Friday, April 17, 2015

Suicide Rate Alarming for U.S. Veterans

A neighbor of mine is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. We were talking recently and he told me a story that has stayed with me. He was back from Afghanistan and was at a military base here in the states. He and a friend had just walked through a check point when suddenly there was a bright flash of light and the sound of a loud concussive shot. He and his friend turned and looked behind them to discover that the soldier who had just let them pass through the check point had shot and killed himself.

Recently the United Stated Department of  Veteran Affairs released a study that  analyzed data regarding veterans and suicide rates between 1999 and 2010. The study found that 22 U.S. veterans were committing suicide each day which equals a veteran suicide in this country every 65 minutes. No matter how you feel about the recent wars this is a horrifically tragic number.

If you are a veteran who is struggling emotionally or if you know a veteran who is struggling there is help. There is a veterans crisis line you can call anytime. The number for the veterans crisis hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Jeff Brown


Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Once again we have what police are calling a homicide in Ypsilanti and no confirmation of a suspect in custody connected to the murder. On March 26, Gary Schneider was found dead in his Charles Street home not far from Ypsilanti's Depot Town section. Unfortunately this scenario is all too familiar to the city. A unsolved murder with no definite suspects reminds one of the Julia Niswender case. As most folks in the local area know, Eastern Michigan University student Julia Niswender was found dead from a apparent homicide in her apartment in 2012. Her case remains unsolved with very little information given to the community about the murder case.

In the latest homicide Schneider was found by police dead in his house on the floor. According to police statements to Fox News Detroit the victim was killed by a "cutting instrument". According to Fox News Detroit later that day a man was arrested in nearby Prospect Park. According to reports the man who was arrested had "mental issues." Further, it was not clear that the man who was arrested was connected to the Charles Street murder. Very puzzling.

As in the Niswender homicide I am once again wondering why there is little or no information about the Charles Street murder of Gary Schneider? Is there a unknown killer out there? Do police have any leads or suspects in the case? Should people in the community be concerned for their safety?

Once again there has been an apparent homicide in the city and little information given to the public. The Charles Street murder remains a mystery.

Jeff Brown

Saturday, April 4, 2015


I was on the phone recently with a buddy of mine I grew up with in Flint. My buddy Tom, who by the way is a contributor to PWP, asked me to meet him and and a friend of his at this used bookstore in Detroit called John K. King Used & Rare Books. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot of the bookstore I knew the place was great! It was more than great, it was FANTASTIC!

This store has four floors of rare and used books from any genre you can think of. Are you a Beatles freak like me? If you are you will find yourself immersed in Beatles bliss. You will find book after book after book on the boys! From poetry, sports, mysteries, classical literature and religion it is all here! I could spend five straight days there. No kidding!

I also have to say how friendly, warm and welcoming the staff is at John King. These are qualities that should never be underestimated.

After hours of browsing top off the afternoon with lunch at the fabulous Mudgie's Deli a couple blocks away! You can't go wrong. Shame on me for not discovering John K. King Used & Rare Books sooner!

Jeff Brown


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cynthia Lennon Dies at Age 75

As a tremendous Beatles fan and of course, John Lennon fan, I was surprised and sad to learn that Cynthia Lennon died today. I always felt bad for Cynthia and can imagine that her life being John Lennon's wife from 1962 to 1968 must have been just as difficult as it was exciting. 1962 to 68 were peak years for the boys so her life must have been a mix pure madness and incredible joy and excitement.

Although I have always been a fan of Johns second wife, Yoko Ono, and often find myself defending her art it must have been a nightmare for Cynthia to come home to the house she shared with John Lennon in England and find him in bed with Yoko.

One gets the sense that Cynthia spent her six years of marriage to John trying to keep up with him and the rest of the Beatles. The story of how John along with George, Paul and Ringo took off on a train bound for  India to study with the Maharishi while an out of breath Cynthia made a unsuccessful mad dash for the train is, well, heart breaking. Still, from what I gather on her son Julian's website she led a fulfilling and fascinating life.

Cynthia wrote two books, one of which I read. She wrote, "A Twist of Lennon" in 1978 and, "John" in 2005. I found, "A Twist Of Lennon" to be engaging and thoughtfully written.

Cynthia died in Mallorca, Spain. She was 75.

Jeff Brown