Nonsensical Judges

Damn, I would have settled for nonsensical, instead of incompetent and unethical. I might have ended up not being reviled and hated, the subject of scorn and recrimination. I might still be living  in Brooklyn and be part of a community I loved. I could still be relevant. Ah, too bad.

May it never happen to another Judge, regardless of how right wing and conservative they are.

Tom Hayden Wrote the Port Huron Statement, Dead

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Tom Hayden died. He stood up against injustice. A hero for our time. I am 69. He stood trial as a patriot. So did I.

Judge Hoffman who presided over the trial, unfairly, made me want to be a judge. In fact it was the only thing I ever wanted to be badly enough. He died as a disgraced judge. So will I.

We were both accused and found to be biased and unfair. Mine, they said, led to the deaths of two people, one of whom I set bail on who killed the complaining witness in an auto dealership owned by Rudy Giuliani’s best friend. Julius, a law partner of Mayor Daley, presided over the most unfair trial in history, one held right after the 1968 Democratic Convention, sentenced the defendants, including Hayden to the maximum term, bound and gagged a defendant, and held the two defense lawyers, Kunstler and Weinglass, in contempt. His work was overturned on appeal. Mine ended in Albany in July 8, 1998.

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Lebowski suggested that a reason it took so long for him to finish college is his participation in the drafting of the Port Huron Statement. Not sure the allegation is true. He deserves a Pinocchio.

Barbara Grau, Dead Too Soon

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Barbara Grau died a few weeks ago. I photographed her last year for the official Temple Anshei Shalom’s President’s Wall. She had just gotten over her latest chemo/poisoning. We talked as we shot. She said she was satisfied with what she had done with her life. More importantly, she thanked me for making her feel beautiful again.

Anita Perlmutter, Dead at Almost 99

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So, I was going to shoot older members of Temple Anshei Shalom, people who no longer could make it to pray, but were instrumental in the building of the congregation. No much of an interest from anyone.

I pursued Anita for a couple of months. She was ill. She didn’t feel well. She had a therapy appointment. Her hairdresser was away. Then I got my chance.

We talked. She liked my new camera, telling me her husband had a Leica. We shot for five minutes after she finished breakfast. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to sleep or do the crossword puzzle.

I asked her how it felt to be 99? “You can be too old,” she said.

Two weeks later, she died. Two days short of her 99th birthday.

 

GUSSIE, almost 100

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So, I am walking out of a diner and I see this beautiful woman with her home care worker. I ask if I can take her picture. The home care worker says yes. She tells me the woman’s name is Gussie and she will be 100 in a week.

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I take a picture with the home care attendant.

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Then the daughter appears. I take another picture. The daughter asks me if I will come to the birthday party and take pictures. I say no, I don’t do events, but if you come to my studio, I will make portrait and give you a print at no charge.

I give the daughter my card. I tell her if she sends me an e-mail with an address, I will send her a print and a digital file for no money. Haven’t heard from her. And, don’t know her name.

Maybe it’s the time. She might think I am some kind of nut. Who after all would want to make portraits of old women?

 

 

Stars and Stripes

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So, we are shopping at Bed Bath and Bath and Beyond the Fringe. I have a coupon, which if you don’t, you should not shop without a discount. At the counter, Sharon donned this tiara. The sales woman said no one had bought one. Not surprising, in light of the comedy of the Republican party, ¬†supporting a neo-facist who doesn’t realize who he is, because he isn’t smart enough and neither are his supportes.

Sharon said she hoped for America, so long as trumpolini didn’t survive. A woman standing at the next register, said, “Amen.”

Michael Marden, Survivor

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Michael Marden, 91, survived 9 concentration camps. Freed from Bergen Belsen, he went to Sweden and then the United States. He hold three patents, has grand-children and great grand-children. And he loves his life, except for not being able to have a daily hit of schnapps.

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Grandson Brian is in 11th grade. Has a photo business. Shoots bar mitzvahs, school evens and whatever. And he loves grandpa.

Back To Boynton

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Home. Haven’t really settled in, even though we have been here for a year. Went to Paris last year. Did a couple of weeks here and there. I almost died following gall bladder surgery. We don’t have a routine and I have cruise pounds. Who do you call? Bicycle Doctor. They make house calls to repair and restore bikes. Our antique bikes, bought in Brooklyn and maintained, will outlive us. I want us both to live a while, a wish supported by Sharon and a select few. So, let’s get it on and take off some pounds.

Cora Duckman, Dead for 20 Years

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So, my Mother died during my hearing. She had a heart attack watching Governor Pataki rail at me, demanding I resign. As I sat shiva, newsmen prowled outside until shooed by Kendall, out neighbor. My brother blamed me for her death. Family deserted me. Few came to our home.

I was refused an extension of time to appear, a point noted somewhere in the decisions supporting my removal. I never really got a chance to mourn or grieve.

Today, we are traveling through Europe. A rabbi has been brought aboard to lead the seder. At his lecture on Jewish values, I asked the assembled crowd if people would join to make a minyan. Yes, women are invited.

We got 8. Found Kaddish prayer on my I Pad. Rabbi asked if I could read Hebrew. I said, “yes, as long as I don’t cry too much.” I did cry and we did say Kaddish.

Remaining Self-Sufficient

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Senior Citizes are all over the place in Sunny Southern Florida, people staying alive, remaining active. Staying purposeful.

They get around. Know the bargains. Like to shop without dropping, especially in grocery stores. Instant kindness in the aisles and checkout. Someone carries the bag, maybe the person is older than they are, but less frail. Keeps them all busy and out of trouble.

Buses pick them up in the communities their kids have dumped them. They get spruced up, equip their walkers with fresh tennis balls and shopping bags. They don’t buy much; cannot eat what they used to. One stop shopping: drugs and food. Bus takes them home.

They love to smile and converse, especially with someone they haven’t seen before pays them a courtesy.