Tuesday, November 24, 2015

1907 box contents

I think it's going to happen.

The local university has agreed to accept and the holder of the materials agrees to donate the contents of the 1907 cornerstone box.  The donor has agreed that I can pick up the materials and bring them over.  I think he's really glad to find a home for these materials.  We all understand that some of them maybe too damaged and may not be kept.  The university has conservator staff who can evaluate these things.

Yay, I'm feeling really good about this and worked to get it set up.  It hasn't happened yet but the the deal is crafted.

This picture is all over town.  It is a picture of a cornerstone laying for the Temple.  But it's for the earlier 1901 building that was never completed.  They built the basement and vowed that they would not go into debt and waited until they had the funds to build the main building.  They then realized that their planned building would be too small and sold their property and moved to a bigger parcel up the hill.

We are also acquiring additional holiday guests.  Dennis suggests that at the end of the holiday dinner, somebody might like to take home a dog.  You pick.  Take two, says Dennis.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What's left from the 1907 box

The man who rescued the cornerstone box when the 1907 Old Sanctuary was demolished showed me the contents of the box.  He has kept these remnants for 23 years (even he did not realize that it has been so long).  He believes they belong to the Temple and has offered them many times.  Many of the documents suffered heavy water damage before demolition and are in bad shape.

I'm working to get the Jewish Historical society to take ownership.  They want them.  I hope that I can help make this happen.  It might be that the materials are too far gone.

I'm working on it.

Very intense experience.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The first holiday meal of the season

Today, family members gathered at Wesley Homes for a pre Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Grandma Anne who is sitting at the head of the table.  Danny and Jessica came; you can see Danny in the gray sweater on the right side with Jessica next to him.  It was fun to have Eliza and Jim there.

Unfortunately the youngest member of the family 18 month old Hannah doesn't show up clearly.  She's on her mother Krystal's lap on the left.

It all worked fine plus we picked up another Thanksgiving guest, Brian, next to Jessica on the right.  Always like to have people over for Thanksgiving, we're up to eight.  Good spots still available.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jewish Veterans

I did an interview with a couple in Bellevue.  Mr. S is very interested in Jewish Veteran affairs.  He showed me pictures of veterans memorials from all over.  That wasn't why I was there really but.  I sent him a page from an impressive scrapbook that Mary Ann and I saw in New Haven in 2011.  A Jewish veterans group kept an exhaustive scrapbook of all the Jewish soldiers from New Haven.

Including this page which was the secret first husband of my aunt.  You never know what you may find when you hang out in these places.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Maybe Cash?

That's a dog, not currency.

I have a friend (Eleni) who is blind and has a service dog named Cash, a standard poodle.  Cash and I have a special thing going.  He always gets so excited when he sees me, dancing and greeting, carrying on.  Eleni usually just hands me the leash so Cash can have his exciting moments.

Eleni called last night.  She has to go back to Ethiopia to take care of some legal matters.  She can't take Cash.  They don't have same view of service dogs there and she would have to go through a lot of quarrantine.  Could I take care of him while she's gone?

Sure, why not?  We're not going anywhere right now.  We already have the always loving sweetie pie Teddy and the extremely elderly Shirra.  Eleni expects to be gone two or three weeks but I'm wondering if there's possibly delays in Ethiopian courts.  I'll find out.  How is Cash with cats?  She's coming over on Thursday with Cash.

We could have five dogs at xmas.

Eleni does not let blindness stand in her way.  She's known for her bike riding and art projects.  She gets around wherever she wants to go.

I looked around for a picture.  Sure enough, here's a picture of Eleni with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Cash at the Microsoft Shareholder Meeting less than a year ago.  Apparently asked, as a shareholder, for Microsoft to be more sensitive to the needs of disabled.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Plink mystery solved

Today I interviewed Norm S,  Remember I started with him last July.  I pitched my Immaculate Conception theory (thank you Mary Ann C) and he signed right on.  Yay!  I talked about plinking and he pointed out that I had the evidence in the pictures I already had.

Here's a portion of one of my confirmation pictures. look at the back of the pews.  There's the card holders on the back of the pews.  He says you plinked from the top.  He also said the seats were covered with dark gray velour; you could draw pictures on them with your finger.

He also showed me the materials from the cornerstone box.  Very intense.  He does want to find a home for them.

On the ongoing power outage front...last night when I went to my writing group, I noticed that several houses near the bottom of our cul de sac looked very dark.  When I came home, there were three City Light Trucks on our street and the houses were dark.  Looked like the hillside was all dark.

I mulled this over when I came home.  I thought, might even said aloud, What?  They had a power outage and they didn't invite us!  What's up with that?  We're always included in the power outage.

Yeah, you know that's a total jinx.  Bad as saying that it's a perfect game or a no-hitter when the game is still going on.  Everybody in the stands knows but nobody NOBODY says anything.

I called down to Dennis, asking him to check the City Light Outage map, one of my most used websites.  As soon as I said that, everything went dark.  Yeah, I had to do that.

Actually talked to a person who said they had to replace a transformer and they had to enlarge the outage to safely fix it.  Power came back on after midnight, disrupting everybody's sleep.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

But are they plinkable?

My son in law Matthew sent me several possible plinkable cardholders.  He believes they are all potentially plinkable.  There are definite advantages of having an engineer son in law.

I submit these to my readers as possibilities.  I am going to present the pictures on some further interviews to get some contemporary opinions.

Dennis votes for the first picture.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I just wrote a piece about plinking.

Almost every person I've talked to about their experiences in the Old Sanctuary tells me about plinking.

Many Reform congregations sold seats for the High Holidays during the 19th century to make money.  Some auctioned them off.  Lots of Protestant congregations did too.  The practice fell out of fashion in the 20th century.  Though I still remember my parents having assigned seats during the High Holiday services in the 1950s and 1960s.  The whole ushering thing.  Where the men congregation leaders would take the family tickets, the wife would take their arm, the husband and children trailing behind and show them to their seats.

Anyway, when they built the Old Sanctuary, Nathan Eckstein oversaw the selling of the seats.  The treasury was just about empty (or worse) by the time the building was done.  And the selling of the seats refilled the treasury.

Initially there were metal card holders on top of the seats displaying the 'owners' of those seats.  Eventually they discontinued that practice.

But the metal card holders remained on the back of the seats.

The children of the congregation soon realized that, if you snapped the card holder with your finger, it made a very satisfying plinking noise.

Plink, plink, plink.  For years, the kids plinked the card holders before and after services.  The more adventurous plinked during the service.  Sometimes they got in trouble, sometimes not.  But they loved that little noise.  The younger children watched the older kids plink those holders.  They wanted to do it too.  And they did.

I don't know what the card holders looked like.  Maybe I will ask somebody to draw one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Picture from Charl

My brother is a great hobby photographer.  He specializes in macrophotography, where you take pictures of tiny things.  He sends pictures to me and also features them on his website.  I have permission to use any I want on my blog.

This isn't a macro piece, though I should post one.  This abstract appealed to me.  I believe it's a building somewhere near him in San Mateo.  With appropriate sky reflection.  I like the composition, the clean lines.