Showing posts with label Philip Nork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philip Nork. Show all posts

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man - Philip Nork, Author



Bang-Bang Man's Famous Vegetarian Chili
(After Candy realized what Matt could and could not eat,
this became his favorite dinner.)

INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 (15.5-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes
3 c. vegetable broth
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Shredded cheddar, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Cilantro, for serving
1.      In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil then add onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Sauté until soft about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
2.      Add tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and seasonings. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.      Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer, 30 minutes.

4.      Serve with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man - Review by Martha A. Cheves

"It was about twenty-five years ago, a month after I sold my business and turned to gambling full-tine.  There were some good times and bad times associated with those animals... who knew that my life would become so controlled by them?"

Dr. Darla started to write things down.  As she did she asked even more questions about my past.  "So, are you saying that you gained all this weight you carry after that statement?"  


She was referring to the size I had become.  I weighed about six hundred pounds and that is why I had this damn heart attack in the first place.  The stress of my life had taken over my better judgement and I had ballooned up to my current weight.  Now the psychologist I am seeing wants me to think more about my past and try to find out why.  I was told that if I didn't lose some weight and get a better frame of mind I could not have the weight loss surgery I so desperately needed.  That was the only reason I began to let on more of my past to her.

Matthew Davis has found himself in a bit of a situation.  He loved to eat and gamble on the horses.  That was about all he loved anymore and it cost him dearly.  He lost his wife as well as his children due to his problem.  Now he is faced with a situation that his doctor feels all stems from his past.

This book reminded me of a woman I knew in the 80's.  She too was overweight.  She didn't weigh 600 lbs. but she was heavy.  When she was with you one on one she was nice and easy to get along with, but let there be someone even in hearing distance and she would crawl your rump for reasons only she seemed to have.  I never understood why she was so mean.  As I thought about other people in my life, then and now, I find myself remembering more and more who were the same as this woman from my past.  Even now there is a man who is very friendly when we speak one on one either on the phone or even through emails but when we are together around others he too is down right mean to me.  Reading The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man brought these people to mind but it also helped me to understand just why they are the way they are.  This book has actually helped me in the way I look at those people and how I handle myself around them.

So, read The Adventures of Bang-Bang Man and I have a feeling you too will have people come to mind.  I just hope you read into it as I did and it will help you cope with them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

All Because of the Tip of a Needle - Philip Nork, Author



Reuben Dip
(A Philip Nork favorite)

4 packages of Bunning Corned Beef shredded
8 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese
8 ounces of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 16 ounce can of sauerkraut
1/2 cup of mayonnaise


Mix all together and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Try to serve on a hot plate along side rye bread slices or your favorite cracker.

All Because of the Tip of a Needle - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

An excerpt from the book- This last six years was a mentally draining one for me. I had everything I lived for - horse racing, my family, and my wife and kids - taken away from me.  All I could do was wait and wait and wait.  The lawyer told me not to talk to anyone, including my family, about what had happened.  He said it would hamper our case.

Sam Newman, twenty-one years of age, became known as 'Sam-the-man' at the track because he won with regularity.  He was disliked by some, and apparently, hated by more. His young life was going just as he dreamed it would. Using the advice his grandfather had taught him he found the best ways to work with horses and also to make them work for you. He had learned well and it was paying off in more ways than one.  Thanks to his success he was able to marry the girl of his dreams, have kids, and most importantly to him, he was winning at the tracks of his hometown, Chicago, Illinois.  His special 'way' with horses allowed him to spot a rundown horse and turn him back into a winner.  How did he do this?  He just had a way with the equine, but if you talked to the other owners and drivers of Chicago they would tell you it was because of a needle and a drug known as Etorphine, an elephant tranquilizer also known as M-99.  This drug was rumored to make the horses run, fast and straight, to the finish line.

Sam's longtime vet, known as Doc Brown, turned against him when Sam replaced him with another vet.  After losing his temper, he made a promise to Sam's brother, Dave.  His threat was "Payback is a bitch..." and apparently this threat was carried out.  It wasn't long after the threat was made that officers from the Illinois Bureau of Investigations searched Sam’s barn area and discovered a hypodermic needle in his car.  After supposedly testing it, it was confirmed that the needle had contained the M-99 drug.

This book is written as fiction but it based on the 'scandal' back from the 1980's between Scott Nance, the Illinois racing board, and the owners of the harness tracks in the Chicago area. From what I've read, it leads me to believe this young man was 'thrown under the train' due to revenge and greed of others. I'm a horse lover and from this man's story I feel he had a special gift in dealing with them. I find it hard to believe that with the constant testing of the horses, anyone can train and/or drive in over 2,000 races in eight states and two countries, have 300 winners with many seconds and thirds, and still be accused of drugging his horses.


A recommended read for harness fans, conspiracy fans, and just the everyday reader.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This House is a Home - Philip Nork, Author



Great-Great-Grandma Elga’s Squirrel Stew

2 or 3 squirrels cut into serving sized pieces
2 green peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 rhubarb ribs, chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
3 quarts of water
Corn or a bean of your choice
Salt and pepper
3 quarts of water
4 large tomatoes, whole

Add the water and seasonings to a large pot and turn on the heat to simmer. Add in the squirrel meat and all the vegetables. Let simmer for 2 or 3 hours and then add in the whole tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Let simmer until ready to eat.
For an added treat make some homemade sourdough or wheat bread with whipped butter and you have a feast made for a coal miner after a hard day in the mines.



This House is a Home - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds, A Book and A Dish

"Just go in and do your business,” Uncle Rich said as we approached the wooden shack.  “This is old school all the way.  Do me a favor though. See if you can find any toilet paper in there."  

I was stunned.  What did he mean by that?  I slowly walked into this small shack that looked like it was falling down and searched for the light switch.  Not finding one I left the door ajar to allow the sunshine to stream in. Once fully inside I saw a long piece of wood along one side of it that looked like a couch without any cushions. There was a hole in the middle of it with a toilet seat attached to it. I assumed this was where I had to go.  I closed the wooden door behind me that had a half moon cut out near the top if it and slowly lifted the seat.  A tremendously bad odor arose very quickly... I squeezed my nose shut with two fingers while I did my thing... Even though I didn't need it, I looked around like Uncle Rich suggested and found no toilet paper. I did find a Sears catalog and wondered why it was there but there was nothing to wipe your butt with... Uncle Rich was waiting for me when I finished.... "What's the catalog for?" I asked. "That's old-time toilet paper,” he answered with a smile. “You can read while doing your business and then just rip a page out and use it."

In the 1970's teenager Peter was assigned to do a summer report on his family history.  Being from a family of divorce he didn't know his dad's family all that well and knew very little about his mom's side either. He did know his grandfather but when Peter tried to talk to him about the ‘good old’ days, his grandfather, Vern, would joke around, take a draw off his cigar and another swig of his always present bottle of whiskey.  Peter's mom and uncle decided the best way for him to find out about his family was to go back to the coal mines of Southern Illinois. Boy was he in for a surprise, as well as an education.

Once in a while I pick up a book that takes me back in time.  This was one of those books.  As I read about the 'outhouse' I couldn't help but go back to my own life in the 1970's when we would visit my dad's distant relatives in the North Georgia mountains. They too had the outhouses, the cow and chickens, the pot belly stove for heating and cooking, and the way of talking that only comes from the mountains.  My first visit was much like what Peter first experienced. I couldn't believe people actually lived like this.  Where was the AC?  Where was the TV?  What was that thing my 4th cousin was pushing up and down after pouring milk into it?  And best of all, what did I just eat?  

Whether you grew up in the 1970's or not, this book will not only transport you to the way life used to be, and I'm sure still is in some places, but it will also teach you the same lesson that Peter learned from his great-aunt Maddy, "A house is just a building, what makes it a home are the people in it. It doesn't matter where you live or what you do as long as you have family you're taken care of."  

I love this book!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Legends of the Lake - Philip Nork, Author

 
Nana's Rice Pudding
(One of the Phil's favorite)
 
3/4 cup of cooked white rice
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sugar

Mix the egg and the milk together, slowly beat in the sugar. Add raisins to the mixture if desired.
Put the mixture in a shallow pan and bake for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour at 325.
When finished put the pan in the refrigerator until ready to serve.Scoop out desired amount and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
 
 
Legends of the Lake – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
 
While driving you’d pass many cow pastures, large corn fields, and farms to the left and the right of you, as you drove slowly to avoid the most worn down areas of the road. The further you progress, the more trees and beautiful wild flowers take over the landscape… Looking left you see a sliver of the lake, a big blue lake. There are campgrounds and a small bait and tackle shop situated right next to it… Continue on your slow drive down the hill and through all the curves, you pass children of the generation walking on the side of the road… The young boys are shirtless and some are white as white can be, while others have what were called “farmer’s tans.” This is where their arms and faces are tanned, but their chests and backs aren’t as they always wore t-shirts during the day… The aroma of fresh cut green grass and giant pine trees lingers in the background, while the special odor of the seaweed which gets pushed up on the shore makes me smile… This is when you see it off to the right… you can’t miss the boulders which line the front of it which proudly proclaims to everyone that “The Krons” reside here.
 
Philip had the kind of grandparent/grandchild relationship that every kid would love to be able to brag about. Actually his Gramps and Nana (Kron) were his mother’s grandparents making them his ‘great’ grandparents. No matter, he love spending as much time as possible at their lake house in Wisconsin. Gramps bought the lake property before he and Nana had their first child. They envisioned it as a place to bring the family throughout the generations and that’s exactly what they did. This two bedroom cottage housed parents, children and grand children for many years and the one thing it did, or should I say those in residence did, was create memories.
 
Over the years memories were passed on from one generation to another and by the time they reached Phil’s young ears they may have grown and may not be quite true but who was to say they were or weren’t. For instance, one of the cottage owners went by the initials of AC instead of his name. He was from Chicago and in the ‘produce’ business. When probation came he was there to help out by opening what was known as a ‘speakeasy’ with a bar and gambling in the back. It wasn’t too long afterwards that AC disappeared back to Chicago, never to return. That was around the same time Al Capone was locked away. Was AC the famous Al Copone? If not, how did a ‘produce’ man acquire alcohol, gambling equipment and some pretty mean looking guards for the ‘speakeasy?’ Then there was the story about Nana needing some type of container to carry her food to and from the pier. One of the residences, a Mr. Tupper, came up with the perfect container including a fitting top. Or how about the time one of the kids was hit by a baseball, which hurt like heck. A man from a nearby cottage brought out a ball, threw it as hard as he could and hit the kid square in the chest. Billy, expecting it to hurt was shocked when it didn’t. He picked it up and found it to be soft and light. When asked what it was called the man explained it didn’t have a name just yet. Billy suggested the name ‘Non-Expanding Recreational Foam’ ball or NERF for short.
 
Are these truths or fictions? Who cares. They are the stories that made a young boy’s life better. These stories, along with those telling them, helped to shape not just Phil but all of the family into what they were and are today. Reading Legends of the Lake kept me in a frame of a ‘wishing world.’ I wish I could have lived and experienced the history of some of these family members and also wish I could be one to help carry beautiful memories on into the next generation. I loved the feelings of love, peace, family, togetherness, and true life that Phil experienced while growing up. Don’t get me wrong, there were bad times too but the teachings of Gramps and Nana made those times a lot easier to live through. You have to read this one or you’re missing out on some wonderful emotional feelings.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Misguided Sensitivity - Philip Nork, Author


"Nana's Caramel Cookies"
(A Phil Favorite)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (1/2 pound)
1 egg
1/2 tsp.vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/2 to 1 cup of broken pecans

Mix all ingredients and form into several long rolls. Put in refrigerator until cold.

Slice and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Phil Nork
author of Misguided Sensitivity, Legends of the Lake, and You're Never Alone
And coming soon Life Is a Balance ... It's Not Only About You.
Real life fiction for real life people
(Some readers love stories about werewolves, shape-shifters or science fiction ... things that may never happen to them. I write about situations that CAN happen to you and maybe already have...or at least they're ones you can relate to.)

Misguided Sensitivity – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

In the 1960’s the typical family consisted of a stay-at-home mother, a working father, and some kids.  As you grew up you were exposed to an equal amount of boy things and girl things.  In my world that never happened.  We three kids were raised by a divorced mother and her side of the family.  For reasons I did not know, my father deserted the family when I turned eight.  He was also on his own journey of self-discovery; it just took him longer than the average man to realize it.  He left us kids with a mother who had no skills and no money.  Mom could have just given up and slipped into a world of denial.  Instead, she decided to learn a trade, get a job, and she tried to give the three of us a decent childhood.  In my eight-year-old eyes, she was a hero.  Especially between the ages of eight and fifteen my mom was my voice of reason.  I idolized her, I respected her, and I hoped to one day marry someone just like her.  Between her and her side of the family we were taken care of, loved, and given the nurturing we needed to hopefully become normal, productive adults.  And yet my life took a bad turn after my dad left us.

After his father left, Phil stepped into a state of depression spending most his time alone and in his room.  The only person he allowed to bring him out of his shell was his great grandmother whom he called Nana.  When she died, Phil stepped even deeper into himself.  He became angry with God but also thought that perhaps God was punishing him for some unknown reason.  His Nana had taught him many lessons during their time together but the one that started his journey into life was when she told him ‘you will meet many people throughout your life and if you want them to remember you, you must always be a little different, you must be sincere, and you must make them feel special, especially the girls.’  This lesson became the beginning of many more that Phil would start adding to his list. 

Through these lessons and the people who taught him, Phil took on three distinct lives.  He became Disco Phil who gave the girls whatever they wanted.  At the Burger Shack he became a leader who listened to and offered advice to the girls who needed it.  And at school he was just another face in the crowd.  But what will happen if either of these lives come together?  Phil is not only a good listener that makes the girls feel special but he is also a good learner with some of the girls being the teachers. 

Back in the 1960/70s one in every ten teenagers were affected by divorce.  Most keep their feelings and pain to themselves and release it through drugs, alcohol and sometimes even sex.  As I read Misguided Sensitivity I was able to see how many of the girls took the route of sex as their way of forgetting and feeling as if someone did care and love them.  I believe most boys turned more to alcohol and drugs.  Phil was one of the sensitive kids who released his anger through compassion, attention and understanding for others.  It takes him from the back rows of the drive-ins to the motel rooms of older women.   Is he really hurting anyone?  Is he really helping them?  Is he being used by those he tries to help?  Or is he just hurting himself?  These are the questions that jump around in your mind as you read Misguided Sensitivity

In my opinion, Misguided Sensitivity is a book that should be read by all young men and even a few women. 

 
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