Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Dow Jones Performance during Presidencies


Continuing my look at Dow Jones performance, in this post I look at the numbers for each six months in office. This is much more insider information than the previous post and may only be interesting for those who like to go into great detail. 

Percent Increase or Decrease in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the First Four Years of Individual Presidencies. FDR is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. TR is Theodore Roosevelt.

The Dow Jones has been around in a daily form since May 2, 1885, about seven weeks after Grover Cleveland began his first term. Here is a list of the percent increase in the first six months of each presidency. I included only the first term and for Cleveland, I began with the first index. The website (now defunct) mentioned adjusting the early data (it started as the Dow Jones 12). 

For this analysis, I still had the database going back to 1885. I couldn't relocate this database for my other analyses.

The first six months.

Below are the figures of change in the stock market for the first six months. On the one hand, having an equal amount of time for the presidents made the playing field equal. It wasn't like the comparison for full terms which could have been two plus years up to twelve plus. This study and the following ones allowed all the presidents to be included that could not be included in the four year analysis. However, on the other hand, how someone performed in six months wasn't often indicative of how they performed overall. Comparing one six month period to later time points, sometimes presidents did well in a single six month spurt and no other.

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1. FD Roosevelt (D) +79.4

2. McKinley (R) +34.6

3. Cleveland (D) +22.6

4. Hoover (R) +21.4 (he started off strong)

5. Taft  (R) +20.4

6. Truman (D) +17.2

7. Bush Sr. (R) +15.2

8. Coolidge (R) +14.3

9. Obama (D) +11.3

10. Biden (D) +10.3

11. Clinton (D) +9.3

12. Johnson (D) +9.1

13. Trump (R) +9.0

14. Kennedy (D) +7.66

15. B. Harrison (R) +5.14

16. Bush Jr. (R) -0.10

17. Reagan (R) -0.12

18. Wilson (D) -0.6

19. T. Roosevelt (R) -2.8

20. Carter (D) -4.0

21. Eisenhower (R) -6.3

22. Harding (R) -9.5

23. Ford (R) -9.7

24. Nixon (R) -10.4 (six month anniversary date was the same as the first moon landing)

Twelve months. First year. 

Here is a list of the percent increase after the first year of each presidency. This didn't include the 19th century presidents.

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1. FD Roosevelt (D) +96.06%

2. Obama (D) +34.85%

3. Trump (R) +31.49

4. Truman (D) +30.59%

5. Johnson (D) +25.19

6. Clinton (D) +19.81%

7. Bush Sr. (R) +19.80

8. Coolidge (R) +17.10%

9. Harding (R) +15.11%

10. Taft (R) +13.48%

11. Biden (D) +11.90%

12. Kennedy (D) +10.46

13. Ford (R) +4.19

14. Wilson (D) +1.83%

15. Eisenhower (R) +0.4%

16. T. Roosevelt (R) -1.42%

17. Bush II (R) -7.70

18. Reagan (R) -11.02%

19. Hoover (R) -12.86% (it would go a lot lower)

20. Nixon (R) -16.47

21. Carter (D) -18.28%

Eighteen months. 

Here is a list of the percent increase (or decrease) in the first year-and-a-half of each presidency.

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1. F. Roosevelt (D) +71.4%

2. Coolidge (R) +37.0%

3. Harding (R) +35.4%

4. Bush I (R) +32.5

5. Obama (D) +28.7%

6. L. Johnson (D) +28.5%

7. Trump (R) +26.4%

8. Ford (R) +22.0%

9. Eisenhower (R) +17.2%

10. Clinton (D) +15.0%

11. Truman (D) +7.2%

12. Biden (D) +2.8%

13. Taft (R) -3.8%

14. T. Roosevelt (R) -4.4%

15. Kennedy (D) -9.1%

16. Wilson (D) -11.5% 

17. Reagan (R) -12.3%

18. Carter (D) -12.6%

19. Nixon (R) -21.2%

20. Hoover (R) -24.8% 

21. Bush II (R) -26.5%

Twenty-four months (2 years).

Compared to the above lists, Biden isn't included. He hasn't served two years as of yet.

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1.  F. Roosevelt (D) +90.5%

2.  Coolidge (R) +54.0%

3.  Obama (D) +48.7%

4.  Harding (R) +39.3%

5.  Eisenhower (R) +36.5%

6.  L. Johnson (D) +33.1%

7.  Ford (R) +26.4%

8.  Trump (R) +24.6%

9.  Clinton (D) +19.4% 

10.  Bush Sr. (R) +18.4%

11. Reagan (R) +12.6%

12. Truman (D) +8.4%

13. Kennedy (D) +6.0%

14. T. Roosevelt (R) -21.7%

15. Wilson (D) -5.3%

16. Taft 0% (R) (59.92 on March 4, 1909. 59.92 on March 4, 1911)

17. Nixon (R) -8.7% 

18. Carter (D) -12.7%

19. Bush II (R) -18.9%

20. Hoover (R) -42.3% (it would go a lot lower)

Thirty months.

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

Compared to the previous lists Gerald Ford and Warren Harding did not make the two-and-one-half-year list.

1. F. Roosevelt (D) +146.3%

2. Coolidge (R) +79.1%

3. Eisenhower (R) +59.1%

4. Obama (D) +58.2%

5. Clinton (D) +43.7%

6. Trump (R) +37.0%

7. Wilson (D) +36.5% 

8. Bush Sr. (R) +34.9%

9. Reagan (R) +29.2%

10. Johnson (D) +23.2%

11. Truman (D) +14.2%

12. Kennedy (D) +9.4%

13. Taft (R) -5.3%

14. Bush Jr. (R) -6.0%

15. Carter (D) -13.6%

16. Nixon (R) -21.2%

17. T. Roosevelt (R) -28.8%

18. Hoover (R) -57.7%

Thirty-six months (3 years).

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1. F. Roosevelt (D) +191.0%

2. Coolidge (R) +85.1%

3. Eisenhower (R) +61.3%

4. Obama (D) +60.0%

5. Clinton (D) +59.9%

6. Wilson (D) +55.1%

7. Trump (R) +48.0%

8. Bush Sr. (R) +45.6%

9. Reagan (R) +32.4%

10. Truman (D) +13.0%

11. Johnson (D) +11.7%

12. Taft (R) +1.0%

13. Bush Jr. (R) -0.1%

14. Nixon (R) -2.25%

15. Carter (D) -9.06%

16. T. Roosevelt (R) -15.1%

17. Hoover (R) -72.6%

I haven't performed a three-and-a-half months analysis. This would be interesting in part because it captured a picture of near-peak stock market turmoil during the COVID-19 crisis.

In contrast to the previous post with the overall performance after the first four years of the administrations, these numbers show how variable one six month period could be compared to the next. Some presidents who performed well early on, ended poorly (Hoover). Some who began poorly, ended well (Reagan). Several presidents did poorly only in their first quarter and then came back to break even (Carter). 

With so many factors in play it is difficult to determine what are the causes behind the varied performances. Clinton who had one of the best performances had the best record of lowering the yearly deficit over his administration, finishing with a surplus. Franklin D. Roosevelt greatly increased government spending and had remarkable increases. Trump set a record in yearly deficit (3.31 trillion in 2020) and had a good year. 

I hope in these analyses I provided some perspective to presidential performances in the stock market. It is easy for the media to exaggerate the upside or downside of particular administrations. 

Next up, I will look at how presidents ran into or avoided recessions and depressions.

Martin Hill Ortiz is also the author of over 45 short stories, three novels, and one novellaHis epic poem, Two Mistakes, won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at mdhillortiz@gmail.com. His website is mdhillortiz.com.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Which Administrations Have Performed Better with the Economy?

 A Long Introduction. (An Aside)

As readers of this blog know, I like to use primary sources of information to examine important questions. For example, is violent crime increasing along the US-Mexican border? I bring this subject up, before I get to the economy, both as an example of the detail of my work and, because I spent so many hours on it, I wanted it to again see the light of day. 

Violent Crime Rate, US, 1985 through 2014. 
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics

I looked at the question of violence along the US-Mexican border through 2016, the end of the Obama presidency. 

The FBI has maintained a database of crime that began in the days of Bonnie and Clyde and which came in its current form in the 1960s. During the Trump administration this reporting was greatly cut (70% fewer tables) including many of the tables I used in my calculations. During the Biden administration the definitions of crimes were changed leading to a low reporting rate nationwide, and which made comparisons to the past into apples versus oranges. I mention these two recent changes to explain why I haven't updated the analysis since 2016 data.

For the border crime analysis, I took advantage of the fact that, through 2016, the FBI reported in detail crime statistics in all cities with a population of at least 100,000. For the US-Mexican border this meant five cities: Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, El Paso (all Texas) and San Diego (California). I looked at violent crimes overall, along with murders and rapes as separate categories. In nearly every instance violent crimes, murders and rapes were way down (38 to 83% lower in each city) from their peak in the 90s and 00s. The one exception was the rate per population of rapes in Laredo (down 6% from its peak, but up in recent years). El Paso proved to be one of the safest cities in the country for its population.

In contrast, and I have no explanation, the three US cities with over 100,000 that border Canada, Detroit, Buffalo, and Rochester, showed an increase in violent crime. In general, across the US, while urban crime has gone way down overall, rural crime has gone way up: likely because of the shifting of the opioid epidemic to rural communities.

I'll admit I have a liberal bias going into these analyses. However, I always let the data say what they say. 

I ask questions that reflect my interests. Growing up near the Mexican border (and I did live a bit of everywhere), I was told in the seventies how the modern evil illegal aliens were criminals, not like the good ones before. My grandfather told me that people said the same thing back in the fifties when they had Operation Wetback (the official US Government name) created to cleanse the nation of Mexicans.

In my first job after graduating college, I worked with immigrants. At that time they came from Cuba, Ethiopia, Haiti and Latin America. When I griped in their presence about the crazies in the US government, they told me how wonderful the United States was. "Try living under Castro, Idi Amin, Baby Doc, etc." Their patriotism was humbling. It is sad that we are so reluctant to let in refugees from Syria, Ukraine, and other locations. These are not like past refugees, I'm told. These are modern evil ones.

Which Administrations Perform Better With the Economy?

Compared to any other analyses I've done, this one is huge. I do these analyses in my spare time and they take months for individual questions. In this case, there are lot of questions to address and I've spent years.

Firstly, there are a lot of measures of economic health. I brainstormed the following: employment/unemployment/job creation (a bundle of related subjects), change in deficit/national debt, inflation, the presence of recessions/depressions, the stock market, median income, poverty rate, tax rates. . .

Once I had the measure, I needed to find and choose a definition. This was not easy. Unemployment rate has several definitions. I am only human and did not want to do an analysis for each definition. With unemployment and other markers, I chose the most commonly used definition. I do talk about the limitations of the particular definition. 

My next task was to find the databases with the information. The US Government has kept a lot of statistics for crime (described above), and the economy. With an issue like the US debt/deficit there are a number of watchdog sites that cite the US government information but also break down the information into more detail: for example, monthly changes rather than just fiscal year or annual.

For my analysis of the stock market figures, quite a few financial investment institutions provide databases. I came across one that had the daily Dow Jones figures going back to the 1800s. Unfortunately, I lost my download and the link is broken, so my overall analyses go back to 1901. 

With this long introduction, I will begin by posting an analysis of administrations versus stock market performance. Why did I begin with stock market? My sister, the only financially successful family member out of the nine of us (siblings and parents), had me fascinated in this topic. She was a senior vice president for Morgan Stanley before her recent retirement. What can I say? She was the only one among us smart enough to drop out of college. I got a PhD.

Measuring the Performance of the Stock Market

There are three major indices (and hundreds of minor ones) that measure stock market performance: the Dow Jones Industrials, Standard & Poor's 500, and NASDAQ. With the exception of my overall analysis, I performed my study using the Dow Jones numbers.

Why the Dow Jones? The first answer is something I lean on again and again. I picked one. I could do the analysis using the Dow Jones and again using the Standard & Poor's but it would double my time. NASDAQ, triple.

Second, the Dow Jones has been around so long that I am able to look at over half the nation's history.

Third, although the Dow Jones is narrow in its focus (30 biggest stocks) and is considered inferior to the Standard & Poor's 500, over time it has maintained a remarkable correspondence with the Standard & Poor's performance.

Yes, the Dow Jones does drop businesses and does add others. So do the other indices. Only General Electric is still around from the Dow Jones' initial group. The National Buggy Whip Company is no longer relevant.*

*This is an old gag from the days of the Beverly Hillbillies. The Clampetts bought stock in the National Buggy Whip Company which suddenly became relevant again because of the mysterious new owner who bought the company at too high a price -- and who turned out to be the Clampetts. Sort of like the Musk-Twitter story. 

Compared to measures of other markers of economic growth, the Dow Jones is daily, the exceptions being weekends and holidays and several months when it was shut down at the start of World War I (and for a brief time after 9/11). Other measures of the economy are limited to once a month reports, quarterly, or even once a year. 

Dow Jones is reported as opening figures, closing figures and peak daily figures. I used opening figures although most days they usually didn't change much from the closing. Interestingly, during Obama's administration the Dow Jones never hit 20,000. It peaked at 19,999.63 on January 6, 2017. I believe I erred a few times and mixed in closing figures and introduced minor discrepancies.

Presidential Performance for Dow Jones.

I chose presidential performance as the marker. This was defined by the date of inauguration to the date of the end of the presidency, usually by stepping down, or sometimes due to death by illness or assassination. I looked at the president and president alone. 

I didn't check other political markers such as who controlled the Senate or House or both. That makes for a complicated analysis. Sometimes when the split was narrow, even a single death or resignation could change the party in charge, once in the fifties, several times within a two year period. There could have been a lot of combinations such as when a single party controlled the White House and Congress or one chamber of Congress or neither chamber. Too many possibilities / analyses.

I followed the creed of "The Buck Stops Here." Sometimes the stock market had a wonky performance due to an outside crisis that was beyond the control of the president. COVID-19, the oil crisis of the 1970s (or 2020s), etc. I didn't grade on a curve for difficulty. I wouldn't know how.

I am reporting percentage changes in the Dow Jones numbers. Absolute changes mean little to nothing. If the Dow Jones was at 200 and increased to 250, that's a 50 point ord 25% increase. That is a much better performance than if the Dow Jones was at 5000 and increased to 5100. The latter example is a 100 point increase but only 2%. Percentage changes are the only way to keep the playing field even between presidencies and different times.


First the figures for performances of all presidents who started their presidencies since 1901 beginning with Teddy Roosevelt (in September after McKinley's assassination). This first analysis looked at the whole of their terms in office. Biden's numbers are up to December 2, 2022. This analysis has 13 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

The Entire Term in Office.

The increases are additional. For example, if a number says 100%, that is doubling the number in the index.

Dow Jones

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1. Calvin Coolidge, (R), +260.6

2. Bill Clinton, (D), +225.2

3. Franklin Roosevelt, (D), +201.6

4. Barack Obama, (D), +138.3

5. Ronald Reagan, (R), +130.6

6. Dwight Eisenhower, (R), +120.4

7. Harry S. Truman, (D), +81.1

8. Donald J. Trump, (R), +56.4

9. William McKinley, (R), +52.2

10. George H.W. Bush, (R), +45.4

11. Theodore Roosevelt, (R), +45.1

12. Lyndon B. Johnson, (D), +31.5

13. Woodrow Wilson, (D), +26.7

14. Gerald Ford, (R), +23.4

15. Warren G. Harding, (R), +17.6

16. John F. Kennedy, (D), +12.5

17. Joseph Biden (as of December 2, 2022), (D), +10.4

18. Jimmy Carter, (D), +0.2

19. William Howard Taft, (R), -0.1

20. Richard Nixon, (R), -16.1

21. George W. Bush, Jr., (R), -21.8

22. Herbert Hoover, (R), -83.5

Calvin Coolidge led the roaring 20s boom and Hoover held the bag for the crash. That is not to say that Coolidge and Hoover were not, in part, masters of their opposing fates. It is generally agreed that Hoover made the depression worse. FDR performed so well in part because he started so low. Still, to give credit to FDR, he not only didn't make it worse, he much improved the situation. The invention of bank insurance restored faith in the banking system. World War II, which brought near complete employment, was not that important in helping FDRs numbers. Almost all of his increases came before the war. (more below)

Clinton was remarkable for making increases when starting from an already strong economy. Having George Bush, Sr. and Reagan as lead ins to Clinton, still did well.

I am not the first person to find that Democrats outperform Republicans in the stock market. With Coolidge, Republicans do have first place, but they also have three very bad performers taking up last place: Hoover (ending in depression), Bush, Jr. (ending in the worst recession since the depression), and Nixon. 

War doesn't appear to be good for the Dow Jones. Non-war presidents: Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, and Theodore Roosevelt were all in the top 11. Two more in the top 10, Eisenhower and Obama inherited wars and had them end (Korea for the former, for the latter one war, Iraq). Trump inherited a war, Afghanistan, which continued through his presidency. Although FDR had a remarkable increase overall (201.6%), most of this took place in his first two terms. From his third term (1941, World War II) to his death, the Dow Jones went up by 22.1%. Wilson during his second term (U.S. involvement in World War I) had a loss of -20.9%. LBJ had a 4.4% increase during his second term, during the escalation of the Vietnam War, much lower than his pre-war performance.

The Whole Term, S & P.

S & P 500

The S & P 500 began its index in 1957 so this list is abbreviated. Here's a ranking of how well the presidents have done in regards to performance.

Standard and Poor's 500

Rank, President, (party), %increased/decreased

1. Bill Clinton, (D), +209.8

2. Barack Obama, (D), +166.4

3. Ronald Reagan, (R), +133.1

4. Donald Trump (R)  +68.1

5. George H.W. Bush, (R), +51.2

6. Lyndon B. Johnson, (D), +42.5

7. Dwight Eisenhower (1957-61), (R), +36.1

8. Jimmy Carter, (D), +29.4

9. Gerald Ford, (R), +25.7

10. John F. Kennedy, (D), +19.4

11. Joseph Biden (D through December 2, 2022) 5.9%

12. Richard Nixon, (R), -19.0

13. George W. Bush, Jr., (R), -36.7

With this more recent period, we've lost the data from FDR, Coolidge, Hoover, and many of the major movers from the Dow Jones list. This has changed the rankings (fewer competition), but with the exception of Carter, who performed much better on the S & P than on the Dow Jones, the general degree of change was maintained.

The First Four Years.

To some extent, whole terms make for an unfair comparison. You may note that the above leaders were those who had been in office for more than one term. Also, such presidents such as JFK had their terms end prematurely. Why should someone who had the opportunity of over 12 years (Franklin D Roosevelt) be compared to someone who had an opportunity of less than three (Harding, Kennedy, Ford, and so far, Biden). Having found not much difference for the S & P, this analysis and the future ones are only for the Dow Jones. 

Here are how how the 17 presidents since 1900 who served for at least four years ranked when compared to each other measured at their four year time points. This list excludes Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy, Warren Harding, and Biden.

Despite what looks like large total numbers, Trump is in seventh place, the middle being ninth place. Out of the last six presidents from Reagan on, he is ahead of Bush I and II and Reagan, but behind Clinton and Obama. 

1. FD Roosevelt (D) +255.9%

2. Clinton (D) +111.1%

3. Coolidge (R) +110.4%

4. Obama (D) +72.5%

5. Eisenhower (R) +65.8%

6. Wilson (D) +57.0%

7. Trump (R) +56.4%

8. Bush Sr. (R) +45.4%

9. Reagan (R) +32.7%

10. Johnson (D) +22.8% 

11. T. Roosevelt (R) +19.7%

12. Truman (D) +11.7%

13. Nixon (R) +10.2%

14. Carter (D) +0.2%

15. Taft (R) -0.1%

16. Bush Jr. (R) -1.1%

17. Hoover (R) -83.5%

Next time: More on the presidential comparisons looking at how the Dow Jones Index progressed during their terms so as to look at the first six months, one year, etc.

Martin Hill Ortiz is also the author of over 45 short stories, three novels, and one novellaHis epic poem, Two Mistakes, won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at mdhillortiz@gmail.com. His website is mdhillortiz.com.


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Father Died Before I Could Appreciate Him


My parents, Milford Hill and Adelina Ortiz, Wedding Day

My father died before I could appreciate him. I was seventeen when I moved in with him, young and angry, although that's no excuse. I looked down on his alcoholism and his chain-smoking and the fact that he could not love himself.

When I was younger, my father made a living wage. However, having a family of six children and one income, we were lower middle class in my first few years. When I was nine, my parents divorced. The four boys, aged three to ten, went with my mother. We lived in poverty with my mother's low wages as a preschool teaching assistant. Soon, she went to college and with those expenses and no income beyond a meager alimony and student loans we continued in poverty while she got her bachelor's and then master's degree. 

Coming upon my senior year in high school, my mother sent me to live with my father, citing financial reasons. 

My father's father was a career petty criminal, abandoning his family. He died while trying to escape prison. I didn't recognize how much that had hurt my father. His first step-dad was an alcoholic who beat him. His second step-dad was not much better. His third step-dad brought some stability, but by then my father had dropped out of high school. He returned, was permitted to take the final exams, and passed. 

My father was very bright, bookish. Though lacking a college education, through self-will and voracious studying he worked his way from being a social worker helping disabled and veterans to being in charge of the entire Los Angeles area. He always cared for those who were vulnerable.

His sacrifice and alcohol and nicotine took a toll on his body. One year after the divorce he had a heart attack. Seven years later, when I moved in, he was sick. Each day, he would tell me he would die. I refused to believe he was so sick. I was angry at him for being weak. I didn't see his great love, his self-wounding for others. For his children.

When I was eighteen, after I moved away from home, he died.

Pond Life

(For my father.)

The needlegrass swims with the loons in the lake.

The sun looking down doesn't know what to make of me.

. . .I'm standing here guarding the gutter.  

A lattice of roots sutures the soil

My shadow hangs ragged, stitched to my hide.

The treetops are splinters from when they were crewcut

Each spine had been forged by the sun.

Their prickles have shredded the shade. 

And the needlegrass swims with the moon in the lake 

While the loon left behind spins grooves in its wake

And I'm sitting here guarding my gutter.

I can't think of themes, don't ask me for themes.

My head's full of empties—

. . .how dare you accuse me of truth?  

And the smoke tumbles up 

While the sky tumbles down

And the shadows blow off with the breeze.

Now the needlegrass slips from the grooves of the pond

And the disc of the moon becomes new when it's gone.

I'm lying here guarding my grave.

And even though frozen, I bleed through my gauze.

I'm soaked to my gills and yet dying of thirst

While I wait for the shades that pursue me.

A skimming rock skips on the face of the ice of the pond through the dusk into 

    winter through night into night and I'm standing here, sitting here, lying ....

I've fallen through the ice 

To find no lake beneath.  

I've rolled the holy dice.

I've worn smiles made of teeth.

Smiles made of teeth.

The Day Louis Armstrong Died

My father wore his sorrow like a hundred millstone weight.

I seldom saw him angry and I never saw him hate.

And though he dressed for mourning, I only saw him cry

Once in anguish, once for love, and once when Louis Armstrong died.

This song is for a miner's son, sung in a minor key;

Whose purposes and promises for life would never be.

Some dreams he'd given up on and still others he denied.

And all of them returned to him the day King Louis died.

When time was once upon a time, when blue moons bloomed:

In June of 1950, he became the perfect groom.

He promised half-formed dreams beneath his half-closed lids.

They disembarked and, for their mark, left half a dozen kids.

In June of sixty-eight my mother took the kids away.

I saw my father kneel and sob, begging her to stay.

He died that afternoon even though his body lived.

He took to drink with the creed: forget first, then forgive.

In summer seventy-one on our annual vacation

When our meetings were constrained to rights of visitation.

We headed off to Flagstaff, to see his boyhood town.

Even the asphalt sweated as the desert sun beat down.

We walked beside the railroad tracks where once he'd gathered coal.

Along the desert's rim we found a rattler's sun-bleached skull.

He took us to the tenement where he and grandma stayed.

He drove us by the gravel pit where as a child he played.

That night outside our cheap motel a neon scribble shone

While from the local FM station country music droned.  

Then the deejay's voice broke in saying Louis Armstrong died.

I watched as for the second time I saw my father cry.

I can only half-suppose the bond between the two:

The trumpet blown with lively notes ransomed from the blue.

Perhaps the rhythms carried him back to a land of dreams 

When life marched in rhythm and love was what it seemed.  

But this world isn't for the faint: and when his heart attacked

He coughed up blood and downed more drink to fight his demons back.

Once, as he filled his whiskey glass, he wept for where he'd sunk,

And asked me if it hurt to have a father who's a drunk.

The human soul is only built to hold so many notes.

My father's breath became a fist, it clenched inside his throat. 

No, this world isn't made of mercy: so when my father died

I looked into his casket but somehow I couldn't cry.

An angel is an angel still, by any other name.

There'll be no more excuses when we find we're all the same.

The reasons to strive for heaven are the people that we'll meet:

With Louis playing trumpet and my father at his feet.

Links to my writing are at mdhillortiz.com

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Short Story Podcasts.


Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine generously offers a free podcast with well-narrated recent and classic mystery and thriller stories. I present below their selections, arranged in alphabetical order by name of author, currently available for listening. 

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine also has a free podcast. I have alphabetized their offerings in this complementary post 

Betancourt, John Gregory. "Pit on the Road to Hell." From AHMM, July/August, 2006. 56 minutes.
Bowen, Rhys. "The Wall." From AHMM, July/August, 2005. 36 minutes.
Budewitz, Leslie. "The End of the Line." From AHMM, December 2006.
Budewitz, Leslie. "All God's Sparrows: A Stagecoach Mary Story." From AHMM May-June 2018. 33 minutes. Winner of Agatha Award.
Burns, Rex. "Shadow People." From AHMM, June, 2006. 42 minutes.
Campbell, Melodie. "School for Burglars." From AHMM July/August 2007. 16 minutes.
Cleland, Jane K. "Killing Time." From AHMM, November 2008. 57 minutes.
Cohen, Jeff. "The Question of the Befuddled Judge." From AHMM, May/June 2020. 56 minutes.
Costa, Shelley. "Strangle Vine." From AHMM, November, 2012. 45 minutes.
Crenshaw, Bill"Poor Dumb Mouths." From AHMM, May 1984. 47 minutes.
Egan, Kevin. "The Heist." From AHMM, July/August 2016. 22 minutes.
Emerson, Kathy Lynn. "The Kenduskeag Killer." From AHMM, April, 2005. 46 minutes.
Fisher, Eve. "Drifts." From AHMM, January/February, 2006. 15 minutes.
Fusilli, Jim. "Digby, Attorney at Law." From AHMM, May 2009. 27 minutes.
Fusilli, Jim. "The One-Armed Man at the Luncheonette." From AHMM, June, 2014. 19 minutes.

Gore, Steven. "The God of Right and Wrong." From AHMM, January/February 2010. 37 minutes.
Hockensmith, Steve. "The MacGuffin Theft Case." From AHMM, November, 2005. 37 minutes.
Hurst, Howell. "The First Day of Spring." From AHMM, April, 2009. 25 minutes.
Johnson, Douglas Grant."No Trouble At All." From AHMM, July/August 2010. 65 minutes.Lacy, Deborah. "Taking Care." From AHMM, May/June 2018. 28 minutes.
Laskowski, Tara. "The Monitor." From AHMM, April 2014. 42 minutes.
Law, Janice. "Madame Selina." From AHMM, 2010. 29 minutes.
Lawton, R.T. "Across the Salween." From AHMM, November 2013. 34 minutes.
Lehan, Con. "Stella by Starlight." From AHMM, October 2016. 29 minutes.
Lopresti, Robert. "Snake in the Sweetgrass." From AHMM, December, 2003. 21 minutes.
Lufkin, Martha. "A Lacking for Salt." From AHMM, September 1997. 34 minutes.
Lutz, John. "The Explosives Expert." From AHMM, September, 1967. 17 minutes.

Millar, Margaret. "The People Across the Canyon." Reprinted AHMM, November, 2005. 39 minutes.
Muessig, Chris. "The Hoard." From AHMM, July/August 2014. 45 minutes.
Oleksiw, Susan. "Variable Winds." From AHMM October 2016. 33 minutes.
Parker, I.J. "Akitada's First Case." 54 minutes.
Ross, Stephen. "Boundary Bridge." From AHMM, March, 2010. 29 minutes.
Savage, Tom. "The Method in Her Madness." From AHMM, June, 2013. 43 minutes.
Shepphird, John. "Ghost Negligence." From AHMM, July/August, 2012. 33 minutes.
Stevens, B.K. "Adjuncts Anonymous." From AHMM, June, 2009. 80 minutes.
Strong, Marianne Wilski. "Death at Olympia." With introduction. From AHMM, July/August, 2003. 55 minutes.
Taylor, Art. "The Boy Detective and the Summer of '74." From AHMM, January/February 2020. 72 minutes.
Thielman, Mark. "The Truculent Avocado." From AHMM, January/February 2019. 42 minutes.
Tipton, James. "The Beast of Easedale Tarn." From AHMM, March/April 2021. 52 minutes.
Vernon, Gigi. "One for the Road." From AHMM, January/February 2006. 32 minutes.
Viets, Elaine. "After the Fall." With a question and answer session. From AHMM, January/February, 2006. 35 minutes.
Walker, Joseph S. "Etta at the End of the World." From AHMM, May/June 2020 issue. 28 minutes.
Wilson, Jr., L.A. "Jazreen." From AHMM, November, 1997. 53 minutes.
Wishnia, Kenneth. "Between Minke and Mayrev." 52 minutes.
Zelvin, Elizabeth. "A Work in Progress." From AHMM, May/June 2019. 33 minutes.
Zeman, Angela. "The First Tale of Roxanne." From AHMM, May 2013. 45 minutes.

I have several short stories coming out soon, including ones in Mystery Magazine and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. A science fiction story came out in El Porvenir ¡Ya! Chicano Scifi Anthology. My late mother, a Chicano activist, would be proud.
Martin Hill Ortiz is a Professor of Pharmacology at Ponce Health Sciences University and has researched HIV for over thirty years. He is the author of four novels and numerous short stories and poems.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Mystery Podcasts

EQMM Podcasts, listed by author and linked.

Updated with recent podcasts, August 2022.

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, 81 years and counting, is the premium venue for short mystery fiction. They maintain a podcast with a Murderer's Row of murder-minded authors, now up to 152 entries. Each episode is a reading of a quality mystery story that has appeared on their pages. On their podcast webpage they present the stories by most recent entry. I have presented them below, sorted by author's last name. 

Although many of the authors are award-winners, I mentioned awards only for those tied to the specific story in question. In a complementary post, the podcasts from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine are similarly indexed and linked. I hope to update that link soon.

Allyn, Doug. "Famous Last Words." From EQMM, November, 2009. 42 minutes.
Allyn, Doug. "Stone Cold Christmas." From EQMM January 2007. 44 minutes.
Andrews, Dale C. "Literally Dead." From EQMM, December 2003. 42 minutes.
Andrews, Dale C. "Four Words." From EQMM, September/October 2020. 36 minutes.
Andrews, Donna. "Normal." From EQMM, May, 2011. 34 minutes.
Anthony, Meredith. "Murder at an Ad Agency." From EQMM, March/April, 2013. 39 minutes.
Appel, René. "Red-Handed." From EQMM, December 2014. 15 minutes.
Bailey, Frankie Y. "In Her Fashion." From EQMM, July, 2014. 51 minutes.
Barnard, Robert. "Rogue's Gallery." From EQMM, March, 2003. 27 minutes.
Benedict, Laura. "The Erstwhile Groom." From EQMM, September/October 2007. 35 minutes.
Breen, Jon L. "The Gilbert and Sullivan Clue." From EQMM, September/October 1999. 31 minutes.
Brett, Simon. "Work Experience." From EQMM, September/October, 2011. 30 minutes.
Brunet, Rob. "Skinny's Beach." From EQMM, February 2016. 35 minutes. 
Buck, Craig Faustus. "Race to Judgment." From EQMM, November/December 2018. 47 minutes.
Charles, Hal. "Draw Play." From EQMM, May 2003. 16 minutes.
Cleeves, Ann. "The Harmless Pursuits of Archibald Stamp." From EQMM, February, 1995. 22 minutes.
Cline, Eric. "Two Dwarves and Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs." From EQMM, June, 2011. 31 minutes.
Cody, LizaSee Lovesey, Peter.
Collins, Max Allan. See Spillane, Mickey.
Cooper, Mike. "Whiz Bang." From EQMM, September/October, 2011. 38 minutes.
Crider, Bill. "The Case of the Headless Man."  From EQMM, March, 1998. 35 minutes.
Cudmore, Libby. "All Shook Down." From EQMM, September/October 2020. 37 minutes.

Dana, Cameron. "Disarming." From EQMM, June, 2011. 35 minutes.
Davidson, Hilary. "Hedge Hog." From EQMM, September/October, 2011. With author interview. 69 minutes.
Dean, David. "Ibrahim’s Eyes." From EQMM, June, 2007. 64 minutes.
Dean, David. "Sofee." From EQMM, March/April 2018. 55 minutes.
Dean, David. "The Duelist." From EQMM, May/June 2019 issue. 53 minutes.
Dean, DavidSee also: Harvey, John.
Dean, Zoë Z. "Getaway Girl." From EQMM, November, 2014. Winner of Robert L. Fish award. 29 minutes.
De Noux, O'Neil. "Sac-a-Lait Man." From EQMM, September/October 2019. 53 minutes.
Dhooge, Bavo. "Stinking Plaster." From EQMM September/October 2011. 31 minutes.
Dickson Carr, John.
"The Gentleman From Paris." From EQMM, April 1950. 59 minutes.
Dobbyn, John F. "A Little Help From My Friend." From EQMM, March/April 2020. 13 minutes.
DuBois, Brendan. "Breaking the Box." From EQMM, September/October, 2013. 32 minutes.
DuBois, Brendan. "The Lake Tenant." From EQMM, November, 2015. 32 minutes. Annual Readers Award.
Edwards, Helena. "If Anything Happens to Me." From EQMM, June, 2015. 18 minutes. Short-listed for the Margery Allingham Short Story Competition.
Edwards, Martin. "No Flowers." From EQMM, May, 2012. 34 minutes.

Faherty, Terence. "No Mystery." From EQMM, March/April, 2011 EQMM. 24 minutes.
Faherty, Terence. "The Engineer's Thumb." From EQMM, January/February 2017. 27 minutes.
Faherty, Terence. "The Noble Bachelor." From EQMM, January/February 2018. 29 minutes.
Flores, E. Gabriel. "The Truth of the Moment." From EQMM, December, 2016. 27 minutes. Robert L. Fish Memorial Award.
Floyd, John M. "On the Road With Mary Jo." From EQMM, January/February 2019. 33 minutes.
Fredrickson, Jack. "The Brick Thing." From EQMM, September/October, 2002. 28 minutes.
Fredrickson, Jack. "For the Jingle." From EQMM, May 2009. 43 minutes.
Fulton, Cecilia. "The Father of the Corpse." From EQMM, January/February 2019. 45 minutes.
Goffman, Barb. "Bug Appétit." From EQMM, November/December 2018. 34 minutes.
Goffman, Barb. "Dear Emily Etiquette." From EQMM, September/October 2020. 33 minutes. Winner of an Agatha Award along with the EQMM 2020 Readers Award.
Goodrich, Joseph. "The Ten-Cent Murder." From EQMM, August, 2016. 26 minutes.
Gorman, Ed. "Comeback." From EQMM, March/April 2009. 23 minutes.
Grimala, Michael. "A Trunkful of Illegal Fireworks." From EQMM, July/August 2021. 12 minutes.
Hall, Parnell. "The Petty-Cash Killing." From EQMM, November, 1999. 39 minutes.
Harris, Charlaine. "Dead Giveaway." From EQMM, December 2001. Also an interview with the author. 42 minutes.
Hart, Carolyn. "Spooked." From EQMM, March 1999. Includes panel interview with Maron, Hart and Pickard. 89 minutes.

Three stories together in one podcast: 26 minutes.
Harvey, John. "Ghosts." From EQMM, September/October, 2009.
Dean, David. "Awake." From EQMM, July, 2009.
Raines, Dave. "Suitcase in Slow Time." From EQMM, June, 2009.

Herron, Mick. "Remote Control." From EQMM, September/October, 2007. 24 minutes.
Hill, Bonnie Hearn. "Feliz Navidead." From EQMM, January/February 2020. 22 minutes.
Hill, Edwin. "White Tights and Mary Janes." From EQMM, January/February 2018 issue, 27 minutes.

The Edward Hoch series of locked room mysteries are from a 1970s radio dramatizations produced by Dave Amaral.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of Cell 16." Dramatization. 27 minutes. From EQMM, March 1977.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Christmas Steeple." Dramatization. From EQMM, January, 1977. 27 minutes
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Country Inn." Dramatization. From EQMM, September, 1977. 28 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Covered Bridge." Dramatization. From EQMM, December, 1974. 29 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Haunted Bandstand." Dramatization. From EQMM, January 1976. 28 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Little Red Schoolhouse." Dramatization. From EQMM, September, 1976. 27 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Lobster Shack." Dramatization. 27 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Locked Caboose." Dramatization. From EQMM, May, 1976. 27 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Old Gristmill." Dramatization. From EQMM in the March 1975. 27 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Old Oak Tree." Dramatization. From EQMM, July, 1978. 27 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Time Capsule." Dramatization. Originally published as "The Problem of the County Fair," in EQMM, February, 1978. 28 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Voting Booth." Dramatization. From EQMM, December, 1977. 28 minutes.
Hoch, Edward D. "The Problem of the Whispering House." Dramatization of a story appearing in EQMM, April, 1979. 28 minutes.

Hoch, Edward D. "The Man Who Drowned in Champagne." From EQMM, April 1998. 17 minutes.

Hochstein, Peter. "The Client, the Cat, the Wife, and the Autopsy." From EQMM, January/February 2017. 30 minutes.
Hockensmith, Steve. "Dear Doctor Watson." From EQMM, February 2007. 35 minutes.
Hockensmith, Steve. "Fruitcake." From EQMM, January, 2003. 25 minutes.
Hockensmith, Steve. "Special Delivery." From EQMM, January, 2002. 32 minutes.
Hockensmith, Steve. "My Christmas Story." From EQMM, January/February 2019. 50 minutes.
Howard, Clark. "Horn Man." From EQMM, June, 1980. 1981 Poe Award for Best Short Story. 38 minutes.
Howe, Melodie Johnson. "The Talking Dead." Originally published, EQMM, June 2003. 37 minutes.

Ingram, David. "A Good Man of Business." From EQMM, January, 2011. 37 minutes.
Jain, Smita Harish. "The Manglik Curse." From EQMM, May/June 2022. 22 minutes.
Jobb, Dean. "Stranger Than Fiction: Arthur Conan Doyle and the Mutineers." From EQMM September/October 2020. 14 minutes. 
Johnson, Russell W. "Chung Ling Soo's Greatest Trick." From EQMM, January, 2015. 29 minutes. Robert L. Fish Award winner.
Kelner, Toni L.P. "The Pirate's Debt." From EQMM, August, 2009. 76 minutes.
Kemanis, V.S. "Collector’s Find." From EQMM, September/October 2013. 50 minutes.
Kemelman, Harry. "The Nine Mile Walk." From EQMM, April, 1947. One of my all-time favorite mystery stories. 22 minutes.
Lantigua, John. "The Cuban Prisoner." From EQMM, September/October 2018. 39 minutes.
Laskowski, Tara. "The Long-Term Tenant." From EQMM, July/August 2019. 49 minutes.
Law, Janice. "Star of the Silver Screen." From EQMM, December, 1996. 28 minutes.
Lehane, Con. "Come Back, Paddy Reilly." From EQMM, September/October 2017. 40 minutes.
Levinson, Robert S. "The Girl in the Golden Gown." From EQMM March/April 2010. 36 minutes.
Lewin, Michael Z. "The Cards You're Dealt." From EQMM, November/December 2020. 44 minutes.
Lewin, Michael ZAlso see Lovesey, Peter.

Three stories in one podcast: Three authors compose stories from one newspaper article. 73 minutes.
Lovesey, Peter. "Say That Again."
Cody, Liza. "The Old Story."
Lewin, Michael Z. "Wheeze."

Light, Larry. "Dysperception." From EQMM, January/February 2018. 38 minutes.
Linn, Ken. "Stray." From EQMM, January/February 2021. 34 minutes.
Lutz, John. "Safe and Loft." From EQMM, March/April 2008. 32 minutes.

Maffini, Mary Jane. "So Much in Common." From EQMM September/October 2010. Read by Maffini and James Lincoln Warrne. Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Short Story. 34 minutes.
Malliet, G.M. "The Oxford Tarts." From EQMM, March/April, 2017. 27 minutes.
Manfredo, Lou. "Rizzo’s Good Cop." From EQMM, December, 2015. 68 minutes. Readers Award.
Marks, Paul D. "Howling at the Moon." From EQMM, November 2014. 28 minutes.
Marks, Paul D. "Ghosts of Bunker Hill." From EQMM, December, 2016. 42 minutes. Readers Award.
Maron, Margaret. "Virgo in Sapphires." From EQMM, December, 2001. Includes panel interview with Maron, Hart and Pickard. 66 minutes.
Maxwell, Edith. "One Too Many." From EQMM, March/April 2020. 21 minutes.
McCormick, William Burton. "Pompo's Disguise." From EQMM, March/April 2015. 15 minutes. 
Milchman, Jenny. "The Closet." From EQMM, November, 2012. 35 minutes.
Moran, Terrie Farley. "Fontaine House." From EQMM, August, 2012. 46 minutes.
Muessig, Chris. "Bias." From EQMM, July 2009. 58 minutes.
Muller, Marcia and Pronzini, Bill. "The Chatelaine Bag." From EQMM, June, 2011. 38 minutes.
Nevins, Francis M. "Night of Silken Snow." From EQMM, November 1994. 46 minutes.
Novick, Nancy. "How Does He Die This Time?" From EQMM, September/October 2018. 37 minutes.
Oates, Joyce Carol. "The Fruit Cellar." From EQMM, March/April, 2004. 20 minutes.
Osler, Rob. "Analogue." From EQMM, January/February 2021. 27 minutes.
Pachter, Josh. "The Night of Power." Originally appeared in EQMM September, 1986. 42 minutes.
Pachter, Josh. "Won't You Come Out Tonight?" From EQMM, March, 2004. 26 minutes.
Phelan, Twist. "Floored." From EQMM, June 2008. 25 minutes.
Pickard, Nancy. "Ms. Grimshank Regrets." From EQMM, May, 2008. Panel interview with Maron, Hart and Pickard. 59 minutes.
Pachter, Josh. "E. Q. Griffen Earns His Name." From EQMM, December 1968. 29 minutes.
Pachter, Josh. "50." From EQMM, November/December 2018. 37 minutes.
Pachter, Josh. "The Secret Lagoon." From EQMM, September/October 2019. 25 minutes
Pronzini, Bill. See Muller, Marcia.
Pullen, Karen. "Brea’s Tale." From EQMM, January, 2012. 27 minutes.

Queen, Ellery. "The Adventure of 'The Two-Headed Dog.'" From The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1934). 61 minutes.
Queen, Ellery. "A Lump of Sugar." Dramatization. From EQMM, February, 1953. 9 minutes.
Queen, Ellery. "The Myna Birds." A dramatization of the short story, Cut, Cut, Cut. From EQMM, September, 1956. 12 minutes.
Queen, Ellery. "The Adventure of the Man Who Could Double the Size of Diamonds." From The Adventures of Ellery Queen radio series of the thirties and forties and reprinted in EQMM in May, 1943 and August, 2005. 34 minutes.
Queen, Ellery. "The Adventure of the Seven Black Cats." First published in 1934 in the short story collection, The Adventures of Ellery Queen. 57 minutes.
Queen, Ellery. "The President's Half Disme." From EQMM, February 1947. 44 minutes.
Queen, Ellery. "The Broken T." From EQMM, May 1966. 13 minutes. 

Raines, Dave. See Harvey, John.
Rozan, S.J. "Golden Chance." From EQMM, December, 2012. 50 minutes.
Schofield, Neil. "Groundwork." Dramatization. From EQMM, November, 2001. 25 minutes.
Scotti, Anna. "What the Morning Never Suspected." From EQMM, September/October 2020. 34 minutes. 
Shephard, Robert. "Just Below the Surface." From EQMM, March/April, 2017. 56 minutes.
Solana, Teresa. "Still Life No. 41." From EQMM, March/April 2012. 21 minutes.
Soloway, Jeff. "The Interpreter and the Killer." From EQMM, January/February 2021. 30 minutes. 
Spillane, Mickey and Collins, Max Allan. "There's a Killer Loose!" From EQMM, August, 2008. 39 minutes.
Steinbock, Steve. "Cleaning Up." From EQMM, March/April, 2010. 21 minutes.
Taylor, Art. "A Drowning at Snow's Cut." From EQMM, May, 2011. Winner of Derringer Award. 42 minutes.
Taylor, Art. "English 398: Fiction Workshop." From EQMM, July/August 2018. 34 minutes.
Todd, Marilyn. "Cupid's Arrow." From EQMM, September, 2003. Dramatized reading. 47 minutes.
Todd, Marilyn. "The Wickedest Town in the West." From EQMM, June, 2013. 51 minutes.
Todd, Marilyn. "The Old Man and the Seashore." EQMM, January, 2016. 23 minutes.
Todd, Marilyn. "Long Slow Dance Through the Passage of Time." From EQMM, November/December 2018. 40 minutes.
Tolnay, Tom. "Fun and Games at the Carousel Mall." From EQMM, September/October, 2002. 29 minutes.

Van Laerhoven, Bob. "Checkmate in Chimbote." From EQMM, June, 2014. 37 minutes.
Vandermeeren, Hilde. "The Lighthouse." From EQMM March/April 2016 issue. 27 minutes.
Various authors. Poetry. From EQMM, various issues. 22 minutes.
Warren, James Lincoln. "Heat of the Moment." From EQMM, June, 2007. 48 minutes.
Williams, Tim L. "The Last Wrestling Bear in West Kentucky." From EQMM, September/October 2014. Winner of International Thriller award. 38 minutes.
Wilson, John Morgan. "Edward at the Edge." From EQMM, January 2005. 40 minutes.
Williams, Tim L. "Where That Morning Sun Goes Down." From EQMM, August, 2013. 37 minutes.
Woodson, Stacy. "Duty, Honor, Hammett." From EQMM,  November/December 2018. 34 minutes.
Wu, Fei. "Beijingle All the Way." From EQMM, January/February 2020. 39 minutes.
Zeltserman, Dave. "Some People Deserve to Die." From EQMM,August, 2011. 35 minutes.
Zelvin, Elizabeth. "The Green Cross." From EQMM, August, 2010. 24 minutes.

I have several short stories coming out soon, including ones in Mystery Magazine and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. A science fiction story came out in El Porvenir ¡Ya! Chicano Scifi Anthology. My late mother, a Chicano activist, would be proud.
Martin Hill Ortiz is a Professor of Pharmacology at Ponce Health Sciences University and has researched HIV for over thirty years. He is the author of four novels and numerous short stories and poems.