Monday, July 30, 2018



We just returned from ten days in Michigan, where I visited with family, having lost my dear brother-in-law Stanley Halprin. It was truly an emotional experience for all of us. 

Getting Together

I also attended the 65thanniversary of my high school graduation. Amazingly, some of my classmates from Central High School’s 1953 class were unrecognizable, for they had grown older, some were friendly, and some were not. One, who had subscribed to my Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator, bitterly complained that he had not received an issue in some time, which was quite logical, since I hadn’t written one in some time. When I returned home, I found a check from another fellow graduate, who renewed a subscription that had not yet run out. It was a treat to talk with others whom I had missed at the 60thanniversary celebration. It was then agreed to have reunions more often, for our numbers were diminishing, but not the animosity felt for me by one disgruntled graduate, who wrote stinging responses to anything I wrote that didn’t toe the far right line on either our president or Israel’s.

In May, before the reunion, he sent me the following, brief email after reading something I wrote, “ I will have suicde(SIC) pills forU, or will gladly pay your way out of the country, if you cannot handle him!!! please do not bother talking to me at the reunion!!!!”

The Past Has Passed
That seemed to be as direct as possible invitation to avoid him, and although our eyes met at the celebration across a crowded room, we avoided any face-to-face exchange of words. Near the end of the gala, we were walking parallel to one another about ten feet apart in opposite directions, when he raised his arm, pointed at me, and uttered, “Harvey Gotliffe.” I, in turn, raised my arm pointed at him and said his name.

It felt good communicating with him in person one last time, since we had known each other for more than sixty-eight years, and who knows when we will meet again.

One Letter Off Truly 
Changes the Meaning
John James, GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Michigan, declares himself to be “A True Conservative Republican,” and one campaign mailing emphasized that, “John James and President Trump Are Committed to Securing Our Borders.”

In the last line, he strongly states, “We must protect our borders and DEFUND sanctuary cities.”

DEFUND is in bright red type because someone on John’s team, including the candidate himself, neglected to proofread the copy of his previous mailing. The following explanation appeared on the bottom of James’ second mailing. “A2Z Printing regrets a printing error on a previous piece of mail you received falsely saying John James will “Defend Sanctuary Cities.” This was a mistake by A2Z Printing and does not reflect John James’ true position to DEFUND Sanctuary Cities. We are responsible for this error and not the candidate.”

Perhaps the candidate is just following his party’s leader in saying something, changing his mind, and not meaning what he originally said.

Pence the Pontiff 
Don’t wish for Trump to leave office because he is bored, is tired of all the confrontations he initiates, wants to play more golf, or will be impeached. If so the next in line is Michael Pence, who is nearer to God than thee, followed by the astute Mitch McConnell, who mumbles in an incomprehensible twang.

Here’s a non-biased, honest, unprejudiced opinion piece from the GOP’s favorite print medium, the New York Times. Notice how Pence blends in with his co-religionists.

Newer Friendships
May Last Longer
 Back in 1963 or so, when I was driving an MG-TD, I was at an inner-city party at Cliff Frasier’s house in Detroit. There I met a Black man with the Jewish last name of Abrams, who was driving a Jaguar. We clicked together as auto buffs, jazz enthusiasts, and relatively simple human beings without any pretenses.

At one time, he and I lived a few blocks apart around Wayne State University. Later, when Tyrone lived in New York City in the 1960s, and my first wife Chellie, daughter Amy and I lived in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, we would visit him in his East Village pad on the weekend. My wife enjoyed sleeping late, and when I ventured across the George Washington Bridge by myself one early Sunday morning, I was greeted at his door by two naked white chicks. They welcomed me in while Tyrone was getting bagels for a trip we eventually all took to a reservoir for a swim in the exclusive, all-white, Westchester County suburb. Passersby gawked at us, infringing on their unoccupied waters.

When Tyrone would occasionally come to Ho-Ho-Kus when I was at work, my wife, daughter and Tyrone would shop at the small A & P down the block from our home. He’d carry my daughter on his shoulders as they strolled through the grocery store, and she would call him “Uncle Ty.” This so unnerved the locals, seeing a young white child atop the shoulders of a Black man, that they would give my wife a cold shoulder on any subsequent shopping trip.

Tyrone and I continued to stay in touch through the years, and he moved into his late Mother’s home in what was the Jewish section of Northwest Detroit. Whenever my current wife Carmen and I visited Detroit in recent years, we would get together at the Shangri-La Restaurant in the suburbs. This year, we shared a lunch at its locale around Wayne State’s campus, and although Dave Rambeau never showed, we enjoyed each other’s company once again.

When I told Tyrone that we wouldn’t be coming back to Detroit again, due to our aversion to flying, he poignantly said, “It’s been a good run.” It’s a shame that my finger pointing, reunion classmate couldn’t say the same thing. 

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