• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking


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Surgical Art at Mount Sinai

On wednesday, 13th July,2011, Dr. Jonathon Vapnek, surgeon exemplar, aided by his team at the Mount Sinia Medical Center, performed an exquisite work of art. A spinal anesthetic allowed me to observe the doctor’s intense concentration as he delicately carved away at the growth invading my innards.  As he worked, unphased by a barrage of involuntary muscle spasms, I imagined him akin to a Naval Commmander, resolutely calm and in control of his ship under heavy bombardment.

Although the prognosis for a 90-year-old facing such a procedure would normally be bleak, Dr. Vapnek’s  consummate skill and craftsmanship will probably allow me to be free of the invading growth for the remainder of my life

Daughter Susan and Grandson, Kiowa Crawford (my resolute Seconds in this encounter) and Ethel,  join me in heartfelt thanks to Dr. Vapnek for giving us this extra time to enjoy life and each other.

Thanks, too, to all those well-wishers who were rooting for me. Love to you all. Ben


4 Responses

  1. Ben,
    We were unaware that you were to undergo surdery. Sounds as if all went well.
    Ann is in a therapy center after having knee replacement July 5th. She is having a hard time with the pain.

    • John and Anne. All of this happened in the last three weeks following a medical ‘heads up’ on the Bahamas’ cruise in June. Anne, keep your eye on the end goal, when you will dashing round the shops and the pain is a memory. Love, Ben

  2. Love to you Ben!!

  3. Ben, so glad you did so well and had so much wonderful support from family, friends and Ethel. You are an inspiration. Cruises are better though. Let’s hear about your next one.

    Best wishes for good health.

    Sandy Troy

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