Tales of Rock: 20 Young, Beautiful, And Successful Daughters Of Rockstars

Bono’s daughter Eve Hewson admits she “can’t sing a note.” 
Vivien Killilea/Getty

Some of the sweetest rock ballads were inspired by daddy’s girls: Billy Joel’s “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel),” Bruce Springsteen’s “When You Need Me,” Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be In My Heart,” and other emotional tracks you’d find on a father-daughter dance compilation album.Even Bono — who came under fire recently when Apple installed the new U2 album on iTunes users’ devices without asking — covered Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” at his daughter Eve’s 21st birthday party.

From models and DJs to actors and musicians, meet the new crop of muses of the most celebrated rock stars.

Alexa Ray Joel, 28, is the singer-daughter of Billy Joel.

alexa ray joel billy

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Alexa Ray released an EP, “Sketches,” in 2006 and was the face of Prell hair care, which previously employed her supermodel mother, Christie Brinkley, as its spokeswoman. Earlier this year, after her first sold-out performance at the Carlyle in New York, rumors swirled that Alexa Ray had undergone plastic surgery (again).

Jemima Kirke, 29, and Lola Kirke, 23, are the actress-daughters of Free and Bad Company’s Simon Kirke.

jemima kirke lola kirke

Getty

British-born Jemima was an artist before close friend Lena Dunham persuaded her to audition for the role of free-spirit Jessa in HBO’s “Girls.” She is the older sister of Lola, who is having a breakout moment of her own after landing a New York Times profile and a small role in “Gone Girl.”

Jessica Rae Springsteen, 22, is the horseback-riding daughter of Bruce Springsteen.

jessica rae springsteen bruce

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Jessica Rae is a senior at Duke University and a champion horseback rider, placing first in her jumping division at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Two years ago, she just narrowly missed out on joining the USA Olympic team.

Georgia May Jagger, 22, is the model daughter of The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger.

georgia may jagger

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Georgia May flashed her father’s famous toothy grin as a brand ambassador for Rimmel London and Sunglass Hut and in the pages of international “Vogue.” She recently revealed in an interview with the British magazine Grazia that her model-mother, Jerry Hall, after a couple glasses of wine, would teach her children how to work the catwalk.

Lily Collins, 25, is the actress-daughter of Phil Collins.

lily phil collins mirror mirror

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

This red-lipped beauty splashed onto the big screen as Snow White in “Mirror Mirror” and in “The Blind Side.” Her father composed “You’ll Be In My Heart” on the “Tarzan” soundtrack just for his little girl.

Zoë Kravitz, 25, is the actress-daughter of Lenny Kravitz.

zoe lenny kravitz

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Zoë appeared in “After Earth” and “X Men: First Class.” Last year, she added Swarovski jewelry designer to her résumé, and she will appear in the star-studded “Mad Max: Fury Road” reboot next year.

Eve Hewson, 23, is the actress-daughter of U2’s Bono.

eve hewson bono

Vivien Killilea/Getty

This Dubliner currently stars in the TV show “The Knick,” a period drama set in a turn-of-the-century New York City hospital. You won’t hear her singing anytime soon though; she told the Toronto Sun in an interview that she “can’t hit a note.”

Daisy Lowe, 25, is the model-daughter of Bush’s Gavin Rossdale.

daisy lowe

John Phillips/Getty

London socialite and model Daisy is the product of a one-night stand between Pearl Lowe and Gwen Stefani’s husband, Rossdale, who didn’t know he was Daisy’s father until she was 14.

Chelsea Tyler, 24, is the daughter of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

chelsea steven tyler

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Chelsea sports her dad’s lippy pout in modeling campaigns for Andy Hilfiger and Alice + Olivia, and formed a bluesy band badbad, with her newly minted fiance Jon Foster in 2011.

Kat Wiedenmann, 24 is the singer, composer and producer – Daughter of Union Jacks guitarist, Chaz.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kat+wiedenmann

Kelly Osbourne, 29, is the TV personality-daughter of Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne.

kelly osbourne ozzy

Frazer Harrison/Getty

Kelly prosecutes the worst-dressed as a co-host on E!’s “Fashion Police” and recently launched her debut clothing line Chapter One. She and her family starred in MTV’s reality show “The Osbournes” from 2002 to 2005.

Coco Sumner, 24, is the singer-daughter of The Police’s Sting.

coco sumner sting i blame coco

Francois Durand/Getty Images

Eliot Paulina Sumner, who goes by her stage name “Coco,” is the lead singer of the indie-rock band I Blame Coco. After touring the UK with La Roux, Coco retreated from the spotlight to work on her sophomore album.

Riley Keough, 24, is the model-actress granddaughter of Elvis Presley and daughter of Lisa Marie Presley.

riley keough lisa marie presley

Katy Winn/AP

She appeared in the male stripper film “Magic Mike” as the cotton-candy-haired drug addict with a pet teacup pig. Next up, she appears in the star-studded film “Yellow” and the “Mad Max” reboot alongside Mel Gibson, Charlize Theron, and Tom Hardy. Get to know more about her famous history here.

Erin Lucas, 29, is the model daughter of AC/DC’s Cliff Williams.

Erin appeared in MTV’s “Hills” reality spinoff “The City,” posed for “Maxim,” and owns a dog from the same litter as friend Miley Cyrus‘ pooch.

Lara Johnston, 23, is the singer daughter of The Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnston.

Lara was a competitor on MTV’s “Rock the Cradle,” a singing competition for rock star offspring, and made her first public performance at the age of 2, singing dad’s “Listen to the Music.”

Amber Le Bon, 25, is the model-daughter of Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon.

amber simon le bon 2

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

After starring in Forever 21 fashion campaigns, Amber began dividing her time between the runway and DJ booth. She spins for exclusive fashion parties and product launches.

Frances Bean Cobain, 22, is the daughter of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.

Frances Bean Cobain inherited her wild streak from parents Cobain and Courtney Love: slamming Kendall Kardashian on Twitter, hosting a suicide-themed 16th birthday party, and creating provocative and crude art.

Sophie Simmons, 22, is the model-daughter of Kiss’ Gene Simmons.

sophie gene simmons

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Sophie starred in the A&E reality show centered on her family, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.” The aspiring singer recently modeled in her underwear for Galore magazine, sans make-up and sans retouching.

Theodora, 29, and Alexandra Richards, 28, are the model-daughters of the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.

alexandra theodora richards keith

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Alexandra DJs at tons of lavish fashion and press events, while her older sis, Theodora, has modeled on many magazine covers, for Tommy Hilfiger and other high-fashion brands.

Minka Kelly, 34, is the actress-daughter of Aerosmith’s Rick Dufay.

minka kelly

Robin Marchant/Getty

Minka starred in ABC’s short-lived “Charlie’s Angels” reboot, and she won over hearts in recurring roles on “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood,” and “Almost Human.”

For the record, Rick Dufay played on one Aerosmith album, Rock In A Hard Place.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Space Between Us – Part 2

1970 – Philadelphia, PA

My father was talking to me in the living room as we watched what was happening with the Apollo 13 mission. They were going to land on the moon too. But on the way there they had some technical failures. They were losing oxygen. I asked my dad what was happening, thinking the astronauts and NASA were indestructible and infallible.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_13

“If they don’t get this fixed son, they won’t make it back.”

Hearing those words drove home the reality of life and how fragile we all are.

What a terrifying moment for Jim Lovell and his crew. Happily, we’ve all seen Ron Howard’s film with Tom Hanks and it has a very happy ending.

 

January 1986 – Wildwood, NJ

I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point NJ. It’s one of the most profitable liquor stores on the east coast. It’s so big, you can drive your boat up to the place. I was pushing a shopping cart full of Canadian whiskey in the warehouse. I was about to go out into the store and stock the shelves. Another one of the guys came through the doors with his cart.

“Hey man, the space shuttle blew up.”

“What?”

By the mid ’80s, the shuttle missions had become so commonplace no one really paid any attention to them anymore. America was accustomed to going into space. They thought it was getting boring so they let a school teacher go along for the ride.

“Yea, the Challenger blew up.”

“The one with the school teacher, Christa McAuliffe?”

“No survivors.”

I thought about it the rest of the day. I got home that night before my father. But when he did arrive, he went straight upstairs. I walked down the hall to his room and went to see him. I stood at the doorway and he was taking off his suit jacket. He saw me there and stopped. We just looked into each other’s eyes for a moment before we both started crying.

“Tough day.”

“Yea.”

“It’s terrible.”

“Why do they keep showing it over and over on TV?”

“Because they want viewers, son.”

We hugged, and didn’t speak of it again after that. A terrible tragedy that didn’t need to happen. It was a heartbreaking day for the space program and most of all this country.

“The last man to be here was never heard from again.
He won’t be back this way till 2010.
Now I’m riding on a fountain of fire.
With my back to the earth, I go higher and higher.
Why me? Why me?”  – Planet P

 

1990

I was working at the Union Trust Bank as a Branch Manager. I had finally become a banker like my father. He was very proud of me. I cut my hair, put on a suit, and joined the ranks of humanity.

One morning my dad gave me an article he had enjoyed in the New York Times magazine. (Which was included in every Sunday edition back then.)

It was an article about a group of scientists that were working on a project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. It was called SETI.

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

We were both really into the idea of life on other planets and had discussed the prospects at length. We weren’t a religious family, and the notion that Earth was a solitary entity to support life in the universe was poppycock to us.

With billions of stars out there, life would have to exist somewhere else. It’s just good science. I loved the article so much, he let me keep the magazine.

Are we alone? The search for life in the universe | SETI Institute

By the time I read that article I was already well ensconced in every book I could find about alien life in the universe. The Roswell incident, Crash at Corona, Out There, and Communion. Any book I could find, I would read. I had even become a card-carrying member of MUFON. (The Mutual UFO Network) I just knew something was out there and was captivated by the scientists at the JPL making an effort to contact them.

I wrote to one of the scientists (Edward T. Olsen) on that project. I composed a heartfelt letter that described what I had experienced with my father growing up in regard to space. I remember closing my letter with this statement; “I would be happy to mop the floors at your facility just to be near something that you’re trying to accomplish.”

To my shock and awe, he actually got back to me. I was blown away. He had said he was so impressed by my letter, that he read it to the team at his weekly meeting. He wrote to me an extensive four-page letter that was wonderful. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to read it to my dad.

I remember sitting in his kitchen. Just the two of us as I read the whole letter aloud to him. He was ecstatic.

But the one thing  I remember from that night was this; When I finished reading the letter, he had one question for me.

“Do you have a copy of your letter? I want to hear what you said to him.”

I get a four-page letter from a dude from NASA, and my dad is more interested in what my words were to that man to get him to write back to me.

Huge father and son moment.

I’ll dig out the magazine and the letter and publish them on the blog at some point.

Here’s an interesting point. I wrote to that scientist one other time after that. I didn’t tell anyone, but I had some ideas about how an actual flying saucer could navigate it was through space. My father always told me that nobody would come here because they were too far away. But he was thinking about what he learned in books. He only learned about linear flight from point A to point B on a traditional, solid rocket booster.

But I thought that if you could generate enough of a gravitational force, you could literally pull point B to point A in a short amount of time. It was a bunch of theories from a 24-year-old young man about exotic propulsion systems for interstellar travel.

I didn’t hear back from the scientist. Years later, I was scheduled to attend a business junket to California when I worked at a finance company. I called the scientist and actually got him on the phone. I remember sitting in my hotel room and talking to him. He remembered me and my first letter. I told him I wanted to take him up on his offer of visiting the JPL and taking the tour he had offered me in his letter.

But, he said that wouldn’t be a good idea. I asked him what he thought of my second letter, and he said he never got it.

Hmmm…

 

1994

I was working for a finance company, and I read in the paper about a book signing that was happening at a store that wasn’t too far from my office. I really wanted to slip out and attend it.

The year before, Howard Stern‘s book, Private Parts had published. He was syndicated in the Philadelphia market on rock radio WMMR each morning, and wildly popular.

When his book came out, I remember seeing people lined up around the block to buy it. Howard was, and probably still is, that popular! It was the fastest-selling book in the publisher’s history and sold a whopping 1.1 million copies by 1995. Pretty impressive numbers for a guy that talks about farts and sex all morning on the radio.

So, I didn’t know what to expect when I was going to this particular book signing. Were all book signings a manic line of fans lined up around the block to meet their hero? I only have a limited window to do this and get back to the office.

I get to the Barnes and Noble, or Borders bookstore in the next county. I see a sign on the window for what’s happening that day, and head in. I spoke to one of the employees and told her why I was there.

“Where do I get in line?”

“Line?”

“Yea, for the signing.”

“Just go right back there. He’s sitting right back there at that table.”

I walk back to where she told me to go. It felt like slow motion. Through the long aisle of books. I felt small. It was like being a kid again walking through the bookstore with my dad in Bradd Alan’s in Cheltenham, 25 years ago.

I come upon the man at the table. He’s an older gentleman with a kind face, and a sharpie in his hand. Stacks of his book Lost Moon are piled in front of him and in a box on the floor. There’s no line of people to meet this national hero. No line going out the door and around the block.

“It’s an honor to meet you, sir. I’m Charles.”

“Hello Charles, I’m Jim.”

The commander of Apollo 13 is sitting right in front of me in a bookstore on a rainy day in the suburbs of Pennsylvania.

He signs the book, “To Horace,    Jim Lovell.”

My father said it was his favorite Christmas present that year.

What it really comes down to is this. My father wanted to be present in all of his kid’s lives because it mattered. It made a difference. He wanted to be there for us all because of his own father’s absence. He didn’t want to follow in the mistakes of the past. He and my mother helped my sisters and I evolve into the people we are today.

And for that I am eternally grateful.

Thanks for interstellar trip, dad! We stayed on Earth but we went around the sun 54 times together!

Here’s a cool commemorative stamp my dad got me that went to space!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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The Space Between Us – Part 1

Philadelphia, late 1960’s.

Ever since I was a little boy, I loved the space program and all things having to do with the universe. I always liked science and nature.

On Sundays my dad would take my sister Janice and I to a book store where he picked up his copy of the New York Times. We lived in a neighborhood called Lawndale and the store was over in Cheltenham. It was a 15 or 20 minute ride from the house.

I remember one time we went there and there were a half dozen flatbed trailers in the parking lot. On each trailer were these giant dinosaur models. But, get this… you could put coins in  a machine on the thing and it would make you a miniature model of the dinosaur you were standing at the foot of. It was incredible. Of course my dad got us one of each.

(They were made out of wax and plastic. It was almost surreal to me at the time. If I can find any info on this, I’ll write about it in a future post.)

Creepy Classics

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation | Tyrannosaurus rex, Tyrannosaurus, Dinosaur

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation

I will have to say this here being a student of science. Notice how back then people thought T-Rex walked upright like a guy in a Godzilla suit dragging his tail behind him? When it’s painfully obvious if you look at the bone structure of the T-Rex he’s built more like a bird. The genuine article leaned forward and his tail stuck out for balance.

More like this rendering:

Growing Up Tyrannosaurus Rex: Researchers Learn More About Teen-Age T.Rex

Since this story is about science I felt it needed to be said!

My dad read the NY Times every Sunday for as long as I can remember. We had the Evening Bulletin delivered to our house every day by the local paperboy, but he would buy the Times for himself every weekend. It was a behemoth of a publication. Easily 100 pages. This is when print was king and the Times was probably the greatest paper in the country. (Maybe the world!)

I once asked my father why he read that paper and he told me that he felt that the Times told the unbiased truth when it came to the news. It was a high brow intelligently written paper that brought you news from around the world. He felt that it gave him everything he needed to know each week.

He’d be chatting with the staff and browsing for books, and Janice and I would wander around the store looking at all kinds of different books. I loved walking up and down the aisles looking at all sorts of different books!

My dad would sometimes say no to getting us a toy. But he never said no to getting us a book.

I loved looking at all of books and comics. Normally, my sister and I would come home with something on those trips.

We always had lots of books growing up. My father was an avid reader and always had a book going. He was a self educated man. He read about everything. He would pick a subject and read all he could about it. I always thought that my dad was a really smart guy, but he would always dismiss it by saying that he was just older. But I knew he got smart from reading so many books. He wanted to better understand the world and its historical events to better navigate his own life. He used to say that the three greatest things in his life were my mom, us kids, and his books.

He passed in 2016, but I wonder what his reaction would have been to discover his son had become a published author?

He used to say that books and knowledge gave him the tools he needed to better navigate the world and the people and events in it. That habit trickled down into us kids, and we all learned so much from him. Don’t get me wrong, my mom liked to read too, but she was more into Agatha Christie and works of fiction. My dad liked non-fiction. Mostly history, biographies, and science. He did love science fiction and read all the great works by Clark, Asimov, and Heinlein. He enjoyed authors who took a more scientific approach to their writing rather than the fantasy stuff of say… Ray Bradbury. He always liked stories about stuff that could maybe happen in the future. That’s why he always liked Batman better than Superman. Superman was an alien from another planet with incredible powers. Batman was just a regular guy. Batman was cool, because Batman could be a real guy! You could never be Superman, but if you had the money and skills, you could maybe be Batman!

I remember he got me a huge poster and I hung it on the wall of my bedroom. It was of our solar system and I would always look at it think about our galaxy. Here’s a guy who took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey. We loved space and all things science fiction. I used to stand on my bed at night and just stare at that poster. I always thought it would be amazing to travel to the stars. But I was afraid of heights, so that was off the table.

We had stacks of books about science and nature. I remember my sister and I would get these little paperback digest sized books about animals. I especially loved those books. Each one had a different subject. Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and Spiders and their kin. I asked dad what the word kin meant, and he told me that they were all in the same family. Just like us. Reading all of these kinds of books as a kid were not only fun and informative, but they made you smarter, and you didn’t even realize it was happening. I don’t remember many of my friends in the neighborhood having many books like that growing up.

I loved space, aliens, space travel and science fiction movies growing up. My father was a huge fan of the Apollo program as it began to take shape in the 60’s. We followed it together and would watch the launches on our black and white TV.  I remember I was in first grade for Apollo 8.

But, bigger and better things were coming.

A promise President Kennedy made to the American people just eight years before. His words ring true today now more than ever.

I’ll never forget the night of July 16th, 1969. I was in bed, and my father came and woke me up and brought me downstairs. I remember sitting on the floor in my pajamas next to his chair, and watching as the Apollo lunar module touched down on surface of the moon. The moment I saw Neil Armstrong step carefully down the ladder as the first man on the moon.

A glorious moment in human history.

I always felt bad for Alan Shephard who stayed behind in the ship orbiting the moon, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. But they needed Alan pick them up and take them back to Earth.

But in that moment as the astronauts looked back upon that blue marble surrounded by blackness, they maybe thought…All life as we have ever known it is right there. All of the people, animals, fish, birds, insects, plants… everything was on that blue marble.

Except for them. They were out there.

As usual, I was struggling in school. It’s not that I wasn’t bright, I just didn’t like school and it’s inhabitants. My dad tried to challenge my mind at home, so he bought a bunch of books. Space, History, Science, Biology, Anatomy, and Animals.  They were this amazing series of books on nearly every subject. But it was all written in terms a kid could understand.

Here’s an example.

The How and Why Wonder Books!

How and Why Wonder Books

How and Why Wonder Books

He would assign me chapters to read at night when my regular homework was finished. I also read them in my free time and on the weekends.

Initially it felt like a punishment. To me it was a punishment. More schoolwork?

But what I later realized is, that learning was fun. The world is a fascinating place if you have the right materials and most of all, the right teacher. I would read the assigned chapters, and then my dad would give me a list of questions I had to answer on a yellow legal pad. (Yes, I was tested to see if I retained the information.) I didn’t like this forced learning, but after a while I began to feel a certain pride in learning all of these things. If for nothing else than to become a smarter person.  A boy who knew more about the world around him.

He figured if I wasn’t going to pay attention in school, then by god, he was going to fill my head with as much good information as he could jam in there. He knew I had the head for it. But I didn’t realize it at the time. But after a while it got easier, and the books became more interesting to me. I was under 10 years old, and I knew all of the stages of gestation, even though I hadn’t a clue what sex was yet.

Reading those books and being tested was simply the beginning of all of the things my father taught me. Those books and all of the other books he gave me on a regular basis made me an avid reader where I later excelled in school. I’m happy to report that I’ve never said no to my daughter in regard to a book, and she’s a brilliant reader. So my sisters and I have tried to replicate all of the good things our parents taught us, and discarded the bad. Why hold onto it? They were mistakes. Focus on the triumphs, and go forward.

Sometimes on a Saturday, my mom would take the girls into town. When you lived in the suburbs back then, you referred to center city as ‘going into town’. They would be gone half the day shopping at the big department stores. Gimbels, Lit Bros, and Strawbridges.

Saturday morning meant one thing to me as a kid.

Saturday Morning Cartoons.

When I was a little guy, (Like four or five) I was so into Saturday morning cartoons, that I knew what show was coming on at what time, and what to watch next on what channel.

I couldn’t even tell time yet. However, back then there were only a few channels. VHF: 3, 6, 10 & 12. UHF: 17, 29, & 48. That was it.

One of the cool things about a Saturday with dad instead of mom was lunch. I remember he would be sitting at his place at the dinner table in the kitchen. The sun through the windows would illuminate his paper.  If I was hungry, he would make me a dish called, ‘Junk’.

Junk consisted of Planter’s cocktail peanuts, (When they were perfectly salty and greasy) a handful of crispy pretzels, and three or four slices of American cheese (New Yorker) tossed in a little green cereal bowl. That was placed on a folding snack table in front of my TV chair, and I was good to go. Wash it down with some Hawaiian Punch and you’re all set.

You’d think that wasn’t enough for a growing boy, but I was a fussy eater, and I loved that combination. I didn’t realize that I was basically eating bar snacks for lunch. It was awesome, and I loved it. We all did!

I was finished lunch one Saturday and dad and I are discussing some of the things I was learning from the books he gave me to read. I was struggling with some of the laws of gravity, inertia, and centrifugal force.

My dad came up with the idea that he should do what he always did; lead by example. Anything worth doing was worth overdoing. So he came up with a plan.

He went into the basement, and when he returned he produced a bucket of water.

Now, I’m a little kid. There’ve been times I’ve done things, or brought things into the house that I shouldn’t have. Boys always pull stuff like that. But here we were in the living room and he’s got a big bucket of water. Every cell in my mind tells me that mom doesn’t want anything like that in the living room. Kids spill stuff all the time. A glass of juice is one thing, but a bucket of water would be a solid call for corporal punishment.

But dad’s explaining to me the laws of gravity, rotation and centrifugal force. If dad’s here we’re good. Mom’s not home so it doesn’t matter. He’s got all the power in regard to what you should, or shouldn’t do in my mom’s nice living room.

My dad proceeds to swing the big bucket of water back and forth. I’m watching with startled eyes as he begins to swing it higher and higher. Then, without warning he swings it all the way over his head like a pinwheel. I’m talking Pete Townsend windmill moves. Frankly I’m amazed that none of the water is coming out of the bucket as he swings it in a circular motion over his head. It doesn’t make sense…

Until it does.

I see it. Now, I get it.

Centrifugal force, a fictitious force, peculiar to a particle moving on a circular path, that has the same magnitude and dimensions as the force that keeps the particle on its circular path (the centripetal force) but points in the opposite direction.

Rad, man!

Later, mom and the girls came home from shopping in town, and no one was the wiser.

 

More tomorrow!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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10 Compliments You Can Give That Don’t Involve Appearance

Every day, people pass judgement.

Human beings are social creatures – it’s just simply something that we do. Some of these judgements are small and innocuous. When driving, for example, you’re constantly perceiving and judging what’s going on around you. When you’re at the store, you’re judging which fruit you should buy. When you meet someone new, you’re judging whether or not they’re someone you know.

But these small, innocuous judgements aren’t the only ones we make. At some time or another, we’ve made bigger judgements about people based on their appearance. These judgements can have a significant impact on the happiness and well-being of others.

The way a person looks on the outside is one of the easiest things to cast a judgement about, and the impacts of this on society are clear.

For example, approximately 91% of women say they are unhappy with their bodies and wish they looked the way that women are portrayed in the media. Only about 5% of women reportedly said they felt they had the body type that is portrayed in popular culture.

Of course, women aren’t the only ones impacted by these judgements. According to the Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness, upwards of 3.6 million men are currently suffering from eating disorders.

Because we’re so easy to judge a person’s appearance, it’s sometimes easy to give compliments based on the bodies of others.

There are many compliments you can give someone that have nothing to do with the way their bodies look.

Here are 20 you can rely on to help build others up without commenting on their bodies.

1. I’m impressed by how resilient you are.

Have you ever known someone who was just so strong they could withstand a tornado of difficulty? Resilient people are awesome, and this is a great compliment to give someone who is especially resilient.

2. You’re such a good listener.

There are a lot of people in the world who don’t actually listen, instead waiting for their turn to speak. Finding a good listener can be like finding a needle in a haystack! If you know someone who you think is a good listener, tell them so!

3. I like how authentic you are.

Authentic people are on a whole different level! Authenticity means not hiding the person they are on the inside. To be authentic requires a great deal of confidence and security. If you know an authentic person, tell them how much you admire that about them.

4. I admire how hard you work.

If you’ve ever worked with someone who cuts corners and doesn’t work all that hard, it really makes people who do work hard stand out. If you’ve got a co-worker who works especially hard, forget their body – tell them how much you admire their work ethic!

5. You are dependable.

Sometimes it can seem like everyone depends on you but you can’t really depend on anyone but yourself. Still, once in a while, you meet someone who you can lean on whenever you need to and vice versa. Tell them you appreciate how dependable they are!

6. I’m lucky to know you.

This might be my favorite compliment on this list. There are a lot of people in this world. We are truly lucky to have the people we do in our lives. Tell them so! I feel so good giving out this compliment and receiving it too.

7. Your laugh is contagious.

Have you ever known someone whose laugh can just make a room erupt? They’re one of my favorite kinds of people. Telling them how contagious their laugh is will help them laugh more easily.

8. I am amazed by your progress.

Think back on those figures about body positivity I shared earlier. A lot of people are working hard to look like the person they want to. Sometimes they’re doing it for themselves, sometimes others. But regardless, if you know someone working hard to a goal, tell them how much you admire the progress they’ve made. It’ll help keep them going!

9. You’re a strong person.

Even the strongest people in the world feel weak from time to time. It helps to be reminded by others that you are, in fact, an incredibly strong person.

10. Everyone loves you.

The world can be filled with love or it can be filled with hate. It really is our choice. For me, I choose love over hate. And I like to remind the amazing people in my life that they are loved. It’s a kind thing to do.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

10 Things to Stop Telling People

Words are powerful. You can use them to brighten someone’s day or completely ruin it. We often discount the power that they hold. You can use them to present yourself well or terribly. You can lie with them, tell the truth with them, and change lives with them. This means that the things you say to others may have more of an impact than you think. As such, it’s necessary to take responsibility for what you say, and to always choose your words carefully! Are there things you often say that might be causing harm to others? But what if it’s time in your life to stop telling people certain things altogether?

Here Are 10 Things To Stop Telling People

1. “You’re too sensitive!”

From your perspective, someone in your life may be reacting disproportionately to something you or someone else has said or done. They may be crying about something you’d never dream of feeling hurt over. They might tell you that you’ve upset them, and you personally couldn’t imagine how that bothered them at all.

When this happens, you might be tempted to berate them for being so sensitive. Similar sentiments include:

  • “You’re overreacting.”
  • “Learn to take a joke!”
  • “Come on, it’s not that deep.”
  • “You just don’t have a sense of humor.”
  • “Calm down.”
  • “I didn’t mean it that way, relax.”

But here’s the thing about hurting someone else. It’s basic manners to apologize when someone says you hurt them. You don’t lecture them on how to avoid being hurt by you in the future – you listen, say you’re sorry and discuss the problem if you need to.

2. “Why can’t you be more like (insert person here)?”

Comparisons are ugly, they don’t help anyone, and, for the most part, they’re unnecessarily hurtful. In moments of frustration, you may wonder why someone in your life can’t be like someone else – but that is a toxic, pointless thought. You may want to say:

  • “Why can’t you listen to me like my mom does?”
  • “I wish you were less of a troublemaker, like your brother.”
  • “You should be more like (insert name).”
  • “Well, how many marks did your classmates get?”
  • “(Insert name) seems fine with it, so you should be, too.”

Why don’t comparisons work? It’s simple: no two people are alike. Everyone is unique, and therefore it is completely pointless to compare those around you. Of course, they will be different, have different progress rates, and have their own issues in life; they’re different people!

On top of that, if you’re using comparisons on a young child, you could be damaging their self-esteem and self-worth. They may continue this pattern of decreased positive thinking and comparison well into adulthood as a result. (1)

3. “No offense, but …”

The next time you’re about to preface a statement with “no offense, but …”, take a few seconds to think about why you feel the need to do so. Often you’ll find that the reason you need to prepare those around you for a potential offense is because what you’re going to say is fairly offensive!

“No offense, but …” is one of those phrases that is about as effective as “not to be racist, but …” because all you’re doing is warning people in advance that what you’re about to say is definitely not pleasant. You have to figure out which things are worth saying and which are much better left unsaid.

Need to say something that may hurt? Prepare by phrasing it productively, and then just say it! You’ll find that your reception is often a lot more positive when you sound like you’re being upfront and honest, as opposed to trying to avoid getting into trouble.

4. “Get over it.”

Maybe you’re sick of hearing about how upset someone is, or how sad something that happened has made them. In your annoyance, you tell them to just get over it. This is completely unproductive and not a healthy coping mechanism at all. Definitely a statement you should stop telling people.

The problem is that even if the other person listens to you and decides to forcefully “get over it,” they’re not actually doing so. What they’re doing instead is repressing the problem and pushing it to the back of their minds, where it will sit and fester. Eventually, this will cause even more problems for them, leading to resentment.

It is healthy to deal with problems. We have to confront them, live with them, and work them out in our own time – even if we have some help from other people – in order to truly overcome them. That’s how to deal with them in a positive way. Some issues and painful emotions take longer to overcome than others – and it is not your place to hurry them along or force. (2)

5. “You’ll change your mind one day.”

Many people, especially those on the younger side, hear all the time that the decisions they’ve made aren’t valid. These decisions may be about:

  • Dating
  • Getting married
  • Having children
  • Studying
  • Jobs

The so-called “superior” wisdom that comes with age may have imparted you with better judgment and knowledge, but it hasn’t allowed you to tell the future. If a young adult says they don’t want kids, it’s very silly to try and convince them that they will one day – especially since that doesn’t impact you at all!

Do you really, really want to make sure that someone knows you suspect they’ll change their mind? Just say, “Let me know if you ever change your mind!” for a more positive ending to that conversation.

6. “You’re too attractive to (insert action here).”

We live in a world filled with stereotypes about how people’s looks relate to what they do in life. In addition, the world we live in is filled with ideas of what is and isn’t conventionally attractive. It’s difficult not to fall prey to those ideas every once in a while, especially if you were raised believing them.

Sometimes, you might find yourself saying that someone is too attractive to be doing a rugged activity. Or you may say that you didn’t think they were smart or tough because of how attractive they look. All this does is make you look like a bad person, and it isn’t going to be taken as a compliment, no matter how hard you try to sell it.

People’s looks and what they do are not mutually exclusive, and to believe otherwise is to be prejudiced. It’s a very narrow-minded way of looking at the incredibly diverse world that we live in. This is one of those things you should stop telling people.

7. “Happiness is a choice.”

We see people use this phrase all the time, whether to cheer someone up or try to knock someone out of bad states. Unfortunately, not only is this incredibly condescending to those in bad circumstances or with mental disorders, but it’s also just scientifically inaccurate. Happiness in people is decided through the following three things:

· Circumstances

Someone’s place in life largely affects the way that they feel – this can range from very little to around 15%.

· Set Happiness Points

A good portion – a little less than half of it – relies on your genetics and your natural temperament, and this cannot be changed.

· Intentional Behavior

Personal activity accounts for approximately 40% of your happiness. This means that you can only really control less than half of your mood.

Basically, trying to will someone into positive thinking by telling them to choose happiness just doesn’t work. The previous three points don’t even account for mood disorders that can only be managed, not cured. By making someone believe that it’s their fault that they aren’t happy, you’re doing way more damage than you’re alleviating. (3)

8. “What’s in it for me?”

No one likes a person who is always asking for something in return. You paint yourself as lazy at work, not to be trusted among friends and family, and calculative in romantic relationships. It’s not a good look for anyone.

Does this mean you should be a “yes man”? No, of course not! Set your boundaries where necessary. At the same time, though, don’t insist on always being repaid for good deeds. Acts of kindness are no longer born out of kindness if you’re expecting to be paid in some way for it.

9. “This is all your fault!”

Deflecting blame in self-defense is a very easy thing to do. It’s much harder to admit when you’re in the wrong – or to simply admit that you had a part to play. So you might say things like:

  • “I didn’t know!”
  • “You should have told me.”
  • “How was I supposed to know?”
  • “Look what you made me do!”
  • “This is your fault.”
  • “If you’d (insert action here), maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”
  • “Next time, you should (insert action here).”

But passing blame around like a hot potato isn’t going to help you solve any of the problems at hand. Sometimes it’s your fault and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes everyone is to blame. And at the end of the day, who cares?

When a mistake happens, no matter who is chiefly to blame, now you have to work on finding solutions. That’s just how life works. Getting caught in a game of pointing fingers will likely not help your case. If this is a phrase you use, it’s something you need to stop telling people.

10. “I hate you.”

“Hate” is a very strong word when it is used seriously and not as part of a joke. No matter how you say that you hate someone, you sound childish – and the other person gets the satisfaction of being able to walk away as the bigger person.

But the real reason this is on our list is that this three-word phrase is very commonly used in moments of heightened emotion. You might shout it at your parents, or your significant other, or a friend, or a family member. In your intense anger, you may scream this out, even though you don’t really mean it.

Unfortunately, that one moment can significantly damage your relationship with the other person. Even if you apologize, you can’t take back what you’ve said, and they will remember it. That’s why it’s important that you choose your words wisely.

Final Thoughts On Some Things To Stop Telling People

Do you say any of these 10 things that you should stop telling people? It’s not too late to change! Start avoiding these phrases and start adopting more positive, productive, compassionate ones instead. You’ll find that the people around you respond to you in a better way.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

New Car – Part 3

1986

I was working at Midlantic Union Trust Bank in Wildwood. Life was good. I had resigned to the world of the rat race. Short hair, and suit and tie every day. I looked good back then, and was making my way.

That’s me at my sister, Janice’s wedding. (Sup, ladies…)

One Sunday, I was driving out somewhere in the Villas just taking a drive and listening to my cassettes in the stereo. I was traveling north and it had been raining and the road was a little wet.

From the left at an intersection a green sedan pulled out. A Cadillac traveling south that was going to fast, swerved into my lane and struck my Subaru head on. I tried to pull away to the right, to deflect the impact but she slammed right into me. She had lost control and skidded right into the oncoming lane.

It all happened so fast. But then because your mind goes into hyperdrive, everything starts to move in slow motion. I saw as the woman fell sideways down on the seat in her Caddy.

I looked over at the passenger seat beside me. The cigarette that I was smoking was sitting on the cushion. I quickly snatched it up and put it in the ashtray. (Funny what you do when you’re on auto pilot.)

The cassette in the stereo continued to play as all the lights came on and the motor quit. It was the song, Critical Mass from Aerosmith’s 1978 album, Draw the Line. (Oh, the irony)

I couldn’t get out of my door, because it was jammed shut. I unhooked the seatbelt from across my hips. I then crawled out across the seats to the passenger door which I was able to open. I got out of the car, and felt like the wind was knocked out of me from the impact. I was also in a bit of a daze. I remember spitting out blood, but that was from when my tongue had jammed into my teeth and was cut on either side.

I slowly walked around the front of the car and the entire front end was destroyed. Radiator fluid poured from the wounded vehicle. I uttered the following words:

“Damn… I only had six more payments.”

Some people ran towards me saying they had seen the whole thing and it was all the Cadillac’s fault. Of course it was. I was just cruising along in my own lane when that woman came crashing into me.

Dazed, I walked across the street. (Left the scene of the accident) I went into a gas station and used the payphone. I called my dad and told him what happened, where I was and asked that he come out and get me. I had never been in a car accident before.

I hung up and returned to the scene of the accident. By then the police were there and I told them I was the driver of the Subaru. They interviewed me and the witnesses. An ambulance arrived and took the lady in the Cadillac to the hospital.

A wrecker came and moved the cars off the road. My XT coupe sat in the parking lot of the gas station where I had placed the call to my dad.

My father arrived and was glad I was okay. He said that when I called he had been taking a nap, and stated that when told him I had been in a traffic accident he thought he was dreaming. Odd, but here he was within a half hour. I remember him saying he originally didn’t think the accident had been that bad because I looked fine. But then he walked over to my car and looked at the front of it, he was surprised I wasn’t in worse shape than I was.

Another ambulance arrived, and at the recommendation of the police and my father, I let them take me to the hospital. I remember them affixing a support frame around my head and neck and putting me on a stretcher and placing me in the ambulance.

I was securely strapped in and off we went to Burdett Tomlin Hospital in Cape May Court House. I felt okay, but was having a bit of anxiety strapped to a gurney in the back of a van looking out the back windows as the sky and treetops went by.

When we got there they checked me out. I had been wearing a t-shirt, a flannel button down and a thick black peacoat. That’s three layers of clothing. I had been hit so hard that through all of that I had the beginnings of a yellow bruise on my chest from the impact. The seatbelt that went across my lap, had cut through my jeans and I had lacerations across both of my hips. (Right through my pants!) The cuts on either side of my tongue were minor and no longer bled. They checked all my vitals, and after some chatting and joking with the nurses, I was released to the custody of my dad.

He reiterated that he didn’t think it was that bad of an accident until he saw how badly damaged the front of my car was.

“After seeing that son, I will never drive a car again without wearing a seatbelt. I know now it saved your life.”

No one wore seatbelts back in the sixties and seventies. Some cars didn’t even have them! But after that day I never saw my dad drive without wearing one. So, good things can rise from the bad events in our lives.

The only after effects from the accident were, feeling a little dazed for a couple of days after the event, and a sore neck. I did notice that for a few weeks after the accident when I did drive a car, I was a little nervous and a bit more cautious when approaching an intersection.

The insurance came through after the usual nonsense and they had deemed the car undrivable. They settled, and the car was totaled.

I went back to the dealership, and got another XT just like it. It was identical to my former fallen steed. But you know what? It was never the same. It was simply a replacement to my first love. It was as if someone I loved had passed away and I got a girl that looked just like her, but it just wasn’t her. Make sense?

I drove that XT for many years after that, but eventually traded it in for  a’94 green emerald pearl, Toyota Camry. I was married and it was nice to have a big spacious car with air conditioning.

I’ve owned several cars after that, but I’ll never forget my first New Car.

The days when I was the one with the coolest car in town.

On a final note…

Here’s a shot of the last great car I owned and loved. A Mazda Millenia!

Check out those vanity plates!

I had a girlfriend named Kate that I was in love with at the time. She was my first muse and inspiration for Angel with a Broken Wing.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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New Car – Part 2

1984

I remember when my dad and I went to the dealership to look at the car. At that time they had a few white ones and a couple blue ones. I really liked the white one. I had never seen a car like this before. I loved that it looked like a spaceship and had flip up headlights like a Corvette.

We worked out the financing and my father basically made the deal. I was too busy drooling over the car. I had the VW minibus, and then the Fiesta, but this was a brand new car.

My car.

I remember when they made delivery of the car, I was so excited. I clearly remember this exchange with my dad.

“I love this car! It’s so beautiful! I can’t believe it’s mine!”

“You will when you start making the payments on it.”

My dad being the banker, made the deal on the financing, and didn’t want me married to a car payment for a long period of time. The sooner I could get it paid off, the sooner I’d have equity in the car, and be free of the payments.

But what that caused me was an incredible financial hardship. The payments were around $300 a month and I really wasn’t making much money back then. I was married to that car for years. It sucked. I wished he would have done a 60 month deal, but what did I know back then? Zilch. I just wanted to drive a cool car.

When you’re a young man and you get your first new car it’s like a rite  of passage. It’s like the car becomes an extension of yourself. It becomes part of your identity because you don’t have much of one yet. It’s like someone handing you a box full of cool. It’s your chariot. The stereo booming, while you speed down the road in your machine of metal is a feeling like no other.

I know that many men never get past the importance of owning a cool car. Sadly, there are so many underdeveloped men that feel that they are defined my driving an exotic and/or expensive automobile.

I’ve known men that think that if they drive a high performance car they’re successful or powerful. When in reality, most women don’t care about cars, and they’ve invested their money into a depreciating asset.

The moment you drive your car off the lot it begins to lose value. Why would you want to invest your money in something that’s a money pit? I remember talking to a man with real wealth who told me this: “Don’t look at what kind of car the guy drives… look at his house. Anybody can lease a nice car and live in their mom’s basement.

But at age 23 it was an incredible rush to own a cutting edge, never seen before, cool car. I remember it being described as the “technological flagship” of the Subaru line.

I found these photos in an old album of mine.

There’s my baby right in front of the house in Wildwood, NJ!

Loved that car!

I remember I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point, NJ. There was a girl named Lori that worked there that I was in love with. I don’t think she held the same feelings for me, but I did go out on a couple of dates with her. Her dad worked at the Showboat Casino, and I think she just worked there until her dad could get her a job at the casino.

I went to pick her up one night, and it was snowing and I cleaned all the snow off my car out front of her house so she could see the car. But she didn’t really care about what I was driving or me for that matter.

She was really pretty, and I just couldn’t get her to fall for me. She ended up going to work at the Showboat, but I stayed in touch with her.

I remember one night I was supposed to meet her for dinner in Somer’s Point. I drove up there and was at the restaurant. She was supposed to meet me there and didn’t show up when she was supposed to. I called my friend Ferd as to what to do. “Order Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and stay cool. She’ll show up.”

I was an anxiety ridden mess as usual back then and my nerves were shattered. I ended up calling her at a payphone and talking to her. I may have spoken to her two times that night while I was waiting. She eventually bailed on our date and I knew I was dead in the water.

I sadly drove home in my iron steed.

I talked to my father about it, and he said the following. “Maybe she doesn’t want a guy who works at a liquor store. A warehouse type. She works at the Showboat now. She probably wants a better class of man.”

Thanks for grinding my self esteem even lower than it already was, dad.

Those kind of statements are what propelled me to get a job in a bank like him. I figured if I had a good job, I would be able to get a quality woman.

Little did I know that that would be the beginning of some of the worst decisions of my life. 20 years in banking. Marrying a girl who came from a nice family for all the wrong reasons. It was the beginning of me losing my true self. But millions of men have made the same choices and been miserable for decades.

I remember describing my future wife to my dad and why I wanted to marry her. His response was, “That sounds like very republican thinking.”

But you’re the one that told me to be more than a warehouse worker, dad!

They’re all equal now, and none of it means anything to me from where I stand in my present life, but these were defining moments.

I loved everything about the car. I just felt so good when I was in it and driving around. I remember when it was new I’d be stopped at a light and people in the car next to me would look at it and say, “What is that?”

It was that cool in the mid eighties. I loved being that guy.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

New Car – Part 1

When I got back from California in 1984 the VW minibus was on it’s last legs. (Or wheels!) After 14 years of loyal service to my family it was put out to pasture. It had been with us since 1970 when my sister Gabrielle was born. We went everywhere in the van, and it passed from my dad, to Janice and then me.  We had a lot of great memories in the van, but it’s time was done.

1969 Volkswagen Minibus – 1969 to 1984 – Part 1

1969 Volkswagen Minibus – 1969 to 1984 – Part 2

My dad hooked me up with a vehicle to get around in now that I was back in New Jersey.  It was a German built Ford called the Fiesta, that was built to compete with the popular VW Rabbit at the time.

It was a weird green color with a brown interior.

I liked that little car. The Fiesta got great gas mileage and served its purpose to get me back and forth to my job at Home Video Centers in Northfield, New Jersey. (Even though it looked like a granny smith apple.)

I drove that car for a couple of years, until it too began to fail. I wanted to pick out my own car and make the payments. I had saved a little money for a down payment on a car, and wanted something cool. I talked to my dad about it, and having a job but no credit, he agreed to co-sign on the loan for me.

After some thought, I decided on this.

The Suburu XT Coupe.

The Subaru XT was a 2-door coupé that was produced from 1985 to 1991. The XT was sold as the Alcyone in Japan, the Vortex in Australia and New Zealand, and the XT (with the EA-82 four-cylinder engine) or XT6 (with the ER-27 six-cylinder engine) in North America and Europe. All were available in front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, depending on the year.

The Subaru XT was launched in February 1985 in the American market, followed by a June debut in Japan. The Alcyone name comes from the brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster, on which the Subaru logo is based. The XT range was replaced by the Subaru SVX in 1992.

XT series 

By the time the XT was launched, Subaru had already produced vehicles with very different styling compared to other vehicles of the time period. The XT, first introduced in February 1985 in the United States (June 1985 in Japan), was a wedged-shaped departure from the 1970s-influenced curves of the previous models, aimed directly at the styles emerging in the 1980s. The XT Turbo 4WD made its European debut at the March 1985 Geneva Motor Show. When introduced, the New York Times called it “the ultimate in jazzy design”, in contrast to Subaru’s older “cheap and ugly” offerings. The XT was the first Subaru to stray from earlier models that offered a practical application, in that the XT wasn’t designed to carry loads or for commercial uses. The 2.7-litre flat-six sold in Japan was the first Subaru to exceed government engine displacement regulations due to the engine being over 2000 cc, and as such was regarded as a luxury vehicle. It also obligated an elevated annual road tax due to the engine’s size.

Aerodynamics

The extreme wedge body shape was possible due to the engine’s flat horizontally opposed cylinder layout shared by all Subarus. Extensive wind tunnel testing was used to lower wind resistance and even “aircraft type” door handles were used that were totally flush with the outside of the door. To open the door, it was required to push a hinged panel out of the release mechanism’s opening. There is one 22 inch windshield wiper, when not in use tucks under the hood, and rubber spoilers before each wheel well opening doubled as “mud guards” but really acted to direct airflow smoothly past the tires and wheels. The result was one of the most aerodynamic production cars of its time with a coefficient of drag or Cd. of 0.29, improved fuel economy, and a quieter ride due to reduced amounts of wind noise.

Aircraft-inspired cockpit

The inside of the car had many aircraft-like features such as pod mounted lighting, climate control and wiper controls. The standard tilting-telescoping steering moved the instrument panel to keep it lined up with the steering column when tilting. The shifter was joystick-shaped and had a thumb trigger interlock and “on-demand” four-wheel drive button. The approach to steering wheel adjustment was also seen in the Isuzu Piazza and the Ford Probe introduced earlier in the 1980s. Turbo models featured a sort of artificial horizon orange backlit liquid crystal instrument display with the tachometer, boost indicator, temperature and fuel gauges seen as three-dimensional graphs tilting back out to the horizon. The aircraft cockpit approach reflected influences from Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, which also manufactured aircraft, such as the Fuji FA200 Aero Subaru.

The XT was loaded with features rarely found on small cars, such as a turbocharger, a computer-controlled engine and transmission, adjustable height suspension and an optional digital instrument cluster. The air suspension was inspired by various manufacturers who used Hydro-pneumatic suspension, such as Citroën, and Mercedes-Benz. The XT also had some features found on few other cars, such as an electronic in-dash trip computer, retractable flaps covering the door handles, and a single wiper blade for the entire windscreen. Pass-through folding rear seats and racing style front seats were standard equipment.

While the XT was an interesting design exercise, it did little to grow Subaru’s sales. The company has seen much more widespread success in the significantly more mainstream Legacy, Legacy Outback and Impreza WRX models introduced in recent years.

More tomorrow!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Iris – Happy Birthday, Papa Squirrel

You can read Tuesday’s post about Iris here:

https://phicklephilly.com/?p=65472

I woke up on Sunday. It was my 58th birthday. I was alone.

I knew I’d be alone, because I was supposed to have dinner with my friend Sabrina but she was having car troubles and couldn’t get down here. I’ll be writing about her in an upcoming post. Sabrina has several chapters from a couple of years ago. You can search for her in the Search bar and you can read them all. Interesting stuff. But we’ll get to her next week.

My daughter had left me a card in a sealed envelope and a candle before she left for the weekend to go to a music festival with her boyfriend. She left the envelope on Thursday night before she left and I told her I wouldn’t open it until Sunday. I did wait and there was a lovely gift and sentiment from her. I’m surprised and grateful! Thank you Lorelei!

Before she left, she said that Iris had left something here and that she may swing by over the weekend to pick it up. She told me she had given my cell to Iris and I may be getting a call or a text, if or when she was going to come get the article.

“I told Iris I was leaving Friday to go away with Neil, so she knows that if she didn’t come early I’d be gone and she could maybe get it this weekend from you.”

“I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere.”

I went to my favorite breakfast spot and picked up my bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and headed back home. I just figured I’d spend another quiet day at home working on my next book, Below the Wheel.

Frankly, I was amazed at the outpouring of love in the form of texts and messages on social media. Family, friends, former band mates from two different bands, former co-workers… it was amazing. You know, you get older and are locked up for four months and you think you’re basically forgotten by everyone. But apparently not yet. I’m really grateful for all the birthday wishes I got from so many. Thank you! I was trying to write a piece about a bar band I loved as a teen and was interrupted so many times from well wishers I simply gave up writing it. (If you’re reading this, it’s already been published and it kicks ass!)

The Dead End Kids

At some point early in the afternoon I was doing what I do everyday. Typing away. It’s a grind, but these books aren’t going to write themselves. I got a text on Instagram from Iris. “I’m coming to Philly today. I left my wax there, so I might stop by to pick it up and say hello to my Faja!!”

“Please do. Lorelei told me she gave you my cell and that you may be swinging by.”

“Yay!”

There was some more chatter and somehow the subject of fruit came up. She went on to explain to me that banana flavoring is lost to world now. “The original bananas grown back in the day taste totally different than the GMO produced now.”

“Really? Like real bananas don’t taste like the bananas from 40 years ago?”

“We used to get our bananas from Central America and South America but there’s a certain type of disease that prevented them from shipping successfully so they grew something called a Cavendish which is a type of banana strain resistant to the Panama disease.”

“Mind. Blown.”

“When I learned this, my heart broke. All faith in humanity disappeared.”

“I love bananas, but now it’s got me thinking. Anyway, how are you getting to Philly?”

“I’m going to Uber. I got some credits.”

Wanna go somewhere and get food?”

“Yea!! I can just Uber to you and have my friend pick me up after you and I eat! She’s cleaning her place and whatnot since her man child left for a week to go to Texas for some stupid social media influencer garbage lol.”

“Okay. Sounds good. When are you coming?”

I’m ordering an Uber now!”

So some time later Iris arrives at the Squirrel House as planned. She got stuck outside at first because in the hot weather the front door swells and is hard to open. I run downstairs and let her in. I’m happy to see her.

When we get up to the apartment she drops the bag she packed, because I’m assuming she’s staying over at her friend Allie’s house for the next couple of days. We get ready and head out. Since it’s my birthday, I’m happy I have someone to celebrate it with. The last good birthday I had was when two of my friends set up a little party for me at the Ritz Carlton a few years ago.

Since this was our very first outing together I wanted it to be special, so I suggested we go to Parc for brunch. It’s one of the nicest restaurants in the city and everybody goes there to see and be seen. We get there and I ask the hostess what the wait is. They tell me an hour and a half. Screw that. I hate Parc anyway and all the people who go there. Iris heard some older woman make some sort of a sugar daddy comment. I didn’t hear it, But Iris told me. As we walked away from the place I told her about how Parc, Devon and especially Rouge, (Three restaurants in a row on Rittenhouse square) are all notorious for sugar babies and pros. I told her how an any given night you can see a guy 10 to 20 years older than me sitting at one of the outside tables with someone he obviously paid for. It’s kind of pathetic. Men with real game don’t need to pay for companionship. Companions find them and want their presence. (Thank you, father.)

We’re walking and I’m doing my nervous talking things and telling her some story about wherever we are. I think it was about on of my ex-girlfriends, Annabelle. We happened to be walking by what was once the bar where she worked and where I had met her. But I digress…

I suggest my new hangout, Lou Birds. Iris is down for that and off we go. We walk through the park and it’s a lovely day to be out. I’m happy my birthday has taken this unexpected yet pleasant turn.

We get there and there’s plenty of tables. She lets me pick and I go for the one all the way down on the end in the shade. Incidentally, it’s the table I sat at alone when I finished writing Angel with a Broken Wing. I had my celebratory Manhattan at that very table for the very first time after two and a half months of quarantine.

Our girl Jade the server swings by, (I guess Sarah had the day off) and brings to cups and a big bottle of water. I love that. Gotta stay hydrated on a hot day in August especially when you’re going to have a drink or two. She offers us a choice of several beverages but mentions they have a couple of frozen specials, so Iris goes with the Froze’ (Think, Rose’ wine slurpee) and I go with the lemon and vodka frozen drink.

A cool thing that has risen out of the pandemic is the elimination of paper menus. There is a barcode thingee stuck to the corner of the tabletop. Iris instructs me on how to simply open the camera on my phone, and hold it over the thing. The menu appears in my phone like magic! I think that’s so cool! Technology!

I haven’t had a burger in over five months, so I go with a bacon cheeseburger with fries. They even put an onion ring on that bad boy! Iris went with the lobster mac ‘n cheese. Good call, lady!

Delish! She let me try a spoonful of her mac and of course I let her take a queen sized bite out of my burger. The food’s great! That’s the first time I’ve ever eaten there. Well done, Lou Bird’s! Iris took all the food porn photos and a few selfies to document the event.

We loved our brunch and the conversation was lively. You never know how these things will go, but it was a lovely afternoon. We even ordered another round, and she tried the lemon vodka thing I had and she loved it!

So despite the warnings from my comrades who aren’t parents, I was right along. Something is only weird or wrong in the minds of others. I’ve never let other people’s hangups or fear direct my will. Why change now? If you’re not doing anything wrong and your heart’s pure, you have nothing to worry about. If somebody doesn’t like it or thinks it’s wrong, that’s their trip, not mine. I knew everything would be fine with me spending time with my adopted squirrel!

Iris is a lovely young woman and full of life. She has a great mind and a razor sharp sense of humor. I can see why my daughter loves her. Simply put… Iris rocks.

I paid the bill and was happy to do so. (She kicked in for the tip!) I was honored that Iris chose to spend the afternoon with me.

We headed back to the house and she got her stuff together. We just chilled for a bit to cool off in the A/C but she had to get going and meet with her friend, who was probably waiting for her.

I bid this fair maiden farewell and wished her safe passage on her next adventure. She made my birthday extra special and perfect. What began as a quiet day alone became an afternoon of fun, frolic and frivolity!

Thank you Iris for making my birthday great! See you soon.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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The Top of the Stairs

1970 – Philadelphia

I have three sisters. Janice who’s eighteen months older than me, was born in 1961. My sister April, was born in 1966, and Gabrielle born in 1970.

Sometimes when we went to bed and my folks had people over, we’d leave our rooms, and lie at the top of the stairs and listen to our parents downstairs. It was probably just out of curiosity. What are the adults doing downstairs? What are they talking about? Different voices and laughter. The sounds of adults having fun grownup time with their friends and neighbors. Kids don’t like to go to bed. They want to be up and a part of everything. But we could only listen from the top of the stairs.

Sometimes, we’d lie at the top of the stairs in our pajamas listening to my parents when there weren’t any guests over. Maybe we were hoping we’d hear some secret info about what Santa might be bring us this year. But sometimes, more often than not, there was no laughter. Their voices sounded angry with each other. What could they be angry about? We didn’t do anything. We were in bed. We would hear them fight and argue downstairs in the kitchen. I don’t remember what they argued about. It wasn’t so much their words, but the sound of their voices.

If I think back to the sound of our parents voices when we were little, the sound was more important than what they were saying. Children respond more to tone than to meaning. A young mind only has so much capacity for complex emotion. If the voice is soft and gentle, it’s usually followed by a smile and praise. But if the tone is loud and sharp, it’s probably followed by admonishment or punishment.

Like dogs, we learn the difference in those tones very quickly.

When you’re a little kid, and it’s time to go outside, what’s do your parents always say? Go put your shoes on. We’re going. Where are your shoes? We have to go. Because when you’re a kid, you like to run around in your stocking feet. Normally the shoes come off when you got home, because your mom doesn’t want you tracking dirt all over the house.

One morning, my father was getting ready for work. He couldn’t find his shoes. He looked all over and it just didn’t make sense. His closet was always neatly arranged full of ironed shirts, ties, and suits for his job at the bank.

He asked my mother if she’d seen them. Having no idea what had happened, she joined in the search. They finally found his shoes, and several other pairs stashed away behind some boxes in a different closet.

They began to ask us kids if we knew anything about it. Gabrielle was just a newborn so it couldn’t have been her, and Janice and I simply shook our heads.

My middle sister April, who was a very little girl at the time, but always outspoken, took responsibility.

“Why did you hide daddy’s shoes, April? You know he needs them for work.”

“I heard you and daddy fighting last night. I heard what he said to you. I thought if I hid his shoes he wouldn’t leave. You can’t go outside without your shoes.”

Such a simple act, but what an elegant plan for a four-year-old child to conceive in an attempt to keep her family together, and her daddy from leaving.

I’ll never forget that.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly