Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunny and seventy. Spring definitely felt like it had arrived today. Can lunch on the patio be far behind? . . . New shipment today. We are eager for you to see the bamboo place mat sets in black, chocolate or natural. Four nicely packaged for just $15. Great for your patio or as a hostess gift when you are visiting this summer. Also back in stock: our package of six colorful bistro napkins, $15. New dish towel sets, too . . . The April issue of theBurg is here and free for the taking . . . Well, tomorrow is April Fool's Day. Please, no juvenile pranks. I have always felt that this is the dumbest "holiday" on the calendar . . .
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Really raw most of the day and now high winds as I write . . . Well, the tree fellers (get the pun?) arrived at the appointed hour and the beautiful maple is now plant mulch and firewood. It took a surprisingly short time to do the deed. And, of course, despite a week of warnings and three large "No Parking" signs, two cars had to be towed . . . We all suffer the loss but perhaps none more than that flock of marauding crows which liked to raise a ruckus and decorate cars and sidewalks about 6 a.m. every morning. Wonder if some animal rights advocates might not sue for "unjust eviction" or a similar charge . . . I will miss it most in autumn. For about two weeks on glorious sunny fall days my whole living room had a gorgeous red glow . . . Got one of "those" phone calls this morning. You know the kind. From Matthew, or David, or John, or James. Now you know immediately from the accent that the Asian is using an alias. And if you didn't guess, that strange echo of your own voice coming back down the line certainly gives the game away . . . I was never one to appreciate unsolicited phone calls (and, yes, I am on a "do not call" list without noticeable effect) but there were times when it was fun to exchange pleasantries with a Boston accent or Southern drawl even as you were refusing the offer. I am afraid my American humor is lost on the current crop of callers who pause, stutter and quickly shuffle through their prepared script to find an appropriate response to "thank you for your call" . . . (click picture to enlarge).
Monday, March 29, 2010
Chilly with rain for much of the day, then sunny and 60 degrees late afternoon . . . Chimney sweeps cleaned the flue at 711 Green today and confirmed that there was a fire within last week when the street was flooded with firetrucks. None of the sweeps sang that song from Mary Poppins, however . . . A reminder that the tree in front of 711 is slated to come down tomorrow and that the area is posted "No Parking" . . . Addison Lawson celebrates her birthday on Wednesday . . . That is JJ behind the pink nose and painted-on whiskers. He was at the Residence for the Governor's Easter Egg hunt. He found a prize egg but wouldn't tell me what the prize was . . .
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Bob misread his watch this morning and opened The Bare Wall an hour early! (But didn't get any customers, unfortunately.) . . . Kim and Erica brought us some much appreciated pastries from Alvaro's for breakfast . . . Expect prices to start going up a tad all over town (but not at The Bare Wall, of course!). Got the word this morning that banks processing purchases by MasterCard, Visa and debit card will be taking a bigger cut come April 1 . . .
Friday, March 26, 2010
Happy birthday to Kim Kehler . . . Sorry to report that our neighborhood will be greatly changed come Tuesday. The large and stately maple tree in front of 711 Green Street will be coming down. It has invaded the sewer system there and is a destructive menace. This will be a major loss in the neighborhood and a radical change to the street scape. Sad but necessary. It was always a beautiful blaze of red in the fall . . . Guess I have belabored my experiences on the medical front but these encounters with modern medicine after thirty years have been eye openers. Got cheerful calls of encouragement from Richard Williams and George Miller today. "Chin up! Pip! Pip!" Much appreciated . . . Temps predicted to dip below freezing tonight. Darn! The magnolias will surely be destroyed at the height of their glory and daffodil's will slump with only a few recovering . . .
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Please bear with me. Although the sun shone delightfully until 6 p.m., my day was mostly bleak. It began with letters from my doctor's office; they had scheduled an appointment that I could not keep. Also, they wanted additional hospital tests. Plus I had to tell them that I could not afford the medicines they were prescribing. All is in limbo at the moment . . . The next letter in the pile was personally hand-addressed to me. And what was it? A special sale flyer for grave headstones! Sure hope my doc didn't give them my address! . . . Things brightened with a call from Lee Spitalny. We discussed the books we'd been reading and which ones we had especially enjoyed. A rare pleasant interlude . . . Then received an e-mail (very official looking, logo and all) from Verizon. They were updating their Internet service and needed to confirm some information. CAUTION VERIZON USERS. THIS IS A SCAM. Was immediately in touch with Verizon Internet Security. If you have received such a message, DON'T PROVIDE REQUESTED INFO. Forward your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Received a nice "thank you" e-mail from them a short time later . . . Learned that Mike Billo and Lonnie Kerr officially put their house at 805 Green on the market today. You can get all the particulars from Jacquie Kirby Hensel at 761-6300 . . . Received our shipment of boxed note cards from England (but printed in China, of course). I think you will be pleased with these, but when I checked the invoice there was a major billing error and I had to get in touch with my sales rep. Sixteen cards, $16, some printed front and back . . . Supper tonight was a bowl of "heart healthy" Campbell's chunky soup. Wish I could say that it was savory, but, boy, it could have used a little salt . . . So that was the day, and it is only 7 p.m. Think I should ward off anything else by hopping into bed right now . . . Despite everything there was one little moment to delight the senses. As Bob was strapping the kid into his car seat for the trip to Camp Hill I overheard JJ lean close to Bob's ear and whisper "I love you." That tiny second simply washed away a whole day of aggravation . . .
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Delightful day . . . Erica Gordon back from a conference in Boston . . . Finally had the time to hit the drug store to have my doctor's prescriptions filled. He will be hearing from me tomorrow. I simply cannot afford $170 a month . . . will this new health bill that Corbett wants to scuttle help me at all? Maybe I should e-mail Palin; she is sure to have an opinion . . . The committee is still working with city hall on permit parking in our neighborhood. It would appear that "our side" is losing the debate . . .
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Damp day with a chill in the air. Rick Miller called to say that there is activity at La Kasbah, the Second Street restaurant damaged by a smoky fire a few weeks ago. Will try to see if the establishment plans to reopen and when . . . Hoped the passage of the health care bill would still some souls (one got tired of the media coverage) but it has had just the opposite effect apparently. We are more bombarded than ever. The Pennsylvania AG plans to sue! Is this political posturing? If we have that kind of money on hand it would be better spent reopening the State Library . . . A buddy on Facebook joined some anti-Obama campaign and promptly got slapped down by a "friend" in Germany who said it was time some military money went to providing for our own citizens. My buddy's other friends on the site pretended not to understand the fellow's broken English . . . Regardless of one's position on the matter, it was touching to read of the on-going tributes at Sen. Ted Kennedy's grave; he had worked for years for universal health care . . . Pro football has decided to change the rules for overtime games. There is no simple way to describe these so I won't try. Does anyone remember when a tie was a tie? . . .
Monday, March 22, 2010
Excitement on the block at 5:30 this afternoon. A chimney malfunction at Jack and Bob's--the yellow house opposite The Bare Wall. Sorry JJ wasn't with us tonight. He loves fire trucks and they were lined up from Forster to North Street. Our fire crews deftly maneuvered their crane and bucket through the trees and had the problem solved in no time. Bravo for them. The incident gave the neighbors reason to socialize on the street, our first such outing since winter . . . Bart Snyder is looking for trash hauling jobs in our neighborhood. We have his phone number if you should need him . . . As you know, I like a good turn of phrase and I read one such today: "He is a nobody who is already a has-been." It was made about our current AG, but you could insert the name of anyone you wanted to insult . . .
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Judy Robinson has written from her modest estate in Juniata County that my adversary most likely is a six-inch female Downy woodpecker in search of dessert after attacking the distressed mountain ash in my neighbor's back yard. It may continue to visit but if scared away often enough it will probably desist in its destruction . . . made a half-hearted attempt to deal with my finances this morning. Apparently I was a bit too enthusiastic in ordering new merchandise last month. There weren't quite enough bucks to go around. ($500 in plumbing repairs didn't help) . . . Listened to Welsh radio's weekly program for rural folk. Part of the program dealt with green house gases and possible cures. But the proposal to move all the cows and sheep indoors seemed a bit extreme (imagine a building housing 2000 animals!). Plans to reforest barren ground with conifers made better sense to me . . . and it was eye-opening to learn that city trees aren't that effective in dealing with carbon dioxide. Their real value is their shade that allows us to lower the settings on air conditioners and save on electricity . . .
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Scads of people out today in 70+ degree weather for the St. Pat's parade. Enjoyed a pre-parade Irish brunch at Mary Ann Furedi and Rick May's. Their dogs Cooper and Luna adopted me and were perfect hosts . . . The parade was varied--and long. So many units. In my hometown of 2000 we had 60 or 70 members in our high school band; it was fronted by a drum majorette with a whistle and three other twirlers. That ratio seems to have been totally reversed these days. Today's marching units have two dozen (or more) flag wavers and only a handful of musicians . . . Two years ago I was attacked by mourning doves. They found something nutritious in the putty around my windows. The destruction was so bad that I feared the window would fall out, so repairs were warranted. This spring I am under siege by a mottled black and white woodpecker (no red that I can see). He/she has visited the back of the house a couple of times, and it sounds like someone is driving a nail. Would like for someone to identify this invader and--even better--tell me how to discourage its visits . . .
Friday, March 19, 2010
More superior weather. It made my errands downtown all the more pleasant--the bank to pay on my store loan, City Hall to pick up our "Permit Parking" sticker, the post office for some stamps. It was also good to see Michael behind his counter at the Fulton Building selling his floral bouquets. He has suffered some medical problems lately as almost everyone knows . . . The chairs and tables were out on Restaurant Row, but all the exteriors should have had a good hosing down. Don't think I would enjoy my dinner with the remnants of the St. Patrick's Day pub crawl spattered all over the sidewalks . . . Outdoor cafes in Paris and Venice always look so romantic in films, though one wonders what havoc the pigeons might bring about were you there in person. I am afraid that "romantic" is not an adjective I would use to describe our venues . . . However, I think our restaurateurs are missing a bet by not installing a live streaming web cam on Second Street. Would be a cheap and effective way to promote themselves. I check in on Trafalgar Square in London quite frequently: http://camglobal16.camstreams.com/ . . . The cute little pillow would make a nice gift for the cat lover in your life. Just $18 . . .
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This is Post 266. Can't believe I have had so much to share with you . . . But today is not a news day. Almost no one wanted to waste this glorious day by being inside, so Bob and I spent most of our hours out on the sidewalk exchanging pleasantries with the passers-by. The street, usually parked full, was half empty for most of the day. Victoria Zellers and I speculated that there might be quite a few hangovers from the St. Patrick's Day celebrations yesterday . . . Well, pictured here is one sure sign that Spring is on the way . . . and before anyone points it out to us, be advised that Uncle Bob was drawing the hopscotch board backwards and upside down, which is why the four in fourteen didn't come out right. I don't know whether JJ noticed or not, but we were pleased that he could count to 20 . . . the fun of these hopscotch adventures does not come from watching the kids, incidentally. The real treat is the adult who pauses, looks about to be sure no one is watching, and then happily skips down the diagram . . .
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. Experienced my first unwanted sign of spring today--a blaring car radio. But it was a beautiful day and everyone was in a happy mood. And we all were wearing green, of course . . . People at the State Street cathedral honored their patron with a nice memorial. Angela Lawson provided this picture . . . I sat in the sun trying to absorb some Vitamin D to please my doctor, but after a bit I sneaked inside to watch some of the big parade in Dublin. You can watch it too at some point during the next few day at this site: http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1068835 . . . The tape lasts an hour . . . Harrisburg's parade is Saturday at 2 p.m. The weather is supposed to be great. All of our local politicians seem to be out of favor with the public these days, so it will be interesting to see if Thompson, Buxton or Holden are in the line of march . . .
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Jeff Piccola continued his campaign against equal civil rights for homosexuals today when he cast his vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I know nothing about the workings of our political system, but I am befuddled by his continued bigotry when he represents one of the largest enclaves of gays within our state. We can thank God that wiser minds prevailed. And to think Piccola once aspired to the Governor's chair . . . Well, my first complete physical in about thirty years is now history. Dr. Cary Cummings and his warm, professional staff certainly made the ordeal painless. What they had to say, however, was somewhat of a mixed bag. The heart is good and the lungs, despite 50 years of smoking, are not too bad, all things considered. Ditto the liver and kidneys . . . You have the dirtiest ears I have seen in quite a while. Are you sure you can hear? Well, not according to Bob who is forever saying that he told me thus-and-so but I never listen . . . You are terribly deficient in Vitamin D. But, doctor, the sun hasn’t shone for two months . . . Your cholesterol is somewhat elevated. Need to cut out pastry and pasta and those saturated fats. But, doc, my favorite foods are Spam, Vienna sausages, Dinty Moore beef stew and sharing dessert treats with my Godson. Well, okay, then, you can have some of each—say, once a year . . . Then came the serious nitty-gritty personal stuff that afflicts 74-year-old men. I think it is best that you consult a urologist . . . The doc recommended some medicines I might take. I told him I wasn’t much of a pill-popper. He wrote the prescriptions anyway. Then as we parted he looked at me suspiciously. You aren’t going to take any of this advice, are you? I promised I would think about it . . . and in thinking I wondered if not knowing might not be better than stressing over what I now know. Maybe ignorance is bliss . . . There is some humor in this—the condition that sent me to a physician in the first place. Despite a battery of tests, that recurring pain in my chest remains a mystery to medical minds. Maybe, just maybe, it is caused by hunching over the computer too much. The cure might be as simple as an occasional walk around the block . . .
Monday, March 15, 2010
I never thought much about being a father. I associated fatherhood with a great deal of responsibility, disruptions and messes. Then I became a godfather--the best of all positions . . . I get to see the kid grow and learn without the responsibility involved, from the eating paper stage to the point now at four years old where JJ has begun to reason. ("No" is not enough because the next question is "why.") . . . I can be his pal and sneak him that ninth piece of candy and Mom and Dad must put up with the hyperactivity and the "I'm full" at dinner . . . I get the privilege of being taken by the hand amid a houseful of guests at his birthday party to show me his special Mario and Luigi birthday cake. I get to hear the "Bye, guys" yelled from the car window as he heads home with pockets crammed with goodies which he has promised not to eat until after dinner or "until we get to the bridge." . . . I know that as he grows older we will not share this physical closeness--that's the way things are--but my life has been greatly enriched by my godson . . .
Sunday, March 14, 2010
On Being a Godfather . . .
As I was sitting at the table last night being instructed by JJ on how to eat my slice of pizza I had to wonder: how did I get into this predicament? . . . It began on a pleasant summer evening a couple of years ago. Bob and I were sitting on the stoop as we frequently are on warm days. Sarah and Eric came around the corner with a bottle of wine and a baby monitor so we could listen to JJ breathing in his crib. JJ’s parents and Bob enjoyed the grape (I am usually a teetotaler). When the bottle was all but empty, Eric (or was it Sarah?) said they had a favor to ask: Would we be Godfathers to their son? Bob said “yes” without another thought and my reasoned objections were waved aside by all three. What kid would want two wrinkled old farts for his Godfather? . . . So suddenly I found myself in church at the altar saying “I do” when the preacher asked did I promise to look after the boy’s future, etc. It was a sobering moment. Then not much later the family moved from Briggs Street to Camp Hill and I figured that was that. But no, JJ insisted on coming to visit a couple of times a week and has been doing so ever since. Maybe he is fonder of us than I expected (he was happy to see us at his party as I reported yesterday) . . . As it happens, JJ has lightened our workload by assigning us our tasks. Uncle Bob is called on when it is time to color or play ball or blow bubbles. Uncle Ronn works puzzles and watches train tapes on the TV. I am also pressed into service when playing on the computer. I have suggested that Uncle Bob could do that but JJ protests: He doesn’t know how to do it, Uncle Ronn. Actually there is another reason for getting me upstairs other than the computer: JJ can forage in the fridge, see what is in the candy bowl and look for “black cookies” (Oreos) or “cheesy chippers” (Cheddar Sun Chips) . . . I have been (unfairly?) maligned by Sarah, Eric and Bob: they insist that JJ doesn’t care when they say “no” to something because he need only ask Uncle Ronn who will say “yes” . . . Having a kid (now two, with the arrival of sister Cecilia) certainly changes one’s outlook. We never go anywhere or pick up a magazine that we don’t find something that the kids must have. Bob loves to buy presents and keeps JJ's treasure box filled with gummy worms, pretzels and other treats . . . Well, this experience is educational. I know most of the vehicles in the movie Cars by name. I have watched countless episodes of Kipper the Dog and can name a few of Thomas the Tank Engine’s friends . . . Of course I could ramble on for a few more pages about the devious tricks JJ has learned to play on us, but I will spare you. We know this can’t last. Although just four, JJ has already been swimming, skiing, playing soccer. He’s been to a Penn State football game, Disney World (the children’s rides sucked, but the adult ones were terrific) and danced on the piano at FAO Schwarz in NYC. And he has two loving grandparents just a few blocks away: Grandma keeps M&Ms on hand and Grandpa has an outside hot tub you can even use in a blizzard . . . At some point two grumpy old men are going to lose their appeal unless, of course, Mom and Dad say “no” to an Oreo . . . And be honest, how could anyone refuse an innocent face like that? . . .
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Rains and high winds most of the day. An abandoned building in the 600 block of Maclay Street collapsed into the street . . . The big brown tin hen pictured yesterday has flown the coop but the roosters and a few of the chicks are still here . . . JJ's birthday. Lots of little buddies, pizza, cake and presents. He was proud to show Uncle Bob and Uncle Ronn his cake which was decorated with the brothers Mario and Luigi. Last year the interior of the cake was blue, but JJ requested that it be red this year . . . Despite mommy Sarah's request of "no presents" we think JJ got a greater haul than he did last Christmas . . .
Friday, March 12, 2010
The promised rains came and scared the customers away, though we did have a nice chat with Charles Fetterhoff . . . finished my mystery book and am casting about for something else to read. It will not be War and Peace however. Dr. Coldren has finished it, incidentally . . . Maybe I could make our CPA, Rick Miller, happy by finishing my taxes this weekend . . . It seems that every conversation these days turns to the upheavals at City Hall. Everyone seems to agree that "sumpin's gotta give." It rather reminds me of the last days of the Nixon presidency. Remember how we were bombarded then? Every newscast provided a new wrinkle. How weary we all were--even too weary to cheer when Nixon proclaimed "I'm not a crook" and then resigned . . . What was the next topic of general conversation? Do you remember? Ford's pardon, perhaps . . . I am having a flash of deja vu . . .
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Last of the sunny days for a while apparently. Rain expected. But Bob finds a silver lining in this: no lugging the sale books and videos out and back from the stoop each day . . . Brief visit from Richard Hebbard who found some bargains among the books . . . Happy birthday to Joyce Reiner . . . JJ will be four on Saturday . . . Will remind you again that there is a discount coupon in this month's copy of theBurg. Only one person has redeemed hers. They are good through March 27 . . . Bunnies, lambs, tin chicks and the like are now available for your Easter decor . . .
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The promised pottery arrived this morning. The dragonfly pattern is quite pleasing and so is the price; except for a few larger pieces most are in the $25 range. The picture I attempted really doesn't do justice to the hand painting. Click on it to enlarge and you might get a better idea of it . . . Was so pleased to receive Jacquie Kirby Hensel's monthly Re/Max realty newsletter and to find an excellent plug for The Bare Wall. We have been friends for thirty years; she was a school teacher then, not the top realtor professional she is today, and did excellent needlework . . . I have been befuddled for a long time by the abbreviations that texters use in today's communications; that "language" is spreading to other media, leaving me to wonder what people are actually saying. Is that comment good, bad or indifferent? Well, thanks to Angela Lawson, I now have a "dictionary." If you are addled too, you can access it at http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Another lovely day. Went to Harrisburg Hospital (way too early for me) to have blood drawn. Was impressed with the courtesy and efficiency of the staff. Very organized, and I was out in about 30 minutes . . . Nice visit from friends Jim and Geoff from Liverpool; haven't seen them for many months . . . Yes, I managed to see the whole Oscar show but was in bed within five minutes after . . . there was some confusion with the shipment of the new pottery but it should be here within a few days. I will try to post a picture. I think you will like it . . . Several inquiries after yesterday's post; just which properties are for sale? For the record: 706, 805, and 810 Green Street, 272 Briggs Street, and 226 North Street. The last one has been on the market for quite a few months . . . it is rumored that Mantis, the gallery that was on North Street a few years ago, will try opening again next door to the Midtown Scholar near Third and Verbeke . . . The doorway seen yesterday is that of Jack Barnett and Robert Coldren. Sorry, I just assumed that everyone would recognize it . . .
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Two more properties in our neighborhood have gone up for sale. There are now five homes available within a block of Green and Briggs Street. Also on the market, the Zephyr Express Restaurant and neighboring apartment house . . . Symbols of the season are springing up here and there. The doorway shown is just across the street from The Bare Wall. We have a nice collection of books on Ireland and the Irish but no St. Patrick's Day cards (they didn't come because I forgot to order them). The city's parade is March 20 . . . Jon Carfagno was busy this morning making peanut butter eggs . . . guess everyone is popping corn at this moment in anticipation of the Oscar telecast. I haven't a clue about any of the films; this is probably the first time in my 70-some years that I have no particular interest in the event . . .
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Almost did a number in my pants this afternoon after learning via e-mail that I had won nearly two million British pounds in a credit card lottery in London. All I had to do was contact a bank in England to claim my prize . . . Well, I made a phone call alright, but it was to my credit card company and its Internet Security Unit. They seemed quite pleased to hear from me and were very helpful, though they didn't think I should spend my winnings just yet. Should any of you receive a similar message and hold a CitiCorp card (MasterCard or Visa) I have the security unit number that will help you avoid all the other run-arounds . . . and should any of you receive a similar message, please contact your credit card holder immediately. It was also recommended that I run my virus scan as quickly as possible . . . Too bad that this isn't legit. Tough economic times have cut into donations toward the annual July PrideFest celebration on the riverfront. The committee has had to make some difficult choices. As of now the parade will be shortened with fewer paid participants from out of town. It was also decided that as of this moment the festival could eliminate a celebrity "headliner" for the closing of the event. Of course all of this could change if someone who wins two million British pounds steps forward . . .
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Victoria Zellers home from Jamaica and posted this beautiful snapshot on her Facebook page . . . Inspected the greenery in front of the store and believe that with a bit of pruning and support that it survived the blizzard . . . Thanks to Lee Spitalny for another bag of books. I have enough reading to last a year. These will be showing up on our outdoor sale table this summer . . . A "hello" to Kim Kehler on the West Shore. Her brother, Guy, says she is a loyal reader . . . Hot off the press: America's Great Delis ($18.95). History of and recipes from famous eateries . . . Betty Holmbe organizes the Harris Street Church caroling every December. It is a fun event for both the singers and those they visit. In Scotland one church realized its open door event didn't attract people like it used to so they moved the caroling into the local pub and had a robust evening. They even brought their own ale brewed especially for the church . . . Over the years I have subscribed to a few foreign magazines but none has been as satisfactory as Scottish Life. It covers the tourist attractions on occasion, but generally it is dedicated to the everyday life and culture of the country . . .
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Kathy MacNett and daughter Colleen back from a sunny vacation in Puerto Rico; other daughter Pam could not get time off from her duties as athletic trainer at Susquehanna Township H.S. . . . warmish today but gray. Been listless. Think I need some of whatever vitamin sunlight provides . . . Ordered new pottery today in a dragonfly pattern. If it is half as pretty as it is in the craftsman's flyer it ought to be a winner. Delivery date uncertain; that is part of the problem when you are dealing with handcrafted goods . . .
Monday, March 1, 2010
Larry Binda, co-editor of theBurg, was in today. He says the paper's new headquarters on Front Street just off Herr is shaping up nicely. Now waiting for the architectural review board to approve a sign . . . Don't understand (but certainly approve of) this sudden robust interest in Bill Campbell's pottery. Got another call about it this morning, this one from York . . . It is distressing to see all the For Sale signs throughout the city. Some blocks have three or more properties on the market. Such selling destabilizes neighborhoods which have worked so hard to bond together. Hope this is the result of economic conditions and not the political turmoil the city seems to be in these days . . . Will finish the last ten pages of my book tonight and cannot recommend it highly enough. Even the occasional error can be forgiven--Klein Village for Kline Village, Pembroke for Penbrook . . .