• Upcoming trips



    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem. Note : this trip has been cancelled altogether because of the damage caused by the hurricanes to the Caribbean islands.

    October 31st - 11 November. Caribbean cruise to break up the winter. Note: The itinerary has not yet been determined owing to the havoc wreaked by the hurricanes.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    October 8 Went to BAM, for the first time since Ethel died, to hear a wonderful modern opera composed and written by Matthew Aucoin called “Crossing”. It is based on Walt Whitman’s experience and the libretto is largely taken from his poetry.

    The story is multi-themed, as modern plays tend to be; the first is a harrowing anti war depiction of the suffering wounded seen through Whitman’s eyes when he volunteered as a nurse during the American civil war; the second is Slavery and its effect upon a run-away slave who fights on the Union side; the third is treachery portrayed by a guilt-laden deserter who spies for the South. And forth, inevitably these days, is the (entirely fictional) homosexual one.

    The powerful music fits the story perfectly and the voices of the lead singers and the chorus is magnificent; Rod Gilfry, bass-baritone, sings the part of Walt Whitman, Alexander Lewis plays John Wormley, the deserter, and Davone Tines, whose baritone reminded me, distinctly, of the sound of the legendary Paul Robeson.  Both Christine and I were extremely moved by the work. We newly discovered Walt Whitman’s poetry, too.

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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

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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

    • 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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