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Stanley Ely
A native of Dallas, Stanley Ely is a graduate of Northwestern University (1953), and spent two years as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army. His first job in New York (1957) was at Young & Rubicam, and he later worked in international marketing, then, after leaving business, taught (1969) at New Rochelle High School until 1989.

Since then, he has published numerous articles and five books, both fiction and non-fiction. (Details on his website). His new book, Life Up Close, a Memoir, will be out soon from Dog Ear Publishing. It contains 23 personal essays on family, friends, travel, food, religion and several personal photos.

He volunteers as a writing coach at a local high school and to seniors at a local community center.

His blog can be found at

Entries by Stanley Ely

What It's Really Like To Turn 83

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2015 | 5:18 AM

Exactly three years ago, my uncle Morris passed away in Dallas at age 103 plus a few months. He never expected to live that long -- does anyone? But he did, and was alert until his very final days.

This happened just as I was giving myself an 80th birthday...

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The Happy Poor

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 2:22 PM

My young friend Raul (not his real name) came to the USA departing the Dominican Republic five or six years ago, leaving some relatives behind and knowing little English. As with many boys like him, Raul emigrated for "better opportunities" here. And as with many other immigrant youngsters, he faced...

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Early Frost

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 2:05 PM

I disappointed myself in a way by cancelling a summer trip (too demanding physically), but no small compensation came this month with a getaway to Massachusetts and then Maine in the company of a niece.

That lady is a writer and medical doctor who lives in a suburb of Boston...

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Trip to the Vet

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 6:21 PM

About two years overdue, I took my cat Amy last week for a check-up at the vet's. That delay was not because of the probable cost (which proved as expected to be three figures--this is Manhattan, after all). It wasn't because of the distance, since the clinic is an eight-minute...

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Boston Symphony Orchestra: Musicians and Helpers

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 5:30 PM

"They're on fire," stated the Boston University music professor, a man who has heard countless recitals and is not given to overstatement. Those whom he uncharacteristically found on fire were the hundred-plus musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (known as the BSO). The time was mid-August. The place was Tanglewood,...

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Field Trip

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 3:59 PM

Our quartet is made up of two men and two ladies, ages ranging from early fifties to early eighties. No one really young, nobody senile (as far as one can tell). I am one of the two male members and the oldest of the band (no novelty).

We are a...

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Aunt Bessie's Pickles

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Most likely no one else is going to write about Aunt Bessie, so I will.

Bessie was married to one of my dad's brothers, in Texas of course, and she was what she was, a woman without pretense. Some took that as being a little simple, but not me. It...

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A Real Smart Phone

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 12:12 PM

The subject of this matter comes with a little screen that announces the time, date, and how many calls you missed (if you care). It flashes names of people calling, so don't answer if you want to avoid the guy selling the latest Caribbean trip or a new vacuum cleaner.

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Study Time

(1) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 4:11 PM

If you're scouting for summer reading, the book of "Ecclesiastes" does not jump out as a first choice. Still, it is what a study partner and I undertook over several recent weeks. My partner, Josh, as I'll call him, is the latest of three or four students from a well-known...

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About Friends

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 5:37 PM

My gang in college was comprised of ten or so guys, all slightly left of conventional. We banded together by striving to be a bit disrespectful (though not so much as to fail classes). Meeting late at night in smoke-filled dormitory rooms (often mine), we plotted strategies to run for...

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Staying at It, Letting Go

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 5:34 PM

My father and I were of different stripes. He, for instance, would have pleased an investment adviser friend of mine who bemoans the fact that "no one saves these days." My father saved something, even a small amount, starting when he was poor, and he regularly urged me to do...

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A Change of Plans

(1) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 3:47 PM

I had received luggage tags to wrap on to my suitcases for the river cruise in France. Of an organized nature, I'd worked up a long list of what to pack--even things like packages of Kleenex and extra shoe laces. I'd paid for the cruise months before, taken trip insurance,...

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Small Business

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 9:12 PM

"Straight up, or a cocktail?" I ask.

"Straight up," I hear, a reply voiced not in some darkened dive but at the dining table, now work table, in my apartment. The other speaker is not a barfly but a teenager come for learning. If "straight up," the request is for...

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'My Ferrari'

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 5:56 PM

If I'm going more than a block, I use a walker these days, and it's a good thing I do. It encourages me to leave my apartment with its rubber-tip handles to grip that go a long way toward preventing falls.

I've had what a friend calls "my Ferrari" for...

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A Friend Is...

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 3:31 PM

Mary, the art teacher and I decided to collaborate on publishing a student magazine. Her twelfth graders would provide the artwork; my Spanish students would write short pieces, maybe blank verse, in their new language. From Shakespeare's The Tempest, I lifted "Ariel" for the name of the magazine. "Ariel" the...

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The Rating Game

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 5:50 PM

The car service I've been using on occasion asks you to rate the driver after the ride ends. Rating: One to Five. Done on the cellphone. Being humane, you naturally want to give him (no women as far as I can tell) a good rating. Five or Four. Much lower,...

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Finishing the Estate

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 5:16 PM

Uncle Morris died at age 103 in November 2012, two and a half years ago. A death at that age can hardly be surprising, although he did surprise people by remaining lucid until not long before he passed away. I had never known anyone 103, had met only one who...

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A Matter of Opinion

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 12:59 PM

If you're in the mood to hear opposite takes on the same matter, try attending a book group. The very same book, which you might imagine resonates the very same way with every reader, turns out to land as differently on two persons as if one were finding daylight and...

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The Cemetery

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 6:44 PM

There's a friendly young Mexican fellow who takes immaculate care of the Jewish cemetery in Dallas where my parents and grandparents are buried. "Ah, senor E.," Alejandro shouts when I go to visit and he spots me across the lawn. "Here to see your folks again." He leaves the mower,...

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(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 12:30 PM

My father gave me sound advice when I moved away and went to work. "Always save some from your paycheck," he counseled. "Every time, even a little."

"Yes, dad, good advice (that I'll dutifully ignore)."

Tell me, when you scrape through from one check to the next, how is a...

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