My Mom and Cary Grant

My mother was an elegant woman. Highly educated, quite beautiful and she had this casual, elegant way of moving that caused even total strangers to tell her how graceful she appeared. Her name was Diane Clara, and, I lost her 16 years ago. Indeed, I still miss her, especially our weekly phone calls. It never mattered what day I called, or time, she somehow knew when I would and was right there by the phone. Her favorite place to visit was Denmark. She loved to get over there as often as she could, and it was the return flight back to New York City that is the source for this fun story. She and my dad were flying back, and, he had been able to get the two bulkhead seats. This was several year

Our Plane Broke

And then our pilot said, "Prepare for a possible crash landing!" That is a sentence I hoped I would never hear while flying, but there it was, and there we were, in some serious trouble onboard a broken airplane. I was travelling with the XX Airlift Squadron out of Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, California. We were based, in Christchurch, New Zealand, flying missions down to McMurdo Base in Antarctica. Primarily these flights were to carry scientists and cargo down to McMurdo and bring back returning personnel and garbage. Nothing that did not belong in Antarctica in the first place is ever left behind. McMurdo sits on a small island in the Ross Sea, about 800 miles from the South Po

Remembering an Amazing Heart

A few years ago, while I was planning my escape from Los Angles and I chose Florida to move to, little did I know that I would have the rare opportunity to meet such truly wonderful people here. I do not mention this in jest. I have always preferred to be alone. Shortly after I arrived here, I was able to meet a group of ladies in Sarasota, who turned out to be just a wonderful group of gal pals. For the majority of my life, I have lived alone. That has been my preferred way of existing for many decades. This group of ladies I met, did not care. They accepted me into their group just as I was. They all loved most of them met while volunteering at the Humane Society. No one ever

Entering the Mind of a Killer

Netflix released on Friday, October 13th, its highly anticipated show called MINDHUNTER. The series, brought to us by David Fincher and Charlize Theron is a slick production that examines the development of the FBI's Serial Killer Unit in the 1970s. This actually happened when agents John E. Douglas and Robert K. Ressler interviewed some of the most notorious serial killers behind bars to gain insight into why they killed the way they did. In the show, real life killers Ed Kemper, Richard Speck, Dennis Rader (BTK) and Jerry Brudos are portrayed by very talented actors who are able to show us the unique, quirky behaviors that each man possesses, while at the same time, helping the agents in

Is This What Cleopatra Saw?

I stood there, absolutely frozen in place, because I was sure if I even breathed I was dead. There was a cobra, a real live cobra, hood spread out and shaking slightly, just staring at me from a few feet away. Nothing between us but air. The conflict between fight and flight was raging behind my eyeballs like a small nuclear war. I could not decide what to do; run or what…what? Confront the snake? A cobra? That did not seem like a viable alternative. Never in my wildest dreams did I picture this being part of this day, or any day. I’m pretty sure the snake didn’t think that far ahead. At the turn of the 1990’s, in Los Angeles, I was working on a large painting for Greenpeace, and, was adding


Monday morning today started as pretty much every morning does for me. I stood out on the front deck in the dim, gray light just before sunrise, waiting for the dogs to come back inside. I put the TV on to get a peek at what the world is doing. Watching the news is something I avoid because 1) it can be so depressing and 2) there is nothing I can do about it. I was not prepared for this. Who could be? The lead story of the day though absolutely rocked me, and, brought me to tears imagining the terror that had unfolded just a few hours earlier. Who is Stephen Paddock and WHY on earth would he open fire on a concert? By his position, way up high from inside the Mandalay Bay hotel, this reminde

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The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated - Mahatma Ghandi

©  Briar Lee Mitchell, 2014