Photo: Lisbon, Portugal. 2007. Jordan David Allen.

In 1987, Donald Trump made a new friend: pedophile and prolific sex-trafficker of underage girls, Jeffrey Epstein.

Like Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein was an extremely rich New Yorker. Donald and Epstein frequented many of the same elite Manhattan social circles, where they discovered they shared some similar interests.

A New York magazine piece in 2002, 15 years after they’d first met, quoted Donald Trump declaring that Jeffrey Epstein was a “terrific guy.”(170)

Their friendship, their connection, went deeper than these superficial words. In fact, Donald and Epstein shared at least one major thing in common.

“He’s a lot of fun…

Photo: Chicago, Illinois. 2009. Jordan David Allen.

Complicated as his life had become by the 1980s, overall, that decade was a time of seemingly boundless material abundance for Donald Trump. If he saw something he wanted, he could almost always get it. And the list of items that Donald grew to desire knew no limits.

In 1987, Newsweek reported that Donald “owns three homes…110 rooms at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach…a huge triplex apartment in Trump Tower…and a 10-acre, 45-room weekend estate in Greenwich, Connecticut.”(133)

But that wasn’t all. Donald “also owns a Boeing 727, the Darth Vader helicopter, and now he’s negotiating to buy a yacht owned…

Photo: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 2017. Jordan David Allen.

In order to watch either Lakai’s The Flare or Antihero’s The Body Corporate on my laptop, I can’t help but notice that iTunes chose to categorize these films under the limp umbrella word: “Sports.” I have nothing against sports, to be clear, but as a lifelong skateboarder, I do have something against skateboarding being portrayed inaccurately in popular culture. So in this spirit, allow me to humbly but firmly assert a claim which can be easily defended: skateboarding is not a sport.

Let’s make this real simple. …

Photo: Medellin, Colombia. 2013. Jordan David Allen.

The 1970s were good years for Donald Trump. In many respects, the 1980s would be even better. In the early 1980s, Roy Cohn would continue to be one of the best assets that Donald could hope to have working on his behalf. Through Cohn, Donald would be introduced to all sorts of new friends.

One of those friends was Roger Stone.

In 1979, Roy Cohn and Roger Stone successfully conspired to help rig the upcoming Presidential election in favor of the candidate of their personal liking.

In 1980, the race was between President Jimmy Carter and Governor Ronald Reagan. Cohn…

Photo: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 2020. Jordan David Allen.

On Wednesday, June 3rd; I checked the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel homepage for any details on the local George Floyd-BLM protests. I read that a group was meeting at Humboldt Park in Bay View, and that at 3:00pm they would begin marching. No destination or pathway was offered.

I had already readied a backpack for possible protest a few nights earlier. I packed a winter jacket, a sweatshirt, two bottles of water, Advil, two packages of cherry Pop Tarts, and an old skateboard helmet that I’ve never used. …

Photo: Los Angeles, California. 2012. Jordan David Allen.

In the 1970s, Donald Trump was about to experience a meteoric rise to fame and fortune. Today, many of us unfamiliar with his background have accepted the fictional account of Donald’s path to power that he himself insists upon. But, factually speaking, how exactly did Donald Trump end up where he finds himself today? How exactly did he come about his vast wealth, influence, and media ubiquity?

Of course, some of Donald’s “success” can accurately be attributed to his own determination and skill. But the truth of Donald’s rise is far more complicated than that. It was never Donald alone…

Photo: Jupiter, Florida. 1989. Susan Allen.

In the early 1600s, small bands of French citizens began sailing across the Atlantic to begin new lives in what we now refer to as Canada. Many of them settled in Quebec, and would remain there for many generations.

In the 1850s, some of these French-Canadian families immigrated once again, this time to the brand-new American state of Wisconsin.

My Grandmother, Kay (Ruelle) Schmidt, was born from this line of immigrants in 1935.

From her hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin; Kay would go on to have quite an odd experience on her 6th birthday. Kay was born on December 7th, and…

Photo: Paris, France. 2007. Jordan David Allen.

Life on Earth is not easy, even for plants. Plants can’t grow just anywhere, of course. In order for a plant to successfully grow to its full potential, certain specific conditions must be in place. At the most basic level, plants need at least three crucial ingredients to live. First, plants need to be grounded in good quality soil. Good quality soil provides nascent plants with the necessary nutrients they will need to transform themselves from a seedling to a fully matured organism. Next, plants need sunlight. Plants don’t grow well in the dark. And while the exact amount of…

Photo: Maribel, Wisconsin. 2011. Jordan David Allen.

All four of my grandparents, born in the 1930s, grew up very different than I. In different parts of Wisconsin, all of them grew up materially poor. They were not the only American families struggling at this moment in our history. Their earliest childhood memories took place in the context of the Great Depression, and then World War II. The adults raising them didn’t laugh or smile much during these years. …

Photo: Casablanca, Morocco. 2008. Jordan David Allen.

A close friend of mine is a public school teacher on the East coast. Recently, she told me about a speech-writing essay assignment she was planning with her 2nd Grade students. Being a former elementary school teacher myself, I decided to write a 2nd Grade essay of my own, to be read to her class while the project was being introduced. Although this piece was originally written for one specific classroom, it should hopefully remain useful to any and all elementary school-aged children in America.


Original essay title: The Simple Secret to Living a Happy and Healthy Life, Even…

Jordan David Allen

Wisconsin-based Freelance Writer & Editor I Former Public School Teacher

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