I grew up at a time and in a neighborhood where little old ladies in black dresses waited on line at the local bank to get their interest stamped in their passbook savings accounts. The local bank, being smart about marketing to young people, worked with local schools to open savings accounts for kids. This taught some great lessons: the value of saving, how interest compounds, how a bank works, and most importantly—why those old neighbors made sure they got their interest stamped.

For a kid growing up in the sixties, it was hard to imagine that so many of those people waiting on line had lived through the Great Depression and a World War. They grew up not trusting the institutions around them and needed to see in black and white what was

So taking the mermaid’s advice, we decided to spend some time in Florida this year to ward off the winter blues. She was in favor of a prolonged stay in one spot, but I couldn’t do that due to my inability to stay in one place for too long. So, we agreed on three separate trips to three different parts of Florida. The first one was more work than pleasure.

Hobe Sound was our destination and it is a little north of the Jupiter/West Palm area on the east coast of Florida. We flew into West Palm

Lincoln Center is the home of the Metropolitan Opera House. If you are interested in overly dramatic people, there is no better place to go. I was never an opera fan growing up, my interests tended toward southern rock, a little disco, and in my protest years, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. But as I get older, I seem to be developing an appreciation for the opera. Why you ask? Let me explain.

First off, the sets are absolutely amazing. I mean if the set designers were put to the task of

I had hoped to give you a couple of first-hand reports on two spooky-looking things to do in New York for Halloween, but sometimes even my plans get waylaid. But I still want to do both and they are available after Halloween too, so here they are — try them out and let me know what you think.

The first one takes you into Williamsburg and is called Madame Morbid's Trolley Tours.  The converted trolley is made to look and feel like a Victorian carriage. Be forewarned though Rockawayites, there

In the 1966 Edward Albee play, “A Delicate Balance,” two neighbors come over to their friends’ house and ask to stay with them because they are frightened. They never explain what they are afraid of, but this fear permeates the whole play. It’s a very weird play in that respect and I never understood or appreciated it fully: except, I have found myself thinking about it often these days.

You might say to yourself, Lazer, you haven’t written in almost six months and when you come back, you

What do you do when there is a caravan heading through Mexico toward the United States? Go to Canada of course. While Montreal and Quebec City rightfully get a lot more travel attention, Toronto should be considered for a quick, long weekend trip. The vibe is very different from its French sister cities, as Toronto is more firmly rooted in its English past.

The first thing to consider is that Toronto is only an hour’s flight away. And while you do need a passport or enhanced driver’s license

This classic Beatles tune tells the poignant story of a girl leaving her parents' home and striking out on her own. The chorus has a call and response feature with the refrain, “She’s leaving home.” There are many interpretations to this particular song, but I like the simplest, that a young person has reached the age when it’s time to leave the nest.

And so it was, that the mermaid and I helped the littlest mermaid out of the bay and into her own cove last week. Arranging for movers

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