From the Editor

My Fran

Mrs. Frances Hines

I thought that I was finished writing obituaries.  In the last ten years, I have lost too many people and had decided to stop writing about those losses; but this is different, Fran was different.

Fran lived a very full life, and most people would say a long enough life, she was 98 when she died.  “Alright already”, maybe that was a long life, but not long enough.  I can still her voice, and all of the Yiddish she shared with us; Kate picked up quite a lot more than me.

I have many fond memories of the time I spent with Fran; everything from taking her to see The Messiah in Coral Gables, to touring Fairchild Gardens, there was a Chihuly exhibit, wheeling her around Aventura Mall, her choice for a birthday outing.  We even took her to our favorite restaurant, the Versailles, where she ate Cuban food like the adventurous soul she was; but of course her most beloved outing was for Blizzards from Dairy Queen.

But my favorite memory is of all the hours we spent at her table, in the breakfast nook.

Fran would always set the table, put out napkins and silverware, just so, and place whatever offerings we were going to enjoy, on serving platters, even at ten o’clock at night.

That was one of the reasons we started stopping by Fran’s house, she welcomed us after walking our dog, Merry; and she welcomed Merry!

Fran loved animals, and fed the stray cats in the neighborhood, as well as Merry, who shamelessly sat in front of Fran’s fridge waiting for a treat.

I do not remember ever bringing anything to her house, which was not warmly and graciously received.  Fran would try everything, and always add something to the menu, usually something she had picked up, just in case we dropped by.

(Like cake, we ate a lot of cakes; there were always cakes for birthdays, with candles!)

We would sit at the table for hours and talk.  Yes, we would talk about whatever book we were reading; we would critique the latest film, at our local theater, which we all attended, sometimes together.  We would talk about how her bridge game had gone, and who we had all seen or spoken to lately.  There was always a list of people that we all asked about from my Mother, to “the little children”, and Stephanie, Lilliana, Frieda, and Mildred.  There might be some chatter about the neighborhood and of course our families; but there was also more.

Fran would tell us stories about her life, from her childhood, to her marriage, to retirement, her travels, and her happy and sad moments.

Likewise Fran would listen.  I do not think there was a single happy or sad moment in my life, which I did not share with Fran.  She knew all of my secrets, my heartaches, sorrows and regrets; she also knew all of my hopes, dreams, joys, desires.  Fran cried with me and laughed with me, what more can we want in life?

Fran never thought my aspirations or accomplishments, such as they are, did not matter.  Nor did she ever tell me that something which bothered me or hurt me or made me sad, was not important and I needed to get over it already.

Fran was from New York City; her father had worked as a correctional officer, and her mother in a nightclub in Harlem.  Because Fran was such an outstanding student, she had been able to go to Hunter College.  She was raised in a multigenerational home, which she left when she married Milton, who had served in World War II, and had a career in banking.  They had lived in Stuyvesant Town, eventually moving to the Island (Long Island).  They traveled the world, from Europe, Israel, Africa, and Asia.  Fran became a librarian when President Johnson decided that all schools should have a librarian, and a scholarship program was created, to make that a reality.  She was a granddaughter, daughter, a wife, mother, a grandmother, a friend, and a neighbor, thank God.

Eventually, they retired in South Florida, in a town, which at that time, had a very large population of Jewish senior citizens, who most definitely put their mark on the town.

Fran was a ferocious reader; she loved classical music, and going out to eat.  She had season tickets to the ballet, after a performance she and Milton would go to IHOP, a place we too enjoyed taking her after he was gone, she was a great bridge player.  At one time, Fran went swimming almost daily and loved going to the beach, especially the Aruba.  She always said yes to going anywhere we suggested, something else I loved about her.  And Fran enjoyed coming to my house; she was always so grateful, complimentary, and generous with her kind words, to me.

There is so much more that I could say, but I think what I would like to leave you with is that a very unique, strong, passionate woman passed away on December 12, 2020.  She enriched the world, and I will never forget her hugs, kisses, and lovingly being called bubbie by her.   I guess That Is All For Now, but I cannot imagine it to be true.



A few years ago, in a moment of hutzpah, I asked Fran to lend me her photo albums.  I told her I wanted to walk them to my house, and scan a few pictures, and then I would return them.   She knew it was to put them on this website, and she knew it was because I loved her and wanted to immortalize her, in my small way.

I know it was not easy for her to let go of the albums, even for a couple of hours.  Though she would have given me the key to her safety deposit box; the pictures mattered to her in an entirely different way.  That in fact was one of the things which drew me to Fran, the “things” in her life were treasures, which represented the people she loved and the adventures she had had, most of them with her husband, Milton.

(You can find the collection of photos about a third of the way down the page, under The That Is All for Now Family Photo Album II. )



Hut Six



“We must not neglect the nonmilitary means by which an enemy may seek to undermine our national will.”

~ Gordon Welchman~


I am reading a very interesting book by Gordon Welchman called, The Hut Six Story: Breaking the Enigma Codes. Welchman was recruited to work at Bletchley Park, by Alastair Denniston.

Denniston was responsible for decrypting the enemy messages for Great Britain, in the First World War.  After World War I, Denniston continued to work with codebreaking, which led to creation of the Government Code and Cypher School GCCS.

He would be put in charge of GCCS and would start to make preparations for the next war, as he started to see Hitler rise.  The first action that Denniston took, was to acquire Bletchley Park, which was 47 miles North of London, (note to Jill and I, when we go visit), and on the main railway line, which also connected Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  The second action that Denniston undertook, was to recruit mathematicians from these Universities, thus the railway connections to these top two academic institutions became vitally important.  Denniston would be a guest lecture at both of the schools and would inquire of the student, that in the event of war, would they be willing to work at Bletchley Park, cracking codes?  Welchman became one of Denniston’s first recruits, and also interestingly, so was Alan Turing.

The morning that Britain declared war on Germany, Welchman reported to Bletchley Park, and with other recruits, would immediately start to work on two Enigma machines that were provided to England by the Poles.  Later, history would report that the two Enigma machines provided by Polish mathematicians were given to Denniston, in July of 1939, just a little over a month before Germany would invade Poland.

The work on the Enigma machines would be referred to as Hut 6 Ultra.  Hut 6, was the location of the building within Bletchley Park.  Welchman would be the leader of Hut 6 and focused on traffic analysis for encrypted German communications.  While the information collected was encrypted, it is Welchman who understood that you could deduce important information through traffic patterns such as; frequent signals meant planning, rapid and short signals meant negotiations, lack of signal meant lack of activity or completion of plan, frequent signals to one station meant a chain of command, and these are just a few examples of movement and activity by the enemy which he discovered, but his main contribution would be in helping to crack the Enigma code.

Welchman after the war would immigrate to the United States; and go to work at the MITRE Corporation, which is a primary source for cybersecurity intelligence today.  While at MITRE, Welchman conducted research wanting to design secure communications, for the future battlefield.  He noticed that what he had learned from his work during World War II, was still valid.  While technology had changed tremendously, the principles of handling coded traffic were much the same.

I have only begun to read The Hut Six Story: Breaking the Enigma Codes; even so, I am amazed at the forethought that Denniston had, not only in understanding the importance of cryptography, but in knowing that he would need to establish a safe work environment, away from the disruptions of war.  He would leave London, and find a place away from the city and near transportation.  I am impressed that Polish mathematicians would have the forethought to share what they knew about the Enigma with the British.

There are many elements that I find fascinating about this book, but relevant to my work today and all of us staying safely Connected, are these principles established during this time period that are still practiced today.  For example, in order to create a complete picture of a cyber-attack, we need to bring together data from various places, applying the same principles Welchman used in signal intelligence.


Film’s Recommended by Marcial


“This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.”

~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
To Live, China, 1994, 133 minutes, drama
Our Idiot Brother, US, 2011, 89 minutes, comedy
The Rebound, US, 95 minutes, comedy
In July, Germany, 2001, 100 minutes, comedy
The Big Year, US, 100 minutes, comedy
Shine, Australia, 1996, 106 minutes, biographical
Legends of the Fall, US, 1994, 132 minutes, romantic drama
Road to Perdition, US, 2002, 117 minutes, crime drama
L.A. Confidential, US, 1997, 138 minutes, crime thriller
Capote, US, 2005, 114 minutes, crime drama
The Jacket, US, 2005, 103 minutes, Science fiction thriller
Hugo, UK, 2011, 127 minutes, family drama
Source Code, US, 2011, 93 minutes, Science fiction thriller
It’s a Wonderful Life, US, 1946, 132 minutes, classic drama
Casablanca, US, 1942, 102 minutes, drama/romance
How to Steal a Million, US, 1966, 127 minutes, classic comedy
Beginners, US, 2010, 105 minutes, comedy/drama
The Debt, US, 2010, 114 minutes, espionage thriller
Larry Crowne, US, 2011, 99 minutes, romantic comedy
Ed Wood, US, 1994, 127 minutes, comedy
Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 136 minutes, black comedy
The Mouse That Roared, UK, 1959, 83 minutes, comedy
The Party, UK, 1968, 99 minutes, classic comedy
Fair Game, US, 2010, 108 minutes, political thriller
The Right Stuff, US, 192 minutes, Drama
The Black Balloon US, 97 minutes, Drama
Shopgirl, US, 2005, 106 minutes, Romantic Comedy

A View from the Road

An Almost Perfect Snow Angel



Taken during a sledding down the hill in town, in Maine.   I am not sure why, but for some reason everyone seems to love making snow angels.

Public Square

Public Square

An Illions Carousel   I am not brave, especially when I am alone.  But as I have gotten older, I have occasionally become bolder; which is how I was able to photograph this Illions Carousel. I happened to be walking through Congress Park, when I spotted the carousel just as the workers were preparing...



The Hawaiian Room   Bear with me; this post does belong in Nature, I...

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.



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