Archive for the ‘holidays’ category

Brisket and Jelly Donuts

December 19, 2022

menorah1stThis morning my wife rolled out of bed at 7 am to put a brisket in the slow cooker. She then fed our cat and when he was done eating, she sent him in to wake me, which he did willingly. Twenty minutes later we were on our way to Star Donuts in Draper to pick up a half dozen jelly donuts. Now, I will tell you that as we venture into our late seventies, we don’t see 7 am very often. I do wake that early once a week to take care of cats at Best Friends Animal Society, but that is about it for early rising. So, did we have a sudden craving for Brisket and Jelly Donuts? Nope. It is the second night of Hannukah and we are having friends for a traditional Hannukah dinner. Jelly Donuts, you say? I’ll get to that in a minute. (more…)

Hannukah in Utah

December 5, 2021

menorah1According to, more than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully convert the people of Israel to Greek customs and religion.   Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the holy temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to God.   When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.   Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates this miracle.   Although Hanukkah is probably the best known Jewish holiday because of its proximity to Christmas, it is actually a lesser holiday on the Jewish religious calendar.   Still, many non-Jews (and retailers hoping to harvest some profits from Jews during the season) think of it as the Jewish Christmas.  This article from Yahoo! Lifestyle explains why it’s not.


The Return of Uncle Will

November 1, 2021

This is another mostly-true Day-After Halloween story.   I thought you might like to know what came of me and Uncle Will.

When I was fourteen … fourteen years three months, to be exact … I took a sudden interest in the contents of my father’s top dresser drawer.   It started simply enough.   Dad caught me smoking.    My Newport cigarettes, cleverly disguised in a Band-Aid box, went in the trash and the Zippo lighter I’d bought with 12 week’s allowance went in his dresser drawer.  I didn’t really like smoking all that much but the lighter was very cool with a dragon emblazoned on the side in red and black.    So, one Saturday night when I was baby-sitting my brother and sister, I decided I’d get it back.   And I discovered a treasure trove of my father’s keepsakes.    There were medals from the war and real bullets.   There was a (more…)

A Halloween Story – Uncle Will

October 31, 2021

I wrote this story for a Halloween meme back in 2010.   As they say in the movies these days, it is Based on a True Story.  Of course I took a little artistic license.  You know what that is, right?   Lying to entertain. Enjoy if you dare.

We’re going to see Uncle Will tomorrow. I hated those words. Uncle Will was my father’s uncle, a disabled veteran. He lived in one of the ramshackle brick residential buildings at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, which was about an hour’s drive from our house in East Haven. Visiting Uncle Will was worse than boring … it was creepy. His room was painted a pale institutional green but under the yellow light of the single incandescent bulb in the middle of the ceiling, it looked more like pea soup. The hallways smelled of hospital cooking, urine and disinfectant. His room added stale tobacco and an old man’s sweat to the mix. He’d be waiting for us in his wheelchair wearing khaki pants, scuffed military-issue shoes and an A-style undershirt, yellowed at the armpits. He’d force a smile when we walked in. Hi, Frank, he’d nod to my Dad. Hello, Florence, to my Mom. Who’s this big guy?, to me, every time, and I’d have to tell him, I’m Buddy. Frank’s son. As if he didn’t know. He’d extend a hand to shake, skeleton fingers covered with papery skin that I’d try to touch (more…)

A Halloween Story – Buttface Billy

October 30, 2021

It’s a tradition here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog to tell a spooky tale from my childhood on Halloween.  Like my stories Uncle Will and Good Will Haunting, Buttface Billy is based on events from my childhood and is entirely true … except for the parts that aren’t.

halloween sceneWhen I was I was in fourth grade, we moved to a new neighborhood in East Haven, Connecticut. My Dad had worked two jobs from virtually the day he got out of the Army to scrape together a down payment and would continue doing so to make the mortgage. It was a small nondescript ranch on a wooded lot in a neighborhood of nearly identical homes. Most everyone was the same age and from some degree of what my Mom called middle class. From where I sit now, it was all lower-middle class but back then it was heaven, particularly for 10 year old boy.  Behind our house was a hayfield ideal for pickup baseball or football games and beyond that, several miles of woods. And best of all, there were other kids, mostly boys and mostly my age. Yeah, there were some 12 year olds who liked to push around us younger kids, but back then, nobody talked about bullying unless someone really got hurt. Besides, at the end of the day, we all got along … pushing and shoving one day would be teaming up for a game of football the next. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2020

I got up this morning determined to post something for Thanksgiving,   I considered reviewing this year, then reflecting on the many things I’m grateful for.  But I am afraid that reviewing this year like no other would drown the spirit of the day.   SO.  I’ll simply say this … I am a lucky and thankful old codger.   And I want to wish everyone … EVERYONE … a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day.

High Altitude Challah

September 19, 2020

My wife, Muri, is Jewish. I am not, although I willingly tagged along through years of services, holidays and raising the kids Jewish. Now we are in Utah, not a place known as a destination for the diaspora. Fact: in 1899 there were 5000 Jews in Utah. In 2019, there were 5,560. See what I mean? 0.2 percent of the population. So, what do you think are the odds that the house across the alley from us in our new neighborhood would be a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man. Zilch, right? But it’s true and it has given us an instant bond, which is nice when you find yourself in a new home during a pandemic.


Happy. Merry. Utah.

December 26, 2019


I know many people worry about how we greet one another during this holiday season. Christians insist on Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. Some Jews are offended if someone wishes them Merry Christmas instead of Happy Chanukah. I don’t know anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa or Festivus (for the rest of us) but given human nature, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of them were offended by the incorrect holiday greeting. Personally, I am not offended by any greeting I receive at this time of year. I will take all the good wishes offered me, no questions asked.