Fiction?

I have written over 400 blogs and three published books of memoirs. None of that prose was fiction.

I have thought about writing fiction, but it is a higher wall for me to climb. The late E.L. Doctorow said the process was like being on the highway and only seeing what was in your headlights. That is a part of my creative nonfiction process. I pick and choose topics and different words I had not anticipated. But to me the fiction is more complex.

On the other hand, it is good to have an intriguing challenge in what is left of my future.

The COVID Lockdown Blues.

For the past six months I have limited my exposure outside our home. Thank God we have one.

I have lived longer than ¾ of a century placing me near the crosshairs of the invisible, electron-microscopic enemy. It lurks among us. It weasels its way into precious, pulmonary tissue. It can produce a horrible cascade of events in some, when it gets frightfully powerful. It may be small, but it’s a nasty beast.

It makes daily life more difficult for those who are targeted and to varying degrees for everyone. It has changed the nature of everyday life on earth.

I grew up, in part, in the hometown of the Wright brothers. As we all know, they brought the aircraft industry into existence with their persistence, ingenuity and courage. Now it takes those qualities, particularly for the targeted, to even step on a commercial aircraft. Oh the joy of travel, of seeing the grandkids, of seeing new places that stun the eye. For now it’s only a memory.

May God bless us all through our scientific community. May our scientists represent His hands, rapidly adding effective, safe, therapeutic drugs and vaccines to the medical armamentarium.

This is unique for all of us. And, some days, I just have, the COVID lockdown blues.

A Restrictive 2020, Some Thoughts

We are very restricted. If fortunate, you have a roof over your head, food on the table and beloved friends. You have connection, whether it is a good book, a virtual concert or ideally, a dear friend.

With lots of good fortune your primary, dear friend is your spouse. Conflict is part of the covenant. I would like to think most of those conflicts lead to fruitful, heart to heart talks, that until now, have at times been skipped over.

Yes, by the grace of God, I usually see the glass as half full. May yours be filled to the brim.

Radio Days

I lived for 4.5 years in the latter half of the 1940s. I have rare memories from that period, most of which I spent in Detroit.  It was a thriving post war community given the boom in the auto industry.

When I saw Woody Allen’s Radio Days, it was set in the 40s. To the extent it is autobiographical, one gets the flavor of Woody’s life at about ten in the mid-40s.

The movie struck a bell for me visually. The dark, unusually furnished interior of “Woody’s” childhood home took me back to my parents’ and grandparents’ interiors for the first time in many years. They were memories buried deep in my vault.

I cannot recall ever listening to radio shows in that stretch of my childhood. It’s just the early black and white, small television screens of the 50s that come to mind.

That television apparently was introduced as early as the 1939 New York City (NYC) World’s Fair. The globe or Unisphere we see at Flushing Meadows to this day is a remnant of the later NYC world’s fair in 1964.

My memory gap in the early 40’s, I have filled with histories of the period and speaking with my elders. At 75 years of age that’s becoming a smaller group.

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling, Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? and Please Save the Third Dance for Me, all available on Amazon.

Comparing My First Days of College and Med School to 9/15/20

It was a beautiful late summer’s day in 1963. The sun was gentle and soft breezes flowed. I was out on a huge green lawn somewhere on the Emory University campus in Atlanta, GA. I was surrounded by my fellow nervous freshman.

It was our first day in college. We all knew in our hearts this would be up a level from our high school academics. Hey, a little fear was probably motivating. It worked for me.

I guess my non-recall of the first day of medical school in 1967 is what an even more fearful jump can leave behind. On the other hand, I got through it. In the process I grew up a lot, Thank God. On the other hand, I still had a lot of maturing ahead of me in 1971.

At 75 I have no complaints. I worship a deeply loving God. My spouse of almost 43 years was here the last time I looked. Our adult children are independent and know how much we love them. Our two grandsons know how much they are loved. Life is full of surprises, but thank God none of them has taken us down for the count.

Gliders

And so our only son, Chad, was off to Park City, Utah to enjoy some well deserved time off. He was about 27 at the time. It would be his first trip to that festive city.

He told me the recreation available there. The list included being flown in a glider. I reminded him, dutifully, that a glider could easily fly into the side of a mountain. After all, with no engine, who knew?

A few days later he returned from his journey. Chad quickly got off his chest that he had flown in a glider. I thought to myself, Thank God my son is more daring than I am.

The Game is Full of Surprises

I have seen the Chargers play for 27 seasons. Their least fortunate play was in a playoff game against the Patriots years ago. They had a lead following an interception very, very late in the game. Rather than fall on the ball, the defender ran for more yardage, a natural reaction.

As he went up field the ball was stolen. Tom Brady guided the team to a score. Game Patriots.

Today with a few seconds on the clock the Bengal kicker had a chip shot field goal of  about 30 yards to tie and take the game to overtime.

He lined up swung his leg for the kick and injured the leg in the kicking motion. The field goal attempt wasn’t even close. Game Chargers.

In 67 football-watching years I have never seen the field goal kicker injured in his kicking motion. The game IS full of surprises.

Virtual Tennis?

The BNP Paribas at Indian Wells was cancelled due to COVID last March. What do I miss when I don’t go to Indian Wells in March?

Years ago, I watched Novak Djokovic at his practice court as he arrived for the first time at this tournament. I had watched tennis for about 40 years and never seen anyone move so quickly and flexibly to every inch of the tennis court. Those unique maneuvers are frequently regarded as the core strength of Novak’s game, today.

A few years later at the tournament, I saw the young Dominic Theim for the first time. His coach Gunter Bresnik had coached Boris Becker, who Brad Gilbert described in Winning Ugly as a player of tremendous power.

Dominic was doing unusual on court, weight exercises that I had never seen. It all seemed a little odd at the time. However the player he grew into is an explosive, powerful force on the tennis court set to play the final of the the 2020 US Open.

These moments, live, helped deepen my knowledge of a game I love. Nothing virtual would have sufficed.

My Memory of 9/11, now, 19 Years Ago

At 9:02:57a.m., on 9/11/01, the second World Trade Center Tower was hit. Not long afterwards I was in our family room. My 89 year old father in law was visiting. We were near the television. I wasn’t watching, but simply listening across the room.

When I heard about a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center my mind went back to the explosive truck at the bottom of one of the towers that had done its damage a few years before. I thought the news was historical, not in real time.

Then I looked. It was horrendous. My heart dropped and my eyes saddened. New York City was under attack. Thousands would die.

I turned to my father in law and said you lived long enough to see this. He said, “I wish I hadn’t.”

Outage

As I write this, we are in the middle of a local, rolling, intentional, power outage. It is being done due to our California heat wave.

During the day our beach community apparently got to 105 degrees F. That might well be the highest temp here in the 26 years we have lived here.

It is almost ten pm. We are hopeful, given a prior bulletin, that, the outage will end soon.

It is in the low 70s outside, so, we have no temperature problem. Our cell phones and candles have provided enough light.

We find it rather peaceful, knowing it should not be long lived. Hope that bulletin was factual.