Goodbye Emily: my review


Goodbye Emily


Michael Murphy



Three young men created their own history in 1969 when they decided to attend a monumental and historical event called Woodstock. The memories precious, the songs, music and experiences a once in a lifetime occurrence where so many gathered to sings, search and hope for peace and enlighten the word to the many social, environmental and political causes of the times. Creative and freedom of expression has often been stifled but this event was so remarkable so amazing that those that attended would never forget what they saw and experienced. Meet Sparky, Buck and Josh, three close friends yet somehow strangers now who will take you back in time along with author Michael Murphy to a time when smoking joints, marijuana, drinking, living free and just enjoying life was more than just a pastime it was a way of life. Goodbye Emily is a novel that reminds us of how precious friendships are and how going back in time, remembering someone that was dear to us will help us deal with the life we forgot we still have in the present.

There is much more to this novel than just going to Woodstock and remembering the past. It is about a woman named Emily that meant more than the world to a Professor named Walt, his feelings of loss, despair and sadness associated with losing a spouse and not really knowing or having a real direction to move on. With a daughter that cares for him, encourages him to get out and do more than just smoke, drink and waste away his life, Walt needs to reassess not only his health which is in dire need or repair, his diet, his mental attitude but his personal goals in life. A trip to the doctor or ER proved to be quite enlightening and the end result made him realize he needed to make some changes or it might cost him his life. Deciding to make that list of life’s stresses suggested by the doctor, he decides to see an old friend, settle their differences and find out the answer to one question that has been bothering him for too long.  When one friendship was renewed another would remain unsettled until two old friends decide to find out what happened to the third member team or in this case their band. Josh is the third friend and like my mom he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which brings along with it a death sentence to the patient. Slowly and methodically this illness wears away at the brain if its intended victim showing absolutely no mercy. But, when family and friends like Buck and Walt come to see Josh at the assisted living where he now lives, it does make a difference and the sight of familiar faces, although they might not always recognize you does make a difference. Walt and Buck find different meaning in seeing Josh and what Walt realizes opens his own eyes to what he must do for himself.


Woodstock Music and Art Fair was amazing and for those that saw the billboards they were titled: “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” from August 15-18, 1969. Imagine the crowds, the scents in the air, and the music of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and many more. So, what would happen if these three friends decided to do it all over again? But, first the author takes us back to when Emily and Walt meet and allows the reader to experience their time at Woodstock, their romance and their life together. Then a special teenage girl comes into his life wanting to jam or play guitar with him and things change for Walt.  Added in the job that he loved so much and was fired from has been reoffered to him again with many more responsibilities and salary. Just what he will do still remains to be seen.


Heather is a special teen and her mom; Meagan seems to have the right personality to deal with Walt. Living next door to someone does not make you their friend when you isolate yourself from the world and much more. As Walt has exactly 24 hours to show his daughter that he can fend for himself, eat properly hoping she will take the job she was offered and not worry about him. So, off to try the treadmill and his first effort at exercising as the author takes the reader back in time to Woodstock and Emily once again. The music, the artists, the drugs, the smoking and the love all embraced them both.


Three steps ahead yet one immovable as Walt, Buck and Heather manage to rekindle some of Josh’s memories with their music. Dealing with Alzheimer’s I know it has no cure but long memories can often come to light and for a short time the person just might have a great memory from their past. Not withstanding what the doctor at the facility said and not wanting to give up Walt decides to convince Buck to revisit Woodstock and find a way to bring Josh too. Just how they are going to pull this off you just won’t believe and will he convince his daughter that he has changed his ways, get rid of the bourbon first.


Reliving a special experience with Emily, the knowledge that she might be involved with someone else, the altercation with her friend Crystal and the hope of a future together as the present comes back into focus. Then, the memories, the shrine in his home and finally coming face to face with some realities as he finally agrees to take Emily’s ashes off the mantle and scatter them in Bethel at the site of the festival where it all began.


Taking Josh for an outing and trying to help him remember proved great for him but not for both Sparky and Buck as Josh’s mother refused to understand the good in their intentions. The end result was more than just a confrontation and Walt/Sparky would not give up. Everyone needs to feel useful, productive and treated as if they understand and not the way she was treating Josh. So, how will they get him out to join them on their road trip? What will the final outcome be? As we relive Josh’s past, his dealings with drugs, acid and his journey back to the present where his neighbor’s condition begins to mirror his own. Then learning more about Emily, the note she left and his initial disappointment. The author flashes back to the past in his dreams and then often when he reflects in the present doing it in such a way making the events in the past and the present blend so evenly together and easy to follow. As once again we hear Emily’s voice when Walt refuses to give up and goes in search of finding her. Meeting her family and learning why she left and did not wait for his return endears her even more to him as we hear his voice in the present with his scheme to kidnap Josh and take him along with Cloe and Buck to Woodstock and finally say Goodbye to Emily but not before we find out what happens when they break Josh out, get help from someone within the facility and the group in a van that is definitely right up there with those from the 60’s takes a road trip that no one including the reader will ever forget. But, not everything is cut and dry or even black and white when Buck and Walt get Josh into the van the police on their tail, an APB out for their arrest if they do not return Josh to the home within two hours what happens will definitely bring more than just smiles to your face and help you understanding the true meaning of friendship. But sometimes those that appear to be your friends are not and the final result was not what he expected. Accused of kidnapping and arrested Sparky just wanted to do something for Josh and the end result of his efforts have yet to be decided but the trip in itself is really quite comical, fun and the Buck Naked Band: Can you hear the music of the sixties? Can you hear them play?


An ending that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile on your face as Sparky, Buck, Cloe, Lady, Josh and even more make their way one more time to relive those special three days. What happens and if they really succeed? What will the final note be in Josh’s life? A farewell so fitting you won’t believe the ending. Goodbye Emily: Peace Out !


Fran Lewis: Reviewer : Five Golden Songs from the 60’s and One Gold Peace Sign.













What In This World

What In This World

By Hollis N. Haskin


What in This World is a unique compilation of free-verse poems each telling its own unique story in its own special voice. From the start when you read the first poem Play you understand that there is no real profound message yet there might just be an underlying one within the each one as we look at the picture of the clown holding different globes. “Everyday should be a game. Who decided on serious is a serious does.”  This is an interesting way to begin a poem and quite a profound thought if you really think about it. Amazing how the author continues with how many live within the shadows of shame and yet we should all come into the light and allow ourselves to shine. Continuing with different and unique ways to play and enjoy the world, like the sky when the sun is beating down, or the flowers as you play or run in the grass or dealing with the wind as your enemy. Nature plays with us when it changes course and wreaks havoc why not do the same? Continuing with the fun she has just picking flowers or her nose running from allergies from pollen or just enjoying her pleasures even if they are dumb. Maybe if we all lightened up we might not be as stressed out as so many people are each day.

Relativity is the next free-verse poem. Look at the picture of the world with a mouse coming out of it as the author begins with her thoughts on time and how it speeds up and slows down. This might not seem so profound and it just might be meant to let us know that we are so caught up in the constraints of our days and dealing with getting places on time and doing things on time that we often lose sight of the beauty of the day and more important things. Time races away she is so right and she compares it to racing away like “bumper cars,” which collide into each other if you do not go on the right direction. She includes a discussion on space and then the definitions of undervalue and overvalue. Completing this section with a unique thought: Just how big are we compared to the stars: Which is larger or do we try to understand the stars or Us? Interesting!  Adults often take life too seriously and the author presents these views through the eyes of an adult recapping her youth and playful times. The next theme is Mystery. Look at the figure of the man trying to learn more about the world while but how? Life holds many mysteries and as the author writes not everything can be measured although we often try, a lock that opens one door will not open another. On page 23 she sums it up when she writes, “Fruits of life befuddle me dazzle me wanting too many gifts on the tree and twirl and sting and hang me up like bunting.” Life has many unexpected twists and turns and you do not always understand everything. The light woolen cloth used to make flags an unusual analogy. Touch is next in this theme and as she once again speaks about the wind or a breeze as something we can feel but it cannot feel us. Seasons is the next theme in this collection. The picture is great as you see the many season including salt and pepper giving the word multiple meanings. The Eskimo in the show, the swimmer or jogger, the children catching cold and of course the now covered tree. Beginning with January when the world turns white and the sky is grey kind of bleak. Yet, she finds something remarkable and positive about the beauty of snow. Next is April when the colors change and the world turns green followed by August. As you read about August you can feel the heat, the sweat and the warmth that is August and let’s not forget the humidity. A Haiku about the seasons next follows October. Can you smell the apple trees in the winder, the difference in the spring? The way the smells of nature awaken our senses you can feel the scents within the poem. New York City my favorite city is the next theme. Just look at the many globes within the maze created by the author, people of many races, and the footsteps above each walking to their many destinations. You can hear the sound of the trains, the screech of the wheels, the sirens, and the noises that we hear each day: that’s New York. The tunnels that seem to envelope us when driving through them, the coffee that starts our day, the buses, the streets, the people, the sound of the money as we place it in the box to pay for a fare as we enjoy the ride on a bus. The smells of the garbage that has not been picked up, the amazing art in the museums the special qualities that makes New York so unique. Followed by Love whose picture is priceless. A woman and her pet dog with the world around him so great and the stars that separate them as if they were coming from our flag. Love is a powerful emotion and sometime authors can get too mushy and tender when they describe this word. But, not in these poems as we start with her simple definition and how some express it. Telling the reader and anyone who listens that love will not come to you and you cannot expect it to show up at your door. I love how she compares it to a roll and would love to have a part of it. The different shades of love told in a unique way. She relates to the reader that Love is something you have to find and when you do it is amazing.



Ego: we all have one just like the woman in the picture that is definitely in love with herself as she stares into a mirror of herself and of course the world. She defines ego in a way that most would never think to do as she relates how people want to be looked at as the best, the cream and the one that truly stands out. Little Successes is a short poem in this theme. Next she deals with two emotions we all try to shy away from or deny: Doubt and Fear. The window frame and the person hiding says it all.

Her description of doubt, the senses that come into play and the title Unspoken Meal really says it all. The feelings that you have when you want to show the world you look your best and put your best foot forward, yet you don’t see yourself that way. Including how we all feel sometimes like staying in bed with the covers over our heads and just hiding from the world. But, in order to get out of bed we all need to get rid of being scared and afraid. Not so easy sometimes. Sleep has a picture what you have to really love with the world hiding underneath your bed, man with a headache and looking disheveled and in pain. Yet, the cat looks all-snug. This poem is really quite different and the comparisons are not what you would expect as she describes your mind at night trying to “gather scenes of a dream-to piece the puzzle.” Insomnia Insomnia I and II follow and many of us experience that. But, my favorite theme is the one we add dread AGE! The woman looks like an aging flower that has wilted with her wine glass, cigarette, long dress and her cats. The Card Game that many older people love to sit around and play gin rummy and still hold on to memories and want to feel young. The next theme is God followed by Man. Which seriously has a picture that is priceless of a man eating the world shaped like a chicken comparing life to a tiny slice of the truth. Everyone’s favorite weekday Friday and the last two themes Sin and Remorse. Remorse has a picture of a woman who loves life and commits sins and then looks like she wants to repent. You can read the last two themes to find out more about them yourself. After all the author wrote some really funny, thought provoking poems to make you smile and not take life so seriously. So, get the book and read the poems and share them with others.


Fran Lewis: reviewer


The Great Pyramid: My review

The Great Pyramid Mystery


New Discoveries Revealed


Author: Stephen S. Douglas



There are many mysteries that have been written where there is a murder, or some type of suspense where the reader is kept spellbound until the last page when the author reveals the killer. Other mysteries are not quite that simple to reveal, some require intense research, uncovering truths, theories and the history behind what may be one of the most unsolved mysteries in the world: Just when and where was the Great Pyramid built? Who built it? What was the purpose? How was it tied to the Great Famine and who is buried within its walls? But, these are just some of the questions that remain unanswered and that the author addresses in this book of many mysteries. The author asks the reader to ponder several things: First: The Sphinx as one of the keys to solving the mystery of the Great Pyramid. Second, the antiquity of this period in history and third the Great Pyramid being an attraction for all of the modern age. Finally, the mysterious shafts passing through the structure itself.


Every mystery needs clues in order for the investigator to solve it. Let’s start with the mystery itself. The Great Pyramid is one of the Seven Wonders of the World; as a matter of fact it is the first wonder. Believe it or not, this fact you might find fascinating, there are so many unanswered questions which many scientists have no real answers. For example just like a person’s date of birth that sometimes comes into question, the date of birth or when this great structure was guild is not really known. Next, just how come is it so large, why was it built to mathematical precision surpassing any other pyramid, what was the purpose of all of the strange passages, tiny shafts and hidden passages? The one question I find most compelling is Where is the mummy and the treasure? There are more questions that remain unanswered but with all mysteries some you will have to read and solve for yourself.


Two primary questions that will be discussed in detail are: Why was the exterior so grand and what was the purpose of the interior shafts and chambers? Next, the author discusses some interesting facts surrounding the pyramid, followed by some pointed questions on page 12 that will definitely entice the reader to want to learn more. Part three is most interesting which is the Dual Use Theory.  This book will explain in detail and propose that The Great Pyramid was designed for two specific purposes. Now, I bet that most people did not know that. First, it is a tomb but the second purpose might surprise many of you: A Silo! Yes, you read it right a silo. Let me elaborate for you. The original design was the tomb but there was a plan inside the plan. The Pharaoh at that time had a strong feeling or conviction you might say that a terrible feminine would come upon Egypt and the surrounding counties for many years. Smart, planning ahead and making sure that his people would not starve, the Dual Use Theory states the Great Pyramid of Giza believe it or not had two purposes. The first of course was the tomb and the second a temporary Grain Silo. The reasoning behind this, the fact that the Egyptian Pharaoh was not only a builder but also a good businessman is further revealed and discussed on page 13 and illustrated on page 14. Pharaoh Sneferu and his son Khufu are the two responsible and more information about them and their designs follows. Next, the author tells why it was built and references the bible, followed by the Time Line: When it was build? This section is quite interesting as there is much debate about when this was build, what dynasty and who built it. Within this section the connection is made to the Great Famine explaining about how collecting corn under the Pharaoh’s hand was the key connection that this was linked to the Great Famine.


Now, I am sure that you want to know just who build this great structure and why? So, who built this pyramid read pages 24-28 and solve the mystery yourself. Next, I just might reveal where it was built and help you fill in some of the clues but not all. Memphis was the capitol of the two lands at the time: Upper and Lower Egypt. The Giza Plateau the author states is ell north of the capitol and other burial pyramids. Next, the connection to the Sphinx, which was built around the same time as the pyramid. This is really quite interesting and I make a bet that after you read this book you will want to see it for yourself. The author writes that the location of this pyramid in Egypt on the African continent has created much discussion. Considered to be the center of the world and some think it has mystical power.


The exterior is the next section described followed by the interior or the pyramid. The author’s vivid description of the King’s Chamber brings it to life along with the Relieving Chamber and Queen’s Chamber.


Why did this structure have such a mysterious layout and what about the Corn Silos? Pages 42-50 describe this; the shafts followed by the basement chambers and the solor ships. You can read more about the chambers in this section and next the Grand Gallery which I will tell you more about.


The Grand Gallery is quite impressive and extends more than 25 feet upward in a grand fashion. The description is so magnificent you and the multiple chambers are so elaborate that you can visualize the entire gallery in your mind by the way the author describes it. The final part of this section describes the escape tunnel and much more.


Chapter Two begins with the Seven proposals: They are: The Dual Use theory, the silo and tomb design, direction connection between the Great Pyramid and the Great Famine. Fourth the escape Tunnel and fight the Relieving Chamber and Gallery. Sixth, the King and Queen Chambers and finally the Royal Pharaoh is still entombed at the bottom of the King’s Chamber with his buried treasures waiting. Now, I am sure it is the seventh that most will be interested in! Each of these seven proposals are discussed in detail on pages 78- 86 followed by The Experiment or proven Scientific method. Let’s get down to the really interesting part: Khufu’s Gold and the story.

The Pharaoh rose and realized that he needed to refocus his mission. The Captain of the Royal Guard approached him and the Pharaoh checked his survey sheets. The plans were for a plateau.  His Chief Butler was as good as new but his new Chief Baker was a definite improvement. Just what happened to the other one well you know what happens when you go against a Pharaoh? Now, he waited to see what his engineers would come up with.  His engineers and their so-called mathematics, and his magicians, mystics and their so-called sciences, his philosophers, astrologers, inventors, poets and seers all who were privileged to eat his good and provide council to the Royal Family.


If you remember the original mystery posed to you at the start of this book you will learn that the Pharaoh asked himself the same questions before proceeding: How big should the corn silos be? Remember he predicted the famine. Next, how to protect them, what style was vital. His dreams or visions brought to light his Divine Revelation that seven years of plenty would be followed by 7 of famine. Just think like any politician does that building trade routes, a plateau along the Nile River could increase revenue. Taxes or as they called them tariff taxes could be collected and more Egyptian Tradesman could buy in bulk. With more tariffs, more goods moving in the country just think how much money he could get and the huge potential for both political factions of Upper and Lower Egypt to Memphis. As the Chief Magician discusses his concerns for the silos and the design with the Pharaoh he hopes to live to complete his explanation. The Pharaoh wants something grand and magnificent to showcase the power of Egypt. Then, the magician spoke, as the engineers had not arrived. One pyramid for each of the seven years was the solution. But, something happens to change the complexion as someone has been killed but how? The author tells the story through the eyes of the soldiers as they arrive with the engineers and thieves kill one.


The story unfolds further and the Pharaoh learns about what happened to the engineer and then proceeds to learn more from two of the others. The design is discussed and the just how it differs from what we have learned before is quite interesting. This time they proposed a single silo and hopefully a great tower that will not fall over. You hear the voice of the engineers, the Pharaoh and what they hope to accomplish. Imagine if your life depended on the success of this project. Imagine what will happen if it fails. Imagine spending seven years in a dungeon or worse. What does happen and the reward you have to learn for yourself as the Pharaoh calls his project: The Great Pyramid. But, you know that things never go smoothly as there are rebels within the camp and then we learn more about the Queen as the Pharaoh learns about the idol worshippers. The idols as related to the Pharaoh are personal, gods in their own image and after their own imaginations. How do you think the Lord Pharaoh reacted to this? He could have stopped it but instead what he does lets the reader know that this man was not only a ruler but a wise and shrew businessman who profit from what others did. Informed that he had enemies within his court what would he do next? But, what happens next was not expected as one son looks on as his father’s life is ended. Just how this happens and why is another mystery you will have to read and learn for yourself. What does the new Pharaoh do to avenge his father’s death? Just how does this end and what about the famine?


The ending will keep you glued to the printed page as we learn what happens when two men fight and only one will survive. Just who wins and who dies  that is part of the fun of solving the mystery? What will be fate of the people of Egypt under the young Pharaoh? The Great Pyramid Mystery: Read it to learn the rest. You won’t be disappointed. The research is extensive and the author’s voice can be heard as he relates the entire story from start to finish.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer