From the Editor

Perhaps, it is I That Has Been Unclear


Recently, my great-niece, Annaka, was standing in my living room, looking at The Tray, the piece which inspired my short story, by the same name. It was a find made by Kate, in Rochester, New Hampshire, at the Salvation Army. Annaka asked me what it was; I found the question rather intriguing, but as I am prone to do, I followed her lead. I said it was a tray, she said yes, but what is it? She waved her hand around the whole tray, looking at me for more information. I was pleased to see her mind working. I then began to explain what the tray held, it contents. She observed each piece thoughtfully while I spoke, nodding her head, and reaching satisfaction. The tray holds a few of my Judaica treasures, and a bit more.

(Annaka has previously been drawn to this tray, I feel that conversation is not over; a couple of months ago she had asked about the menorah, on the tray. We spoke about it, and I asked her if she would like a menorah, her beautiful eyes lit up and she proclaimed that she would love a menorah. I just happened to have a menorah ready to give her.)



I began collecting Judaica by chance. When we bought our house in Florida, from Mel, who had been forced to go from his home into assisted living, after a fall, which landed him in the emergency room; he sold the house “as is”, including the contents. Thus among other things, I inherited the fruits of Mel and his wife’s travels, including a series of little wooden plaques, all made in Israel.

There were quite a few of these little treasures; I kept those I liked the most, and eventually shared the rest with others.

As I have previously written, my souvenir, from my trip to Israel, is a blue, hand blown, vase; I decided that having been to Israel was enough for me to be able to justify keeping and displaying my inherited Judaica. I will say that initially I felt that perhaps I was doing a bit of cultural appropriation; but of the many Jewish people I have been fortunate to have in my home, none have ever taken umbrage.

Years later, having been gifted Judaica by our Jewish friends, and made some incredible finds at the various vintage and second hand stores I frequent, you cannot step foot inside our homes and be even slightly confused of where we stand, when it comes to Israel. We stand with Israel.

Though I will say that if you had known me, even as a child, you would have known that I loved Israel; as I have said already, on these pages, as a Christian and historian, the first history I studied and was taught, in church, was Jewish. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Ruth, Esther, Joseph, Deborah, David . . ., all Jewish hero’s and people firmly implanted in my world, and in theory, in the world of people who claim to be Christians.

Also, if you have ever had a conversation with me about more than the weather and the like, or read these pages, or seen my post on social media, or looked through my libraries, you should understand that I stand with Israel.

I do not know if my interest in World War II was birthed by interest in Israel or the Late Night Movies; but by the time I was eleven, I was aware of the atrocities of the Holocaust, and remember speaking with both of my parents, at different times, trying to understand how it could have happened. I still do not understand and I am still horrified every time I read another book, see another movie, visit another site or place of remembrance, to this horror.

In general, I live in a state of disbelief about many things, but mostly at what people are capable of doing to each other. For the last few years, I have followed the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, with much concern and shock. While many of the attacks have been at the hands of people spewing religious dogma, others are committed by seemingly normal and sane people, who are of course neither, as they are infested with hate and ignorance.

But lately my disbelief and horror is at the blatant anti-Semitism being espoused in the United States of America, a place that should be a haven against such vile thought and behavior.

I never believed that in my lifetime, I would see such a rise of anti-Semitism, in the United States. Our hands are not clean, regarding World War II, we knew so much of what was happening, and did little to nothing – one of my issues with President Franklyn D. Roosevelt. While one of the reasons I so admire his successor, President Harry S. Truman, is that despite that hate all around him, including from George Marshall who declared that he would not be able to vote for President Truman, in the next election, if President Truman recognized Israel; eleven minutes after Israel declared its statehood, the United States became the first nation to recognize her, thank God.

We have seen the pictures and films, many taken by the Germans to document and celebrate their atrocities, and others taken by the forward thinking men who liberated the camps. Personal testimonies now abound, irrefutable physical evidence has been brought forward and displayed that supports these first-hand accounts of destruction of life, community, and history. But less we think that the issue of anti-Semitism is limited to the Holocaust perpetrated by the Germans and their allies, we are now painfully aware of everything from the pogroms in Russia to the Spanish Inquisition, including the treachery endured before and after these acts, all over Europe; and what has happened to the Jewish communities in Arab countries, especially in the Twentieth Century.

The United States cannot support anti-Semitism, especially by being silent; too much blood has been shed, and we will answer for it; this is not about being on the “right” or “left” or being a supporter of President Trump or anyone else throwing their hat into the ring for the presidency in 2020, in the United States.

Not so oddly, I have digressed from what I had originally wanted to say, so let me try again. You cannot walk into my home and be confused about how I feel about Israel, thus, I have been rather shocked, that on more than one occasion, I have had people at my table(s), which have actually made anti-Semitic remarks to me. None of these people left my home(s) confused about how I felt about their statements, though I must say, some being dearer to me than others, the conversations were very uncomfortable and sad. How can it be that people who claim to be “Christians”, people who are educated and have had multi-cultural interactions, feel comfortable making comments to me, which reflect their small minds and dark hearts? I am deeply disturbed that someone would confuse my hospitality and lack of desire for people to feel anything but welcomed and comfortable, in my home, for permission to share their wicked thoughts.

So in case I have failed to make it clear: I stand with Israel. I believe in and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus was / is Jewish. The Jews are God’s chosen people. The Bible, my holy book, contains sacred Jewish writings; God inspired Jews to write my Bible, which is also a book of history, among other things, for the Jewish people. And, yes, I believe that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, I believe that they have rightfully won the right to control the Golan Heights, and all of Israel. I admire, respect, and appreciate how incredibly brave and fierce and determined and hardworking and dedicated Jews are and have been in their efforts to reestablish their homeland and make the dessert flower.

I could go on, and on, and if somehow I failed to get my message across, I will; but for now, let me close by saying anti-Semitism is not about supporting Palestinians or an ignorant notion that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ, or being concerned about money in politics or any other false issues that you want to raise to hide your hatred. So knock yourself out, unfriend me, scratch my name out of your phonebook, call me names at church . . ., you do whatever you need to do, but I stand with Israel. That is all for now.

Free this Month

National Park Week



I cannot say enough about the National Parks, in the United States – the system covers everything from historical homes to national seashores, and a visit to any one of the parks will both entertain and enlighten. This month you can visit a park for free!

On April 20, 2019, all National Parks are offering free admission; take a look at their sight below, I am sure there will be something which peeks your interest.


Smalltalk, it’s a Cleveland Thing



Yes, as a former Clevelander, I am playing with the word, Smalltalk. But did you know that one of the inventors of Smalltalk was from Cleveland, Ohio, and a woman?

First, what is Smalltalk? Simply put, Smalltalk is a programming language that was created as a method for humans to interact with computers, known as human-computer symbiosis. An example of human-computer symbiosis would be a person interacting with a keyboard on a computer to navigate the Internet.

Second, who is Adele Goldberg; Adele Goldberg was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, where she would attend the University of Chicago for her master’s and PhD in information science, completing her studies in 1973.

Goldberg would then head to Xerox Palo Alto Research Center PARC. And it would be at PARC that she, Alan Kay and Dan Ingalls, would develop Smalltalk, an object-oriented programming language that would give birth to one of the most important features in our interaction today with digital devices, known as the Graphical User Interface GUI.

Both Mac OS and Windows would use Smalltalk and incorporate elements of the programming language such as, a mouse and pop-up menus. For many of us in the computer industry, prior to a GUI, we would interact with a green screen. The green screen consisted of a dark background with green characters and a person would have to have a considerable amount of computer knowledge in order to extract the necessary data from computer programs.

Smalltalk was originally conceived as a programming language to be taught to children. The name Smalltalk came from Alan Kay, who had a reaction against the Indo-Europeans where the systems had names like Zeus, and Thor, and never did anything. Alan thought that the innocuous label of Smalltalk would set expectations appropriately, and if anything did come of the programming language, that people would be pleasantly surprised.

And what a pleasant surprise Smalltalk has been. The object-oriented language would steer some of greatest digital achievements such as the language virtual machine, vm, just-in-time compilation, integrated development environment IDE, and software architectural pattern model-view-control MVC.

Smalltalk would also lead to another digital idea, Dynabook, in 1977, invented by Kay and Goldberg. The Dynabook was an idea where every individual would use a notebook computer to interact digitally with others; today we would call this a laptop.

And probably one of the greatest outcomes of Smalltalk would be the Macintosh. Steve Jobs and the direction of Apple would pivot completely once he saw Smalltalk and WIMP, windows, icons, menus and pointer.

In fact, when Steve Jobs wanted a demonstration of Smalltalk System, it was Goldberg who would refuse him. Her superiors eventually ordered her to show Jobs, which she did comply, but stated that this decision to “give away the kitchen sink” to Jobs and his team, was their responsibility. As we know, Goldberg would be right, and the Macintosh desktop would revolutionize not only personal computers, but the way we read, listen to music, talk on the phone and now, watch television, all with the brand name of Apple, instead of Xerox.

I sometimes cannot believe the age in which we live. We live in a time of history, that has seen the game of pong, lead to interactive global gaming. We live in a time that we can immediately find answers to almost any question. We live in time that keyboard interaction with digital devices is becoming voice activated. We have become pseudo doctors, plumbers, electricians, all by a click of a button. Human-computer symbiosis has been achieved. Thank you Smalltalk, thank you Goldberg and the team at PARC. May we all take advantage of their achievements, and safely connect through our digital device.

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 ~

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

The Tree of Life, US, 2011, 139 minutes, Drama

Shopgirl, US, 2005, 106 minutes, Romantic Comedy

12 Strong, US, 2018, 130 minutes, Military Drama

In Therapy, Brazil, 2009, 93 minutes, Comedy

Soul Kitchen, Germany, 2009, 99 minutes, Comedy

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, US, 1961, 114 minutes, Comedy

Queen to Play, France, 2009, 101 minutes, Drama

Castaway on the Moon, Korea, 2009, 116 minutes, Comedy

Eat Drink Man Woman, Taipei, 1994, 124 minutes, Comedy

Bride Flight, Netherlands, 2011, 130 minutes, Drama

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sweden, 2009, 152 minutes, Thriller

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Israel, 2003, 94 minutes, Comedy

Ladies in Lavender, UK, 2004, 103 minutes, Drama

Paper Moon, US, 1973, 102 minutes, Classic

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Under the Tuscan Sun, US, 2003, 113 minutes, Comedy

Les Comperes, France, 1983, 88 minutes, Comedy

Midnight in Paris, US, 2011, 94 minutes, Comedy

Moscow, Belgium, 2008, 102 minutes, Romantic Drama

Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy

The Help, US, 2011, 146 minutes, Drama

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Mrs. Henderson Presents, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy/Drama

Memoirs of a Geisha, Japan, 2005, 145 minutes, Drama

Vitus, Switzerland, 2007, 123 minutes, Drama

Children of Heaven, Iran, 1997, 89 minutes, Drama

Volver, Spain, 2006, 121 minutes, Comedy

Rashomon, Japan, 1950, 88 minutes, Drama

Guantanamera, Cuba, 1994, 104 minutes, Comedy

Little Miss Sunshine, US, 2006, 101 minutes, Comedy

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Russia, 1980, 150 minutes, Romantic Comedy.

The Pursuit of Happyness, US, 2006, 117 minutes, Drama

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France, 2007, 112 minutes, Drama

Thank You for Smoking, US, 2005, 91 minutes, Comedy

Big Fish, US, 2003, 125 minutes, Drama

No Country for Old Men, US, 2007, 122 minutes, Thriller

Public Square

Public Square

Eloise   I must admit that I felt more than a little bit mischievous, the first time I decided to go into the Plaza Hotel, in New York City, in search of Eloise. Eloise is the central character of a children’s book written by Kay Thomspson and illustrated by Hilary Knight.  The initial story...



Broken Beauty     Can there be beauty in brokenness? I believe there can...

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

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 ~



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