Change to May flowers, although we’ve had a fabulous spring. As my favorite son-in-law in Texas, Vince, would say; “Yuuge”

A happy Saturday morning to everyone, it’s the last day of April. Marcia got up before I did and so the great smell of coffee wafted through our little condo as I awoke.

Yesterday brought back a flood of memories of my mother, our ‘Omi’. All was brought on when I spotted a tiny VW Karman Ghia driving by. I had forgotten about that car and didn’t remember the car being as small as it was.

Aside of all the other memories, two came in crystal clear. Her having parked the car on our busy street in Hyde Park, locked up tight, engine running, keys in the ignition. The other was me driving back from graduate school in Louisville having borrowed her car – it was the winter of 1977-78, the night of the worst blizzard in decades (I made it back in a mere 7 hours).

Actually, a third came to mind. When she was ready for something new I put that little Ghia up for sale on our busy street. After a day or two a guy knocked on the door and wanted to see it. Next came the ‘test’ drive. It was then that I realized I hadn’t spotted the buyer’s car – warning light! I told him that was fine, but that I would drive and so, go with him. Eventually it was onto the Parkway heading for the city center. On that trip we agreed to a price. He stated his dad was a lawyer and was doing some Saturday work at his office in the Carew Tower (our tallest building). I parked and he went in.

Twenty or so minutes later I went inside and over to the security desk. Yes, he’d seen someone of that description come in. “Did he go upstairs?”, I asked. “No, he went down to the TANK station” was the reply. TANK (acronym for Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky) busses cross a bridge into Ohio and the bus lane immediately enters the underground station area of the Carew Tower for their turn-around. I had just given this kid a ride home.

“We do dumb things when we’re young so that we have something to smile about when we’re old.” ~ unknown

Hieronymus Bosch (c1450 -1516) – is ostensibly one of the greatest painters of all time, he is known as the greatest Gothic painter of the Northern Renaissance.

So what are you doing Rambling on about this Bosch guy you wonder. Well, it all started early this month when a neighborhood friend asked me to watch her house for a week while she flew to Holland for the 500 year celebrations of Bosch in the small Dutch town of s-Hertogenbosch – also the birthplace of her late husband. Plus, it was a great time to visit with her husband’s family members.

Like non other, 500 years ago Hieronymus Bosch turned the art world upside down. An absolute visionary, he captured under religious titles such as; the seven Deadly Sins, the Ship of Fools, the Pleasures of the World, or the Temptation of St. Anthony. All contained amazing scenes of sensuality, eroticism, and grimacing monstrosities. These displayed almost like a sermon beginning with the fall of man and ending with hell. He was wildly approved for a genre of line engravings displaying, Gluttony, Avarice, and Drunkenness.

Judgement          earthly delights

Fast forward 500 years – and that small town of s-Hertogenbosch produces another son, another visionary, Frans de Waal. De Waal is a PhD Dutch primatologist and ethologist and he and his colleagues have redefined our knowledge and understanding of how, like man, primates and higher mammals too understand and display emotions such as empathy, social strategies, sympathy, deception, resolution, altruism, and fairness.

In other words, the lines which always were thought to distinguish man from the animal world are at the very least blurred, and probably really don’t exist at all. His conclusion is that where we assumed there to be sharp boundaries between humans and apes are “in fact sand castles that lose much of their structure when the sea of knowledge washes over them.” Another ‘turn-things-on-their-head’ moment.

Watch this TED talk by de Waal; his clips of the research done with the test apes are both amazing and stunning – and funny too.

Jason’s Birthay – fete at the Rheingeist brewery was a major success as these photos show:

DSCF0967        DSCF0962    DSCF0947        DSCF0946    DSCF0964

Fini – Next week’s post should come to you from deep in the Northern Boreal Forests, the place where Northern Comfort is located. Let our packing continue.

Happy Birthday to Marlene – remember, no more sniffles! Also, happy birthday to a young 83 year old Willie Nelson, one of my favorites.

Tonight it’s dinner with friends and tomorrow evening likewise. Then as part of my HOA duties, it’s overseeing the carpet cleaning of the building common areas, the start of the parking lot reseal efforts, and the beginning of the balcony’s reconstruction – we’ve been busy.

To everyone, make it a great week and everyone, stay safe.

Cheers.

Dirk

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