Healthcare for all…

I have been meaning to write this blogpost for days now.

It is a subject that has been near and dear to my heart for most of my life. There are several issues that I think are supremely important in terms of the forward movement of our country. In recent times, so many of us have been much more focused on the backward movement of the world and our country that we cannot even think of things like this. Nonetheless, these items would help that overall situation. In my head, we need to have equity for all in the areas of healthcare, education, and opportunities. I think they all go hand in hand. Today, I will only focus on healthcare.


Greed and money are at the root of the entire problem. Greed and money from a small group of individuals and companies do not want to see the important measures many of us think as being necessary for forward movement and progress. How is it that a supposedly, and here I underline supposedly, civilized country can continue to exist with the inequities that are a poison to ourselves? The example of the Pandemic and the poor handling of that matter alone would have been so simply dealt with had we had a national, one payer, national health plan. By taking care of all, we provide, strangely enough, even better care for the entitled people at the forefront of those who want to continue to torture our country. In the long term, it would end up keeping all of us healthier and free from so much exposure, for example, to simple disease prevention that the people on the lower rung of financial well being don’t access. Greed, however, keeps us from solutions.

Think of how many people don’t go to the doctor just because of not having the proper healthcare. Two of my sons are currently suffering because of not having the proper healthcare and benefits. One of them is currently operating his own business and well, that makes it tough to get simple health and dental care. For the most part, vision and dental care doesn’t even exist in the health plans of entitled whites like myself who actually has a decent healthcare program.

A few short Saturdays ago, Dr. Claudia Fegan, the National Coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program, invited us to her home for a meeting to raise money on its 35th Anniversary celebration of the group. A group of concerned physicians talked with us and explained how easy it would be to make this happen, all using the base of the Medicare System. It was explained to us that everyone within our borders could be treated and it would not produce the huge costs mentioned by the people against the idea. Frankly, even if it were to cost more, would it not be better just because of the humanitarian aspects?  How can anyone believe that the American people and system could not do a better job, that is, after all, what American ingenuity is all about. This group has done the number crunching and when they presented the information some 35 years ago, they thought it would be a slam dunk. As with so many things, powerful people with pocketbooks overloaded with money, have squelched the possibility for change. We need to change that. We need to all demand that our elected officials see this as a serious need.

It is time to stop squabbling and time to do the right thing once and for all!

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Dorothy Fuldheim, an amazing example for all

With all this news of the Barbie movie and women, it seemed appropriate for me to mention an important, female newscaster of my youth, Dorothy Fuldheim. I know that my mom and I would look forward to the 11:00 pm News on Channel 5, WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio and hear a commentary or whatever from Dorothy. She was a woman who was a straight shooter. She had opinions and was more than willing to share them. In checking a video of her with Johnny Carson and Richard Pryor, there are things I might call her out on today, but in some respects she was a true member of the time period in which she lived.

Dorothy Violet Schnell or Snell (depending upon the source) was born in Passaic, New Jersey and spent her childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Does Milwaukee and Wisconsin even lay claim to her? They should because she was ahead of her time and a more than amazing journalist and news anchor who interviewed some of the most memorable people of her time. She attended Milwaukee College, now University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.At one point, she even interviewed Adolph Hitler, nicely avoiding telling him that she was Jewish. She supposedly told him that she disagreed with everything he said. Jane Addams hired her as a speaker. She married her first husband, Milton H. Fuldheim and moved to Cleveland, Ohio with him in the 1920s. She had one daughter, Dorothy Fuldheim-Urman, a professor of Russian at Cleveland’s Case Western University who died of cardiac arrest in 1980, leaving a surviving granddaughter. Her death was a major blow to Dorothy and she did an eloquent television commentary on it that is still on YouTube.

Born in 1893 and passing away in 1989, she is considered to be the first woman in the United States to anchor the news. She had her own TV show on channel 5, WEWS in Cleveland and spent some thirty-seven years at it. She began her stint as a news anchor in 1947! During her time on television, she interviewed some 15,000 famous people like Bob Hope,  the Duke of Windsor, Helen Keller, FDR, Muhammad Ali and Jerry Rubin, whom she actually kicked off her show.

I watched her visit with Johnny Carson and Richard Pryor on the Tonight Show and found it to be fascinating. The woman was intelligent, charming, and nothing escaped her whatsoever. Her repartee is absolutely on point. There are so many interesting facts about this lady.

Dorothy Fuldheim was a profound influence on me during my years growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland and I have never forgotten her.




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The Who’s Tommy at the Goodman…

Thursday was the day for The Who’s Tommy, a play in the city of Chicago at the Goodman Theatre that is currently the theatre of discussion. I know numerous people that I admire who found it to be an amazing experience. They were not wrong.

I did take a new set of ear gear to protect the hearing that I have. I had heard that the music was great but the sound was quite high. My Apple gear (watch and iPhone) did register that the decibels were over the limit. I just looked and at about 9:40 or so, it was in the 9o decibel range, not a good one for the ears.

Growing up when I did, being a baby boomer, I knew of the Who and of most of the songs that we heard last night. It was a great time as my knee bounced in conjunction with the music. The music alone was worth it, but there was so much more than that. It is even difficult for me to put my feelings into words.

For whatever reason, I had never seen the movie of Tommy and from what I had heard, I hadn’t really missed anything. I was pretty well acquainted with the musical work of the Who and with the tunes of Tommy. I did not remember that it dealt with abuse and sadness. Putting that aside, that should not be used as a reason whether or not to see this play. To talk to the person sitting on my left in the theatre, a woman I did not know but who decided that she was going to talk my ear off pre-show, the show was a flop. I guess that most of the rest of us must have been wrong, because there was a standing moment of ovation before the actual final moments. She said that the production was the worst thing she had ever experienced and said had she known of the abuse being part of the plot, she would not have come. It takes all kinds. For me, I cannot even describe the emotional sensations I felt and the joy and connection to everyone in the theatre that I felt during that performance.

As I write this, I am on the patio and I am listening to the Tommy album of the Who. It adds to the joy of seeing such a fine, professional production of the play, a reworking of the story by original co-writer and director Des McAnuff and Pete Townshend of the Who. Des McAnuff,  a name we know from the Stratford Festival in Canada, is also the director of the current show.

From the moment the play starts, you are amazed by the use of visual effects and, of course, the fine music. I don’t want to give too much away and I am glad that I did not know the plot as well as I now do. By the end of this fabulous theatre moment, the entire audience was connected to all of the actors and their own group chemistry was there as well. You have to experience it live to understand whereof I speak.

The words, “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me,” now have new meaning and will forever.

Get your ear protection and get to the Goodman. If this doesn’t go to Broadway, I will eat my hat…

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Same old, same old!


For days now, I have thought that I needed to sit down and write. Each time, something seems to occur and prevent me from doing so. In the past, that would have been stressful to me. I get something in my head and I feel that I have to do it. I realize that I need to be less dogmatic in terms of my routines.

Last weekend we were in Spring Green, Wisconsin for the American Players Theatre and the viewing of two great plays: The Liar (written by Pierre Corneille in the 1600s) and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Both were outstanding although I did a heck of a lot of dozing in the Shakespeare play. To be honest, The Merry Wives is not a favorite Shakespeare play. I will say that the costumes and passion of the actors were over the top in excellence and the venue is amazing, with actors not even fitted out with microphones. Pierre Corneille, I am certain, would be proud of both the translation and acting of his rhyming play. It was unbelievably funny.

The B&B, the Silver Star Inn, in Avoca, Wisconsin is and was memorable. We had stayed there several years ago. I loved the wonderful owners and the log cabin aspect of the place situated on acre upon acre of hilly terrain in the driftless area of Wisconsin, thus named because of being untouched by the last glaciers. This time, I finally managed to take one of the walks they provide on the property to the Butterfly path, a just over a mile foray into pure, idyllic countryside. The hummingbirds that visit the front porch are also a huge delight.

Life has been busy and yet if asked to explain that, I might have trouble. I have spent a good amount of time on my little idea of Swedish Death Cleaning (SDC) in the garage as I prepare it for actually serving two cars instead of one. I am dumping as much stuff as I can each week in the garbage bin. I don’t believe I am a hoarder but a saver, yes I am and well the extra tiles I saved are now long gone. Each week, something must go. I am now able to park the car very far to the right since my extra 2x4s and other bits of wood are gone.

I have decided that I no longer want to keep my wonderful Concept2 rower. For whatever reason, my rowing seems to need to be on water, something I have as of yet to do. Any ideas here for my well kept rowing machine?

My eyes have been a pain as they have changed again, getting better. After forgetting my expensive glasses at the B&B and luckily having them picked up by friends in Deerfield who went to the same B&B this week, I got an appointment. I am now on daily contacts but only for reading in my left eye. My right eye is, for the first time I believe, unfettered by lenses and seeing really well in spite of a small amount of astigmatism. It is for distance.

The garden has also taken up my time and it is beautiful and showing something different each moment. I spent two weeks harvesting red currant and then MK and I would have special time as we cleaned it all and then she cooked it up and placed it in cheesecloth with the end result of 18 mason jelly jars of red ruby jelly.

Raspberries are currently (or should I say currantly?) in season and as a raspberry lover, I am in heaven.

Things are moving along. We saw a friend with lymphoma for dinner; she is doing well. Another friend, formerly of Deerfield was just diagnosed with lymphoma. What is up with that? Meanwhile, my lymphoma is, thank goodness, still indolent.

Time to get going as soon it is to be grandkid time. We have spent much time with the older ones, now we shall see the younger ones.

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Andy stopped me…


Andy stopped me as I was in the finishing mile of my walk this 4th of July morning. He said, « Where is your dog? » I responded, « He has retired. » Andy looked incredulous and then said, « Is he okay? » I said, « For sure, he just decided that it was not his thing anymore. I realized this when a lady stopped me one day and asked me if I knew I was pulling my dog. »

We had a nice talk and I got to know his large rescue of a canine a little better. Louie, I think. Andy and I traded Border collie stories after he realized that Stewart was, in fact, a Border collie. He could not believe how furry Stewie is. Oh, and I just met Andy today name-wise. We have seen each other many times on dog walks but never stopped to gab.

So begins a 4th of July, a day that will be low key and one in which we get to see Lucky and Mr. Wiener, as they will spend a couple hours with us mid-afternoon. Mr. Wiener is notorious as liking neither Mary Kay nor our oldest son, growling at the two of them and threatening with a nip. He must also be diapered in our house as he loves to mark his territory.  We have a steak grilling planned for later. Luckily, we now have two propane tanks that are filled. Despite my always keeping one in position as a safety net, I went to use it the other day to find it empty.

The 4th of July, that sacred holiday, like so many others is changed forever. Family picnics were the norm, family get-togethers were the norm. Luckily, we see our family members often. I am on house duty today and need to check out the flowers at one of our son’s homes,

I might just clean the pond filters today. Luckily, air quality is back to normal. I might just finish the book I am reading. I am listening to a book by Robin Wall Kimmerer on, would you believe, moss! Listening to her speak is like meditating. Trained botanist and member of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, she mingles both beautifully for a no nonsense look at the relationships between humans and where they live.

I am sipping my coffee and enjoying the quiet of the day. No Zoom today, that is canceled for the holiday.

The milkweed is about done flowering. Little did I realize the strength of the fragrance. It is very pleasant. The Monarch has been bopping by on a daily basis.

Happy 4th of July, 2023.

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