Village Times January 2024


Independence Village of Olde Raleigh Resident Newsletter


  • Everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work.
  • The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
  • You feel like the night after, and you haven’t been anywhere.
  • You’re still chasing women, but can’t remember why.
  • Your little black book contains names ending in M.D.
  • You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.
  • Your favorite part of the newspaper is “25 years ago”.
  • You turn out the lights for economic reasons rather than romantic.
  • You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it rocking.
  • Your knees buckle and your belt won’t.
  • You burn the midnight oil until 9:00 p.m.
  • Your back goes out more often than you do.
  • You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.


Resident Ramblings

Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter represents the views and opinions of the original creators of such information and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Independence Village nor does it constitute an endorsement by Independence Village or its affiliates of such information.

Eevee’s Story – by Phyllis Woolley

Hello my peoples! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Mine was okay, but would have been better if Mom hadn’t been gallivanting all over the place. 

   It all started on Friday night, December 22,2023. I was sleeping in Mom’s lap and someone knocked on the door. Mom yelled “Come in!” and I yelled “Come back after my nap!” Well, they listened to Mom. In came four of my second cousins and two of my first cousins! There was hugging and kissing and all that other yucky stuff about love and missing people. Didn’t look like anybody was missing to me! Looked like the whole city of Louisville came to see Mom!  I checked them all out by sniffing and rubbing on their legs and feet. They were okay, I guess, but one I really recognized. When Mom lived in Louisville, he was my go-to when Mom wasn’t around. It was Jorden!! Where had he been? I also knew my Lukas and Hannah! “Don’t touch me! Not any of you.” I whispered. They all smelled like DOG! Golden Retriever as a matter of fact! Allison said “Romeo” was in the car with Steve, his Daddy. Oh goodness, it WAS the whole city of Louisville, plus a Golden Retriever. 

   While Jorden was making hot chocolate, I checked Ella out. She was new and sat a little too close to MY Jorden. She smelled nice and was really pretty and quiet.  I wanted to like her, but my jealousy took over. Every time she tried to pet me, I slapped her hand. He is MY Jorden and she needed to understand. Jorden wasn’t a young teenager anymore. He is a man. It made me cry in my heart a little. 

   They didn’t stay long because it was late. They said they would be back to get Mom when the morning came. And they were! Mom said she would be back later and she was. She smelled like Biscuitville and Outback, People food!

   The next morning, Uncle Tony and Aunt Laura came over. Mom got dressed up real pretty in a sparkly blouse and new slacks Aunt Laura and Uncle Tony gave her. Then they left!! Mom said she would be back the next day. It was like Miss Wanda had put a revolving door on our apartment. I was starting to get dizzy.  If Mom got dizzy and falled down there was going to be trouble. I have been working hard to keep her off the floor!

   The next day, Mom came home and we took a nap! It was close to supper time when there was another knock on the door! It was the Louisville In-laws again, but only three of them, Allison, Steve and Hannah. They came to get Mom again! The said they were going to pick up Chinese and play some board games, and that Mom would be back later. Mom doesn’t even have a passport. So I knew it would be much later if at all! 

   Mom came home late on Christmas night. They must have made a quick trip.  The Louisville in-laws said they would be leaving the next morning. They were all sad – so was Mom! I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Mom say she had a wonderful weekend!! How? She did not spend the whole time with me.  Happy New Year my peoples! I love you all!  Toodles💕💕🐈

The Mycenean Mystery – by Richard Smalto

    The Mycenaean civilization flourished in the Late Bronze Age. Mycenae’s true origins are unknown. Perseus, the son of Zeus, founded Mycenae. When Perseus left for greater glory, he instructed Cyclops to build the walls of Mycenae with stones no human could lift. Mycenae is best known as the city of King Agamemnon who led the expedition against Troy, a place Homer described in the Iliad as “rich in gold.”

   The Mycenaean civilization inspired Classical Greek culture and made a lasting impression on them from the 8th century BCE onwards.  It was a golden age when people respected the gods, and warriors, larger than life, performing heroic feats in a world less complicated. Legendary names like Agamemnon, Menelaus, Achilles and Odysseus – all Mycenaean Greeks – would be given immortal life on pottery and in epic poems such as the Iliad.     

What caused the destruction of Mycenae is uncertain.

   Suggestions from scholars to explain the general collapse of the Mycenaean culture include natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanic explosions, and tsunami), overpopulation, internal social and political unrest, invasion from foreign tribes such as the Sea Peoples, regional climate change or a combination of some or all of these factors. What historians call the ‘Dark Ages’ began, in the ancient Aegean and the Mediterranean with the mysterious end of the Mycenaean civilization and the Bronze Age,  

   Immanuel Velikovsky, a doctor of medicine and psychiatry, a scholar of cosmology, astronomy, geology and mythology and friend of Albert Einstein suggested that a close encounter between two celestial bodies, Venus and Mars, caused the destruction of the Mycenean civilization and the mass migration of human beings out of Asia Minor into the different parts of the European continent.

   One of the first visible signs of this encounter, was the reddening of the earth caused by a dust that settled on its surface, in the middle of a millennium, before the present era.  It was these soluble iron oxide particles that gave a sea the name Red even though its waters were deep blue. The presence of the rust-colored pigment is what caused Egyptian authors to claim “Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.” 

   Velikovsky could be wrong, but if so, then he surely must be counted among the very luckiest researchers to have ever authored a book, given the sheer number of his predictions that have turned out to be true.

Love At First Sight – (Science Fiction by Frank Howes)

Chapter 2: Djinni

That evening Richard went outside and looked up. The Gemini-1 night sky fascinated him. Two “moons” hung in the stars. One was a true moon, Luna. It was named after the ancient earth moon destroyed in the Galaxy War – what some people called the “Last War,” what others called the “Lasting War.” This war, like so many others, had started in the middle east.

   Richard continued to look up at the velvety night sky. He saw the other moon, Gemini l’s twin, Gemini-2 pasted against the darkness.

   Richard saw Patrick, the troupe director, walking by and told him, “I’m going for a walk along the beach.”

   Patrick said, “Go ahead.”

   Richard took a flashlight and walked to the cliff top overlooking the beach. An iron railing ran along the edge of the cliff. Two hundred and fifty feet below him he saw people with lanterns moving purposefully along the beach. He couldn’t tell what they were doing because of the height and distance, but they appeared to be cutting the seaweed and loading it into carts. He wondered why they were doing this in the dark.

   He looked for a way to get down but saw no path. Then, about a quarter of a mile to his far left, he noticed a heavy-duty elevator fixed on rails. It carried loaded carts to a warehouse, where laughing workers unloaded them and then returned them to the beach. He walked over to the warehouse. No guard was posted, so he walked right in.

   He smelled a salty iodine odor. He went over to the head of the elevator rail system and saw a guard. He asked, “Can I get a ride down to the beach?”

   “Sure, but don’t stay long, tide turns in about an hour.”

   “Thanks.” There were no seats, so Richard stood on the elevator. He figured he had plenty of time because, strangely, the ocean was far in the distance. When he got off at the bottom, he noticed people looking at him strangely, but no one said anything. Richard got off the elevator and strolled over sand and rocks that had been cleared of seaweed. The seaweed was hacked down to stumps 1-2 inches in diameter.

   He got to the edge of the cleared area and began picking his way through the limp seaweed lying at his feet. One of the harvesters turned his way but said nothing.

   When he was 20 feet into the seaweed the harvester said, “Damn fool, come out-a there!” Richard didn’t understand, but he turned and started back to the harvested area. He’d gone only a few feet when he stepped on one of the strands of seaweed. It immediately snapped upward and wrapped its tendrils around Richard’s ankles.

   “Idiot! Don’t move! You’ll fall and get wrapped up!” The harvester started carefully negotiating his way through the seaweed. When the he got to Richard, he took a machete and chopped through the seaweed that ensnared Richard. Then he carefully led Richard to the edge of the harvested area.

   “You must be from off-planet. Klep gets off-planets all the time?”


   “Klep. We call it klep. It’s a man-eating kelp, and it’ll clap onto you like a claw-trap.”


   “You don’t know nothin’ do you? A claw is a big animal with sharp teeth and claws. It’ll eat anything. A claw-trap is what the trappers use to catch it. Strong, those things are.”

   “The traps or the claws?”

   “Both. The traps have to be strong to hold ’em. Once, a man tried to chain a claw and teach him to dance like a bear. The claw broke the chain and ate him.”

   “Are there lots of dangerous things on Gemini-1?”

   “You really don’t know nothing,’ do you? Don’t go outside town without a local. The things that don’t eat you will poison you. There are other meat-eating plants besides the klep. Especially stay off the beach.”

   “Why don’t you tell strangers about this stuff?”

   “We try! We had a welcome meeting for ya’ll yesterday, but nobody came. Big mistake. In the towns and the mines Djinni is well-guarded and secure. But never forget Djinni’s reputation. Outside settled areas, Djinni is a big black hole where you can vanish in a few minutes.”

   “Djinni?” Richard had never heard the name before.

   “Gemini-1, you darn fool!”

   “Why do you call it Djinni?”

   “Because it’s so darn beautiful, like a lovely garden, but it’s as treacherous as a hungry whore!”

   Richard changed the subject. “Would you be willing to hold another meeting? I’ll see if I can get people to show up.”

   “I’ll ask the perfessor. I don’t see why not. Set it up for 0800 tomorrow. I’ll get the perfessor to be there.”

 Emma Lazarus & the Statue of Liberty – by Pat Simpson

   The United States experienced major waves of immigration during the colonial era, the first part of the 19th century and from the 1880s to 1920. Many immigrants came to America seeking greater economic opportunity, while some, such as the Pilgrims in the early 1600s, arrived in search of religious freedom.

I once watched a PBS documentary about the Statue of Liberty. To PBS’s credit, the plaque at its base was read verbatim. However, no mention was made of its author, Emma Lazarus, who was a major Jewish American literary figure born in New York City.

   So I will; I feel I must because – as it turned out – my gentile daughter married into a family with Jewish roots. It happened at a time in my life when I was busily researching our own family tree. After her first son was born, I wanted to learn all I could about his roots. So, I set about meeting with his other grandmother, who handed me a book and said, “There’s a four-page genealogical chart in the beginning of it. My parents and Emma Lazarus are both on it, but I’ve never been able to make the connection. Maybe you can.” With that, she gave me a copy of The Grandees: America’s Sephardic Elite by Stephen Birmingham (Syracuse University Press, 1971).

   I took the challenge. After a lengthy study of my own, I finally made the connection; I traced my grandson’s ancestors twelve generations up the family tree to Moses Raphael Levy (1665– 1728) and then back down eight generations to Emma Lazarus. In the process I felt as if I’d gotten to know Emma Lazarus as a real person. She was a descendent of Sephardic Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition who arrived in America even before the American Revolution – her father could trace his ancestry back to the first twenty-three Jews who settled in New York in 1654 on the “Jewish Mayflower.”

   But this all changed in the early 1880s when she first met Eastern European refugees escaping from Russia’s vicious anti-Semitic pogroms. It was bad enough that they were poor, sick, and uneducated, but worse; many American Jews in Emma’s own social circles seemed embarrassed by the unsophisticated Jewish refugees. They didn’t want to associate with these “different Jews.”

   This infuriated Emma and awakened within her a renewed commitment to Judaism. Already an important figure in New York’s elite literary circles, she began to write passionate Jewish poems and essays and personally helped refugees with money, food, clothing and even training. She wrote “The New Colossus” in 1883 for a fundraiser auction to build a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. This sonnet (“Give me your tired, your poor, /Your huddled masses …”), in which America is depicted as the golden land of hope and opportunity for the oppressed, was auctioned in a benefit sale for $21,500, a sum unheard-of for a short piece of poetry. Emma Lazarus died only four years later, at the age of 38, most likely from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In 1903, her poem was engraved on a metal plaque, and attached to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

   The statue also soon became and has endured as a symbol of the migration of people from many countries into the United States even today, as the majority of the country’s immigrants hail from Asia and Latin America.

   My two grandsons were born into a great family, indeed!

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!