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During the last fifteen years there have been 740 essays composed at this desk.  Actually it is not a desk.  It is a serving tray used by hospitals for holding meals for patients.  For my purposes, the tray serves eloquently.  If my estimate is fairly correct, the first 250 or 300 essays were hand-written.  That of course is when I could see.  Significantly, the essays in the hand-written stage tended to be longer.  As time has gone on, blindness has forced me to resort to a dictating machine.  As a general rule, my essays have reached about four to five pages each, some longer and some shorter.  It depends on what I have to say.

After 740 essays have been written, we come to a pause.  It seems to me that I have mentioned previously that I need to stop and make an appraisal.  And this seems to me the time to do it.  As you know, I am a person of advanced age.  I look back over my career as a filling-station attendant, a telephone worker, a soldier, and a carefree civilian wanting to comment on the frailties of life.

I trust that in the 740 essays that have been written, I have not bored you.  After a time, the well tends to run a bit low.  This has happened before.  There have been occasions when the well seems to have run dry, but in a matter of a week or so, new subjects developed.  I have to explain that what we need are some examples of outrageous behavior by our elected representatives to have a proper subject for an essay.

I am not dismayed at the well running low.  I know that in short order the essays will come once again.

I am not in any conversations with other essayists.  I suspect that after 740 essays, their well may have run dry just as mine did.  But be of good cheer.  I am certain that, for example, the Pope may be induced to make a statement or that the religious authorities will do something bizarre, and finally one can always rely upon our Representatives, among which I include Senators, to provide essay material which is also fitting and interesting.

So we have a case of waiting for a choice of great essay material.  But until that time, I wanted my readers to know that after some 740 essays, the well had tended to run a bit low.  As soon as I discover the magic elixir to bring those essays to life, you will have them.  In the meantime, I hope that this pause will be short-lived and that soon we will return to essays published regularly.


March 7, 2013

Essay 740


Kevin’s commentary: The pause was indeed short. He already has another one waiting for me to publish, as a matter of fact. And for any of those who want to read even more of Ezra’s Essays, just check back here daily. I average about seven updates a week even though that’s been a little lumpier lately


Blog: Thoughts on the RNC

[NOTE: This is a blog, not an essay. The difference between the two is that essays are planned at length, dictated, given to Eva Baker for transcription, and then finally re-edited and mailed out to all his friends and regular readers in hard-copy.  This, conversely is just some thoughts on yesterday’s Republican National Convention that Pop happened to record in an email to me. Judy had mentioned to me previously that Pop was thinking about writing a small commentary on the RNC, and I encouraged him to do so and mentioned that Jen had specifically inquired about his thoughts on said convention. He winds up addressing the whole thing as a response to her.]


Hey Kevin,

This is a response to Jen whom I hope remembers me.1  First of all, I wish to inquire whether they have the same God in upstate New York as we have here in Northern NJ.  It seems to me that this is an important consideration because the convention is taking place during Hurricane Isaac.  It is clear as a bell to me that God is angry as hell about what the Republicans are up to.

So the first point is to try to find out what the republicans have done that pisses off God sufficiently that would cause him to bring a hurricane back to the gulf coast.

Now on to some thoughts about the request from Jen.  On Tuesday I had a long day and knowing what conventions are like, for the first time in several months, I headed for bed in prime time.2  This is to say that I did not witness the proceedings at Tampa because I was basically asleep.  It is clear to me that the reviews of the subsequent day with all of their flashbacks to the highlights of the convention are quite adequate.  So I will give you some thoughts off the top of my head, which as you may recall is very wavy.

In the first place, I have been watching conventions since 1928 when Herbert Hoover ran against Al Smith.  At that time, the big problem was that Al Smith was a Catholic.  My parents were fundamentalist Christians who thought that Catholicism was the very pit of evil.  In private dealings, it must be observed that some people would say very quietly to their cohorts that “You know he’s a Catholic, don’t you?”  I was six years old at that time but I remember the events quite vividly.

Now with respect to yesterday’s proceedings, it is my belief that Mrs. Romney’s speech was over-rehearsed.  So I join in Hana Davis’ estimation of her speech as “corny.”  Hana’s native language is Czech and German and she learned her English in Great Britain.  Hana is 92 years old and my evaluation is that you don’t mess with Hana Davis.  She said it was corny but when I heard the clips played today, I would say that Hana’s description of Mrs. Romney was more than generous.  In other words, Mrs. Romney delivered a over-rehearsed speech.  There was absolutely no spontaneity in her remarks.

The other big speech was Chris Christie, who had no New Jersey miracle to brag about.  Christie was his usual bullying self and I believe even his Republican audience sensed that quality to Christie’s remarks.

That is my reaction to yesterday’s proceedings.  Admittedly I have relied as I intended to on news clips and the testimony of Hana Davis.  They have always been reliable indicators of what is going on.

Again, I believe that God has injected himself into Republican politics with his hurricane.  In point of fact, I believe that this event is what we should take away from the Republican convention.  In fact, all those faithful Republicans on the Gulf Coast are gurgling with hurricane overflow and can’t watch the convention because God turned off the electricity too.


PS:  Check out today’s editorial in the New York Times.  Judy will send it if you cannot get it.3

August 29, 2012

Blog #1


1. Perhaps Pop assumes that I only date people who have horrible memories?  This may or may not be an unreasonable assumption. Still, they met less than a month ago. She has certainly not forgotten him, but if she had it would count as particularly impressive that she asked to hear his thoughts on the RNC, I feel.

2. I feel that Pop is taking a page out of the Pope’s book, here.

3. I think he means this one, but I am not positive.