Family on My Mind. Love you, Dad.

Family on My Mind. Love you, Dad.

Cancer is a terrible disease. Today is the day my Dad, Joe Basile, would be turning 95 if cancer had not struck him down in 2007.

As all sons do, I think about Dad a lot. He’s always on my mind especially when July rolls around each year and I think of how old he is. Or would be.

This year is no exception. So as a tribute to him, I’m posting his obituary which I lovingly composed when our family was making our preparations.

Dad was a good man. A very good man.

 

BASILE, JOSEPH NINO, age 84 of Orlando, passed on to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday evening, Sept 9, 2007 after a 2 1/2 year battle with lung and brain cancer.

Mr. Basile was born in the Bronx, New York on July 12, 1923 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force for 22 years. He saw duty with the first wave of Allied occupation troops in Japan, something which he often described as a life-changing experience. His state-side duty stations included Korean and Viet Nam era service at Travis A.F.B. California, Biggs A.F.B. El Paso, Patrick A.F.B. Florida, Otis A.F.B. Cape Cod, and finally McCoy A.F.B. Orlando where he served from 1961 until retirement in 1968 as a MSGT.

While stationed in Denver in 1949, Joe met the love of his life, the former Lois Marie Workman; she served him lunch at the Walgreens and stole his heart. They were married in December of ’49 and shared life and love for more than 57 years.

Following his active duty days, Mr. Basile carried the mail for 19 years, most of that at Dixie Village in South Orlando. His column “Dixie Village Blues” ran regularly in the NALC newsletter; its humor, satire and oblique references to current events at the Branch made it a hit with his fellow letter carriers. Joe was known in the community as an avid bowler, a coin collector and an excellent cook.

Most of all, he was a very active and devoted member of Blessed Trinity CC in Orlando serving as an usher for close to 40 years. He was active in the Karios Movement as well and worked tirelessly in Prison Ministry at Orange County, Lake County and Volusia County jails for many years.

Mr. Basile was preceded in death by his parents, Santo and Maria Basile, brother Frank Basile, sisters Gaetana and Marion as well as his son Michael Lee Basile. He is survived by his loving wife Lois, sister Corrine Fetonti of New Rochelle, NY, sons Benjamin Lawrence and John Joseph of Orlando, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Joe was loved by many, especially his extended family and his fellow parishioners. His gentle spirit, great sense of humor and tireless service to his family and church will long be remembered.

There will be a viewing at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 4545 East Anderson Road, Orlando, from 6:30-8:30PM, Thursday, Sept. 13th. Mass of Christian Burial at Blessed Trinity at 10:30AM on Friday, Sept. 14th with Fr. Roland Nadeau officiating. Burial will follow at All Faiths Cemetery in Casselberry.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in his name to the MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando (407-648-3800) or to the Hospice of the Comforter (407-682-0808).

Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Sept. 13, 2007

National Fried Chicken Day is…

National Fried Chicken Day is…

This auspicious day is the perfect occasion for me to reflect on the importance of regularly consuming vast quantities of… well, of fried chicken, of course!

One of life’s mysteries which I cannot explain is that I’ve loved fried chicken for as long as I can remember even though it was never served a home.

That is just a bit weird, isn’t it?

And even though I eat if frequently, I don’t make it at home, either.

I know my way around the kitchen and make all kinds of other stuff. But not this life-giving delicacy.

As great as it is, it’s certainly true that frying this fowl at home is no light undertaking.

You need a Dutch oven, or at least a skillet with some serious depth to it.

And getting a good result means giving up a very considerable quantity of high-quality cooking oil, and not one of the cheaper ones. Peanut oil or coconut oil are preferred.

And then you’re left with a vast quantity of used oil. Yes, it’s not too different from the situation we shade-tree mechanics face when we’re thinking of changing our car’s oil in the driveway. And what to do with it after… yeah, that can be an issue.

So maybe I’m not the only one; maybe lots of lovers of what just might be America’s favorite dish head to KFC or Popeye’s in huge numbers but eschew tossing chicken pieces n’ parts in their skillets at home!

This wonderful feeling of relief, of knowing I’m not so different from my chicken-lovin’ friends, will buoy my spirits 30 minutes from now when I’m standing in that long line of hungry guests at that KFC right around the corner from me!

I wonder if they know what day it is?

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

It’s the 4th of July and this time…

It’s the 4th of July and this time…

It’s the 4th of July and this time our celebration is not like any other year in the 242 year history of our country.

The buffoon whose elevation to the highest office in the land occurred in January of 2017 has proved to be an unmitigated disaster for the USA. This #PoserPrez seems to spend all of his time watching Fox Noise, thinking of new ways to insult our allies and undo the considerable legacy of Barack Obama, all the while searching for new and disgusting strategies to cozy up to his man-crush, Vladimir Putin.

Well, when he’s not a Mar-a-Lago playing golf, that is.

There are so many dimensions to the tragedy unfolding in our corporate life today. As we come to the day on which we celebrate our Independence, it can be a challenge to choose exactly what it is about tRump and tRumpism that sucks the worst.

Is it his cruelty and arrogance? His hard-to-believe, near-total ignorance of the history of our nation? The fact that he knows less-than-zero about how the levers of government work?

Could it be the fact that he demonstrates no interest in carrying out the duties of the Presidency? Is it his complete and thoroughly-documented general incompetence?

Maybe it’s his constant lying, exaggerating, denying, minimizing and just completely making shit up?

Honestly, it’s hard to choose. Pick one. Keep in mind that my short list here is far from complete. Truthfully, I barely scratched the surface.

For me, it’s easy. It’s the fact that our #LyingLoserPrez is trying to march the country towards Fascism. All the signs are there. He is undermining the First Amendment’s protection of journalism, of a free press. He screams “fake news” whenever anyone in the media points out one of his constant lies or just refuses to flatter him sufficiently in their stories.

He is setting us up for a foray into fascism with his constant “other-rizing” of immigrants and minority groups, pushing them farther and farther to the edge of our society and making them vulnerable to having their rights limited or taken away altogether.

Our constitution mandates that everyone within the jurisdiction of the United States receives the protections it affords. Not only citizens. But our unPOTUS still feels perfectly at liberty to separate children from their parents, some of whom are as young as six months, and then lock them in cages; the few places we have been permitted to see where kids have been interned look startlingly like dog kennels.

And this is happening to families whose only crime is the misdemeanor of crossing the border illegally. That describes, roughly, 90% of the families and individuals who have been rounded up by ICE or the Border Patrol. If people crossing the border are asking for asylum, their coming to the U.S. is no crime at all! But they’re being interned and having their children taken anyway without a case being opened for their asylum request.

This would-be tyrant is also fond of ignoring the rule of law. Of acting as though the law of the land simply doesn’t apply to him. And–to compound the felony here–he believes that he has unfettered power to pardon, not only all his family and friends and staff who have engaged in criminal behavior along with him, but to pardon himself!

Right! That’s never been done in the United States. And wrap your mind around this stark reality: our President is claiming the right to pardon himself for crimes he keeps insisting he has not committed! It’s insane! And about 25% of the American people have no problem with it. Or any other criminal outrage coming from the accursed occupant of our White House.

So Happy 4th of July, patriot! Reflect on the unhappy state of our nation today. And resolve to defend Lady Liberty from the many crimes and outrages committed by this petty, corrupt madman. This thoroughly incompetent madman, at that!

And join your fellows in the resistance movement. If we don’t make common cause with one another and defend our once-great nation from this usurper, his enablers and minions, this 242nd celebration for America may be the last one where all her citizens enjoy the full rights and blessings granted them by the Constitution.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Lori Wilson Park might be…

Lori Wilson Park might be…

My fave park in Cocoa Beach is Lori Wilson Park, adjoining the beach. Right off A1A. And it just might be the the best spot in the very cool town of Cocoa Beach for outdoor freaks like me.

There are plenty of things to do and see in and around Cocoa Beach. I’ve seen quite a few of them. But I do keep returning to LWP over and over.

The banner photo is one I took a while back that I like a lot and has not been shared yet. I hope you like it.

 

Planning my next outdoor adventure, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Paul McCartney and James Corden…

Paul McCartney and James Corden…

There are several pretty good late night shows happening these days. I’m big on Late Night with Stephen Colbert. I like Seth Meyers, too.

I’ve enjoyed the little I’ve seen of James Corden who, as you may know, follows Colbert on CBS. I don’t think I’ve seen more than 30 minutes of the show, though, if you strung it all together.

I did take note that his Carpool Karaoke bit is popular and has featured some very able musicians. Some who’re definitely on my A List.

Well, this latest one is hella good! James got Paul McCartney for the latest installment!

Now, if you’ve read this far, I’m thinking you are a Beatles fan! That being so, I’m quite sure there’s no need for me to try and convince you that this video of Sir Paul and James Corden tooling around together through the streets of Liverpool is a very good use of the next 23 minutes of your life.

I’m sure all that’s necessary is for me to leave you this convenient link.

There you are. Enjoy the vid. It had this boomer and Beatles fan spellbound!

 

 

A Major fan of the Fab Four, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

PS: The episode of Carpool Karaoke was released on youtube on June 21st and is promoting Paul’s new album Egypt Station, slated for release in September.

 

Photo credit: if you’re the owner of this fab foto, please contact Ben

 

 

Farmhouse Rules is my new fave…

Farmhouse Rules is my new fave…

Loving the little “discovery” I made today! I’ve been enjoying several of the cooking shows on Create TV for a while. So many good ones; one I enjoy quite a bit is America’s Test Kitchen. I love that the dishes featured on that show are the hearty “real food” offerings that light up my culinary universe.

Well, I just happened to stumble across Farmhouse Rules on the food network today. Very cool show! It just might be my new fave! I like it a lot.

The show features chef and life-long farmhouse girl, Nancy Fuller, and her 250 year old family farm. (By the way, farmhouse girl is a tag that comes from Nancy herself.)

I like that the show emphasizes good, home-style cooking, is set on a real farm and features a lot of her own brood. The 13 grand kids, especially.

One of the reasons that this one really appeals to me is that it beautifully ties together two things that have become really important to me in the last few years: authentic, made-from-scratch American cuisine and small farming, or permaculture.

If you’ve seen Farmhouse Rules, you don’t need any convincing from me about how good it is. If you haven’t seen it and think you’d like to check it out, here’s the link to the site where can get the low-down on this fine offering from the Food Network.

May you feast on fine, fresh victuals today. And may the television programming you “consume” leave you nourished and enriched!

 

 

Renewing my firm commitment to stay away from junk TV, I am,

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Peter Pelican is cruising north

Peter Pelican is cruising north

When I get to the beach with that camera in my hand, I see a lot of gulls. They’re featured very prominently on this blog.

I don’t get pelicans that often. They’re faster than gulls and tend to dive-bomb a lot, so getting good shots of them is not such an easy assignment.

This one’s not so bad. So here is Pete. Yes, he’s northbound. Probably to the Cocoa Beach pier where his odds of finding something good to eat with minimal effort are quite good.

In the meantime, he makes for a pretty good pelican pic.

Thank you, Peter. Happy hunting.

 

Bulldog Ben

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile