Dear Granddaughter #1

At the birthday party you said, “When I was little everyone loved me and then, I grew up.” Well, for your information, everyone still loves you only you won’t let us show you. Really? Really.  Start thinking about the people who love you and count them. Probably, you should just look at your Facebook page. There you will find people who are listening. I hope you are listening and reading. I write to let you know I am thinking of you and I love you. I loved you when you were little and I love you just as much and even more now.

I was and still am a sort of wallflower. Do you know what a wallflower is: well, as I remember it and as it was explained to me when I went to a dance and no one asked me for a dance, I was considered a wallflower. Someone who hugs the wall and hopes someone else will ask them to dance. I was thinking last night that I was a perpetual wallflower and I only remember someone asking me to dance after he had been refused by 6 others. I remember that dance so well. I even got sort of popular over it and people talked about how I was such a good dancer.  I guess that time was part of my 15 minutes of fame. I am still sort of a wallflower.

Here is what the urban dictionary says about wallflowers. And I do like these definitions.

-A type of loner. seemingly shy folks who no one really knows. Actually these are some of the most interesting people if one actually talks to them.


“Someone, usually in high school, who sees everything, knows everything, but does not say a word; they are not loners; they are introverted, meaning they are shy and have a social disease; they cannot handle having someone pay attention to them even though they crave it as much as everyone else; wallflowers are just phased in, and faded into the background.”


Dear Granddaughter #1,

Dear Granddaughter #1,

I think it is time for another Grandma letter.  This is an important one to me because I have so many ideas to tell. I hope you are well and comfortable with all that is going on in your world and the worlds around you.

First of all, when I call you, please sound a little joyful. Even if you do not think I am the greatest, make me think you think I am and make me think you are glad to hear from me. Why not? What does a little cheerful sound and a lovely lilt to your voice cost you? Nothing. It is also good practice.  Sounding cheerful always gives the person on the other end of your conversation a good, happy, feeling. I know you are not responsible for the way others feel, but you are responsible to be cheerful as much of the time as humanly possible. It is good for your electrolytes. It is something good.

Today’s Bits and Pieces: Insurance Fraud?

January 2, 2009

Claims Examiner

RE: D236654

In response to your letter dated December 18, 2008 you mention

that our claim was not covered because of any serious Injury or any unforeseen serious Sickness…”

We stated the truth about our problem about not being able to take the Yellow Fever shot due to recommendations from our doctor. You also state in your coverage PAYMENT for medically imposed restrictions, as certified by a Legally Qualified Physician, which prevents an insured’s participation in the Covered Trip. So we are in fact covered. Our doctor stated these reasons why at our age he would not give us the shot to protect us. More

Today’s Bits and Pieces: Blanky Farms Chicken

Dec. 29, 2008

Dear Blanky Farms Consumer Affairs, (name Blanky protects the brand name in question)

I am busy, just like you. I do not want to write this letter, but I can’t sleep at night for wanting you to know how I feel and how worried I am about your chicken product.

I am a very long time consumer of your products. I have 5 children and we do eat a lot of chicken.  Lately, I have purchased Blanky Farms chicken and it is tough.(more than once this past month) It does not cook properly and it looks wrong and it tastes wrong.  When you have cooked chicken for so many years, you know when something just is not right.  True, I do not go to the same market all of the time and do buy Blanky Farms product from different markets, but the product name is there and the product should be the same.  I do not buy off brand chickens because of the tough, wrong tasting, wrong texture I have been experiencing with your chickens lately. More

Bits and Pieces: Amending the Zoning Designation

To: The Huntington Park City Council
Ofelia Hernandez, Mayor

From: SheilaClapkin, President, Jos. Levin Realty Corp. of L.A.

Re: Amending The Zoning Designation from Industrial/Manufacturing to General

Huntington Park is my Hometown. I was born, raised and educated here. My family has been in business in Huntington Park for sixty-nine years in pretty much the same spot. We built new buildings on the corner of Soto and Slauson fifteen years ago to the specifications set by the city of Huntington Park. Our buildings made a significant improvement to that corner in appearance as well as the use of this prominent corner.
We have been able to successfully rent all of our units during these years. Now you want to make changes that will impact and perhaps destroy our present Industrial/Manufacturing complex. You will hinder our abilities to rent and do business in Huntington Park. We do not want you to do this rezoning to General Commercial.
Have you looked at Pacific Boulevard in order to revitalize and enhance its commercial capabilities? In the northern sections, there are blocks on that street that if revitalized would add to the drama that has always been part of the Boulevard. It is already a built in commercial district. Why do you want to go after us, the little guys that have served this community for going on three fourths of a century? Why just these few blocks, I ask you and not Pacific Boulevard which is already commercial? Why not a revitalization,, rather than a destruction and obliteration of what is already working well and serving our community in its Industrial/Manufacturing needs?
Sincerely Yours,

Sheila Clapkin
President, Jos. Levin Realty Corp. of L.A.

Bits and Pieces: I Don’t Fit Under The Bed Anymore

Dear Colby: This is your story.
Once upon a time there was a little boy who used to love to crawl under his mom and dad’s bed. He loved seeing the things that were deposited there by the dog or the cat. He used to think it was a dark cave where he could see all kinds of strange animals and fierce people with long hair and some beards.

He used to think that under the bed there lived a world that no one else ever saw or even knew about. He saw castles, kings, queens and his favorite friend was a prince named Joel. Every day he and Joel would meet under the bed and have a long journey. The mom could not understand why the little boy was always so tired everyday. How could he explain his daily journey into a world no one ever knew or would believe? So he didn’t say anything for many years. More

Bits and Pieces: Thank You!

July 30, 2008

Dear Tarzana Fireman,

I want to thank you for saving my life last Monday night. We could not make it to the hospital because it was during high traffic hours and the last thing I remember saying was, “ Take me to the Fire Station.” It worked.
I have searched the English Language for words to better describe thank you and I cannot find any others. So, I thank you.

For nearly forty years I have driven by your station with respect. Now and forever, I will drive by with reverence, love, admiration and great appreciation.

I have put together some items for you that represent some of my favorite things to eat. I hope some of them are yours as well, or perhaps they will become a favorite. I have also enclosed several copies of my most recently published book, which by the way just won an award.

I thought this would be an easy letter to write, but it is the hardest. I do want to say that I was not and am not done with my life and want to continue in the realm of service and a lot of paying back. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue with my work and in the last few days I have looked at the world differently. It is so much brighter, more beautiful that ever, people are more understandable and it is as if a crystalline wall has been lifted. I am grateful, thankful and indebted to all of you.

Sincerely with respect and gratitude,

Sheila Clapkin

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