Archive for July, 2008

Get Rich Quick

Everyone has fantasies of instant wealth.  Here are a few of mine:  All Advertisements TV – People say there’s too much hype on the tube. However, the distasteful craziness is in the programming, not the ads. Imagine a channel with one great ad after another. Also, there could be themed hours such as cars, movies, [...]

New Caryopsis Blues

Sitting on the table in the doctor’s office, listening to her run through the issues of weight and diet (my first amber light), I suddenly realized that, on a certain level at an acute angle in fluorescent light, I’d eaten unwisely all my life.  As she droned, I pondered the miscues, searching my mind for [...]

What Is Germany?

Many years ago, as a result of library research on the great German poet Else Lasker-Schuler, I came across many essays about her and her colleagues.  What struck me most was their unshakeable love of Germany.  Even after the Holocaust, despite their Jewish identity and living in exile with the memories of dead friends and [...]

Leonard Dubkin

Pity that few remember this remarkable nature writer.  Most likely due to the oversight of Chicago as a serious literary center by the New York publishing world since the 1920s when he was beginning.  Dubkin specialized in birds, insects and bats in cities, which is, ironically, trendy now.  Googling him yields only a few used [...]

Fordhook Open House

We held the July 12 Open House at Heronswood’s new gardens in Doylestown, PA, welcoming over 430 people from across the northeast and mid-Atlantic states.  We conducted seven garden tours, sold over a thousand rare plants and gave away a young hydrangea to the first 250 guests.  It was a great day, though very hot.  [...]

Fifty Desert Island Books

The “stranded isle” test shows surprising results. Alas, only fifty will fit in my tiny hut, from classics to ephemera. Gone are the thrillers, breakthroughs, manifestos, philosophy and feuilletons; they don’t compare to identity, “imago”, the rough outline and telling detail. However, I include a few strays. Here is what’s left of a gaudy life. [...]

Dr. Sholom A. Singer

Sholom Singer taught me Medieval History at DePaul University in 1974 and 1975.  He was probably in his mid-sixties, with the light blue cotton shirts Chicago guys used to wear buttoned up to the collar with no tie, and black trousers.  He was a fantastic teacher:  erudite, tough and “old school”. Once he interrupted me [...]