Posts filed under ‘UNPUBLISHED WORKS’


Recently, a Mélange Books author asked questions of the authors with stories published in the anthology Curious Hearts. My question was, ‘Name the most famous person you had a face to face encounter with’. I thought I would share my response with you.

I pondered those considered ‘famous’ that I have met, and I came to a conclusion. Fame is relative. In some circles, a name wins instant recognition. In other circles, the same name would bring the response, “Who?”

For example, during my research career, while working at three medical schools, studying renal physiology I met many world famous nephrologists and scientists. However, unless you were familiar with the area, their names would be meaningless.

I volunteer at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum and work at their annual air show. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to shake hand with Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
I also met Robert Morgan, the pilot of the Memphis Belle one of the most famous bombers of World War II. But to the younger generation, these names might be meaningless.

Our local bookstore, The Chester County Book & Music Company, where I had a book signing for my novel, New Moon Rising, hosts many authors. There I met Jane Smiley, but if you’re not a reader that name will bring no recognition.

For seven years I lived in West Los Angeles while working at the UCLA School of Medicine. In that area of Los Angeles, you are constantly stumbling over celebrities.
One evening, while walking back from dinner with my wife and two friends, this literally occurred. It was in the early 1980’s, and as we walked home from dinner at a local restaurant, we walked past an eatery that was an expensive establishment. There, standing on the sidewalk all alone was a short old man smoking an immense cigar. We had just walked by George Burns.
My most memorable encounter occurred around 1980. I was single then and lived next to a very mysterious woman. She would leave Los Angeles for extended periods of time and ask me to pay her bills. The strange thing was; her return date was open-ended.
One summer Saturday afternoon, after a morning of fishing at Malibu Pier, she knocked at my door and asked for a ride. Clothed in an old sleeveless sweatshirt, I said sure. I loaded my neighbor and her luggage into my VW beetle. Following her directions, I soon found myself in the hills north of Sunset Blvd with my bug passing past mansions.
We pulled into a circular drive, announce our presence, and were met by servants. I brought my neighbor’s suitcase in, and while standing in the foyer, she came in. Wearing a bathrobe and a towel around her hair, strode Peggy Lee. My neighbor was going to be her companion while she was doing a show in New York.

Those are the famous people I have met, and as time marches on, their names fade into the past, to be replaced by those who now bask in glory, but will all too soon fade into the past themselves.
Walt Trizna

October 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm 1 comment


My readers,

I know some of you have read my poem about 9/11. This is certainly a rough day for us all, but we are strong. This unexpected evil has happened to our country twice. It could someday happen again. Never forget who you are and what built this nation.


September 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

9/11 POEM

My consistent readers,

I first published this poem on my blog last year on 9/11.

I wanted to revisit the memory burned in my mind that fateful day ten years ago.


They were like birds flying,
Leaping from flaming windows,
No wings to purchase air,
No hope of flying home.

They were like birds flying,
Tumbling in twos, alone,
Flashing by in a smoke-filled sky
While crowds watched in horror.

They were like birds flying
Flights, imprinting the nation’s memory.
They were like birds flying,
Carrying us into a world of fear.

September 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment


My consistent readers,

Although I am now retired from my ‘day job’, I have been a writer for some time now and will continue that endeavor as long as my mind continues to generate thoughts.
I do recall, however those dreaded Monday mornings.


On early summer mornings I’m first out the door and on my way to work. Without exception, I run smack into spider webs built across the area of the doorway during the night. Not the way I chose to start my day, pulling nearly invisible strands of spider secretions from my face and arms.
One Saturday morning I decided to use the garage door and walk down the driveway to get the papers. As I returned to the house I noticed spider webs running from nearby bushes and trees to our parked cars. On inspection, I also discovered a huge web across the side door; I found another web blocking the back door. A broom took care of the webs across the doors, but they provided more resistance that usual. As my wife went off in the van to run some errands, she dislodged the webs. Was it my imagination or did the van’s tires hesitate for better traction just before breaking free?
Monday morning, I leave for work but don’t get far. I hit the spider web and stop short, cannot move! The damn thing has me stuck and the more I thrash about the more enveloped I become in the sticky mass. I’m about to cry out to my wife for help when, from behind the house, illuminated by the porch light, extends a hairy leg, thick around as a small tree.
Don’t you just hate Monday mornings?

June 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment


My consistent readers,

I am a dreamer. What writer isn’t?
We dream of people reading our work, and enjoying it. Or maybe, finding something our effort says to them, and those of us that are bold dream of making a profit.
I also happen to be a dreamer at night with my imagination going full-bore. When I say this is based on a true dream, I am not joking.

Based on a true dream

Walt was a dreamer, but on occasion, there were consequences.
His wife, Joni, yelled, “Knock it off.” It was the dead of night, about 3 AM, and approaching winter. Thank God the windows were closed or the neighbors might have gotten the wrong idea.

Joni often shouted, “Knock it off,” or “Leave me alone,” no matter what the level of the windows. However, their two cats were usually the problem, either trying to sleep beside her or getting into a scuffle. But in the wee hours of the morning, Walt was usually the guilty party.

Walt had a most active imagination, both day and night, and night was the problem. Day was good; as a writer, when his imagination was working at full-steam-ahead, that was beneficial. At night, full-steam-ahead was a drawback, especially for Joni. His dreams were beyond vivid; they were an alternate life. He remembered them in great detail. Some he could recall clearly and think about them when awake. There were nights when he would revisit a location from past dreams to experience new adventures.

On one particular night, the basis of this story, in his dream Walt attended a baseball game. Sitting along the first base line, he hoped to snag a foul ball. The problem was that none came anywhere near him, and the game was half over. Then it began; they started coming his way. The balls, arching over the spectators, had a dream-like quality. (Wonder why?) Try as he might, Walt could not catch one. They sailed by just out of reach, or were caught by someone else before he had a chance. For some strange reason, every time he tried to catch a ball he would hit the head of a blond-headed man sitting in front of him. After this occurred a few times, he heard the cry, “Knock it off!”

Walt had constantly been rubbing Joni’s head.

He sheepishly said, “I’m sorry,” and went back to sleep.

The following morning, over breakfast, he related his dream. Joni more or less took it in stride for he’d been known to react to dreams with her on the receiving end. We won’t go into how many times he dreamt he was falling over a wall and wound up on the floor with a crash. Walt was not a small person. While they were eating, he joked, “Tonight I’m taking my softball glove to bed.”

Joni rolled her eyes, told him in no uncertain terms what she thought of the idea, and went to work.

That afternoon Walt rummaged through the garage until he found his old glove. When night came, he waited until Joni was in the bathroom and gently placed the glove between their pillows.

As she prepared to climb into bed, she saw the glove, shook her head and said, “You’re nuts.”

Lights out, Walt hoped to return to the game. Before long, he was once again seated near first base. Soon the foul balls began coming his way. One after another, his glove met them all. He was a catching machine. He couldn’t miss. That night Joni had a good night’s sleep. No mussing her hair.

Walt awoke refreshed with his glove on his hand. “Must have put it on during the night,” he said to himself. He got out of bed and immediately crashed to the floor, stumbling on the scattered baseballs.

Joni peered over the edge of the bed. “Not again,” she said. “This has got to stop.

“Remember the time you dreamed about trapping skunks? It took us a month to fumigate the house.”

That night, Joni had an idea. She waited until Walt began snoring, and then began quietly whispering over and over, “Electronics, money. Electronics, money.”

May 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm 2 comments


My readers,
It’s been many years since this image etched itself into my brain.
I finally wrote it out.
I’ve got to give you something to occupy your time since my accomplishments have not been numerous lately.


As the tires hum I grip the wheel
Through miles of barren landscape,
My wife, daughters make the sound of sleep
As the emptiness rushes by,
I am alone in this desolate land
With only my thoughts for company,
The San Joaquin Valley stretches along
This ribbon of road,
On the CD player, Jonatha Brooke
Sings her sad, soulful songs,
I am so far away from home
As the sun lowers behind the distant mountains,
Wherever I travel, or choose to exist
I long for the home
I fear I may never find,
There is something inside
That I do not understand
That will not permit peace,
A happy family is mine
But conflict and emptiness still possess me,
Forever alone.

April 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm 2 comments

THE HIP HIP, for Ella

My readers,

Here is a story I wrote for a very special lady.


Ella was a feisty eighty-eight year old line-dancer. Line-dancing kept her young and full of life, but things were about to change. If for better or worse, I’ll let you decide.
* * *
Ella limped into the Brickette Lounge on a Thursday night. She was immediately surrounded by the usual line-dancing crowd. Sitting down on the first available chair, Richard and Rainy made their way to her, followed by Joni, Amanda and Nancy. Joe, from across the dance floor, wandered over. Elizabeth joined the group.
Amanda was the first to ask, “Ella, what’s wrong?”
Ella answered, “I need another hip replacement.”
Now, Ella blew out hips like some people blow out tires. This would be her fourth redo.
Ella told her friends, “I’ll be back with a new hip. Then, try to keep up with me you children.
* * *
Ella’s surgeon told his colleague, “I have a patient, a spry old woman, who loves to line-dance. She suggested an unusual test. I figure, it can’t hurt, so here it goes. She gave me a CD to play to the hips.’
The doctor placed the CD in a portable player and turned it on. On the table lay a group of hips he could choose for the implant. He studied the hips and said to his colleague, “That’s the one.”
* * *
A month after Ella’s surgery, on a Thursday night she returned to the Brickette.
Amanda elbowed Joni when she saw Ella enter, “There’s Ella. She has a strut now. That hip must me a real blessing.”
Ella sat down with her friends. She appeared fidgety, and upon closer inspection, exhausted.
Joni said, “I’m so glad to see you’re back. You’re looking great, although a little tired.”
“Well, that’s my fault,” she replied.
The DJ began the music and Ella was the first one up. She danced to the first song playing and every other song the DJ offered. Not once did she sit down.
At ten o’clock the music stopped. Ella blew a sigh of relief and staggered over to the table to sit with her friends.
Nancy was the first to ask,” Ella, are you okay?”
Ella responded, “Actually, no. But it’s my fault.”
“How do you mean?” Bronwyn asked in her Australian accent.
“Well,” said Ella, “I insisted the surgeon test the possible hips he could implant.”
“What was the test?” asked Joni.
“I asked him to play a CD that I gave him. I told him to watch for the hip that began reacting, vibrating; that was the one I wanted.
“I made a huge mistake. I can’t turn on music at home without dancing. I can’t listen to the music I love, and at the same time, get anything done.
“If I’m walking down the street and some youngster is listening to music in one of those ear things, and I can hear it, by the way, they have it turned up far too loud, I start dancing in the middle of a street or a sidewalk.
“My surgeon said this hip should last about ten years, and then I’ll get one that will give me some peace.”

March 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm 4 comments

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