My Real Personal Trainer : My Dad

PCNR THE SUNDAY  BAILEY. By John F. Bailey. Republished from The CitizeNetReporter of June 17, 2007:

My father gave me four pieces of advice in life: Always drive an air-conditioned car. Always centrally air-condition your home. Stay out of court.

And don’t sit in traffic.

Always take the service road on the Long Island Expressway. (He would have loved a Garmin.)

In retrospect, his advice has served me well.  I am always comfortable. I sit out traffic delays in comfort. I have not made lawyers rich.

002 (2)

Charles F. Bailey

My Dad

Pleasantville, NY


He was not an emotional man. He was a banker and always wore suits to work. I have fond memories of going to meet him when he got off the train in Pleasantville – when  the train tracks were at grade with Manville Road.

I was most impressed as a young child by how he always smelled of coal cinders when he got off the train – like commuter’s cologne.

Sadly on today’s electric trains you do not get that. And you always heard those steam engines coming. You could see them: Clouds of very busy and industrious black smoke streaming at the horizon down the line. He’d get off the train.

My mother would move over and he’d drive the old Hudson Hornet home. He always spoke quietly. Never raised his voice. Drank scotch and soda in the winter. Gin and Tonics in the summer and he smoked Philip Morris’s, Marlboros, then Kents.

He set up a Lionel train set in our basement – perhaps our unspoken connection. When I was sent in by train for the first time to meet him at the office during Christmas time, He’d have his secretary greet me at Grand Central Terminal which still is a very big and scary place.

He would take me to lunch at Jack’s Monte Rosa restaurant on 49th Street – which I thought was a very great place. When I first went to it with him, I was a little disappointed that it was not more glamorous but I was really impressed that Jack the owner greeted him by name. I thought that was great that my Dad was greeted with respect.

When I first started working in Washington, D.C. in 1968 I ate regularly at a restaurant below the television station WMAL-TV where I worked, it was called Marty’s Italian Village.  Marty, the owner (who looked like Humphrey Bogart, the only thing missing was the white sport coat) started calling me when I came in around 7 PM, ‘Hi John, how are you?” People would look at me. They thought I was big.  I liked that. Feeling big in my small world.

When my father came to visit me in Washington where I worked. I took him around town. I told him when he got off the plane. “Hi, Dad, welcome to my town.” I wanted to impress him. We’re always trying to impress our fathers.

Another Father time was when my Dad came out for Dad’s Day at college. I mean this was a big thing to me. He watched me do play-by-play of a football game from atop the press box in 15 degree weather. It was cold. But he watched. Acted impressed. He hated cold weather.

Another time he impressed when I lost a job where I was working at the television station that I had been being considered for. And I told him how unfair it was, he put things in perspective: “Puggy, he said,  “The film manager wasn’t going to put you in as his Assistant if you were going to be bucking him all the time.” It put things in perspective. No false sentiment. No making me feel better, he was tough enough to teach by being realistic while telling me not to feel sorry for myself.

Then later in my career when I was fired out of a job completely blindsided. He again intervened, saying to me he thought what the agency head had done was a terrible thing. I needed that at the time.

He also, in a very supportive move, told me if I could make $1,000 a night writing a free lance direct mail package, I should keep trying to do that.

Dads are there to say the right things to you at the right time. Sometimes it is not always the right thing, but they try. Often, if you’re lucky, as I was, they say the right thing. And not the wrong thing.

With my father, who was not really my father, since I was an adopted child, it was never all about him, it was all about you.

When I bought my first house in White Plains. He never criticized the house. But when I sold it, he complimented me, “I think it’s great how you came out of it (the crummy first house).” They’re personal trainers.

The good ones  train you to run a race. If you stumble, no one hurts more than they do. When you succeed, no one is prouder.

They know what you should do, but they can’t tell you, because you won’t do it if you’re a kid.

But the more subtler of them tell you any way in hopes it will sink in to the rebellious offspring mind. My dad was subtle.

Another fond memory: My father took me camping once at a friend’s cabin in Pennsylvania. Funny thing was there was such a great comic collection we wound up sleeping in sleeping bags on the porch of the cabin. That was funny.

Another time when I was being threatened in college over a position at the radio station, I asked him if I should just abdicate and assign a play-by-play position to the person who was being forced on me. He advised me to “stick to your guns,” so I reported the threat to the Dean.

The position was compromised, but I was never threatened again.  He never shared my love for baseball and sports. In fact he never played catch with me all that well.

I mean I could have made the big leagues (pipe dream) if he played catch with me more. But that’s a small criticism.  I wish I had more of his financial acumen. But I do not.

As you grow into your 30s and 40s, little things they say to you you begin to understand. My father never struck me, but always disciplined me with quiet words. I have not always been that way as a parent myself, being somewhat volatile. I wish I had his even temperament. He always asked me to take care of my mother. And the only time he really got mad at me was when I had made my mother upset with me.

He was a little like John Wayne in movie roles in the way he disciplined, I remember he would say admonitions quietly. Such as when I got an F in an English course at college. He told me, that was the last F I would get at Ohio Wesleyan, because the next one he would stop paying my tuition.

That had an effect. And that was when tuition was only $3,000 a year.

So, on Father’s Day, I think of him as I do every day of my life. I become more like him every day. He is always lingering in the background of my thoughts. I do not know what he would think of what I am doing now.  But, he’d say — “If that’s what you want to do. Do it.” He also would say, “You have to make yourself happy.”

I also think, even today of what advice (laconic as always) he’d give me in a situation. And I wish I could discuss property taxes with him.

I especially have to salute him, because I am an adopted child. That alone makes me appreciate his love and acceptance with a sense of awe to this day.

You never outgrow your need for Dad.

Posted in Uncategorized

WHITE PLAINS WEEK of JUNE 14 ON youtube and and

WPWeek for 6/14 has been posted!

The YouTube link i 

The link is




Posted in Uncategorized

Meet Peter Wood, (center) Golden Gloves Champion ,White Plains High English Teacher and author of Confessions of a Fighter, Bob Mladinich and
Fred Romano, another well-known boxing writer at the White Plains’ Barnes & Noble tonight at 7pm at the City Center, Main Street.  Continue  Fight Talk with the Professors of The Sweet Science!
Posted in Uncategorized

Voters Submit Your Questions for the Council Candidates Primary, Please

League of Women Voters of White Plains 
Candidates Forum for Democratic Primary 

 Monday June 17
7:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M.
White Plains Public Library Auditorium 

 A Candidates Forum for candidates running in the Democratic Primary will be held on Monday June 17 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. in the White Plains Public Library Auditorium. The proceedings will be video recorded and streamed live. 

Audience questions may be submitted:By email in advance of the
meeting no later than 5:00 P.M. on Sunday June 16 to with the subject line “Question for Candidates”      OR In-person at the Forum.

Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.  Cards will be available for audience
members to submit questions.  

Please include your name and address on your email or in-person question. Your address will not be made public. 

Spontanious “adlib” Questions will not be taken from the floor
during the Forum.

For additional information please email the manager of Candidate
Forums using the subject line “Candidates Forum” at

Information about what’s on the ballot in your election district, the 
location of your polling place, who the candidates are and what their
positions are on issues, be sure to visit VOTE411.ORG The Primary
Election is on Tuesday June 25. Polls will be open 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Posted in Uncategorized

County Board Recommends Voting Changes. Votes on them next.

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2019. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Edited. June 13, 2019:

The Westchester County Board of Legislators’ Voting Reform Working Group has completed its review of New York State election law

In January, the state enacted a number of voting reforms.

Among the changes is early voting — this year early voting will begin Saturday October 26 and run through Sunday November 3.  In addition, where New York used to have two separate primary days, one for local and state races and another for federal races, there is now one primary day — the fourth Tuesday in June, which this year is June 25.

Also, when voters move from one location to another in New York State, their voter registration will automatically be transferred to the new location when they register a change of address with a state agency or submit an affidavit ballot.  And beginning in 2020, 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to pre-register to vote so that their registrations will automatically become effective on their 18th birthdays.


The group, formed in January 2019 by Board Chairman Ben Boykin, was tasked with examining the new laws and the effect they will have on voters, candidates and the Board of Legislators itself.

In a 14-page report, the Group recommended several changes which the full Board will now consider – including recommendations for the number and location of early polling sites, how to deal with Board vacancies under the state’s new election calendar, what changes of County laws might need to be passed to conform to the new state laws, and more.

The Group was chaired by Legislator Christopher Johnson (D – Yonkers), and included other legislators, County Attorney John Nonna, and members of the BOL and County Executive’s staff.

Leg. Johnson said, “I’m excited that the state has taken action to make it easier for more people to vote, and I’m looking forward to future action in Albany to expand voter participation. The Working Group took a deep dive into these changes, not only to assess their impact on voters and candidates, but also to assess what actions the Board and the County will need to take to implement these changes. While I’m sure there will be a learning curve as we begin conducting our first elections under these new rules, I believe the Working Group’s thorough examination will help the County get off on the right foot, and I’d like to thank all the Group’s members for their diligent efforts.”

Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “I’d like to thank Legislator Johnson and all the Working Group participants. These are major changes in the way people in Westchester vote, and it was important for the Board to get out in front and proactively evaluate what steps will need to be taken to implement the changes as smoothly as possible for voters, candidates and everyone in Westchester.”

The Working Group’s full report is available on the Board’s website:

Posted in Uncategorized


WPCNR STREET LEGAL. By John F. Bailey. June 13, 2019:

The Service Employees International Union 32BJ announced at a demonstration in front of 1 Barker Avenue Thursday afternoon they would strike commercial buildings in Westchester County midnight, December 31st if higher wages and improved benefits have not been agreed to.

Crowd gathering for SEIU 32BJ demonstration at building complex, 1 and 3 Barker Avenue–the future home of the state Department of Motor Vehicles in White Plains which has agreed to move from the White Plains Mall. WPCNR NEWS ACTUALITY.

The union was supported in their demands by the Communications Workers of America whose representative said the CWA appreciated the SEIU 32BJ support in the CWA strike against Verizon three years that won the CWA “a great contract.” The representative said the CWA would do whatever SEIU needed. The CWA is, WPCNR believes is the first major union to support the SEIU in its crusade for its fired workers, fairer treatment and realistic contracts.

The SEIU was supported by a number of County Board of Legislators and County Executive George Latimer. Legislator Katherine Parker introduced Legislator Kitley Covill, who announced the County Board of Legislators would introduce legislation she and other supportive legislators had written on Monday that would close the loophole allowing a plaza of two buildings to be considered separate businesses allowing the advantage of dismissing presently employed staff. The loophole allowed the new owners to fire the five SEIU workers last fall in favor of a below union wage cleaning contractor.

After the purchase, the new owner of 1 and 3 Barker Avenue dismissed the 5 SEIU janitorial staff and hired a non-union contractor. paying below union wage.

Leonore Friedlaender, Assistant to the President of 32BJ explained the new legislation and outlined the possibility of a strike to WPCNR:

Posted in Uncategorized

The Estefans—déjà vu !


White Plains CitizeNetReporter  STAGE DOOR. Theatrical Review by John F. Bailey. June 12, 2019:

You can’t tell them apart.  You can’t hear them apart.

Who are the real Estefans?

Gloria and Emilio Estefan–1980s

Or these Estefans?—The delicious Maria Bilbao, the  swashbuckling Jose Luaces–2019  Photos, John Vechiola, courtesy WBT

Together they bring back the breakthrough Latin entertainers of the 80s Gloria and Emilio Estefan who took the world of sound based on their native Cuba and sold out concerts throughout the world as they broke through to be the first latin superstar singers.

The alchemists of entertainment  Director Donna Drake, Choreographer Rhonda Miller  and Producer Lisa Tiso  at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY USA have done it again: telling the Estefans’ courageous and uplifting story and performing their music – bringing back the Broadway hit of 2015, and getting Westchester salsa-ing  again, clapping  to the conga, disco-ing to Dr. Beat, and moving to energetic sambaizations. It’s The Miami Sound Machine and their amazing story. Cuban refugees fleeing from the Castro regime to international stardom only to be struck by tragedy and coming back.

Ms.  Bilbao and Mr. Luaces “chem” it up in this real love story that has lasted 40 years (they are still married). From Gloria’s first song, Anything  for You (he’s too old for her, but he’s hooked). As the romance weaves between performances of Miami Sound Machine it grows–the two duet their mutual attraction in such a young lovers’ duet you will remember, I See Your Smile.

Maria Bilbao bringing the house down with her Coming Out of the Dark big song in Act II

Throughout Ms. Bilbao (above)  gets  deep and high into the Gloria Estafan style: holding the notes long and plaintively on the ballads; athleticism  in fast spins, leaps , long arms reaching  for the spots, and swiveling hips with boundless energy while singing at the same time in “Gloria-ous”continuity.

 Her colorata-mezzo soprano the deep intimate sound of commitment and regret and assurance, and rises to the emotions of unbearably sad and joyous feeling. She covers the Malacon.

Gloria’s father’s illness thought to have been caused by his service in the Vietnam war,  makes him an invalid is tastefully and uplifting portrayed and the sacrifices it requires.  Isabella Prestion and Camila Sander are the charismatic little girls who sing of their love for their father, singing  Cuando Sali De Cuba (When I left Cuba), and Tradicio’n. Young aspiring actresses will identify with these two young ladies.

I liked Byron St. Cyr as Gloria’s father (above) who establishes just-right  father-daughter traditions that all we fathers of daughters experience, his missing her when he goes to fight in Cuba, and his declining health after his Vietnam stint show the bonds between daughter and father.

Gloria’s mother played with every bit of assertiveness as Gloria herself, Karmine Alers  flashes back to her stardom in Cuba, and this causes jealousy  on the part of the mother and Gloria the daughter’s growing success. Mom does not want her to marry Emilio.

Allers shows just how good she was in the number Mi Tierra. Allers is so good at spats with Gloria over where Gloria is going with her life and how it hurts the family, that it brings home everyone’s family dramas and conflicts and makes the motivations very real, highlighting the dramatics.

This musical is about family and all that goes with it. The songs all by Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan come out of their life experience. That’s why the songs hit home and won an international following.

The first act wraps with the breakthrough hit Conga at a make or break concert in a park attracting thousands in Miami that Emilio conceived as a way of breaking their music into the main stream and leading to their star tours abroad. Mr. Luaces is strong in his negotiating scenes with record executives who claim the Miami Sound Machine is only for the latin audience.

Second Act the  arc of their careers soars. The awesome  effects of a concert given by Gloria and Emilio Estefan are rendered as well as possible at WBT, but Ms. Bilbao and Mr. Luaces more than overwhelm the enthusiastic press night audience with  Conga, Get On Your Feet, Live for Loving You and You’ll Be Mine. Then the famous Kennedy Concert where Gloria sings Cuba Libre.  As conflict grows as the tours continue Gloria and her mother are in conflict over what is happening with her own little sister.

As the group goes on the road on a bus tour, Gloria’s life is changed when at the top of their growing popularity their bus is hit by a truck. Gloria is paralyzed. Is this the end? Of course we know it is not. The staging of the accident comes as a complete surprise with one of the great effects Set Designer Steve Loftus and Light man Andrew Gmoser—so real you think the truck is going to hit the audience. It made me start in fear.

This crisis is a teachable moment. How quickly life as you know it can turn on a twist of fate. 

Karmine Alers, Gloria’s mother and Emilio (Mr. Luaces) combine on the plaintive,  If I Never Get to Tell You sung to an unconscious Gloria as she awaits surgery.  Gloria’s memories flash by as she, herself as a little girl, her father Jose and the ensemble sing of her past in Wrapped.

Through the long recovery of a year, Emilio (Luaces) sings  Don’t Wanna Lose You with a sincerity and a will that transmits in my opinion the will to fight to come back.

Does she come back? She does with her return to the stage at the American Music Awards, singing Coming Out of the Dark.

Having seen On Your Feet during its Broadway run, this revival brings you much closer to the people who lived this rousing, uplifting human drama of self-made success, comflict, adversity through their devotion to each other.

The Broadway On Your Feet thrilled with its booming colorful, astounding pace and special effects and left you with your body throbbing to the beat and delivering the signature of the Estefans’ musical legacy.

The Westchester Broadway Theatre  extravaganza entertains and puts you up close in the midst of  personal drama inspiring you, feeling  the emotions in a very caring way. The final Megamix extravagant finale will have you jumpin’ and longing for Havana. Be careful on those one foot spins!

The musicians all 11 of them just fill the theatre with the Miami Sound Machine style that gets into you when it first took the world by beat. Ole’s to Bob Bray, Jessica Glover, David Dunaway, Brian Uhl, Steve Bliefuss, David Shoup, Crispian Fordham, Jay Mack, Carlos Padon, Yuri Yamashita, you’re ready to go on tour!

This is how family should be. On Your Feet is in every sense a family musical. With the Estefans it’s always been each other and family.

You should try the Cuban Pork dinner before hand with black beans. On Your Feet the intimate, booming, up-close and personal Estafans will be at the WBT until August 4.  Go to  or call the box office at 914-592-2222.

There is one line from this show that really says it all. When Mr. Luaces is negotiating with a CBS producer who tells him they are only Spanish market recording artists, Luaces is silent. He looks him in the eye and touches his own face and says:

“This is the face of an American.”

On Your Feet  is an American musical by Americans for Americans.

Posted in Uncategorized







Posted in Uncategorized

If you’re going to be out of town on Primary Day you have 5 days to Apply for your Absentee Ballot.

Walk into the Board of Elections and pick up an Absentee Ballot Application (shown above), fill it out and hand it in to the friendly Board of Elections clerk and within 10 minutes or less, if you wait, the clerk will return with your absentee ballot for the primary election coming up. They will hand you the absentee ballot below:

You need to fill out and turn in the Application for an absentee ballot by Tuesday June 18 in order to acquire an Absentee Ballot. You must mail or turn in your absentee ballot in person at the Board of Elections, or mail it so it is postmarked one day before the June 25 primary.

If you want to acquire an absentee ballot for a member of the family, relative, or friend who will be away June 25 and is unable to come into the Board of Elections and you want to pick up the Absentee ballot for them, that individual must fill out an application for an absentee ballot, and authorize you to pick it up for them on the application


And while we are on the topic of absentee ballots, if you know of persons who are not registered voters, who want to vote in the November election for Common Council, County elections, you may walk into the Board of Elections on 

25 Quaropas St. White Plains and pick one up.  Or call the Board of Elections at 995-2000, ask for the Board of Elections and press the Registration prompt.

A friendly Board of Elections clerk will take your name and address and mail you the form above to register to vote. To register for the November election this fall when county legislators and judges will be up for election in addition to the White Plains Common Council you must turn in the registration by October 11.

Posted in Uncategorized


WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2019. From the Westchester County Board of Elections, June 10, 2019:

The Board of Elections HAS informed WPCNR that absentee ballots are now available for those who will be out of town on June 25, and want their vote to be counted.

The Board told WPCNR the deadline to apply for absentee ballots is June 18 (7 days before the primary). This means registered Democratic voters in White Plains have 14 days from today to apply,

The Board told WPCNR voters may pick up an application at the Board of Elections 25 Quorropas Street, White Plains, 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.

Absentee ballots once completed can be turned in at the Board of Elections any time before the election in person, or you may mail it back and it will be counted if postmarked ONE DAY before the Election, June 25.

June 25 is the date of the Democratic Primary in which Nadine Hunt-Robinson, Victoria Presser, Jennifer Puja and Katherine Brezler are competing for three seats on the Democratic line for Common Council .

Absentee ballots are available for registered Democratic Voters to pick up at 25 Quaropus Street in White Plains opposite Mulino’s restaurant.

The ballots must be picked up in person at the Board of Elections , and a form must be submitted.

To print out an Absentee Ballot Application to complete at home go to the bold highlight links below and print it out. On the Application you can designate a person to pick one up for you if wish,

Obtaining your Absentee Ballot

Absentee voting

If you know you will not be in your voting district on a given Election Day, you may vote by absentee ballot.

Voters who are qualified to vote by absentee ballot must first apply for the absentee ballot; and the request is only valid for the calendar year of that particular request.

You may vote by absentee ballot if you will be:

  • Unavoidably absent from your county on Election Day
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • A patient in a veteran’s administration hospital
  • Detained in jail awaiting grand jury action or confined in prison after conviction of an offense other than a felony.

Absentee ballot application
When completing the application form, be sure to print clearly

Upon completion of the absentee ballot application, you must mail it to the Board of Elections. Once we are in receipt of your application, a ballot will be mailed to you, or you can bring it in in person and the absentee ballot will be given to you. You can also bring the absentee ballot back before the election and turn in your vote!

Remember that an application for an absentee ballot is only valid for the calendar year of the request.

Designate someone to pick up your ballot
If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick up your ballot for you. Only that person designated on your application in section 6 and/or section 7 of your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.

If disabled or permanently ill
If you check the box indicating your illness or disability is permanent, once your application is approved you will automatically receive a ballot for each election in which you are eligible to vote, without having to apply again, unless you have moved and, therefore, you must reapply again.

Please note that a power of attorney or printed name stamp is not allowed for any voting purpose, including absentee applications

For additional information visit the New York State Board of Elections.

Posted in Uncategorized