Issue 27: What’s New

Published Jan. 20, 2013

The best new thing in our lives…

Noah at 5 days Deep contemplation

Welcome back to Opinion8ed2 and welcome to Planet Earth to our first grandchild who arrived this week.  As readers of these pages know I’m not usually at a loss for words but in this case, the photo and the words of Kate and Anna McGarrigle (First Born) will have to do to try to express how joyful we are…We haven’t stopped kvelling.

That first-born son is always the one
The first to be called and the last to come
He’s his mother’s favorite, his grandmother’s too
He’ll break their hearts and he’ll break yours too

For he’s the first to creep and the first to crawl
The first to walk and the first to fall
Every bruise is kissed, every cry is heard
Every doubt’s cast out with a soothing word

 ‘Cause he’s that first-born son, he’s that special one
No matter what comes next, no matter what comes along
Be it another boy or a sweet baby girl
The family’s the oyster and he is the pearl

I’m just returning from journalistic hibernation and like Rip Van Winkle, lots of significant events transpired since the last blog.  The voices of reason prevailed and helped President Obama overwhelmingly defeat the increasingly far right Republican/Tea Party, we narrowly and temporarily avoided the fiscal cliff, the northeast was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, another horrific and senseless mass killing thanks to readily available assault weapons and poor mental health policies.  No op eds this issue, but suffice to say we’ve had our share of heart warming and heart wrenching news in the past 3 1/2 months.  This blogger plans to shake the dust off and come out swinging next issue.

Dave Bauer making stone ground flour

Dave Bauer making stone ground flour

This issue features the curious story of the culinary equivalent of coals to New Castle.  Join me on a virtual and actual pilgrimage from Bialystok Poland to Asheville, NC in search of The Circuitous Route to the Best Bialys in the Universe and check out, The Art of Eating, Chapter VII.

27th manThe Night of the Murdered Poets was the inspiration for The Twenty-Seventh Man, a short story and fascinating new play by Nathan Englander.   Who was the 27th man, the unpublished “nobody” and why was he included in Stalin’s purge of Yiddish writers in 1952?

Sebastian Stan and Maggie Grace

And one year later, Picnic by William Inge opened on Broadway starring a very young Paul Newman in his Broadway debut.  Fast forward 60 years to the Roundabout Theater’s revival of this story of interlocking characters in search of love and in their own way, struggling with insecurity and the fear of being alone.

Although it’s unlikely my new grandson will be calling me by name any time soon, it’s not too early to ponder what that name should be.  My wife has selected Nana and I’ve been trying on the various options but when I come out of the dressing room and look in the mirror (probably because I don’t feel like what I imagined a grandfather would feel like), none of them seem to fit.

So I’m taking a non-binding poll and would be happy to have your vote on what my new familial title should be.  If none of the names below seem right to you either, feel free to add your own entries.

pdk and Noah3


This Just In:  The back and forth buzz over the Curious Path to the Best Bialys in the Universe inspired a guest contribution by Arthur Camins.  Check out his stroll down Bialy Lane, in My Life with Bialys.


Published on January 20, 2013 at 10:53 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I couldn’t resist sending snarky Grandpa names but oh THANKS SO MUCH PAUL for the Kate and Anna McGarrigle, haven’t heard it in ages and it brought tears. I just hope Noah is as much of a funny brilliant genius as their Rufus.

    Editor’s response: Thanks Eileen, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. Speedo has possibilities but you can call me Al. Re: Kate and Anna… we’ve re-discovered them through their recent re-release of the triple CD, Tell My Sister. We had most of their albums on vinyl but never replaced them on CDs so it was like welcoming home an old friend to hear them again. There is literally not a bad song in the bunch. Unbelievable. First Born was always a fav and for obvious reasons I can’t stop playing it – only now I kind of get faklempt every time I hear it. We were lucky enough to attend the McGarrigle family memorial concert to Kate in May 2011 at Town Hall and then saw the film of the concert at the NYC documentary film festival in November. Definitely check it out if you ever get a chance (I suspect it will be available on DVD sometime soon) Ciao


  2. Congrats PAPA Paul!

    Editor’s response: Thanks Rick, hope you cast your ballot.


  3. Congratulations, Paul! With the warmth you have always shown, you will be a great grandfather!

    Editor’s response: Thanks so much Amy, I will strive to be a loving grandpa (figuratively) and hope to be lucky enough to actually become a great grandfather (literally) someday down the road!


  4. Congratulations, Paul — What wonderful news! I’m sure you know that Jesse and Alyson are expecting, too. I’m over the moon about it, and expect to be kvelling for years!

    All the best to all you and yours,

    Editor’s response: Thanks Mary, YES! We are so thrilled for them too (as well as the future first time grandparents – welcome to the club)


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