“Let the Children’s Laughter remind us how we used to be.” As we round out the year that was… It is June 2025 and I am getting ready for my high school graduation. I am graduating with honors and excelled at the top of my class in creative writing. I was bestowed the honor of delivering a speech on my take away of the Covid-19 virus that plagued the world in 2020. It is 5 years later and although it took the better part of 2 years until the eye of the storm subsided, we were left with a brave new world. The last five years have defined our world and my youth in ways that could never have been believed with no preparation in site. We were human shock absorbers. In guinea pig fashion we were isolated in our own boats navigating a storm flooded with fear, rage and no real answers. The virus knew no limits and left it’s mark on millions of innocent bystanders. We never knew if it was our turn to suffer on the front line of battle. We spent time dodging bullets, while baking blueberry pound cake with our siblings in lockdown mode. There were months on end where no expiration date was just that. As 13 year olds while forming friendship’s was top of mind, we were concurrently learning to fight an enemy that could come from around any corner, on any block. The streets crowded with people wearing masks was a clear visual of the enemy at hand. As lucky kids, the worst we knew was strep or a wrist sling from breaking a fall on the basketball court. Yet, we came to understand we were now dealing with deregulating the rules of the health cards as we knew them. Belly aches, scrapped knees and irritated gums from braces were mere annoyances compared to what we were up against. Fast forward and with no braces in sight, I am dressing in a new suit and sporting a tie decorated with happy faces. We survived and are thriving as a vaccine and maintenance program is in place. While overcoming an act of G-d, and a human disaster that has left us with emotional scars, I will address my graduating class today with honor. I will look in the eyes of my friends and know we developed strong friendships in spite of the scariest of times. My take away dear friends is if anyone one of us falls a little behind, we will wait till you catch up. We all started behind the starting line and emerged stronger and knowing together is “hashtag” better.We listened to what Dr. Fauci suggested!
T’was the Night before Christmas and all through the lab
Not a creature was stirring
As we wait for a jab
Our sleeves are rolled up
Bated breath we do have
On the brink of inoculation
Our freedom we’ll grab
We got our new sneakers
To wait on the line
Fauci has spoken
He says give it time
The reindeers were fed along the path to our door
We are waiting for Santa Fauci
To tell us some more
In the absence of malice, no forethought or greed
Pulling together we’re bound to succeed
Dasher and Dancer and Rudolph in tow
We are ending the year with some get up and go
So Dear Saint Fauci
We all wish you good cheer
Make it a great one on your 80th year!
Dear Kindly Dr. Fauci
We watched you get the shot
A dose of bliss and then some
You suggested from the get go
You believed this day would come
We held on to possibility
Net, net as the sum
We tried to get to sea level
Each day when we would wake
With gracious presentations
Alas, for goodness sake
We organized our closets
Took out our stash of scarves
While waiting for this moment
When we could sigh relief
We patiently stood by you
Held fierce to your belief
We looked up our position
We will wait our turn to go
The bottom line as we see
This is a Win, Place and a Show!
Dear kindly Dr. FauciToday is your Big dayWith grace and adoration we’re all here just to sayYou’re celebrating “80”This year we came to learnWith scientific knowledgeTake a bow as it’s your turnYou imparted so much wisdomYour research proven through factWe are on the brink of gettingA piece of our world backWe’ll raise a glass to honor your grace and gravitasYou never once did waiver your path was well definedSo Kindly Dr. Fauci, Our treasure and Our findWe’ll toast another go round, the planet needs you hereYou worked toward a solution You are Precious and so Dear!
Ma Nishtana מה נשתנה), On this night we unclench our teeth, sigh a breath of relief and feel we are headed toward a way out. An uncharted year, unprecedented and riddled with devastation has a glimmer of hope in sight. A “Happier” New Year, as we add the corner piece to our puzzle. Hit it Joni- “ I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, it’s clouds illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all. “Moons and Junes and ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel, As every fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at life that way. So just for today, let’s pick ourselves up, wipe ourselves off and start all over again. Hashtag Options Strong.
Hello, I Just dropped in from the 60’s
Repost from October 2018-
And then one day we just stayed in bed, under the covers, eating Hebrew National pigs in the blanket and drinking Whispering Angel. A day of feeling sorry for our mess of a country moment. With so many things on our “to do” list, the pathetic state of affairs has immobilized us. With devastation we are getting through the Kavanaugh Countdown. The only panacea is time. We long to watch reruns of Dobie Gillis, I Married Joan and Topper. One episode at a time, pre- binging. We derive comfort in exhuming memories of eating a can of Buitoni ravioli after school before leaving to go to our algebra tutor. Did anyone really need to know what a parallelogram or a quadrilateral was, ever?
Ah, the simple joy of listening to AM radio and Cousin Brucie, who is now 80 unbelievable seven. The glory days when one of our pleasures was listening to the Temptations, cause we were “not to proud to beg” while we waited to be built up by buttercups, knowing at this point it was the “worst that could happen.” Run on sentence counters I know. Guilty pleasures were driving under the tressel at Third Ward Park and the endorphin rush in spotting our friend’s cars.
The long ago and far away days, we so long for now. If only the worst of frustrations came in the form of busy signals and not because we had to upgrade our cell phones due to out dated-technology. We lovingly remember setting our hair with big, pink plastic rollers, spritzing Aqua Net hairspray and adjusting the awkward tubes from our portable hairdryers. We looked forward to our snacks of peanut butter cheddar crackers, Ring Dings or Funny Bones and always grabbed our can of Tab, the acronym for the first (Totally Artificial Beverage). They all came without hangovers. With lots of quarters, nickels and dimes we’d stop for snacks at the candy store next to Jan, Jill and Jon’s on Main Avenue. Shout out to Rhoda and Seymour Zucker ( antique aficionados) for 50 years . What a run. So back to today – under the covers with bated breath waiting to hear if our future decisions will be weighed in by one more unstable narcissist who has perfected the art of lying through his porcelain veneers. We pray for the times when Cosmo Topper, married Joan the only thing unstable were the rabbit ears on our black and white Tv’s and -that was an easy fix.
Touch me in the Morning
“Wasn’t it yesterday we used to laugh at the wind behind us? Didn’t we run away and hope that time wouldn’t try to find us? We might not have tomorrow, but we had yesterday.” And the memories linger on.
We all got the memo. We showed up brought a wing and a prayer in hope that revisiting the site of our youth would play out without too much disappointment. The evening more than overrode the old adage “you can never go home.” We theoretically put on our tennis sweaters, madras shirts and dexter’s mentality and double hugged each other.
With cataract improved vision we entered the time machine and there we were, the place the cafeteria at PHS, the late 60’s only obvious difference was cocktails replaced chocolate milk.
And so the juke box of our past, that held all our secrets, preconceived notions and memories of who stood with who before the bell rang and our days began, was replaced with the here and now.
The beauty of last eve was we were all one. We talked over each other, left quick catch up stories mid stream to get up and sit next to another very familiar face. Perhaps our personas remain in tact but our storied lives over the past “50” holy mackerel years have added the depth and Kodachrome patina that adds to our allure, our glow.
We held on tightly to the remember when’s and were equally glad to share pictures of our children and grandchildren. The sense was that we were on a veritiable speed date, get all you can at the supermarket game before the buzzer sounds.There were no whispers, only out loud emotional confessions of how very thrilled we were as we looked around the table and stole visual moments of our youth. “So do you think there were other towns like Passaic that offer this kind of welcoming,”was the ever present buzz throughout the night. Was it something in the Passaic River, or Rutts relish? Perhaps Awful, Awfuls or the steak sandwiches on Friday nights at The Bonfire in Paterson. We marveled at how well we looked in the absence of not too much Botox. There was no height requirement to get on the ride and exhume a very big piece that fills the shadow box on our mantles.
My take away as I debrief the evening was how easy it was to pay subtle attention to who ordered the dressing on the side, as we were really all there for the main course. I’ll double down this time and go for seconds. “Oh what a Night.”
In a binge like fashion- one episode at a time- we reconnected with old friend’s, while streaming our constants
and rearranging the table for some new welcomed additions. Run on sentence counters you got a whopper there. At any given moment a text, an email or a rare phone call could get us engaged in exuming memories, catching up on daily doings of our everyday peeps, or learning something new about someone new. “The Luckiest People in the World.” Yes, Barbra with an A – you got that right. No better stocking stuffer, in the absence of an eye to eye, mano to mano, or a great big , juicy bear hug than an interchange of sharing with no limit on caring. Wow, so you liked Columbo too. Really- “ in the hours before the morning walking home I passed your door and sent a special prayer up to the room on the second floor.” In that one sentence the idea of crooning, swooning and dancing the night away feels right outside our door. Johnny Maestro, so glad you had a love affair with The Brooklyn Bridge. As the sun is rising and the dailys kick in- I position myself for my virtual canasta game and learning about the new blood. We continue counting the days until the gates are opened and we welcome a side swap in the form of someone cutting in line at Bloomy’s, and not having to sanitize the outside skin on our avocados. So for today as we prepare to start binging The West Wing, we defrost some chop meat for dinner and look ahead all the time remembering “The Way We Were.”
Fast forward strong
On the 20th of January
Let’s sing right along
We are signing up to join
“A Place to call Home”
Our focus on “Undoing”
Nurse “Ratched” —so long
We are renewing our future,
We got “Saved by the Bell”
Dear Justice Bader send them straight to their cell
We are betting on the winning
We wil take back “The Crown”
We are hitting the pavement
Our “knees” on the ground
Our lives won’t be in “Jeopardy”
We will hand over the pawn, our opening “gambit”
Please play right along
We’re heading toward safety
We’ve positioned the Queen
And one thing’s quite certain.
Our lives we’ll redeem.
Bridge traces its origins to the British game of whist, first played in the 16th century. It may be named for the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, which British soldiers crossed during the Crimean War of the 19th century to reach a coffeehouse where they played cards.
For the first time since the inception of the game they have reconfigured the bidding. They have eliminated the NT bid from the options. So just bid the next suit up when Biden- ing. May you always find your 8 card fit. You are part of mine.Blessings abound.