Well, I just arrived back in the good old U.S.A. after a three-week adventure abroad. When I was eighteen, I asked my Dad to send me abroad for the first time. (He said he couldn’t afford to send me a girl, but gave me ten bucks to go to the movies!) In any case, my travel companion and I just returned from an amazing trip to Israel. We were lucky enough to hire a former military officer named Udi, who spent four (long) days as our guide, listening (somewhat patiently) to all of my bad jokes. (i.e., “Why don’t they put Jews in prison in Israel? Because they eat locks. ” (Lox!)

Anyway, Udi was tempted to show me his Uzi from time to time, but he managed to maintain a dignified level of tolerance. We loved every minute of our time together, and got a memorable introduction to this incredible country. Day one was spent touring the Old City of Jaffa and then driving around the very hip and modern city of Tel Aviv. (Which has some truly remarkable restaurants specializing in Mediterranean food.) On the second day, we drove up and along the Golan Heights, which was a great surprise to me. I never imagined how beautiful and plush the heights were. We also got to visit Udi’s “summer retreat” which was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, which is actually more of a lake than a sea, but still quite lovely.

A few days later, we drove down to a little place called Jerusalem, which for this historian, was simply overwhelming. OMG (good pun!) this city was simply stunning in its sheer importance and beautiful architecture. Udi spent one day guiding us through the twists and turns of the Old City, and we got to walk around the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian Quarters of the city. We spent some time at the “Wailing Wall,” which is the only remaining part of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great. Nobody was actually wailing, but we did get to film an Ethiopian wedding, and that was quite interesting.

The very next day, (still digesting my previous night’s feast of hummus and Israeli eggplant) we hopped in our armored vehicle and drove south, passing numerous Bedouin villages in the desert. I think these folks are known as Bedouins because they spend so much time in beds inside their tents. Yeah, it was dang hot. One of the camels was operating a snow cone stand! (By the way, do you realize that every day of the week is “hump day” for a camel?) Where was I? Oh yes, we were driving south…..

Well, now comes a fascinating visit to the ancient site of Masada, the mountain fortress is the Judean Desert. The fortress is built on the top of a TALL mountain plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, which is quite appropriate. (If you tried to walk up the steps, you’d be dead before you reached the top!) Fortunately, the Romans built an escalator to help the tourists reach the top, which was very considerate of them. Masada was the “weekend retreat” of King Herod, who built the place around 30 B.C. Breathtaking is the only word I can use to describe the view and the palace, which became famous after a long siege during the First Jewish-Roman was, which occurred from 73 to 74 CE. Incidentally, I was only kidding about the Romans building an escalator. (They actually built a cable car!)

Our final stop was at the Dead Sea, which lives up to its billing. (It is ten times saltier than the Mediterranean Sea!) Being “a man for all seasonings” I thoroughly enjoyed dipping my toes into this famed body of water, but I would not like to own a condo there. Of course, my neighbors would be nice. The “salt of the earth,” so to speak. (OK, that’s my last salt joke!)

Once again, I’d like to thank our wonderful guide, Mr. Udi, for introducing us to the wonders of Israel. I just got back from England (a few hours ago) so I’m too tired to post many photographs, but they will be forthcoming in the very near future. You have my word!

Until then, be safe and keep smiling. I LOVED our recent outing, but there is still no place on earth like America! Speak to you soon……

(Travel-weary) Doc Yanoff.

P.S. Attached is a photo taken last night at Heathrow Airport. God Bless Guinnss!


HOWDY, buckeroos and buckerettes! Hope all is well with you city-slickers. Cowgirl Patty and I recently returned from a thrilling adventure in Bandera, Texas. (The “Cowboy Capital of Texas.”) On this occasion, we didn’t stay at some fancy-schmancy hotel, but at a Dude Ranch! (The Mayan Dude Ranch, to be exact.) I’m happy to report that, despite my outlaw background, all went well and there were no gunfights. (Just one food fight, fought with soft tortillas.) The tortilla fight was not corny. (We used flour tortillas) Fortunately, nobody added any picante sauce.

My father-in-law used to own a big ranch outside of Bandera, so this was a wonderful, memory-laden trip for me. It was made even better by my company. Risking a nervous breakdown, we decided to bring my darling grand-daughter, “Hop-a-long Goldie,” with us, and we all had a marvelous time. Miss Goldie is only 6 and 1/2 years old, but she rides a horse like a real cowgirl and has absolutely no fear of big, hairy animals. (Except for me, when I forget to shave!)

The ranch is truly charming and offers an abundance of fun activities, including 3 or 4 horseback trail rides per day. (Which has a desultory effect on one’s buttocks) I asked our guide, Toothless Tom, if I could ride bareback, but he told me that I had to keep my shirt on. Nevertheless, we rode over hills and dales, and enjoyed every moment. (Dale didn’t enjoy being rode over, but that’s another story) I shared some Grandpa wisdom with Goldie, but she seemed a little confused…. I told her that you can lead a horse to water, but it still might answer neigh.

I should like to mention that our wild west adventure was made super enjoyable by meeting some wonderful folks from New Jersey (The INCREDIBLE Engel family) and the Akers from Houston, featuring Cowboy Ben, the world’s youngest line dancing champion. The best part of travel, as I often say, is meeting new people and making new friends, and when you come to Texas you will do both.

Speaking of travel….. some of you have asked about my spring itinerary, so here we go…. First we fly to Tel Aviv and then, after 4 days there, drive down to Jerusalem for another 5 days. From there, we fly to Budapest, board a Uniworld River Cruise, and travel down (or up) the Danube for a week or so before arriving in Prague, where we spend another few days. Finally, when they run out of beer and sausage, we fly to London, chill for a spell, then home to Austin. (I know what you’re thinking….. it’s a tough life, but somebody has to do it!) I love Europe, but there are so many foreigners there!

By law, you’re supposed to turn on your headlights when it’s raining in the Czech Republic, but I have a question… How am I supposed to know when it’s raining over there? Hmmm.

Incidentally, for those of you who subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, you might have seen the announcement (last Wednesday, I think) that the winners of the 2022 LONDON BOOK FESTIVAL were recently announced. I am pleased to report that my (semi) brilliant masterpiece, GONE BEFORE GLORY, was chosen as the “Honorable Mention” (third place) recipient! I shall, of course, be going to London some time in May to pick up my loot and have some tea with the Queen. (I do hope they have iced tea in jolly old England)

Incidentally, never be overly impressed by so-called experts… Just remember that the Ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic by professionals! (I thought of that when I mentioned iced tea!)

Well, dear friends, I must leave thee now… Miss Goldie is playing in (another) soccer tournament this afternoon. (I advised her to bring a horse and play polo, but she didn’t seem to like that idea.) For those of you with sketchy cable service, I shall attach some photographs to keep you amused until dinner. Please have a safe and wonderful week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff


HOW CAN I TELL? Well, for one thing it was 91 degrees yesterday, and today might be even hotter! How hot could it be today? Well, let’s see….. I just saw a fire ant complaining about the weather! Another mound of ants just opened a Kool-Aid stand in my front yard! The rattlesnakes are now carrying canteens! Shall I go on? Oh my, I just saw a fire hydrant chasing a dog! (All right, I had to get that last one in!) Enough with the heat jokes. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I actually LOVE hot weather. (Keeps the riff raff off the golf course!)

So, what else is new? Well, speaking of riff raff, I recently won a major literary award. No, not the National Book Award, something more important. The (very kind) judges of the 2022 Independent Press Awards have chosen my new history book, GONE BEFORE GLORY (The Life and Tragic Death of William McKinley), as the winner of the “Distinguished Favorite Award!” Along with thousands of dollars in cash, I received a lovely medal and a fancy certificate. (I might also be attending some sort of award ceremony in Santa Fe, but that is t/b/d at a later date.) For now I am quite honored and grateful by this unexpected award.

Incidentally, just a quick reminder….. ALL royalties from the sale of the above book will be donated to the Ukrainian Relief Fund, so order at least 50 books at a time. (O.K., 25 will be enough.)

Last week I had another highly pleasurable experience. (No, not that kind!) I had the honor of speaking to the Lakeway Men’s Breakfast Club, and as usual, it was simply marvelous. This group consists of 85-100 very smart (and well read) individuals who identify as male, and love American history. I spoke for 12 hours (just kidding, one hour) about President McKinley and my new book, and then we had a stimulating Q&A. I would like to publicly thank my esteemed booking agent, Loyd “Early Bird” Smith, for setting up this engagement. Always fun to speak with such a great group of guys.

In case you’re wondering, my new “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, DEAD ENDING, has been sold for zillions of dollars and will be published in early 2023. (The publisher did not want a new mystery competing against my history book, thus the delay.) Well, you know what they say, good things are worth waiting for. I shall keep you apprised of the situation, lest anything change.

So, check this out… I went to Target yesterday and when I began to pay with my credit card this hot chick working behind the check-out counter says I put the card in wrong. No problem. But then she says, “Strip down, facing me.” I says, “no way.” Then I ran out of the store. Jeez, no wonder they call it the “check-out” counter. (Not that I blame her for ogling me in a lecherous manner. I seem to have that effect on many women. And a few men, too.)

Can somebody explain why my wife keeps washing our bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

Why does “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing. I find that rather confusing. And speaking of confusion, what do you think about Daylight Savings Time ending? Personally, I love that idea. I always hated “falling ahead and springing backward.” When I was a kid, I actually thought that Daylight Savings was the name of a bank. Which reminds me of a lovely bank teller I dated in high school. (I dated a bank teller because I wanted to have “safe sex!”) All right, I’ll skip the deposit jokes.

Last night we enjoyed a fabulous steak dinner with the Princess of Portugal and her browbeaten husband, Baron Lee. They are soon off to the Tulip Festival in Holland, so I’d like to wish them a sincere “Bon Voyage.” My darling wife likes to say that I remind her of her favorite flower… a blooming idiot. By the way, since we are wishing others well, allow me to say Happy Birthday to our mutual travel agent, the lovely and talented Lori Randig, who is celebrating her 29th birthday. (Not sure of that number, but it sounds safe.)

Well, I think that’s about it for me this morning. I must get ready for another thrilling soccer game, as my grand-daughter, “G0-GET ‘EM” Goldie, is playing in another championship game. I only gave her one little tidbit of advice… Please remember that anything worth winning is worth cheating for. (Her mother wants to restrict my visitation rights, but what does she know?)

Sayonara, dear friends. Have a safe and happy week and we shall speak again soon! Love to all,

Doc Yanoff


Not to be confused with the 1961 film, Splendor in the Grass, which was a romantic tale about urban gardening. (I think) No, my loyal landlubbers, this title refers to the name of the ship that I recently boarded, bound for the sunny islands of the Caribbean! Our ship was owned and operated by Regent Cruises, which provided an exquisite experience, both culturally, culinarily, and alcoholically. (Think free alcohol 24 hours a day!) I’d think about it myself, but I’ve still got a hangover.

On this particular outing, we managed to obtain a huge suite, which came with an indentured servant, I mean, butler. The gentleman catered to our every need, and being a good sport, I tried to take him home with me, but he would have no part of that. (I even offered to take the maid, but he still said no. So did my wife. Very insecure people.) My only problem, which was more or less semantic, was yelling “Man overboard!” if and when I saw someone fall off the ship. They never told us what to yell if we saw a woman fall into the water. (Hooray was out of the question!)

Our captain, whose name was Serena Melani, was the first female captain of a major cruise line, and she did a remarkable job. (Except for parallel parking in St. Lucia.) Under her command, we sailed to the ports of Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), San Juan, St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, and St. Barts. The weather and the water were quite spectacular, and I got to snorkel or swim at every stop, which for me, made the voyage. (The wet T-shirt contest was a bust. Too many seniors.)

As usual, we made a ton of new friends… and garnered a bunch of new readers. Among our dear comrades, was the brilliant Brian Unger, the guest speaker of the cruise. Brian regaled us with some wonderfully informative lectures, and we enjoyed the pleasure of his company at several fine meals. We also met Dr. Tobin Grigsby, the famous Urologic Surgeon… and the inventor of the world-renowned WonderStick Ice Cream Cone. (Tobin “melted” our hearts, as did his beautiful companion, Nurse Tammy Farley.) All of us were guided (more or less) by a wonderful woman named Mary, a true gem from North Carolina, a passenger who has spent more than 600 days on cruise ships! (Yes, dear ones, that is two years! She must be wanted for something back in North Carolina!)

Now, for those of you who are still residing in Austin, please note that I will be speaking at the Lakeway Men’s Club on the morning of March 16th. (My semi-brilliant lecture will concern my latest historical masterpiece, GONE BEFORE GLORY.) We are expecting a full house, and I’m sure this will be another memorable event. (I should thank my “booking agent,” Mr. Loyd Smith, for setting this up. The man is simply incredible. I will also be speaking (on the same subject) at Brookdale Gaines Ranch in April, but I’m not sure of the exact date yet.

Speaking of books… I would like to mention that ALL royalties accrued for the next 6 months, will be donated to various Ukrainian relief efforts, so if you want to contribute, now’s your time to buy a great book and do something wonderful for others. (I will be happy to autograph any copies purchased during this period.) DYAKUYU!

For those of you who have inquired about the Los Angeles Book Fest, I’m afraid I had to cancel my plans to speak. Believe it or not, I have another big trip on the horizon. (I’m supposed to be going to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and to Budapest, the capital of Hungary, during the first week of May.) I know what you’re thinking… great timing. Well, maybe not, but I’m sure our European friends could use a little laughter, so off I go!

In case you’re wondering, I did manage to consume a fair amount of rum down in the Caribbean, but I am now “on the wagon” for a couple of weeks. I’m not trying to brag, but I recently signed up something called the “February Challenge.” (NO alcohol on February 29, 30, or 31st!) It wasn’t easy, but I managed to stay strong.

Did you know that it’s impossible to lick your elbow?

Well, I must take my leave. I’m off to an art exhibit. (Some painter named Vincent van Gogh.) The paintings are only copies, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the display. By the way, did you know that van Gogh had a dizzy aunt? (Her name was Verti Gogh) He also had a brother who devoured prunes. (His name was Gotta Gogh) He also had a sister who loved disco music. (He name was Go Gogh)

All right, I know you’re smiling! THERE YA GOGH!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff


Good evening! I am pleased to report that my new history book, GONE BEFORE GLORY (The Life and Tragic Death of William McKinley) has just been selected as a FINALIST for the “Best U.S. History Book of the Year” by the FEATHERED QUILL BOOK AWARDS! (Award number five!) Thank you to all the judges, and thanks to all my loyal blog followers! GONE BEFORE GLORY is available at,, and leading bookstores across the nation.


IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN MY ESTEEMED PUBLISHER NOTIFIED ME THAT MY NEW HISTORY BOOK, TITLED, “GONE BEFORE GLORY,” WAS AWARDED NOT ONE, BUT TWO, LITERARY AWARDS THIS PAST WEEK! (MIND YOU, WITHOUT BRIBING ANY JUDGES!) I know what you’re thinking… how does this man do it? Beats me. Some of my good fortune is just plain luck. (Most of it, if you ask my wife!) I like to think that I’m daring, unafraid to have my books judged by others. Daring runs in my family. My Uncle Zeb was the first farmer to look at a cow and say, “I think I’ll squeeze those dangly things and drink whatever comes out.” Well, at least that’s the way the story has been passed down. Sounds like the pasteurized version to me.

In any case, GONE BEFORE GLORY was recently chosen as one of the best U.S. History Books in the 2021 New England Book Festival AND the Southern California Book Fest! Needless to say, I’m pleased as punch and greatly appreciate these literary awards. I had planned on attending the awards ceremony in California, but it looks like my Caribbean voyage is back on track. Our ship, the S.S. Omicron, will be leaving as scheduled from Miami in February! Hooray! (Hopefully we’ll get stuck in St. Kitts or St. Barts!)

Unfortunately, due to Covid concerns, most of the Caribbean book festivals have been cancelled, but we still plan to meet a lot of new readers aboard ship. We will be traveling aboard Regent Cruises, so if you happen to be in the Caribbean basin, please feel free to stop by for an autographed copy of GONE BEFORE GLORY. (The real name of our ship is the Regent SPLENDOR.)

While I’ve been typing this email I had a thought….. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know? Speaking of words, how come “abbreviated” is such a long word? Furthermore, why do we say something is out of whack? What the hell is whack? (John Wick’s uncle?) If you have any answers to these burning questions, please keep it to yourself.

By the way, since we’ve all been on sort of a “lockdown,” I’ve used my time wisely and have written another “Adam Gold Mystery.” Well, I’m actually on page 310, and have two more chapters to go. I should be finished before my ships departs. For those of you who care, the book is titled, DEAD ENDING. I think this is the best book in the series, and look forward to seeing it in print. I will, of course, keep you posted about its publication. Lucky for me that I don’t have a real job!

Incidentally, if work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?

Ever think of that?

Well, dear friends, I’m off to Boerne, Texas, for another literary event, so please take good care of yourselves and stay safe. I wish you and yours a wonderful and prosperous NEW YEAR! Love to all,

Doc Yanoff


Well, with just 5 or 6 days left until Mr. Santa makes his annual appearance, I have some good holiday news to share….. The winners of one of this year’s most prominent book award contests have recently been announced, and much to my delight, my new history masterpiece, GONE BEFORE GLORY, has been chosen as one of the “MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2021!” Yes, dear friends, the judges of the 2021 SHELF UNBOUND BOOK COMPETITION have spoken, and I am very pleased to be the recipient of their HUGE cash prize. (Which will be donated to charity.)

The SHELF AWARDS are very important in the publishing industry, and there were over 5,000 books entered in this year’s contest. To be chosen is actually a great honor, and I am most thankful. In case you’re keeping score, this is the second major award that GONE BEFORE GLORY has received. (I was lucky enough to win a Bronze Medal at the Paris Book Awards a few months back.) Also, if you’re looking for a wonderful “stocking stuffer,” this book would make a great gift. (Plus you’ll be helping a terrific charity for children!)

By the way, don’t worry about the price. (You can’t take it with you, anyway. The money, that is.) Incidentally, did you know that “paper money” is actually a blend of cotton and linen? (and it can actually be washed!) The one dollar bill is still my favorite. It was designed by Ben Franklin and a group from the First Continental Congress. Interestingly, the number 13 is quite prominent on the bill itself. (You’ll note that there were 13 original colonies, that there were 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and that the bill displays…. (are you ready for this?) …. 13 stars in the Seal, 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 leaves in the olive branch, 13 arrows in the eagle’s talon, 13 stars above the eagle’s head, and….. There are 13 letters in the slogan “E PLURIBUS UNUM!”) WHAT’S THE STORY WITH THAT??

Don’t spend too much time thinking about the above. We have more important things to worry about… For instance, why doesn’t Elmer’s glue stick to the INSIDE of the bottle? If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him? If natural foods are so good for you, why do so many people die of natural causes? If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? (Oops, that might be an X-rated joke!)

Some of my blog followers from the DEEP SOUTH (i.e., St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Kitts, St. Bart’s) have inquired about my presence at some of the upcoming book fairs. Well, I am happy to report that I will be visiting your lovely islands sometime in February, 2022. My itinerary is being “firmed up” as we speak, so once I know what’s going on with that damn Covid nonsense, I shall let everyone know where and when to find me. (Don’t forget to bring cash and/or rum to pay for the books!)

I believe, but I’m not positive, that our first stop will be St. Thomas, the lovely island which we purchased from Denmark in 1917. (Those crafty Danes asked for $25 million, which seems fair to me, as that is what the average house in Austin now costs!!) Well, almost costs. In any case, we will be visiting with some fellow drunkards at the near-perfect location of Magens Bay, which is lined with coconut palms and kissed by azure waters. If you’re anywhere on the island, come by and we’ll put another shrimp on the barbie. (Usually, Barbie complains, but women are like that.)

So, after that terrible joke, let me wish you and yours are very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a most HAPPY NEW YEAR. I do look forward to chatting with all of my blog followers next year, which I hope will be filled with joy and happiness for all. If you get a little depressed during the holidays, just remember that “health nuts” have it much worse than us. (Someday those healthy folks are going to feel mighty stupid, lying in a hospital and dying of nothing!)

Until then, I remain, as always, Dr. S.G. Yanoff, ESQ., LTD., N.U.T.




PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (Or lack thereof!)

Have you, perchance, read the above book, which was written by John Bunyan? (Who might have been related to Paul Bunyan. Who knows.) Anyway, I thought it might be a good title for this week’s blog post. Fall has fell and the holiday season has begun! First came that awful day when we had to set our clocks back (or forward in my case) to honor some old tradition. When I was a kid, I thought DAYLIGHT SAVINGS was the name of a bank. (I wasn’t too bright back then!) Now we move on to the favorite holiday of dentists… Halloween.

Did you know that over 160 million Americans buy candy for this trick or treat fiasco? (That’s about half the population!) Hard to believe, but Americans spend about $2.6 BILLION dollars on Halloween candy each year. The top selling cavity-producer is….. (the envelope please) ….. SKITTLES! (The grossest type of candy you can put in your mouth!) For you candy corn folks, don’t fret… 35 million pounds of that gunk was sold and/or consumed. (I used to eat candy corn with salt and butter until I realized it was melting the darn thing! Like I said before, I weren’t too bright a lad!)

Hey, why can’t ghosts have children? (Answer: Because they have “hallow-weenies!”)

All right, let’s move on to Thanksgiving, shall we? President Biden pardoned the “official” birds, whose names are Peanut Butter and Jelly. Good for him. Unfortunately, his Vice-President did not agree with the pardon, calling it (and I quote) ….. “A clear example of systematic ornithology prejudice and a ‘foul’ deed!) She didn’t really say that, but I’m trying to stir up trouble. Hey, don’t forget to talk politics at your Thanksgiving dinner. (You’ll save money on Christmas gifts!)

Here at Villa Yanoff we will be especially thankful for a new addition to our family… my beautiful daughter, Rachel, recently gave birth to a 8.5 pound tax deduction named William Arthur Zell. He is soooo handsome. (He favors me) He was quite a sizable baby. They almost had to induce birth, but my daughter decided to handle the situation on her own… and out he came! (Oddly enough, my wife had to be induced with drugs in order to have sex with me!) Anyway, Mom and child are doing well, so we are once again on cloud nine, and one step closer to personal bankruptcy!

A big shout out now to… Joy and Jordon, my son-in-law’s dear friends who came to Austin from Los Angeles and Las Vegas to observe the bris. If you’re not familiar with this procedure, let’s just say it gives the male child a chance to circumvent, or something like that. The person who does the snipping of the you-know-what is called a Mohel. (They don’t make a lot of money. Mainly tips.) Fortunately, the procedure is done quickly, and in most cases, the young lad has no scars or memories of his first encounter with scalpels. (Unless, as with me, the procedure is done when you turn eighteen. Just kidding. I faint at the sight of my own blood.)

For those of you who would like to see what my new grandson looks like (without his you-know-what) please scroll down and you will find two lovely photos of my grand-daughters, Goldie and Fiona, holding their new brother. (Just after he lost two ounces!) I’ve also included some Halloween shots, which reveal exactly how these hooligans dress up! (Superman is my other grand-son, Leo.)

Finally, I will soon have some MAJOR news to share with you concerning a book award about to be given to GONE BEFORE GLORY. (which was just named as one of the top 100 books of 2021 by a MAJOR media group.) I cannot reveal the actual name of the contest until it becomes official in early December, but I am quite thrilled by this honor. I shall, as they say, keep you abreast (or a thigh, if you prefer) of the situation!

Until then, be safe and be happy. Have a marvelous Thanksgiving and be grateful that we all live in the most wonderful country on earth! Love to all,

Doc Yanoff **Photos attached**