Monday, December 23, 2013

Michael J. Webb Reviews Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth

A New Review of :
Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth

didn't like it didn't like it didn't like it didn't like it didn't like it
Days of Future Past, December 23, 2013
By Michael J. Webb (Charlotte, NC)   
This review is from: Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth (Kindle Edition)
Reading Gray's poetry is like opening a time capsule of thought, feelings, and emotions. It resurrects vivid memories if of the past and foreshadows expectations of the future. Definitely worth the read, and worth revisiting from time to time as remembrance fades. To paraphrase a famous song from the period, Naked Eyes reminds me of "Knights in white satin, poems I've written, never meaning to send . . ."

Click Here to order your copy of Naked Eyes from


Monday, November 4, 2013

Latest Reviews from for Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth by Larry B. Gray

Latest Reviews from for Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth by Larry B. Gray

5.0 out of 5 stars Collection of Inspiring Poems, November 2, 2013
This review is from: Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth (Kindle Edition)
Reading this inspiring, thought-provoking collection of poems gives you a glimpse of the author's life experiences and his heart and emotions as a young man. These are extremely well written, creative and expressive poems. I could relate to many things he was feeling in these poems. I really enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it!

5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry to Make You Think, October 29, 2013
This review is from: Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth (Kindle Edition)
Thought provoking and interesting, these poems will give you glimpses into several different realms of life from love to death, from darkness to light. It's a great little book that will create a sense of peace and calm while relaxing in the evenings. I recommend this book!


5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure from youth., October 21, 2013
Chris Ammann (Valrico FL)
This review is from: Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth (Kindle Edition)
Naked Eyes by Larry B. Gray is a true time capsule of 1970. This collection of poems shows a young Larry B. Gray pondering everything most intelligent young men do as they cross from adolescence to adulthood. Love, hate, war and death all come into play. I personally found myself again and again identifying with the words of the young Larry B. Gray and wished I had written many of them. Kept in the time frame of the turbulent late 60's and early 70's and it is to see these timeless poems as the treasure they are. In closing I could have included many of the passages to illustrate my point here but I left them out as not to spoil the reader's joy of discovery as I had.

Sincerely Chris Ammann
To be clear I was given a copy of Naked Eyes but the review is true and honest.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Collection, October 31, 2013
This review is from: Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth (Kindle Edition)
I too used to write poems as a young man in the 1970s, though none of mine survive. Larry Gray kept his and has now published them, and they make an intriguing record of a young man of that era, his likes and doubts and dreams and fears. Some have an air of mystery, such as the intriguing "The Mystic Morning God," which I especially liked. This is a fun collection that brought back to me many memories of my own youthful life and my attempts to capture it in verse. I wish I had kept my writings.

Click Here to order your copy of Naked Eyes from


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Naked Eyes - Poetry of Youth by Larry B. Gray

Now Available From and
Naked Eyes
Poetry of Youth
by Larry B. Gray
The late sixties and early seventies was a time of change in our world. The belief that everything was perfect was coming to an end. America was bogged down in an unpopular war in Vietnam which for the first time was broadcast nightly into everyone’s living room via TV. Between the anti-war demonstrations and the civil rights movement, political unrest was rampant. Drug use was widespread as people tried to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”
The poems in this collection follow no central theme and are random glimpses of my thoughts during this time of coming of age. Each poem has the date that it was written printed at the top of the page and reflects my little world and how I felt at that time.



Monday, August 5, 2013

All I Really Need to Know - A Reminder


Every so often I have to re-read this poem to help remind me of the real world and what is important. I hope you enjoy.

All I Really Need To Know
I Learned In Kindergarten

by Robert Fulghum

- an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die.
So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if
all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about
three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments
had a basic policy to always put thing back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Saturday Morning Thought - Social Media

Walking Daisy (a pug) and Duke (a golden retriever) this morning I realized how addicted Daisy is to social meadow. Duke was so interested in looking around and learning about nature and the world around him, always on the move. Daisy, on the other hand, had to stop every few feet and check her p-mail and often leaving a reply.


I am always amazed when God decides to send a message about life through simple everyday occurrence.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Because it's a Nice Day

"Say, Pooh, why aren't you busy?" I said.
"Because it's a nice day," said Pooh.
"But you could be doing something Important," I said.
"I am," said Pooh.
"Oh? Doing what?"
"Listening,"he said.
"Listening to what?"
"To the birds. And that squirrel over there."
"What are they saying?" I asked.
"That it's a nice day," said Pooh.
"But you know that already," I said.
"Yes, but it's always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too," he said.
From The Tao of Pooh

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Advice From My Mentor - Bad Employees

Throughout my career I have had lots of people give me words of advice on how to enhance my career and how to be a better manager. Some of it has gone in one ear and out the other but a lot of the advice has been beneficial and helped my career and management development. Here is one of those great words of wisdom that has stuck with me over the years.

“There is no such thing as a bad employee, only bad supervisors!”

In the 1970’s I was working for Kraft Foods and starting my career in management as a first line supervisor. The plant manager for that facility, Tony, was one of my mentors that I still find myself quoting all the time. This was one of his favorite Tonyism’s, my term for his sayings, that he would tell the supervisors every time they brought up an employee issue.

I remember getting so mad when he said this to me because I had come to him looking for a solution, not to hear how bad of a supervisor I was. Fortunately he was very understanding and would sit and talk me through the issue. I soon came to realize this was his whole point in making the statement, to get me to think and work through the issue.

Over the years I began to understand the deep meaning of the statement and began applying it to my management skill set. There are two broad lessons that can be learned from this statement.

The first is that new employees do not come to work on their first day with the preconceived notion that “I am here to goof-off and cause trouble.” They come to work with high hopes and optimism of doing a fair days work for a fair days wage. They are taught, on the job, how to be a bad employee. No, this is not part of their orientation or part of the supervisor’s training program, but it is there. They learn it from the attitude of other employees and the general work ethic of the facility.

How does this apply to management? When management allows a negative environment to foster in a work place then they are responsible for the outcome, thus it is not due to bad employees but to bad supervision. Address issues and do not let them grow and take root in your organization and you will find you have fewer “bad employees.”

The second lesson to be learned, from this Tonyism, is associated with the first and that is to take action. If an employee starts to have performance issues it is up to the supervisor to address the issue with the employee and not let it continue to grow worse. Most performance issues have a root-cause that may or may not be associated with the job. By addressing the issue early and helping the employee see the problems that are occurring; you may be able to uncover the root-cause and to turn the performance issue around with minimal intervention. One thing I have learned over the years is ignoring issues will not cause them to go away.

Our job as managers is to develop employees and help them achieve their work related goals. By working with our employees we can develop a positive and productive work relationship that will be beneficial to both the employee and the organization. Also, remember it is hard to achieve your goals without the willing and positive support of your staff; they can make or break you.

Throughout the years I have found myself using the same statements that my mentors would say to me in various business situations. Now I have an advantage in that I know they work and have benefits in all areas of business life.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th - The Reason We Celebrate

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Your Name Badge – A Public Service Announcement

Have you ever watched business people get out of their cars at their local grocery store and quickly remove their name badge? Or, have you gone to lunch with other sales people in your group and had them remove their badge before going into the restaurant? This never ceases to amaze me. Are they embarassed by who they are and what they do?

Name badges are one of the best and least expensive means of self-branding and advertising available. Not only does it open the door for conversations and questions about your product and/or services, but it also serves to reinforce your name. For a few well spent dollars your name badge is publicly announcing who you are and what you do wherever you go.

From my experience, in the past, as an automotive sales person and my present involvement in the real estate industry I can honestly state that a name badge can and will generate contacts and business for you. On numerous occasions I have had people come up to me and say, “You’re a real estate agent. Can you answer a question for me?” This simple opening has directly led to real estate listings opportunities and potential buyers.

On another occasion, while having lunch at a local restaurant, a lady came up to me and said she noticed I worked at a local car dealership and she had a question to ask me. After answering the question I gave her my business card and asked her to come by and let me show her the model she liked. She showed up and I sold her the car.

Would this have happened if I was ashamed of my badge and removed it before I went into the restaurant. No, it was the badge that provided the opening for the entire business transaction. There is a saying in real estate among agents, “Don’t be a secret agent”. If you want other people’s business you have to let them know who you are and what you have to offer.

In order to succeed you have to go out and get the business. Self-promotion and advertising is one of the ways to do it. Your name badge is another tool which can make this happen.

To re-cap, here are a few facts about name badge use.

1. It will help a client remember your name and reinforce you as the expert.

2. It is a conversation starter.

3. It will bring you potential business and opportunities.

4. It is inexpensive advertising with a high return on your investment.

In order to maximize your success from wearing your name badge here are a few guidelines for name badge use.

1. Buy a quality badge. A cheap badge is just that, a cheap badge, and reflects on you.

2. Make sure it is easy to read.

  • a. Not too large that it is obnoxious or so small you can’t read it.

  • b. Not too congested with information. Just your company logo, your name and job title.

  • c. Your name should be the most prominent feature.

  • d. No fancy print or fonts. Clean, clear and concise.

3. If you shake hands with your right hand, wear your name badge on your right chest.

4. Make sure it is attached right side up and straight. Don’t laugh, it happens.

5. Use common sense when not to wear your badge.

6. Monogram clothing, shirts, jackets, sweater, and hats, are another way to get the effect in a more casual environment.

Your business is all about name recognition and branding. The more you get your name out in front of the public the more likely they are to think of you when a need arises in their lives for your services. Whether it is print advertisements, internet use, business cards or name badges, each serves to remind people who you are and what you have to offer.

Don’t keep your professional expertise a secret, flaunt it. Wear your name badge and let people know you are the expert in your profession and you’re there to help them. It works!

Make your public service announcement today by wearing your name badge.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Leaders Must Lead: The Three "F's" of Leadership

There comes a point in every relationship, organization, business, and related activity when leaders must lead. The various teams have done their designing. The committees have reviewed it. Management has approved it. Now, it is time for leaders to take control and execute it. This is true whether we are talking about building a rocket ship or selling a house; once plans are made they have to be executed.

Leaders are the people that make it happen. They execute the plans and insure the goals are met. Whether they are leaders of a large group of fellow associates or they are an individual performance leader, such as sales leader, they set the pace and standards of the job to be done.

Leaders accomplish this through other people. A team leader will guide and direct his team insuring all the members maintain their focus on achieving the desired results. A sales leader will work with all parties of a transaction to insure they stay focused on making the transaction. The primary function of leadership in any situation involves working with and through other people to achieve the results of the goal.

Working with and through other people can be challenging but that is why you are the leader. As a leader it is important to learn and apply the three F’s of leadership in all their work relationships and interactions with other people. A leader should treat everyone with respect by being:

1. Fair

2. Firm

3. Frank


Your reputation is one of the most important assets you have. How people perceive you will determine how willing they are to work with you. As a team leader a positive reputation will make your associates put out the extra effort needed to accomplish any goal. As a sales leader your reputation will bring business and clients to you.

Being fair is simply treating all people the same. If people know they can trust you they will want to work with you. Be honest with all parties and work for a win-win solution to any problems that arise.

Make time for all your associates and business partners. This will go a long way to helping you achieve the reputation of being fair. Showing favoritism in any business relationship can have strong negative consequences.

Even in businesses where professional and corporate guidelines/rules appear to restrict your relationship with one party or the other in a business transaction you can still be fair in your actions. Be honest. If you cannot do something tell the party you cannot. By following the guidelines to the letter you are maintaining your fairness in the business relationship. Simply applying the rules equally to all parties with fairness and honesty helps you achieve your goals.


In the old days when you said a leader was firm you meant he ruled with an iron fist. There are still times when a leader has to be strict but being firm means more than this. It means being a decisive leader, one who can make a decision and follow through with it.

When being firm you need to stick to your principles and company policies/rules in all your business relationships. Don’t be indecisive when it comes to doing what is right or wrong. Let your principles and policies guide you in your decisions and how you implement actions.

When you make a decision stick with it, don’t be wishy-washy about it. You are not a “yes person” but you are the leader and at times it is your job to make the hard choices that are necessary to accomplish the goal.

Being firm also means when your decision or plans need to be changed you change them. But, you base the need to change on the facts needed to reach your goal. A good leader knows when and how to be flexible and adaptable.

Be open the suggestion, ideas, guidance and advice. A good leader does not make decisions in a vacuum but in the end a good leader makes the decision.


A good leader is an honest leader. His very principles demand truthfulness and honesty. He shares all the facts that he can with his team and/or clients to help them accomplish the goal.

When working in a team environment a good leader deals with all situations with truthfulness whether with the team or an individual. If praise is justified he gives it honestly and freely. If correction is needed he handles it with the same frankness, dealing with facts.

An individual leader such as a sales leader is frank with his associates and clients. He gives them all the facts, both good and bad, so they can make the best decision for their goals.

By following the three “F’s” of leadership a good leader will find the interaction with fellow associates and clients easier and more rewarding. Developing a reputation of being fair, firm and frank in your business relationships will help move you from being a good leader to being a great leader.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dressing for a job Interview - What Not to Do

Go to a job interview with me wearing pants hanging around your knees or a dress and/or blouse that barely covers you; I will not hire you. Yes, I will give you a cursory interview, but you will not get the job. Call me old fashion or even prejudice if you like, but I believe there is a level of business decorum and respect that needs to be maintained in a work place no matter what the level or position. The interview is a way for you to demonstrate your professionalism. For more info get your copy of: How to Find a Job by Larry B. Gray.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Highlights of Proposed Foreclosure Laws in Florida

Join me today in welcoming Sarah Parr as our guest blogger for today.

Highlights of Proposed Foreclosure Laws in Florida

By Sarah Parr

Florida has seen its share of hardships because of the housing crisis. Analysts say we’re experiencing a slow recovery, but the aftermath of the housing crisis still lingers, especially here. The Sunshine State recently witnessed a 3.11 percent increase in foreclosure activity, according to RealtyTRAC’s year-end report. Lawmakers, real estate professionals and consumer advocates want to change Florida’s status and reform its foreclosure process.  Lawmakers are currently talking about implementing various measures, and this has spurred debate between people from all sides of the issue. The proposed laws could considerably alter the way foreclosures are handled in Florida.

Curing Florida’s long judicial process

House Bill 87 intends to speed up Florida’s long judicial-foreclosure process. Supporters claim that the bill looks after borrowers by requiring banks and lenders to show they own a mortgage before they can file any foreclosure action. If set into law, the bill would also allow third-party lien holders, such as condo or homeowner associations, to push foreclosures through a faster process rather than through the customary court arrangement. House Bill 87 would give borrowers 20 days to provide defense against the foreclosure action. After a final judgment in foreclosure is reached, the bill would give banks and lenders one year instead of the present five years to go after borrowers for losses from a foreclosure.

House Bill 87 The legislation has created the most discussion out of all the proposed legislation, as Pine Hills foreclosure attorneys might tell you. Opponents of the bill claim it would rather pump out foreclosures as quickly as possible, instead of protecting the rights of homeowners. They also claim that 20 days is not enough time for homeowners to seek out attorneys for foreclosure defense or to provide their own reasonable defenses. On the other hand, supporters assert the foreclosure process is long-drawn-out, producing gloom for everyone involved. Proponents say accelerating the foreclosure process would also be favorable for Florida real estate’s future success, as homes in foreclosure limbo can be eyesores that bring surrounding property values down.

Pushing through case backlog

Under Senate Bill 1666, senior justices or judges would be able to consent to temporary duty to help with the buildup of foreclosure cases in Florida. The bill would also allow second publication of the notice of sale of a home to be published online in lieu of publication in any other form of media.  This changes the requirement that a second notice of pending foreclosure must occur in a print media advertisement, a move some say is unfair to low-income homeowners and seniors who could only find out about a looming foreclosure sale through a newspaper notice.

Protection for homeowners in distress

Four bills, proposed and sponsored by Senator Darren Soto (D-Orlando), seek to aid homeowners struggling with foreclosure or mortgage issues. Senate Bills 1226 and 371 would mandate that lenders can only file a deficiency judgment one year after a final foreclosure judgment, and would only have two years to collect any outstanding debt. Right now, residents can be contacted by debt collectors for up to two decades. Senate Bill 1236, also known as the “Mortgage Principal Reduction Act,” would require the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to utilize $100 million of the federal government’s Hardest-Hit Program to start a mortgage principal reduction program for Floridians with properties in foreclosure. The final proposed bill by Soto, the “Short Sale Debt Relief Act,” would make deficiency judgments unenforceable on a short sale if the original debt was 20 percent or greater than fair market value.

Based on all of the proposals presented, Florida will probably see significant changes in its foreclosure process soon.



Sarah Parr is an Orlando-based writer who blogs about issues pertaining to foreclosure.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Interview by Author Roy Murry

I was recently interviewed by Author Roy Murry on his website, "Murry Reviews and Interviews." I know it is just my over-inflated ego but I did like the lead-in he posted on social media, "Larry B. Gray, author, reviewer, business innovator, and blogger is interviewed on Connie’s Brother’s Blog."

Be sure to check out the article and all the other great reviews and interviews on Roy's site. Just click on the link below.

Thanks Roy, for all your support.

Click here to read the full interview by Author Roy Murray.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Poker, Panty Raids and Anti-War Marches

Another snippet from "A Boy From Down East"

Poker, Panty Raids and Anti-War Marches

What in the world could these three activities have in common?  As I settled into the routine of dorm life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill these became part of the unofficial schedule of events and entertainment.  Each of these events shared a common connector which helped build friendships and enlightened my college experience.

There were five of us who lived next door to each other on the first floor of Graham Dorm.  Since we did not partake of the “evil weed,” alcohol became the libation of choice.  Beer was our favorite but because we were each too poor to buy it on a regular basis, it was reserved for special occasions.  Our fallback drink became wine, Boones Farm Strawberry Hill to be specific.  Occasionally someone bought a bottle of Apple and we all scolded him for not paying attention.

Every Friday night was poker night for any of us who were staying on campus for the weekend.  We met in one of our rooms and set up a card table and played well into the night.  Since we were all card sharks and big time wheeler dealers we had to set a bet limit to 1¢.  If we didn’t, the game would be over after a couple of hands. 

One of the rules of play was the bottle rule.  We played until someone won enough hands to be $1.oo ahead.  At this point we took a break from cards and walked up to the little convenience store located on Franklin Street to buy a bottle of Boones Farm for 99¢.  We returned to the game and played until the next dollar was won.

This usually continued until one of three things occurred. First, everyone ran out of money. Since we were college students we had very little money and we were smart enough not to bring all we had to the table. This typically occurred around 1:00 AM.

The second game-ending occurrence was the closing of the little store.  This normally occurred at 1:00 AM.  Allowing for an additional hour to finish off that last bottle of Strawberry Hill we wrapped up the game by 2:00 AM.

The third reason to stop the game rarely occurred but it took a devastating toll on any plans you had for Saturday.  It occurred when the games were played too fast and $1.00 winners happened too often.  This lead to a condition where no one was able to walk to the little store and no one else cared.

Ah, Friday night poker was fun.

Another periodic occurrence that happened several times each semester was the infamous “panty raid.” Usually between 9:30 PM and 10:30 PM a loud clatter of noise arose out on the quad. Guys from the other male dorms on the north campus crossed our quad of 5 male dorms yelling that immortal call to arms, “Panty Raid,” as they marched to Cobb Hall which was an all-female dorm in 1972. By the time they reached Cobb there would be close to 1,000 people in the group. 

Whether it was Cobb Hall or one of the other female dorms of the north campus the event played out same. Forget any preconceived ideas or anything you might have seen in a movie about panty raids.

As the crowd began to arrive at the girl’s dorm several campus police vehicles would drive up and park across the street.  Usually three of the largest policemen walked over and one stood in front of each door.  The one at the main entrance would knock on the door and tell the house mother to lock all the doors and first floor windows.  The rest of the police sat on their vehicles and watched the show.

The crowd of guys gathered across the front of the building and began chanting “Panties, Panties.” I know it sounds corny, but no one said guys were smart when animal instincts took over.  The girls gathered at the windows of the upper floors looking out and laughing.  Every so often one would throw a pair of panties out the window and the crowd went crazy. It was like a shark feeding frenzy.  Looking back I realize this stage of the event was similar to chumming the water when you go fishing.

After the crowd was worked up by the occasional panty, the girls moved to the next and most exciting part of the show.  A girl would lean out of the window and dangle a pair of panties teasing the crowd and getting everyone to bunch up in a tight group.  When the timing was just right the girl with the panties suddenly pulled back into the window very quickly.  Before the group below her window could react, four arms came out with a trashcan full of cold water which was dumped onto the group of guys standing directly below.

This process was repeated several times until the crowd got bored and quietly dispersed. 
All you could hear as we were leaving was the cat calls and laughing from the dorm and the laughing from the campus police.

As for me and my friends, we only had to see the bait and switch occur once. We were smart enough to stay in the back and avoid the soaking which was sure to come.  We stood there and laughed while we shared our bottle of Strawberry Hill, which one of us always had stashed.

The final activity was the anti-war marches of that time.  In 1972 the Vietnam War was still going on and the anti-war sentiment was very strong on college campuses across the country. UNC was no exception.  By the spring of 1972 the lottery for the draft had occurred and with my draft number I knew I did not have to worry.  In many ways I was very apathetic about the war and to be honest viewed the opportunity to march as another fun thing to do.  And, as I look back most in the crowd felt the same way.

There were two big opportunities I had to participate in anti-war demonstrations that spring.  The first was a big demonstration to be held in Washington, DC.  The activists had put up flyers around campus about the Washington march indicating that UNC organizers were chartering buses to take students to DC to participate.  For $50.oo you got a bus ride and chance to see the nation’s capital, which I had never done.  This was a great opportunity.

I went back to the dorm, called Dad and asked if he could put $50.oo into my account.  I explained I had an opportunity to take a bus excursion to Washington DC and see the sights.  He thought for that price this sounded like a great opportunity to learn about the nation’s capital.  He told me he would get the money together and let me know when it was in my account.

I not sure how but he found out this was a trip to Washington to demonstrate against the war.  When he called me back he didn’t need to use the phone because he was yelling so loud I could have heard him all the way from Aurora.  He proceeded to let me know that if I went on that trip he would pull me out of school so fast I would not know what hit me.  Needless to say I did not get the money nor did I get to go to Washington.

Later, I did participate in a large demonstration held on the campus.  On that particular day my friends and I were out sunning in the quad when we heard and saw a large crowd of people marching by on Raleigh Street. We decided this looked like fun and followed the group, after we grabbed a couple of bottles of Strawberry Hill.  We marched up Raleigh Street, then down Franklin Street and back south on Columbia St. During the entire trip and later as we assembled on the quad in front of South Building there was a constant chant of “1, 2, 3, 4 we don’t want your F---ing War.” 

After the march and while everyone was standing in front of South Building one speaker after another got up in front of the crowd and ranted about the war.  The true activists stood in front and cheered them on. 

To the rest of us it was just another party.  It wasn't long before this cloud of “funny” smelling smoke began to fill the air and the party began.  As for me and my friends out came the Boones Farm and we joined in.

As you have probably figured out Boones Farm played an integral part in making each of these events a memorable college experience.
This too was part of growing up in Aurora NC.