We need Moe.

There are big chunks of my childhood that I don’t remember. Or I have misplaced somehow, and then I need a prompt, and things begin to come back clearly.

But one thing that I am fairly certain of is this. On May 4, 1975, my parents didn’t pull me aside, and say, “Honey. Moe died. The Three Stooges Moe. He died today.” I would have remembered that.

My sister Julie and I used to do the Three Stooges schtick when we were little. We still do it, every now and again. “Oooooo. Wise guy, eh? Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk…..” And on it goes.

Moses Harry Horowitz is his real name. Then he changed it to Moe Howard, professionally. Which runs me right into the sidebar on the street. Do you think God called Moses, ‘Moe’? You know, fondly? Like, “Hey Moe, grab something to jot this down. Moe, a paper tablet would have been fine!”


The Three Stooges Moe died in 1975, on this very date. I did not know that when I was eleven. The things we do not know. The things we let pass, because we were unaware that they were even happening. All over the world. And right here.

Last night, right here in Preble County, I went to a “discussion/panel” on Housing in our community. Actually, “Housing” everywhere. It is part of the National Week of Housing which is going on right now. May 1 through May 8. The online information can be found at http://www.ourhomes-ourvoices.org. . There were lots of people there, including a very diverse panel and audience, as well as several elected officials.

I mentioned earlier about things going on in our world that we are not entirely aware of. Well, this is a big one. Housing — affordable housing — is a huge problem in our country. And especially here in Preble County. Oh, we heard the statistics last night. Lots of statistics. And then, THEN, we began to hear stories.

These stories were mostly coming from Helpers. People whose job it is to help others. There was someone from the Veteran’s Administration there, someone from Jobs and Family Services, another from the Mental Health and Recovery Board, and on, and on. But these Helpers came in all shapes and sizes.

Their stories recounted the times when they had a “client” (or a “someone” they were trying to help) who was in need of affordable housing. Phone call, after phone call, searching all their resources, looking for a decent apartment or a good place to live for this person in crisis.

Their searches were fruitless. There wasn’t anything available. And when the prospect of housing did pop up, it was in such disrepair, that they, in good conscience, could not let this person pay rent to live there. Mice feces, holes in walls, leaks, broken (or no) plumbing, wires run amuck, and on. I was astounded.

The waiting lists, for the “decent” places to live, was 2 to 5 YEARS long. And you know what? Most people can’t pull up a couch at a buddy’s house for 2 to 5 years. Not buddies I know.

I’m mentioning this because it is important. Our lack of good housing is becoming a bigger problem in our country every day. And the group it is affecting or will affect, the most, is Baby Boomers. My age.

That old Moe Howard has two good quotes relating to this, I think. First, he said, “I’ll squeeze the cider out of your Adam’s apple.” And sometimes, trying to find affordable housing for people is much akin to this.

And the other?
“If there’s anything I like better than honey and ketchup, it’s baloney and whipped cream — and we haven’t got any!”

We haven’t got any.
Helping with Housing. There are people out there trying to help. I hope somehow, we all can join in helping too.

If anyone would like to review the statistics cited in the meeting, please contact the HIT Foundation. http://www.hitfoundation.org


“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
― Robert Frost


“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”
― William Faulkner


“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”
― Pierce Brown, Golden Son