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I Know You Rider

The song “I Know You Rider” has a long history and can be traced back into the early 20th century as a traditional blues and folk song. It’s been recorded by a lot of artists, but is probably best known as the second half of a two-song duo by the Grateful Dead. Most non-Grateful Dead fans usually write the band off as a bunch of druggies with some spaced out music from the psychedelic sixties. While some of that is true, the band mined the annals of traditional, folk, blues and country music and made them masterpieces to a new generation. “I Know You Rider” is one such gem. Its lead in...

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Numbers are supposed to represent facts, hard, cold, undisputable facts. But it seems that is less the case these days. Trump routinely trots out numbers as if they are facts, but the press points out that his numbers are wrong. Of course then the press is labeled “fake news” by the President, and we are all left wondering who the heck to believe. I guess for the purposes of this paper, I represent the press too, so just assume everything that follows is “fake.” Weather reporters are really good with numbers. “It’s 30 degrees out, but the real feel temperature makes it feel like it’s 15...

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A Good Man

What is the measure of a good man or woman? How do we decide what makes a person “good?” I guess there are several measures we employ. A recent wake and funeral mass reminded me of a few. Besides enjoying cemeteries, I seem to go to a lot of wakes and funerals. You probably don’t want to hang around me too long, if you know what I mean. But back to the topic at hand: the measure of a good person. Is it their family? There are plenty of situations where the person is good but comes from the “wrong side of the tracks.” You know the story about the seed falling on a rocky ledge but growing straight...

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The Great Migration

I am not talking about the Syrians trekking across Europe to escape the madness that is happening there. Nor am I talking about Mexicans heading back to Mexico because Señor Trump-Elect is building a wall. This is much closer to home, this is the migration that happens after the holidays around here and many other places: it’s the migration of kids heading back to college! Some of the upper classmen drive back; others go by train, bus or plane. There are some that get a ride from good ol’ mom and dad. If the migrating one is the oldest, then there are still young ones hanging around the house...

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The lights have been on, the bells have been ringing, the presents given and unwrapped. So much preparation goes into the holidays and then it seems like it passes so quickly and we are beginning a new cycle. It’s worth reflecting upon what the season has brought us, besides boxes that need to be ripped up and put out to the trash. There are the assorted ugly sweaters, the odd and useless gifts that will take up room in our homes until we either figure out how to give them to someone else or quietly slip them in the garbage bin without the giver seeing us. Having been ridiculed by my family...

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The Play’s the Thing

Ever find a delightful theater that is small and intimate and has all the things you wished theater could be? We are lucky to have the Rockaway Theatre Company right here at Fort Tilden. They work hard, are very good at their craft and bring real theater to us here on the peninsula. Patronage is the key to keeping theater alive here in Rockaway, and RTC has a loyal following. And the 2017 performance schedule is awesome – check it out online at rockawaytheatrecompany.org. If you get off our sandy, mermaid filled promontory and head into Manhattan there are a couple of places worth checking out,...

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Party Like It’s 1999!!

 The Dow Jones, as of this writing, has zoomed close to 20,000! Who could ever have imagined? If the Dow was an individual stock, the Board of Directors would be talking about splitting the stock, but such is not the case. Sometimes numbers can attain a significance all of their own. I mean it’s only a number, right? But, it seems unimaginable for the market to be at those levels. Thank you Donald for bringing us back to the heady days just before the turn of the millennium. In those good old days we partied, well, like it was 1999! And following that maxim, I began the party circuit myself...

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Of Things Great, and Small

Miraculously, the holiday season has arrived, and this year both Christmas and Hanukah arrive together! It seems like we just began this year, and here we are watching it come to an end. A lot of new things will greet the New Year, hopefully all good. But as we reflect on this past year it’s worth taking a look around to appreciate the things that make this life fun and worth living. Some are big, or as Trump would say “huge!” Others are right here in our own backyard (as Dorothy wisely learned after taking her trip down that yellow brick road). This past weekend saw another successful Taste...

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Inadvertently Washington

Well, when I asked my son if he had ever biked through Brooklyn, he said no, but he was up for an adventure. The problem for me was how to get to Brooklyn from Manhattan with a bike. My son is in Clinton Hill, a now gentrified neighborhood that is about two miles from Greenpoint and Williamsburg, my old stomping ground. I was thrilled to find out that NY Waterways makes several stops on the East River from 34th Street and they take bikes. So I set out one sunny Saturday to ride my way to Clinton Hill. But first I had to ride from uptown on the East Side to 34th Street. Biking in Manhattan is...

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