Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Snoop

         "We gotta stop this snoopy columnist." Jimmy Hoffa furrowed his brow. "He can't keep his nose out of our business."

"Johnny Dio" Dioguardi then sent death threats to columnist Victor Riesel, but Riesel kept on broadcasting his anti-labor show.

"We could off him." Dio raised a single black eyebrow.

Jimmy shook his head. "Too fuckin' easy. I want Riesel to know what he did wrong."

Then about 2 a.m., April 5, 1956, Riesel left the radio station after broadcasting his usual program. He and his secretary walked to Lindy's to unwind. They left the restaurant about 3 a.m. 

Then Abraham Telvi, a slender, black-haired man, stepped out of the shadows and threw a vial of sulphuric acid into Riesel's eyes.


"My gosh!" Riesel shouted. He staggered. "My gosh!"

The secretary dragged Riesel into Lindy's to flush his face with water, but acid ate his eyeballs. 

Outside, Telvi sauntered away, trying to wipe a splash of acid off his face. 

"I should'a got more than five hundred bucks," he groused.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017



I don't know whether I should brag or complain about this: the Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, described as "broadly inclusive" and "diverse," has excluded my poetry from its pages. My poems are not among the more than 180 poems by 80-some Nebraska poets in the book.

Shall I brag or complain? 

I think I'll brag. That's more fun than complaining. 

So, why did Daniel A. Simon, editor, choose not to include me?

It can't be that I'm not from Nebraska. I was born and raised here, graduated from the University of Nebraska where I wrote my first poems in Wilbur Gaffney's creative writing class. True, I lived in New York for thirty years, but I've been back in Nebraska since 2004.

It can't be that I'm not a poet. I've written some 600 poems and given fifty poetry readings in Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and, of course, Nebraska.

Maybe my poems aren't good enough? 

But eighty have been published and several won awards: four Newark [NJ] Public Library poetry contests, one Feminist Writing Guild award at a Chicago printers' fair, and one the national Pushcart Prize:  Best of the Small Presses.

So what was it that led Simon to choose to exclude me, and two other well-known Omaha-Lincoln poets, from his broadly inclusive and diverse book?

I give up. 

You tell me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Mayor's Daughter

In 1950, my father ran for mayor of Alma, Nebraska, population 1,768. He ran against a strong, popular candidate, Paul Haeker. The April 4 election, a heavy one, drew more than three hundred voters, 162 for Dad, 148 for Haeker. Dad won just by 14 votes, but he won.
So my dad was Mayor, and I, the Mayor's Daughter. 
Almost thirteen years old, I quickly learned the downside to my new status. I felt sure my classmates would be so impressed by it that they would no longer holler at me, "Teacher's pet! Pthppthppthppth! Teacher's pet!"
I was right. Now they hollered, "You think you're so smart Pthppthppthppth! 'cause your dad's mayor!" 

  I Watched My Dad Beat the Teamsters
             A Daughter's Memoir
              by Marilyn June Coffey

Publication Date: July 30 
the date Hoffa "disappeared"


Warm wishes,


Marilyn June Coffey

Thursday, April 6, 2017

His Silver Bullet

Thursday afternoon, April 7, 1977, Dad had just hauled his 31-foot Airstream trailer through Denver. He and Mama had about 50 miles to go to Fort Collins when he pulled his prized silver bullet to the side of the highway and stopped. 

Mama watched him search in his shirt pocket for his nitroglycerin tablet, designed to ward off a heart attack. He found the pill box, took out one, and put it under his tongue.

After the pill dissolved, he asked, "Honey, can you drive us in?"

"Tom," her voice quavered, "you know I can't. I've never driven anything bigger than a car."

He leaned back. "Well, let me rest a bit."

  I Watched My Dad Beat the Teamsters
             A Daughter's Memoir
              by Marilyn June Coffey

Publication Date: July 30 
the date Hoffa "disappeared"