Tuesday, June 26

State Of Mind

Self portrait XXXXV
51 and not dead yet. I spend my birthday in Tel Aviv on a business trip and play my personal occasion low key. 

Madeleine finishes her GCSE exams and, just like that, no more GCSEs. Ever. It's like a marathon : once the first step taken, it is not longer 26 miles. Our gal finds out her marks alongside the rest of nation's 16 year-olds on August 23. And, my dear friends, the inevitable question : Who is more terrified - we parents, or the kid ?

Eitan for his part receives his AS grades which are exemplary.

Sunday, June 24

Of Remembrance

Sonnet leaves on a jet plane for Denver where she will meet her family and mark the passing of her  uncles Shelton and Bill and father Stanfill "Stan" Stanfill, who passed August 14, 2017.

It is celebration of three remarkable lives that were formed from poverty during the Great Depression and delivered the American experience: Bill became a wealthy venture capitalist founding Silver Creek Ventures; Shelton created the title "arts administrator" overseeing the Los Angeles Centre of Performing Arts then President and CEO of Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center, which he put on the map with the $200 million he singularly raised to build the complex.

Stan sought his own opportunity and adventure in Anchorage, Alaska, where he took his young bride, Silver, following a two week courtship. Their arrival well time for the Anchorage earthquake of '64 that flattened the city. 

In Alaska, Stan built his law practise while Silver taught at the University of Anchorage. They collected interesting friends like the Manhattan debutant who could skin a deer and did so for the family's winter meat. 

Eventually retirement returned Stan to Colorado's Western Slope, a place he knew and loved, where his days began - and ended - with views of the Grand Mesa.

Sunday, June 17

Sweet 16

Concert chicks
Lola arrives from LA and the girls turn it around for the Beyonce concert at London Stadium in the Olympic Park (I am informed that Jay Z is not pronounced JayZED but JayZEE). Lola's dad is Beyonce's agent so the girls are front and center at the show. They return buzzing and I blast a popular Beyonce song which elicits a few discreet dance steps from Madeleine. A father's joy to see it.

Madeleine will spend a week of the summer with Lola and Bella in LA whilst taking a film writing class founded by Katie's friend.

Manhattan From Below

Times Square at 44th St
Times Square has been pedestrianised with several city blocks set aside for strolling and taking a coffee. I find a used book stall and buy Joan Didion's "A Year Of Magical Thinking" and Machiavelli's "The Prince". 

I recall Times Square's seediness when I first arrived in New York, post college and shoes shined.  The neon glitz failed to brighten the grungy affair with its rough trades and hard-core cinema. Still it was pretty damn interesting. Less so today with Disney, Morgan Stanley and communal yoga having replaced the peep shows.

Manhattan from Above

I have been making my travels meeting with investors and enjoying the trips. Here is an arial shot of Manhattan from a small jet to up-state Albany and a meeting with New York State Teachers Retirement System (TRS).

On the morning of TRS I am picked up in a taxi with two other passengers which is mildly annoying given the importance of the meeting and how far I have travelled to get to it. I strike up a conversation with the dude next to me who is returning home from his job as a school bus driver. We connect on the importance of his work - he is the first person the kids see in the morning, and the last before going home. This gets a nice smile from him. I use the story to open the Teachers meeting and the rest goes like a charm.