Vichy Water – Author's Blog Just another WordPress weblog

September 9, 2013

A Personal Story About Fatherhood and Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ and Rutgers University Football. Hey it’s September. September 9, 2013

Filed under: November 2009 — Tags: , , , — earthood @ 1:15 pm



prodigal son and myself tailgating in new brunswick's olive branch

prodigal son and myself tailgating in New Brunswick’s Olive Branch


Please note; before plunging into this short article with pictures, I am a Rutgers alum so I wear the gear around the house and environs.


When I was a kid and the song ‘See You in September’ used to permeate the radio waves and make me depressed before I understood the etiology of the seasonal affected disorder. Simply, I just didn’t want to go back to school. It was too much fun playing baseball in the corner lot or street hockey with  hand-made sticks or going to the Roosevelt Theater on Clinton Avenue in Newark or waiting for the evening arrival of the Good Humor truck; Chocolate Éclair still my favorite.

Then a curious passage occurs; you watch rapid fire decades pass by and values and likes on Facebook and real life change. I now love the pomp and circumstance of college football; especially being on campus and tailgating and absorbing the myriad of energies, sights and sounds. I’ve observed being on a college campus is better than taking blood thinners. It may even play a role in obviating dementia; to be around and part of the Rutgers college scene; if only for a few Saturdays a month. In my writings for local Jersey media, I’ve become a huge fan of trying to extricate people from their sedentary sofas. Maybe the words here help extrication.



prodigal son and myself the night before the Pinstripe Bowl

prodigal son and myself the night before the Pinstripe Bowl





The following article I wrote for (and am sharing it now thanks to Hooplaha) to extol the virtues of fatherhood, football, bonding, and experiencing life with my son. The foundations and pathways we initiated back then still are in place today and have become part of the lives of two New Jersey guys; me and my son. And how Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ fits into the stream of consciousness makes for a little out of the mundane.





our first official team for beer pong.

our first official team for beer pong.

a father and son trip to arizona to the Insight Bowl followed by trip to Sedona Arizona

a father and son trip to Arizona to the Insight Bowl followed by trip to Sedona Arizona



Since fatherhood caught up to me when I turned 40, a few abstract thoughts came to mind like being forever young, living to 150 years; basically notions of finding ways to keep up with my son as he gets older (maybe I won’t). When he was ten years old (17 years ago), I took him to his first college football game at Rutgers to do some father-son bonding. The following year we got season tickets for all the major sports at Rutgers and we’re still going strong. Of course there is more to the institution of fatherhood for me. I’ve been working hard at it for reasons like the essence of this article.

Seven years ago my son was a college sophomore; living in the dorm and had just become a member of a fraternity (the same one I joined a few weeks after Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston to win boxing’s Heavyweight Championship in 1964).  One Wednesday, my son called and asked what I was doing Saturday night and if I wasn’t busy, I should come down to the fraternity  house and hang with him and the guys. There was no hesitation. “What time? Should I come straight to the frat house?” I instantaneously knew what my son’s invitation meant to me and our relationship since the day he was born. I also thought about meeting real life movie ‘Animal House’ characters and I did. Third floor beer pong was going on when I arrived. My son and I teamed-up but I managed not to drink beer; visions of my making the cover of Time or Newsweek danced in my head as being a father who endorsed under-age college drinking; there’s something positive about partial conservatism and vibrant visuals.

more father and son bonding the old fashioned way

more father and son bonding the old fashioned way


Cut to a few months later. Rutgers University, Donald Trump (‘The Apprentice’) Randall Pinkett, who actually won ‘The Apprentice’ and was an undergraduate at Rutgers, endorsed a program reaching out to the Rutgers community to get them involved in the audition process for an upcoming season of ‘The Apprentice.’ Normally laborious long lines of waiting to audition were waived for a select group of Rutgers people. Without hesitation, even at 60 years old and far removed from only 20 and 30 somethings, I became one of the 125 people who auditioned on Rutgers College Avenue campus student center. Prior to sitting with Randall Pinkett and telling him why I’d make a great contestant (I could probably beat every one of the contestants in singles tennis or around the world basketball), I filled out forms and wrote five essays. One essay asked “What is Your Most Impressive Work or School Achievement.” Without hesitation, I wrote about my son calling and asking me to come down to the frat house and hang out. This was my most impressive achievement. In a public discourse like I’m doing right now, I’d venture to say no one from the world of ‘The Apprentice’ had any idea what I was talking about.

But I know that I’ve prioritized life, put my son and our relationship where it should be, ahead of any class of business pursuit; so when he grows up to be a young beer pong playing fraternity guy, he’d be comfortable and secure enough with me and our relationship to want me to hang out with him and his frat brothers; indeed my most impressive accomplishment and achievement. I figured that no one at ‘The Apprentice’ would understand or appreciate the depth of my essay answer and it would probably wind-up on the cutting room floor.

As they say on Broadway, I’m still waiting for the call back. Funny thing; I had a connection that could’ve placed my application and essays on Donald’s desk. However, this particular edition of ‘The Apprentice’ was shot in Los Angles for the summer (taking me away from my beloved New Jersey) and if you lost that week’s segment, the on screen television punishment was sleeping in a tent. I did that once my freshman year and woke up with a frog in my sleeping bag. I resolved no more tents in my life so I declined to have my application appear on Donald Trump’s desk. I hope that didn’t show my age.



Also you can find me on Facebook as Cal Schwartz

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February 27, 2012

August Wilson Play ‘Jitney’ in Red Bank NJ. Swirling Cyclonic Thoughts, Cryptic Krypton, World Health Organization and Bird Flu. I Still Hate the NCAA. Modern Marriage? Magical New Jersey Mon Amour; Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge 2012. February 27, 2012

August Wilson

August Wilson

Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki on Johnnie Carson Show in Dec. 1969

Before August Wilson and ‘Jitney’ a few streams of consciousness wandering thoughts.

A mushroom cloud over the Pine Barrens in New Jersey; of course being a visual writer, that’s what I just saw when I ceremoniously closed my eyes. Maybe the cloud was really of the impact variety when an object from deep outer space picked New Jersey as destination one. Did I just see a small child wearing an old cloth diaper that used to be home delivered by diaper service trucks, emerge from the crater? Ah, the purpose of these few lines is to set up part of this blog; that I’m in the mood to wear a hat of a rebellious sixties kind of guy on his way to Haight-Ashbury to protest protesting. But echoes of my mother’s common sense thinking to be the master of the unspoken word or a slave to the spoken word, still resonate. So I’ll use the green cryptic kryptonite this small child brought to earth to help me tip toe through the tulips. I remember when the late Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki on Johnnie Carson’s Tonight Show in December, 1969; a month after I tied my really loose knot for four years. And I just realized the commonality of Tiny Tim and me.









August Wilson

part of the New Jersey crowds for Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge.


August Wilson

spectators watching the polar bear plunge on the beach. temp 44 degrees

A long time ago I took a bath and watched the water swirl down the drain in counter-clockwise cyclonic fashion. I heard a swooshing sound and inserted my index finger into the center of the funnel, to see if I could alter history; the water found a way to work around the obstruction and continued evacuation. Someday if I come into a sizeable amount of disposable income, I’d like to sit on an easy chair across from a member of the analytical profession and ask probingly why I’m so haunted by the movie ‘On the Beach.’ I keep visualizing signs, ‘There’s Still Time Brother.’

So a few weeks ago a $2 billion central New Jersey business invited regional members of the media (I’m media too) to a luncheon conference to explain how they are investing the same amount of money that put a man on the moon, into changing their image to a more responsive, civic, caring company and to make their demographic want them, not run in opposite directions to competitors. I love the movie ‘Clueless.’  Whatever?  Some folks either get it or they don’t. I offered to help them with futuristic guaranteed  social media connections. They’ll never get it. Chicago deep dish pizza is good. So is the sun on my face. La De Dah. I saw a chicken crossing the road in their parking lot bedecked with orange flags. I’m a flexitarian so I eat chicken sometimes. Here’s a link to a cool story on Flexitarianism.




August Wilson

August Wilson

my friend the cow. i do NOT eat his relatives


After the meeting with these ridiculous executives( I use the term loosely), I thought about British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who in September, 1938 came back to England after meeting with Hitler, giving him the Sudetenland and said, “My good friends, this is the second time there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Now I recommend you go home, and sleep quietly in your beds.” And I’m stretching this segue from Neville, to a World Health Organization panel that recently endorsed the open publication of the full details of two controversial experiments with bird flu.





August Wilson

Neville Chamberlain circa 1938 "peace for our time"


August Wilson

coming out of the icy cold lite water (atlantic ocean)



The research in question produced genetically altered bird flu viruses, and critics say these germs could be dangerous for people if they ever escaped the lab. A committee that advises the U. S. government on security issues related to biological research recently said that key details should be kept under wraps, so as not to give terrorists ideas. Peace for our time. Some biological terrorist could find the information when it’s published and maybe wipe out a few hundred million people. It’s a nasty virus. The WHO panel, in contrast, held a closed-door session to consider the matter and concluded that full publication is preferable. Peace for our time has a certain eerie resonance.







August Wilson

August Wilson

the charge of the lite brigade into the ocean. Eric from NJ Discover with camera



More peace for our time: the Middle East, nuclear issues and a world community. Admittedly, I watched ‘Charlotte’s Web’ several times. Sure it’s a cartoon but I like Wilbur and his relationship with Charlotte; refreshing to find inter-species (animal-insect) communication and environmental cooperation; almost a brave new world. Heard the other day someone thought it best to get married every ten years to a different spouse because we humans change so much in every decade, it makes for better short term communicative marriages; different strokes in every decade. A few decades ago I was a pharmacist advising patients not to drink and take sedatives. Then I sold eyeglasses for multiple decades to opticians and optometrists.  Now I’m a journalist (NJ Discover TV), novelist and script writer for Ah ha. I lived the decades of change and made one marital change along the way, so I’m aboard a bit.  A study by the Pew Research Center highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. 4 in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete. And Fatherhood. Here’s a fun story on that institution as it pertains to the TV show, ‘The Apprentice.’ Link:




August Wilson

two river theatre 67 minutes before show


August Wilson

downtown Red Bank 74 minutes before play. yes this is just a February nite.

Ever hear the expression about beating yourself up? Well I’ve been doing that since Thursday night February 23rd when I saw August Wilson’s play ‘Jitney’ performed at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J.  Here’s the deal. Early last week a friend, Toby, messaged me on Facebook, that because of popular demand the play ‘Jitney’ was being extended several days and that I should see it. Well I do run around incessantly, taking in all I can find these last years and Toby imparts valuable judgment. I didn’t know August Wilson or his work. I ordered tickets and have never been to theatre at Two River. Welcome to the beating up of this blog writer, a denizen of the magical state of New Jersey. How did I grow up, mature, absorb and celebrate new worlds of cerebral explorations without ever knowing the work of August Wilson? I’m so damned angry at myself.



August Wilson

August Wilson


August Wilson


On a jetty at the New Jersey shore I ponder the universe, environment, trans-humanism, singularity, spirituality, parallel universes, vortex energy, and the list goes on but I never heard of August Wilson. I’ve listened countless times to the speeches on August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington and wrote a novel about sixties urban experiences and yet I never heard of August Wilson. I aspire to be a renaissance man, dilettante and quintessential absorber of modern life so I play beer pong, do keg stands and run to the Hayden Planetarium to hear Dr. Michio Kaku or Dr.Neil Degrasse-Tyson speak but I never heard of August Wilson.










August Wilson

Dr Michio Kaku and me

But now I have heard and what a wondrous night my wife and I had discovering August Wilson’s work performed by an amazing ensemble cast at Two River Theatre. Where do I begin? Well. Dinner in Red Bank; I thought we were in the Dolomites in Northeastern Italy; quaint ambience and obsessive attention to food taste. The theatre experience was so unique; it began 45 minutes before curtain with ‘Before Play,’ where actor, director and Professor Darrell Willis spoke about August Wilson in the lobby. Mine eyes were opening. It’s not within the boundaries of this blog nor am I writing a term paper on August Wilson or a Times review but I felt the words of an amazing poet playwright rivet me to a seat; motionless and spellbound. (You might as well Google August Wilson and ‘Jitney’). The set design was so real, I wanted to drift on stage a few times to answer the phone. I love watching actors who are so precisely intense that their eyebrows even move in the middle of a scene when they’re not talking; they’re living the role. What a cast. How people in a 1970’s Pittsburgh car service (taxi) driver office depended, shared, learned from, and loved each other was magnificently and delicately told.  Wilson writes about the African-American experience (he wrote 10 plays covering different decades and all but one take place in Pittsburgh). So now I know, appreciate and love the words of August Wilson, and his ‘Jitney’ and Two River Theatre in Red Bank and I’ll never look back; I’m done beating myself up and thanks to Toby for being my accelerant to learning more about life.



August Wilson

NY Post Sports headline after Rutgers St Johns game. NCAA is silent.


August Wilson

about to plunge into the ocean. costume and all.


Yes, I still hate the NCAA, the body of aging, grossly over-paid inept men (Maybe a few women) who preside over college sports but no one presides over them. Back in March 2011, Rutgers men’s basketball team played St. Johns in Madison Square Garden in the Big East tournament. Big money perhaps wanted St. Johns to win so at the end of the game the three referees did everything in their power to fix the game for St. Johns. Oh sure, this sounds far-fetched but referees walking off the court with 1.7 seconds left in the game was more than enough time for Rutgers to take a winning shot and it was done on camera. The NCAA rewards egregious behavior (not making five blatant foul calls against St. Johns) by sending the referees away from New York City to continue in other tournaments. Peace for our time. People forget. And the referees continue to take Rutgers to task for protesting. In a recent game against Georgetown, referees fixed the calls so it was impossible for Rutgers to win and beat the odds. Last week at Marquette, Rutgers attempted three foul shots while Marquette took 24 foul shots; major inequity. I still hate the NCAA for allowing this. Blog archives for March and April 2011 covered the fixed St Johns game.





August Wilson

crowded boardwalk at polar bear plunge with a giraffe looking down amused . only in New Jersey


August Wilson

more boardwalk crowds to get on beach



New Jersey Mon Amour; of course I love New Jersey; lived here all my life except for two years when I served in Brooklyn; no it doesn’t mean military service, rather it’s living in Brooklyn, NY after I got married and having to get up every other morning and move my car to the other side of the street. A few days ago, with my inspiring motivational editor Tara-Jean, covering one of the most amazing events I’ve ever been at (Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge), we talked about the bad press New Jersey always gets. Tongue and cheek went to work. “We’re in the middle of the capital of the world, equidistant between New York City and Philadelphia, and the world is jealous,” I said.  She said the article complained that everything is so expensive here, a ridiculously high cost of living. He said (me) that New Jersey is the second richest state (per capita income, average price of a house) and the second smartest state (2nd highest percentage of high school graduates going to college). He also said these numbers were from a couple of years ago and maybe changed a bit. After we covered this Polar Bear Plunge (for NJ Discover TV), I realized it’s the people of New Jersey that are wondrously magical and elicits the title words, “Mon Amour,” my love.



August Wilson

Tara-Jean with NJ Discover with a Hulk fax(simile)


August Wilson

Tara-Jean from NJ Discover interviewing Big Joe Henry from Jersey 101.5 FM at Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge


Here’s the set-up to the event. The Seaside Heights (in the epicenter of the real Jersey shore) Annual Polar Bear Plunge is dedicated to raise money for Special Olympics New Jersey and this year, 30,000 spectators came to the boardwalk to watch 6000 brave souls from all over the country (mostly Jersey) plunge into a very cold (44 degrees) Atlantic Ocean, in 44 degree air temperature with a 44 mph wind. Personally, I haven’t been in the ocean since 1975 and I blame the movie ‘Jaws’ for lighting my fearful fire (some literary license, not much)








August Wilson

yours truly with Polar Bear Plunge mascot courtesy of NJ State PBA


And at 1 PM, it was a sight to behold (and stand out of the way) as the 6000 headed to the ocean, mostly topless (men) or women in bikinis in February. I was so swept away by the purity of the event and the souls of New Jersey people, that I started thinking about getting a team together for next year and doing it. And Wanda Ramos (Click Crop and Create), from Matawan, a photographer extraordinaire and friend, prompted, suggested, urged we do this together next because people from New Jersey are so unique and magical. Wanda sold me well, lit the warm fires of dreams and wanting to be part of the spirit of the day. The event did raise over $1.5 million for Special Olympics. Only in New Jersey do you see these things?  Here’s the NJ Discover TV coverage of the event. And watch for Tara-Jean’s interview with Big Joe Henry from Jersey 101.5 FM radio.

NJ Discover VIDEO of Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge Feb 25th


It’s nearly 5 AM on Monday morning now. I love the quiet solitude of early morning pre-sunrise introspective thinking and writing. I also love writing this blog which I’ve been doing for over two years; if you all keep visiting, linking and spreading the word, I could become that half- million visitor blog man down the road. Yes down the road; I love the expression. But I worry about the roads, cyclonic expressions, and folks who preach peace in our time and forget history because those that forget are condemned to relive it.  Maturation is a wonderful thing; getting older. Celebrating discovery is also wonderful as is August Wilson. I love New Jersey and I’m going to be awful cold and wet on a Saturday afternoon next February down the road in Seaside Heights but I won’t be alone.



Linda Chorney’s’ Emotional Jukebox’ Album



August Wilson

Linda Chorney's Grammy Nominee Album.






Also a very worthwhile cause to read up on:

Butterfly Circle of Friends.






website:  http://vichywater.netAugust Wilson

Facebook:  Cal Schwartz

Twitter:  Earthood



Vichy Water   book trailer. hey its 65 seconds long


Vichy Water book trailer 65 seconds long



If on Facebook check out this NJ Discover site: August Wilson




ARE you in search of another blog that is also outspoken, unique BUT refreshingly, topically unbridled which means uninhibited ????  Meet   LINDA CHORNEY:


Immortality Institute (which represents advocacy and research for unlimited lifespan)




LINKS TO VIDEOS.  Please Watch.


1.   ZOMBIE WALK   October 22, 2011

zombie walk



Nov 11, 2011


Nov 19, 2011

Randall Haywood and Victor Jones Interview from Chico’s House of Jazz Asbury Park












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