

New York (District 26): Brian Higgins

North Carolina (District 1): G.K. Butterfield (Retiring)

North Carolina (District 2): Deborah K. Ross

North Carolina (District 4): David Price (Retiring)

North Carolina (District 6): Kathy Manning

North Carolina (District 12): Alma Adams

Ohio (District 3): Joyce Beatty

Ohio (District 9): Marcy Kaptur

Ohio (District 11): Shontel Brown

Ohio (District 13): (Vacancy to replace Tim Ryan, who is running for U.S. Senate)

Oregon (District 1): Suzanne Bonamici

Oregon (District 3) Earl Blumenauer

Oregon (District 4): Peter DeFazio (Retiring)

Oregon (District 5): Kurt Schrader

Pennsylvania (District 2): Brendan Boyle

Pennsylvania (District 3): Dwight Evans

Pennsylvania (District 4): Madeleine Dean

Pennsylvania (District 5): Mary Gay Scanlon

Pennsylvania (District 6): Chrissy Houlahan

Pennsylvania (District 7): Susan Wild

Pennsylvania (District 8): Matt Cartwright

Pennsylvania (District 17): (Vacancy to replace Conor Lamb, who is running for U.S. Senate)

Pennsylvania (District 18): Mike Doyle (Retiring)

Rhode Island (District 1): David Cicilline

Rhode Island (District 2): Jim Langevin (Retiring)

South Carolina (District 6): Jim Clyburn

Tennessee (District 5): Jim Cooper

Tennessee (District 9): Steve Cohen

Texas (District 7): Lizzie Fletcher

Texas (District 9): Al Green

Texas (District 15): Vicente Gonzalez

Texas (District 16): Veronica Escobar

Texas (District 18): Sheila Jackson Lee

Texas (District 20): Joaquin Castro

Texas (District 28): Henry Cuellar

Texas (District 29): Sylvia Garcia

Texas (District 30): Eddie Johnson (Retiring)

Texas (District 32): Colin Allred

Texas (District 33): Marc Veasey

Texas (District 34): (Vacancy to replace Filemon Vela, who retired on 3/31/22)

Texas (District 35): Lloyd Doggett

Vermont (At Large): (Vacancy to replace Peter Welch, who is running for U.S. Senate)

Virginia (District 2): Elaine Luria

Virginia (District 3): Bobby Scott

Virginia (District 4): Donald McEachin

Virginia (District 7): Abigail Spanberger

Virginia (District 8): Don Beyer

Virginia (District 10): Jennifer Wexton

Virginia (District 11): Gerry Connolly

Washington (District 1): Suzan DelBene

Washington (District 2): Rick Larsen

Washington (District 6): Derek Kilmer

Washington (District 7): Pramila Jayapal

Washington (District 8): Kim Schrier

Washington (District 9): Adam Smith

Washington (District 10): Marilyn Strickland

Wisconsin (District 2): Mark Pocan

Wisconsin (District 3): Ron Kind (Retiring)

Wisconsin (District 4): Gwen Moore

REPUBLICANS

Alabama (District 1): Jerry Carl

Alabama (District 2): Barry Moore

Alabama (District 3): Mike Rogers

Alabama (District 4): Robert Aderholt

Alabama (District 5): Mo Brooks

Alabama (District 6): Gary Palmer

Alaska (At Large): (Vacancy to replace Don Young, who died on 3/18/22)

Arizona (District 4): Paul Gosar

Arizona (District 5) Andy Biggs

Arizona (District 6): David Schweikert

Arizona (District 8): Debbie Lesko

Arkansas (District 1): Rick Crawford

Arkansas (District 2): French Hill

Arkansas (District 3): Steve Womack

Arkansas (District 4): Bruce Westerman

California (District 1): Doug LaMalfa

California (District 4): Tom McClintock

California (District 8): Jay Obernolte

California (District 21): David Valadao

California (District 22): (Vacancy to replace Devin Nunes, who retired on 12/31/21)

California (District 23): Kevin McCarthy

California (District 25): Mike Garcia

California (District 39): Kim Young

California (District 42): Ken Calvert

California (District 48): Michelle Steel

California (District 50):  Darrell Issa

Colorado (District 3): Lauren Boebert

Colorado (District 4): Ken Buck

Colorado (District 5): Doug Lamborn

Florida (District 1): Matt Gaetz

Florida (District 2): Neal Dunn

Florida (District 3): Kat Cammack

Florida (District 4): John Rutherford

Florida (District 6): Michael Waltz

Florida (District 8): Bill Posey

Florida (District 11): Daniel Webster

Florida (District 12): Gus Bilirakis

Florida (District 15): Scott Franklin

Florida (District 16): Vern Buchanan

Florida (District 17): Greg Steube

Florida (District 18): Brian Mast

Florida (District 19): Byron Donalds

Florida (District 25): Mario Diaz-Balart

Florida (District 26): Carlos Gimenez

Florida (District 27): Maria Elvira Salazar

Georgia (District 1): Buddy Carter

Georgia (District 3): Drew Ferguson

Georgia (District 8): Austin Scott

Georgia (District 9): Andrew Clyde

Georgia (District 10): Jody Hice

Georgia (District 11): Barry Loudermilk

Georgia (District 12): Rick W. Allen

Georgia (District 14): Marjorie Taylor Greene

Idaho (District 1): Russ Fulcher

Idaho (District 2): Mike Simpson

Illinois (District 12): Mike Bost

Illinois (District 13): Rodney Davis

Illinois (District 15): Mary Miller

Illinois (District 16): Adam Kinzinger (Retiring)

Illinois (District 18): Darin LaHood

Indiana (District 2): Jackie Walorski

Indiana (District 3): Jim Banks

Indiana (District 4): Jim Baird

Indiana (District 5): Victoria Spartz

Indiana (District 6): Greg Pence

Indiana (District 8): Larry Bucshon

Indiana (District 9): Trey Hollingsworth

Iowa (District 1): Ashley Hinson

Iowa (District 2): Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Iowa (District 4): Randy Feenstra

Kansas (District 1): Tracey Mann

Kansas: (District 2): Jake LaTurner

Kansas: (District 4): Ron Estes

Kentucky (District 1): James Comer

Kentucky (District 2): Brett Guthrie

Kentucky (District 4): Thomas Massie

Kentucky (District 5): Hal Rogers

Kentucky (District 6): Andy Barr

Louisiana (District 1): Steve Scalise

Louisiana (District 3): Clay Higgins

Louisiana (District 4): Mike Johnson

Louisiana (District 5): Julia Letlow

Louisiana (District 6): Garret Graves

Maryland (District 1): Andy Harris

Michigan (District 1): Jack Bergman

Michigan (District 2): Bill Huizenga

Michigan (District 3): Peter Meijer

Michigan (District 4): John Moolenaar

Michigan (District 6): Fred Upton (Retiring)

Michigan (District 7): Tim Walberg

Michigan (District 10): Lisa McClain

Minnesota (District 1): (Vacancy to replace Jim Hagedorn, who died on 2/17/22)

Minnesota (District 6): Tom Emmer

Minnesota (District 7): Michelle Fischbach

Minnesota (District 8): Pete Stauber

Mississippi (District 1): Trent Kelly

Mississippi (District 3): Michael Guest

Mississippi (District 4): Steven Palazzo

Missouri (District 2): Ann Wagner

Missouri (District 3): Blaine Luetkemeyer

Missouri (District 4): Vicky Hartzler

Missouri (District 6): Sam Graves

Missouri (District 7): Billy Long

Missouri (District 8): Jason Smith

Montana (At Large): Matt Rosendale

Nebraska (District 1): Mike Flood

Nebraska (District 2): Don Bacon

Nebraska (District 3): Adrian Smith

Nevada (District 2): Mark Amodei

New Jersey (District 2): Jeff Van Drew

New Jersey (District 4): Chris Smith

New Mexico (District 2): Yvette Herrell

New York (District 1): Lee Zeldin

New York (District 2): Andrew Garbarino

New York (District 11): Nicole Malliotakis

New York (District 21): Elise Stefanik

New York (District 22): Claudia Tenney

New York (District 23): Tom Reed

New York (District 24): John Katko (Retiring)

New York (District 27): Chris Jacobs

North Carolina (District 3): Greg Murphy

North Carolina (District 5): Virginia Foxx

North Carolina (District 7): David Rouzer

North Carolina (District 8): Richard Hudson

North Carolina (District 9): Dan Bishop

North Carolina (District 10): Patrick McHenry

North Carolina (District 11): Madison Cawthorn

North Carolina (District 13): Ted Budd

North Dakota (At Large): Kelly Armstrong

Ohio (District 1): Steve Chabot

Ohio (District 2): Brad Wenstrup

Ohio (District 4): Jim Jordan

Ohio (District 5): Bob Latta

Ohio (District 6): Bill Johnson

Ohio (District 7): Bob Gibbs

Ohio (District 8): Warren Davidson

Ohio (District 10): Mike Turner

Ohio (District 12): Troy Balderson

Ohio (District 14): David Joyce

Ohio (District 15): Mike Carey

Ohio (District 16): Anthony Gonzalez (Retiring)

Oklahoma (District 1): Kevin Hern

Oklahoma (District 2): Markwayne Mullin

Oklahoma (District 3): Frank Lucas

Oklahoma (District 4): Tom Cole

Oklahoma (District 5): Stephanie Bice

Oregon (District 2): Cliff Bentz

Pennsylvania (District 1): Brian Fitzpatrick

Pennsylvania (District 9): Dan Meuser

Pennsylvania (District 10): Scott Perry

Pennsylvania (District 11): Lloyd Smucker

Pennsylvania (District 12): Fred Keller

Pennsylvania (District 13): John Joyce

Pennsylvania (District 14): Guy Reschenthaler

Pennsylvania (District 15): Glenn Thompson

Pennsylvania (District 16): Mike Kelly

South Carolina (District 1): Nancy Mace

South Carolina (District 2): Joe Wilson

South Carolina (District 3): Jeff Duncan

South Carolina (District 4): William Timmons

South Carolina (District 5): Ralph Norman

South Carolina (District 7): Tom Rice

South Dakota (At Large): Dusty Johnson

Tennessee (District 1): Diana Harshbarger

Tennessee (District 2): Tim Burchett

Tennessee (District 3): Chuck Fleischmann

Tennessee (District 4): Scott DesJarlais

Tennessee (District 6): John Rose

Tennessee (District 7): Mark E. Green

Tennessee (District 8): David Kustoff

Texas (District 1): Louie Gohmert

Texas (District 2): Dan Crenshaw

Texas (District 3): Van Taylor

Texas (District 4): Pat Fallon

Texas (District 5): Lance Gooden

Texas (District 6): Jake Ellzey

Texas (District 8): Kevin Brady

Texas (District 10): Michael McCaul

Texas (District 11): August Pfluger

Texas (District 12): Kay Granger

Texas (District 13): Ronny Jackson

Texas (District 14): Randy Weber

Texas (District 17): Pete Sessions

Texas (District 19): Jodey Arrington

Texas (District 21): Chip Roy

Texas (District 22): Troy Nehls

Texas (District 23): Tony Gonzales

Texas (District 24): Beth Van Duyne

Texas (District 25): Roger Williams

Texas (District 26): Michael Burgess

Texas (District 27): Michael Cloud

Texas (District 31): John Carter

Texas (District 36): Brian Babin

Utah (District 1): Blake Moore

Utah (District 2): Chris Stewart

Utah (District 3): John Curtis

Utah (District 4): Burgess Owens

Virginia (District 1): Rob Wittman

Virginia (District 5): Bob Good

Virginia (District 6): Ben Cline

Virginia (District 9): Morgan Griffith

Washington (District 3): Jaime Herrera Beutler

Washington (District 4): Dan Newhouse

Washington (District 5): Cathy McMorris Rodgers

West Virginia (District 1): David McKinley

West Virginia (District 2): Alex Mooney

West Virginia (District 3): Carol Miller

Wisconsin (District 1): Bryan Steil

Wisconsin (District 5): Scott Fitzgerald

Wisconsin (District 6): Glenn Grothman

Wisconsin (District 7): Tom Tiffany

Wisconsin (District 8): Mike Gallagher

Wyoming (At Large): Liz Cheney

DELEGATES (They have a voice on the floor, but no voting power.)

American Samoa: (Republican) Aumua Amata Radewagen

District of Columbia: (Democrat) Eleanor Holmes Norton

Guam: (Democrat) Michael San Nicolas

Northern Mariana Islands: (Democrat) Gregorio Sablan

Puerto Rico: (Republican) Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon

U.S. Virgin Islands: (Democrat) Stacey Plaskett

Why Do So Many Elderly Run America?

According to my research, in 24 out of the previous 32 years, America was led by people born in or before 1946.

Politicians in other countries aren’t old like ours—our two-party system is steadfastly controlled by the elderly, which is why I have long advocated for a third party.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of the 117th Congress’ 535 members is 59 years old, and the median is 60 years old.

Overall, the average age for Democrats in Congress is 60, and 58 for Republicans.

That’s old.

The current U.S. Senate (100 members) is the oldest in history, with an average age of 63 years.

The average age of the House of Representatives (435 members) is 58 years.

The age groups with the most significant gains in the 117th Congress compared to the 116th were born in the 1930s and 1960s.

Members in the 80+ and 50-59 both saw gains. Members in the 30-39 age group saw the most significant losses.

Why is Congress so old, and isn’t it far past the time to pass the government leadership baton?

The natural passing of the torch “to a new generation of American leadership,” as John F. Kennedy spoke about, hasn’t even come close to happening.

Maybe the Constitution should be amended to include maximum ages in addition to minimums.

The Constitution requires that a U.S. President be at least 35 years old, been a U.S. resident for at least 14 years, have been born in the U.S., or have at least one U.S. citizen parent.

The youngest elected president was John F. Kennedy, at age 43, in 1963. Bill Clinton was 46, Barack Obama was 47.

Joe Biden, inaugurated in 2021, is the oldest elected president in U.S. history at age 78. Donald Trump was 70, Ronald Reagan was 69, George H.W. Bush was 64.

The Constitution requires that Senators be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years, and reside in the state they want to represent at the time of election.

The youngest senator is Jon Ossoff (D-GA), age 35, and the youngest person elected to the U.S. Senate since 1980. The next youngest is Josh Hawley (R-MO), age 41.

Ossoff is also the youngest Democrat elected since 1973, when Joe Biden became Delaware’s Senator at age 30.

The two oldest U.S. Senators are both 87 years old. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has held her California seat for 30 years since 1992, and Chuck Grassley (D-IA) has held his seat for 41 years since 1981.

Six senators are at least 80, and 23 are in their 70s.

The Constitution requires that Members of the House be at least 25 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, and live in the state they represent (though not necessarily the same district).

Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is the youngest of the 117th Congress at 26 and the youngest person elected to the U.S. House of Representatives since 1964—a whopping 58 years ago. The second youngest is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), at 32.

The oldest member of the House of Representatives is Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) at 85, followed by Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ); all 84 years of age.

Now let’s look at the U.S. Population.

According to Pew, people over 50 make up 34 percent of the U.S. population but 52 percent of the electorate, which means, in simple terms, that our electorate college system does not come close to representing the U.S. populace.

Also, according to Pew, in 2018, the most common age for all Americans was 27, while the most common age for white Americans was 58.

Too many older people, both in Congress and the voter registries, point to just how overrepresented white interests are in the U.S.

And Americans over 55 own two-thirds of the wealth in this country.

According to the 2010 census, the number of Americans over 45 increased by almost 25 million versus 2000.

If in 2018, the most common age for all Americans was 27, why are our government officials so old?

I think it’s a two-part answer.

For those that run: Running for Congress takes money, political skills, and a significant network, and the older people have all three.

For those that vote: According to Wikipedia, voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election was highest among those ages 65 to 74 at 76.0%, while the percentage was lowest among those ages 18 to 24 at 51.4%.

Older people have the money, the political skills, and the network to run, and older people (who are voting for older people) are voting in higher numbers, making the oldest people the holders of the most power.

The highest number of people to turn 65 in U.S. history will be in 2023, so old people aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2040, the population of American adults aged 65 and older will nearly double.

The bottom line is that if young people don’t start voting, a younger generation won’t take control of America’s leadership until the baby boomers are all dead.

By 2055, it’s estimated that there will still be 30 million people in the United States born before 1965 — most of whom will be boomers.

The younger generation needs to step up their democratic participation and run for office, or at the very least, vote. The future of the United States is in their hands.

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter 8: What a Difference a Mother’s Day Makes

CHAPTER 8

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MOTHER’S DAY MAKES

May 1961

Ever since my birds croaked on the rat poison, Mem and Mom have been worried sick about me. They sat me down a bunch of times to talk about my acting out.

I told them that the lie they forced me tell at St. Ambrose started the whole thing, making it easy to make up stories about my life instead of telling the truth about the sucky one I was living. So now, I pretty much lie about everything. My lying is a big worry for them, but their biggest worry is that I’ve been peeing on the rat poison in the corner of our porch.

I told them there was a double reason for that. First off, I hate the pitch-black hallway where the bathroom is, and second off, I want those stupid rats to drink my pee.

Mem cried out “heavens to Betsy” and then took her rosary beads from her housecoat pocket to pray for me. Mom grabbed my ear and twisted it around while yelling that I sounded like a retard. I gave Mom the rat face, combined with hissing sounds until she threw her hands up and walked away.

Mem and Mom both have it in their heads that I’m a tough nut to crack, but I’m a scaredy-cat. They don’t know it, but I’m afraid of everything. And the scariest of all is coming home to that empty apartment.

With Mem working the 3-11 shift, she’s gone by the time I get home. Every day after school, I force myself to climb the four flights of stairs in the back of our building and then sit at the kitchen table until Mom shows up for supper.

I check the clock in the kitchen and then run as fast as I can from one end of the apartment to the other to press my face against Mem’s bedroom window, hoping to see Mom walking down the street. Then I run even faster back to the kitchen, convinced that the rats are waiting for me in the hallway.

I rock myself on a kitchen chair, willing my bladder to cooperate, so I don’t need to go to the bathroom by way of the dreaded scary hallway. If I can’t hold in my pee, I pee outside in the bowl of rat poison — way better than on the porch floor.

“The poor dear is lonely,” Mem told Mom in French a few days after the ear twisting while I colored at the kitchen table and pretended not to understand. Lonely wasn’t the half of it.

A couple of weeks later, Mom promised to take us all out to an expensive restaurant for a Mother’s Day lunch in New London.

The Lighthouse Inn was surrounded by water and was the fanciest place I had ever been. There was a path leading up to the front door with the most beautiful flowers, and on the front lawn, kids threw coins into a giant stone fountain.

I stuffed my face with eggs benedict and crispy bacon and washed everything down with my Shirley Temple cocktail. After brunch, I convinced Mom to let me throw a penny into the fountain and make a wish. The fountain area was filled with families who all had the same idea, and as we squeezed in and out of the crowds toward the fountain, Mem threw up everywhere.

Well, the crowd emptied out quick enough, and to their horror — and ours, Mem’s top false teeth flew out of her mouth and plopped right into the fountain.

Mere Germaine and Mom looked at Mem in shock as she bent over, fished her teeth out of the water, shook them off, and popped them back into her mouth. Then she turned to us and said, “la nourriture était trop riche,” which means the food was too rich.

Mom said she wanted to get the hell out of there. I was in no rush because I still never got to throw a penny in the fountain. She dragged me to the car, all the while talking under her breath about how embarrassed she was and how she couldn’t take us anywhere without us causing some kind of a ruckus. Mere Germaine was holding onto poor Mem, who was nauseous as all get out.

We got into the rickety old car Mom borrowed from a friend, and it took a few tries before the engine turned over. Mom was super unhappy, and I figured our Mother’s Day fun was over — ruined by Mem’s teeth flying out of her mouth.

We drove for a while and came to a white house with a large red barn. Mem, burping, and gagging, stayed in the car with Mere Germaine. Mom took my hand, and together we walked up to the house, where she rang the doorbell. An old lady answered the door and walked us to the barn.

When she opened the latch to the barn, there was a pile of tiny black puppies! I was happy to be playing with the baby fluffballs but ran back to the car to get Mem and Mere Germaine so they wouldn’t miss out on the fun.

When we got back to the barn, the dog lady handed me what she called the runt of the litter. “He’s a Pomeranian, and he’s got papers,” Mom told me proudly as he licked my face with his teensy red tongue. I was confused as to why I was there and what a puppy would need with papers.

“He’s yours,” Mem said lovingly. “Someone to keep you company,” Mere Germaine added. The old lady pulled out a folded paper from an envelope as I smooshed the little black snowball against my chest.

She proudly presented Mom with some papers and said, “His mother’s name is Lady Marlene, and his name is Marlene’s Onyx Jet.” “His name is Jet,” Mom told me.

Jet? I didn’t like that name. It didn’t fit my puppy at all.

“What’s his father’s name?” I asked. “Who cares about his father?” Mom responded, annoyed. The old lady pointed out a line on the paper and said, “His father’s name is Captain Jean Ribault.”

Mem yelled out “il est français!” Mere Germaine clapped her hands in delight.

“I’m calling him Rib,” I told everyone, even though they thought it was a stupid name. On the way home, all three of them tried to talk me out of calling him Rib, but my mind was made up.

It was a Mother’s Day I will never forget. Poor Mem asked Mom to pull off the side of the road so she could throw up again, and right before we got to White Street, Rib puked all over my new dress. All Mom cared about was that we didn’t get throw up all over her friend’s car.

Now with Rib in the picture, when the school bell rings, I race back to our apartment, fly up the stairs, and burst into the kitchen where my little man is always patiently waiting for me.

The bathroom? The hallway? No problem. Rib leads the way and stands guard at the bathroom door, growling and barking. He’s a tiny thing, but Mom says he thinks he’s a Great Dane, and I guess whatever is in the hallway thinks so, too, because nothing scary ever shows itself when Rib is around.

And best of all, there’s no more peeing on the poison even though the rats deserve it, and not too much lying, except for making sure I don’t forget to tell everyone at school that my Mem is my mom and my Mom is my sister.

Now instead of sitting in the kitchen, willing myself not to pee, I can dress Rib up in his pink tutu and whip him around the kitchen with his tiny front legs. Don’t worry, I won’t hurt him, because he likes it.

The two of us swirl and spin in circles until I fall, and he jumps all over me. I laugh, and he barks, and then we both try to walk our dizzy selves straight.

Hooray for Mother’s Day because now it’s Rib and me — my best friend, my guardian angel, my hallway guard, and the one and only man in my life.

Click here for Chapter 9: Father Panik Village

This Poem Is for You

This is your birthday poem,

but I was never good at rhyming.

The matchy-matchy timing stunts my creativity,

my wordsmithing,

and forces me to lay down words

where they don’t belong,

stuffed next to other words that

aren’t the right fit.

Timing isn’t always everything,

but maybe in our case, it was.

All those years ago, you told me you were haunted by one looming question.

Who do I want to walk hand-in-hand with along the beach when I get old?

It prompted me to ask myself the same darn thing.

And it haunted me too.

Although you never specified what beach, or how many beaches,

or the beach location.

You, the one who was so prodigious at planning,

had no plan.

Yes, yes, yes,

we chose to walk the beach together for the rest of time,

although time was on our side back then.

And even though I walked Myrtle Beach with you in full burka-like regalia,

we walked it.

Even though you walked way ahead of me in total embarrassment,

I wasn’t far behind.

And admittedly, the sun is not my thing, so the beach only works for me

in the rain,

or the clouds, or the dark.

And okay, I also have a water phobia, which I’m sure

you did not take into account when you asked yourself

that life-altering question.

And neither of us ever expected the life storms that often

engulfed us like tidal waves.

The seismic swells were way more than

we were prepared for.

Those rolling breakers pushed so much water onto the beach,

it was unwalkable and left sand and sediment,

when the waves washed back out.

But we weathered the storms and the tidal waves

didn’t we?

Because yes, the tides transported the sand

and the sediment,

and reshaped the beach,

and the shoreline.

But the terrifying rogue waves also created

unexpected estuaries.

Beautiful and productive watersheds

that protected us

from the full force of the waves

and the winds

and the storms.

Even though I was on one side and

you were on the other,

I realize now, in the twilight of our lives,

that your beach was a dream,

but the answer to the question

was real.

And that, unlike books,

we are not headed for a happy ending.

Not because we don’t want it

or don’t deserve it.

But because the waves are churning up our beach,

our circle of life,

and the saga of our ocean.

I know now that our sometimes pebbly,

sometimes sandy shore

is a fateful,

frightful, beautiful mess.

An enduring and extended metaphor

for us.

Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man

Below are excerpts from my Austrian father-in-law’s written account of what he and his family endured during World War I, World War II, and the Holocaust.  Not only did he and my mother-in-law survive the ravages of the Holocaust, but when he got to Ellis Island, he was drafted into the U.S. Army (Signal Corps Intelligence), stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and liberated concentration camps. Additionally, because he was German-speaking, he interrogated the captured Nazis. His harrowing story, which I have read untold times, still haunts me and serves as a reminder that history indeed repeats itself. Over and over again.  (My mother-in-law was a hero in her own right. But that’s a whole other story.)

And even though it’s over 4,000 words, I hope you read it. I’m not sure what you’ll get out of it,  but what it taught me is that decision-making should not always be left to those in charge.

If you’re not up for a 4,000 word read, please at least scroll down to the last few sentences at the end of this post beginning with my father-in-law’s question: “Now finally, what should all this mean for you children?” 

Where to begin?

I was born in Vienna—on the 16th day of January 1913—which was still within the times of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy.

My parents were both born in Kolomea (in Galicia). Galicia was then part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, which was huge. It consisted of about 45 million people. There were Hungarians, Slovaks, Bosnians, Ruthenians, Bohemians, Slovenians, Czechs, Croatians, Poles, and Ukrainians.

Kolomea was somewhere between Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary (they all meet there, near the Carpathian Mountains). 

My grandparents had eight children—seven boys and one girl and owned a big farm where they grew wheat, barley, and corn, and had a lot of horses and cattle.

In July 1914, the Germans and Austrians started a war against the Allies, i.e., the French, Belgians, English, Italians, and the Russians.

When World War I came, my father became a sergeant with the medical corps and was sent to the Russian front. My mother was left alone with me in Vienna. My father sent her support whenever he could. He used to send us flour and some other provisions from the army, but it wasn’t enough, and we didn’t have much to eat.

The Germans were allied with Austria and Turkey and they were a very strong military power. They won a lot of battles between 1914 and 1918 and they would have won the war, but America finally came to the rescue of the Allies and helped them to win the war in 1918.

Austria was then dismembered into many different independent states; parts of Austria became Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Romania.

The small remainder of Austria proper became the Republic of Austria—a democracy with free elections and all the other freedoms of a parliamentary constitution.

My father returned after a long, long time, and when he came back, he was very sick with tuberculosis. He started to regain his health when he returned from a sanitorium.

All of my father’s brothers became soldiers except for the two youngest who stayed at the farm in Galicia.  They were murdered along with his father and sister by the anti-semitic Cossacks under General Petljura. When these Petljura bands were unsuccessful when looking for Communists, simply broke into Jewish homes, like the farmhouse where my relatives lived.

They first asked for liquor and food, and then they wanted to rape my aunt. When my two uncles tried to resist, the band called them communists and just butchered them—I mean, they cut them apart and then took everything of value and fled.

There was a newspaper article in a Polish newspaper from which my father learned about this tragedy. He took a train there and gave them a Jewish burial. When he came back to us, he was absolutely out of his mind and heartbroken.

My father once showed me a letter which he had received from his brother David, from Soviet Russia. Uncle David, too, was in the Austrian army, and he also went to Russia like my father, but he was captured by the Russians, and he became a military prisoner. After the revolution in 1917, he joined the Bolsheviks. He became functionary in the Russian Communist Party, and the letter was written from Tashkent near Crimea. At that time, correspondence between Soviet Russia and Austria was allowed; I don’t know whether it was censored or not.

My uncle warned my father not to let me become a businessman and not even a lawyer or doctor—I should start learning a trade like a carpenter, tailor, shoemaker because the Communist Revolution which had started in Russia would spread all over the world and there was no hope for success for humanity unless the proletarians took over the economy, to avoid wars and so forth. No more chauvinism, race hatred, and suppression of the proletariat.

Well, I didn’t want to listen to this propaganda; I felt that I wanted to be a businessman.

My father worked very hard, like seven days a week, and had several retail stores in Vienna. He didn’t want to let me start in his place so he suggested that I become a volunteer in a very big silk farm in Vienna. I was there for about one and a half years learning how to buy and sell silks.

I became quite educated in the theories of Socialism or Communism, which was for us the same thing.

I was sort of a radical then. I took part in actions and demonstrations against the Conservative-Fascist government we had in Austria. One time, during a big street riot, the police arrested my friends and me and put us in jail for a couple of days.

My father, the patriotic war veteran, was very upset about this and told me that I couldn’t do this anymore because the Jews, as a powerless minority, couldn’t and shouldn’t oppose the authorities.

I later changed my mind about politics. I remained a liberal, however, and I always disliked the reactionary viewpoint. I began to get more interested in Jewish causes.  

Adolph Hitler, who was a rather uneducated veteran of the Austrian army, settled in Munich. In 1923 he was arrested, however, to his terrorist followers, he became a martyr, and also, with the trend for most German people to unite, he became quite powerful.

 It was about 1929, and the economic disaster—the stock market crash in America spread its waves to Europe. The economically weaker nations, like Germany and Austria, were most affected by this crash, especially Austria, which was still very weak from its inception on.

There was more and more unemployment. The dissatisfaction of the proletarians made them become more radical both to the left and the right.

At this time, we still had democracy with two major parties—the Social-Democratic Party (proletarians, intellectuals, liberals, and Jews), and then there was the Christian Social Party. They were under the influence of the church and the rightist circles, like bankers, industrialists, and big landowners.

As time went on, however, the Social-Democratic party in Austria was outlawed. With Mussolini’s support, the Catholic Church and the rightist reactionaries became more powerful by suppressing the left opposition

The socialists were well organized and had their own powerful military organization, the Schutzbund, with weapons and guns. We thought we would be able to defend democracy in Austria.

The rightists outlawed many freedoms that Austrians had gained since their revolution from the Monarchists in 1918 and influenced and cajoled their followers to stamp out the free expression of art, theater, and literature.

One can see that ten years before the Nazis took over Austria, the Austrians were well indoctrinated with much of the Nazi philosophy.

In 1933, with all different kinds of manipulations, Hitler took over the government in Germany. Anybody who would then read his book, Mein Kampf, should have been aware that there would be a persecution of all minorities and all oppositions and mainly the Jews because it was very easy to strangulate a weak minority like the Jews, who had been hated in Europe for most of their history.  

The Austrian army was organized to destroy the opposition, and, in addition, a fascist political organization called Heimwehr was formed. They, with guns, tanks, and artillery, bombed the workers’ apartments and homes and the Social-Democratic offices in 1934.

All of a sudden, there was no more opposition and no more democracy in Austria.

Until then, we had five or six daily newspapers, freely expressing opinions from the left to the right. But now there remained only two. Every other was closed down as a danger to the government.

Chancellor Dolfuss, a Catholic World War I veteran, a little stinker who was no taller than five feet was quite suppressive with more censorship, internment camps for leftists and liberals, and with persecution, there was no more opposition.

The trend from Germany was such that the Nazis, although they were not legal in Austria (they were outlawed), got more and more influence in Austria. You must remember that the National Socialist idea in Germany started way back in 1919, when the militaries, the generals, and the rightist politicians in Germany wanted to revenge themselves for the losses they had from the first World War.

It was now 1935-1936, and somehow, I had the feeling that there was impending danger. We saw our comparative freedom as Jews in Austria and Central Europe shrinking and threatening to collapse. It was a very dismal future for a young Jew.

In 1937 there was a phone call from a man who spoke with a strange accent. He said, “I am here with my wife on the way to Kolomea. We are Americans now and live in New York City. I am going to Kolomea for Kever Ovis (to visit the graves of our parents). I usually make it a habit to look up in the telephone book to see if I have any family here, and I came across your last name in the phone book.”

We found out that Max was a distant relative. During Max’s short visit to Vienna, we did discuss my possible emigration to America. Max said that he, if necessary, would cooperate with us and help us, especially me, to come to America, and he also warned us of the impending danger of the Nazis who were going to take over Austria. My father hesitated, and so did I because we wanted to stay together.

In addition, the stories that we had heard about the tough life in New York and Chicago scared me. We had seen all those gangster films, and we didn’t think that America was safe and civilized enough, and I was afraid to leave. Max and his wife, Sylvia, went back to America.    

Until 1938, I had a very carefree and good life. Economics in Vienna were not so good, but I had the advantage of having a pretty good financial life—I had everything that a young man my age would want.

During the period of 1933-1938, the Germans kept conniving the West.

First, they terrorized and then promised peace—while advancing bit by bit. Europe was scared of Hitler and wanted to maintain peace under the illusion that Hitler would go only so far and then he would stop.

In January 1938, I went to a Zionist dance in the Hotel Metropole. There were quite a lot of unattached girls, and then I saw her—standing in a blue satin evening gown, blonde, gorgeous, great figure, beautiful smile, charming, except there was one problem.

I just couldn’t get near her. There were so many young men always surrounding her. She was flirting with them. One would engage her to dance and then another while my eyes were peering out for her. As I wandered around on the dance floor, I asked another young lady to dance. As I danced with her, my eyes were always looking for that blonde girl that I had in my mind. The girl I danced with noticed this and said, “Hey, you don’t really want to dance with me, do you?”

I asked her why she had asked that, and she said that she couldn’t help but notice that I kept looking at that blonde girl. I said, “As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t mind dancing with her.” She said this was no problem, and she took my hand and reached into those young men and said, “excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,” pushed through and introduced me to the blonde.

She said to her, “This young man has been looking at you for quite a while and would like to dance with you but just can’t get to you. Why don’t you give him a break?”

And that blonde was mommy—that was Fritzi.

 She smiled at me and said, “Why not?”

As we danced, mommy told me that the other girl was her sister, Rita. Then I understood why Rita was so interested in introducing me to mommy.  After the dance, I walked her home together with Rita.

She came from an Orthodox family. My mother made some inquiries about them and found out they were a very big family which had immigrated to Vienna during World War I from a town in Poland called Sienava.

When I first met Fritzi’s father I was quite shocked because usually, I didn’t go around in Orthodox circles like they came from. He wore a beard and peyes. Then we found out that mommy had, besides Rita, five more sisters and one brother. This was rather unusual for me because I was an only child.

Despite her background, Fritzi was quite worldly. She was very progressive and absolutely glamorous. When I went out with her, everybody admired her and envied me. My friends congratulated me on my wonderful choice, and I was really showing off with her.

Now we were in February 1938, and the political situation in Vienna and in Austria became quite threatening. We understood that the Nazis in Germany made all different kinds of diplomatic pressures to convince Austria to become part of Germany. They blackmailed our politicians and provoked all different kinds of riots and demonstrations. The Nazi party was still illegal by then, but they got fresher and fresher. They bombed Jewish stores and beat up Jewish students at the Viennese University. The police ignored this and looked away. Later on, we found that most of the police were Nazi also.

It became quite unbearable. However, I hardly realized how bad it was already. We were still naively optimistic for a miracle.

But all of a sudden, our world crashed in. Adolph Hitler and his Nazis kept all their promises.

He summoned our Chancellor Kurt Von Schuschnigg and terrorized him and forced him to make all different kinds of concessions and compromises.  Schuschnigg believed in Austria and independence. He wanted to rely on the support of the western nations like France and England—that they would help him out—and he also still trusted that Mussolini in Italy would support Austrian independence. His Catholic regime organized demonstrations against the Nazis and planned to have elections, but under further pressure, elections had to be called off.

Then, on March 10, 1938, Vienna woke up to a big fever of Austrian patriotism—thousands had been painting Austrian signs for Austrian independence. The next day, the 11th of March, we saw more and more Nazis coming out of the closet, showing openly their swastikas, which were supposed to be illegal.

We were listening to the radio, all of us were very anxious because we didn’t know what would happen to us. But we had always the hope that somehow, we would get out of this. Finally, Chancellor Schuschnigg made an announcement on the radio that he could no longer resist the brute force anymore. He didn’t want to fight the Germans because, after all, we were all Germans, and he signed off with the wish, “God save Austria.” Then the radio played military marches and hymns and the Austrian national anthem.

That night, we hid in our apartment and then heard a lot of noise outside.

About midnight, we saw Nazi bands marching around in the streets, yelling “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer.” They yelled, “Deutschland erwache—Judah verrecke!” meaning “Awake Germany, Perish Judah.”

During this night, practically all the Austrian goyim became Nazis. Most of our goyishe friends turned around their coat labels under which they had hidden the Nazi swastika all the time. They were called members of the “Bluts Orden” (members of the Blood Order)—they had been illegal Nazis for years already.

My wish to leave Vienna immediately became more intensive, and I discussed this with my parents and with Fritzi. We were not married yet, and we agreed to wait a little while until the whole thing possibly would calm down.

But it never calmed down.

The situation became more ominous and more dangerous for all of us. The Nazis used to round up people on the streets and send them to the police first for interrogation and then to concentration camps, of which we had some already in Austria.  

I was hiding out in our apartment, and my father went to the business to save whatever was possible.  One day, the Nazi S.A. came into our main store in Vienna, and they were looking for the Jude.  My father came out smiling politely, as he usually was, and said, “Gentlemen, what can I do for you?”

They told him to take some paint and go out and paint on the windows “Jude” because the Aryans were to boycott all the Jewish establishments. My father was looking for one of our apprentices to take a paintbrush. He didn’t want to fight these young Nazis.

“Dirty Jew,” they said, “you are going to paint with your fingers.” My father really broke down and invited them into his office. They went with him, and he showed them a large framed picture on the wall of him as an officer in the Austrian army with all his insignias and medals. “I am an Austrian veteran, and I fought in the war for the fatherland together with your fathers, and I wish you would have a little respect for that.” They beat him up and said, “Never mind, Jew, you go out and paint.” He was forced to do it. When he came home in the evening, he broke down in tears in front of us. He had never imagined that this could happen to him.

I was still hiding out most of the time, and I was joining all different kinds of groups to be able to emigrate. Then the Nazi police arrested my father and took him to the Gestapo headquarters in the Hotel Metropole—the same place where Fritzi and I had first met two months before.

At that time, we had a gentile lawyer. I went up to his office and told him that my father had been arrested. The lawyer confessed (bragged?) to me that he had been a member of the Nazi party all along for many years and had quite a few influential friends there, with the police, and with the Gestapo too.

He made a few calls and then came out and reported to me that my father was in a concentration camp. If I gave him 5,000 shillings (about 5,000 dollars), he would be able to get my father released. I went home to my mother and we took out the money that we were hiding for our escape.

When father returned to our home, he was pale and terrorized. He told us that they had beaten him up and forced him to all different kinds of confessions. We sat crying together, and my parents said to me, “Well, this is it. You have to leave.”

My Uncle Solomon in France promised to help me come to France. I went to the French Consulate every few days, but there was no visa to go to France. In the meantime, I was very attached to Fritzi already. I said to her, “If I can’t go the legal way, then I have to cross the borders illegally, but first we have to get married.” We got married on July 31st, 1938. We had to do it then because there were certain marriage laws that were going to be changed under the Nazis and that was the last day Jews could marry.

I kept hiding out in my apartment, being afraid of the Nazis, until we finalized our plans. In August, I was going to leave with mommy, but she said she would wait a while—I should prepare first and try to cross the border into France. Then she would follow and meanwhile take care of my parents and her parents.

Mommy found and introduced me to three youngsters, one girl and two young men who were also trying to escape from Vienna to the West.

There were not too many Jews who had the guts to leave that way. I embraced mommy tearfully for the last time, and we rolled on toward the German border. That was at the beginning of September 1938.

The border between France and Germany was mobilized. There were a lot of troops on both sides. I figured it would not be such a good idea to cross this border. Further north, there was another way to go to France via Luxembourg. Its eastern border is Germany, its northern border is Belgium, and the rest is surrounded by France. We would be able to get to France via Luxembourg.

I had enough courage to walk up with my three other young companions to the German border police there. We introduced ourselves with our Nazi German passports. This German passport was issued to me by the Nazi Government in exchange for my previous Austrian passport.

Across the passport on the first page was stamped a big “J” so that everybody would know that I was Jewish. That passport is still in my possession. Mommy also had this type of passport. It was not very easy to get such a passport in Vienna; one had to submit to the authorities that all taxes were paid. Only then would one get a passport after a long wait and a lot of palm greasing.

It was this passport that I showed the German border authorities. I explained that we wanted to go join our relatives in France. They laughed and told us that we’d never be able to make it there, but we were able to convince them.

We told them, “What do you need us for anyway? You should be glad to get rid of the Jews. After all, your Fuhrer said that all the Jews should leave Germany.” Well, maybe they were just policemen and not really Nazis yet, and they let us go.

Late in the afternoon, we walked across the border into Luxembourg. I asked my young friends if they wanted to go to Belgium, and we all agreed we had to get out of Germany—so we went.

In September 1938, it was quite warm yet. As we hiked towards the Belgian border—there, all of a sudden, a Belgian border policeman stopped us and spoke to us.

He said in French, “Don’t kid around with me! I know exactly where you want to go!” Then he said, “I want you to remember this! I pass by here every hour on the hour. I have rounds to make and watch the border so that illegal aliens will not be able to cross the border into Belgium. I’m passing by here again in one hour, and if I see you here, I’m going to arrest you and send you right back to the Germans.”

Then he pointed toward the northwest and said, “This is where you go into Belgium. I’m telling you to just disappear from here. I don’t want to see you here anymore, and if in one hour you’re still here, you’ll be sorry!”

At this point, I had the impression that this guy was maybe not a human being. I had somehow felt that he was sent to us, like an angel.

I don’t know why I deserved that, but during our flight from Hitler, there were many more miraculous incidents with these “malochim” (angels); with these “scheliachim” (messengers from G-d). This happened quite often, and every once in a while, I had a dream that these helpers were really sent from above to help us.

In the middle of the night, we arrived in Antwerp. The first thing I did as soon as I arrived in Antwerp was to hire a “guide” for Fritzi to come to join me.

I wrote to Fritzi that she should come to the German border from Vienna and bring some money with her and some jewels and whatever else she could get out of Germany, and she would get help to cross the border.

We were not allowed to take more than ten schillings with us, which in today’s value would be about ten dollars. Jewelry and such had to be smuggled out from there. In 1938, it was not as strict as it was later, and I succeeded in bringing some valuables with me, and so did Fritzi.

A few days later, Fritzi arrived in Antwerp. She had her own exciting story to tell—how she crossed the border with four youngsters, but that is something I would like her to describe.

We lived from about September 1938 on, in Antwerp. Of course, our biggest desire was to help our parents and our other relatives.

Fritzi had six sisters and one brother. The oldest, Annie, had left Vienna years before. A rich manufacturer from Havana, Cuba, was on a visit in Vienna, fell in love with her, married her, and brought her to Cuba. Later on, Susie followed her to Havana, too. Then Elise, who was also a very beautiful girl, met a very good-looking young man, married him, and went with him to Palestine in 1936. Mommy’s next sister, Ilse, followed Elise to Palestine also before Hitler took over.    

At that time, Olga was left in Vienna and Rita too. My parents and mommy’s parents stayed behind as well. They couldn’t make up their minds to leave their established homes and, at an advanced age, stray out into a strange country once again—with all the risks of illegal border crossings.

Finally, in October 1938, Rita and Olga decided they had enough of life with the Nazis in Vienna. 

Rita and Olga had been attending dancing classes in Vienna. Olga was about 16, and both Rita and Olga were extremely good-looking. They got their artist’s visa to come to Belgium. They were just refugees using a pretense to come across the border.

My parents were still in Vienna under the Nazis, and so were Fritzi’s parents. It was November 1938, shortly after the “Kristallnacht” in Germany.

The “Kristallnacht” (crystal-night) was another anti-semitic tragedy, where the Nazis in one night all over Germany and Austria decided to raid almost all of the synagogues; break all the stain-glass windows and crystal chandeliers, destroy the Torahs and prayerbook, and then set fire to the edifices.

We had to save our parents very soon, and we engaged a “guide” to smuggle them in.

You ought to understand how dangerous it was to rescue our parents from Austria and  Hitler’s claws. Most Austrians were more anti-semitic than the Germans. The Austrians were well known to be among the worst Jew-haters.

We got out of Europe soon after the Nazis overtook Austria, feeling the first ominous signs of this devilish plan to destroy all Jewish life in Europe.

It was this anticipation that made us leave Vienna so hastily. It took quite some ambition to succeed in this escape combined with guts, shrewdness, and determination.

And then, of course, I was fortunate enough to come back with the victorious American Army to make an end to this inhuman, barbarous regime.

Unfortunately, our intervention was too late for millions of our people who went down innocently and helpless. 

When I mentioned some of those angels who helped us on the way, usually in the most critical moments, I can really say that the All-Mighty, through time, selected us and others like us to be saved.

Mommy’s and my belief is that you can’t just meekly wait for destiny to help you. God helps you only if you are willing to help yourself. And we helped ourselves.

So, if it wasn’t for those wonderful humans we met on the way; the messengers from above, there would have been others. As long as we dared to take the chance, to take the risk, and gave them the opportunity to come forward to do this mitzvah for us.

Now finally, what should all this mean for you children?

There is no greater crime than the murder of a man’s soul.    

You have been brought up by us well protected, keeping out of the dangers of the present world situation.

We hope, and we didn’t mean to spoil you.

Maybe you will learn to take some lessons from our experiences.

Remember our determination, our love, and our loyalty to each other, to our parents, and to you children too.

Maybe you will learn from this attitude a certain standard of morals and ethics and the willingness to give aid and comfort to the needy ones, to your parents and to your relatives, and to poor Jewish people who are less fortunate than we are.

We don’t have to be ashamed to be Jewish; we have a right to be proud of our accomplishments.

And mommy and I, are content in our feeling that we have done the right thing with our lives.

The Teri Tome–My 2021 Hits and Misses

If anyone would have told me when I first launched The Teri Tome back in 2015 that I would be writing this post while holed up in my house waiting for a pandemic surge to peak…

Well, you know the answer to that one.

Last January, which seems like eons ago, I had myself convinced that this “thing” would be over by mid-2021, so by summer, I was trying to get back to some semblance of a new normal.

But then came November, and it was Groundhog Day all over again. An unwelcome repeat of a repeat of a repeat.

As someone with an addictive personality, it’s not good to have so much time on my hands, so thank God I love to write.

And although a part of me cringes when I go back and read some of my more personal posts, I can’t stop baring myself.

It’s my only relief—my only way up and out. A written record of Teri that I don’t want to write, but it practically writes itself.

And anyway, what the hell else do I have to do with my time?

2021 was one big stay-at-home blur for me. I went to Target once, the food store three times, and out to eat eight times. I saw my sister twice and the grandkids four times. Those visits with the grandkids were for sure the only thing that kept me going over those twelve long and mostly solitary-except-for-my-husband months.

I had a severe case of writer’s block back in 2020 and then couldn’t stop writing in 2021.

I was obsessively writing it all out—I mean like 24/7, and yet I only published 17 blog posts in 2021. And while those 17 posts collectively amassed over 60,000 page views, the bulk of my Teri musings remained unpublished and will probably never see the light of day.

Ironically, the posts that brought in all the eyeballs—over 500,000 page views—were written way before 2021. I gained a bunch of new readers in 2021, so I’m relieved my lack of recent material didn’t affect the traffic to my blog.

Anyway, here are my top three best-performing blog posts from 2021. I threw in the blog post with the fewest views because I’m hoping you’ll read it.

And since the older posts brought in most of my traffic, I’ve included the #1 hit of all Teri Tome time (2015-2021).

I’ll start with the blog post hardly anyone clicked on in 2021:


He Was Arrested for Alleged Sexual Abuse: This post garnered over 1,000 page views in 2021, but I was discouraged that it wasn’t as widely read as I wanted or thought it should be. Perhaps it’s because the MeToo movement is still a misunderstood and struggling work in progress, just like me.       

And now for my Top Three 2021 posts:

#1 HIT IN 2021


My Stolen Diaries – Chapter 7: A New School With a Side of Baptism: To be honest with you, I wrote this back in 1992— pulled from my unfinished novel titled My Stolen Diaries that I’ve been writing ever since. I hope that the thousands of hits that this 29-year-old chapter garnered will give me the push I need to keep posting the book onto my blog.

#2 HIT IN 2021


The Pam Project: I was thrilled to see that this post about my cousin Pam garnered over 10,000 page views. In honor of Pam, I have been building and furnishing a dollhouse for a most remarkable young lady in California. And this post is still in the works because I’m just now finishing it up. I can’t wait to share the final photos of the happy home with my readers but mostly looking forward to making a beautiful little girl smile.

 #3 HIT IN 2021


Dinner Party Playlist: This blog post is different from anything I have written. It’s a part playlist, part Teri history, and part fond memories of my late great musical mentor Sally White of Westport, Connecticut.   

#1 HIT OF ALL TERI TOME TIME (2015-2021)


Wedding Centerpieces that Can Save the World: My #1 blog post of all time (2015-2021) is about wedding centerpieces that could save somebody’s world. I was ecstatic to see that for the first time since the 2015 launch of The Teri Tome; my “Bullies Are Cowards” post did not take the #1 spot. At almost 300,000 page views, I wonder how many brides actually took my advice?

So much for 2021.

My 2022 New Year’s resolution is to leave 2021 behind, but most importantly, to leave my house! And 2022 might just be the year that my FOE (fear of everything) gets resolved. I want my FOMO back!

I want to wish my readers a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.

And I also hope that 2022 brings you wellness, equality, and political peace.

The Pam Project

My cousin Pam had an idyllic life with a handsome doting husband/father and two beautiful children.

That was until Pam’s infant son was diagnosed with bone cancer. Pam spent months in a children’s hospital in Boston with her son and daughter while her husband worked in another state during the week and drove to Boston for the weekends.

Shocking and sadly, in 1988, while Pam waited for him to arrive in Boston, Joe’s heart gave out, and he died at just 38 years old.

Her beloved son passed away in 2005 at 20, and Pam heartbreakingly followed in 2009 at 57. After she died, I vowed to one day do something meaningful in her honor, although I didn’t know the what or how.

When Covid hit New York in March of 2020, I obsessed over dollhouses, renovating two and building one from scratch. My life was out of my control but I was in full control of the lives in the dollhouses.

Around the same time, I watched a show about the ancient Egyptians and their belief that when they died, their spiritual body continued to exist in an afterlife. They also believed that a person died not once but twice.

The first death was their final breath. And the second and final death was the last time someone uttered their name.

That’s how The Pam Project came to be.

Pam’s spirit could live on for as long as I spoke of her!

What better way to honor Pam’s memory than to build and donate dollhouses in her name?

If you know of any children who can use a lift in spirit, please let me know.

The photos below are of The Pam Project — a work in progress and in memory of my unforgettable cousin Pam.


The house that Teri built on 11/25/21


My friends are helping to ready the house for its owner


Working on the interior design — where to put what?


The house with no name — yet. Any suggestions?

Stay tuned for the finished Pam Project.


“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” ~ A.A. Milne

Roses for Ann


Ann Mindicino 11/6/1954 – 3/28/2020

For those who know me, you know signs are big for me, and I look for them everywhere.

My friendship with Ann began back in 1988 when I was thirty-five, and she was thirty-four. I was going through a tough time, and Ann and her husband stood up for me when I needed it the most. I never forgot their courage, especially her husband’s. He was a Vietnam vet, and he didn’t take any sh*t from anyone.

Our boys met in kindergarten, and our baby daughters were close in age. We spent a lot of time together over our 30+ year friendship. We shared tons of good times but plenty of dark times too. But as futile as life sometimes felt, we always talked each other out of stuff and helped each other bounce back.

And we had not missed celebrating our birthdays together for over twenty years.

That was until March 2020, when Ann died.

We spoke on the phone for over an hour on Thursday, March 25, and on Sunday, March 28, Ann was gone. Just like that. My casual goodbye to her on Thursday was our last goodbye.

Her family buried Ann in early April — on my birthday, which broke my heart. And because of Covid, there was no service for Ann.

So, for me, there was no closure. There was nobody I could talk to from the family to express my deepest condolences.  There was no commiserating with her friends about Ann, or sharing funny stories, because Ann was a character, and we would have had a laugh, along with a cry.

She was sixty-five years old when she died and had recently retired. She was funny, intelligent, chatty, a gifted artist, and a blast to be around.

And, okay, maybe she was a little too chatty, LOL.

Ann had so many plans. She was looking forward to being a grandmother. She wanted to travel. She was going to start painting again.

And Ann was obsessed with roses. She drew them beautifully, filled her yard with rose bushes, and posted stunning photos of them on social media. Any time I see a rose, I think of Ann.

Last Thursday, three days before what would have been Ann’s 67th birthday, I noticed one lone, long stem with a budding rose shooting up high above the bush in all its splendor.

I took it as a sign from Ann that she was thinking of me thinking of her.

When I checked the bud on Friday morning, it had started to open up even more, which made my heart glad. Because I knew that by Sunday, the rose would be in full bloom for Ann’s birthday.

Unfortunately, my gardening service came that afternoon and cut everything back for the winter, including the rose bush!

I was crushed. The rose was gone. So much for the sign from Ann.

On Sunday morning, I went outside and noticed the rose lying on top of my firepit.

Whoever had buzzed the rose bush had saved the rose!

Ann hadn’t given up that easily!

It was a cold day, and the rose was intact but fragile — which also reminded me of Ann.

I gently picked it up, and as I passed the stub of the bush, several rosebuds were hiding in the thorny brush.

Because the rose stems were short, I needed a small container. I went to my china cabinet, and the first thing I laid my eyes on was a crystal glass that Ann had given me! There is no way that was by chance!

I placed the glass of roses facing the sun so the buds could bloom and live to see another day or two.

Rest in peace, my dear friend. I sure hope they have roses on the other side.

Dinner Party Playlist

Way before Covid, I was working on two projects:

  • I needed to come up with a blog post idea
  • I was simultaneously trying to create a playlist for a dinner party I was hosting that weekend

Project #2 was easier to tackle, so I furiously typed out some of my favorite songs. As I scanned the list, I started typing in the memories I associated with the tunes.

The final result was an impressively diverse playlist, with some of my backstory thrown in.

I broke down the songs/memories into four distinct parts:

* Pre-party * Drinks * Dinner * Dessert

And voila — my life in a playlist in a blog post!

The pre-party setup can be stressful, so classical music helps take my mind somewhere else. It’s my party, and I’ll play classical music if I want to.

When I was five, my mom was in her early twenties and held two jobs. During the day, she worked at a local factory, and at night she worked at Arthur Murray Studio as a ballroom dance instructor. My first introduction to music centered around whatever accompanied the Waltz, the Tango, and the Foxtrot.

I once proudly watched my mother gracefully waltz to the first classical piece I ever heard, so about forty-five minutes before my guests arrive, I’ll start with:

The Blue Danube – Johann Strauss

Air on the G String – Johann Sebastian Bach

Whether you prefer the Bach original Air or violinist August Wilhelmj’s late 19th-century stunning take titled Air on the G String (G string being the violin), both are stunningly moving. But this Stjepan Hauser’s chilling rendition has his cello whispering air.

Prelude in C minor, Opus 28, Number 20 – Frédéric Chopin

I don’t know how Barry Manilow got away with ripping off this classical classic in his song, Could It Be Magic. Manilow’s melody is based almost entirely on Frédéric Chopin’s Prelude in C minor, Opus 28, Number 20.  I hated the Barry Manilow song, but I disco-danced to Donna Summer’s Could It Be Magic version at Studio 54 uncountable times.  If there weren’t so many awkward oohs and ahhs, it would have made my playlist.

In 1961, at around eight years old, I began taking piano lessons from Sister Regina Mary, who further set in motion my love for, and appreciation of composers like Beethoven, Bach, and Strauss. The intricacies of each movement I played made me appreciate the allure and the angst of melodies that needed no lyrics to evoke myriad emotions.

Beethoven was my favorite classical composer, primarily because not even his deafness could stop his otherworldly genius.  He created music for the ages — some of his most beautiful pieces came after he could not hear.

Moonlight Sonata – Ludwig van Beethoven

Moonlight Sonata is the first piece I semi-mastered on the piano. It remains my all-time classical favorite, and I still play it on my keyboard. The melody is desperate, yet tender; happy, yet melancholy. And oh, the chilling beauty of those three sorrowful notes.

Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 – Ludwig van Beethoven

This Beethoven piece was Sister Regina Mary’s favorite, and she played it brilliantly. I love Valentina Lisitsa’s rendition.

And speaking of Beethoven, who didn’t love…

Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry

OR…

A Fifth of Beethoven  – Walter Murphy

IT’S COCKTAIL TIME!

Going back to as early as 1956, the three women who raised me taught me to love music. Here are some of my all-time favorites:

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

I was only three years old in 1956, but I vividly remember singing along to this song in our apartment on Huron Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Twist – Chubby Checker

In 1960 everybody was doing the twist.

You Really Got Me – The Kinks

This 1964 hit song was my first introduction to heavy metal.

I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher

In August 1965, my grandmother’s ex-boyfriend, Steve the butcher, saw me walking on Success Avenue in Bridgeport. He pulled his car over, kissed me on top of my head, and handed me two twenties. I bought a killer pair of red-checkered bell-bottoms, a white ruffle crop top, and a transistor radio. All of the popular radio stations were playing I Got You Babe nonstop. My grandmother demanded to know where I got all that money, but I never revealed it.

I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops

You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

In 1967, at age fourteen, my eighth-grade St. Ambrose friends would sing this song to me as a joke. I was poor, but I was happy. That was until I moved from Bridgeport to Westport that summer, which changed my life — and not in a good way. I never saw my Bridgeport friends again. What a difference eleven miles can make. Some would have called it rags to riches. I used to call it rags to bitches.

NOW FOR THE DINNER MUSIC.

But first, a story about someone who made a massive impression on me during a difficult time in my life.

My time in Westport took a turn for the better when in 1968, I met a young woman named Sally White, who worked in the Record Department at Klein’s Stationery on Westport’s Main Street. Sally knew everything there was to know about music, so my Saturdays usually consisted of a trip to Klein’s to visit her, listen to whatever she was playing on the record player, and buy some 45s.

We bonded immediately, maybe because I shared her love of The Temptations, Dion, Richard Harris, Dionne Warwick, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Traffic, and Nina Simone, to name a few.

Sally would guide me through the latest and greatest artists, albums, and top 10.  I could walk in and give her two or three words in a lyric, and she would immediately know what song it was. And while a song’s tune was the catch, we both agreed that the lyrics inspired and fueled the soul.

Below is my selected playlist of dinner music songs in honor of Sally’s recommendations all those years ago. She sadly passed away in 2017.

The Times They Are a Changing – Bob Dylan

Sally was obsessed with Bob Dylan because she thought he was a genius at exploiting racism, social injustice, and poverty — something I was all too familiar with from my Bridgeport years.

MacArthur Park – Richard Harris

This 1967 song was written and composed by Jimmy Webb as part of an intended cantata about how Webb found and then lost the love of his life. The song consists of four sections or movements. All of them are incredible, but the second and third movements are my favorite. The second movement starts with the words “There will be another song for me,” followed by the third section, which is entirely instrumental, led by drums and percussion, punctuated by horn riffs, and beyond amazing.

“There will be another song for me, for I will sing it. There will be another dream for me, someone will bring it.” This verse gets to me every time.

Cry Like a Baby – The Box Tops

At the beginning of 1968, I still had no friends, so I routinely and pitifully danced to this song alone in my room in front of a full-length mirror — and sometimes cried like a baby. Thank God for Sally!

Simon & Garfunkel – Bookends

Simon & Garfunkel released this song on April 3, 1968, on my 15th birthday, and I took it as a sign. To know me is to know that I can find a sign in anything. I still had no friends, so in desperation, I invited the popular girls over for a birthday slumber party, but most of them politely declined. Only one said yes, and she helped me turn everything around, and we remained the best of friends for years and years. We were indeed bookends. “Preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left you.”

Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix

I learned about “drum fill” from Sally. As a piano player, I had no musical interest in drums — that was, until Sally and Hey Joe. I also recall slow-dancing to the song with a boy I had a massive crush on at some fancy-schmancy Westport, Connecticut Ball. I think it was the Holly Ball, or maybe it was the Cranberry Ball, or the Mulberry Ball, or the Poisoned Ivy Ball — some such ridiculous Waspy-ass name. I’m sure my dance partner has zero recollection because I’ve seen him at many high school reunions, and he’s never mentioned it.

Theme From Valley of the Dolls – Dionne Warwick

Regarding Valley of the Dolls, Sally explained that I could buy the 45, but as far as she was concerned, I was too young to buy the racy book or go to the movie. After purchasing the 45, I rushed to the book department, snatched up the novel, and in between voraciously reading it, hid it between the mattress and box spring of my bed.

No Expectations – Rolling Stones

People Got to be Free – The Rascals

In July 1968, I was working as a Mother’s Helper in Westhampton Beach, New York. I first heard The Rascals song at a bonfire party on Hotdog Beach with a bunch of townies. Westhampton-rich made Westport-rich look poor.

Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone

Dance to the Music came out in 1968. And I confess to dancing on the bar with my friends to this song at Rialto’s in Port Chester, New York, while underage drinking.

Everyday People – Sly and the Family Stone

By 1969 I had plenty of friends, but this song reminded me of those lonely couple of years. “There is a long hair that doesn’t like the short hair for being such a rich one that will not help the poor one. Different strokes for different folks.”

Woodstock – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

I was supposed to go to Woodstock with my cousin Pam and two of her guy friends on their motorcycles. I chickened out at the last minute. She went without me, but they had to turn back because the New York State Thruway was infamously shut down.

Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys – Traffic

Around 1971, Sally introduced me to this remarkable song written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood. The piano solo is insane.

TIME TO WRAP IT UP WITH DESSERT:

Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man – Johnny Cash and June Carter

I was first introduced to country music when I got to Brevard College in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Brevard, North Carolina. I started listening to the Carter Family, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, and of course, Johnny Cash and June Carter. I found the flirty banter between Johnny and June almost as good as their singing.

Come Down in Time – Elton John

Back in 1971, this was the first Elton John song I ever heard. He had me at “I came down to meet you in the half-light the moon left.”

Back Stabbers – The O’Jays

I discovered that backstabbers in Connecticut were no different than those in North Carolina.

Dirty Work – Steely Dan

I will forever associate Steely Dan with my unforgettable Delta Airline years in Miami and Coconut Grove, Florida.

Love’s Theme – Love Unlimited Orchestra

As a Delta Flight Attendant, I worked most holidays. I still recall driving to Miami airport on Christmas Eve, 1973, in full uniform — this #1 hit song blaring on the radio in my Karmann Ghia. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with myself than at that moment.

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number – Steely Dan

My life was surreal in 1974. I recall belting out this song while driving in my convertible on the Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami to Key Biscayne, where I had recently moved to a luxurious “Stew Zoo.” I was dating a Miami Dolphins Superbowl MVP, and my life was like something out of a movie. My Delta flight attendant days deserve their own book. It’s on the list.

If You Want Me to Stay – Sly and the Family Stone

 

You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees

Days after transferring from Miami to Chicago in 1975, I attended my first disco party at The Bavarian Bicycle Club — “The BBC” for short. This unforgettable song was pulsating throughout the club. The Bee Gees were back!

Let’s Hear It for The Boy – Deniece Williams

1984 was a special year for me because my son was born.

Faith – George Michael

Followed by the birth of my unicorn daughter in 1988.

And that’s the end of the party!


I treasure this photo with Sally White at her record store, Sally’s Place in August 2011, while attending my 40th High School reunion. I’m the one with tears in my eyes because I knew it would be the last time I would see Sally.