Public Speaking

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

It was 1960, May or June. I had to do a reading at our graduating class’s confirmation service in our synagogue in Miami, FL. It was my first shot at public speaking at fifteen. As I read my knees were banging together. I was glad they were hidden behind the lecturn. My mouth was so dry I wasn’t sure I could finnish the reading but I did.

In the fall of 1960 I entered high school where one could participate in debate locally and statewide. Much more comfortable with arguing than giving speeches, I really fit in. One certainly has learned to argue by the heart of adolescence.

So with the debating behind me I found that speeches got a little easier over my 41 years in the workforce.

Of all things I got most at ease late in my life now teaching Sunday school for several years. Life had…

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My Tempo

“The great wisdom for writers, perhaps for everybody, is to come to understand to be at one with their own tempo.” Alan Hollinghurst, an English author

I have no pitch. I can’t sing. Rhythm is something I have a feel for, particularly having learned to play drums at about nine. Now, that helps if I dance or play the guitar. However in day to day life, I am out of rhythm, far too much.

I eat too fast. I move too fast. I speak too fast. I seem to be on the run.

The only thing that’s touched that pace in almost 76 years is the love of God, often, spoken through my spouse, Kristine. I am not saying that aren’t problems with the spoken word for us both having been wed over four decades. That’s life.

But by the grace of God, in times of inordinate pressure, she is there for me. I am a fortunate man, whose many shortcomings have not stood in her way. I am deeply grateful.

The Power of Family

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

Dani Shapiro, the compelling memoirist and novelist, said in her memoir, Devotion: “The family of my childhood has become dust.” Likewise that has been true for me for a dozen years.

My mom was the last of my parents to pass away. She was as upbeat as anyone I have ever known. Mom found the goodness in people, particularly those who were blessed to be her children.

My older sister and younger brother have all acknowledged given our difficult father, she was the person who guided us through the stormy North Atlantic that was our adolescence. She was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Of my grandparents her father, Isadore, stood out distinctly. He was very close to Mom, my siblings and me. His unforgettable smile was “several miles” wide. He loved us just as he loved her, with his entire heart. My mother’s eyes would glisten when…

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