Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Milford, Connecticut: Sports One of the Largest Village Greens in New England

A business trip to New Milford brought me to its historic downtown area and nearby Candlewood Lake.

Wow, was I in for a number of surprises.

The town sits in a natural bowl surrounded by the rolling hills of Litchfield County, has the Housatonic River flowing through it and possesses the largest area (at 62 square miles) of any town in Connecticut.

And to my delight, New Milford sports one of the largest, most beautiful village greens in New England!

Bank Street-which runs down to the river and the railroad station- in the historic downtown area has lots of gift shops, cafes and restaurants. (I recommend lunch at the Daniels Dining Car Restaurant around the corner at 46 Railroad Street. It's where the locals eat and has great sandwiches and salads.

As I walked down Mill, I was struck by the many foxy looking ladies going to work.

The residents are most friendly; Outside Roger Sherman's residence along the towns greens, I struck up a conversation with a middle-aged lady, who grew up in town, left for job as a FBO operator upstate New York, grew bored and returned 10 years later.

You must move up here, she kept insisting. That's a tempting invitation.

And if I did, I would be joining others who live and have lived nearby: Henry Kissinger, Bill Blass, TV's Bob Costas and Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Columbia University Expansion Gets Go Ahead by NY's Top Court

Layout for Columbia's 17 Acre Campus
Courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Skidmore Owings & Merrill

On June 24, New York's Court of Appeals cleared the way for the state to exercise eminent domain on behalf of Columbia and acquire control of 17 acres of land in the West Harlem Manhattanville Community. In a 9-0 decision it reversed the Supreme Court's decision back on December 3.

Columbia plans to spend $6.3 Billion on a 25 year plan which maintains the existing street grid, but includes demolition of all buildings except for four. The University plans construction of 16 mixed use buildings for classrooms, housing and research.

There will be a total of 6.8 million square feet of academic space which will include up to 7 floors of underground space

Pre-construction of the first phase has begun on the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, a neuroscience research which will be completed by 2015. The second phase is planned to be completed by 2030.

Included in the plans is a park on 12th Avenue for which 94,000 square feet of green public space is dedicated.

The few remaining property owners on the site plan an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

The blogger wishes to thank The Architectural Record, The New York Observer and The Columbia Spectator for the information contained herein

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Accolades for PBS's Reel 13: Shades of Ray

Those who know me realize that I rarely, but occasionally will run out to see a movie on a big screen. (I cannot last more than five minutes in front of the boob tube without falling asleep)

For me to keep my eyes open, it's got to be a winner: meaning it must create a high level of interest via choice of words, super acting or cinematic innovation ; when all three are combined it's a four star for me.

(The last movies I have enjoyed at the local cinema have included A Serious Man and Avatar. A PBS British sleuth masterpiece last caught my attention a few weeks ago)

Thus it came as a great surprise that I was intrigued by a TV Indie movie on NY's Channel 13.

It's 2:30 AM this morning and waking up from 9 hours of refreshing sleep, I am ready to attack a month's worth of catch-up reading in five different newspapers, a half dozen magazines and my summer novel, The Disciple by Stephan Coonts.

So, it's surprising that I would quickly surf a few favorite channels on cable for content: The Tennis Channel, the ESPNs and finally the C-Spans.

I am just about ready to flip off the remote, when a movie on PBS's Channel 13
catches my eye. It's called Shades of Ray and its obviously an Indie and lucky for me there's another 30 minutes of the 90 minutes remaining.

The movie is a winner!

Ray is the son of a mixed cultural marriage: his mom is American Caucasian and his pop is Pakistani. His pop has split from his mom and Ray is being chased by two women. Ray is preoccupied with bringing his parents back together.

One scene caught my attention and it's delightful: Ray is bartendering and one of his flames shows up. After a flirtatious opening (Ray asks her how many bars she hopped to tracking him down), she next pins him into the vacant men's room and aggressively begins seducing him .

Ray pulls himself away before any serious lovemaking begins and storms out.

As luck would have it, his second flame just happens to show up to see Ray exiting the Men's Room followed by his stalker- amour. The former looks in disbelief and the two flames storm out of the bar together.

But this masquerade has just begun. For at this very moment, Ray's dad makes his appearance and starts screaming at his son. No son of mine will work at a bar, he barks. This is beneath you.

Ray is totally flummoxed holds his head in shame. End of scene.

Do Ray's parents reconcile? We must wait for a replay.

Here's a link to the trailer/teaser: http://www.thirteen.org/sites/reel13/this-week/current-indie/indie-shades-of-ray/1861/

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Althea Gibson, International Tennis Star, was Born Today

Born in Silver, South Carolina, raised on the tough streets of Harlem, quitting school and working as a
"counter girl in a Chock Full o' Nuts shop in lower Manhattan, a chicken cleaner on Long Island..., an elevator operator in the midtown Dixie Hotel, a packer in a button factory, a mechanic in a machine shop ('It was puttin' screws in somethin', I don't remember what')
- quote source (Sport: That Gibson Girl, Time Magazine, August 26, 1957)
Althea Gibson (August 25, 1927- September 28, 2003), created history on her 23rd birthday-August 25, 1950, when she became the first black to ever play tennis in the US Lawn Tennis Championships held at the prestigious Forest Hills Tennis Club.

On that day, she easily breezed past her first round opponent Barbara Knapp 6-2,6-2.

Her second round opponent was three time Wimbledon winner, Louise Brough. The future tennis star was one game shy of knocking off Brough (leading 1-6, 6-3, 7-6) when a violent lightening storm--which knocked off a cement eagle from the top of the stadium--halted play.

Next day, with fear and trembling dominating her game, Gibson lost to Brough.

This street kid fought back and 7 years later--at age 30-- she became the number one ladies player in the world. She would win the French Open in 1956 beating Bristisher Angela Mortimer Barrett 6-0, 12-10 and then go on to win Wimbledon in 1957 against fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2. (Hard was the number one American female tennis star from 1960-1963)

Gibson would go on to win three more Grand Slams, for a total of five.

In addition, she won a total of 11 Grand Slam titles in the Women's and Mixed Doubles events.

She added further sports glories, by being the first black woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour in 1963 and was appointed as Commissioner of New Jersey Athletics.

Two tennis facilities are named after her: One in Newark, New Jersey and the second in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

America in Color from 1939-1943

Connecticut Town on the Sea, Stonington, Connecticut
November 1940, Reproduction from Color Slide.
Photo by Jack Delano, Prints and Photograph Divison,
Library of Congress

A friend of mine recently emailed a marvelous collection of original color photos (from color slides) , perhaps the only known images of the effect of the depression upon small town and rural America.

The photographers are from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information and the pictures are property of the Library of Congress.

Click on the this link to view!

Here are some of my favorites. #2 is of the Long Island Sound at Stonington, Connecticut (just North of Mystic). Taken in November, 1940, the bleak landscape is shrouded by a sky filled with cumulous clouds; a few solitary figures are at the shoreline; a stream of gray smoke just to their right indicates that they are hovering about a 'campfire' probably to keep warm.

The overall mood is somber and somewhat bleak; however, the patches of blue are signs of optimism.

Slide number 6 is a December 1940 scene in front of the Brockton, Massachusetts Enterprise Newspaper. The latest news stories from both the depression and World War II (before we entered) are posted in the large front window. Churchill Urges Italians to Oust Mussolini; another reads New England Has Earthquake with Connecticut suffering serious damage.

The people milling about are getting free access to the news, much like the internet provides us today. A great way to save a few cents, the cost of the newspaper! And the cost of a couple of apples!

Slides 16-21 are of Pie Town, New Mexico. The town hosts a Pie Festival the second Saturday of each September. Jack Whinery a homesteader and his family is featured in #16 and his dugout home in #21.

We all too often forget the hard times of the early 1940's

But for some the prolonged recession which began 2 years ago is a grim reminder of the cyclical economic crises of our Republic.

My thanks to the Denver Post for posting the link!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dr. Reginald Weir: A Black Tennis Legend, Predecessor to both Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe

Dr. Reginald Weir, The Winged Mercury at the
Seventh Regiment Armory, March 1948
Images by Ralph Morse, Courtesy of Life

Dr. Reginald Weir Serving at the Wood- Slatted Seventh Regiment
Armory in Manhattan's Harlem, March 1948
Images by Ralph Morse, Courtesy of Life

I am 'rolling my visual videotape back' some 50 years to 1959.

It's the cold of winter and my friend Herb (who plays tennis at NYU) and myself (on the Columbia College Freshman team) are playing singles at Manhattan's 369th  Regiment Armory, located in the heart of Harlem. 

The game of playing on' boards'-- wood slats-- is unlike any other surface.

It's fast, much faster than grass, the ball doesn't rise as on clay and favors the player with quick reflexes. (remember, this was the age preceding the yellow, more visible tennis ball!)

The lighting is meager; while there are lights suspended from the high ceilings, most light filters in from high narrow window 'slats.'

Playing on the next court is a black tennis legend, Dr. Reginald Weir. He is tall and lanky and dressed in long whites and moves around the court like a winged Mercury.

Little did I know then he was the first black tennis player to break the tennis color barrier. In March of 1948, he was the first black to play in the National Indoor Tennis Championship at this very venue.

He made it through the first round and then was soundly beaten by the top-seeded Billy Talbert, 6-1, 6-1.

Reggie as he is known  is fondly known as being to Tennis what Jackie Robinson was to baseball; He always exhibited grace under pressure, a fighter to the very end.

He opened up the prestigious US Lawn Tennis Association sanctioned tournaments to two gifted stars, Althea Gibson and then Arthur Ashe, both winners of major Grand Slams.

I recently learned that Reggie passed on in 1987.

Kudos to a tennis great, who modestly exhibited his sterling character both on the court and as a caring physician serving the community of Manhattan near the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Building a Mosque at Ground Zero

So so much ink has been spilled about the plans to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. (almost as much as being spilt about America's pursuing its objectives in Afghanistan.)

We all agree that free speech and free exercise of religion are constitutional guarantees that no one wants abridged.

Yet on the other hand, we must respect the families and the loved ones who died and still mourn the tragic loss of life.

Among those lost included many American citizens of the Islamic faith-which no one seems to consider. They, too, need to be remembered.

(And I recall calling on potential clients in Tenafly, New Jersey on September 13th and being greeted by teenagers at the door who told me matter of factly their fathers had not been home for two days! Naturally, I cried and immediately went home!)

The practical solution is to first let the public clamor die down. No clear decisions should be made on the spot. Then let the builders of the mosque present their case to the public as to why their facility needs to be built right there.

Next, in the spirit of compromise, if the builders still insist on building in lower Manhattan, they should, perhaps, consider another--less sensitive location-- that would defuse the public outcry and allow them to practice their religion.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cookie Thomas Band Plays At the Harry Bennett Library in Stamford.

To the delight of an overflow audience at the Bennett Library, Cookie Thomas cast the spell of his magical voice--along with his 3 piece band consisting of bass, drums and key board.

He has an easy going manner and relates intimately with his audience; he is constantly asking:" what would you like to hear next?" And he nearly always is accommodative.

He sang such romantic lilting classics as At Last, My Funny Valentine and What a Wonderful World.

He reminds us that he grew up in Philadelphia where doo wop groups competed en plein air vying for the attention of passersby. Does he ever transport us back to the 50's singing Frankie Lyman's classic Why do Fools Fall in Love and Little Anthony and the Imperials hit Tears on my Pillow.

Celebrating National Aviation Day: An Air War Between Two States

Today two states claim to be the father of American Aviation. Ohio claims this honor because the Wright Brothers, originally bicycle machinists, were born in Ohio.

North Carolina prides itself because the Wright brothers-Orville in particular-- were the first Americans to be involved in successful flight of a powered, controlled, heavy than air craft.

On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright (born on August 19, 1871) claimed full honors for this remarkable feat at Kitty Hawk, a 12 second historic flight.

Thirty-six years later, in 1939, President Franklinl declared August 19
National Aviation Day in honor of Orville's birthday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today is the Birthday of John Hawkes, Stamford, CT Native, Novelist and Ivy Professor

John Hawkes (August 17, 1925-May 15, 1998) was born in Stamford, Connecticut, educated at Harvard and then taught at Brown University for 30 years.

He was the author of 18 novels, novellas as well as short stories; he wrote 4 plays and a volume of poetry.

One of his novels The Blood Oranges was made into a movie and released in 1997.

His grandfather was one of 9 sons of landed Irish gentry who rode to the hounds. Hawkes lived for a while in Old Greenwich, CT near riding stables.

In his memoirs, he recalls the thumping and stomping sounds as he
struggled to breathe during recurring of asthma attacks.
These factors may account for his fascination with horses in his works.

His themes include: past influences on the present, alienation, death, redemption, the absurd nature of reality, sexuality, relationships, marriage and the importance of the imagination.

He traveled widely throughout his life and incorporated these experiences into his writings.Among the places he lived and visited include: Juneau, Alaska , New York City (he attended Trinity School), Pawling, New York, Cambridge, MA, Burma (where he joined as volunteer ambulence driver in the American Field Service at the end of WWII), then the European Theater in Italy, Belgium and Germany, Grenada, Island of Lesbos, The Brittany Coast, The Cote d'Azur, Venasque, France (near Avignon) and Providence, Rhode Island.

The Late Renoir Exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum: A Master Comes of Age

The Large Bathers, 1918-1919, Oil on Canvas
Musee d'Orsay, Paris (on loan for the Late Renoir exhibit)

In 1913, at the age of 72 , Pierre Auguste Renoir ( 1841- 1919)
declared: "I'm starting to know how to paint. It has taken me over 50 years to get this far and I'm not done yet."

What is meant by this enigmatic statement?

A little background to this marvelous display of over 80 works:paintings, sculpture and drawings.

In 1881, Renoir visited Madrid to see Velazquez's paintings, thenon to Italy to see Titian's masterpieces in Florence and Raphael's works in Rome.

Viewing these painters, Renoir was inspired by classical Greek and Roman figures and themes. (he would later sculpt The Judgment of Paris and Large Washerwoman with Richard Guino doing the claymodeling)

Then in 1892, he developed rheumatoid arthritis and moved to 'Les Collettes' a farm in Cagnes-sur Mer close to Nice and the Mediterranean in southern France. In this locale, Renoir was seduced by the soft light of the Midi. More important, here was the ideal pastoral setting in which Renoir created an arcadian tableau inhabited by sensuous bathers, washerwomen and females deities.

There is a 'fruitful irony' that we witness at this key juncture in the artist's life- which just might illuminate Renoir's puzzling statement just alluded to.

As his arthritis lead to restricted movement of the joints of his hands and legs (he became wheel chair bound), he developed ankylosis of his right shoulder (stiff bent shoulder due to adhesion of the bones) and this lead to extreme discomfort.

Yet-- his work revels in a upbeat vibrancy of vivd bright colors.

Renoir didn't give up. He continued to paint with a relentless passion, perhaps unknown to him.

It is this artistic urge, this marvelous inner resource of spiritual strength the he used to overcome, surpass and minimize the extreme discomfort of his body ailments.

In short, Renoir celebrated his love of life, his joie de vivre with an ever increasing display of sensuality in the female body and in surrounding nature.

Painted just before he passed on, The Great Bathers (the Nymphs) of 1918-1919, pictured above, just might be the apotheosis of his ideal sensual woman (though there are many in the work and in so many other paintings and sculptures) in a corresponding sensual/pastoral universe filled with pinks, rosees and oranges.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Going Wi-Fi in New York City: My Airport has Has Access To MANY Cloud Confreres!

Forget having to trek to Starbucks to find a hot zone.

It's past 6:30 AM here in Queens New York.

And there's 'hot air' all around me.

I seem to be floating in an atmosphere of unlimited wi-fi networks.

At last count, a rapid click on my airport strength icon reveals 17, yes seventeen active wireless networks.

I am particularly intrigued by names: one is aptly named dulce de leche 29h (name changed to protect the user)

With that name, I am ready to grab some Columbian coffee in my neighborhood and add some dulce de leche! (sweet milk)

Another goes by 'deelink.' I can fly on that airline, too! (considering LGA is close by!)

Wow, and since 3:30 AM, I seem to have accessed at least three cloud confreres.

I am in a low rise of 6 stories surrounded by many such structures.

Just imagine if I were in a midtown Manhattan hi-rise skyscraper of 50 stories.

Just how many confreres would I access then?

Fifty, seventy five, or perhaps, one hundred or more?

Now, that would be a wi-fi STORY (TO COUNT) AND TELL!

Have a great day, all!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Race for Senator Heats Up in Connecticut: It's McMahon Challenging Blumenthal

Linda McMahon

Richard Blumenthal

Now that the primary results are in, Connecticut political races begin in earnest.

For U.S. Senate, the Democratic candidate is Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

He has served as the state's top prosecutor for the last 20 years and is now chomping at the bits to fill the seat of Senator Chris Dodd.

He has a competent record of achievement fighting big interests which
his now breaking TV ads will highlight. He has a modest campaign budget.

Blumenthal is pitted against Linda McMahon, a super successful
business executive, who will outspend him ten to one.
(She has already spent $22 million of her own funds to
win the primary and is committed to spend another $28 million
to secure her prize.)

She has tons of experience running the World Wrestling Entertainment empire.

It will prove to be an interesting race.

Who will the one to be the next Junior Senator to Joe Lieberman?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dan Malloy, former Mayor of Stamford Sweeps to Victory in Connecticut Democratic Primary for Governor

The votes are in and Dan Malloy, former Mayor of Stamford, upset his
rival,Greenwich businessman, Ned Lamont.

Latest tallies showed Malloy garnered 58% of the vote and Lamont 42%. Just two months ago, Lamont had a 17 point lead.

An amazing comeback.

In this video shoot in front of his childhood Stamford home off Fifth Street, the Democratic nominee for governor speaks about taxes. (note the TV crew which numbers 10 people).

Here's his script: "Taxes...As governor,I'll never forget where I came from. I'll work night and day to fix the economy, so you don't have to work day and night to provide for your family. I'm Dan Malloy and I approve of this message.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Mill River Park: Sowing the Vision for Stamford's Downtown

On a 28 acre parcel of vacant land adjacent to the lower end of the Rippowam River( aka the Mill River- because textile mills once dominated the site) , lies a horticulturists' and city planners' 'green dream' in the making.

It is called the Mill River Park and will cover land adjacent to a 2.9 mile stretch of the river before it enters the Sound.

The project is slated to cost $60 Million excluding acquisition costs.

The planning for site usage started over 80 years ago; In 1929 Herbert Swan formulated the first of many (master) plans. See: http://www.millriverpark.com/history.htm

The Project is called the Mill River Park and the current Chairman of the Mill River Collaborative, Arthur Selkowitz foresees a multi-use park that includes a winter ice skating rink, a carousel, jogging trails, amphitheater and fountain.

A children's playground was built in 2006 with the help of over 1500 dedicated volunteers!

To this list, we can include a horticultural zone consisting of Stamford's own version of botanical gardens, featuring an outdoor display of seasonal and perrenial flora and year- round arboretum. (One can visit West Hill High School's newly developed Agricultural Science building for ideas: See Page 85 of City of Stamford, Major Accomplishments 1998-2006. (opens large file .pdf)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stamford Downtown Open Space

In this short slide show, one of downtown Stamford's open space areas is presented

Welcome to this unique 'green' haven oasis dedicated to
those who labored mightily to build Stamford from 1969-1990

It is located just west of the south end of the Mall and opposite 300 Atlantic Avenue.

Its locus is also the junction of Tresser Blvd.and Edith Sherman Way.

Frederick Shrady (1907-1990) is the sculptor of the energetic
free flowing visionary figure that dominates the scene. A Connecticut
resident,he was educated at Oxford and then studied painting at
the Art Student League in New York City.

His art includes the 28 foot "Peter, Fisher of Men" showing the
saint casting a net installed in the plaza of Fordham University
Lincoln Center campus

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Meeting of Souls:Marsha, May She Rest in Peace, Pulls the Family Together

I got an urgent cell phone call from brother 8:31 AM on Wednesday morning while walking to my car on Summer St. in downtown Stamford.

"Cousin Marsha passed away-the funeral is at the family plot in Hawthorne, NY, tomorrow at 10:30. Are you coming?"

Without hesitating, I said, "Sure, I'll be there!"

A Jewish funeral must be held within 24 hours of the person's death
(unless there are extenuating circumstances like flying the
deceased halfway around the world).

To me a family funeral is an opportunity to show support for those of us whose burning lights are still lit--to be a source of comfort to the bereaved siblings; in this case, Marsha's brother Carrie needs my support.

Though I see Carrie on such infrequent occasions such as major family birtdays, deaths, unveilings, weddings, etc, I knew he needed my support more than ever, now.

I called him on his cell later on Wednesday to let him know I would be there for him.

His comment was: "I do appreciate your coming? I didn't think you would make it!"

So much for family unity! I'm not a cynic. I take Carrie's side.
I saw him last two summers ago at Aunt Libby's 85th birthday party
held at a waterside restaurant up in the mid Hudson Valley.

And since that event, there was no major family event to pull us together! So, there's a lack of communication, which leads often time to indifference and distances between cousins.

And an attitude arises which goes something like, we are not close to begin with, so why bother showing up? Why should be bother to show sympathy.

Heck, I am coming to pay respects to his sister, my cousin Marsha. And secondly, it's 'this' connection thing, 'this' opportunity to reconnect with cousins I have not seen for two years.

Good cousins make good fences to paraphrase an American poet, Robert Frost.

We all have our own lives and go our separate ways.

But, I can always be counted on to show up, when my presence is needed.

So, who was Marsha?

She didn't have it easy! She was a renegade teenager who fled here parents household in Flushing, Queens for the village life in the early 60's.

Her doting parents did not know her residence, if indeed she had one.

She would pop home every once in a while to grab some clothes, to cop a good meal from her forlorn mom.

Did she live a monastic life? Far from it, she had to whom she was loyal.

She led a life far from the serious academic graduate school life I was
enjoying at Columbia in the mid-sixties.

I was (and dressed) uptown Ivy and she was (and dressed) downtown Bohemian.

She would repeat foul language and ideas others would share with her, insensitive and impervious to the consequences. On the other hand, I was cool, diplomatic and tactful.

Yet, she's blood and I will show my family solidarity by showing up and remembering Marsha.

Carrie tells a true story about Marsha aged 8 or 9.

It's 1959 and Hollywood has come to our neighborhood, to the old Biograph Movie studios (1913-1980) around the corner from Prospect Avenue on 175th Street near Crotona Park.

Here's where the great silent movie stars--Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish-made their movies.

And it was here that cousin Marsha would hang out every day waiting to get the autograph of Elizabeth Taylor who would arrive in a limo daily with Eddie Fisher. The two stars, along with Laurence Harvey were making Butterfield 8 here. Here's a link to a trailer about the film:

Well, one day, Marsha made her move. She waited to ambush Elizabeth Taylor outside the studio, next to a parked limo. The star exits the studio and as she sits herself down in the car, Marsh pushes her way in and demands an autograph.

Five seconds later, a rather disgruntled and dishevelled Marsha exits the limo at the end of an outstretched arm--without the coveted signature.

I can only think of the following dialog between Harvey and Taylor in the movie:

Harvey: "You are all alike aren't you? Play tough!

Taylor: "I am not like anyone. I'm me."

Yes, Marsha had to be herself. She had to play on her own terms and on her own turf!

May her soul rest in peace.

Thank you, cousin Carrie for this anecdote.

It brings back the good days when all four families lived in close proximity in the East Tremont area of the Bronx, living in close proximity to the fifth family our Zaidi and Bubba.

Those were the golden olde days when our families gathered together to eat around grandma's big round table enjoying her kreplach. Those were the golden days when we would all gather in the furnished basement of my Uncle Ben's house to watch the Milton Berle show on his 7 inch TV with magnifying glass in front.

Now, with our parents gone, we cousins gather to commemorate the deceased and share our lives together, however briefly,--- around the family grave site.

This time we lingered an hour after the burial-- sharing memories, sharing our hearts sharing our lives, together.

Long live the family--our family.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stamford Personalities: Elizabeth, the New York Times Lady

Most mornings at 7AM, she is to be found "under the big tree" in front of Chez Jean Pierre French restaurant on Summer Street.

She always has a stack of newspapers of your choice ready to dispense.

Whether your favorite morning read is the Times, Advocate or Daily News,she has it for you.

People walking to work depend on her for their morning read.

Drivers going North on Atlantic and then to Summer Street stop for a few seconds to chat with her as she quickly hands them their paper of choice.

Her name is Elizabeth, she speaks English with a slight patois accent and she is as dependable as your local postman.

Her age-well, she turns 95 in November. Hats off to this enterprising Stamford citizen!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Manchester CT Shooting Tragedy Affects Stamford Connecticut Community

In this short video, ABC Eyewitness News Broadcaster Anthony Johnson visits a Stamford Synagogue at 6:30 AM to alert the tri-state viewers that the funeral for the slain beer company executive will be held after 3PM.

Nine people were killed including the deranged gunman.

According to an email notice, the funeral for Louis Felder will held today, August 4th, 2010 at 4:30 PM at Congregation Agudath Sholom 301 Strawberry Hill Ave., Stamford, CT 06902. Burial will follow at the Independent Lodge Cemetery at 327 Hoyt Street, Darien, CT.

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Felder and the families of other slain individuals.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Celebrating the Birthday of Jack Kramer, Tennis Great

Jack Kramer (August 1, 1921- September 12, 2009) was an was outstanding world class tennis player who later went on to spearhead men's professional tennis.

He is known as the father of the' serve-and-volley', in which he would rush the net behind both his serves. He would go on to win the U.S. Single Championships in 1946 and 1947 and the Wimbledon Singles Championship in 1947.

In the '47 Wimbledon win, Jack whipped fellow Californian Tom Brown in just 45 minutes, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. During the tourney, he only lost 37 games.

As an amateur, he began touring the country in 1954, playing the top professional player, Bobby Riggs. He consistently beat Riggs and then played against other amateurs as they turned pro--e.g. Pancho Gonzalez, Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall.

As a rule, professional tennis stars were not allowed to play in amateur tennis tournaments. Then in 1968, tennis went open and Kramer was relieved as his Association of Tennis Professionals could compete in traditional tennis venues.

The tennis racket bearing Jack's name was de rigeur for any serious tennis player and he made a small fortune as millions were sold over a 35 year time span. His business investments in the Professional Tennis Tour, two golf courses and race horses all proved successful.

Jack will be long remembered.
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