Friday, December 1, 2023

Editor's Corner


By Mary E. Adair

December 2023

“Winter, a lingering season,
is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey,
and enjoy every idle hour.”

__John Boswell

Oh we do have a Christmassy edition of Pencil Stubs Online this issue! Having searched for new poetry and not finding the essence of the holiday we turned to encores of our usual poets that were seasonal. Many go back several years so should be new to the readers of today. Enjoy!

It was a must to display Walt Perryman's "A Tumbleweed Christmas" and his current poem "A Sometimes Doubt." Bruce Clifford's "Traditions Lie" doesn't address Christmas, but Bud Lemire's "A Beatles Christmas" certainly does. His other two poems are "My Forever Girl" and "My Friend, John Summers." Although John I. Blair has been low on current poetry, his history in Pencil Stubs boasts well over a thousand submissions, including his various column series, so we chose these to bless us this month: "Keeping Christmas," "When Roses Bloom in December," and "Winter Doesn't Have a Texas Address."

The other three are from your editor and are on the sentimental side as the one titled "Make Mary Merry" was an actual intention of my late sister Noralee Crowson following the loss of my husband of nearly 33 years who passed October 17, 1996 and our father John (Jack) Edward Carroll who died only a short time before AG on July 1, 1996, so our mother Lena May and our other sisters were also grieving. The other two are "The Season" and "Tiny Miracle" which has become like a tradition for December.

"Introspective" by Thomas F. O'Neill shares the link to a video of having Thanksgiving with his colleagues while teaching in China, but also a bit about his Christmas periods there along with some photos. Judith Kroll's column "On Trek" is about how our memories are blessings. Pauline Evanosky's column is  "Woo Woo," where she declares Psychics aren't different, they just notice things. Marilyn Carnell's column "Sifoddling Along" shares a loving tribute to her father and his favorite pastime hobby of fishing, sharing some wonderful pictures as proof.

We welcome our new columnist Ara Parisien and her expertise as a "Medium-Author-Spiritual Teacher" which happens to be the title of her column. We have been chat friends many years and this promises to be a valuable asset for our eZine.

What a comprehensive column is offered by Rod Cohenour ("Cooking with Rod") to put you on the path to a fabulous South of the Border Holiday menu. Meanwhile our "Armchair Genealogy" columnist Melinda Cohenour is lauding the proof to convict serial murderers because of incontrevertible DNA results, and updates her column on the Gilgo Beach tragedies.

We continue to bless our good fortune in knowing our co-founder and webmaster, Mike Craner, whose knowledge and expertise keeps Pencil Stubs Online actually online We know how busy he is during this season as he "plays" Santa on an excursion train in Virginia, delighting children of all ages.. We place our confidence in him as we have in the past and shall continue doing so.

See you in January!.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour

Gilgo Beach Serial Murderer

Intro: Another update on the investigation of the mysterious and hair-raising Gilgo Beach Serial Murder Case. DNA has played a huge role in the identification and arrest of one person inextricably tied to, at minimum, three of the victims and, almost certainly, a fourth. Ongoing DNA tests may bring charges related to even more of the eleven victims discovered thus far on or near Gilgo Beach but the search continues around the nation for potential additional victims of this monster.

The end of the year 2023 nears. More than a decade since the search for Shannan Gilbert resulted in the discovery of ten sets of remains near Shannan's last known location. The shocking discovery of four similarly bound bodies back in 2010 prompted an investigation - one initially thwarted by corruption within Suffolk County's Police department. That internal rot knocked the investigation onto a back burner leaving residents of Long Island uneasy, fearful, and frustrated. Another decade passed with no progress.

Enter Rodney Harrison, end of year 2021. A highly skilled, politically adept, seasoned and respected career criminal investigator with a proven track record and experience directing one of the largest police forces in the nation, possibly the world's largest. Selected to serve as Suffolk County's Police Commissioner in December 2021, Harrison vowed to make solving the Gilgo Beach Serial Murders his top priority. He immediately set about forming a Task Force dedicated solely to the purpose of identifying and bringing to justice the person or persons responsible for discarding the ten victims whose remains had been uncovered on or immediately adjacent to Gilgo Beach.

By February of 2022, the Task Force had identified a strong suspect based upon evidence buried within the decades old mass of materials. It became necessary to conduct the review of new evidence through the venue of a secretly convened Grand Jury, focused solely upon the case. By July, it became clear the suspect appeared to have launched upon a pattern the evidence showed had resulted in tragedy in the past. It was critical the suspect be taken into custody to prevent another brutal killing.

Prior columns cover the case from the initial catalyst (the search for Shannan Gilbert), to the discovery of the victims known as the Gilgo Four, and the additional six sets of remains, to the arrest of Rex Heuermann.

Last month's column highlighted the latest bombshell allegations of witnesses whose statements claimed Heuermann's wife was a knowing participant in some of his sexually perverted escapades and linked him to two additional victims.

This headline-grabbing news was made public by a hastily called Press Conference by victims advocate and lawyer, John Ray. Ray has devoted years of personal time and money to the investigation into the Shannan Gilbert case on behalf of her family, as well as the Jessica Taylor case. He has drawn the ire and the castigation of the Suffolk County DA and law enforcement through the years. Not a surprising outcome as he has fought tirelessly to force focus upon solving Shannan's death (deemed by police to be a "regrettable accident") and that of Jessica Taylor's as well. Ray has made no hesitation in pointing out the stench of police corruption in these intervening years, making himself a target of ridicule by the police and DA along the way. Imagine, therefore, the shock and anger when that press conference occurred with none other than Suffolk County's Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison standing alongside Attorney John Ray and lending credence to the statements of four new witnesses. Witnesses, by the way, who declined to go directly to the established police hot line opting instead to seek out John Ray.

As reported in last month's column, District Attorney Raymond Tierney issued an immediate public statement lambasting (without mentioning him by name) Rodney Harrison. Although both Tierney and Harrison indicated the "team" was intact, it was readily apparent that was not the case.

From the start, Tierney had positioned himself as a politically driven figure, claiming credit for the Task Force creation (a claim more believably proffered by Harrison), putting himself forward in press conferences, even making longtime police investigators (now retired and airing podcasts) speak out about their concerns he was airing TMI in the effort to aggrandize his own contributions.


More politics. After twelve years as County Executive, Steve Bellone (who had named Rodney Harrison back in 2021) had attained the term limit to his position. Unable to run again for the position, his replacement would be voted in during midterm elections and any new Country Executive would be expected to bring in his "own people" to staff key appointed positions - including that of Police Commissioner.

Harrison announced his resignation ahead of the election, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, having previously responded to inquiries about his status as "dependent upon his family's counsel" and wishes as to that decision.

It appears Harrison is "of counsel" to the Task Force through the end of the year.

Enter new Republican County Executive as announced by NBC New York:


'Suffolk County voters selected a new county executive -- Republican Ed Romaine.

'Romaine is the Brookhaven town supervisor and has been in county government for 38 years.

"I have the experience, the ability to do this job from day one," Romaine told NBC New York ahead of the election.

'Romaine defeated Democratic challenger Dave Calone, a political newcomer and self-described political outsider.'


In direct opposition to the nationwide trend to "go Democrat", Long Island New York went RED.



'Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said he welcomes Romaine into GOP leadership.

"Ed and I are going to do some great things together here on Long Island on a lot of regional issues," Blakeman said.

'They mention taxes, immigration, public safety. (with new County Executive Romaine making the following statement):

"...The Gilgo case is a perfect example of that. So I am going to be guided and give the DA, as well as the police, the tools they need, and our medical examiner, to do the job to keep us safe," Romaine said.

Romaine will appoint Suffolk's new police commissioner.


On November 15, Rex Heuermann appeared for his latest court hearing. A procedural matter, mostly concerned with scheduling and the delivery of more evidentiary materials by prosecutors to defense, the surprise appearance of Asa Ellerup brought out flocks of news personnel: reporters, cameramen, and women, amidst a sea of wires and microphones and satellite dishes.

Asa Ellerup arrived in the back seat of a Mercedes, looking slimmer and more well-dressed, and was flanked by a retinue of lawyers and press as she made her way into the courtroom. She is rumored to have contracted for an exclusive documentary, reporting every appearance throughout the course of Heuermann's trial. The rumor mill says Asa (on behalf of herself and her children) is scheduled to receive $1 million for the documentary.

As would be imagined, the victims' families and victim advocacy groups are enraged.

Much was made of two things: Asa's tentative slight smile as Rex Heuermann looked her way and the statement issued by defense attorney Michael Brown that she would be attending every court hearing to see the evidence for herself as "she does not believe" her husband capable of these killings.

Also discovered, Rex Heuermann signed over ownership of the family home in which he was born and lived his entire life to Asa. Documents securing that transaction appear to have been finalized in September 2023.


This case never fails to introduce WEIRD into the mix. It has recently been made public that Rex Heuermann has a pen pal. Seems he actually responded to an overture by convicted serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, known as the Happy Face Killer.



'A truck driver who got the nickname the 'Happy Face Killer' after murdering eight women has become pen pals with accused Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann.

'Keith Jesperson, now 68, was given multiple life sentences in 1995, and from his Oregon cell now writes to others behind bars.

'Jesperson wrote to Heuermann, 59, in his Long Island jail, and on August 31 Heuermann, awaiting trial for the murder of three sex workers, wrote back.

'Jesperson recommended Heuermann confess to avoid giving prosecutors the chance to 'gloat' about finding evidence, and to avoid the spectacle of a trial.

'He told podcast host Keith Rovere that Heuermann moaned about conditions in jail - from dry bread to a gloomy exercise yard.

'Rovere, who specializes in interviewing serial killers from prison, told he was not seeking to glamorize or justify their actions.

'He said he wants to explain them as people and rarely discusses the detail of their crimes.

'He said he had known Jesperson for many years and since he launched his podcast 'The Lighter Side of Serial Killers' had spoken to him several times.

'Jesperson sent Rovere the letter, which Heuermann had sent him. Heuermann, in his response to Jesperson, thanked him for his 'letters and advise.'

'They have been a help and comfort to me,' said Heuermann, who was arrested in July. 'I do understand what you have said and taken it to heart.'


Copies of the letter Rex Heuermann wrote in response to Jesperson are provided here, along with a copy of the envelope in which Heuermann's letter was transmitted.


What stood out to your author is the fact Heuermann made no effort in his reply to deny culpability.

It was also very fascinating to learn of this newly formed relationship. During the extensive week and a half search of Heuermann's home and yard by law enforcement, I watched, fascinated, as a helicopter transmitted live video of the backyard being scanned, then sections being explored by extraction of the ground in various locations. During this filming, the photographer took note of an unusual feature on the rear of the home. The camera zoomed in closer, and closer, highlighting a shingle that had been marked ... with a Happy Face 's features.

It may be that Heuermann decided to choose this correspondent to provide a reply because Jesperson's daughter is the one who contacted Asa in the immediate aftermath of the arrest, search warrant issuance and activation. News of the plight of Asa and her children tugged at her heartstrings. She launched a GoFundMe on Asa's behalf. Thus, Heuermann's "thank you" to Jesperson in his reply.


The next court date scheduled for Rex Heuermann is February 6, 2024.

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This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Cooking with Rod


By Rod Cohenour

A South of the Border Christmas Meal

Delight your guests by serving the turkey on a lovely platter, consider surrounding with seasonal fruits and nuts. Fresh rosemary sprigs or parsley brighten the presentation as well.

Bon Appetit ~!

Recipes for our South of the Border Christmas meal:

M's Queso and Sausage Dressing


  • 2 pounds pork sausage, crumbled while browning
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 5 medium celery stalks, strings stripped and sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 packages (16 ounces) seasoned cornbread stuffing crumbs (12 cups)
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 2 cups chicken broth (from 32-ounce carton)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup Queso Rodrigo, (recipe included below)
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted if preferred


    1. Cook sausage, onion and celery in skillet over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain fat well
    2. Place sausage mixture, stuffing crumbs, butter, sage, pepper, parsley and cilantro in large oven proof roasting pan. Pour broth over mixture; toss to combine. Gently stir in cheese and pecans. Add queso and stir well to combine. Cover and cook in oven at 325° on Low heat setting about 1.5 to 2 hours, checking to make sure dressing is not getting too brown. If still needing to cook, cover tightly with aluminum foil and check in about 10-15 minutes. Garnish with sprigs of fresh Cilantro and celery leaves.
    3. Serve dressing warm. This will keep well in refrigerator and is delicious served after reheating or cold (makes a great sandwich, especially if slices of turkey are included, and maybe some cranberry sauce. Add crisp iceberg lettuce and sweet onion slices if you wish.)

M's Queso and Sausage Dressing


M's South of the Border Turkey


  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16-24 lb turkey, fully thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temp


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
  • 1 medium orange, quartered


    1. Prepare your spice blend. In small bowl, mix all ingredients except turkey and butter. (Make a double batch of this spice mix and store what you do not use in a tightly sealed container. It can be used on chicken, pork, or beef.) Lower rack in oven to lowest position. Preheat oven to 325°.
    2. Make sure your bird is fully thawed; a partially frozen one will cook unevenly. Better to plan to roast a fully frozen turkey, longer cooking times. Prepare your roasting pan. Either use a rack or prepare a bed of wadded up aluminum foil to keep the turkey from contacting the bare pan. Add about a cup of water to the pan to keep everything moist.
    3. Add aromatics in cavity: 1 onion, quartered, 2-3 stalks celery cut in about 2" pieces, parsley, one orange quartered. (These will be discarded once roasting is complete but will impart a wonderful aroma while roasting as well as flavoring the turkey.) Loosen skin on turkey in 4 or 5 places. Reaching under skin of turkey, rub butter generously on turkey. Rub chili powder mixture (using half or less) over entire outside of turkey.
    3. Place turkey (warmed to room temperature) in large roasting pan in preheated oven set at 325°. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (shiny side out) and roast as shown below depending on weight of turkey. For best results, plan on roughly 13 minutes per pound, however, actual oven temps can vary and density of individual birds can affect cooking times. Better to check after a couple hours for smaller turkeys and 3 hours for larger ones. Turkey is fully cooked when a meat thermometer placed in thickest part of leg reads 170°F and juice of turkey is no longer pink when center is cut.
    4. Remove turkey from roasting pan; cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Cooking Times in a Regular Oven (325°F)

Weight / Cook Time (Unstuffed)

    7-9 lbs.- 2 1/2 to 3 hrs.
    9-18 lbs.- 3 to 3 1/2 hrs.
    18-22 lbs.- 3 1/2 to 4 hrs.
    22-24 lbs.- 4 to 4 1/2 hrs.
    24-30 lbs.- 4 1/2 to 5 hrs.

M's South of the Border Turkey


Queso Rodrigo


  • 2 cans (10.5 oz. each) Cheddar Cheese soup
  • 1 can (10.5 oz ) Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced fine
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pimiento pepper, drained and diced fine
  • 2 Tbsp. Corn or vegetable oil (do not use olive oil for this recipe)
  • 1/2 brick cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. Chunky salsa


    1. Whisk together soups and green chiles. Set aside.
    2. Assemble diced onion and jalapeno chile pepper, reserving roasted pimiento pepper.
    3. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and jalapeno chile pepper. Stir and braise until onion is transparent. A touch of caramelization is okay but show restraint. A little is plenty.
    4. Stir in soup mixture. Add roasted pimiento pepper. Heat through while stirring to prevent scorching. Add cream cheese and continue stirring.
    5. Add chunky salsa, continue stirring until heated through.
    6. Cover and keep warm while preparing dishes.

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Woo Woo


By Pauline Evanosky

Psychics Aren’t Different - They Just Notice Stuff

I am the same person I was before I became a psychic in 1993. I just notice things more now, and yet, I can still be one of the most obtuse people on the planet, the same as anybody else.

It’s funny, but with something as ordinary as a keyboard that sticks, the solution would be to spend $60 and get a new one. Typically, your keyboard and your mouse will be the first things about your computer that will need replacing. That’s a fact. It’s like the tires on your car. They wear out first.

My keyboard has been sticking for a long time. It was a gradual thing. The most common problems I have are with the vowels. The letter A doesn’t always show up where it’s supposed to. I am certainly not the best typist in the world, and I’m surely not the most accurate, but that small thing of having a keyboard that refuses to keep up can sometimes be annoying. I can feel the key stick and press harder. What I get generally looks like: Whaaaaaaaat. I also have a habit of typing with my eyes closed. Maybe so I am not distracted by the things around me. But what happens when I open my eyes is a jolt of disappointment. Letters, transposed, which actually has nothing to do with the keyboard but more to do with me—just a bunch of bad vibrations.

What do I do? Nothing. The letters on the keys are wearing off. I no longer have A, S, D, F, L, C, V, and a ghost of an M. Even the tiny bumps on the main home keys, F and J, are wearing away. And still, I resist purchasing a new keyboard.

What does this have to do with being psychic? Nothing and everything. There’s a “should be” lurking in this ordinary problem. the thing with being a psychic is that you're supposed to be able to see your way through pretty much anything to a solution that either works or is an acceptable interim fix. That's why people come to you for your psychic insight into their problems. I have found over the years that people tend to want to hear advice but not to take it. There is always a problem with their way of thinking with the advice. I know because I'm the same way.

It's human nature, and besides, Madison Avenue has capitalized on it in a big way, figuring that people need to be reminded over and over again that what the company is selling is what the person needs, absolutely craves, and is willing to spend $19.99 to get it.

One thing I've noticed with energy is that if you've got a thing to do and you want it done, the most logical thing would be to devote some energy to the thing. That makes sense in the case of my keyboard, and I am reminded every time I sit down to write that I should get a new one. The focus of my thoughts for a lot of the time that I am writing tend to be either mild frustration or the thought that if I spent $60, I could have a new keyboard. Here is the “should be”. I should be focused on my writing. This is where whatever I am talking about should be. It’s sort of like a singer with laryngitis. What’s the point?

I doubt the writing will go any differently, but it has to. It's like having a pair of shoes a new pair of shoes that fit your feet so much more comfortably than the old ones did. With the new shoes, you can walk farther, you can walk faster, you can feel better at the end of your walk, and you think to yourself, “Why did I not go out and buy some new shoes before this?” Slaps self on head.

When you are meditating in the beginning, a person is easily distracted. In fact, your subconscious always seeks to provide a safe place for you and is quite uncomfortable with the idea of you being in a meditative state. That's when your back itches. You will need a glass of water, your nose will tickle, and if you smoke, you will want to smoke. All this energy of wanting something else is interfering with the meditative experience. If you’ve never meditated, this will happen to you. The solution? Keep meditating.

I just ordered a new keyboard. How long have I been struggling with this one? It feels like years. I finally took my own advice and actually felt quite relieved. Writing can commence, and my energy can turn toward more positive pursuits.

So, like they say at Nike, “Just do it.” That, more than anything else, is a good thing to keep in mind.

P.S. I’ve purchased another keyboard. It is wonderful, and the mouse is the fastest I’ve ever had. Yesterday, after it had arrived in the mail, I had trouble registering it at Logitech. I contacted them, and a technician helped me. After everything had been done, he said, “Let’s see if you can’t get a replacement for your old keyboard.” I talked to a friend the next day who had a keyboard that wasn’t working properly. I told her a new one was coming for her. It is always interesting to see more evidence of how the universe provides.

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On Trek


By Judith Kroll

As My Past Fades Into The Sunset

My past is fading into the sunset. Most of my family and friends are fading into the universe, where visible eyes can no longer see, touch, hug, smile with them, but my memory still brings them to life.

Triggers are always surrounding our senses. A song, a photograph, someone mentions them in a conversation, or something special pops up, that was exactly what they did.

My dad for instance always had a joke or two, up the proverbial sleeve. Sometimes it was a one-liner. For instance, if it started raining, he would say, “I hope it keeps up”. We would say why, we go for a walk now. His answer?. “If it keeps up it can’t come down”. So on a rainy day, I cannot shrug that memory off. It is engraved into my soul, to forever be part of me.

Now if I see a calf in the field, that would trigger my mama memory. There are many, but this one I will share, because it was dear to my soul.

We had a dairy farm, cows and calves, and mom and dad came up to visit. We told them to look at the calves, and pick one out you want named after you.

There were like 40 calves or more and I stood back and watched mom and dad, point, and laugh, and watch and smile, and finally they said here they are. Mom’s nickname was cookie, and Clarice was her birth name. She went with Clarice. There she points...right there, that is Clarice. OK. And Dad’s Will showed up and dad said there he is...and they thought that was an honor to name a calf after them.

Every calf in the field in my mind is a Clarice or a Will. They live on in my memories.

They are a part of our life, all our family and friends who went before us to the Universe. All our fur babies too.

Yes, my past is leaving me in the flesh, but the flashbacks of love are always there for us to smile, reflect, and be thankful we have that ability!!
Judith 11/1/23

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