Sunday, July 28, 2013

T is for Tomato

Earlier this month, Martha Rose Shulman wrote a column in The NYT extolling the virtues of this beloved garden vegetable (or fruit-depending on your point of view). Growing up, my father grew tomatoes in the back yard of our home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the only plants he purchased, nurtured, and harvested himself. After planting, we would make our weekly inspection of the growing crop and when ripe on the vine- tomato sandwich season began. His choice of assembly was pretty basic, rye bread (a household staple) toasted, topped with a thick slice of tomato fresh from the garden and a liberal dousing of salt and pepper. Completing the menu was a glass of ginger ale combined with the companionship of The NYTimes (long before its online edition) usually enjoyed at our ancient and beloved kitchen table. Dad tended to like the humbler things in life- but I remember his tomato sandwiches as something simply divine.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My brush with greatness

Back before marriage and children, when my life revolved around photographing for clients, looking for work and trying to enjoy singledom in New York City, I got hired to cover a press event where Mohammad Ali was to introduce a commemorative coin in his likeness at the Waldorf Astoria. The proceeds from the coin's sales were going to a fund he had created to help end world hunger. I headed up to the hotel and met my friend David who had also been hired to create the promotional materials for the launch. I wasn't sure what to expect except that it would be well attended and I would get the chance to photograph a world famous athlete whose position as a pacifist I had long admired.

Stepping into the elevator I was aware of footsteps behind me and riding in the same car was Ali himself. He had a few people in his entourage- at this point in his life (the mid 80's) he was in good health and immediately started chatting up his companions. He was imposing in size but his manner belied a caring soul and I knew I was in the presence of greatness.

Later, signing autographs I stationed myself at a much closer spot. Ali gestured to me and my friend.
"Is this your boyfriend?" as he pointed to David. Bearing a mischievous smile he said "Well, I am going to kiss you and make him jealous!" He stood up, put his arms around me and gave me a polite kiss on the cheek. Releasing me as quickly as he had embraced me, he sat down, gave me a wink and went back to the business of meeting his fans.

And I floated away on some kind of celestial cloud. For days I felt a magic from having been near him and the delightful aura of his charm.  I have met some notable folks since then, but as yet, none can compare to how special, in those few brief moments, he made me feel.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Swimming, eating and relaxing in Galilee (Pa.)

We spent a blissful few days in the county on a weekend visit to Joyce and Gerry at their country abode. A chance to beat the high heat, a chance to submerge in the refreshing water of the Delaware, and the chance to eat our hosts' delicious repasts under the broad branches of tall trees and unwind in their beautifully curated world. Something much needed and as always, much appreciated by this harried wife and mom of three.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nothing Subtle Here

One glance out the kitchen window and my instincts are confirmed. We're trying not to be worn down by the excessive heat of summer 2013. Sometimes, however (like today), looking forward to the autumn seems more appealing than living in the here and now.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The heat continues and July sizzles. We seek the comfort of shade and cold drinks as I stall dinner until the cooler temperatures of twilight. I imagine an air conditioned world where mother nature is not harmed in the process and try to be environmentally correct under the whirring blades of the fan. Summer isn't as fun as I remember while trying to appreciate the laziness of the season and the treats these months afford.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It was an especially warm weekend for me because I spent a lot of it on the field of Stormville Airport as a vendor in their monthly flea market. Under the cover of a canopy we managed to unload a large assortment of household items, collectibles, china and accessories. The only downside was doing so in 95 degree heat and high humidity. We met a lot of interesting characters- James spent yesterday with me and Sarah and I went up this morning. But by noon- I was done in and we packed up and fled to the sanity of the car's air conditioning. Arriving home- the outside thermometer confirmed what we all felt and I was grateful to be back inside drinking cold water by a fan. There is some kind of stress release in having these events behind me. It firms my resolve to see less as more when I realize the work involved in de-accessioning without giving everything away or using a dumpster.

[And I made one purchase (and only one)- a generous roll of a Scalamandre wallpaper that might work in our much neglected front foyer. Something I have been trying to find for years.]