• 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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Mt. Sinai (the hospital) and Gratitude

Now that I am back home and more-or-less fending for myself, I would like to give a mighty thank-you to my  wonderful, caring, daughter, Susan, who, with firmness and charm, led my fickle anxiety through the myriad procedures of intensive care, and, suffered the interminable hours of waiting for something to happen (or not) which is much of the character of hospital stays.

And, my gratitude to the to the host of well-wishers, friends and family, who, by their thoughtful messages of encouragement, have made me proud to think that the vital interest I have found in the lives of  other humans (of all walks of life) who have crossed paths with me in my own journey through life, has, indeed, been reciprocal!

To the precision miracle workers of the Mt. Sinai heart unit, Dr. Danglas and his valve-replacement team and Dr. Choudry and his pace-maker insert team who intervened in the natural ageing process and have given me an extension of the life of interest and wonder, of which I have already had my fair share, my heart felt thanks!

As a result of the amendments to my internal works, there will be a few necessary alterations to my lifestyle. For example, battery-powered, cordless drills and the like will have to be used sparingly and at arm’s length; I will not be able to use my electric razor less than six inches from my face, and, sadly, the visiting nurse warned me that I must now give up electric welding altogether! Greetings to you all, Ben.






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