Just the other day at a “Breakfast with Friends” in the Great Hall at St. Apollinaris Church in north Napa, Jeanette and I were seated next to our friend, Pat Campbell, and her sister, Ann, whom I had never met. At least I thought I had never met her until Ann mentioned a bus ride long ago t…

The other day at our house, my grandson Robbie, now finishing his third year at Vintage High School, and his younger brother Phil, still in middle school, were busy on their laptop computers. That is until Robbie stopped what he was doing to ask Grandpa a question.

The other evening, I chanced upon a great film on the only movie channel I have, that being Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and was about to view a 1942 film titled “The Pride of the Yankees.”

A recent Associated Press column in the Napa Valley Register listed the top 20 girls’ and boys’ names announced by the Social Security Administration, and scanning those lists, I realized that by 2013, not only has the world changed, but the selection of babies’ first names with it.

Just the other day with the temperature in Old Napa Town approaching 100 degrees, our grandsons Robbie and Phil were at our house with their mom (our daughter Jean) and as usual on their laptop computers after their homework had been reviewed by their mom.

Well, another Mother’s Day has arrived. A day to honor a dear lady, living or dead, who shaped our lives. My mom has been gone for more than 50 years now, but to me, she lives to this very day in my heart and in my memories.

Just the other day, our daughter was at our house at the desk in the den reviewing her son Phil’s American history homework and suggesting a few changes that might be in order to earn Phil an A or an outside chance at an A-plus.

The other evening with our grandsons Robbie and Phil at our house for supper, the conversation suddenly turned to a subject near and dear to my heart.

Last week, this scribe wrote a story of a New York Police Department captain directed to report to the Manhattan South Borough chief’s office who got some orders he could have lived happily without.

Ed was summoned to the borough chief’s office and got the news he could have lived without.

With Major League Baseball opening up a new season a few days ago, my grandson and pal, Robbie, who prefers the theater to a baseball diamond, responded to my “Wows” and “Oh, mys” with a “What’s that you’re reading, Grandpa?”

A recent Associated Press story published in the Napa Valley Register marked the 50th year since the murder of a 28 year-old woman named Kitty Genovese in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y. Kitty was just one of the 600 homicides recorded by the New York Police Department in 1964, only this one was …

The other day with our grandsons Robbie and Phil at our house for the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage (the meat they devoured, the cabbage landed back on my plate), somehow I got my pals “off the hook” by changing the subject, and I knew they were glad I did.

The other day, with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, my grandson Robbie, with his inquisitive mind, asked me a two-part question, and what memories came rushing back.

On a recent Napa Valley evening with the rain coming down in buckets and the much-needed water overflowing our gutters and leaders, I thought of an old New York phrase, “enough already,” but here in the valley after a long dry spell, folks, especially vintners, were breathing sighs of relief.

Just the other evening, this scribe, who had more than he could take of tiny figures performing on skis in the mountains of Russia, chanced to notice in the Napa Valley Register’s television section that a movie titled “Pygmalion” would be appearing on late-night television.

While watching the Winter Olympics in far-off Sochi, deep in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, a late-night news broadcast cut into the program and brought some very old memories back.

While reading death notices in the Napa Valley Register on back-to-back days, I was hit in the solar plexus by some shocking and terrible news.

On Jan. 26, the 56th Grammy Awards took place in “La La Land,” and if you could sit through over four hours of noise, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

Not long after we arrived in Napa in October of 1997, I received a phone call from an official of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The caller, a gentlemen whom I knew, asked me to do him and SABR a favor.

On a recent evening, I was watching and listening to ABC television’s Diane Sawyer delivering the early evening news, and at the end of her broadcast, Diane threw in a tidbit in terms of names selected by parents for their babies in the year 2013.

Whenever this scribe travels down to the Century Napa Valley movie theater in south Napa, I enter the concrete and glass wonderland with awe and anticipation of viewing one of the 15 movies offered for our cinematic enjoyment.

With my grandsons Robbie and Phil at our house a few weeks ago on another New Year’s Eve, big brother Robbie asked Grandpa a question, and it had to do with Manhattan’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, where thousands of people would gather to celebrate the arrival of the y…

During the recent and generous Christmas vacation of three weeks, no less, that my grandsons enjoyed, Robbie, now a thespian in his own right on the Vintage High School stage, asked me a question that took me back a very long way.

The other day at our house, our grandsons Robbie and Phil, now 17 and 13 years of age respectively, were talking about the new computer gadgets they received as Christmas presents. And there came a time when the boys asked Grandpa what presents I found under my Christmas tree a very long time ago.

A few days ago, and out of the blue, I received two welcomed letters from old New York Police Department cops whom I hadn’t seen or made contact with in at least a quarter of a century.

The other day along with the usual mail, Jeanette and I were given a card and family photos from my niece Ruth Parker Benson, her husband Bob, and their children and grandchildren, a sure sign that we, Jeanette and I, were growing old.

The other day with my grandsons Robbie, now 17, and Phil, all of 13, at our house, there came a time when Robbie got off his laptop computer to ask Grandpa a question: “What was the most memorable football game you ever saw, Grandpa?”

Each Thanksgiving morning, American families enjoy a tradition filled with wonder and holiday cheer. While the Thanksgiving meal is being lovingly prepared, families everywhere gather to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, broadcast from New York City.  

Recently, my grandson Robbie, now a junior at Vintage High School and  interested in American history and politics, asked me a question that opened floodgates of memories of the darkest day Americans living at that time ever experienced.

Each year on Nov. 11 our nation, along with Great Britain and Canada, pauses to pay homage to the men and women in our armed forces who put their lives on the line in our nation’s wars, and a thank you, while nice, is an understatement.

Just over a week ago with our grandsons Robbie and Phil at our house, the boys were tapping away on their laptop computers while Grandpa was in his easy chair was staring at the television set, watching the sixth and as it turned out, last game of the 2013 World Series.

A recent front-page story appeared in USA Today’s weekend edition about a Washington, D.C. clergyman denouncing the nickname of the town’s National Football League franchise, the Washington Redskins.

The other day, with Halloween fast approaching, Jeanette and I were in Lucky’s supermarket in Napa, picking up some treats for the trick-or-treaters who would be ringing our doorbell in just a few days and nights. And, I should add here that last Halloween was a disappointment as a steady ra…

Just the other day, I received a welcome letter written in longhand from an old New York Police Department comrade, and Dave Ingram’s letter took me back to long ago times when we both wore NYPD blue.

This story took shape a few weeks ago, and it began when my grandson Robbie, a thespian at Vintage High School, asked me who my favorite film actor was.

On Sunday, Sept. 29, a front-page story in the Napa Valley Register presented Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics on violent crime and property crime in the city of Napa in 2012 versus 2011. And despite the financial crush all Americans find themselves in, those Napa numbers were bett…

The other day, our grandsons Robbie (who just turned 17 on Wednesday) and his 13-year-old brother Phil were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and after finishing their homework and a hefty snack, they dashed immediately to their laptop computers.

On the evening of July 7, this scribe was going through his usual nightly preparations for a good night’s sleep, which meant reading reading a bedside book until the book bounced to the floor for the second time. At that juncture, it was time to click off the night light and get some sleep.

A couple of weeks ago, a front-page story in the Napa Valley Register noted that Blockbuster on California Boulevard would be holding a liquidation sale and thereafter, any Napan still interested in renting a movie would have to travel to Sonoma.

Over the Labor Day weekend, our grandsons Robbie and Phil were at our house, and Robbie, a voracious reader, approached me with a smile as he handed me a book.

The other day at the Eye Care Center of Napa Valley on Trancas Street and Villa Lane, I chanced to meet a lady I hadn’t seen for over a decade and our conversation took us back to better days when I, new to old Napa town, found an amateur writers’ group that would meet every Thursday evening.

Recently, I ran into a fellow Napan named Jim Hearn, along with his wife, Margaret. I know Jim and Margaret from our meetings at the monthly “Lunch With Friends” at St. Apollinaris Catholic Church in north Napa.

Destiny is defined as a predetermined course of events that will touch our lives for better or worse and cannot be avoided, no matter how hard we try.

Recently, my grandson Robbie found an old blue hardbound book in my den and asked me, “Where did this book come from, Grandpa?"  

Since the beginning of the film industry, American theaters have shown British movies with Brits in the leading roles, to the delight of the American public.  

A short time ago, my grandsons, Robbie and Philip, were at the house, and in our discussions, Robbie threw a question my way that had me rushing down the hall to my bookshelf library that would open the door to so many of my yesterdays.

A recent notice in the Napa Valley Register mentioned the fact that Betty Jean Lear had passed away, and memories poured back of this fine lady and her late husband, Don, who together ran senior excursions from the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park to various points of interest in Northern California.

Recently, there was an article in the Napa Valley Register involving a New York high roller taking over the Napa Valley Opera House. The story said that while the stage and balcony would remain, all the seats in the theater would be gutted and in the their place, cocktail tables for wine dri…

With our 238th Independence Day consigned to American history books and our tape of the movie “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” filed away along with George M. Cohan and that “Yankee Doodle Boy” Jimmy Cagney, my grandsons and I turned back to another annual subject, and that one was on elocution l…

Thirteen years ago this very day, our son-in-law Bill called us with the news we had been waiting for.

Each year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation releases a report on Part I Crimes in U.S. cities with populations of more than 100,000 residents. Those crimes are murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle thefts.

In a recent issue of the Napa Valley Register, an Associated Press story took on the subject of American baby names. Once again, Jacob got top billing as a name fit perfectly for a boy for the 14th consecutive year. As for girls' names, Sophia took the honor for the past two years.

A couple of weeks ago at the Veterans Home of California at Yountville, after the program ended, some of us in attendance followed the home’s administrator, Cmdr. Marcella McCormack, U.S. Navy (Ret.) up the hill in the cemetery to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where a wreath was laid at t…

After attending the Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Home of California at Yountville, a service that even a cold spray of drizzle could not shut down, many memories returned, bittersweet thoughts of why we remain a free nation and the heroes who got us there, too many who would die too young.

The other day, a letter reached my desk sent to me by Jody Price, public information officer at the Veterans Home of California at Yountville. Jody was kind enough to fill this scribe in on the solemn ceremony that will be held Monday at the site adjoining the home’s cemetery where some old …

A Napa reader called the other day, and his questions were about policing and the New York Police Department. There were three of them.

Well, another Mother’s Day has arrived. Another day to honor a dear lady, living or dead, who shaped our lives and made us what we are today.

Last Sunday, this scribe with baseball running through his veins took a trip down memory lane at the state-of-the-art Cinemark theater on Gasser Drive to watch a movie titled “42.” That’s the number the late great Jackie Robinson, now a Baseball Hall of Famer, wore on the back of his Brookly…

The other day, I was suddenly hit in the solar plexus by a left hook, followed quickly by a right knockout punch to my chin as only days apart I learned of the deaths of a lifelong New York pal and a Napa friend.