La Quinceañera and the Gringos

Reading Time: 7 minutes Although I lived, worked, and attended college in California for seven years in the 1970s, I’d never had an opportunity to visit Mexico. It wasn’t until 1983 when I returned to California with Sharon that a trip to Mexico became viable.  For some stupid reason we chose to go to Cabo San Lucas. It wasn’t the […]

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Tarzan vs. Gutstein

Reading Time: 5 minutes Aunt Gladys was ten years older than my mother. Mom looked up to her, idolized her, and at times tried to emulate her. This was not always easy. My mother was just a girl when Gladys was already out of the house and living the exciting and envious life of a flapper. That’s how my […]

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Wedding Bandleader: Part One

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s a place in heaven for wedding musicians. You just have to go through the kitchen to get there. An old saying. (I may have made it up.) I remember the first wedding I played. It all started innocently enough when one of my patients, Susan, discovered during our after-exam chat that I was a […]

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The Kid Who Dropped the Ball

Reading Time: 9 minutes For better or worse, there is only one person in the world who thinks of me as a baseball player. And it is not I.  Joe Stephan was the ace winning pitcher on our little league team, the Wantagh Panthers. I was on that team for three years, but it was during the second year […]

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As Long as You’re in South America…

Reading Time: 5 minutes One of the advantages of practicing optometry in downtown Berkeley, California was the opportunity to meet people from every conceivable place on the spectrum of humanity. One moment I could be chatting with a Pulitzer Prize winner and an hour later I’d be airing out the exam room after working with a homeless street person. […]

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A Book Event in Berkeley

Reading Time: < 1 minute Catherine deCuir and I will be reading excerpts from our book, “The Rabbi Finds Her Way,” this SUNDAY, July 21 at 3 p.m. at Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley. Hope to see you there! #therabbifindsherway #afikomenjudaica

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A Performance of Sh’ma Koleinu

Reading Time: < 1 minute Choral Director Rita Lilly (right) led the Lafayette Christian Church choir this morning in a wonderfully sensitive performance of my composition, “Sh’ma Koleinu” (Hear Our Voice). I was honored to be present for the service as Pastor Steve Borgard spoke of the tragic shooting in Pittsburgh, and Rabbi Jay Asher LeVine from Temple Isaiah delivered […]

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A Slice and a Coke

Reading Time: < 1 minute This morning I looked at lifehacker.com as I do most mornings, and found a video episode of “How I Work,” which I particularly enjoyed. Scott Wiener operates scottspizzatours.com in NYC, and began his video with a reminiscence of how, as a boy, he’d bought his first lunch, a slice of pizza and a Coke, for […]

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Great to be Home

Reading Time: < 1 minute I want to thank my friends, old and new, for your caring support, for cheering me on, for your thoughtful comments, and for continuing to worry about me during the 170 days of my journey. This includes my friends and relatives, and classmates from Wantagh High School, Boston University, UC Berkeley, and CSU East Bay, […]

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First Class All the Way

Reading Time: 2 minutes Life is indeed different in First Class. Roger and I ate an early breakfast and we were out of the house at 7 am. He and his family own real estate developments and properties in New Jersey, and we visited them on the way to Newark airport, all the while trading stories. There’s something special […]

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