Living without mommy- and then it happened. The fear, the sorrow and the ultimate in never mores- Square in the face, the pain sits quivering. Hey, mom I published a book. Every word had you center stage. I read it aloud to you, as you were the only face staring back at me in the dark. Yes, I hear you now. Wow, really? thank you Mamala. 5 years later Soph and I am once again publishing and dedicating it to you. Focusing on your words gets me through on the murky days. Looking forward toward the prize in the “just have fun” ways is my biggest take away from our life long dialogue. Ok, hold on mommy it’s in the works. BH
“The radio and the telephone and the movies that we know may just be passing fancies and in time may go – but oh my dear our love is here to stay.”If I could clone “Grandpa Ira,” every grandchild from near and far would be inoculated with a locked in love and a fail proof, safe haven. Side effects Prodigious Proportions of sharing, caring and lingering on the sunny side of street.
One day we woke up and the miasmic film like filter that shrouds the cataracts of life was gone. Our foresight replaced hindsight allowing us to see the forest in spite of the trees. I wish this on everyone.
Definition of Recidivism-a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially relapse into criminal behavior. Is there a fine line between addiction and recidivism? Let’s consider how popular prison romances are and seem in no danger of dying out. One theory is that prisoners create a literal wall against closeness. Conjugal visits preclude hanging out Sunday morning with Russ and Daughters and The New York Times. They certainly eliminate variegated activities i.e. strolling through The Whitney and eating french toast at Bubby’s in TriBeCa.Delving into a veritable pantheon of theories that depict the profile of personalities enraptured by the incarcerated is a thesis unto itself. Far from the cover for every pot concept. I recently viewed Jacob Ephron’s documentary on his mom Nora Ephron. I watched it for the second time, can’t wait to see it again. Oh, Nora you hated your neck and we loved you. We so related when Harry met Sally and they were Sleepless in Seattle. We followed as Julie and Julia Got Mail. Your self-deprecatory humor was comforting. And I quote “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Amen! The converse rings ever so true. When you understand that burnt pot roast doesn’t necessarily taste so good, negating that we grew up eating it, you throw it out and start again. Sensibility does not kick in by chance. Don’t wait for the next ship to come in to carpe diem.” Seizing opportunities and disregarding discouragements are our modus operandi.How many rapprochement’s succeed? When we get sick and tired of being sick and tired, we move to another table in search of our eight card fit. I know cliche counters, I know. Last eve a couple of The Julia’s – acronym for (Just Us Ladies Into Aging) had dinner. Our portfolio sports 57 years of round tables together. From our early days of sharing french fries at Wassers and Awful Awfuls at Bonds, we got another chance to embrace our history. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess.” Nora Ephron you get us!
Goodbye Eugene- hearing the news of your passing has given us the “Biloxi Blues.”
Whether we were “Barefoot in the Park, while “Lost in Yonkers” or hitching a ride home from “Brighton Beach” we waited to hear Jonathan Schwartz “Playing our Song,” on WQXR American Standard Radio. Marvin Hamlisch played Carole Bayer Sager’s lyrics to his music with his particular Zip-a-dee-doo-dah enthusiasm. We swayed along and knew all the words. Your collaborations with Mike Nicols and Gene Zaks prolifically chronicled our youth. Oh Neil, we got hooked when we read your name amongst the credits as we watched Sgt. Bilko, played with such guile on The Phil Silvers show. We waited to hear your interviews with Joan Hamburg on 77 WABC to learn what play was next to be “Broadway Bound.” Her interviews typically came at the end of her show after the bargain shopping and food segments. (Shout out to Shelly Fireman, my forever friend and his spin on delicious Italian fare.) Even if we left the house to spatzere around our favorite thrift shops we heard your familiar very New Yawkish sounding voice broadcasted live. The two of you had a repartee we so enjoyed, although we considered you quite the “Odd Couple.”
We marveled at the big city duplex apartments with sunken living rooms, and gilded cage appeal that set the stage for many of your playbooks. Was Willy’s (Walter Matthau) apartment at the beaux arts Ansonia really that big? We thought it could possibly the best pad ever to play hide and go seek. Did Jane Fonda actually run around “Barefoot in the Park” as she pleaded with Robert Redford to try again to save their marriage? We wanted to live in her apartment as soon as we moved to the Village. We knew we didn’t want to live uptown and become a “Prisoner on Second Avenue.” We weren’t sure you could top the episode when Felix Unger walked into Oscar Madison’s cluttered apartment to try to get back together with Gloria. You certainly did when you portrayed the classic “Northeast distributor of Guilt,” and had Molly Picon threaten to keep her head in the oven over the troubles with her bachelor sons.
Our take away quote of yours is “ if you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.” RIP Neil Simon- we’re sure you’ll be filling them with laughter in Suite 203-04 during your “Chapter Two.”
“Whatever We Got Going” Turning 70 this year after one that was recently stolen from us feels lopsided. Are we less developed by one year? Can we recover experiences and deepen relationships now that we can be tactile again? We are racing against time lost. Only this time, out of commission rings oh so true. At every point in our precious lives loosing any time to live our lives as we know them is a huge loss. This round number in particular feels frayed at the edges. In a “where did the time go way,” we plunge ahead and bring back our activities in “every day ways.” Cut to yesteryear. We find ourselves day dreaming, the year is 1963. We are starting camp the next day. We lay out our new sneakers, chose a pair of pedal pushers and a sweat shirt we got at Ginsburgs and one of the many tee shirts we got at Alexanders in Paramus. Ah, we remember it well. Not unlike the first day of school camp offered unparalleled excitement coupled with a grouping of will I meet new friends feelings. With our camp bag complete we get ready for bed. We finish reading one of our favorite Nancy Drew books , The Secret of the Old Clock, turn off our record player that was spinning a 78 Johnny Mathis album and ”Get Misty” as we shut the lights. Euphoric recall is medicinal and certainly helps minimize the startling tone of we are turning 70 years old. This is a defining moment for cleaning out your figurative closet. What shall stay and what shall go? My take away is that there is a religious and spiritual component where forgiveness and celebration hold court. The central theme of Yom Kippur is distinguished by atonement, renewal and amends. On New Year’s Eve we make resolutions to change our ways, add promises to do more. On the precipice of this 70th b-day as we enter our 71st year let’s use the empty space that we made room for in our closets. Celebrate more and count Blessings more frequently – a great start. Oh, hey Lionel Ritchie this time we are going to “Make the Magic last for more than just night.” BH