Thursday, January 15, 2015

Questions for the New Year

There are several questions for which I would like to have answers:

Who named  the crap in your nose boogers?

How does anyone know that a clam is happy?

Who is running the Communication office at the White House?

How does the head of the FBI, who was in Paris, not attend the largest rally in the Western world since WW2.

Wait, I’m just getting started.

Why is there any hesitation when it comes to calling breast cancer an epidemic?

What is the easiest way to get away with murder in NYC?    OK, I’ll tell you.   Hitting a pedestrian with a car…  
No joke, there are no consequences – it’s "clearly the fault of the pedestrian." Ask Cy Vance

At what point do you stop calling your grown up children, “the kids.”

Why is silence golden, when the only way to get anything done is to have a voice.
Did anyone who ever had a party think the more the merrier?

OK out there. I challenge you to come up with more relevant question.  We're just sayin'...Iris

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

the Basler Bomber (a DC-3 with a zillion hours, from

Everyone should have a cousin Eden in their lives.   It's lovely when people express their sorrow at a loss. Like our Aunt Esther, who died last week at 102. But my cousin Edie doesn't just express her sorrow. She is elegant and spiritual in her sorrow. Like her comment about Aunt Esther….

May her name be a blessing among the righteous.

 Wow. That's exactly right. Thank you my cousin..

And talk about a blessing. I have been truly blessed, but there were a couple of times I thought that there was no one looking out for me.  Today was one and in 1976 was the other.  The aircraft was called the Basler Bomber. Probably because it was Basler Airlines.  We had leased this aircraft for the Udall campaign because we couldn’t afford much else. We were flying fro NY to New Hampshire. Not a long flight. So when we realized it was taking much longer than it should we started to get concerned.  All the “A”  list press was with us because by that time, they thought we might actually come in first instead of  our usual place, which was second.

I was sitting with the candidate, Mo Udall, and I asked, “are we going to be Ok?”  He was a former pilot.  And he looked at me and said, “Sorry sweet child. I think we're going down.”  Mo always called me sweet child, which made everyone laugh, but not that night.  We were reported missing over New York or New Hampshire or Wisconsin. It is impossible to remember.  All I knew was that we were going to die somewhere. And no one would care about anyone but Mo. I hated the idea of being an after thought. Like “today we lost a great political figure, Morris K Udall. On the plane were all these great reporters, and a few insignificant staff (me).”   We ended up landing in New York or New Hampshire or somewhere in between. And we were alive.

We took off from Ft Lauderdale and got to about 30,000 feet when there was a horrible noise. It sounded like the plane was going to fall apart.  It was a deep-throated vibrato, with much sympathetic shaking, both on the plane and in its seats.   I asked David if we were going to die, and he said no.  It was iffy as to whether or not I believed him. We headed back to Ft Lauderdale Airport with hope that we would make it.  We did.  And then we rebooked our flight, rented a car and waited two hours for our luggage.

With respect to Jet Blue, they were not very helpful.  OK, they did not expect to have to cancel our flight. But they were totally unprepared to answer any questions, like “how do we retrieve our luggage”, or “are there any other flights going to Newburgh?”  You would think that once they cancel our flight, they might have determined that people want to have information.  And complimentary hotel or accomodation?  You must be joking. This is the era of “treat people like crap, so we don’t owe them anything.” 

When we flew on the Baessler Bomber, they never knew where or when we would be, but at least they pretended to know if we were going to stay alive. Today was a truly terrible experience. Frightening and unsettling. We have a will and all those things you need to have when you die. But somehow that was not reassuring. All we wanted to do was be on the ground.  And eventually that happened.  So we are going to fly tomorrow. Same flight, a day later. We are not afraid to fly. We are not afraid to die. But we agree that it would be terribly inconvenient at this point in our lives.  We prefer to be alive and well and able to decide when and where we end our lives. To be honest, we cannot leave the family at this point. They are just not ready to make it on their own.  And that's reason enough to defy any odds and fly from anywhere to anyplace.  We’re just Sayin’…Iris

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

the Boys and the Girls

Lounging in the Girls' yard, and ... "would you like to go in front of me?"
This blob is dedicated to all my Emerson friends in Boca, with whom we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or gave us excellent suggestions  about activities which we pretty much ignored. Except in the case of “the Girls strawberry patch”  and “The Boys,” (I guess it's a farmers market), which I would call a free for all.  (Apparently this was a family with many kids who needed to serve the public.)

                         A shopper dashing thru the line, chaos in the Produce section 
and the Girls' vintage '51 Oldsmobile
 And why, you might ask, is it a free for all?  The people who shop there use both their cars and their shopping baskets, as weapons.  Visiting South Florida, like visiting  Palm Springs, is always an adventure.  (If you live in the East those people who want to get away from winter weather go to Florida, and if you live in the West you go to Palm Springs.) I know, one is a state and the other a city, and although they have some things in common, the character of the places is totally different. Let's use “The Boys” (TB) as an example.  It is unimaginable to think that the people in Palm Springs would ever behave like the people who shop at TB.

A little about the store. It is a mid-sized market with great fresh produce, a first rate bakery, meat and fish (I’m assuming so, because there wasn’t a chance we were going to get close), and every food product ever sold in this country or around the world.  No Joke.  There were things I saw there I had seen in the souks in Morocco, the market in China, and the border towns in Mexico.   It was fascinating and equally chaotic.  Everyone wants to be first. It doesn't matter what, or where first, just first. First to park, first in line, first to select a vegetable, just First.

Everyone knows there has to be a second, even a third.  But not these people. I doubt that anyone in that store suffered through the depression. But they must have heard stories and imagined it.  Personally, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, many of these folks are certifiably nuts.  There are a few people who laughed about other shoppers hitting them with a cart, or pushing their way into the front. But these folks have experience, they know what to expect.  We did not. Finally, thankfully, we finished walking through the people-maze and got into the check out line.

There was a guy in back of us had a very few items and I told him to go ahead. He asked me to repeat myself 3 times. “No really,” I said. “Get in front of me. It will probably never happen to you again, so go for it.”  He thanked me and suggested we visit “The Girls”, on the next block.
the chill factor at the Girls

the "cawing" never stops...

We drove instead  of walking, because we wanted to live. If you have ever driven in South Florida, you know why. We decided to take his advice.

It was peaceful and pleasant.  Just like in real life, the Boys was terrifying and the Girls was delightful. This was some family!  There were exotic multi-hued birds singing, beautiful parrots of all shapes and colors. There were farm animals, turtles,  and giant gold fish.  Although they didn't have strawberries to pick, they did have tomatoes and starfruit.  The only noise was the parrots talking, and little children laughing.

They were both places I would encourage everyone to experience at least once. Be sure to get a key-lime milk shake at the Girls. In addition, across the street is  Brooklyn Water-Bagels. The bagels are great. The staff knows what they need to do when you ask them to ‘scoop.’ The iced coffee is amazing (hint: the ice cubes themselves are made from coffee!)  and the owner is charming.  One caveat, however:  all the customers want to be First. I didn't mind being 3rd. We’re just sayin’… Iris