The Bad Old Days of Frisco – Edigarghh Part 1

By Edgar Weinstock

During the years between 1970 to 1978 I taught voice majors of The San Francisco Conservatory of Music everything about performing except singing. Often, walking in the halls between classes, I would pass the glamorous petite singer  Pierrette Alarie who was married to the great Canadian tenor Simoneau. Invariably her gracious smile, which had brightened  many stages of Europe was bestowed upon me as I heard a cello sing out softly “Bon jour, Edigarghh.” Had I been a glacier named Edgar, I would have melted enough to fill the streams of  California. Continue reading

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By Nancy Orans Eder

Sorry can’t make it.
Must break that date.
Going to London for art.
No, not the National,
Royal or Tate.

I’ve decided to go to London
After all
It’s my show.
In the middle of November,
To Beacon Hill I’ll go.

My sister has decided to display
Once more
Paintings in exhibition at her
faraway shore.

My room is a wreck,
My plans all awry.
Don’t know whether to laugh
Or to cry.
As I juggle
My grandchildren
Classes and dates
All in the air
Cancelling plans
Isn’t quite fair.

But acting quite bold
Life is for travel
Even in the cold
of November — damp and dreary.
Though thinking about going
Makes me a bit weary.

Winter’s for warm weather
Miami vs. London
was the big divide
But I’ve now booked the flight
Put British pounds aside,

Though the sale itself
Might not pay for the flight
It will be lots of work
but also delight
to see my paintings
in colors blue and bright
To share seashore sights
In gouache
And in pen
I will go
And see them. . .
I will live it again.

The thrill of sharing
My summers in Ceret
Will be worth the time change–
lack of sleep,
seven hours in space–
to once more peep
at the paintings
my sister has deemed
appealing to show
to friends
who traveled to
Ceret in summer and snow.

And won’t she be happy
and surprised to
see me there as well?
Shall I tell her or shock her . . .?

I imagine her face astounded
as she opens the door
to see me standing,
there with suitcase
stepping onto her floor.

Shocking as well.
Maybe too much
A risk to tell no one I’m coming
Would need to be taken–
But I might be mistaken
for what if she were out shopping?
I’d have to give a shout to
Let me in and no one would answer.

A chance far too risky from a distant star,
I’ll tell them I’m coming
It will be better by far.

The surprise is not fun
If the price is too dear,
So I’ll call to say
I’m coming to see
the pictures and the family there.

She’s made the arrangements
We’ll cater for sure
With olives and cheese
Spinach pastries to please
Chips and dips
French wine flowing to tease
Those buyers of art
Who want memories of France,
I sure hope somebody buys one. . . .
Two or three per chance.

But if it’s a flop
If nobody buys,
That’s a nice risk to have taken
To make a spontaneous visit —
A destination worth the price of the ticket.

I know I shall relish
The trip on its own,
So London get ready
It’s now written in stone.


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My College Friend

by Tiana Leonard

Betsy Games and I have exchanged Christmas cards for almost 50 years. We both married members of the Harvard Crimson Editorial board and my husband was an usher at their wedding, which he subsequently satirized in his first novel, The Naked Martini. When our children were small, we exchanged bridge nights and visits to each other’s summer cottages. A snapshot of Betsy and me with our two tow-headed sons, sitting on the beach at Cape Cod is on my refrigerator. My daughter Amy’s first memory is of watching the lunar landing in the Brick House study with her brother Andrew, and Alison and Timmy Games. Continue reading

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