Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Defying Death in Hagerstown by John Paul Carinci Combines Cold Case with Wonderful Wisdom of a Great Lady...

Row houses is my only real memory of traveling to Hagerstown when I was young and had relatives there. Being from the country I was shocked at how close the houses were to each other! Yet this style of building was and is still used in that part of Maryland. Hagerstown, in fact, was the home of my one and only relative who had written a book! Raven's Ghosts, by my cousin Harry David Renner, published in 1979, centered on the Normandy invasion and my cousin by marriage's role as Sergeant Chris Raven. Even then, I was forming my own evaluation of books. Most of the relatives were shocked at the language. Me, I loved it, and quietly concluded to myself that the language used was in context to men in wartime, and certainly did not detract from the quality of the writing... nor the story line...

defying Death in Hagerstown

By John Paul Carinci

"There are only two ways to live your life: one, as though NOTHING is a miracle, and the other, as though EVERYTHING is a miracle."--Miss Lolita
A small group of people was gathered
around an older woman in a wheelchair.
We headed toward them. I studied her
a distance: an old face with coke-bottle
glasses. She had a full head of hair,
fixed short and neat, a woman with just
a few extra pounds and not frail like
many older women I have seen. Miss
Lolita was laughing with the women
near her as we approached...
"Come close," Miss Lolita said. "I can't
see you."
"Uh, sure. Okay," I agreed.
"Closer, please!"
I went within three inches of her glasses
before she said, "Oh, that's so much
..."You know, I'm legally blind, not deaf,
...I was suddenly impressed with this
ancient woman who had all of her
marbles. It appeared to me that Lolita
was a straight shooter; she didn't pull
any punches and spoke her mind freely.
And why shouldn't she at her age?"

Here is another positive statement
I repeat a couple of times per day: "I
feel healthy, I feel happy, I feel terrific.
I like myself. I like myself, I like myself.
I will be successful; it's inevitable,
because my aggressiveness will lead
to opportunities for my success. I can,
I will, I want to. All things are possible
through belief in myself and the Lord,
and with his help, I can accomplish

In today's book, I met a wonderful female character who would have been alive during the time I was visiting Hagerstown and beginning my thoughtful analyses of books I was reading. Her name is Lolita Croome--she was 110 years old, living at the time of the book's being written. I do hope she is still alive and well there in Hagerstown, spreading her wisdom, wit, and wonderful words to everyone, and especially those living in the cheerful happy environment where the story is set.

Lou Gerhani is a newspaper reporter with the Washington Gazette, who has been steadily going downhill--he's heartbroken and cannot get over the loss of his lover. Drinking much more than usual, everybody around him can see he is self-destructing. His friends care; his boss threatens firing if he doesn't get over "it..." In fact, he has just been given what could be his last assignment if he doesn't come back with an award-winning story!

She began, "Thank you, Lord, for this new and glorious day.
As I look out my window, I see a beautiful blue sky with gorgeous
white clouds slowly passing by. I thank you for this new and
glorious gift of a new day of life. But I don't realize why I have
been chosen to receive this gift of life while so many others
have been taken away. I will not waste this day. I will squeeze
from the grapes you have given me, Lord, every drop of juice,
not wasting one drop, as this could very possibly be my last
day on earth. And if it is my last day on earth, it will be my
finest last day on earth. I thank you, Lord, for all of the
precious gifts you have given me throughout my life, but
most of all I thank you for this extra precious gift of a new
day of life." She smiled at me and said, "There is more, but
I gave you the meat of it."
"You call them self-suggestion statements. You really are the
Wise One, as people call you!"
"I am as equal in value as anyone else is," she said lovingly.
"The reason they are self-suggestions is because as you
repeat the statements to yourself, your inner mind accepts
them and retains them in your brain for later retrieval.
The positive statements create the mental blinders, and
the negativity bounces off."
"Miss Lolita, what you say makes perfect sense. But you
have a special way of explaining things in easy-to-understand

"I will persist until I succeed. I was not
delivered unto this world in defeat, nor
does failure course in my veins. I am not a
sheep waiting to be prodded by my
shepherd. I am a lion, and I refuse to talk,
to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will
hear not those who weep and complain,
for their disease is contagious. Let them
join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of
failure is not my destiny. I will persist
until I succeed." --Miss Lolita 
Oh yeah, he's really thrilled with the story...he has to head to Hagerstown, Maryland and interview a woman who is 110 years old. He pictures her as so old that she probably has dementia and wonders how in the world he can produce a good story. Nevertheless, he realizes that his ogre of a boss means business and heads home, stopping along the way for his usual drinks. The man behind the bar, to whom he has cried the blues many times, determines, however, to make his friend listen--he needed to work on changing things...He also hears the same feedback from his long-time barber and his close friend at work. Their advice seemed to have helped because Lou quickly started doing some research on Maryland, Hagerstown, and the local history.

Almost immediately he hones in on a 90-year-old cold case! Three young women had been brutally murdered in 1923...

His investigative mind quickly noted one major thing--the woman he had been sent to interview would have been living at that time! 

Once he started thinking along those lines, there was no stopping Lou... Award-winning article? What about solving a murder case that had never been solved!?! But how do you talk to a witness of a murder when she is older than any other person he had ever known?!

Notice the row houses included in this trailer!

Not only was Miss Lolita the oldest and wisest woman he'd met, shortly after he had met her nurse, Miss Lolita shared that she'd had a vision about their falling in love... So readers have a romantic relationship to enjoy while all of the murder attempts are occurring...

Because as soon as it was known that a newspaper reporter was coming to Hagerstown, the news spread fast. And when Lou had stopped as he entered town to get gas, the attendant was so excited about his being there that he spent time asking him questions while Lou began his normal information-gathering discussions... It was only because Lou had gone into the rest room that he missed being there when that attendant was shot! Later, everybody wondered if that had not been the first attempt to kill Lou since he was later poisoned--and when that didn't work, another attempt was made...

By that time, everybody knew that Lou, while here to interview Miss Lolita, also was very interested in the murders that had occurred in 1923. Strange dreams started soon thereafter when Lou actually was dreaming of the murders and seeing items that could be of help in identifying the killer. What was amazing was that when Miss Lolita loaned him her personal diary of that year, he learned that she had also had visions of what had happened!

The only question was would he be killed before he was able to use the information to work on and solve the crimes?!

Got to say that the crime solving was almost overpowered by the meeting of and interaction with Miss Lolita and all of the inspirational wisdom she shared with those in need, She had been unable to return to the experiences of the crimes, but she knew that her diary would be of help...or was it she who had provoked the dreams that he was experiencing. Perhaps Miss Lolita was an angel... No matter whether she was, readers will thoroughly enjoy meeting this kind but feisty Centenarian!

And the cold case investigation was tantalizing and intriguing... Highly recommended! 


John Paul Carinci has been a successful insurance executive and president of Carinci Insurance Agency, Inc., for more than 38 years. 

John is also an author, songwriter, poet, and CEO of Better Off Dead Productions, Inc., a movie production company. 
As a worldwide published author, some of John's works include: An All-Consuming Desire To Succeed, The Power of Being Different, In Exchange of Life, Share Your Mission #5, A Second Chance , The Psychic Boy Detective, Better Off Dead, Better Off Dead In Paradise, An All Consuming Desire To Succeed, Defying Death In Hagerstown, Awesome Success Principles and Quotations, and A Gift from Above. 

John is also co-writer of the screenplays: Better Off Dead, A Second Chance, and Better Off Dead in Paradise, which were all adapted from his novels, and may one day be produced as motion pictures.

John's three self-help books, The Power of Being Different, An All-Consuming Desire To Succeed, and Awesome Success Principles and Quotations, have been translated and published in many foreign countries. John's latest novel, Defying Death In Hagerstown, is currently available.

included just for the fun of it...

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