Here, my brother, Fred, and I are pretending that we are on a runaway train. Actually, we were at the Steam Town Museum in Scranton and the train was stationary. Fred and I have always enjoyed sharing mirthful moments together. He is a really nice brother and a wonderful artist and writer.
Here is my beautiful Korean-born wife, Sophia, blowing out the candles on the birthday cake that our next door neighbor Valorie Gilbert made for her 54th birthday. She has the most extraordinary sense of fashion and is, without doubt, one of the great cooks in the domestic league. I have eaten very well these last nine years. Let me tell you! Each splendid meal is announced by her ringing a small brass replica of the Great Bell of King Sondak of Korea. It says to me that a feast fit for a king is about to be served.
In 1986, God, in her infinite wisdom, sent me a gift of beauty and love that is unrivaled in the annals of history. OK, maybe I exaggerate just a bit, but what I did receive was the unconditional and never-flagging loyalty and love of an extraordinarily sculpted long haired dachshund named Princess Kitzel von Hohenleben. This special lady was the most feminine being I had ever met and she enhanced the quality of my life every day for almost fifteen years. She passed away in 2001 but not a day goes by that I do not think of her and smile.
In the 1970s I lived at 740 West End Avenue and used to enjoy walking my dog, Dutch, in Riverside Park. While there I often had the fantasy of being allowed by the Parks Department to build a home amidst the rocks and trees so I could live closer to nature. Well, now I live in just such a setting only it is in Connecticut. Each morning I wake up grateful for the flora and fauna that are a treat for the eye and the ear. Here is a picture of my home. It was built in the style made popular in the 1950s in California that I have always found most attractive. It has cathedral ceilings throughout and lots of big windows that admit enough light that, during the day, I do not put on any lights.