This is about my Daughter, Lily Nell Warren (an artist, singer, poet, and former corporate head-hunter),
her dear departed Mother, Ruthe Lorraine Warren (an actor, singer, artist, writer and talent agent),
and my venture into helping others start a new business or advertise on the Internet,
and some Warren, Sherman, Peppiatt, Quimby, and Levinson family history.
Lily is a member of The Artist's Way which meets Sunday Mornings at 10 AM, 97 Broadway, Kingston, NY.
Mondays, 7-10 PM, come and participate on Poetry Night at the Colony Arts Center, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY.
Lily's Mother ¦ Lily's Father ¦ Book of Poetry
Click on the above "Book of Poetry" for the following titled autobiography:
Memories of the son of a Kansas Pioneer Woman
This describes that portion of the material which was created during our vacation. We travel to the Westin St. John Resorts and Villas, USVI, for our vacations. It is a beautiful place, but not as stunning as the Ritz-Carlton on St. Thomas where we have also vacationed. The umbrellas at the Westin are the color of the beach sand and look like they have been there fifty years! At the Ritz they are pure sparkling white with bright blue trim! The beach side restaurant at the Ritz is under a white inverted canvas funnel surrounded by three white sails! Guest houses at the Ritz are a light shade of pink. At the Westin they are olive and blend in with the foliage very nicely. I like the Westin lay-out. Our Westin duplex featured a big boom-box and no one complained when we used it very loudly late at night! My daughter likes to dance. The walls must be very thick and well insulated.
The Westin has two Internet computer terminals in the reception area. The Ritz-Carlton has only one and they charge five dollars to access it, a dollar per minute and a dollar per web page! Most libraries give you free access and will print 10 pages per day, also free. Why pay all that money to stay at the Ritz and have them nickel and dime you to death! We also stay at the Raleigh in Miami Beach, Florida. They loan guests a wireless IBM ThinkPad notebook computer for two hours at a time at no charge!
Much of the original material in this web page was created using the Internet terminals at the Westin. I am extremely grateful for the free and unlimited access to their terminals. However, I was careful not to continue using them when other guests appeared! They don't stay that long. But next year I may bring a notebook PC so I can write in my room! I had one problem at the Westin. They told me I could not store a temporaty file on their computer. This was not true. So I put my text into an E-mail on AOL.COM and sent it to myself. Each day I accessed my sent or saved E-mail and copied and pasted the text into a new E-mail. One day I found a file on the desktop with only one word in it and assumed someone created it to do a spell check. I used this file to save the contents of my latest E-mail and then up-loaded it to my server. Afterwards I cut the text from the file on the desktop and moved it to the Recycle Bin! The Westin IT lady would have me go into town to "Surf Da-Web" and buy a USB memory stick to save my text (about 20 dollars cab fare and $49 for the flash memory). Apparently you can save a file under the path name ending in GUEST.
The walk from the beach at the Ritz is up a long incline topped by stairs to the second floor! It nearly killed me to walk it. And another block up an incline to the reception area! And no usable elevator! Before going to the Ritz I could barely make it into Wal-Mark. After I left I took my daughter for a good three mile walk and back. Each way, two blocks before our destination she said "get me a cab - I can't go any further!" Now I look forward to going to our Westin time share and the equally hard walk back to her duplex! I hope I'll gain back my strength! Both places provide go-carts on call if you want a ride instead of walking! But it's hard to turn down an offer to pick you up when they drive by!
Reservations should warn you that check-in time is four PM and you may want to pack things like medicine and swim suits in a carry-on bag so you can go swimming before four PM.
My daughter has a Master's Degree in Creative Writing (a subset of English, I guess). On our way to St. Thomas she showed me her just published book of poems. It did not look like any poetry I knew (The classical form, four lines each stanza, the second and fourth indented, the first and third rhymed!):
Her's had no rhyme, no structure, all random. I said "this looks easy." "Why did it take you eight years to complete it?"
I have two Cock-a-pooh dogs, Gigi and Teddy Bear. When they run, side by side, together, and then look at each other I wonder what they are thinking. If I knew, I could write a book in their name. But first, I'll put their story into a poem and publish some of it here!
Stimulated by the fun of writing "Gigi and Teddy Bear" I started writing poems about stories I frequently tell. A number of these are included here. See how to order below.
I want to dedicate this to my daughter who is very dear to me, and to my late departed wife, Ruthe, who I miss more and more each day!
Vacation A story about hearing chichens on the island!
Possum A ruckus in the hen house!
Strange What you remember!
My Fall In Kansas
Mother My Mom, Fast and Fearless
Cats From Childhood
Corporate Cannibalism History of the Jeep!
Stock Car Racing Life as a teenager
Ego Trip Climbing Mount Evens
After Hours Life on a Air Force Base
"Gigi and Teddy Bear" Selected parts of my poem.
Our Experience Some reflections on Our USVI Visit.
VacationWe were staying at the Westin St. John Resorts and Villas, USVI. A very proper and immaculate place. As I lay awake, sleepy, watching the sun's rays creep over the hills I hear it! Really! Again! It's the crowing of a rooster! No sight of any here. Except the eggs at breakfast. (The island has lots of cats and chickens!) It reminds me of my childhood! My Mother was raised on a farm. She sent me out to collect eggs and catch a hen. Asked me to select one for dinner. I picked one for today's execution. She boiled a pail of water. I take the prisoner by the legs to the chopping block axe in hand. I worry, will I strike a clean blow on the first strike? I'm not sure! I'm not that good chopping wood! Taking careful aim axe raised high enough Wham! It's a good cut! The head falls to the ground The body still kicking! Once I dropped the body and it started walking! Then I plunge the body into the pail of boiling water! Once, twice, then hold it I start plucking off the feathers. They come off easy after the boiling water. All done? Next, to an open fire on the kitchen stove To singe the hairs off that didn't come off with the feathers. Now it's Mother's task to remove the entrails. I've done my duty! Later, we had roast chicken for dinner Today I guess they would arrest me for animal cruelty! By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July, 2008
PossumWhat a ruckus! Squawking, clucking feathers floating, chickens flying every which way back and forth! Real alarm! I went to investigate. A possum in the hen house! (Stealing eggs.) I closed the door. He was trapped. I got my pistol. We called the police. They came. They looked. They asked "Do you want to shoot it?" I replied "Now that your here you can do it." That night we had a fat possum for diner instead of chicken. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008
Strange MemoryOne day I needed the product of 14 Squared. Why, I don't know! But it intrigued me! I decided to memorize all of the squares from eleven to twenty. Eleven I knew (121) from the binomial theorem. Twelve I've known since grade school (144). Thirteen I know is 169, because 3 times 3 is 9, and it comes back to me! Fourteen I remember, because 6 times 6 ends in 6 and that's 196! Fifteen has to be 225, because 5 times 5 ends in 5 and I think 225! Sixteen, that's the eighth power of 2, or 256 a number dear to all computer professionals. Seventeen is 289. It just is! Eighteen is 324. Do it, you'll see, Nineteen is 361. Sure! Twenty. That's easy! 400. So there you have it. If you don't use it you lose it! It fades into oblivion. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July, 2008
My FallI went to visit my Uncle in Kansas. The one I was named after Russell Donavan Peppiatt. He was a farmer near Ellsworth, Kansas. Raised wheat and cattle. (With fertilizer up to $1,400 a ton, they don't know what they are going to do next year.) They used to call Kansas the Wheat State. But really, they make more money from cattle. And it used to be the fifth largest producer of oil! With several large reservoirs they have a pretty good tourist trade! You know - fishing and boating. My uncle also raised chickens and pigs. And collected semi-precious gem stones and petrified wood. He kept horses to herd his cattle. Out of season they got sleek and fat. I took one for a ride, bareback (without saddle). Going out he was OK. A gentle trot. When we turned back he wanted to run. Gallop, that is! Immediately, I slid forward, over his haunches (shoulders)! Holding on to his mane I fell down in front of him on my but! He stopped immediately, legs apart, one either side of me! He never touched me! I walked back, leading the horse. I felt he was very good to me! He was a beautiful horse! By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July 2008
Fast and FearlessMy Mother was 36 when she had my older brother. A few years later she spotted a big rattle snake moving toward my brothers play pen in the yard of her Denver home! Grabbing a hoe, she dashed to the rescue and chopped the snake into pieces before it could reach Walter! A few years later a big wild rabbit was bold enough to invade our yard. She made a mad dash and caught him! That night she served rabbit stew for dinner! You think it's easy to catch a wild rabbit? Try it some time! By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July 2008
CATSWhen I was 8 or 9 Two stray cats adapted us. They came to stay on the front porch We fed and watered them brushed and washed them They were so soft and furry. Mother was raised on a farm She did not believe pets should live indoors! I guess with nine children in her family there was no room for pets in doors. One was all black with a white diamond on her chest! Her name was Ming. The other was a gray tiger. I don't recall his name. I entered Ming in the annual 4H Club animal contest and brought home a ribbon. Back then we did not have medicine for cats. They did not get spayed or neutered or get rabies shots. They lived about two years. Then died I guess of distemper. I really missed them. Many years later another cat adopted me She was very affectionate and was house broke. But when she saw me use the toilet she followed suit and did the same. But she did not flush! She climbed a tree one day could not get down. We had to use a ladder! She had a daughter looked just like her didn't know who the father was. They lived a long time for cats. Both eventually were killed by cars. My daughter initially had two rabbits. They were kept in a cage in the back yard. One night the raccoons got to them through the wire on the bottom of the cage ripped their skin right off they died! Later she had a pair of kittens. By Donald Warren, Copyright © 2008
Corporate CannibalismThese hotel go-carts remind me of the army jeeps from World War II The Willis Car Corporation made the jeep after the war. They were bought out by the Studebaker Car Company, I think. which was bought by American Motors. which was bought by Chrysler Corporation. Which was bought by that German Company that made the Mercedes Benz. That's Corporate Cannibalism! Benz is thinking of selling parts of the business now! Even corporate genius make mistakes. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © July 2008
Stock Car Racing and Life as a TeenagerOne thing which was big when I was growing up was stock car racing. Litle did I know that many of the pioneers were bootleg whiskey runners! At night they out-ran ATF agents by day they raced on dirt tracks on farmer's fields. Half the year farmers raised crops on the field which then became race tracks at the right season. Their cars were mostly coupes. All wrecked and junk yard looking. Usually several more got wrecked! I don't remember anyone getting hurt bad. Usually, there was barn dancing and country music. One could buy liquor underage with a fake driver's license. I didn't like beer. Never did. So I just watched. I could not dance so I never got a girl! My friend, Leroy Coffey took me there on his Harley Davidson Motor Cycle. That's when I tried to smoke a cigarette and burned my throat. I never smoked again! I joined him when he helped his dad fishing. They set a line on the Blue River to catch cat fish. Came back the next morning to recover the catch. Never cared much about fishing. Too much waiting for the fish. Leroy's dad went prospecting in Wyoming. Came back with a ton of solid green jade rock. It was more than three feet across. I don't know how he got it in his pickup truck! Bought a diamond saw and began making jewelry. He was a house painter by profession. All my friends had Cushman Motor Schooters manufactured in Lincoln, Nebraska. Cost about five hundred dollars in 1948. Only 3.5 horse power but could go 55 miles an hour! Had to be overhalled every few hundred hours. Got us around very well. We went to Topeka 57 miles away to the Kansas State Fair mainly to see Gipsy Rose Lee do her famous strip club act! She wore a g-string and had little doilies on her breasts. It was very dark inside the tent so we did not see much! I spent my spare time reading Jack London and Zane Gray novels and books like Anthony Adverse and the Mongol Gingus Kahn. And went to the local airport to polish air planes and earn money for flying lessons. With Mothers help I got my Pilot's license!
Ego TripWhen I was in college I tried out for boxing. Coach said I was too short winded - go take swimming! When I was in the service I met a lot of fresh high school grads. Every week I took a car load (6 or 7) up Mount Evans west of Denver. Drove to the 14,500 foot level and parked the car. Ran up about 1,000 feet before stopping to get my breath. Turning back to see my passengers. Most were down on their knees throwing up! Young athletes have to become acclimated before making that climb! Some pilots black out from a lack of air without oxygen at that elevation. I had an ego trip each time!
After second shift classes at Lowery Air Force Base we used to look for things to do especially on warm summer nights. Sometimes we drove toward the mountains to the water reservoirs for Denver, Colorado. There people parked all around the water every hundred feet or so building bon fires and going swimming! It was a wonderful sight at night. The reservoir was about a mile across. There were no life guards! We swam across and back. It was lots of fun. I bet you can't do that today! Sometimes we went to a play ground in North West Denver. Strictly off limits for swimming after hours! When the police drove by we hid under the diving platform. The bars closed at 2 AM. We hit the mess hall for some late night fortification. Then headed to Aurora to do some serious drinking before they closed. We had a contest to see who could drink the most. I drank 21 shots, including several boiler makers! I'm glad I wasn't driving. When we got back to the barracks I threw up - including some blood! I never did that again. Speaking of bars, Colorado had that crazy law you could not get up and take your drink the waiter has to move it for you! Like Kansas was one of the last four states to get rid of the prohibition on drinking more than 3.2 percent alcohol. By Donald Warren, Copyright © July 2008
(This is only a sample of the full poem.)Two cock-a-pooh dogs (only fifteen inches tall) One a female, two years older Black as the ace of spaces. She's fixed. The other, black with pepper and spice eye brows, chin, four beautiful paws and a white diamond on the but! He's a feisty un neutered male! Barks fiercely at any other Lifts his leg and very aggressively marks his territory! Her, dignified, reserved. Never leaves the property herself! Walks at the side of the road. Never goes but a couple hundred feet then turns back! She eats fastidiously. He dives in and gets the food. Anything is fair game! Except fish and fruit. Him, always on the prowl. Gone for hours! Herds the farmers goats into the barn (they kick the hell out of the farmer's dogs)! Both love people Especially their master! Standing on their heels mouthing and kissing they scratch one almost to death! Each to a car window leash restrained so they won't fall out she with her head into the wind like a sphinx! Inaudible Sounds in the night She hears. He barks! (loud just under my ear). She murmers he looks at her. She looks at him, she barks. There they sit - four eyes staring at me. They want something - I know not what. By Donald J. Warren, Copyright © August 2008
If you would like to buy a loose leaf copy of the full ten page Gigi and Teady Bear poem, send me a check for ten dollars plus five dollars for shipping and handling ($15 total), to Donald Warren, P.O. Box 5, Willow, NY 12495-0221. Allow three weeks for the check to clear and the US Mail. Soon this will be available in book form and you can order all of my available poems for twenty dollars plus five dollars shipping and handling!
If you would like to respond to my poems, send me a message!
Chess Players are always welcomed to come and play at our home in Willow! Please call first: 845-679-2989
About 18 years ago we visited the Windham Hotel in St.Thomas USVI the first time. It was a delightful place. It was located about a city block south east of the original Coral World. We had a room facing the pool about 50 feet away, and to our left was the bay over about 100 foot of beach. There were no boats anchored in the bay. There were a half dozen sail fish type metal boats on the beach. We could take one and go sailing across the bay all day! There were also surf boards with a lateen rig sail. I don't know the correct name for them, but for me they were impossible to stand up and hold the sail and balance the whole thing. Others did, however! Some two years after our visit the Windham sold this property to a condominium company and rebuilt some five miles further out on a very high piece of land, far above Sugar Bay. I do not know how you were supposed to get down to the beach! The new Windham has a casino and disco music every evening so it's a favorite watering hole.
We also loved to walk to Coral World and go into the water where schools of thousands of small fish would amaze you with their sudden reversals and fast movements. The original Israieli developers sold out to locals a few years later only to have the 1994 hurricane wipe out the facility. When it was rebuilt, they put down a tower so people could climb down and watch the fish and sea life live from inside. It's not as exciting now as it used to be. If you want to go into the water, you have to rent a diving hood.
At Coral World I was watching the small sharks while eating french fries on the stone tank wall. People started to shrike! I turned to see. An attendant reached by me and grabbed a reptile (Iguana) eating my french fries in front of me! After getting a firm hold she turned to me and said "you can pet it if you want." I did't care much for petting, but I did. Letting the beast go, she grabbed my french fries and tossed them into the trash! I would have eaten them if she hadn't trashed them. After all, he was picking them up one at a time! She did not offer to replace them either.
We rented a car back then. It was a little trying. The US Navy purchased the Virgin Islands in 1917 for twenty five million dollars. About the same amount of money as the Alaska and Louisiana purchases. At the time there were probably very few or no cars there and it would have been very easy for the Navy to have changed the driving to the right side of the road. Horses would not have minded! Instead we still have to drive on the (British) wrong side of the road! Every time I tried to turn a corner I came out in the wrong lane! Today the traffic is much heavier and I would not think of renting one now! Last year we ate at several restaurants in St. Thomas, including some in the Red Hook village. This year we only got out to one at Point Gallows in St. John. Most of our time was spent swimming.
Last year Lily wanted to rent a boat. Today, nobody has the older metal sun fish. They are all plastic and seat only one person! Also, the Westin bay is filled with anchored boats and there is only a narrow channel one must follow to get out to open water. Even then you must keep 100 meters away from the shore to avoid rocks under the water. We decided to rent a 30 foot, 200 horse power boat, with a captain. It was a good ride. Lily got to drive it back (at full speed, bump, bump, bump, I must say)! Then we went to rent a wave runner. They required that we take a check ride to insure that we could get back on if we fell off! Lily said she had just rented one at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida and would have no trouble. They insisted. I took the check ride and passed. She did not have the strength to get back up on the seat! And failed! On this visit we settled for the dinner cruse on the Spirit, a 63 foot catamaran. Last year we went on both the Spirit and the Ritz-Carlton's Lasy Susan dinner cruzes.
Last year we met Wayne Clendinen playing Caribbean music. He plays for dinners, weddings and parties as a solo musician and act. Uses guitar and sings with a rhythm machine. He can be reached at 340-693-5941.
On the boat ride we hired Captain Dan Conashevick, a Coast Guarad Licensed Master. You can reach him at 340-642-1786 or by E-mail: email@example.com, 6501 Red Hook Plaza,Suite 50, St.Thomas USVI 00802.
While on this trip we met Ralph, a cab driver. He took us for a long drive to see all of the major hotels, beaches and some of the restaurants. A small hotel on Bongo Bay appealed to us. He came back on schedule to pick us up from Megans Bay. His home phone is 340-776-1332. You have to call the night before to schedule something.
While having dinner at the Westin Cleos and Barnaby Restaurant, we were impressed with the piano playing and singing by Dennis Frett. His phone is 340-776-8938. He is an entertainer, keyboard player, vocalist, composer, arranger and studio musician.
While staying in Key West at Pier House, we had breakfast at the Harbor View Cafe. There I met an attractive young watress. She was from the Czech Repubic. Spoke five languages! He was from Hungry. Very efficient. An internnational staff. Pier House is right on the water front. It is being renovated. Single hotel rooms are being combined to make suites. We had a great deal. The bathroom door locks didn't lock. Some hotels don't even have locks on the bathroom. In the second toilet the paper holder poked a hole in my ribs. Joy Stamz, the general manager said they would move it. She said they used to take guests with dogs but no more. The pool was great. The warmest we have encountered. And the beach, small, but close to our room. A block away is a Westin which does make a point of accepting guests with dogs. If we drive down we will stay there! After all we are members of the Starwood Hotel Family.
Fifteen years ago walking home in New York, I picked up a wallet on the sidewalk. It contained a lot of credit cards, some with pin numbers attached. It took some doing to locate the person they belonged to. When he came in to get them and found out my wife and I were about to go to Miami, he volunteered to give us a weekend at the hotel he managed in Key West. It was a great experience. In a suite with a full size spa, king size bed, massive drapes, mirror over the bed, kitchen, and parking under the building. In later years I forgot the name of the hotel except it was very near the docks! Nobody could identify the place! On this trip, I took tours and went walking and did not see it, until returning to Pier House, there it was directly across the street. The under the building garage is not visable from Duval street. Only from the side street! I found out this used to be a condo and is being converted to hotel rooms! This is the opposite of most of the hotels down there. Most are being converted to condos or time share units! This time I won't forget. It's called Ocean Key.
The best thing about writing this all down is that I am learning how to spell a lot of old words!
The Warren Family - Text - Copyright © 8/1/2008 Web Layout - Copyright © 2007, 2008 by Donald J. Warren(TOP)