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23 September 2007

Dear Stanley,

Thank you for your Yom Kippur e-card with the printed sentiment, "Wishing you an easy fast."

Many of us have been using this greeting for as long as I can remember. We all wish for an easy fast on Yom Kippur; we recall the difficulty of not eating or drinking for twenty-four hours, especially we coffee addicts.

But your additional, special greeting was both a surprise and a challenge: "Enjoy your fast." Enjoy! This was the first time anyone made this suggestion to me. What a great idea! Excellent advice! I accepted the challenge to enjoy my fast this year.

This Travel Letter was "almost published."  The editor of To North India With Love liked this letter better than one she had already chosen on a similar topic, and she had to honor her commitment.

Jaipur to Bikaner
Rajasthan, India 
February 24, 2007

Dear Family and Friends, 

The phrase "Horn Please" is emblazoned in huge, colorful and artistic boldfaced letters on the rear end of every powerful, solid, steel-framed intercity truck. Or "Sound Horn" appears. Or "Blow Horn." My favorite is "Blow Horn." India is a nation of one billion horn blowers.

It is good form. Everyone is encouraged to sound his horn to alert the truck driver ahead that his rig is about to be overtaken. And, (and this is a big "and") every driver of every type of vehicle alerts everyone else of his presence and his insistence to proceed unimpeded according to some preordained universal master transport plan known only to himself.

This Travel Letter was published in To North India With Love.  ThingsAsian Press.  2011.  pg 71-72.


February 20, 2007
Dear Family and Friends,

"Jan, why India?" "Why now?" Perhaps you are asking these questions. The obvious answers are: "India is close to Thailand." And, "There's no time like the present." True. Very true.

The real truth is that my friends in Mumbai, Paawan and Sushma, invited me to an auspicious family celebration.

An edited version of his letter was published in To Thailand With Love, ThingsAsian Press, 2013

"The Hot Dog Man"

Bangkok, Thailand
Monday, October 30, 2006

My Dear Fellow Gourmands and Ghouls,

“English Solutions,” my occasional school employer, sponsored their annual Halloween party on Sunday afternoon.

The owners of the school, Brian and Jason, own a large house near the school. They redecorated many of the rooms into “haunted houses” and party rooms.

About one hundred and fifty young children from six different Bangkok orphanages were invited.

My Dear Family and Devoted Friends,

Do you remember where you were on Sunday afternoon, October 9, 1966?

Perhaps you were preparing for Game 4 of The World Series? Or maybe looking for a betting line on The Giants? Or maybe you were struggling with the Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle?

Or maybe you were in the Baroque Room of The Plaza Hotel, celebrating at the marriage of Alice Rosemarie Dawn, 26, of New York, of blessed memory, and Jan Robert Polatschek, 26, of New Rochelle.

Alice's father, David A. Dawn, and his new wife Helga, made us a splendid wedding forty years ago today.

I still enjoy the memories of that Sunday afternoon.