“Madison Park, a Place of Hope” by Eric L. Motley, a Book Review

Eric Motley, an African American, was raised in Madison Park in Alabama. His memoir, “Madison Park, a Place of Hope,”, is a powerful, touching memoir particularly for one so young, in his 40s.

It was a rural community several miles out of Montgomery Alabama. The community was established by freed slaves after the Civil War and they ultimately owned the land by purchasing at least one plantation. It was well cared for. It was a TRUE community.

Eric was a little different almost from birth and was not raised by his biological parents. Eric though was ingratiating and possessed a developing intellect that would well surpass his reading difficulty early on. Those early problems were beautifully addressed in conjunction with his nurturing community.

He became a doctoral scholar whose first job at 27 was at the White House as Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel. This was followed not long after by a civil position at the White House equivalent to a two star general. The story of his rise to prominence is illuminating.

Dr. Motley’s warmth, his poignant prose and his deep faith in God are the beating heart of this memoir.

Hallelujah.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.

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40th Anniversary Visit

My spouse Kristine and I spent two days on Coronado Island in a wonderful Victorian beachside resort that first opened its doors in 1888, the Hotel Del Coronado. We were fortunate to be in a corner room on the 3rd floor with a porch overlooking a lovely quadrangle of palm trees, ferns and grass. During our first few minutes on the porch we were greeted by a seagull without fear who voiced his approval of the beautiful December day.

The island is a quiet world unto itself across the harbor from downtown San Diego. The “city fathers” have retained the architecture of several eras in the village that is crossed by Orange Ave. near the hotel.

We walked amongst the Christmas lights and aromas of that village. We ate at a romantic Victorian house/restaurant, Chez Loma, with French cuisine reminiscent of when we first dated in Baltimore 40 years ago.

The richest, finest onion soup I’ve had preceded beautifully prepared slices of duck l’ orange, sweet couscous with dates and crisp, flavorful string beans. Kristine had a delicately flavored and poached salmon before which she enjoyed a crisp, tangy, spinach salad. Two cappuccinos followed the meal that were delightful.

It was two days filled with laughter and joy. We felt and feel treasured in the eyes of God. Our marriage has had its obstacles but its depth and our long lives are our most precious gifts from Him.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.

 

Five-Carat Soul by Richard McBride, a Review of this Creative Gem

Mr McBride can compose beautiful music, pen memoirs and write fiction that completely engrosses the reader. The latter is what he did here.

He loves history and character as I do and I thought the book’s shining moment was an imagined vignette about a man of great wisdom and heart, Abraham Lincoln. That alone was worth the cost of admission. Read this jewel, and if you haven’t, read another masterful work by the author, ” The Color of Water.”

Mr. McBride has a deep well of talent that continues to flow.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.

“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, a Review

Not long ago I had the rare pleasure of reading this engaging biography of two dedicated brothers. They were so driven both their lives were spent single and childless. They had enormous intellectual curiosity and keen judgement. Clearly they were men of great courage.

Prior to their success there had been many failed and dangerous attempts to fly with an engine in a “well-controlled” vehicle by other inventors. David McCullough seems to attribute much of their success to their balanced judgement. McCullough certainly never diminished their daring attitudes but noted its titering with an eye to safety, i.e. test flights over soft sand dunes.

The author’s prose is rich and absorbing. He was fascinated with the lives of the Wright brothers. His enthusiasm is contagious as one reads his prose. I have read a lot of his historical biographies some of which have won the Pulitzer. I consider this book his “finest hour.” For me, it was an absolutely fascinating read.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.

 

“The Color of Water” by Richard McBride, a Review

When he was small the author of this brilliant memoir, whose father was African American, asked his Caucasian mother an important question. His mom was born an Orthodox Jew, but became a Christian. He asked, “What color is God?” She responded, “The color of water.”

And so one follows two remarkable journeys, that of the author and of his mother alternating through this beautiful work. She had been abused as a child, left home as soon as possible and was widowed consecutively by the deaths of her two African American husbands. She was left to raise twelve children, alone.

Mr. McBride has been an award winning composer and heralded author. All of his siblings have been remarkably successful.

This book in part is about the elements of humanity we all share. It’s specifically about a mother’s momentous effort to make her numerous children whole. To those who love the genre of memoir as I do, this is a read that should NOT be missed.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.

 

Thanksgiving 2017

It was 1977. In January and February I was alone in Baltimore. In March of 1977 I met Kristine at an open house at her art school.

Six months later we were engaged and 9 months later we were married. The number 7 reared its beautiful head 36 years later when Lucas, our second grandson was born. We were now a family of 7.

I am so thankful and look forward to Thanksgiving on this our 40th year together.

A happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.

 

36 Hours in San Jose

So recently Kris and I spent 36 hours on the road in Campbell, CA, a town in San Jose where our son lives. It is adjacent to Los Gatos where he works.

We ate one night’s dinner at Yiassoo an order at the counter, excellent Greek restaurant in Campbell. The Mediterranean bread was inspired as were the sauces offered to blend with the grilled meat and poultry. It was down home, inexpensive and first-rate.

The next morning Kris needed time to paint as our purpose was to provide our son a painting based on his visual concept of an ocean view and Torrey pine. He and I went to his favorite diner, a marvelous little place called Los Gatos Cafe.

The color, crust and herb flavoring of the hash brown potatoes was unbelievable. Both he and I combined our potatoes with a dish that mixed a beautiful egg souffle with the contents of a fajita, a wonderful egg dish. The icing on the cake was a cake sized, homemade cinnamon bun that can’t be accurately described and must be eaten. Don’t miss the place in your travels understanding the 25 people that will wait ahead of you in line are paying a very small price figuratively and literally.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D. , memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book now available on Amazon and On Second Thought to be published in 2018, to be available on Amazon.