Good morning all:

Weekly utility quote:

“I never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes.” ~ W. C. Fields

The quote is to celebrate the City of Utrecht (Netherlands) which began its water pipe system on this very day back in 1883. Thinking that I am just glad water pipes are a common item these days, that as I made my morning coffee.

Alright already Dirk, you say, what is this obscene focus on water pipes? Behind the lighthearted Fields quote is an item I received yesterday that caught my attention. It’s got to do with the new bill from our Water Works. The previous billing ($ 213.22 for the quarter) had little slips of paper fall out of the envelope. They were written to justify why the costs for our pure Ohio River water, our sewer system which returns same to the Ohio River and the storm sewer which also ends, yup, guessed right. Yes, extraordinarily, storm sewage too ends up at the River and all three’s costs would be going up. Their math has all these items for an ‘average’ home to increase a few dollars here and a few dollars there; mere pennies a day (the very ones being pulled out of circulation in Canada). Our just received billing is now based on their ‘new’ math—$ 421.91.

Probably this will result in a phone call on Monday.

Stunning Byzantine-Moorish– is the architecture and design which greeted Cathy and I as we entered the old Plum Street Temple for our neighbor’s tribute concert. Completed in 1886 it is now the oldest Reform Judaism temple in the nation—there is one other temple of this style (New York) and several in Germany which were destroyed by Hitler.

The original budget was $35,000 and eventually the actual cost exceeded $300,000 (largely due to inflation caused by the Civil War). And with this temple Cincinnati became a central seat of Reform Judaism. [do click the photo twice over to view full size]

Visiting – with us on our deck will have you see the common sight of folk walking about the neighborhood. One standout individual is a small, nearly ninety year old, with flowing shoulder length hair, eye brows which can be measured in inches, a faded corduroy jacket, and shorts with a pair of skinny legs sticking out. This is our neighbor, Bonia Shur, and it was for him that Cathy and I set out for the old Plum Street Temple and his tribute concert.

Bonia is and was a composer of, primarily, liturgical music, although he co-wrote the score for the movie; “The Russians are coming”  for which he won an award. Bonia has singlehandedly composed a music and song  style which influenced and currently is the preferred musical style used in Reform Judaism congregations—somewhere between 300 and 400 pieces.

Born in Latvia he escaped the Nazis and fled to Russia. During WWII he fought as a Russian army officer. At the end of the war he fled Russia and eventually ended up on a Kibbutz in Israel. Then immigrating to America and Hollywood and eventually landing in Cincinnati and our neighborhood. What an amazing life.

And what an amazing concert we enjoyed. The joy expressed in his music was palpable throughout. Over thirty Cantors made trips from as far away as California and Texas, just to sing and be part of this event.

The after concert party at their house found me talking with his son, Itaal, Itaal is also a composer of note having written the song, “Smooth”, recorded by Santana and which was named song of the year in 2000 (maybe it was 1999).

Do you ever feel that you really didn’t deserve such an evening?

Closing – Dave Thomas – founded the Wendy’s restaurant chain in Columbus, OH – mere miles up the road from us. Always the consummate marketer, Dave had placed into his will a small paragraph to be activated 10-years after his death (2002).

Turns out that in each city there is a single restaurant where, if asked for the “180° Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy”, they will prepare you a left-handed Hot ‘N Juicy — same meat, same cheese, same toppings, but everything rotated 180 degrees to the left—for FREE. No limit! Each of the specific restaurants is being kept secret—you have to ask. USA Today reports that this special will last until January 2013.

Wishing Vince and Kirstin a very Happy Anniversary tomorrow; wouldn’t it be nice if the kids will fix you guys breakfast in bed—yeah, right!

Make it a great week everyone and enjoy April first.
Cheers,
Dirk

One Response to “An Evening to Remember”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    I wonder what Dave has in store for us on his twentieth 🙂