Warblers, tiny migrants, are flying across the path but quickly disappear. My wife spots one in a tall bush. Another woman also has her binoculars on it but I can’t locate the bird. After it flies, my wife tells me the little bird was black and white with a yellow head. The woman identifies it as a chestnut-sided warbler. It’s uncommon here, the first migrant of the morning and I missed it!
“A grasshopper walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender looks at him and says “You know we have a drink named after you.” The grasshopper replies, “You have a drink named Stanley?”
That is the kind of humor you will be subjected to in the new show on West 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. Old Jews Telling Jokes is the name of the hilarious production.
Having started teaching fourth grade in 1966 (including the “new math”) through 2003, I share your views about new (and improved?) curriculum initiatives—especially with every new incoming superintendent.
The June 18 meeting of the POB school board was Superintendent Gerry Dempsey’s last meeting. While it’s sad to say goodbye to all those who are leaving the district (and there were quite a few retirees), I will especially miss Mr. Dempsey’s dry sense of humor at the board meetings. A few years ago, when the state was doing what it typically does and taking forever to get something done, Dempsey said that while he didn’t like being cranky on general principle, he was going to allow himself to “entertain some crankiness” regarding the situation.
There’s a show on the Food Network where pastry chefs compete for the title of “Sweet Genius.” Sweet Genius, hosted by cake maestro Ron Ben-Israel, challenges the chefs to make desserts with unusual ingredients like cactus, aloe vera, hot sauce and even baby formula. Nine times out of ten, the chefs try to hide the weird ingredients in some kind of batter or frosting, thinking they’ve beat the system, only to be devastated when Chef Ron says—with absolute, deadly seriousness—“I can’t taste the cactus in your cake….”
It’s incredibly silly and maybe even stupid, but I’m hooked: I love the show, and I even love watching Chef Ron stretch the concept of campiness to previously unheard of levels. It wasn’t always thus.
As your birthdays come at you with greater regularity, you (or at least I) become a little depressed. It is nothing serious or life threatening, but it leaves a mark on you.
I first noticed it while getting in and out of a car. I used to spring in and out like a jack-in-the-box and go about my business swimmingly. Now I feel like a salted pretzel that is being unwound.
Covering the latest happenings at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library can be dangerous for me; not physically, but in the sense that once I get to the library, I pretty much never want to leave. After conducting my business, I rack my brain trying to think up an excuse for how I can stay there, perhaps relaxing with a stack of magazines in the Roberta S. Kaufman Reading Room, for the rest of the day and avoid my other responsibilities completely. I haven’t come up with a satisfactory excuse yet, but I’m open to suggestions.
In sacred Ebbets Field many years ago, there was a sign in right field. It was about four feet tall and it stated “Hit Sign—Win Suit.” It was an advertisement for Abe Stark’s Men’s Clothing Store. Any batted ball that hit the sign would get the hitter an expensive suit from Brooklyn’s leading clothier.
The one impediment was a tenacious guard who played right field, Carl Furillo. Carl has been called the best defensive right fielder in the history of baseball by some. He was known as the “Reading Rifle” because of his powerful throwing accuracy and because he hailed from Reading, Pennsylvania, son of an Italian immigrant family.
On a warm morning this spring I’m at Alley Pond Park hoping to see migrating songbirds. At a familiar cattail pond I’m taken aback because it is little more than half its usual size due to the lack of rain. On a stick in the shallow water there is a lone male red-winged blackbird negotiating it like a tightrope walker. At least one female mallard and two males are in the pond. The sides of the males’ heads’ have an iridescent purple hue. Some mourning doves stand at the water’s edge. I’ve not seen doves here before, and I wonder why?
On a stone bathroom there’s a male house sparrow with a rich chestnut-colored head. On its upper white breast is a cluster of black dots, which will become a solid mass and cover its throat during the breeding season. In its bill is what looks to be a discarded piece of clear cellophane that was once part of a snack wrapper. Is it to become part of a nest inside this small structure?
After the pom-poms, the drums and the uniformed marchers have gone, we are left with our inner thoughts and memories.
Many years ago, my son Gregg and I went over to Pinelawn Cemetery on Wellwood Avenue in Farmingdale with a flat box of flowers. We placed these flowers on the graves of fallen servicemen. It was Gregg’s idea and I was more than happy to accompany him on his holy mission.
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