Friday, January 29, 2010

The Power to Stay

It's a heady place to be.
Unless you have worked on a Presidential campaign, and been close to the Candidate and their spouse, there is no way to explain  why Elizabeth Edwards would put up with what we now know is John Edwards' abhorrent behavior.  Do not think for one moment that I am making excuses for her, that’s not the case.  But when I hear Tina Brown talk about “what does it take to make someone leave their husband.  What was she thinking to stay?” my immediate reaction is “lady (Tina, not Elizabeth), you may know a great deal about many things but you haven’t got a clue about Presidential politics.”

What is important to know is that when you are a part of the inner circle,  of a Presidential campaign or Administration, you don’t think.  That might be a slight exaggeration, because you think about policy issues, political strategy, and logistics, but you don’t second guess the Principal because you believe he or she is extraordinary, and will make a difference in the world — for the better. At least you hope so.  And you respect the spouse, regardless of how whacky , because the Principal loves (likes, endures) them.

You work hard and want a victory for them and your self.  Andy Young (in his new literary exposé) says “I thought he would take care of me for the rest of my life, and he betrayed me.”  That sentence is more telling about what Presidential politics has become, than any campaign job description you can read. Although, I have been involved in nine Presidential campaigns, there was not one candidate who I thought would take care of me. It was my sincere belief that they would take care of the Nation.  Oh sure, when you work 24/7 for months and sometimes years, you hope that there is a positive result, but I can’t remember a time that I expected anyone would take care of me.
with John Kerry, 2004
There I go, digressing again.  This was supposed to be about Elizabeth and understanding, beyond the life long commitment she made to John, her health, and her children, what made her stay with him through all the public humiliation.  Running for President is a very ‘heady’ thing.  The candidate, spouse, and the inner circle (which can include strategists,  pollsters, policy wonks, sometimes advance people), begin to think they are exceptional or at the least that they deserve to be catered to and treated in some special way.  They become self important to a degree which cannot be explained as a simple personality disorder. They even print up jackets with their names embroidered on them. Mel Brooks said in the “History of the World Part One”, that “It’s Good to be King”, and that’s how this Presidential cadre begins to feel about themselves and this exhaulted position -- based on nothing but being hired to do a job.  In fact, some of the most exhaulted campaign people are seriously talent free – but that’s another blog.

Anyway, regardless of the amount of money you have, being President or even a candidate comes with an unimaginable power.  You begin to think that you are entitled to do anything you want to do.  And this entitlement often knows no bounds.  What’s the old saying,  “power corrupts...?”  It does and not only the Principal but all the people with whom they are surrounded — especially spouse.  When asked about his affair, his two hundred dollar haircuts, private planes etc., Edwards said he did it because he could.  Just that simple.  And Elizabeth also felt there were a great many “coulds”, and she wanted and enjoyed them  almost as much as John -- her vehicle to get them.
2004: with "Senior" staff
She stayed with him through the campaign and because she liked the power.  She stayed with him even after he admitted that he had been unfaithful and had a child, because she has terminal cancer and children and where else did she have to go.  She stayed with him until she understood there was no more power, glory, and any hope of his redemption.  She stayed with him until he was no longer important – and I mean that in the nicest possible way. We're just sayin'...Iris

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rustic It Shall Be

About a hundred years ago my Aunt Frieda, while discovering all kinds of treasures in antique stores in Dania, Florida (near Ft. Lauderdale) also happened upon a different kind of treasure, The Rustic Inn. The question about how she found this place was never actually answered, because in order to get there you had to drive on Route 1 until you saw Griffin Road and then you had to travel about a quarter of a mile down a dirt road. But like the end of the rainbow, it was well worth the trip.

When we started going there, (and each time we went was yet another adventure), we went for Golden Garlic Florida Crabs. They also have king crab, queen crab, dungeoness and blue crab, but the golden were our favorites. Unlike Maryland crabs, about which you must become an expert with mallet and tong before you can taste a morsel of crab, these crabs are big and meaty. You do have to do a certain amount of pounding, but when you break through, the insides and claws are sweet and juicy.

We have made periodic visits to these hinterlands, which actually happen to be right next to the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport (This means they fly all the way to the Bahamas and maybe other parts of the Caribbean. Oh, and they also fly to the Conch Republic). Nevertheless, since we always stayed in Hallandale, it wasn’t a convenient place to go for a quick bite. But, whenever we were in the Miami area it was worth however long it took to get there.

While yesterday the meal was terrific, (we ordered two golden garlic crabs, one queen, some stone claws, a combo – and a dozen oysters), the most memorable stop was Jordan’s first trip a few years ago. She took to the mallet like a pie crust to butter. I don’t remember a time when I saw David and Jordan have more fun. By the time they had finished lunch not only were they totally covered with crab but the people at the tables next to us, were also crabarized. No one seemed to mind. When you are enjoying some great food, most people will remain good humored about what they eat. In fact people all around us really got into making their crab fly. It’s about as upscale ambience that I ever want to get.
A pack o' goldens
When I was chatting with my cousins today we were talking about our food preferences. We are genetically peasant stock. So for us a good burger at “Five Guys”, a good slice of pizza, crispy fried ‘real potatoes’, a steak at “Arthur’s” (Hoboken and Morris Plains N.J.) instead of “The Palm” and grilled fish over a nice salad (like at Leftovers in Palm Beach, or Hogfish Grill in Key West are gourmet treats. Sure, I like to get dressed up and spend hundreds of dollars on a precious restaurant (a lie), but I’m just as happy with a movie and a good tuna sandwich. Given my experiences with food around the world and in some pretty heady places (Embassies, palaces etc.) you may think that this makes no sense. It seems to me that you have to measure whatever you eat by the joy you have in preparing it, or the people with whom you share it. It is also true that I, like most of my cousins and my kids, are very clever chefs, so why would you pay for something you can make better cheaper and more conveniently – unless I am feeling lazy.

Food is a personal choice. My mother would say, “that’s what makes the world go around.” This is not necessarily true, there are scientific reasons that the world turns, (don’t tell my mother) but there is nothing more refreshing than trying a variety of foods in many different places with people you enjoy. Maybe that’s what makes the world go around. We’re just sayin’…Iris

Monday, January 18, 2010

She Had a Dream

My mother had a dream too, but hers never had the impact that Dr. King’s had – she doesn’t have the same way with words. Mom’s description of what she dreamt usually starts with “Oye.” It develops from “Oye” to “You wouldn’t believe…” When I insist I will believe, the story goes on. It seems when you get to be 89 your dreams take on a whole different tone than when you are 3 but they can be no less frightening. Zachie (who is 2 1/2) has the ability to dream before he goes to sleep. He wants to be assured that there are no ghosts, no geese, no monsters and there will be daylight when he awakes. Once you have convinced him that no ghosts will haunt him, no geese will chase him, there’s no such things as monsters, and it’s always darkest before the dawn, his sleep seems peaceful, or at least without incident.

But when you are almost three, you do not know with what horrors you will be confronted during your lifetime. And when you are 89, there is only one more difficulty with which you will have to deal — the unknown. Not being nearly three or close to 89, I have no idea about the magnitude of their imaginations. When you are young you usually haven’t survived the loss of friends or family. And although you may still be in diapers, you have not yet suffered the humiliation of loss of bladder control, or the degeneration of bone and ability. At 89 you no longer move without effort or remember without prompting. This is not a terrible thing, it is just a natural progression… so, on this “I have a dream” day, back to Mama Rose.

A few months ago Rosie had a dream that she was with her sisters (6 of them) and her brother – all of whom are gone except her twin. You may recall we send them all to Florida instead of the grave. Anyway, the dream did not frighten her, she seemed perfectly comfortable about the visit. Here’s what happened:

R: “Oye, you wouldn’t believe it but they were all here.”
I: “Who, Ma?”
R: “Who? Who do you think? The President of the United States? I’m sure he would have been here, but he was busy.”
I: “So who, Ma?
R: “Guess.”
I: “I don’t want to guess. Daddy?”
R: “No, not your father. But close. Never mind, you’ll never guess. Your Aunts and Uncle Jack. And Aunt Fritzie and Aunt Helene were wearing paper hats. Not like birthday hats, but made from newspaper. And Aunt Sophie said, ‘Fritzie what are you doing with that stupid hat on your head, it’s not even your color.’ And Aunt Sarah said, ‘so Rosie where have you been?’ And Uncle Jack said, ‘What am I doing in this dream?’ And then Aunt Betty said ‘Don’t fight, Papa will get angry.’ Papa never got angry, so I knew it must be a dream and also Aunt Sophie was right, Aunt Fritzie would never wear a paper hat like that – even if it were her color. They don’t look so healthy but it was good to see them again.”
I: “And then did they go away?”
R: “Well of course, did you think they were going to wait for you to show up?”
I: “Was it like a nightmare Ma?”
R: “What, you think your family is a nightmare?”
I: “Of course not, I just wondered if you were frightened? If you are frightened?”
R: “Because I’m going to die, you mean? Like they were calling me, ‘Rosie please come, Rosie we miss you.’ No, it wasn’t like that. It was nice to see them. And I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid you’ll bury me here, all the way on the other side of the country.”
I: “That’s not going to happen. You know you’ll be right next to Daddy in that cemetery in 'Gubutska's Yure," where we always have to sit in traffic."
R: “OK, good, then it was just a dream. I just had a dream last night.”

We're just sayin'....Iris

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ma' Wah Kee Redux

Have you ever eaten a raisin still on the vine? Don’t lie. There is almost no one I know who has ever even seen them. Yes, they are just dried grapes—but still on the vine? What a treat. And would you have ever expected to be introduced to them in Milwaukee?

It’s a city that continues to surprise me. If it was warmer and on the East Coast, I would consider a move. These tiny morsels of total sweetness – “raisin d’etres!” were presented to us on beautifully constructed silver fruit tray which Joe Kurth, the manager of the Pfister Hotel sent to us as a welcoming gift last Friday.
raisin d'etre

As you know by a previous blog, we love the Pfister. It might be our favorite hotel anywhere in the US – and we have been to lots of hotels. I mean we love Marriott, and most Four Seasons, but in terms of history and elegance, swell photos of previous Wisconsin Governors, good service and gracious personnel, you just don’t get better than the Pfister.

We were back in Milwaukee because David opened another Bob Marley show ( from Soul Rebel) at the VP Gallery, in the historic Hardware District of the city. The gallery is owned by Bill Appleby, who is a guy with a vision and great energy. There were 700 visitors on the first night – Gallery Walk Night. And surely, more to come since it will be showing until April 2010. (You can wait until the Spring to see it). the eyes of Bob Marley

The weekend was terrific. We were joined by our good friend Tom Herman, who grew up in Milwaukee but lives in Boston. Anyway, on Saturday morning he took us on a tour of his Milwaukee. He knows more about the history of the city than the founding fathers, but they probably didn’t have as much fun as he did. It was hilarious. If you go to David Burnett’s Vimeo page, you can join us for some of those magic moments. (Not posted just yet – stay tuned.)

The day only got better and in the afternoon we were joined by Barbara and Cal Lawton. It was really cold, but we ventured out to a revival of the Milwaukee PBS radio show, “Hotel Milwaukee”. The show was on for eight years then off for eight years, and like “Prairie Home Companion” the script is folksy but the show also provides a venue for new local talented musicians. The event was a fundraiser for an Americorps program called City Year. Pam Percy, the producer did a remarkable job and it was quite successful. After the show ended people stayed to drink and dance but we were famished so we went to one of our favorite local places, Buckley’s – which has great food in an intimate setting. (The desserts, especially the cheese cake were sensational.)

We were so full when we got up this morning that breakfast was out of the question. So we all gathered near the fireplace in the hotel lobby for coffee and, since Barbara and Cal also got a fruit and cheese platter – to munch on that. We just sat around talking about silly stuff and reading the NYTimes (also silly stuff). What a pleasant way to spend the morning. Sorry, Tina, we DID run off with your TIMES puzzle.
Barbara and Tina (pre "TIMES" theft)
After not having breakfast, we were off to the Milwaukee airport (named after General Mitchell – quick, does anyone know who he was, and what he was known for?) where we knew we could ‘recombobulate’ without any stress. What is remarkable about this airport is that even in these times of terrorist threats, when negative over-reaction often takes the place of common sense, this airport still has a sense of humor and treats people like they are welcome customers, dare I say guests, rather than part of a conspiracy. It is an experience to which you look forward, rather than dread. Newark and Detroit could really take a lesson from Milwaukee.

The flight was fine (those Midwest chocolate chip cookies are THE best)

and we looked forward to a quiet night of football (Go Jets!) and the Golden Globes. All in all, we should all have more weekends like this. We’re just sayin’…. Iris

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Which is Worse?

which is worse--or a new name

There was a chance that I was going to write about a New Year and family and changes, but in the realm of change—I changed my mind.  There’s just too much good gossip in the political world, and I’m all about piling on. 

Which one of the following do you think is the most appalling?  Revelations about Elizabeth Edwards as bitch or an out of touch Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who has said over and over , (well maybe just over), that  he has apologized to the President and everyone who was within the sound of his voice. Or how about reports that the newly released Richard Nixon papers confirm his hatred for the  media and what he called the “Kennedy culture”.  This included nasty comments about Lincoln Center, which he thought was a horrible monstrosity.  And modern art in embassies which he considered “incredibly atrocious”. 

There is no pressure here but in case you are trying to answer the question, it’s not even close.  No, I’m not going to provide you with a definitive answer.  My job is to inspire and entertain not to educate, but let’s do a quick analysis— in other words, my take. 

Richard Nixon is dead.  I know this for a fact, even though he didn’t lie in State in the Capital, and we couldn’t put a stake through his heart to make sure he was gone.  There is no new news here.  It’s simply a rehashing of everything we already knew.  It reminds me of the time Amb. Harriman called me because she wanted advice about how to respond to questions about a “tell all” book about her life.  First of all, I was crazy about Pamela Harriman.  She was wonderfully generous, hard working and fun to be with, so I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.  (Also I had a gorgeous suite in the Residence in Paris whenever I visited—staying in her favor had many rewards.)  At the same time, I thought it was important to keep things in perspective.  I advised her to say nothing.  No comments whatsoever, because whatever she said would make news.  Additionally, I knew that there wasn’t going to be much interest in which dead guys she slept with hundreds of years before. 

Harry Reid has no personality.  He is certainly not my idea of a leader—Majority or otherwise.  His voice is without expression or power and his demeanor, merely mush meandering, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. My guess is that Harry simply didn’t know the term “Negro” was no longer PC.  My mother doesn’t remember that either – no matter how many times I remind her.  It’s not necessarily a racist thing (it can be), it’s an age thing.  When Harry was growing up he probably called Black people “Negroes” .  He probably didn’t see many people who were different than he, so he is simply unpractised and out of touch.  His other statement, “Obama won because he was light skinned”  is probably no worse than saying he is  handsome, a hunk, and very sexy.  But race is still a touchy subject and truthfully even in 2010, one we are still not allowed to touch. 

Moving on, to Elizabeth Edwards who behaved badly on the campaign trail—and with regard to campaign political policy in general.  The cover of New York Magazine shouts about “The shocking untold you-can’t-make- it-up story of the fall of John Edwards."  Huh?  I haven’t yet read the new John Heilmann nad Mark Halperin book “Game Change”.  There is almost nothing in the excerpt that hasn’t been revealed in some public forum.  In fact, when asked why he conducted himself in such a hideous manner, (having the affair with the videographer in front of his wife and staff), he said “Because I could.”   Everyone knew that Elizabeth was determined to continue the campaign, regardless of her health or her husband’s behavior.  And although she was the wounded party, no one ever accused her of being “nice”.  The candidate's wife is never “nice”,  It’s just not a First Lady quality.  So again, there’s nothing new here, although there is certainly a great deal more of what we already knew.  It is salacious and gossipy and amusing, and like any piece of non-fiction with these qualities, worth buying.   My question is, since most of the media were aware of all this, were they just waiting until he was nominated to discuss it with the public. 

As I said, I’m not going to tell you which I think wins the contest, but what is worth considering is why any discussion, about any of these stories is worth the time it takes to talk about them.  We're just sayin'...Iris

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Which Lang Syne?

On Saturday, when we went to our favorite new Dim Sum restaurant in NY (Marks Duck House remains our favorite in the world), we asked if we might see the dinner menu. We have been searching for a place where we could enjoy a Peking Duck (and why isn’t it called a Beijing duck?) And we thought, since Marks has excellent Dim Sum and an amazing Peking duck, this might be the same with Jing Fong. We tried to figure out who of the 20 male hosts to question (there is a hierarchy of service people in this fine eating establishment). Male hosts wear dark suits, and do things like translate the food on carts and handle the money. Waiters wear yellow jackets and bring you drinks and items from the menu. The women on carts wear something similar but are clearly not as important. We think they might be working on commission – they get something for every dish you buy. We think this because a bewildered father and two grown sons sitting next to us, had no idea what was going on in this vast chaotic place. All they knew was that some woman pushing a cart had insisted they try chicken feet, tripe in some sauce and meat dumplings. I called one of the guys in suits over and remedied that situation. Anyway, the host said, “No,” we couldn’t see the dinner menu. Really? I thought. What could possibly be on the evening menu that couldn’t be shared in the afternoon. The mystery continues. Anyway, it’s a great place as long as you get there by 12:30, don’t mind sharing a table with strangers (we love this), and are fairly aggressive about what you like and don’t like.

Moving on, or back – because I really didn’t share our New Years with you. We were invited (for $75 a person) to have dinner at the Boat House at Central Park with about 40 people, most of whom we did not know. This may sound less than inviting but it was great fun and totally without stress. (Especially after years of preparing a party for about 20). The food was unexpectedly good, (especially after years of cooking for at least 20.) The wine was pretty reasonable, (if not as inexpensive as my house). Even the people we did not know were fun – Thanks to Lulu and Francesca who did the guest list. But the best thing, other than making it to midnight with no trouble (I was still eating my entrée at 11:50), was that there were fireworks on the Central Park Reservoir, a minute after 12am.
The fireworks were not big like July 4th in DC or those on the Hudson in NY. But they were beautiful and elegant, My favorite fireworks are those that either make the sky glitter or look like ice falling from a winter tree. There were plenty of those. And then there were the red ones that look like burning embers and blue that make me think of Hannukah and the gold that shine so bright it hurts your eyes. And there was very little smoke to detract from the dreamlike aura of the light. They went on for about 20 minutes. Long enough to enjoy but not so long they got boring. The whole presentation was magical.

When the time came to sing Auld Lang Syne the traditional Scottish New Years’ ballad, that has never made any sense to me. Here are a few verses, if you figure it out let me know (the funnier, the better):

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you'll buy your pint cup !
and surely I'll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

Originally, I thought I’d say no to the invitation but as the clock passed midnight, and there was lot’s of singing, kissing, and hugging, and an entire table populated by people wearing lit up fiberoptic deally-boppers, I knew this was the beginning of a remarkable New Year. We’re just sayin’…. Iris

Monday, January 04, 2010

Another Missed Opportunity

It seems we live in a world of missed opportunity. It was said of Yassir Arafat, that he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and while he may have been the prince of “miss,” the folks who decide security policy at airports, and the broader struggle to get a grip on terrorism, must be right behind. Ever since the 9/11 attacks over nine years ago, there has been an oscillating sense of what security is. We go from Orange to Red, to Yellow, and there isn’t one American in a hundred who could tell you what the differences are between the different color levels. (Including me.) Yet, as the supposed clamp downs occur, with some regularity, in the ongoing attempts to fight the last threat instead of the next, travelers are treated like dumb beasts, told what to do and how to do it, and essentially given zero encouragement to be part of the solution. In fact, to the contrary, the whole security structure is designed to attempt to intimidate the traveling public, seemingly unmindful of the fact that people whose mission it is to create havoc tend not be actually follow the ridiculous rules for the rest of us. It’s as if the only thing that matters is that the people who actually have some respect for the rule of law are the only ones the rules apply to. The bad guys kind of do their thing, playing by their own skewed set of rules.

There was a time right after 9/11 when the vast majority of the world was sympathetic to what had happened here, and had we had the tiniest sense of smarts, we could have leveraged that good will to our own, and that of the civilized world’s betterment. But the administration went crazy with organizational ideas run amok (to bring all the security agencies under one banner: Homeland Security, where they would be able to continue to not speak to each other), and above all – the absolute greatest missed opportunity in my opinion, to treat each and every passenger like a potential felon. They attempted, and have pretty much succeeded, to cow the traveling public to endure some of the most ridiculous screening procedures ever devised. Not only was the government unable to maintain a long term sense of cooperation and sympathy from other countries, but treating our own citizens as if each was a terrorist in waiting, we managed to fritter away the greatest potential power within the country: the righteous strength of the people at large. We were all supposed to shut our traps, and say “yessir” when subjected to these inefficient searches, and in doing so, we gave up the one thing which really could have made air travel in this country safe again. The ability of the people who had the most to lose – the flying public – to get involved.

There were a few reports in late September 2001, as air travel began to start up again with regularity, of pilots beseeching the passengers on their planes to maintain a certain vigilance, and that if something untoward were to happen, that they, the passengers were in fact the only real line of defense. Who, more than the flying public, wants a plane to arrive without incident? Certainly no one wearing a blue uniform and working for an hourly wage. For those folks it remains a job. Some are, yes, more committed to their task than others, but in the end, every change made by the TSA has been an attempt to keep something which already happened from perhaps occurring again. I’m sure there are a few things which have not been made public, which have helped in the search of stability in the air. But for the most part, the desire of the traveling public to be a part of, a major part of the formula, has been totally squandered. We like to think we are a country of greatness, though a little stroll through the America of Walmart malls might make you reconsider that. We watch Band of Brothers, and Saving Private Ryan, and we appreciate the sacrifice and strength of that Greatest Generation. We know about the troops who endured the battles of Khe Sanh and Hamburger Hill. And now, because the government, neither the Bush Administration nor the Obama Administration, has no faith in that same public, no faith in the people, no faith in what it was that once made this country great, we have to fly on airplanes with no blankets on our laps, no magazines, no ipods, no nothing. They turn off the little maps which show where the plane is. They cut off the movies and the internet. And like meek lambs, having waited innumerable hours for delayed flights, people say the stupidest things like “as long as it’s for our security, I don’t mind the wait.” Yeah, those are really the attitudes of the people who parachuted into Ste. Mere Eglise, and withstood a siege at Khe Sanh. I haven’t had to fly in the last couple of weeks, and am glad of it, because I know that the ridiculous attempts at fighting the last fight are only worse than before.

On a trip to China two years ago, a young man went a little bananas, and I awoke from a mild sleep to see a half dozen passengers restraining him, holding him down and getting him cuffed. They weren’t air marshals. They were just folks. The kind of folks you want to travel with. The kind of folks who take charge. The kind of folks who don’t whine, but just DO. The ones we think of what might have once been the kind of people we called Americans, people who just do the right thing because it’s the right thing.

When you get on a plane, you should be able to look around, find a few like minded folks, and almost without any words exchanged, know that if the shit hits the fan, they are the people you can rely on to try and bring things under control. We have spent so much time and effort delegating responsibility to everyone else, be it school boards, the police, the mall cops, or TSA, that we’ve forgotten how to get involved when something goes wrong. It’s time to get over it. The only that will save air passengers if something goes down are the anger and and righteous action of right-thinking people, not a TSA person in blue, who is now five hundred miles away. It’s not too late for the President to actually address the people, and ask for our help, not just our acquiescence. People are ready to be involved. This is the single greated untapped resource of the last decade. People know that in the end, they have to stand up for themselves. In a world where it has taken twice as long as the whole of World War II just to try and figure out what the 9/11 Memorial should look like, the chances of any rational behaviour by the government is probably too much to hope for. But in the end, my money will be on the beefy guy in row 13 who once played college football, the biker in row 24, and the lawyer who goes to the gym every day in row 18. When push comes to shove that will be the only team we have. Don’t let that power and strength just waste away. Let’s try and take care of ourselves. We’re just sayin’….David

Sunday, January 03, 2010

As We Enter 2010

Dear Friends,

We have been remiss by not writing as much, or at all for the last few weeks. Our lives have been so chaotic with my attempted change in career, and David’s busy book schedule. Thank God, Bob Marley will never die, at least not in the visual sense.

Anyway, we wanted, as so many of our Christmas card friends do, share what we and our family have accomplished in 2009. We’re not used to doing this so please ‘bare’ with us, (in the revealing sense) while we share what our lives have been over the past year.

As the year began and we finished our mail order lobster, David and I, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. And then, Jordan Kai went on the road with “Seussical”, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. We had a new grandchild, Rosie, blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah And our grandson Zachary remains terrific, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah very exciting blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Seth and Joyce, are great living in Plymouth – too far for everyday visits. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. David published another book called “44 Days”. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Iris blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah was Associate Producer on “Hurricane” blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ;blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah And we don’t want to forget. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Bob Marley blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah sends love and thanks, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.