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June 15, 2017













Twitter: Earthood




June 15,  2017

The Oprah Magazine

Oprah Winfrey, Founder and Editorial Director


Dear Oprah:

The energy for this letter began on Tuesday April 18th when you were a guest on the Dr. Oz Show devoted to “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” (a wondrous film). I knew that I’d be sitting in the special VIP first row seats, close to the guest sofa. I wanted to get your attention so I wore my ‘loudest’ socks which you noticed. My legs were crossed and gyrating. You smiled at me and my socks. There was a reason for attention getting.

Last summer, I began mentoring two special recent Rutgers University graduates, Chisa Egbelu and Kayla Jackson. Chisa and I met four years ago at the Garden State Film Festival. He was a film intern and I was there to see a cutting edge film on Emmett Till.


with Chisa Egbelu and Kayla Jackson at IDT headquarters in Newark



with Senator Cory Booker along the Jersey shore

Two years ago, Chisa and Kayla conceived a company, PeduL ( which would become an online crowdfunding tool that connects students with resources and support they need to pursue higher education. I always look at the whole planet earth and big pictures. Coming up with ways to help educate youth across the world, can change courses of history. Taking some of the burden away from financially strapped government is good stuff.

I believed in these “kids,” so last summer I started mentoring them. Then I met with Senator Cory Booker here in New Jersey. I asked him for 44 seconds time. (same time to read letter). I explained the same thing. Three days later, his aide called me and I brought the “kids” from PeduL to meet with his top education aide at his Newark office.

A year ago, IDT Ventures in Newark, part of IDT Corporation, a billion dollar plus telecommunications, pharmaceutical, entertainment and energy company took PeduL into their incubator program.



with Nick Clemons, Andrew Schuman and DR OZ from April 18th


Why did I wear those socks? To try and get your attention and talk those few seconds with you as I did to Senator Booker. I marvel at you, your accomplishments, humanitarianism and commitment to global education. I felt you should know about these special “kids” and their vision of a better smarter future and world.

If ever you’re floating around New York City and…………

Wishing you much success with the film and only good things always and all ways.



PS:  I’ve enclosed pictures to aide in my story telling. They are my socks which you smiled at, with Kayla and Chisa in Newark, with Senator Booker and with Dr. Oz, Nick Clemons (son of Clarence Clemons) after the show.

November 13, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: A Few Words. Lenny Bruce. Asbury Park Comedy and Music Festival; (Thanks Nick Clemons) Is My Life Full Circle Now? Lenny’s House(Kitty Bruce) November 13, 2012

Lenny Bruce

me in hurricane earl 2 years ago on jersey shore


Lenny Bruce

Hurricane Sandy damage on Jersey shore

Lenny Bruce. I finally get to write about him.  Been a long time. But first a word from Hurricane Sandy.


Twelve miles from the four steps that lead to my front door resides the Atlantic Ocean (Monmouth County) where Hurricane Sandy pushed a wall surge of water twelve feet high into the coasts of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. A billion words will be written over the next few weeks about this storm; I’ll add a few words now since I lived through it and heard the wind roar outside my window with a ferocity that petrified me. Sure, I’ve experienced wind in my face during my decades on earth, but never quite like this. Faster than a speeding locomotive, the wind screamed and bent trees in half. I could barely open my front door to absorb it all. I was really scared.






Lenny Bruce

no wonder why the Battery Tunnel in NYC was closed because of Hurricane Sandy


Lenny Bruce

Hurricane Sandy damage in Belmar NJ on A street. 5 blocks from E Street and Bruce Springsteen.


This was a big time major league hurricane like in Florida or Louisiana and it was making landfall in New Jersey; that never happens. We lost power and heat for six days but no other damage. It was cold; darkness and absence of electricity for such a long period of time plays tricks with your thought process. There’s no gas for your car and all the food has to be thrown out without refrigeration; an incarceration of the mind and spirit; a world without end. Again I use the word gratitude. No damage to house; Hurricane Irene did her thing to my house last year; like a Janis Joplin song lyric, there was nothing much left to lose. I wrote this to my friend Scott F. on Facebook the other day:

“6 days no power, no heat, not much food, no gas in car, no anything…..but i don ‘t have to tell you……you all lived it too…..i had a full house sheltering all week… still goes on……i worry about wednesday….more weather stuff……….it’s a funny thing when one goes thru this turmoil, there’s a tendency to withdraw, hide under covers to stay warm, stare out at the trees, sky and count minutes away till you can resume an electric life. i think in the future if someone asks me how old i am, i will say the year minus a week. but still hugely grateful.”



Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce



There’s an addendum to all this. New Jersey got hit with a nor’easter snowstorm two days ago which means a week after  tropical hurricane Sandy  made landfall about 50 miles from me, we got 12 inches of cold white and wet snow. So I did some Google research and wrote this on Facebook.

“Perhaps never in history of planet earth has a place (New Jersey) taken a direct hit from a tropical hurricane (sandy) and a week later been hit with significant snow. Reminds me of a line from ‘Ghostbusters’ (which I’ll be doing for real soon enough) invoking the phrase ‘biblical proportions.’

I’m finished with hurricane and snow talk.






Lenny Bruce

Producer of the Comedy Festival, Nick Clemons wearing my favorite Rutgers hat, addressing the audience.




This now becomes one of those interconnected blogs; everything locked together tightly like those Lego toys my son used to play with for six hours straight. It was a good sign that he could concentrate for that long. Back in my day growing up, who knew from attention and concentration deficits? I realized a few weeks ago, after six earthly decades, that I’ve always had a problem concentrating. Here in this blog for three years, I’ve been covering it up nicely, saying I write with a stream of consciousness. But I do. And my thoughts wander. You should’ve seen me on a tennis court (a regular pastime)two weeks ago; I thought about building a tree house in a vacant lot near my Newark, New Jersey house as a yellow tennis ball sailed precariously close to my groin without interference or interception by my tennis racket. My double partners yelled, “Calvin, come back to us.”

Ostensibly I’m heading down that consciousness stream highway. I want to remember the sixties even though I was there from a distance, a fringe, a surrogate to everything happening. All the lectures my mother deposited in my soul from second grade when she taught me to lay my clothes out the night before and I wonder now, why she never taught me to absorb life and to learn about the revolution of ideas that special people inspired. What does this all mean?


Lenny Bruce

with comedian Mike Marino outside the Paramount theatre in Asbury Park


Lenny Bruce

with comedian Paul Venier backstage at the comedy festival



Lenny Bruce, earth’s most quintessential comedian was exploding on the scene around 1961. I was 16 going on 17 with absolutely no idea who he was and what he meant to the world of freedom and social commentary. If only there was a couch and shrink professional now, close by, attending to me as I say, “I hate myself for not knowing or experiencing all that was happening back then.” So I never saw or heard or knew about Lenny Bruce through my formative high school and college years. How dare I not know of the funniest, hippest, coolest and most influential and incisive comedian ever?

I hate myself. I’ve hated myself ever since the early seventies when I discovered Lenny Bruce, long after he was gone, yet still shaping a world of expression, freedom and comedy. So for decades, self-loathing in suburban Monmouth county; I never had a chance to see or hear Lenny Bruce in person; more self-loathing; I should’ve seen and heard Dr. King talk in person in Newark in January 1963(six blocks from my house!). Certainly I was old enough but just not aware of the world. Curiously no cell phones, computers, DVD’s or other Japanese manufactured diversions were around. I just wasn’t aware; therefore self-loathing; resolved now as an adult; to be aware of the world.


Lenny Bruce

a leg up on my Lenny Bruce vinyl album collection. its really my photogenic leg



How and when did I discover Lenny Bruce? It was late 1971 when my first wife got tickets for a new Broadway play, Lenny. The play was riveting; Lenny was portrayed by the late Cliff Gorman who won a Tony for his performance. I was mesmerized about his life and proceeded to gather everything I could about Lenny Bruce; I needed to learn and collected all his vinyl albums, listening incessantly. A few years later, I was on jet plane heading to Club Med Guadeloupe (obviously newly divorced then) and entertained the jet’s rear section with memorized bits from many of Lenny’s performances. Why my fascination; because Lenny championed freedom of speech and thought, battled the establishment, but mostly because he was a brilliant patriotic constitutional loving American. Lenny Bruce married Honey in 1951 and his daughter Kitty was born in 1955; the year the Dodgers won the World Series.





Lenny Bruce

hanging with Ronald Davis(Good Morning with the Boss Club/Facebook) in front of Paramount Theater.


Lenny Bruce

All these years, I admired Lenny Bruce; yes he endured hard times, legal battles and negativity; I’ll always wonder why the LA cops, who knew that Lenny acquired some bad drugs, didn’t stop him from overdosing.  Lenny paved the way for almost every comedian since then. He championed causes of freedom; that means so much to me. And it’s synchronistical and curious that during all these years with Lenny Bruce as a hero of mine, I always wondered about his daughter Kitty and where/how she was. It’s very hard for me (even though I’m a writer) to express how I’ve been haunted by his memory; it grips me tight. Sometimes I just stare at his picture. Often I listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s song ‘7’0’clock News/ Silent Night’’ when you hear a news broadcast in the background over their singing ‘Silent Night,’ exclaiming “In Los Angeles today Comedian Lenny Bruce died of what was believed to be an overdose of narcotics. Bruce was 42.” As a result of listening to the song all these years, I know the words to ‘Silent Night’ and keep thinking about Lenny and his daughter Kitty, somewhere in time.

Cut to the summer of 2012. Being a journalist also covering music and entertainment here in central Jersey, I found out about the first Asbury Park Comedy and Music Festival to be held at the Paramount Theatre and Wonder Bar in Asbury Park to benefit the Lenny Bruce Foundation. Lenny Bruce was back in my life and I was thrilled. I was able to get a press pass for backstage to meet the comedians, Vincent Pastore, Mike Marino, Jim Florentine, Paul Venier and Margaret Cho. And I must mention everything Nick Clemons (Clarence’s son) did to produce this event. It was his dynamic energy, vision and commitment that made this first annual event possible. Later that night, I met Nick for the first official time, wearing a Rutgers hat like I always wear, and thanked him for the magic he created. Life is funny all over the place. Maybe that chance meeting Nick at the Wonder Bar might someday change the very course of flow of my life. Oh and a few weeks later I went to see Mike Marino and later, Paul Venier separately; I loved their comedy. Ah, Lenny would be proud, I’d like to think.


Lenny Bruce

the picture with Kitty Bruce backstage which is my full circle of life. How thrilled I am. Still hard to process that I met Lenny and Honey’s daughter.


Just before the show began, I heard that Kitty Bruce was going to be there as The Lenny Bruce Foundation helps to fund ‘Lenny’s House,’ a home for recovering women in Pennsylvania and operated by her. I blinked my eye for a long time; one of those comprehension/disbelief blinks. Would it possible for me to meet Kitty and tell her my life’s story (albeit quickly) of how I’ve idolized her father’s accomplishments. So we did  meet after the show and I was so nervous but excited; my life had come full circle, sealed with a unique and precious poignancy meeting this wonderful woman who gives so much back into her parent’s legacy. One of the most important photo ops I’ve ever been involved in, since even crossing the birth canal, was meeting Kitty and comprehending what it meant for the energies and exigencies of my life. I could become her friend and help in my way to creating awareness for ‘Lenny’s House.” Could I have ever imagined moments like this, back in 1971, worrying about Viet Nam and civil rights, finding Kitty Bruce later in my life’s journey?  Life is a symphony of disbeliefs and wonderments. I love the universe for orchestrating and Nick Clemons for putting things together. I’m filled with gratitude to Lenny and Kitty and abounding spirits. I suddenly like life in a full circle.






Lenny Bruce































I need to exhort and reach out to my many readers and ask you all to check out Lenny’s House:




Lenny Bruce


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