Category Archives: Rosalie’s Blog


By Rosalie Tirella

Rosalie with Cece – December 2020

I am 59 1/2 years old. OLD. A proud member of the Old Farts Club. The Old Timers Brigade. The Wiser Than Most (or Many) Circle of ❤💜💚💙LOVE❤❤. Yes! John Lennon was right! “Love is the answer/and you know that for sure.”


Achy in the a.m., getting up in the middle of the night to pee … and pee again … looking at my jowls in the mirror and deciding to live with them … slathering petroleum jelly on my elbows and knees to make them soft …mulling over this tidbit from my ob-gyn doc: “Your ovaries used to be the size of walnuts – now they’re the size of peas.”

Missing the movies I came of age with! Hungry for their sharp-elbowed energy and starry-eyed idealism! Mine, too. I am pretty cynical these days, fearing for the planet and all her animals! This week I am gonna rewatch EASY RIDER …


Go ask Rose! I know a lot now! Oodles of wisdom shooting out of my fingertips, the snub of my nose, the ends of my crooked toes. My body closes in upon itself … Wish I was 30 again – with my wisdom carried in my change purse, like clinking dimes and pennies! Half my age – a life time ago! But you can never go back in time …

Like most of my older gal pals I talk with over the phone or hang out (we are “older” and are more hands-on than our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandkids, the Instagram/Snapchat crowd), I wake up wicked early. I mean really early. Like 5 a.m! We all do! Sometimes one of my gal pals texts me at 4:30 a.m! I text her back! How funny! I used to relish sleeping late as a kid, my mom yelling from our Green Island kitchen into my bedroom: STOP HUGGING THE PILLOW, Rosalie! Time for school!

Now I’m up with the frogs, moles and feisty English sparrows. While it’s still pitch black. I walk into my kitchen and pull open the kitchen window drapery and look for the moon … and am amazed at its beauty. Why didn’t I appreciate its eerie loveliness decades ago? Is it because in a decade or two I will be saying “Goodbye” to it? Twenty years goes by in a wink – I’ve had InCity Times for 20 years. Feels like seven. Eight tops.

Sometimes, I watch the sun rise. By slivers, wisps of orange across the dark grey eastern horizon. It’s a quickie deal – quicker than you’d think. A few minutes and it’s over! Like me! Like every living thing! I feel GRATEFUL. Another day of life! I walk to my dining room and clean up after my two pups (paper-trained by the dining room table) and pour myself a big glass of water and give Jett and Lilac a few Milk Bones. Still grateful, I start working on CECELIA. Sometimes I will go back to bed and listen to a news podcast, Michael Moore, Ezra Klein. Sometimes I will start cooking breakfast, from scratch!:

Vegan breakfast meatballs ready for the frying pan!

This was my late mom’s routine: Up at 5 a.m. for years and years. On Lafayette Street decades ago, before my kid sisters and I were up for high school or our peripatetic Daddy had roused himself from his apnea-tinged sleep – eating breakfast with Ma before he took off for the day to do who knew what, go who knew where.

I see my pretty and sweet mother grabbing the big box of Corn Flakes from the table and gingerly pouring the flakes into Daddy’s chipped cereal bowl. She sprinkles granulated sugar from the sugar bowl on them. She has cut Daddy’s orange in quarters and placed it on a pretty saucer. She has poured the milk into his fresh cup of coffee, Maxwell House. One teaspoon of sugar added, just like he likes it. Daddy couldn’t care less, of course. He’s a wild heart; we have all lowered our expectations. Except our Polish immigrant grandmother, Bapy, who sometimes throws her hard boiled egg sandwich at Daddy out of pure ill will. She knows exactly what he is. But sometimes I hear my parents talking and laughing over their Wonder Bread toast and orange juice, made from “concentrate,” in a can, mixed in with a half gallon of tap water by Ma in the big white porcelain pitcher I love so much. I love to sit at our ugly green kitchen table and watch Ma make a new batch of orange juice – it smells so good – so orangey! Daddy is giggling now! Ma is laughing that husky sexy laugh of hers. She’s wearing her black negligee. No robe …

I am glad I am facing old age alone – not with a man like my late father, no matter how good looking or sexy. I don’t hate my father any more. That’s part of getting old, too: the pain of youth and middle age fades through the years, and you see the other’s “story.” My father’s was a rough one …

And so I give that extra treat to Jett, off my breakfast plate. What the heck.
He’s old, too. 13 1/2 years old. Jett’s got a benign cancer on his flank. We are both overweight. But that’s OK. We will try to walk off our winter flab in the afternoon sun during our walks and my pups’ runs in the dog park. We will chase each other around in the snow, me and Jett, me laughing, Jett “smiling” that Husky grin of his.

Old friends!

🇺🇸Leading in Texas! Go, AOC and Beto! America’s Future!🇺🇸

By Rosalie Tirella

The TEXAS catastrophe shows us all that Joe Biden is too old to be President of the United States.

Joe’s a good man, but he’s a shadow of what a vital, vibrant president needs to be! Now!

Joe Biden should be in Texas. Now!! On the ground! Looking at all the damage! Meeting all those poor people! Mourning with them. Giving them hope. Hands on! Brainstorming with all those recalcitrant Texas officials! People died! People froze to death … in their homes, by their cars. That little boy in the news, 11 years old, so cute in his jacket, running outside to play in the snow in his yard. Then going home…to freeze to death. An American tragedy.

Helping on the ground – like Beto O’Rourke and AOC have been doing. That is what Biden should have been doing. But he couldn’t. Too frail. Take away the cool aviator sun glasses, the tight blue jeans, the short jacket with the collar turned up thug-style and you have a fragile, frail old man with an immune system that’s pushing 80 years old. Reality can’t mesh with the public relations imagery. A facade.

AOC: US congresswoman and future of the Democratic party.

AOC and BETO: They are YOUNG, STRONG beautiful … They saved, are saving, lives in Texas. They have been the real American political leaders during the Texas debacle. They waded into all that pain … AOC raised $3+ million for Texas Food banks and visited with the people, volunteered at the Texas food bank. To see her packing food boxes with the food bank volunteers was wonderful! BETO? All over the state! A fountain of energy and movement!

El Paso resident Beto O’Rourke came within 3 percentage points of unseating US – Texas – Senator Ted Cruz last election cycle.

Beto led efforts to check on hundreds of thousands of Texas senior citizens. To make sure they were taken to warm shelters or to bring water and food, if they could stay in their homes. Beto saved lives!

Texas Senator Ted Crus was high tailing it to Cancun.

Cruz needs to be voted out of office.

Texas Gov Abbot = useless. Beto needs to run against Abbot – TO WIN office AND BE THE NEW GOVERNOR OF TEXAS. O’Rourke came within 3 percentage points of unseating the odious Cruz last election cycle … He ran for prez. Three times the charm, Mr. O’Rourke!

President Joe Biden sent $$millions of federal money and power generators to Texas, and he declared the state of Texas an EMERGENCY, eligible for even more federal assistance. Biden WAS good … But was he inspiring, charismatic, an American leader we’d follow to the hinterlands? Nope. At 78 and terrified of COVID and mixing with us hoi polloi, Joe is afraid of getting sick. Of dying in the age of the ever mutating corona virus. Let’s be honest. Biden only interacts with us Americans under very controlled, sanitized circumstances. This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for these times.

Beto and AOC and other young American leaders MUST CONTINUE TO STEP UP AND LEAD AMERICA.

Beto and AOC: two young charismatic Democrats who are the Dems’ FUTURE. BEAUTIFUL TO LOOK AT and BRILLIANT. They’re at the FOREFRONT of the issues. They understand climate change and what we need to do as a country to turn things around. They have the health, strength and energy TO BE WITH US AMERICANS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. Not hiding in their basements, hungry for the next nap.

My dream team: President Beto and Vice President Alexandria …

Their day – our day – will come!

Happy Valentine’s Day❤ from the Boss and us

By Rosalie Tirella

This Valentine’s Day I am making black bean soup …

❤pics: R.T.

… and listening to one of the most romantic lps ever penned: GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, N.J., by one of America’s most romantic songwriters: Bruce Springsteen.


I have stepped into this beautiful, torn, angel/waitress/guitar-slinging singer, motorbike-seaside world of longing and sprawling, outsized dreams that a bus driver’s son (Bruce!) dares to dream since I was 19 years old. I put the old lp on my old turntable and I am young again, romantic even! Bring on Valentine’s Day and “holy blood … and mud” … transport me to the Jersey shore of the Stone Pony bar with all the Italian American boys in their muscle shirts, combing their greased hair back in the Stone Pony’s men’s room. I see him … Bruce, scrawny and rough-hewn, playing and playing on that small stage, before his rapt audience. He’s singing the song he wrote for his waitress girlfriend and it makes me cry …Did he get her pregnant under the boardwalk, his Mary, his Queen of Arkansa? Will the couple start afresh in Mexico, this wisp of a man and worldly woman who loves him “so da*n easy”?

And, yeah, Bruce takes the bus into the City (NYC). For music. For love. For Spanish-Harlem adventure. And he sees the thugs and the kids and the cops and he brings his poetry to the crime scene. “Hey, man, did you see that?” he sings to us. Yes, Bruce, we did. We are trying to make sense of it all, too.


At 60 years old, I love the wordy, wonderful carnival tilter world of a teenaged, scrawny scruffy Bruce Springsteen more than I love his later, more conventional, less verbose, less complex songs of his later lps. Give me ASBURY PARK, THUNDER ROAD and “Candy’s Room” off of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN and I’m all set! Layer upon layer of lyrical acrobatics, the songs half spoken, half sung: boots and baseball cards, faded and torn wallpaper in Candy’s Room but she’s teaching him … “Spirits in the Night,” the open road, the closed life – the boy’s days still circumscribed by the working class thrift of his parents’ …

Who would want to be a saint in New York City? Not Bruce! Not me! “It’s so hard to be a saint when you’re just a boy on the streets”! Daring do-youth in a nutshell. Bruce was just a kid when he composed all of the songs on ASBURY PARK – in my opinion, masterpieces every one of them. He weighed less than a skinny Clarkie named Rosalie. A Rose who hung on his every word with her Clark University pals – about five of us, me, my then boyfriend, and his three best guy friends: from Baltimore, Vermont and Connecticut. I was the only girl in the room listening to the Boss because back then, even at Clark U, girls didn’t spend their week day nights listening to Springsteen, parsing his lyrics with the guys, growing solemn at the turn of a Springsteen phrase. They did their homework. Big mistake!… But my beau and the writer-guys respected my smarts and poetry enough to let me into their elite club at Wright Hall, third floor, blue hallway walls. I see it all now. I still remember their names! I am smiling at my handsome boyfriend’s amazing blue eyes, shiny black hair and cleft chin, “Dave”‘s long red hair and freckles enchant me, I love the short Justin and his barn coat and work boots he wore even in the spring and I will never forget the tall, good looking, sweet John who always kissed me on the mouth when our paths crossed on campus…My FIRST LOVES: Bruce Springsteen and these Clarkie boys! Valentine’s Day every day with these guys – walking jauntily to the cafeteria from the dorm, laughing loudly, so full of ourselves! Late night in Dave’s room, all of us typing our term papers on our portable typewriters. I was to get an Underwood at graduation, but at Clark I pecked out my pathetic prose on my pathetic ORANGE portable typewriter. No one snickered. It was never who had the most money (they all did) but who wrote the best essays, the fleetest poems.

We all wanted to be writers back then. Like our hero, Bruce Springsteen:

I miss those days.

Old is New!

By Rosalie Tirella

Trump’s acquittal – historic – horrific. But remember: Donald Trump is the reflection, the embodiment of, the discontent of millions of Americans. If not Trump, their rage will be poured into another vessel. Ivanka. Don Jr. Ted Cruz.

I just watched the 13+minute long C-Span video of that wild mob storming the US Capitol. A rampage of hatred, danger, complete with brandished weapons – Capitol cops beaten with flag poles, fire extinguishers, pipes … and so much ignorance. So many misguided souls. Didn’t any of the marauders take US history class in high school, didn’t their churches teach them anything – or their mothers and fathers? Confused people led by and egged on by lying demagogue Trump.

The video montage was shown for the first time during Trump’s trial. The incident more lethal than what had been presented to us in the news during the hours and days following that infamous day – January 6, 2021. My heart broke for the police officers who so needed “back up” but were denied help thanks to Trump, who watched it all on TV, savoring the violence IN HIS NAME!!, refusing to send in the National Guard or more Capitol Police until hours later – after an intruder had been shot and killed, a police officer murdered …

Yesterday I watched the opposite of the Trump Show Rampage – I watched the 1941 film YANKEE DOODLE DANDY starring James Cagney. …


I needed to see a time when our country was more cohesive, when we Americans were on the same page, patriotic in the best sense of the word. James Cagney stars as George M. Cohan, the American song and dance man who gave us Americans so many of our rousing anthems and marching tunes during the 1920s and 1930s: OVER THERE. YOU’RE A GRAND OLD FLAG. I’M A YANKEE DOODLE DANDY! Songs our parents loved and knew by heart. Songs that many of us Baby Boomers learned in school or catechism class or scouts. Songs that helped us understand WHO WE ARE AS A COUNTRY. These songs brought us all together, helped us get through World War I and beyond. They may seem corny to the kids today – but I love them! Learned them as a kid growing up in Green Island, when we weren’t in our protective silos but lived in the rough and tumble America – TOGETHER… where kids played Red Rover and Tag before supper – no matter how ramshackle the streets, no matter how poor or well off the neighborhood. Common ground.


Now that all seems to have evaporated: our American songs we loved to wave our American flags to, a basic understanding of our government and country’s history, a desire to be E PLURIBUS UNUM! Never have we been so poor and dumbed-down. Not #1 – but #39 in some polls. And so enraged and unwilling to break bread with people who aren’t exactly like us …

Cagney – and Cohan – were Irish Americans, sons and grandsons of immigrants. Just as up against a wall as many of our newer immigrants are today. But they embraced their America – and contributed to this country. Great songs! Great acting! Cagney is one of my fave actors! So intense and full of life – on the go, hurtling toward a bright cool future. So American! Yesterday I found myself shedding a tear or two as I watched Cagney march and sing and do all these weird but exuberant tap dance moves! What was he doing? Have no idea, but I loved it! We need more Cagney and Yankee Doodle Dandy and George Cohan. BUT NEW INCARNATIONS FOR TODAY. THE AMERICA OF 2021!


I watched James Cagney so I wouldn’t have to watch the C-Span video of the desecration of our Capitol …

Isn’t it romantic …

By Rosalie Tirella

It’s Super Bowl Sunday. I am watching Audrey Hepburn movies.

Today: SABRINA. Last month it was BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS. Both movies are wonderful. Star Audrey Hepburn is beautiful and enchanting in both of them: her lithe, ballet-perfect torso poetic; her doe eyes and thick eye brows a fashion statement unto themselves, her swan neck dreamy … But I am a TIFFANYS girl all the way!! In SABRINA, Hepburn (Sabrina) is very young, gamine … knowing but filled with moon beams, as all kids are. She gets the guy of her dreams. … She is wistful, emotional, true … We feel we are in some sort of jaded fairy tale set in New York City – and we are. It’s a Billy Wilder film, after all! … yet … yet we yearn for Holly Go Lightly (Hepburn) in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS.


The depth of this film, of Hepburn in this film, is breathtaking. Hepburn is a walking tragedy – she’s wearing Givenchy – but she’s still a walking tragedy. More so! Haughty, but of the streets. Shrewd, but ultimately clueless. Barely holding up all that evening couture, a torn and fragile wild heart at the bottom of the champagne glass – more Appalachian waif (she’s from Kentucky) than the NYC sophisticate she pretends to be. When her jailbird pal Salli Tomato looks at her finances and says: “$8 to sew an evening gown strap back on … 7 cents for one can of cat food …” and he looks up from Holly’s little ledger ready to cry, that’s all we need to know.

I have watched BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS (1961), about 25 times through the years but, only last month, during a viewing after not seeing it on my TV screen for five years and having read the Truman Capote novella decades ago, did I really “get” this Blake Edwards (of Pink Panther fame!) work of art! What a movie! … Only during this most recent viewing did it hit me like a sledge hammer: Holly Go Lightly is a call girl. Behind the lovely city scenes, behind the NYC Library, 30 Rock, the skyscrapers, beneath all that mocking-bird happy talk and prattle coming out of Holly’s lipsticked mouth is a young woman who is terrified. Lost. Maybe raped by her “rats” and “super rats.” Tragic.

Why my strong emotions, my pitcher of tears, after this viewing? Older and wiser, did I feel maternal towards the young Holly? Was it my own old woman musings that made me so empathetic? Holly Go Lightly: a beautiful girl degraded on all fronts. A skinny kid from a poor country shack, her hick accent smoothened by elocution lessons, her beauty in full bloom, her long neck drenched in lovely jewelry …exploited at every turn. In a fight for survival. Yet standing oh so elegantly in front of Tiffany’s department store, after stepping out of a taxi cab one of her johns has paid for. Here she is in sexy black evening gown, earrings dripping from earlobes, standing in front of the storied store’s entrance, drinking cheap takeout coffee out of a styrofoam cup, gobbling down a croissant out of a bag. Breakfast at Tiffanys! She’s a prostitute, yet she eats her crumby breakfast in no doorway, ashamed, cowed, but standing before the iconic Tiffanys: an august, understated, historic business. Holly is known to visit Tiffanys to window shop, to see all the designer clothing, perfect clutches, diamond brooches. But Tiffanys is more than a symbol of understated wealth and elegance for this gold digger with great taste. It’s home. It’s church. It’s a comfort. It’s unconditional love that never disappoints.

Holly meets her “Fred” – George Peppard as Paul Varjak – when he moves into her apartment building. Young and beautiful, too, Paul’s almost in as bad shape as Holly is! He’s an aspiring writer – a book of short stories under his writer’s belt – but he wrote the collection several years ago and has nothing new; his typewriter doesn’t even have a typewriter ribbon in it! He’s prostituting himself, too: he’s being kept by an older, married woman whose brittle elegance is only surpassed by her cynicism.

Right away Holly and Paul, both sensitive souls, become best buds! Sleeping together platonically … Paul attends Holly’s big empty party in her big empty apartment, he meets her Cat, chats with her smarmy mentor/savior … and he falls for Holly. Holly is smitten, too – which is why she puts up the wall. Too scared “to be owned by anyone” Holly won’t sleep with Paul. Won’t let him be her boyfriend … She has a stray cat she’s taken in – but hasn’t named him. He is just Cat. She’s that afraid of commitment and love. But “Cat” is well fed and carelessly caressed when Holly returns home after her urban escapades. And Paul is always there for her, too. He listens – and understands Holly’s small, sad stories. He watches as she goes through “rat” after rat – even a Super Rat and Scared Little Mouse – as she searches for the richest man in America to marry! And use! That way she can take care of her brother Fred, a special needs guy who is in the Army for the time being. She loves her brother Fred. Dreams of being rich enough so she can buy a horse farm and bring Fred home to live with her. This touches Paul…when Fred is killed in a Jeep accident Holly loses it. Paul understands … But Holly’s with the prince of Brazil now – Paul can only advise this good but cowardly politician …how to be there for Holly. How to love her.

A few months prior, Paul and Holly had spent the night together – after a magical day spent “touring” New York: the grand public library to check out Paul’s book, Tiffanys!, shoplifting two plastic Halloween masks at a five and ten store…then the lifting of the Halloween masks, Deputy Dog for Paul, a pretty cat face for Holly … and seeing the truth, and kissing by their apartment building’s mail boxes. LOVE. The next morning: Paul knows: SHE’S THE ONE FOR ME. He’s filled with joy and turns in bed to kiss Holly good morning. But Holly, terrified of her feelings, has already fled the scene – to the NYC public library. To research Brazil: she plans on marrying that rich Brazilian politician.

A good egg but too afraid to muss his political reputation back home with loose-cannon Holly – she thinks he’s going to marry her – this latest beau dumps her, too. Yet Holly – in a cab with Paul – plans on following the morally weak and proper pol to Brazil. Paul has assumed she knows that she’s been dumped…that she will cash in her plane ticket to South America and go home with him to live happily ever after. (He’s broken off with the married broad and is now working, selling his short stories to The New Yorker) He even has the Cracker Jack ring (the prize) he had engraved for Holly at Tiffanys during their fun-filled day together – a cute, sentiment-laden engagement ring. He even has Cat!! – pulls the rough-hewn yellow tabby out of a sack and hands him to Holly.

But Holly is busy putting on nylons…lipstick…she plans to leave NYC. BE FREE. She doesn’t want to be domesticated by Paul. It is pouring rain – she yells at the cabbie: STOP THE CAB!, and she dumps Cat out into the pouring rain, into a rough neighborhood filled with garbage cans and “garbage galore”!

Paul turns to her in the back seat of the cab and explodes: HOLLY, I LOVE YOU! YOU BELONG TO ME!


Paul: “PEOPLE BELONG TO EACH OTHER! YOU BELONG TO ME! You say YOU’RE FREE. But love’s a fact. I love you! I don’t want to put you in a cage! I want to love you!” … Then this truth: “Baby, you’re already in a trap. A cage you made for yourself.”

Paul gets out of the cab to go look for Cat. Holly sits in the cab dumbfounded and the taxi driver drives on. Then Holly has her epiphany. She flings open the cab door and runs out to look for her Paul and her Cat. She runs through the rough streets of New York screaming CAT! CAT! CAT! She finds Paul. He is looking for cat, too. Then …from behind a garbage can, MEOW. MEOW. It’s CAT! Soggy but safe. Holly rushes to him, scoops him up and sticks him in the front of her rain coat, against her breasts. She smothers Cat with kisses – Paul runs to her and they kiss passionately in the rain, Cat between the two young lovers soaking in all that love.


Holly Go Lightly!


🌺By Rosalie Tirella🌺

Carrie would adore this magenta nubby dress Rose wore to work last December! pics: R.T.

Best “news” today! Sarah Jessica Parker and her “SEX AND THE CITY” TV show is back! For just 10 episodes – but still! – that’s enough television writerly finesse and smarts and joy to get us to whip out our old vibrators and shout “Hooray!!” into the Woo night-scape!!

Lead character Carrie Bradshaw (SJP) and her TV gal pals are my age in the rebooted series – in their 50s. Wow. THIS FACT ALONE IS GROUNDBREAKING. When do we ever see 58-year-old women portrayed as sexual, curious, fashion-loving, attractive, creative humans on the little – or big – screen? Hardly ever. We’re always the cool stepmoms, the feisty grandmas, the lone women who open independent book shops by the sea. AURGH!!! What crap!!

I bet the SEX AND THE CITY ladies are still, like me and my ol’ gal pals, discussing men, relationships … their best orgasms ever … but loudly in their local coffee shop! While eating hearty, butter-laden breakfasts! They will still live in New York City, which was always filmed and portrayed so lovingly, so magically by the series’ original writer/creator/director Michael Patrick King, who is back, too, writing the episodes as I write this!

In the rebooted show, Carrie is still a writer and still married to her dream man “BIG,” the gorgeous Wall Street money guy who got around in his own private limousine in the original series and adored Carrie but stomped on her heart about a million times. Because Big couldn’t own his feelings!!!!!!!!!!! Poor Carrie!!!!

Carrie would approve of Rose’s fringy hippie boots – parked in her laundry room!

Charlotte is back, too, and, we hope, still preppy, spacy and filled with kooky naivete. The hard-edged but mushy-hearted Miranda (the actor Cynthia Nixon who ran against DeBlasio for NYC mayor) is back, also. Is Miranda still a hard-charging lawyer? Or has she mellowed out after marriage and motherhood and is now helping her cute, cool hubby run his cute, cool neighborhood bar, Scout (named after his dog! How lovely is that!)?


Brazen beyond belief, oversexed and proud of it, public relations maven Samantha Jones is MIA (Kim Cattrall was always the show’s prima dona), but we’ll adjust. This will still be a television hot fudge sundae for us! 🌸I’m 59 years old and, like so many of you late-40/50+ gals, I sat riveted to my TV set in the early 2000s to see parts of me come alive, to figure things out with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. To commune with my cooler soul mates as they (we) experienced/discussed: aloneness, friendship, lust, romance, men, anal sex, breast cancer, careers, abortions, halter tops, rent control … the difference between rats and squirrels (Carrie said squirrels were just rats “with a cuter wardrobe”) SWEATERS, SHOES – amazing WARDROBES! Carrie, through all those TV episodes, never wore the same outfit twice! This was rich, seeing in real life SJP was raised by a single mom and called herself trailer trash …

How cute is ROSE’S ROSE sheath?

Watching SEX AND THE CITY educated and empowered us now old broads – I hope the new shows will, too! They’ll be about (according to SJP) COVID 19 and NYC during these socially distanced days. I am certain they will cover being a mom of teenagers in 2021, being female and aging with the love of your life … menopause and all the changes in sex drive and sex and ovary size (gone from walnut-sized to pea-sized). Hope my Carrie writes a poem to her ovaries!



Jail Cells

By Rosalie Tirella

Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent

I’d like to talk about jail cells and America. This 60-year-old broad – with asthma! – was in several of them Wednesday. I want to talk about my jail cells, how even in the best of circumstances – when the police do their job in humane ways and treat you with respect – your jail cell dehumanizes you, makes you feel trapped, makes you feral, makes you feel the wild terror of a caged animal – a tiger at the zoo, a little grey mouse in the pet store window. An unnatural state for living creatures who crave sunlight and love. My jail cells frightened me …set my heart to beating two and three fold times faster. They made me look and find deep deep deep inside me the strength in myself…faith in me. Rose.

All my jail cells in Worcester, in the Worcester police department headquarters, in the Worcester courthouse that day, in our America, were clean and properly COVID sanitized. My jail cell sinks shone, my toilets worked, my ankle shackles on not too tight, my handcuffs readjusted so they wouldn’t hurt my wrists…BUT ALL THE TIME I WANTED TO BE FREE!! Never in my life did I love freedom more! To be at the end cell of my cell block craving freedom and to see a human face! I felt panicked and alone in those spare clean sanitized jail cells in Worcester with their pale yellow walls. Sometimes they were gray. Always no windows. No people to see come and go. No smiles to reassure you…I put my face against tbe dark one-way window between me and the police officers …to see them! To connect with the human race! I put my chained wrists through the slot in my jail cell door and thought about the many Black and brown kids and poor men and women who came before me and put their handcuffed hands through that slot …in trepidation? in anger? in wild mad panic?? And I felt sad for myself, Worcester, my country. I saw all the angry confused boys and men and girls and women who came before me – TERRIFIED – just like me – degraded, just like me. Thank you, America.

I sat still but filled with epiphany, holding my knowledge gently, sitting on the long cement block bench in my jail cell. I saw how my predecessors, fat, skinny, flat faced, sharp featured…I felt how they, human beings, reacted to this thing-a-fication of human beings, courtesy of America’s criminal “justice” system. I understood why prisoners – even the “innocent” ones – took their lives in such circumstances and why my scarf was taken away and asked WAS I WEARING A BRA? The system knows what crimes it perpetrates. I thought of ALL the deaths, heart attacks, broken bones, tears, curses that happened in these jail cells that went unreported, that never saw the light of day, that we the people never knew about – or mourned. When there were good cops just doing their jobs in a humane way! Never mind the abusers, the assaulters, the racists, the men and women cops on messed up power trips. The “bad apple” cops who maim and torture and have killed in jail cells. “Bad apples” … Such a cute name for such deadly deeds! For breaking souls and spirits and bodies and minds and families outside those small jail cells.

America, Worcester, we need to reform this sick, broken system.

My Worcester Police Department “experience” – Part 2

By Rosalie Tirella

The WPD cops outside my apartment door this a.m. were jerky, but just the two of them. My neighbors are PROFESSIONAL LIARS, and the cops listened to their lies… WHERE WAS THE WPD PAPERWORK? WHY NOT TELL ME WHY I WAS BEING ARRESTED?! I said: my vile neighbors are at the bottom of this. And Millbury State Police trooper TIMOTHY HARRIS. So…the morning unfolded in a paddy wagon, jail cells, hand and ankle cuffs…

But I need to say this: a TOTALLY HUMANE EXPERIENCE AT WPD headquarters at Lincoln Sq and Woo COURTHOUSE. I felt I was dealing with human beings who heard me, listened to me. I have never been so harassed by neighbors in my life, white, with cars – not disenfranchised at all – yet here were the authorities treating me with kid gloves!

My neighbors and Millbury State Trooper Timothy Harris and Millbury barracks brazenly disrespecting the system because they know they can. The cops at WPD RESPECTING people and the law. And me. … The regular WPD officers all seem to love Police Chief Steve Sargent – …
Chief Sargent

… they told me he’s a great guy. They also struggled – with their computer equipment!! Their computers were sluggish and crashed, and they had to take my mug pic twice! I told them: I AM 60 AND NOT WEARING ANY MAKEUP! The cops told me: BLOG ABOUT HOW WE NEED NEW COMPUTERS! The cops do – I was there! The WPD computer system IS garbage. Come on, Mayor Petty and city leaders, we’re the second largest city in New England. Help them do the paperwork …

Sweet: One of the cops was so gentle with me, so patient, patting my hand with a: “good luck.” Another cop said: “You’re a nice lady.”… Later I told the Worcester police officers – all of them – YOU’RE NICER THAN MY NEIGHBORS AND LANDLORD!!

One officer suggested, softly: Get out of there … (my apartment)

So, maybe the Worcester Police Dept is not so bad: if you are real, they are real. If you are calm and honest – they are, too. The hand and ankle cuffs were terribly traumatic for me. The cells clean but bleak. I see why people kill themselves in them. We do need changes – young kids, Black kids, they aren’t gonna react the way I did. THEY WILL PANIC. THE COPS WILL PANIC. CATASTROPHE in 30 seconds! But my Woo cops knew that I was harmless – and stressed – and kept the cuffs loose and comfortable and readjusted them numerous times when I whined about my delicate wrists …

So why the pure hatred and lies from my neighbors here? Why make up lies and call WPD and the staties – I will be calling state human rights commission re this incident. State Trooper Timothy Harris took my license plates months ago – told people: ROSALIE NEEDS TO TALK WITH ME TO GET THEM. I was creeped out by him – there were 2 boxes of license plates in the Millbury Barracks. Why DID TROOPER TIM HARRIS HAVE MINE IN HIS CAR? WHY DID HE SAY I HAVE AN ATTRACTIVE POCKET BOOK?? I called State Senator Mike Moore – told them about Harris – they called the state police – I got my license plates back – after the state police had told me State Trooper Timothy Harris had destroyed them.


Why such horrible neighbors – but such good Worcester cops? Wow. A few epiphanies over afternoon (very late) coffee and buttered bagel …


By Rosalie Tirella

Rose, December 2020

Yep. 2021 begins in Worcester, but it’s the same old song and dance: Amanda Wilson, head of the City of Worcester Building and Code department, located on Meade Street, already seems MIA. Or maybe it’s just her heart that’s stopped pumping. Amanda says – YES! THE CITY NEEDS AN APARTMENT REGISTRY! But NO! NOT THIS YEAR! IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR!

Now why would a big important city department head, in charge of making sure all of the city’s rental units are fit for human habitation (many are not), not move ahead and DO HER JOB? Make sure all the rental apartments/units in Worcester are up to code?

Oh, right. It’s an election year. She needs to not upset the apple cart – keep her job. Amanda’s partner – a contractor – was once involved with bilking the City of Worcester of millions of dollars when he headed up various building projects for the City’s CDCs. He was found guilty of robbing the City of millions of dollars as he built his super-inflated$$$ CDC apartment complexes. So Amanda better keep quiet now.

Another question for you: Why would District City Councilor Matt Wally declare his candidacy for an at large city councilor slot this election year – and not mention his signature political campaign issue/promise of political campaigns past?: ESTABLISHING AN APARTMENT REGISTRY for the City of Worcester?

Well, Matt knows better: it’s an election year! And he wants to get elected to an at large seat at all costs. So he can run for mayor in a few years. … Why upset the apple cart? In this case a mighty voting constituency: developers, landlords, realtors, the Chamber of Commerce yahoos. It seems likely Mayor Joe Petty will retire from the job in a term or two. The pandemic, racial challenges, the tanking local economy…COVID. It’s all taken its toll on our modest, likable, often competent mayor. He’s tried to do the right thing but Petty, like CM Ed Augustus, has been wrung through the wringer many many times. They are both pushing 60. The Murray-McGovern political poo-bas seem to be poo pooing reality and grooming Matt Wally, another insipid Worcester-Irish boys-club insider, for the mayoral slot. Another boring, vision-less, gut-less white guy to lead Worcester, a city that’s fast becoming a majority-minority city. Can Wally lead us into a new post-pandemic reality?? Or is he another walking political anachronism? Another elite lucky Woo boy who will shy away from making TRANSFORMATIONAL changes in our city’s police department, school system?

Why, when I called the Worcester Police yesterday about the abusers downstairs here in my building, did the lady cop in the WPD’s Operations Division start SCREAMING – abusing – me?!! Right after the police department touted their just-received grant$$$$ to help abused women? Why aren’t these nasty people trained – despite all the training they receive? Why the police brutality? Still? And why would Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent tell the city: THERE IS NOT ONE IOTA OF RACISM IN THE WORCESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT!!! What blue-colored goggles is Police Chief Steve Sargent wearing?

2021. In Worcester. Again. Just press the rewind button, fellow citizens!

Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent. CECELIA file photo: Ron O’Clair

We celebrate the KING!!!

By Rosalie Tirella

The dream unfolds …

For the MLK Jr. holiday I’m posting my favorite MLK speech, “live”: YOUR LIFE’S BLUEPRINT. King delivered it to a school auditorium filled with junior high students. In Philly, before his big event, The Freedom Festival, for their parents – a fundraiser to be held in the Spectrum, complete with Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte and all our other iconic Black American artists and civil rights champions. King was introduced by a Black kid with glasses; the school camera-kid drops his camera for a second and MLK disappears for a second! MLK congratulates their “fine” teachers and joked about being a long-winded preacher. He had already been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but this speech is better than that august acceptance speech. …

Alizea age 14
Be a great student!!

… This speech, though around 20 minutes long, is major – true, real and filled with love for Black kids. Not a one-off. Not a small speech given to regular kids, in a regular school, with regular teachers. Nope. It – like King – SOARS. Black kids during the Civil Rights movement in the tumultuous 1960s needed to hear this speech – we all do, today. Now more than ever!

❤photo: Fatimah Daffaie

I love MLK’s writing here: so kid-friendly and focused: “Stay in school!” he tells the students, 12, 13 and 14 years old. Love yourself! Celebrate your face, body and skin color!: “I have good hair,” King says to the kids, pointing to his hair, “and it’s as good as anybody else’s hair in the world!” 🌺MLK’s speech is so direct. He tell his young audience: “ALWAYS FEEL THAT YOU COUNT…THAT YOU HAVE WORTH. … Doors of opportunity are opening to you that were not open to your mothers and fathers.”


And it’s poetic, filled with love. We’re treated to MLK metaphors and similies that transcend boring junior high school auditoriums, the study hall setting where students snap gum and doze off. Be Shakespeare!! he tells the students. Be a lone hero!!! Be Booker T. Washington!!! Be George Washington Carver!!! Be an opera singer!!!…Stay in school, no matter how hard the journey. Be somebody! And if you grow up to become a street sweeper, “Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry!” Can’t be “the pine on the top of the hill”? Be a terrific little scrub! “If you can’t be the sun, be a star!” he says, looking like a star.


It all happens through principles of determination, excellence, aspiration … and, most and best of all, the transformational power of LOVE: “Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low that you hate them,” MLK says.