Sunday, August 31, 2008

They did so much for us all those years ago

It is customary for Jews to visit the graves of  deceased family members before the high holy days.  Today I took Karen, Lee and my mother to visit my grandparents graves at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Fairview, NJ.  There is an inconvenience involved since it takes over an hour to drive back and forth to spend about 15 minutes at the grave site.  But I think back to how my grandparents worked and sacrificed for me all those years ago.  My grandfather, Boruch Wagman, passed away in 1942 at age 49 7 years before my birth.  He did take his family from eastern Europe to the United States and worked as a baker.  My grandmother, Lena Wagman,  lived to about age 90, and died in 1979.  I always remember how she would stick her head outside her window waiting for me to come home from school to make lunch for me.  She had to be the greatest Jewish cook.  Today's visit was a little more painful since my Uncle Abe could not come.  Every year he flies from Wahington, DC.  We would pick up him at LaGuardia and drive to Fairview.  This year, at age 91, he just couldn't make it.  This especially saddened my mom.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Night Oldies vs the Mets - What should I do?

For the last two weeks I had to listen to recorded versions of Saturday Night Oldies.  However, the Mets are in a tight race in the National League East.  The Met game started at 7 PM.  What should I do?  Mark Simone announced that Dan Ingram will be interviewed after 9 PM.  Lee who is 20 years old and was not born when Dan appeared on WABC says he wants to listen to the interview.  Lee did listen to Dan when he did weekends on WCBS-FM.  I will listen to the show until the conclusion of the Dan Ingram interview.  If the Met game is close, I will watch that.  Karen and Lee who are watching it in the other room are advising me of the happenings at the game.  David Wright hit a two run homer as the Mets are leading 2-0.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Spotlight on Pete Fornatale

Pete Fornatale has to be one of my favorite radio personalities.  Please click on the link for more information.  Pete started his career as a Fordham student at WFUV but is most known for his time at WNEW-FM.  He also worked for a short time at WXRK when that station had a classic rock format.  From the mid 1980s to the Mid 1990s I listened to him every weekend when he hosted Saturday Morning Sixties and Mixed Bag on Sundays.  Some years ago he returned to WFUV where he now hosts Mixed Bag on Saturdays from 4 PM - 8 PM.  I am usually busy on Saturdays so I try to catch Pete whenever I can from 4 PM to 6 PM before Saturday Night Oldies.  Pete's shows are archived on WFUV's site.  I must say that Pete has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music that he plays.  Every 4 hour show is a theme set.  Pete has also authored several books.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lesser of Two Evils - A Subway Delay in the Morning

This morning I left my house at the usual time and took the #44 bus to Main Street in downtown Flushing.  When I arrived at the subway station I was told that the #7 Flushing line was terminating at Willets Point Shea Stadium since there was a power problem at the terminal.  There were buses running to the Shea Stadium station, but there were long lines.  I decided to walk about one mile to pick up the #7 train by Shea.  I arrived at work at 8:45 instead of 8:15.  In any event train delays are more bearable in the morning.  People are always tired and irritable on the way home.  The delay in the morning was the lesser of the two evils.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Spotlight on WFAN

I have listened to WFAN very irregularly over the years.  Let me briefly trace its history. It is not my intention to discuss the many personalities that have appeared there over the years.  Only July 1, 1987 WHN, a country station at 1050 AM went off the air and became WFAN, America's first all sports station.  It has carried ply by play of the Mets and several other New York/New Jersey sports teams for 21 years.  Risks must be taken in any business including radio.  I think it is safe to say that this risk paid off since WFAN is the number one billing station in New York.  I think every major radio market in the USA has at least one full-time sports station.  In October 1988 WFAN moved to 660 AM on the dial when WNBC went off the air.  The 660 dial position has a much better signal.  I usually listen to WFAN for only 20-30 minutes at a time since after a while the conversations become repetitious.  There are many regular callers such as Bruce in Bayside and Bruce in Flushing (not me!).  The Met games have appeared on WFAN since its inception.  The contract is up at the end of this season and there are rumors that the Mets will move to another station.  Hopefully they will stay at WFAN.

Listening to several genres of music today

Once a week instead of reading on the trains I bring my CD player with a radio.  When I am at my desk I can listen to the radio on my computer.  I must say today I listened to an eclectic mix of music:

WCBS-FM - oldies or should I say classic hits

WAXQ - classic rock

The Police - 1980s music

WBGO - Jazz

The Breeze - Adult Contemporary

XM Radio - The Village (folk music)  I even caught part of a re-run of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour

The Searchers - British oldies

Elmore James - Blues

XM Radio America Channel - country gold


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Experiences with Radio Station Call in contests

As a general rule, I don't bother with radio station call in contests.  There are just too many nuts trying to phone in whne the DJ says, the 11th call gets tickets to a concert or whatever.  Alan B and I are acquainted with a contest nut from eastern Queens.  Some years ago it was 7:30 AM on Sunday when I was on my way out the door to get the newspaper when Gary Clark of WCBS-FM announced a contest with a trivia question about the Temptations.  I answered correctly that the song he was looking for was "I Wish it Would Rain."  I won a Temptations concert video.  I think it was about 2003 on a Thursday night when I was listening to Holly Levis on WCBS-FM.  I phoned in and won concert tickets to the Righteous Brothers in Westbury.  It turned out to be one of the last performances by Bobby Hatfield who sadly passed away a few weeks later.  Back in the mid 1980s Bob Shannon and later Bobby Jay had a Tuesday night trivia contest.  There were no prizes, just the satisfaction of winning.  I usually had the right answer but was usually beaten out since back then I had a rotary dial phone.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Writer's block today

I just don't know what to write about today.  The bus was very empty this morning.  I guess many people are on vacation during this last weekend of the summer.  It is hard to believe that Labor Day is only a week away.  I was bored to death by the directional questions today.  Yawn!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bobby Jay's second appearance on WCBS-FM's Radio greats show

When WCBS-FM returned on July 12, 2007 one of my disappointments was that Bobby Jay was not re-hired.  I believe he still has a radio gig on Sirius Satellite Radio.  Bobby was certainly an asset to WCBS-FM for 20 years when he was let go when the managerial morons killed the oldies and adopted the dreaded Jack format which lasted for two years when the new management flipped to the cloassic hits format.  Every Sunday night the station features a "radio great".  Tonight is the second time that Bobby Jay has appeared.  Yours truly had the pleasure of meeting Bobby at the Meet and Great of oldies radio enthusiasts held last December at Ben's Deli in midtown.


Seeing a movie for the special effects and scenery

The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor

Since I hadn't seen a movie in several weeks I thought we would go over to the local multiplex and saw The Mummy.  I have just decided whenever I see a fantasy movie like this one, is just not to pay attention to the story line if there is one but to enjoy the scenery and special effects.  You will like this movie if you like to see people be transformed into animals and visa versa.

The Mets lost 8-3

This game was part of our 7-pack so we took off for big Shea.  John Maine just was not effective and gave up all 8 runs.  The Mets hitting was just anemic.  The only highlight of the night was a two run home run by Brian Schneider.

Even though the game was disappointing it is very important for us to get out of the apartment.  I have three more Mets games before Shea Stadium closes at the end of the season.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Spotlight on WBGO

In my series of posts on radio stations, I didn't get to WBGO which is one of very few radio stations left that plays traditional jazz.  I don't think there are any commerical stations that play real jazz, not the smooth jazz that was heard on CD101.9 until last February when the format changed to rock.  The reception of WBGO over the air in Queens is spotty so I usually listen over the internet.  Their studios are in Newark within walking distance of NJIT.  In fact one of the NJIT Vice-Presidents Henry Mauermeyer is on the Board of Trustees of the station. When I see him, I often chat about the station.  I listen to the jazz programming as a chance of pace.  Right now I am listening to Felix Hernandez's Rhythm Revue which is a specialty show with classic soul music which breaks with the format.  For several years I donate money to the non-commercial station.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Only a two day weekend

For several years NJIT gave all employees Fridays off until the third week in August.  The university saves $200,000/year in energy costs by closing on Fridays.  Things were very slow today in the library and on campus in general.  I guess there are certain offices like the registrar, financial aid, admissions and graduate studies that are getting busy with classes starting on September 2nd.  So I will have to get used to two day weekends again.  Working in academia does have its perks with 20 vacation days, 3 personal days, and the week off between Christmas and New Years.  How could I go back to a corporation and get only 2 weeks a year vacation.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

I have a new work related blog


I have just started a blog of my NJIT related activities.  This will be a very serious discussion of what I do at work.  Readers of Bruce's Journal can see it at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photos from the Philadelphia Trip

You can check out pictures at

Karen took these photos while I was at the convention.

Philadelphia Phillies game on our last night in town

Whenever I go to American Chemical Society meetings in major cities I try to take in a baseball game.  I have seen games in Fenway Park (1998, 2002), Wrigley Field (2001), and RFK Stadium (2005).  In 1999 we saw a New Orleans Saints pre-season game at the Louisiana Superdome.  This year we lucked out since the Philadelphia Philles were home against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday August 19th, our last night in town.  Last season the Mets lost 12 out of their last 17 games and lost the National League East to the Phillies.  We were able to buy tickets on the Internet.  We wore our Met hats to the game and routed for the Nationals.  The Phillies came from behind to win 5-4.  We were watching the scoreboard and noticed that the Mets were behind the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in the 8th inning as the Phillies game ended.  When we arrived back in our hotel room we found out that the Mets rallied in the 8th inning to win 7-3 to maintain their 1 1/2 game lead over the Phillies.

The American Chemical Society National Meeting In Philadelphia

I don't like writing about professional issues here so I will be brief.  I have been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1973 when I was a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island.  I started to go to the national meetings in the late 1980s when I became involved with the Chemical Information Division.  Over the years I have attended meetings in Chicago, New Orleans, Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia. It was nice to go to the seminars and to chat with my colleagues from other universities.  I had limited internet access during the convention since I don't own a laptop computer.  There was one computer in the hotel lobby available to guests which was usually busy.  There was an area in the convention center where I accessed the web a few times.

Philadelphia Trip - Part 1 - The Stoogeum

Back in the early 1960s, I was a big fan of the Three Stooges when it was shown on WPIX-TV in New York with Officer Joe Bolton as the host.  As time went on, I moved on to other things and lost interest in Moe, Larry, and  Curly (Shemp).  Some years back Lee began to watch the 3 Stooges on the AMC Cable TV network.  To say the least he loved them, but did not outgrow them as I did.  Karen taped hours of show for him.  We also bought a few DVDs of full lenght movies.

A few months ago Karen saw on article in New York Newsday about the Three Stooges Fan Club and  Stoogeum, a museum devoted to the Three Stooges located near Philadelphia.  Thre are close to 100,000 artifacts of Stooges memorabilia.  I knew that I wanted to go to the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Philadelphia in August. I thought we should visit the Stoogeum on the way.  Since a picture is worth 1000 words please see this YouTube video 

From there we drove to downtown Philadelphia to Comfort Inn by Penn's Landing right by the Delaware River.  I was able to pick up WABC radio very weakly so I listened to Saturday Night Oldies  for a short time.  I heard the section of Mark Simone interviewing Cousin Bruce Morrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Everything is OK in Philadelphia

I am at the Internet Cafe at the American Chemical Sopciety meeting in Philadelphia.  I can't write a long entry.  Everything is fine here.  I will write a detailed entry when I return.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Leaving for Philadelphia tomorrow

We are leaving for Philadelphia tomorrow morning for the American Chemical Society National Meeting. We will visit the Three Stooges Museum on the way.  I don't have a laptop computer so my access to the Internet will be limited.  there are computers available at the meeting, but I should only use them for work related purposes.  I will give a detailed report in this journal on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Dean and Distinguished Professor of Saturday Night Oldies Listeners

Why is it that whenever I am writing a journal entry about one type of music, I am listening to another.  I will talk about oldies and I am listening to standards.  When I am writing about Bob Dylan, I am listening to the Beatles.  Anyway,  the gentleman below is Frank D'Agostino who I have appointed the Dean of Saturday Night Oldies listeners:

Since the very first show on December 3, 2005 he has logged every show.  He lists the times with the songs, fake breaks and interviews.  He often instant messages me during the show with his comments.  He defied the radio dentist and started the Yahoo Saturday Night Oldies Board where people can freely post.  He organized the Meet and Greet for the first anniversary of the show.

I have not forgotten the Distinguished Professor of Saturday Night Oldies, Alan Berman.

Thi photo was taken on June 8, 2007 as he was waiting to board the WABC Rewound Cruise.  On that night, he was the happiest man on the face of the earth.  There is a hot rumor going around that he is taking the initiative to plan the "next event" to celebrate the third anniversary of the show.  Everyone has confidence in his ability to plan this event on his own

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tales of the Bean Counter - 10,000 hits

For about 13 years I have benn coping with a bean counter.  I define bean counting as compiling worthless statistics.  In a business situation statistics are often needed to justify a decision, but I have had to exist with people who take much time and effort to impose upon other people to compile statistics that are meaningless.

This journal which commenced on October 15, 2005 is about to reach the 10,000 hit mark.  This number is compiled by AOL.  But does this number have any significance?  For example, if I access my own journal to compose or edit an entry there is a hit counted.  Thus, the real number of hits is less than 10,000.  I am really concerned about the quality and significance of each visitor.

Did my journal encourage someone to write his own journal?  I know of one case.

Did anybody develop an interest in Bob Dylan, the Mets, Saturday Night Oldies or WCBS-FM because of my journal?

Did anyone from my past read this journal and contact me?  I am aware of one person.

So I would like to thank everyone who stopped by here to read journal be it just once or many times.


Like A Rolling Stone at Prospect Park

There were many cameras there.

Bob Dylan at Prospect Park Celebrate Brooklyn Festival

It’s night time in the big city as we sit in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Prospect Park listening to Bob Dylan.  He is now 67 years old and for years he has toured all over the world.  We never know when age will catch up to him and he’ll stop giving concerts.  We left home by 5 PM since the ticket indicated 6:30 PM as the starting time.  We took the subway because I didn’t want to worry about finding parking in Brooklyn.  When we arrived at 6:30, there was a long line of people waiting to get in.  Lee took out the set lists from the last two concerts that I got from   The young man standing behind us said he was Mike Gardner who gave the information on the previous concerts to Bill Pagel who compiles that site.


We walked into the bandshell at 7:15 PM and found our seats.  About half of the tickets were for spots on the lawn.  I am glad that I sprung for more money to get a seat.  I took my camera with me but was told that photography was prohibited.  I looked around to see if I could spot any “celebrities” in the audience.  A woman looked like Rita Houston of WFUV, but I could not tell for sure.  These seats were the closest that I ever sat to the stage at a Dylan concert.  It didn’t begin until 8:25.  I guess they want to give people time to buy food and drink.


I just hate it when people stand up at concerts.  Everyone could see just fine if they just sat down.  What could I do?  Although I was warned not to take photos, many people were opening using their cameras.  I took mine out, but couldn’t get any good pictures since my camera does not have a zoom lens.


Dylan was playing the electric piano as he has done of the past several years.  I guess he has lost his desire to play the guitar.  He did play the harmonica on some of the numbers.  He voice has passed its prime after thousands of concerts over the years.  He often slurs his words making it difficult to ascertain the song being played.   As usual, the only time he talked to the audience was at the very end, when he introduced the audience.  The set list for the concert may be found at .  Some reviews of the concert that were sent to Bill Pagel may be found at .  There is a review in the New York Daily News found at


My favorite song of the concert was Girl of the North Country.  This was a unique arrangement different from the acoustic version recorded in 1963 on the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album.  There was also a duet of this with Dylanand Johnny Cash.  Lee said that Like a Rolling Stone was his favorite of the night since he didn’t play Tangled Up in Blue.  We arrived home at midnight.  Went back to work today.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taking it easy before the big concert

Since I still have plenty of vacation time, I decided to take the day of the concert off.  I do not want to be tired or aggravated from work related nonsense.  Today WFUV is featuring Dylan music throughout the day.  Right now they are playing Dreamin' of You which will appear on the forthcoming CD in October.  It may be downloaded for free at .  I will return to work tomorrow so I won't write an conert review until Wednesday night.

Monday, August 11, 2008

24 hours from now

Lee seems more excited about tomorrows Bob Dylan concert in Prospect Park.  The phot above which was found by Googling is relatively recent.  Bill Pagel maintains a web site where he records set list of Dylan concerts since the 1960s.  Someone in the audience will phone him as soon as the concert ends with the list of songs.  We have taken Lee to Dylan concerts ince he was 9 years old.  He has attended concerts at:

William Paterson University - Wayne, NJ

Jones Beach

Madison Square Garden - main arena

Madison Square Garden - theater

Nassau Coliseum

Hammerstein Ballroom

Beacon Theater

That is the real Lee Slutsky standing next to a wax figure of Bob Dylan at Madame Tussaud's museum.  Notice that he is wearing his 3 Stooges t-shirt.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Mets lost 8-2 today


It was a pretty dull day at big Shea as the Florida Marlins beat our Mets 8-2.  Here is the box score if you are really interested.  The Distinguished Professor of Saturday Night Oldies cma by before the game started.  Since the people next to us were no shows, he sat with us throughout the entire game and shared his knowledge of his favorite radio show.  There was a big boo in the stands when a kid with a Philadelphia Phillies shirt passed by.  Jane Jarvis who palyed the organ during the early days of Shea Stadium made an appearance.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy 25th Anniversary Joyce and Keith

My sister Joyce and her husband Keith celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on July 30th.  To celebrate they took a trip to the Bahamas.  Today we had a small family gathering at their home to celebrate.  On the way home we passed by the Fresh Meadows Jewish Center just off the Long Island Expressway where they were married.  I recalled that in 1971 Joyce and I held a 25th anniversary party for my parents at a restaurant in Rego Park.  I remember that a family Willie had a little too much to drink that night and I had to drive him home.  Willie is still living at age 91.

My name was heard on WCBS-FM this morning

On Labor Day WCBS-FM will be playing the Top 500 songs as voted by their listeners.  There is a form on their website where listeners can submit their choices.  I sent mine in last week.  Regular readers of this journal must know that I listen to a multitude of radio stations over the air and online.  This morning I listened to WINS, WABC with Mark Simone, WBGO, XM Deep Tracks and WCBS-FM with Sue O'Neill.  This morning I recived an e-mail from Andrea Wiener, a superenthusiast of the station saying that she heard my name on the station.  Sue had read my 3 choices over the air.  Andrea was recording the station at the time and was kind enough to send me an MP3 of the announcement.  Please check it out at:

Soul Music at Flushing Town Hall

Last night we heard a perfomance by pianist/vocalist James Jones seen above at the Flushing Town Hall.  They covered many Motown hits of the 60s and 70s.  Many of the people in the audience got up and danced to the music.  It's really nice to have free entertainment within walking distance of home. We can't stay home watching ball games every night.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Henpecked Husband Does Not Have a Computer

I spoke to my friend Herb H today.  He recently retired from the United States Postal Service and is looking for a new position with a company such as UPS or FedEx.  He has told me that his battle ax wife (his words not mine) will not let him have a computer.  Not having a computer in 2008 is like not having a television set in 1970.  He can not apply for a job since big companies now only accept online applications.  I suggested that he go to his local public library.  Believe me, I know that libraries have computers for  public use.  Dave, can you help him out applying to FedEx?

I don't have to worry about his reading this journal entry.  I have known Herb since 1978 duing the Queens B'nai Brith Singles days.  He said that Jewish girls rejected him because he had a blue collar job with the post office.  He married Diane, a Catholic girl in 1990.  They never had any children.  I think Herb didn't want kids because hew wanted to avoid the issue of what religious training to give the child.  That must be a difficult issue in an intermarriage.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Will Bob Come Through for Lee Tuesday Night?

Lee has constantly said that Tangled Up in Blue is his favorite Bob Dylan song.  Bob played it the last time we saw him in November 2006 at Nassau Coliseum.  Will Bob come through for Lee on Tuesday night?



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Recalling 1967-1972 The City College Years


The college years are difficult for anyone since you enter them at age 18 when you are a boy and leave at age 22 when you are not quite a man.  I see students that age every day at my job at NJIT.  Certainly times have changed since 1972 in terms of circumstances, values, styles, and technology.


City College of New York (CCNY) was always the college for immigrants.  My parents were not wealthy and could not afford to send me to a prestigious college with high tuition.  I chose CCNY because it had better science and engineering programs than Queens College which was closer to home.  Back then a student had to pay only a $57/semester fee plus textbooks. Like Forest Hills High School, the student body at CCNY was mostly Jewish at that time.  It was known as a subway school since there were no dormitories, thus students had to commute from home within the 5 boroughs of New York City.  I will spend most of my discussion on social issues of that time.  I’d rather not get into academics.


I came to CCNY without knowing anyone since my high school friends went to other colleges.  There were fraternities and house plans that were actively seeking Freshmen.  One had to pledge a fraternity while he can just join a house plan which was more informal.  I received a letter from Mike G. who lived a few blocks away from me in Rego Park inviting me to visit Sigma Beta Phi fraternity which had a “house” in a loft on 6th Avenue between 27th Street and 28th Street in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.  Many of the fraternities had houses within walking distance of the CCNY campus, while others were in the outer boroughs.


I decided to pledge Sigma Beta Phi which promised not to haze its pledges as was done at other fraternities.  Very often pledges had to wear beanies and had to wait hand and foot on the brothers.  I remember very well in December 1967 having my very first date.  I was totally afraid of Louise who was about 4 feet 10 inches tall. On the night of my induction into the fraternity, I was “kidnapped” by two brothers.  They took me to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.  Luckily, I was able to figure out how to get home by subway.


Since I was very new to dating I really had some difficulties.  It was tough for me to find a young lady and even harder to maintain a dating relationship.  There were several misadventures with dating back then.  One time my when I was using my Dad’s car, I got stuck on an ice patch with a date.  A few weeks later, the car’s transmission failed while I was double dating.  My friend’s mother had to come and pick us up.


Back then we would often go to singles dances on Friday nights.  Most of the time I was unsuccessful in meeting a young lady.  El Caribe was a country club in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn which had Jewish singles dances.  In November 1970 I met Karen L., my first real girlfriend.  This was not the Karen that I married in 1983.  I dated heruntil August 1971 when we broke up.  When looking back at that relationship, I realized that it was immaturity and inexperience on both of our parts which did us in.  I was told by several people back then who thought we were going to become engaged soon.  Back then it was common to become engaged in college and be married shortly after graduating.  I observe today that many college students are afraid of commitments and don’t marry until their late 20s or 30s.


Let me talk about some of my friends back then.


There was Eugene who was Puerto Rican who looked Italian.  He had the gift of gab, but in his case it was more of a curse.  He had a talent for meeting Jewish girls.  He could probably meet one in Vatican City.  Bi-cultural dating back then was very much frowned upon especially among Jews.  He would date a Jewish girl who would dump him before the relationship could get serious.  We had a joke back then “Hello, I’m Eugene, I’m an electrical engineer, can I have your phone number?”


There was Bill who was tall and heavy set.  He was just afraid of girls and would play cards every Friday night.  Half the fraternity would play cards while the others would go to dances or parties looking for dates.


There was Joel who lived in Co-op City in the Bronx.  I dated his sister for about a month in late 1968.  He eventually married in 1973 and later moved to Kinston, NC.


Alan A. was the world’s biggest mama’s boy, but for a few years he was my best friend.  I remember his mother wouldn’t let him have a television set because she didn’t want it to interfere with his studying.  Back in the early 1970s there was an organization called Come Together which ran Jewish Singles Dances.  In May 1972 he met a Jewish American Princess (JAP) at one of their dances. (JAP was a very popular term back then which has since died).   A year to the day that he met her they were married at a very fancy wedding.  I was best man at his wedding.  He really looked down upon me because I wasn’t married nor had a girl friend.  I last saw him in 1974.


Lastly, there was Mike H.  He was a top rated student with close to a perfect 4.0 index in Electrical Engineering, but lacked common sense.  He met his future wife Heidi at one of our fraternity parties.  We doubled dated many times in the early 1970s.  He actually became engaged in a bowling alley.  We had a joke about that since Heidi’s middle name is Pinn, her mother’s maiden name.  We said Mike became engaged in a bowling alley because he wanted to get some Pinn action.  He wanted to strike at a spare moment while Heidi was in the right frame of mind.  They were married in June 1973.  I kept in touch with Mike until late 1976 when I moved to New London, CT.


I graduated from CCNY in January 1972 after 4 ½ years.  Back then it was unusual for people to graduate in 4 years since by staying in college longer, one could evade the selective service.


Enough said.



Johnny Cash Special On PBS Last Night

First, I'd like to thank regular readers Frank and Alan for bringing this to my attention. They know that my son Lee is New York's biggest fan of Johnny Cash. Since the show was on the air at 10 PM, we taped it for him to see later. Details about the show can be found at . The highlight of the show for me was a duo of Johnny and Bob Dylan singing One Too Many Mornings.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Remembering the Forest Hills High School Years 1964-67

I entered Forest Hills High School (FHHS)in September 1964.  At that time close to 90% of the students were Jewish.  Since the school was overcrowded there were three sessions for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  I was accepted for the “Special Science Program”.  I remember fondly many teachers who really stimulated the students.   There was Saul Geffner and Morris Wigler who taught chemistry.  Harvey Pollack was an excellent physics teacher.  Lucy DeVivo taught biology.  Oh, I hated dissecting frogs, so I majored in chemistry.  There was gold ole Miss Sullivan who taught Geometry that was a bore.  I later took advanced algebra with Miss Mercaldo.  Bernard Plotkin was the calculus teacher in my senior year.  That was really tough, but it helped me when I got City College, the next year.


My fellow students were very competitive.  I remember Uzi Bar-Gadda who was really a whiz with physics, but had no personality.  I think I googled him once and found out he became a Professor at Stanford.  Corey Lerner was the valedictorian and became a cardiologist.  He is a distant relative of Karen.


My best friend back then was Roy whose parents were friends of my Mom and Dad.  I remember our senior year when we walked down Saunders Street toward school each morning.  We would toward school and talk about the WMCA and WABC surveys.  I have kept in touch with him to this day.


There was also Paul Vernon.  I remember going to basketball games with him on Tuesday and Saturday nights.  Back then with a high school ID we could see a doubleheader in Madison Square Garden for $1.25.  That is not a typo!  One dollar and twenty five cents.  Back in those days Carl Braun likely made $10,000/year.


Over the years I have reconnected with some FHHS students.  In the early 1970s I went to some singles dances with Larry Wirfel. Sadly, he passed away in 1984.  In 1992, there was a big reunion near JFK Airport of 1967 grads for the 25th anniversary.  I just wasn’t in the mood to go. In 1998 there was a regular online chat with graduates of 1967-68.  I reconnected with Mike Seidman who now lives in Suffolk County.  There was a small reunion with mostly 1968 grads.  I reconnected with Frances Cohan whose mother played Mah Jong with my mother in the 1960s.  Fran would often walk her dog on Saunders Street when Roy and I passed by.  Sadly she died of breast cancer in 2000 at age 50.  I also became re-acquainted with Phyllis Silverman who was a fellow camper at Wel-Met in the 60s.


In 2002 there was a reunion of about 50 1967 classmates at a restaurant on the West Side.  I talked to Alan Mayer who was an excellent writer for the school newspaper called The Beacon.  Very recently I did a search on Facebook for FHHS 1967 grads.  I found Alan Mayer and Tom Bunzel who also wrote for the Beacon.  I also made friends with Judy Gerber whom I also become reacquainted with through Mike Seidman.


Those were the days.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Tales of the Bean Counter - Monday August 4th

My favorite Bean Counter is trying to be fair.  He is giving me some of the money I will need later in the month to attend the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia.

Beans, beans.

The more you eat, the more you fart.

The more you fart, the better you feel.

So count your beans at every meal

Jokerman is coming in 8 days


Just 8 days to go until the creator of Jokerman comes to town. Why am I listening to the Beatles and thinking about Zimmy? Lennon does not believe in Zimmerman, but I do.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

I made a resolution to try to do something different.  There is just too much "same old same old" in our lives.  Often we must follow regular routines, but variety is the spice of life.  It is boring to go to the same parks in Queens year after year.  My old friend Roy is the Distinguished Professor of New York City Culture.  He is also an expert on finding bargains.  He told me about the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian located just north of Battery Park.  Since there is no cost for the museum, it was a no brainer to go there.  There were several exhibits displaying the art of native Americans.

When we left the museum we walked uptown to the South Street Seaport which was very crowded.  I suspect most of the people there were tourists.  We looked around for a while and stopped for a late lunch/early dinner.  Back to work tomorrow :(

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Yankee Old-Timer Game today

The weather forecast called for showers all afternoon. It was wrong!!  There was only one shower at 1 PM. We planned to go to downtown Manhattan to a mueum and then walk to the South Street Seaport. We'll do that tomorrow. Instead we stayed home and watched the Yankee Old-Timer game on TV.  Even Yankee haters must appreciate the old-timers day.  Since it was the last year at the old stadium over 70 former Yankees from the 1940s until 2006 were invited.  Several players who were with the Yankees briefly were invited.  Willie Randolph who was recently fired as Mets manager got a big hand as he was introduced.  "Once a Yankee, always a Yankee."  The wives of several deceased players were there including Mrs. Thurman Munson were introduced.  It was 29 years ago today that he perished in a plane crash in Ohio.  Bobby Murcer's name was announced but nobody from his family was there, likely because it is too soon after his untimely passing.

The Distinguished Professor was there with his radio.  I am sure he will answer with a detailed report.

Friday, August 1, 2008

11 Days until the Friend of the Neighborhood Bully comes to town


"His songs are so vague and open to interpretation" from Masked and Anonymous. As interpreted by Rabbi Moe.

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