Six years to the day.  It turns out New York City is a very good place to grow up in, despite the expense, and the filth and some difficult people.  How to say thanks?    How to say goodbye?

Until we meet again.


Wedding Soup

Recipe:  Wedding Soup

Stretch your twenty fingers
like you are about to go on stage,
and dig them deep into
the eggs and flour
on the counter.

A thousand hands have helped
strumming, sifting, stacking, stamping, stirring.
Today and each day after
is both the promise
and the promise kept.

Like contemplating
the dough rolled thin
cut square
and clasped carefully
around its buttery heart,

We feel joy looking at you
holding each other close,
more joy in chewing this day
savoring it and swallowing it.

And the lasting pleasure of knowing
joy is yours to remake.
Your twenty fingers will remember

clasped together

strong and steady.

The Home War

We all cut our hair

and shaved our beards,

put on uniforms

and moved in together.

Every morning we would

sing a few morning songs

and eat tomatoes and toast.

Then we would go out

pick up the broken glass

and candy wrappers.

Slip seeds into cracks in the pavement

and fill the places someone had 

meant to put a building 

with trees and lettuces.

We read

and let some kids read to us.

In the afternoon,

we would walk

whole packs of animals

in a parade.

“Say soldier,”

someone would say,

“that’s a fine looking pup.”

And we would sign over her papers,

right there.

When the war ended

we let our hair grow

and we stopped sleeping

in bunk beds.

The city was better

because of us.

Lawrence Heyl Jr. 1919-2008

HEYL–Lawrence, Jr. (b. October 1919), co-founder of the Princeton Hot Club, and longtime resident of Nyack, NY, died on May 5, after a long illness. The only child of Bertha and Lawrence Heyl (Associate Librarian at Princeton University), Larry was a graduate of Princeton Country Day, Lawrenceville, and Princeton (class of 1940). He joined the 9th Division of the Army in January 1941, landing at Normandy on June 12, 1944, following training in England, where he met a British private, Jean, at a dance in Winchester. They married four years later in NYC, while he was Associate Editor of Theatre Arts. Larry was a skilled photographer in the style of Cartier-Bresson, capturing the lives, in black and white, of his family, friends and Rockland County artists. He served on the boards of the Rockland Foundation and Edward Hopper House, and edited Nyack in Black & White (2005). Larry spent most of his career in the oil industry, first at Texaco and API, and then at Mobil, heading Investor Relations. A foe of artifice, prejudice, solecisms, superstition, and poor lighting, Larry is deeply missed by Jean, his wife of 60 years (now of Kendal in Sleepy Hollow), his two surviving children, Margery Heyl (director of Nonotuck Community School in Northampton, MA.) and Dorothy Heyl (a lawyer at Milbank Tweed) and their husbands, and his five grandchildren, Julie and Molly Heyl-Rushmer, Regina Heyl DePietro, and Emily and Gregory Nichols (children of Catherine Heyl, d. 1998). In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be given to Kendal on Hudson (for the healing garden) in Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 c/o Executive Director.
Published in the New York Times on 5/7/2008.

Love Over Scotland

The thing that I learned from this book is that it is exactly the wrong book to ostentatiously bring to a lesbian bar.  Or two lesbian bars.

  1. It has “love” in the title.  And it is purple.  Love is exactly what you need to be pretending you are not looking for when you try to pick people up.
  2. Did you look at the back?  There is a picture of an elderly man in a kilt.  He hasn’t bothered to brush his hair.  No one will talk to me!
  3. Although the charming episodic structure of the serialized novel seems to be echoed in the stories of the different strangers I observe through the bottom of my tumbler of whiskey, that is exactly the kind of thinking that will not get me laid. 
  4. I am not a lesbian. 

Tell Me Where It Hurts



For a few pages, I thought that veterinary medicine would be my new career.  But I am too squeamish to trim Caper’s toenails so it’s not going to work out.  Dr. Trout selfconsciously follows in the tradition of James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small) and he does a good job of explaining why and how veterinary medicine has come to look so much like human medicine and include chemotherapy and Neuticles