Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thank Goodness February is Coming to An End

All things must pass and thankfully February 2015 is coming to and end.  First of all my mother passed away on February 11.  Thankfully, she lived to the ripe old age of 95, but I will still miss her.  In February I experienced the worst delay in mass transit in my lifetime.  You can read about it in my commuting blog.  Lastly the weather in NYC was terrible this month.  This was the coldest February in 81 years and was the 4th coldest month on record.  There is still plenty of snow on the ground which is so dirty.

Tomorrow is March 1, so I can look forward to warmer weather and the beginning of baseball season.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Surprise on WBGO This Morning - The Pink Panther Theme

When I get to work in the morning I usually listen to WBGO as I check my e-mail or do a task that doesn't require concentration.  Of course, WBGO is known for playing tradition jazz and classic R&B on Saturday mornings.  Sometimes they'll play an adult standard.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear the Pink Panther Theme by Henry Mancini.  It reminds me of my Queens B'nai B'rith Singles days.

"I spy Queens B'nai B'rith Singles.  I know things about you, you don't even know."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash

We celebrated by listening to a CD of his hits from the Sun Records years.  He left some legacy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On the Cover of Rolling Stone and the AARP Magazine

Does anyone else hold the distinction of being on the cover of Rolling Stone and the AARP Magazine?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Breakfast with the Beatles salutes George Harrison This Week

I have mentioned the syndicated radio show Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast with the Beatles several times in this journal.  Since it is not on a New York City radio station, I listen to the podcast every week.  In honor of George Harrison's birthday Dennis is featuring his music.  Here is the playlist:

It's All Too Much 
Don't Bother Me 
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 

Sue Me, Sue You Blues 
Crackerbox Palace 

Special Order: Aloo Matar 
The Inner Light (hybrid extended) 
All Things Must Pass 
Prabhujee (with Ravi Shankar) 
You Like Me Too Much 

Let It Down (by Dhani Harrison) 

Within You Without You 
Heading For the Light 
If I Needed Someone (Japan 1991) 
Take Good Care of My Baby (Decca audition) 

You Know What To Do 
It Don't Come Easy 
I Me Mine 
I Need You 
My Sweet Lord (demo) 

Side Dish: Caviar de Harrisong 
Isn't It a Pity 
Savoy Truffle 

Give Me Love (Peace On Earth) (by Dave Davies)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Seasonal Affective Disorder

The Mayo Clinic defines Seasonal Affective Disorder as:

"A type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer."

I think that as far as I am concerned "depression" is somewhat exaggerated, but several consecutive weeks of terrible weather makes me feel "down in the dumps."  It is either bitterly cold, snowy, or both.  I just hate having to stay in the apartment.  I miss taking long walks, but the only thing I can do is wait for spring.

Friday, February 20, 2015

If Winter Is Here Can Spring Be Far Behind

"If winter is here can spring be far behind" is a famous quote by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.  This month has just been miserable for weather.  We have had snow, sleet, freezing rain, and bitterly cold weather all February.  I feel sorry for the people in Boston who have received about 8 feet of snow this winter.

At least the days are getting longer.  Sunrise is about 6:45 AM while sunset is about  5:35 PM these days.  The most encouraging sign that spring is coming is that the camps have opened in Florida for the major league baseball teams.  I am just hoping for a warming trend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Never Ending Tour in 2015

I was pleased to find out the Never Ending Tour will continue in 2015 as dates in the United States were announced for April and May:

And the beat goes on.  May the Never Ending Tour never end.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some Thoughts on the Mourning Process

The mourning process differs.  Many people "fall apart" after a death in the family while others take it very well.  I think it is much more difficult when the death is sudden and unexpected especially when a younger person dies.

Mom's death was a slow process that I thought began when she voluntarily moved to an assisted living facility in 2010.  She realized that should could no longer live on her own.  The biggest step in her demise was her first fall in 2011.  I really thought that this was the beginning of the end, but after a long recovery she pulled through.  After that time there were smaller setbacks, but again she recovered.  The big blow came two weeks ago when she fell in her assisted living facility.  She started to recover after a major operation, but succumbed to complications.  In a sense it was a relief since Mom would no longer suffer.  If she had recovered, her quality of life would have been poor.

Over the past week I had stayed home observing a modified shiva, the Jewish mourning process.  I am quite pleased that I received over 150 condolences via Facebook or email.  I guess I can describe the messages as "virtual shiva calls."  I appreciate every one of them.  I even received messages from people I never met and from those I hadn't seen in years.

Very often a death in the family can lead to a reunion of long lost relatives.  I was quite hurt when two first cousins phoned my sister to offer condolences, but not me.  I phoned cousin JS about two years ago after his mother, my aunt, was killed in a tragic car accident.  Why couldn't he call me?  All I can say is "If you treat me like a stranger, I'll treat you like a stranger back."

Let me conclude this entry with the Sunday Will Never be the Same by Spanky and Our Gang.  For the last 4 1/2 I visited Mom once a week, usually on Sunday.  Now since she is gone, Sunday will never be the same.  However the song refers to a couple that has split.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Thinking about Two Broadway Shows for the Spring

We usually take Lee out to a Broadway show for his birthday on March 28.  Since Karen and I have a birthday a day apart in April, we are also looking for a second show.  I am not sure which ones to pick this year.  As another alternative, we could go to a concert.  There are a few good ones at BB Kings in Times Square.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lost Episode of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Hour to Be Heard Today

There were 100 episodes of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour heard on SiriusXM from May 2006 to April 2009.  Since that time these shows were rebroadcast on SiriusXM with a channel devoted to the program.  There is a lost episode of Theme Time Radio Hour Hour that will heard on Saturday February 14th - 3 PM EST on SiriusXM The Loft and at 4 PM on Deep Tracks.  I don't know why this episode was lost and why all of a sudden it is being aired.  I suspect that since today in Valentines Day, it has something to do with romance.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Radio and TV Personality Gary Owens Dies at 80

Variety Magazine reports the passing of Gary Owens at age 80.  Although Gary is best known as the announcer on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In had an extensive career in voiceovers and radio.  The Variety article states "For 30 years, Owens hosted a national radio show on the Music of Your Life Network. He was a longtime radio personality at KMPC, KFI, KIIS FM, KFWB and KKGO in Los Angeles and KEWB in San Francisco."

Gary Owens and the staff of the syndicated radio show Soundtrack of the Sixties did something very special for Karen and me for our wedding.  This was documented in Bruce's Journal in October 2008.

Anway here is video tribute to Gary done by Art Vuolo who is indeed Radio's Best Friend.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some Memories of Mom

Mom was always a big Mah Jongg player.  I never understood why middle aged Jewish women loved this Chinese game.  Back in the 1960s the four women in her group would play on a rotating basis at their respective apartments.  Shirley Dule who was in the group lived diagonally across the street from us could not schlep the Mah Jongg set up the steps in our apartment so I would schelp it for her.  Back in 1962 the Mah Jongg group had a table at my Bar Mitzvah.  In 2001 her later group was at Lee's Bar Mitzvah.

Years ago the Mother's Day tradition was to take out cold cuts at Ben's Best Deli on Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.

Since we lived in an apartment we could never have a dog.  After when Joyce married Keith she inherited Artemis a black Labrador Collie Mix.  Mom and Dad loved Artemis who was a frequent visitor to their apartment in Forest Hills.  After Artremis died, Joyce and Keith got Sasha, another mongrel dog who became an important member of the family.  Above mom is with the Great Casey.

In 1962 my grandmother Lena Wagman moved from Brooklyn to our building in Rego Park.  Mom need to keep an eye on her in her later years.

My Dad suffered from pancreatic cancer for 2 years until he passed away in 1997.  Mom did her best to care for him during his last years.  She outlived Dad by 17 years.

Mom certainly lived a full life.  Maybe future entries of Bruce's Journal will have more anecdotes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lillian Slutsky 1919-2015

Mom on Mother's Day 2011

With great sadness I announce the passing of my mother Lillian Slutsky at age 95.  This past week was a period of great anxiety for my sister Joyce Feuer and me as Mom had fallen and would face a long and difficult recovery at an advanced age.  it was the Lord's will for her to leave us at this time.  I thank him so much for giving her 95 years.

The last few years were difficult for Joyce and I as we had to do our best in providing care for an elderly parent.  I thank Joyce especially for all her hard work over these last years.

When I look back I must recall as much as possible about the good times.  She was born in Poland in 1919.  What was the life expectancy of a person in 1919?  She came to the United States as a young girl with my grandparents and Uncle Abe.  Her brother Sy was born here a few years later.

She married my father in 1946.  I was born in 1949 while Joyce in 1952. My parents lived a walkup apartment in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn when I was born.  So she had to schlep me up the stairs when I was a baby.  In 1951 we moved to a walkup building on Saunders Street.  So Mom had to schlep Joyce up the stairs back then.

 Mom always wanted the best for us as we were growing up.  She had many proud moments over the years.  She lived to see three grandsons, Scott, Adam, and Lee.

I'd like to thank my Facebook friends who sent their well wishes and prayers.  I don't want to be too verbose, so I'll close here.

Thanks again, everybody.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Random Comments of the Day

Mom is still in the intensive care unit of Winthrop University Hospital.  She developed problems breathing after her operation for a broken hip.  As of now she is on a breathing tube which will hopefully be removed tomorrow and she'll breathe on her own.  We can only hope and pray for her.

I rejoined WBGO with a donation of $10/month for a year.  I'll get a t-shirt as a thank you gift from the station.  I like their traditional jazz programming as a change of pace.  I also like the Saturday Morning Function and Felix Hernandez's Rhythm Revue.

I found the schedules for Antenna and Me TV.  I was pleased to find The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves is on the daily schedule for the latter. We have VHS tapes for many of the shows. I never get tired of those episodes.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bob Dylan is Musicares Person of the Year

There are many sites on the internet that have discussed Bob's winning the Musicare's Person of the Year Award:

There is no need for me to repeat what was said in other sources.

I wish I would have been there to hear him make a 40 minute speech.  He didn't sing or play an instrument at this gala event that honored him.  Dylan making a speech?  He doesn't talk to his audience at his concerts.  He didn't even introduce his backup musicians when we saw him at the Beacon Theater last November.

I was pleased to hear that he thanked people that covered his songs and supported him during his long and legendary career.  I wish I could have heard the speech and the concert that honored him.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What a Terrible Week

Thank goodness this week is over!  First of all the weather on Monday was horrendous.  The wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet is worse than snow.  The freezing rain created havoc on the #7 line as it created the worst train delay I ever faced in all the years I have taken public transportation.

On Wednesday night I received a text message from my sister Joyce saying that my mother fell and broke her hip and wrist.  This was the second time she broke her hip.  She was operated on today at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola.  The operation was a success, but complicated. The surgeon had to changed his original strategy, but it worked out. She needed a lot of blood during the procedure. She will have a long and hard road to recovery. If there are no complications, she'll go to a rehabilitation center sometime next week.  I really appreciated the good wishes and prayers from my Facebook friends.

The other thing was the bitterly cold weather this week.  There is the old saying that people talk about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.  Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bob Dylan's Shadows in the Night is Not My Favorite

As everybody knows Bob Dylan's Shadows in the Night is a collection of  adult standards.  In the past Dylan has covered some traditional folk songs in the CDs World Gone Wrong and Good as I Have Been to You released in the 1990s. Christmas in the Heart released in 2009 in my opinion was a total disaster.   In any event Jewish performers should not record Christmas music.  Back in the late 1970s Dylan visited gospel music, but those were his own songs.

Dylan's best skill is his songwriting as his works have inspired and stimulated fans and other musicians for decades.  Shadows in the Night is a collection of songs that he did not write.  He has chosen to sing out of his genre.  People often dislike him because of his voice, but acknowledge his excellent songwriting skills.

Shadows in the Night is not my favorite CD since I am not a fan of adult standards.  I listen to it once and will likely file it with the rest of my CD collection.  We don't know how much long Dylan will record,  but I hope his next release will be a collection of his songs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Remembering Vic Monachelli

His cousin Vincent Matthews announced on Facebook that Vic Monachelli passed away.  I was aware that he was in the hospital for a few months and was not doing well.

Vic was the first radio enthuiast that I met online and in person. Back in the mid 1990s Prodigy was an online service with dial up access that offerred radio message boards.  Vic used to post about the WCBS-FM radio personalities.  You can see him above with Cousin Bruce Morrow. In July 1995 I visited Vic in Yonkers where he owned a pet supplies store. He regularly went to oldies concerts at the World Trade Center in the late 1990s.

Eventually Prodigy folded and Vic and I came over to AOL where we posted on various radio message boards.  Eventually we moved over to Facebook.

My condolences to his fiancee Darla and his family.  Oldies music has lost a good friend.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Random Comments of the Day

There is a miserable wintry mix, thus there is a delayed opening at NJIT.  Classes resume at 11:30 AM while the administrative offices which include the library open at 10:30 AM.  I will leave home at about 8:30.

That was some Super Bowl last night as the Patriots won 28-24.  It was a very bad decision for Seattle to pass at the 1 yard line.  New England intercepted and held on to the lead.

Of course the commercials are a big thing on the Super Bowl.  There was a commerical for Turbo Tax where you can hear Bob Dylan sing The Man in Me which was recorded for the New Morning album in 1970.
Personal-Journals blog