Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Kindest Man I’ve Ever Known

John Alexander

The Kindest Man I’ve Ever Known

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Mr. John and my five Youngest Brothers and Sisters

1967 was not a a very good time for my family — I was 12, and the eldest child of seven. We were dirt poor, and if the world had an asshole — the half of a New Jersey house we rented for $75 a month was right there. My dad worked at a Hardware store for $75 a week, and had no car at the time. Kids made fun of the older of us for being dressed so badly, and rioting was going on a few miles away in Newark.

A few years earlier (1964) my family had been very happy, living in a new house, attending a new school in the Valley High area of San Antonio, and my father had landed a decent job. Within just a few months after moving into the new house, all of the wheels had come off my father’s wagon. He’d lost his job, and my parent’s marriage was in deep trouble from Middle aged craziness.

My father decided that we needed to make a clean break of Texas and start over again in New York City, which he’d visited with his grandmother decades earlier. So my father loaded up our 63 Valiant with the five kids, my again pregnant mother, and our dog — and pulled a small 4′X6′ U-haul trailer. The trailer contained every family possession (basically some clothes) we had remaining after a yard sale had us sell off everything else we had to finance the trip — and the rest being abandoned in the new home we’d disappeared from. Three miserable days later we were in New York City. It was then my father realized that NYC wasn’t city he’d remembered from the 40s. Rent controlled housing made it impossible to find a place to live. So we ultimately crossed the state line and rented a 2 bedroom duplex in Metuchen, New Jersey. From 1965 until we moved to Western New York in 1970 — every day was worse than the day before. Really more so for me than the other kids. My brother Doug, who is 14 months younger than I, had been hit by a car a few years earlier, and later caught Rheumatic Fever — so my parents coddled and overprotected him from the fear of losing him. The younger brothers and sisters were really too young still to fully understand the Hell we lived in.

In the house, the boys slept in one room, the girls in another, and my parents on the foldout couch. If the house wasn’t already crowded enough, my mother would take in anyone without a home. I remember a family with five kids, and a mother with her toddler staying with us at the same time. My grandfather on a couple of occasions stayed with us — and my brother and sister-in-law stayed with us after they returned from Germany — while he was waiting for his discharge from the Army. My father typically had a morning paper route that I helped him on, an evening security job, a Saturday job, and on Sunday we delivered newspapers from 3AM to noon (or later).

I would deliver papers in the morning with my dad, and then I had my own route in the afternoon. On that route there was an old man by the name of Mr. Irving. I didn’t know his last name — I just called him Mr. Irving. He lived in an old upstairs apartment by himself, as his wife had died years before. He was the last customer on my route — and I’d have a coke with him at his kitchen table before my long walk home.

Mr. Irving owned a Jewish Delicatessen, and asked if I would help on the evenings that he was open late — as he was getting too old to put stuff away and clean. I agreed, and while he didn’t pay me much (maybe nothing) — he did see that I came home with bread and bagels for my family.

A few months later, he sold the deli to a family of parents in their 40s, and their two sons in their early 20s. They kept the deli opened to 8pm, for the people getting off the train from NYC to eat dinner, and hired me to come after my paper route (about 6PM) to wash dishes and help close the deli. I don’t remember ever seeing Mr. Irving again, and don’t know what ever happened to him. The new owners were pretty good to me, paying me and sending me home with food.

Right after they had bought the deli, a new customer started coming there for dinner. He asked me to call him Mr. John. He was a nice man who had a new AMC Javelin — which I thought was a way cool car. I suppose the owners told him I was sort of a charity case that they sent home with food, and he took an interest in me. I didn’t wait on customers (I was a dishwasher) — but he insisted I wait on him, and he’d leave me a 25 cent tip. He told me that he had played for the Giants in the 20s, and that he was the NFL’s first Outside Linebacker. I knew he was a Jeweler in New York City. I suppose he took the train to the city and back, and since the Deli was close to the town’s train station — he had dinner at the deli before going home. I don’t know where he lived, but do know he lived alone as his wife had died, and I don’t believe he had kids.

In time, I introduced Mr. John to my family (the deli was across the street from the rented duplex we lived in), although I don’t remember the circumstances of the introduction 40+ years later. He took an immediate liking to the three youngest kids, and would come on many Saturdays to take them out for ice cream, the zoo, or some other little road trip. I’m sure he did it to give my mother a break, and brighten the day of the kids — but he may have also felt good seeing happy kids.

At the time, our home life was pretty rough, and my mother was always depressed. She was pretty much a recluse, who seldom left the house. I even had to take the family’s laundry in a wagon to the laundromat to wash, dry, and bring home — because she seldom left the house (I’m sure some of it because of three small children). Mr. John picked up on her sadness and bought her a huge hand carved Jade ring on one of his visits. Later he bought her a ring with a giant ruby. The stone was huge and even a kid like me could see the quality of its clarity. This was a man who did things for my mother and the three young kids for no other reason than to make their life a little better.

Happily, for me (I was running with a bad crowd I couldn’t get away from) we moved from Metuchen to Western New York in December 1970, and I never again heard of Mr. John. I went into the military in 1972, an only once ever drove through Metuchen again.

Over the last five decades, I have thought of the kindness of Mr. John often. Earlier in the month I was scanning old photos, and came across the photo above of Mr. John and the five youngest kids. I’d date the photo as being around 68 or 69. I suddenly remembered (I don’t know why) that Mr. John’s last name was Alexander, and searched the Internet for John Alexander and Giants. I came up with the below photo from 1927, and a story written about him in 1983.

I also found him on Wikipedia, and was happy to learn that he lived such a long and happy life. He truly was the kindest person I’ve ever known. He selected my mother and three youngest siblings to tuck under his wing and make their life a little more pleasant.

Update 4/29/2014 – I received the following

I googled my Grandfather tonight and saw what you had written about him.
I remember him speaking of you.
At the time you knew him we were living in Cherry Hill NJ…we always had close contacts in Metchen. We had lived there from 1948 to 1961. My mother moved back there around 1970. She had been married to two of the Seldow brothers.
Anyway, I called him Pop. He loved kids and loved helping anyone he could
I remember my mother telling me about the kids he liked to spend time with. He always wanted people to be happy and he loved being a part of it. He missed you and your siblings after you left…but was glad to have known you.
He later lived with my mother on Beverly Court until he passed away. He was about 93.
Well, I loved what you wrote and am glad to have found your blog.
I loved my Grandfather dearly, and still think of him all the time.
BTW, my name is pronounce Johnny. I was named after him.
There is so much more but life gets complicated and and I have rambled long enough.
Thanks for the wonderful memory.
Jonne Dmochowski

2012 – End Of An Error!

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Check Your Credit Card Statements

Credit Card Theft is the most profitable of the current crimes paid. Here’s how it works.

The most sophisticated “Hackers” obtain your credit card information from hacking into bankcard service center or merchant computer servers for vast amounts card information. They also use email Trojan “Sniffers”  in emails,that continue to get forwarded, and when the emails are opened those sniffers collect information from your computer or sensitive credit card information from your on-line purchases — which is forwarded to these hackers via the Internet. Most of these big hackers are overseas — where it is hard to stop them. They sell the card numbers to   “Brokers”. Most of the big time brokers then sell the numbers to “Distributors,” who sell them to “Shoppers” to for their personal on-line use — or make duplicate cards for ATM withdrawals.

Other “Distributors” pass out small hand held scanners to waiters — as they can easily disappear with your card  for as much as ten minutes. These scanners got from pocket to the palm of the hand, and will hold the credit card information from hundreds of cards a waiter secretly scans through it. These scanners are given back to the distributor who downloads the information from it. A new breed of scanners made to look like a book in public, are so powerful that they can grab magnetic strip information from all of your credit cards while they’re still in your wallet or purse — by simply passing by you closely.

Many distributors make duplicate cards from this information onto “White Card” blanks, with inexpensive printers that emboss, copy information to the magnetic strip, and affix the hologram logo. These cards are either sold to “Shoppers” or often the “Distributor” has a crew of “Shoppers” in his employ. These shoppers go an area with a high concentration of ATM machines — and quickly burn the card up for the maximum cash, before the banks get wise  to the theft.  While the cards are called “White Cards” because they use to be white — they are now  look identical to the card you carry in your wallet.

The fact is that it is near impossible to protect your card information from being stolen — so you need to become aware of it being used. You can do this by checking your account on-line weekly, itemizing the charges on your monthly statement, and signing up with a credit bureau service that emails you when your balance change by the amount you set. Notify the credit card company’s fraud division as soon as you become aware of this — and you will most likely see the least inconvenience.

It is not a fact of if your credit card information will be stolen and used — but when. If you don’t watch for it — you might pay for some of it.

Scale Models of Famous Race Cars

In the scale models forum in the Old Hippie Forums, we have a discussion of scale models of famous race cars. Check it out.

8-Second Cuda Ready

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I bought this car a few years back as an engine test bed, from when I was in the Mopar race engine building business. I wanted a car that we could quickly swap new engine formulas into, and take to the track for testing.

The car was built to run in a Street Car style class – (horn, brake lights, turn signals, parking lights, headlights, mufflers, etc…) where it would make a 20 mile trip, and then the laughing gas would be turned on for a couple of 8-second blasts on NOS. It was actually quite infamous in the St. Louis area for a while, before going to Detroit.

The Chassis was built by Jeffers Pro Cars in the St. Louis area – some years back. The motor is an Indy SR Head 440, DinVinchi carb, Jessel belt drive, and other trick parts. The transmission is a Pro-Race transbrake. Both engine and transmission had just been rebuilt and zero passes on them at the time I bought the car.

When we got the car – we took it to Houston Raceway Park for two passes (actually had planned on more – but a door latch broke and couldn’t be fixed at the track) on just the motor to make sure it was all good.

Shortly thereafter, I sold the engine building business, but my son was interested in running in that class, so we disassembled the car and the body was treated to a $20,000+ paint and body job. Everything was repaired, doors latches better reinforced, car was sanded smooth, properly primed, then the basecoat/clear coat in Guardian (Porsche) Red – before being color sanded. The paint is as smooth as glass and flawless. Show car quality – not race car quality.

A forum thread with progress photos of this build can be found at: http://www.moparstyle.com/forums/car-builds-progress-threads/9107-tube-chassis-barracudas-rebuild.html — it will answer a lot of questions.

While the engine was out – Damon from Diamondback Engines pulled the pan, a couple bearing caps and rod caps to verify we hadn’t been lied to – and he found the bearings to be all new. All other inspections of the engine also verified this motor had a professional rebuild. We didn’t pull the transmission apart – but you can see all new gaskets and it worked like a charm on the two test runs.

The car has been fully assembled, with any questionable part replaced with new. The fuel pump was sent to Barry Grant to be rebuilt and tested on a flow bench. Diamondback Engines tuned the motor. All of the NOS items are in place – but frankly since we’re all NSS racers – that’s above our pay grade to tune – and so we’ll leave that to the buyer. The chassis was NHRA certified in mid February 2011. The doors and front clip are fiberglass, and the windows are Lexan. Slicks have two easy passes on them.

As luck has it – my son became more interested in running Nostalgia Super stock, so I need to take a bath on what I have in this car. My loss will be someone’s gain. All this car needs is a new owner, for him to buy the harness and window net (color/style) of his choice, and take to the track to tune the NOS.

The best way to contact me is by email davetheoldhippie@gmail.com. My cell phone is 713-899-7704 if you prefer. The price is for a quick sale and firm.

Delivery can be arranged – and I can keep it safely in my shop for a reasonable period of time.

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Cuda December 2010

Cuda December 2010

Aspen Has Been Sold

The Aspen was sold to a racer in West Virginia — and on it’s way to it’s new home.

So What Happened To The Blog?

In case you were wondering where the blog had been for the last month, it was disabled because of a lawsuit from a “Copyright Troll” over the posting of the infamous TSA pat down photo — where a man in the airport appeared to be checked for a hernia.

This is a story so incredible — that it will be unbelievable to many. I don’t want to believe it — but I’m not so naive.

There is a company that is half owned an attorney who worked at the same Chicago law firm that the Obama’s met at, working there at the same time the Obamas did. When many Conservative web sites ran the photo that embarrassed Obama’s Homeland Security Administration — this company bought the rights to the TSA photo and filed 100s of lawsuits against those conservative leaning blogs showing it — asking for $150,000 per violation, plus the domain. On January 27th, I was nailed for violations on two of my sites. There was no warning (actually, the photo had been taken down a month before suit was filed against me, my company, and my sites — after I’d seen that the Drudge Report was being sued over that photo) to cease and desist — just a suit filed in Federal Court in Colorado.

After I started searching the Internet on this company and their game — I was sick.

I retained an attorney and a settlement (that I am not allowed to disclose the details of) was negotiated and paid — although to date I’ve not personally received the court’s dismissal. About all I can tell you was that it was very painful to my family, but would have cost me more to defend against the suit in Colorado — even if I had won. It might have cost me $500,000 in damages, legal fees, travel, and discovery if I’d lost. Frankly, I have no faith in the Judicial system, especially in Federal courts with Liberals appointed as Federal Judges.

I hate to roll over, but I’ve had previous experience in legalized extortion. I once owned a business that employed well over 100 people, paid millions a year in taxes, spent millions more in expenses to local vendors, and had my partner and I pay millions again in income taxes. This business was also attacked by a cottage industry of parasite lawyers, and they were enabled by corrupt Federal Judges. My legal expenses averaged $60,000 a month to defend against these “Frivolous Law Suits”, buy settling for what lawyers call “nuisance value”. Many of these suits were filed in the Federal court in Chicago — but a few were filed in other Federal Courts stocked with Federal Judges.

I finally threw in the towel and sold the business in 1998, and it in turn soon crumbled into Oblivion, because of poor management. So those 100 plus people now work (hopefully) elsewhere. State, Federal, County, and City governments no longer receive those taxes from that business — nor the income taxes from the two partners. The local vendors no longer have me as a customer – buying stuff to allow them to employ there people. While I still have a few good productive years running a business, employing hundreds, paying millions in taxes, and spending with local vendors left in me — I’m instead unemployed and drag race. I simply refused to beat my head against the wall to benefit a corrupt judicial system of lawyers and judges, enabled by a corrupt group of lawyers elected as politicians (and President, albeit both Obama and Clinton were disbarred lawyers) spreading my hard work among themselves, and the idiots who put them in office for the free gifts promise with spreading the wealth. But I digress.

Back to the this blog — many of us victims feel certain that it was not a coincidence that conservative leaning sites were sued over a TSA photo, by a Chicago lawyer that worked with both of the Obamas. Those of you who feel like there isn’t such thing as Chicago Style politics all through our government — well I feel sorry for you. We’re no better than a Banana Republic — where speaking out against the government will have you harassed. If you don’t think harassing Conservative sites doesn’t have the fingerprints of those in the White House and Soro’s funded organizations — you will most likely still believe in the Easter Bunny. You may recall a story this week about a judge getting a multimillion dollar kickback from a private jail — for sentencing kids to that prison. One kid without any prior arrest was sentenced there for drug paraphernalia (not drugs) and he killed himself.

I debated throwing in the towel on this site — but decided to continue with this site but reduce the target on my back by giving up reporting on Political Corruption. I just can’t afford to be in the fight without help.

In the forums at Old Hippie, I have a legal defense fund for those who feel like the suit against me was wrong, and want to help.