Thursday, September 30, 2021

An October without my mom...

By Stephen Mezo

When my Mom passed away in January there were a lot of holidays ahead of me. And my wife was concerned that they may would be hard for me having one first right after another. But a lot of them were ones we were big on outside of a special lunch (She was diabetic, so doctor appointments and holidays were "Off Days" where she could have something that she couldn't have all the time.

The only holiday that kind of hit was Easter becuse that is opening day of the Keansburg Boardwalk and our first helping of Boardwalk Fries, a Sausage Peppers and Onions from Nickerson's, two slices from Pizza V and a Hot Dog from The Heidelberg. But I'll bet next week's paycheck that Woody and his wife Marie still have a counter with a grill loaded with hotdogs going in mom's new neighborhood in the hereafter. 

Mother's Day wasn't an emotional hit either because that was one of our special lunch days. And even her birthday was another where we missed a lunch date. And we had so many together when neither one of us should have been in existence to begin with that it really made me appreciate all of the ones we had. 

But this first October is a real hit to the feels because it was our month and she was the one that introduced me to monsters and got me to absolutely love them and Halloween. 

It still strikes me funny that even when I turned fifty she still had me picking out a 'Halloween Present" from any Drugstore's or Target's Halloween department. 

Then we would see whatever Horror or Monster movie was out that month. And I would make sure to buy her a bag of BRACH's Candy Corn and a bag of Reese's Pumpkins in her freezer that she would have for the month. 

One of my favorite memories was of her being known as "The Potato Chip Lady" in Union Beach (she would get two cases of them from a vendor at the nursing home she worked at) and these were the deli lunch size bags of WISE not the tiny variety pack ones. 
Then when it was my wife's and my turn to take the Trick or Treaters happy we would give Bendy Skeletons instead to keep the kids safe from peanut allergies. And everyone of any age loved them, even the parents 
would get one of their own. 

And her all time favorite printed cardboard Halloween decoration by artist Peter Hawley would be hanging in our front picture window. This is the image on it but it was on a orange background with "Put on a Happy Face!" across the top. 

I was surprised that I even found the artwork of the decoration on Pintrest, so I guess it's mom's way of telling me she's still going to be with me for our month. And come to think of it Halloween is supposed be the day when everyone's supposed to be able to visit from the great beyond anyway. 

Love You Mom!

Monday, February 22, 2021

The HELL HOUSE LLC. Trilogy - The Abaddon Hotel will leave the light on for you.

WARNING: The Following contains a lot of spoilers from Stephen Cognetti's HELL HOUSE LLC. trilogy. 

If you haven't seen them yet - stop reading now and go watch them. And I highly recommend The HELL HOUSE LLC "Special Edition Director's Cut". I started with the original version that I love but the director's cut has so much more to love in it.

But if you have watched all three and are as excited as I am about The Abaddon Tapes series come in the side door, head on through the kitchen and pull up a chair in the dining room. 

I think the main thing that I absolutely love about the HELL HOUSE LLC. series is Stephen Cognetti gave all of us another Universe/Reality to escape too and visit much like Kevin Smith did with the Askewniverse.

But Stephen's is scary... In a good way of course.

It's a reality that's based in our own current one, but outside of other differences and events the people are the same.

Like when people ask "Why do people go there?" And the frightening answer is they want the bragging rights and the fifteen minutes that come with it.

Look at that those underwater shafts like "Jacob's Well" in Texas and the "Eagles Nest Sinkhole" in Florida where there's warning signs everywhere but people still scuba dive in those caves and some don't come back up every year. There's even a video from a diver's GoPro on YouTube that was his last because his air supply ran out. And people still have to scuba dive in the same spot. And there's a mostly vertical cave shaft called "The Hell Hole" in Santa Cruz, California. Where there's a frame built at the entrance that I couldn't fit my thigh in on a money bet. Which is why it's there, because if you can't squeeze into that frame you're definitely not getting in or out of that cave. 

And if you get seriously injured or trapped you have a high chance of dying in there because only one person at a time can fit in most areas by crawling on your stomach. But there are still plenty of videos of teenagers braving it.

Then there's the YouTube and Tic-Toc challenges that have injured and in some cases killed teenagers and adults. Yet people continued to do them. 

Which brings us to the people that went to The Abaddon Hotel. And answers the question of "Why did they sneaking in there after watching what happened to others that were Webcasting before them?"

And this is a huge reason why Andrew Tully makes the video recordings readily available. Because he knows it's going to peak someone's interest that needs to be the one that shows what's going on. And with him having the power to use "EVP" along with the knowledge he gains from each equipment professional that becomes part of the hotel and or Lake of Fire he wasn't running out of human information filled hard drives any time soon. The others that escape and survive or given haunt abilities are pretty much bait to attract more of the souls he needs to keep the portal to HELL he created open. 

And people are so jaded and desensitized to a lot of dangers that it wouldn't become a big deal to them. And would probably start creating memes like this. Making fun of any Ghost Hunter or Paranormal Expert that came to a bad end and wound up coming to a bad end on YouTube or any other video site. 

And there's an endless supply of cynics as well that just wouldn't believe it. Even with Andrew Tully and his powers being very real and documented in that universe they still wouldn't believe it. And would simply tell their kids to just stay out of that rundown hotel. 

Then I'm sure discovered Alex's financial predicament with EVP from cell phone calls, text or emails in the area to and from creditors. And simply sent Alex a message with that power to get the Abaddon back in use without having to convince someone to reopen it as an actual hotel. Because it would have needed to be majorly renovated to be a functioning hotel instead of a seasonal haunt spot. 

And the local police might not be necessarily covering anything up after reports of people going missing. A lot of them could just believe that someone or a group is sneaking in and murdering anyone that gets too curious. And use the Andrew Tully legend to hide behind if caught on tape. Or randomly calling and texting loved ones to taunt the families to get more victims. Or the "missing peole" are running a complex hoax for financial gain. Then again they do know it's terrifyingly real along with the town officials and they can't be at the hotel twenty four - seven. So those that chanced it brought it upon themselves. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

The time we had together was the time of our lives.

I understand how it throws people how I am with my mother's passing and I really don't expect people to get it. 

But the reason I'm so accepting and at peace with it is neither one of us should have even been here in the first place. 

Back when my mom was three years old she was walking along with her doll and baby carriage towards some friends on the sidewalk. (That's her in the newspaper clipping below). But her neighbor Mrs. Poduska didn't see any of them as she was backing out of her driveway. And accidentally backed over my mother and crushed the right side of her skull and pelvis.

My mom's aunt Janet had told me that poor Mrs. Poduska was devastated back then. But nobody blamed or had anger towards her because the backs of those cars were gigantic and there was no way she could have seen my mom. 

Now the doctors weren't remotely even expecting her to survive at all, but we have that healing factor and she pulled through even with 1940's medical technology. And she really freaked them out by healing to the point of only loosing her sense of smell permanently, a narrow left ear canal and having some slight facial paralysis on the left side of her face. Even doctors that she had seen nowadays were freaked out after she would explain her condition during visits. 

Then when I made my debut my lungs straight up refused to work and doctors gave my parents the "We did everything we could" start off but were told that I decided to stick around after all but had to spend two weeks in an incubater hooked up to oxygen. Then they told my mom that would grow up to be (what they called sickly) and underweight all my life, but I guess I showed them huh?

Then she survived three more times where a doctor told me each time they were doing or did everything they could. Just to have her happily watching The Price is Right The Following morning. 

And I had my own short visit to the other side when Sepsis was racing through me. Just to have me telling my nurse how awesome the hamburger was that I was eating for lunch the next day. 

So when my mom was able to have her final curtain call as close as to what she would have wanted, I was happy and relieved that I was able to help her as much as  I was able too. And for all of the time we had together. 

When I was taking care of my mom's belongings I found the clippibg in the pages of an old book and learned that her Aunt Janet had saved the article for her because her mom (my grandmother) didn't want to be reminded of it.

But now I have it to be reminded to be thankful that the both of us were here and for the time we had together as mother and son.

And a huge thank you goes out to the person that uploaded the scanned page from Long Branch, New Jersey's "Daily Record" newspaper.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

In loving memory of the mom of a monster kid "Irene Mezo"

Dedicated to the mother of a monster kid "Irene Mezo". She is the lady responsible for my love of monsters, movies and reading. And she encouraged it to the max!


My mom passed away peacefully at 7:00 last night. And even though it sucks that she's gone I am beyond grateful for the fifteen years I was able to help her enjoy them and so many creative friends that she loved keeping up with. Of course I had to do it with my FB newsfeed for her because she hated anything made after 1979 except for the microwave and modern Cable TV. 


Bill Lindsey was a phenomenal help in getting my mom home from rehabilitation back when her Vertigo was really bad. And the doctor there wasn't going to let her continue living on her own if she couldn't keep most of her balance when walking or standing.
But Bill would encourage her to work with the physical therapist there to get her strength up and as much of her balance back. And he is a physical therapist himself as well as one of my mom's favorite Metal Singers and Stage performers. And she had the biggest smile on her face when she received an autographed poster from Bill and his band IMPALER for getting back home after rehabilitation. And IMPALER photo Christmas cards too. And Bill was a huge reason that she was able to live independently in her own apartment for three more years before her passing. 

You could have seen her Central Jersey Pride glowing from space with every Kevin Smith movie I had taken her to see. Along with showing her his speaking engagements at her apartment. And Ernie O'Donnell and Brian O'Halloran 's projects and appearances (Especially Brutal Massacre). And she was even proud of Jason Mews (Who she knew of as Sonny's nephew) when he directed Madness to The Method.

I know people are confused with how I'm handling Mom's passing, but the reason I'm accepting of it is the fifteen years I was able to share with her. And I was able to keep every single promise I had made to her.
I made sure that she had her legs and her eyes (which was a close call because she was loosing sight in her left eye). And she was able to pass away one of the ways that she hoped to.

My wife and I were supposed to move to Arizona and get into working with production companies in California. And we were going to buy a large Mother-Daughter style house for her and my mother in law to live in. And the whole downstairs would have given them their own bedrooms, bathrooms and TV rooms all they would have to share was the kitchen.
But she didn't want to go because "Her friends were still here, and she was born at home in her parents house in Union Beach, New Jersey and she wanted to die in New Jersey.

At first I was angry with her, but when I found out that she would be needing me to help her out by driving her to doctor visits (because her doctors were telling me her health was getting bad) and caring for her legs when open wounds from her edema (Bayshore Wound Center's Nurses were incredible with teaching me how to treat and dress her wounds to keep her hospital stays to a minimum). And keeping serious infection away because her diabetes would have easily taken her legs.

And caring for her eyes with the help of Dr. Patel in Atlantic Eye in Long Branch and Holmdel New Jersey. He literally gave her sight for six years when she would went blind otherwise without his treatments that I would stop by and do for her at her place before heading off to work.

The only thing I asked of her was to keep track of her meds and her insulin. As long as she did that I would drive her anywhere she needed and do her errands. And she did the whole time.

She felt bad about me giving up a career in California, and I full on admit there was some resentment from me. But thanks to my friend James Harris "Doc Terror" (who's at That Great Monster Convention in The Sky) I decided to push forward with creating The Storage Unit of Terror site. And met a lot of great people that I truly love and grateful to for helping me still have opportunities to work on Indie Horror and Sci - Fi projects the whole time.

And Facebook helped me meet a lot of them. As well as other crazily talented entertainers and artist that my mom loved hearing about when I would show her their updates.

But it wasn't all unicorns and glitter constantly. I found out first hand how much being a caregiver for a loved one can wear you down. It's really hard when you're trying to take care of their needs and your own homelife and work full time at the same time. Then trying to make a little time for yourself with some kind of outside interest on top of it has you spinning a lot of plates.
Then you stop taking care of yourself as much because you're doing all that you can for them. And it really grinds you down mentally and physically. It got so bad that I almost crossed over permanently myself, because of Sepsis due to Cellulitis. But lucked out and only coded for a couple of minutes. The second time cased me to permanently walk with a cane...

But I was able to get myself in check and put everything in perspective. And remind myself that she was the reaon that I love monsters, movies and reading and creating stuff in the first place. And I'm glad that I was given the second chance to do it because her health really started to decline rapidly over the last five months. And I made sure that I improved my health to focus completely on her right up to her passing.

So I'm beyond appreciative that I was able to have done all I could have for her with no regrets.

And I can't thank Cathy and Kathy at Jacqueline M Ryan Home For Funerals for helping me make my mom's final arrangements. They are awesome and felt like close family members getting me through a process that would have left me completely lost.

For you mom...