Since my children are all grown and have children of their own, I have no great use for my basement floor anymore. It is usually musty and dank down there and I often have to empty the filled dehumidifiers. Therefore, I don’t go down there much.
But the other day when I ventured down to the lower floor, I spied something of value. It was a picture of my father, mother, sister and myself. It was created by a Korean artist in 1959. I was stationed at Yongsan in Seoul, Korea and at the time I was feeling a bit homesick. I requested a picture of my family be sent to me, which it was. I entered the artist’s studio and he and I planned the picture while he sat on his haunches, Korean-style, and we designed the operation.
New Yorkers are debating the many serious issues related to the extraction of natural gas from shale deposits that underlie parts of upstate New York. Recent news stories indicate that the state Department of Environmental Conservation may soon begin to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing in our state on a limited basis.
We need a program that will ensure New Yorkers are protected from harm and cleanup costs are covered if contamination from drilling happens. We simply cannot afford to cross our fingers and hope accidents won’t occur.
Here it is, the middle of August, and the world has lost all its pleasures of sports entertainment.
Gone are the Olympics with all of its competitive juices in an international arena. Gone are the lovely little girls dancing on a 4-inch beam and flying and twirling across the mat doing fantastic tricks. Gone are the heavily-muscled young men whacking a volleyball across the net and whacking each other in congratulations. Where are the sturdy, lean runners sprinting at record-breaking speed and winning the silver and gold? What can replace all this action on the channels of our poor, depleted television sets?
I would like to comment under my rights of the First Amendment, and speaking as an individual, and not for the Syosset Board of Education.
I see the Syosset school board reported on often in the papers and other media. I realize newspapers and reporters often focus on or report the highly controversial items, and it bothers me when selective comments only are reported. People I come into contact focus on those items and are not always informed of the entire situation. Here are many comments about what’s going on at the board meetings.
Last Saturday, beautiful Lorraine and I went into Manhattan to see a double header. No, not two baseball games or two movies; we went in intent on seeing two plays, on or off Broadway.
Thanks to the Long Island Rail Road and getting a parking spot at the Hicksville station, we made the 11:53 a.m. train to Penn Station. After the train, we stood on a huge taxi line, but it moved quickly, so we jumped into a cab to speed us to 54 East 59th Street. The play we wanted to see was Harrison, Texas, or three plays by Horton Foote.
It was the summer of 1950.
I had just been dropped off in Monticello, NY from my father’s pride and joy, his forest green 1947 Buick. I was venturing forth to find an elusive summer job. A pair of black waiter’s pants was draped over my arm. I was heading for an employment agency in Monticello, the queen city of the Borscht Belt.
It’s a sunny, mild morning at The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens. My friend Walter and I are here to walk the paths and view the ponds for avian life. We quickly start to notice small things.
Catbirds fly across a gravel path, land on bushes and disappear in the undergrowth. A male yellow warbler with red streaking on its breast lands on a tree as the leaves wave in a strong breeze. In a marsh that looks out to the Cross Bay Bridge, three male red-winged blackbirds rise from the grass and two chase each other. As they come close, their characteristic epaulets look more orange than red. I wonder if it isn’t the light and Walter wonders if they aren’t yet mature. Minutes later two pairs of Canada geese fly low overhead honking loudly. As they pass overhead their bulky bellies and long extended necks move toward the marsh and quickly are gone. These birds, commonplace on the ground, look bold in flight.
As we scan the local newspaper’s movie section, we see that all the movie houses have basically the same attractions. They have films for teenagers and some for the 6-to-10-year-old crowd. Usually, there’s nothing for the discretionary, discerning and discriminating group, those in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
Last week as I looked for a sleeper Friday night film I spied a movie called Trishna. On further examination I read that it was the Thomas Hardy story of Tess of the D’Urbervilles transposed into modern India. The astonishing switch from Hardy’s fictional Wessex in Dorchester is truly amazing.
I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the Marc Chagall exhibit at the Nassau County Museum of Art for this week’s cover story. Chagall’s whimsical style may not be to everyone’s tastes, but he was definitely unique, and the optimism on display in many of his paintings is infectious. All this I expected, however I was surprised to discover how amateurish a lot of his figure drawing appeared to be.
Now, before I’m tarred and feathered by a wandering cabal of art historians, let me clarify what I mean. A lot of great artists were capable of drawing detailed, correctly proportioned figures and simply chose not to; Matisse immediately comes to mind. The fact that some of Chagall’s subjects don’t feature realistic anatomy doesn’t mean that the artist was incapable of drawing at a high level of realism, had he wanted to.
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