Friday, June 22, 2007

C'est La Vie Say The Old Folks

Mrs. Zwicker and I have found ourselves in that wedding invitation no-man's land. You know what I'm talking about. Most of our friends are married, so we rarely attend weddings or Sheva Brachot for friends. When we get an invitation, it is often because we are on the parents' list rather than that or the bride or groom.

The other night, we went to such a Sheva Brachot. I would guess that the bride and groom are only a few years younger than us. The groom's parents, with whom we are friendly from shul, had invited us. We got there a little late to find most of the tables full and very few of our contemporaries there. We saw two empty seats next to our friends, Gil and Rebecca. We made a beeline to them since the few other tables at which our friends were sitting were full and the only other table was in the far corner with four people, three women and a man, all looking to be in their sixties, and not seeming to know anyone else. Alas, the seats next to Gil and Rebecca were already taken, so we headed to the corner thinking that we wouldn't be there very long.

Being friendly, we got to talking to our table-mates. The three women were the groom's mother's co-workers. The man was one of the women's husband. Frankly, he looked like the stereotypical high school shop teacher. After a few minutes of small talk, we learned that he was a career Navy Seal, now retired. During part of his employment, he was on President Richard Nixon's security detail.

We could have sat there all night talking with him, listening to his (non-classified) stories, like his first trip to Israel. He was serving in Vietnam in June of 1967 when he got an assignment to protect a Saudi oil sheik in East Jerusalem just as the Six Day War was about to start. His best line of the evening was regarding being caught in an Arab assault and having to defend himself. "We weren't invited to the party, but once we were there, we were going to dance." Of course, the line loses something when not hearing him say it in his Louisiana drawl. The man is now indeed a high school teacher, of ROTC. His stories about that were not nearly as dramatic but were equally uplifting and intriguing. It goes to show you never can tell.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ernestine Bradley

On Monday night, I had the honor of meeting and hearing a speech by Ernestine Bradley. Mrs. Bradley is a non-Jew who was a child in Germany during the Holocaust. As she has done around the world, Mrs. Bradley spoke of her experience in confronting the atrocities that occurred in her homeland. Her speech was very compelling. I hope to read her autobiography soon.

Before the speech, a few of us on the committee that brought Mrs. Bradley to town had dinner with her. Among the many topics were her family. One person asked Mrs. Bradley how she met her husband, NBA Hall of Famer and former United States Senator Bill Bradley. Mrs. Bradley explained that she was working on an educational documentary in which various celebrities were speaking about some topic. One of the interviewees was Bill Bradley. Not being a sports fan at all, the future Mrs. Bradley didn't know much about him. They started talking and, as they say, the rest is history. Someone else asked Mrs. Bradley how her future husband performed in the video. She said that he did well, to which I added that I would have expected as much since he was the star of one my favorite commercials of all time. She had no idea what I was talking about, even after I described the commercial to her. I wonder if she went home and asked him about it or found it herself. Of course, if she is Googling herself and comes across this blog, she can find it right here:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My New Favorite Website

I know that NoahDaddy is going to love this.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

40 Years Later

Courtesy of Macabee.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Morning Coming Down

The front page story this morning across the country is of the foiled plot of destruction at New York's JFK airport. Actually, not every paper has it on the front page. The New York Times, the Paper of Record, which in case you couldn't determine from its name, is a New York newpaper, relegated the news to page 37. Anyway, as I finished the article in this morning's Detroit Free Press, I was left wondering one thing that the Free Press didn't address-to which religion, if any, do these aspiring terrorists belong? Hmm, I wonder.

Mrs. Zwicker and I finally watched the season finale of 24 last night. It was a microcosm of the season as a whole. It started strong but then devolved to a mixture of some good scenes and some unnecessary personal stories that were more appropriate for a soap opera. The last twenty minutes were rather fluffy with all the tying up of loose ends although the last few minutes were great. While the show has previously addressed Jack's tortured soul, the last image of the season being a close-up of his face as he contemplated what his life had become was powerful. The silent clock was very appropos.