Letter From New York 06 21 15 Father’s Day, International Day of Yoga and Summer Solstice…

Today is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all fathers who might be reading this…

It’s a grey day in New York. I’m on the train down to the city where I will be attending a play in Riverside Park at the Police and Firemen’s Memorial near 89th and Riverside, a mere four blocks from the apartment in New York. A friend invited me to join her and her family and friends and I committed to it a while ago.

My own father passed away when I was twelve years old. He was a quiet, reclusive sort of man around the house, preferring to putter every evening in his basement woodworking shop to almost anything else. He maintained a golf course perfect lawn, was well liked at work. He managed a commercial bakery in Minneapolis, owned by American Bakeries; at the time it was the second largest commercial baking company in the world. American made Taystee Bread, “baked while you sleep.” The largest baking company was Continental; they made Wonder Bread.

We were not close the last six years of his life. He became more withdrawn. His health faded following two heart attacks. While recuperating, he played endless games of solitaire in the den, at the desk facing the window; playing cards and watching the world go by. Like him, I have a fondness for the game.

He and my mother were in a very rough patch of their marriage, though I only realized that later, with the wisdom that comes from growing older and ruminating on what has passed, coupled with conversations with my older brother and sister.

The night before he died, I was being a squirrely twelve year old. He was annoyed and told me to go to my room. It was our last encounter. In the morning, he suffered a massive stroke and was gone in minutes.

Over the intervening years, I have grown to have appreciation for him. He did his best with me, given what was going on with him and I now credit him for that. Rest in peace, dad, and Happy Father’s Day.

Today is the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice; from now on the days grow shorter until the Winter Solstice. That’s a little depressing but there is still some time before the days grow short.

Today was chosen by India to celebrate International Yoga Day and all over the world Yoga is being practiced to mark the occasion. My friend, Raja Choudhury, created the official Indian Yoga Film, which is being shown at Indian Embassies around the world.

In Charleston, SC the Emmanuel AME Church has reopened for services after last Wednesday’s massacre. To me it is a sign of resilience and hope that they are worshiping there today.

Just about now, Greece’s creditors are having a meeting in Brussels in advance of an emergency meeting tomorrow to see if there can be a resolution of the Greek debt crisis. Tsipras, Greece’s Prime Minister, flies there tonight after meeting with his cabinet on a “definitive” proposal to their debtors.

Tsipras has also been playing footsie with Vladimir Putin, who says he might consider a loan to Greece. It’s been seen by many as a mutual attempt to thumb noses at Europe and unlikely to happen. But stranger things have happened in Putin’s Russia.

Shortly, I will be off to see the play in Riverside Park. The grey and threatening day seems to have given way to sun and breezes, the air heavy after the night’s rain. It is Henry IV, Part 1 by Shakespeare. I had a small part in it when I was in college.

Right now, I am chilling the white wine in the freezer with a timer set so I don’t forget it. I am bringing strawberries, cherries, cheeses, apples and some bread from yesterday’s Farmer’s Market in Hudson. It should make a good repast. There will be five or six of us.

I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

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