Truths I Learned About Religion

God didn’t create religions, men did.

Men created and continue to set the rules governing behavior and practices dictated by a religious order, sect or organized religion.

What I learned about my own religion is that the Ten Commandments or the laws that God commanded that the Hebrews (or Israelites) were to follow were written by Moses on tablets of stone directly from the word of God on Mt Sinai. God, though a spirit is revealed to Moses in the male form or if you believe the scriptures God created man in his image.

The Torah and Jewish laws were written by men. The originals were passed down through history from person to person and it wasn’t written down till the Hebrews were exiled to Babylon after the Kingdom of Judea was conquered by the Babylonians.

Line Getting into Shapes

Second part of book “It Began With A Dot” here:

Line made up of dots played a game. Dot at head of line chased its tail

…till it caught it. Circle is a shape made from a line that is very round and begins and ends in the same place.

Circle could be many new things like a ball that could bounce or roll. What do you think circle could become?
While rolling one day, a big foot squished circle into an oval. Oval could no longer roll.
Oval could only wobble and became very sad.
Oval tried to widen its sides becoming a square. All four sides were equal in length. Square looked like a box made of four connecting straight lines.
Square broke up forming squares big and small. Squares decided to stack on top of each other to become a tower. And, best part is knocking it down.
Stretching, square reached to the clouds where its sides were longer than its top and bottom. Square was now a rectangle.
Rectangle high in the sky could see the world below. Spotted below was a mountain with a nice new shape on top.
Rectangle took away a side to become a triangle
Changing the lengths of its sides, triangle could transform into different triangles. But, no matter how big or small triangle became, it still was a triangle.
Triangle could have so much fun being this shape. Triangle could become a roof top or somebody’s hat. What else could a triangle become.
When triangle got tired of being this shape, it could become any other shape it wanted. A pentagon with five sides, a star, a cross or even a heart. Can you make a different shape?
Line discovered that the world is made of shapes. Can you find shapes in the picture. Or in the world about you?

It Began With A Dot

Dot

Wrote children’s story in college (around 1974) and performed it with puppets. It was part of a reading readiness program I developed for kindergarten and first graders. It was taught through art activities on color, lines, and shapes.

There was a Dot.
That could jump over rocks…
bounce up and down…
or roll down mountains.
It loved most of all to travel around the world.
But one day the little dot became very sad. It no longer enjoyed jumping over rocks or rolling down mountains. It was so sad that he began to cry.
One day, Dot took a walk and met another little dot just like himself.

They talked and soon became friends. Dot was no longer sad because now it had a friend.
Dot and friend became very close.
When on a walk Dot and friend met a new dot, very much like each other. Friendly Dots asked the new dot to join them. And, it did and so together the dots went on their merry way. They grew close.
As Dots traveled the world, they met many more dots who joined them.
The Dots were really close and were never apart. From far away the dots formed a line. Lines are made up of a bunch of dots close to each other. And as a line, the dots could do such marvelous things like…
going straight ahead…
or straight up in the sky…
or down toward the ground.
They could go across a page in slants.

Or, up and down together in a zigzag line.

Then they smoothed out their edges and looked like ocean waves or rolling hills.

The line could swerve and curve in all sorts of twists and turns.

Become very thin, or then very thick.

It could even get fancy and become a design,

or make a mess of lines going in every direction,

In their adventures they found many other lines just like themselves.

They found lines in a spiders web

and in the palm of a hand

They found that the branches of a tree were like lines going in every direction.

Can you help us find more lines?

Sports in White Plains: Past and Present

Keeping active, has always been the way White Plains (WP) rolled. Fishing, hunting and horse back riding were once necessities for bringing food to the table and to get around but as the community changed from an agricultural based economy, these activities became more leisurely as sporting activities.

During the colonial period, WP had a “commons” an open area that those in the village could use for a multiple of uses for play, space for animals to graze and the local militia to train. This area was along the Village St that is now Broadway. The lasting parts of this open space became Broadway Park and today is is known as Tibbits Park. With time the park has shrunk as the roadways that run in and out of them have expanded. Some of the former commons land are open space but not considered part of the park. A large section is found along Westchester Ave across from Tibbits from Main St to just south of Franklin Ave. Other areas can be found along North Broadway on both sides of the road. A large expansive area is near the Good Counsel Property.

Fishing in WP used to take place in many of our former and present streams, rivers and lakes but today it is a rarity. Licenses are required and most of the water places do not have fish to support the sport. Hook and Bullet website lists Silver Lake and Bloomingdale pond as fishing spots but Bloomingdale Pond is on Hospital land. Fishing areas are located outside the city and near by. Boating on Silver Lake is seasonal permitting kayaks at Liberty Park through the WP Recreation & Park Department (WPRPD).

Hunting, Horseback riding & even cross country skiing were once activities in WP. When the Gedney Farm Hotel ( from 1912) was around these were activities of the guests. Howard Willett also had horse jumpers.

There was a WP Recreation Commission from 1922 to 1938. Gedney Way building was the location then and used today by WP Recreation Dept. WP Schools and the WP Recreation & Park Department (WPRPD) from 1942 has participatory team and individual sports and exercise programs from all ages. WP schools also have required physical education and sports teams. See the City website for more info and for seasonal brochures.

WP Parks support a variety of sporting activities. Playgrounds are found throughout the City at schools and in some parks. Ice Skating is seasonally available at Ebersole Ring located at Delfino Park.

Westchester County has numerous parks bordering the City that support a variety of sporting activities. The County Center has sporting events that include indoor football and basketball.

Boxing:

City has private gyms: Westchester Boxing Club (220 Ferris Av), UFC Gym (25 S Broadway)

Biking:

White Plains has a number of bike lanes on its streets. City has bike racks by train station and others in City on Mamaroneck Ave and at Library. There is a bike/walking pathway along the Bronx River Parkway. Bike sharing 2018, Two companies; one pulled out soon after and Lime Bikes E bikes in 2019

Bowling:

White Plains used to have bowling alleys J&J Bowl on Post Rd and Post Bowl on Westchester Ave but that closed and was demolished when Stop & Shop was built.. Bowlmor Lanes (2015) (formerly White Plains Bowl) at 47 Tarrytown Rd is actually in Greenburgh.

Bocce ball

At Turnure Park (outdoor court)

Golf:

Westchester has a long history of golf and has one private club and one private. New York Presbyterian Hospital has a course (9 holes). Westchester Hills, Westchester County Saxon Woods (has driving range; miniature golf) and Westchester County Maple Moor.

Specialty Stores for Golf: Club Champion at City Center is a club fitter. GolfTEC (golf lessons) 190 E Post Rd. Tom Sutter Golf Academy 184 Chatterton Parkway. Complete Golfer 245 Main St

Pools:

White Plains has two outdoor pools in its parks and one indoor pool at WPHS. There are private pools available by membership at sports clubs.

Skating:

Ebersole Skating Ring (WPPD)

Tennis and Pickleball Courts:

Tennis and Pickleball courts are available in our parks and schools. WP Parks & Rec department has classes.

Private courts are available through club membership or on private courts.

Tennis Innovators Academy (Delfino Park).

Hiking, Jogging, Running & Walking:

School Tracks: WPHS, Highlands & Eastview. Hike on trails at Liberty Park into Silver Lake Preserve, Mamaroneck/Bryant Park, Ridgeway School and White Plains Harrington Gedney Trail. County has trails at Saxon Woods.

White Plains Hospital Mall Walkers: Mon. Wed & Thursday 9am-10am. at The Westchester. Registration is on Fashion level 2 (next to Old Navy) offering free parking. 914 681-2539.

The city has numerous indoor exercise/sports centers available to members.

Sporting Stores:

White Plains has had a number of retail stores selling sports gear and clothing: Peck’s Skate Shop (Lake St), Dicks Sporting Goods (The Source), Pedigree Ski Shop (Mamaroneck Ave) and Westchester Road Runner (179 E Post Rd), 44 Board (373 Mamaroneck Ave), Champs Sports (Galleria), Foot Locker (The Westchester & Galleria) and others.

Things To Do Near and Far from White Plains

One would never think White Plains (WP) was a tourist destination. Sure people come to the City for work, it’s courts, shopping and to go to school but, the City does attract people for events and other attractions.

New Years is an alternative to NYC’s Times Square event but some of its parades attract people from the south. St Patrick’s Day is one such event. After the parade, there are those who party at local bar restaurant.

There are many destinations that one can get to with a short ride or even a walk. NYC is a train ride away and is convenient from NWP as well as WP. Others might even use the Scarsdale/Hartsdale stations.

Westchester has major attractions that those in WP can partake. Playland in Rye is one destination. Westchester Country Parks are just a walk, bike or car ride away. Westchester County Center has many events and activates for residents. One can ride or walk along the Bronx River or a dip in the pool at Saxon Woods parks. Two golf clubs at County parks Maple Moor (under construction) and Saxon Woods.

Museums:

ArtsWestchester Gallery in White Plains

White Plains Art Gallery and Local History Room

Bruce Museum in Greenwich

Katonah Museum on Rt 22 and a visit to town by train is worth a look.

Hudson River Museum in Yonkers

(WPPL has passes to some museums in area and NYC)

Earth’s Natural Purge

The waste and destruction of the earth is a result of human over population. Our massive waste is polluting our lands and seas. Oxygen decreases in our oceans and the ingesting of pollutants by sea animals are killing sea life.

People live in places that put them in harms way from natural occurrence and trying to hold back nature but nature is fighting back. Fire, floods & changes in climate occur naturally but because the smartest animals on Earth do not know how to live in harmony with nature.

Body Drop

Chapter 1- Bodies at Scene

Bodies. Bodies were everywhere. They were laid out in a field surrounded by a wooded area. There was a pattern. Bodies laid out in circles inside one another.

“Wow, this is something,” John commented. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“I should hope not,” Mary his partner responded. “How many did they say?”

John flipped open his notebook. “Three to begin in the inner circle And, then going out, each circle has three more. There are six circles. Total sixty three. Bodies are head to toe. They go left from inside and then in the opposite direction going out with each circle. Outer circle heads go right.”

“So there’s a pattern.”

“Yeah, except the male female thing seems random.” John paused. “Thirty males; thirty three females. Ages seem all over the place but they’re just estimates.”

“Still strange, ” Mary interjected. “Clothing seems random. Some are dressed more formally while others are in everyday duds.”

“And, two have nothing. They’re all facing up though. But, then some have pieces of a wardrobe missing,” John went on. “The officer first to scene has a run down of everyone. Plenty of pics available. I send them to your phone.”

“They want to start bagging them up, ” Mary said pointing to those just outside circle. “It’s going to rain soon.”

“I think I’ve seen enough. The smell is too much.” John concluded.

They were wearing full head masks but they didn’t help much. John backed away and Mary followed. The field was mostly grass. After walking around the perimeter of the circles, John and Mary split up to examine the woods. As they entered the woods where there was markings, the process of removing bodies began. Each body was to be traced before bagging. The process might take a while.

Detectives Mary Knolls and John Taylor entered the area that officers marked as the most likely way the bodies were brought into the field. Mary went first following a trail of markers to what looked like a dirt road that hadn’t gotten much use in recent years. There were some tire marks. The officers had taken a cast and photographed the tracks Mary took a few shots on her phone..

“Looks like someone had tried to erase some of the tracks. I’d say it was at least two people who did this. It doesn’t appear the bodies were dragged,” John stated. “Tire tracks indicate a truck and with that many bodies it would make sense.”

“Where does this road go?” Mary asked.

“Leads to Miller Hill, “John told her. “Its a public road. But, there’s no homes or known structures near by. Road gets little traffic. Area is mostly used by hikers like the ones who discovered the bodies. They went home so we will have to give them a visit.”

“Why did they call us for this?” Mary asked.

“What’s that?”

“Maybe, we’re just a bunch of suckers?”

“No, not this time. Think its because we have a a history.”

“What history?”

“For solving some a weird case,” John laughed. “Once you get a strange one, it kinda sets you up.”

“The Simon case?”

“Yeah. Everyone thought aliens were involved, and you’d gotta think the same. That one was unexplainable.”

“Until we made sense of it. This one will take like forever just to sort through all that body evidence.” Mary turned to go back.

“It sucks but you’ve gotta admit. We got a lot of press. We were everywhere.”

“I remember,” Mary walked on with John catching up to her. “I got a call from my nephew in California. He wanted information for a school thing.”

Back at the field, the two went to their car. John got in the driver’s side. They had to make their way through wild bush till they picked up a dirt road. This was the way the hikers had come so everything was rough going till they got back to the paved road that they had come to spot. It was another part of Miller Hill Rd.

“Miller Hill’s a long roadway. It goes around the area we were in,” Mary stated looking up from her phone. John nodded as he drove on.

“Where were the hiker’s parked?”

“Where we came out. Finding the bodies ended their hike,” he said. “It was the smell. Both of them lost their breakfast.”

“I understand. Glad they told us to bring haze masks. I would lost mine,” she cringed putting her phone away.

As John drove he pointed out the connecting road to the one that they had been on. “That’s where they say the truck came out onto Miller.”

“Should we take a look?”

“Nothing to see really. There are pictures they took but no tracks,” John said as they passed the intersection. “There was nothing else on the road either.”

“This is going to give me a headache,” Mary moaned.

“I have aspirin in the glove compartment.”

“Thanks, but I’ll hold off for now. But, good to know,” Mary said. Should we call those hikers or should we go back to office?”

“Go back to office,” John stated. I want to look at everything we got so far first.”

“Good point,” Mary agreed. “I could use some coffee.”

“Coffee? I could use a drink.”

“We’re still on duty,” Mary reminded him.

“I know but its how I feel. I’ll stop at the Deli before going in”

———-to be continued———–

Getting Back

will we ever get back

to the world we knew

or will we have to to wait to be together

till we’re on the other side?

Will we ever get back

to the way things were

Waiting it out is filled with pain

Promise me that we will get back together

Before we reach the other side

Breaking Barriers

Overcoming barriers to our survival are often up to us. The choices and decisions we make are often up to us. But often it is our minds or physical ability that prevent us from taking action. Our emotions and physical limitations often get in the way when trying to surviving the most difficult and challenging circumstances. “You are what you eat but you become what you think.”

Physical geographical and social barriers will always exist but in the end, we all have the power within ourselves to overcome the things that hold us back. Sure it is hard and takes strong will power.

I don’t like the obstacles that our world created by the powers that hold us back. God didn’t create religions, men did and did so to control people especially women. People wear clothes like they are barriers. Head gear and even hair styles can create barriers holding people back in poverty, ignorance and obtaining their full potential.

Language is a barrier. Tower of Babble. People refusing to speak or learn the language of the areas they live in becomes a barrier that separates them. People living in my area often refuse to learn their prominent language. Learning English often helps people to mix and help one another.

One can often learn to live within the limitations by learning to get around them.

People often give up and engage in risky behaviors that make things more difficult to overcome. It is those behaviors that often impede people to make progress and unfortunately others are harmed and held back. Children are often swept up in this cycle.

The Dollhouse

Thoughts for this story was a play, musical or a novel. A Doll Shop robbery in NYC results in the death of its elderly proprietor who falls down steps that come into shop from an apartment above. The only thing stolen is a dollhouse that is actually a model of a house. The mystery is why the house was stolen and whether the proprietor was murder or just an accident. The police ask for help from an expert on the houses’ architect. The actual house is in Westchester suburb and the house is undergoing major renovations. But, what is the connection if any?

Chapter 1- A Murder Mystery

Brrr, brrr, brrr….

It was the phone. Who the hell was calling at this hour? And, in the middle of a pandemic for gods sake? And, on my land phone. The one I keep in my office. I stumbled about in the dark till I reached my office. It was down the hall from my bedroom. With the lights on I uncovered the phone buried under a bunch of papers, books and other stuff. Everything scattered as I retrieved the headset. The ringing had continued incessantly till I got to it. The phone was dated with no answering machine attachment. I kept it mostly for emergencies and don’t give the number out anymore. I had no clue who would be calling me on the line or even at this hour. It was 12am.

“Hey, what’s up?” I said to the caller after putting the headset to my ear.

“It’s Ray,” the voice on the other end said.

“Ray?” I paused to think. “Ray? Oh, not Ray Cohen?”

“Yeah, its me. Your old partner,” Ray began. “I need your help.”

“You’ve got to be kidding. Right? I’ve been off the force for a decade.”

“I’ve got a case I need your help with.”

“What the fuck can that possibility be about?”

“A dollhouse. I need help with a dollhouse. Well, its not exactly a dollhouse but a replica of a house. A house designed by Andrew McKee to be exact.”

“Andrew McKee? The architect? You couldn’t have Googled that?

“I did but I got nothing I could use. And, then I remembered your hobbies. As you would call them. You used to dabble in stuff, like architecture and stuff like that.”

“Yeah, I still do but what’s so important about this house.”

“It was stolen from a shop in the Village. But, there’s more to it. The owner is dead. We’re investigating a possible robbery-murder. I know it’s a bother and late and all… but I’m stuck.”

“At this hour?”

” Well, we’re all still here at the scene. Wondering if you come… to the scene…while its fresh?”

“You’ve got to be crazy? Where is it, you said?”

“I’ve sent a car to pick you up.”

“Well, in that case, I guess I better come. My building has no man bellman. Have them ring me when they get here on my cell. Do you have it?”

‘”No, what is it?

After giving him my cell number, I hung up to get dressed. After grabbing my cell, wallet and a small note book I took the elevator down to the lobby. A few minutes later the officer sent to pick me up phoned me. Ray must have known I would come all along. The streets were deserted and few cars were about. The marked car and officer were waiting by the hydrant that was in front of my building.

I am a retired police officer for 10 years now. I still dabble in quite a few things besides architecture. Art, literature and history were all interests of mine. I keep a blog on my discoveries. I happen to know a lot about Andrew McKee. He was an architect of multiple brownstones, small apartment buildings and an assortment of single residential homes in the City near by..

The ride to the scene brought us to Greenwich Village. We had the roads mostly to ourselves so we made good time. I used the time to catch up on my phone messages.

When I arrived, I was given booties and protective gear including gloves and a face mask. The shop was in the basement part of the building. There were apartment units above the shop with Doll Shop & Hospital. There were steps down to the shop where I was escorted in. I found Ray in the center of the shop talking to a younger woman.

“Oh, good. You’re here. Miss Jones this Joe Greyson, a consultant on the case.”

“Consultant?” I inquired.

” He knows a bit about the architect.”

Miss Jones seemed to brighten up at that.

“Oh, that’s a good thing. The dollhouse was important to Miss Raburn.”

“Do you pictures of the house?”

“Yes, there’s a whole file,” she said and picked up a file from a counter. “Everything’s in this.”

“That’s great,” I said as I took the folder. It was full all right.

“That’s great then,” Ray said wiping his hands together. “Do you have any questions Joe other than that?”

“Not, right now. I’ll take this home if you don’t mind.”

“I would appreciate getting it back when you get a chance to view everything,” Ray said to me and then to Miss Jones “Thanks for staying. You are free to go home for now. We’ll call you if anything comes up.”

At that Miss Jones put her coat on and head to the door.

——to be continued——

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