Saturday, May 15, 2021


Is he a relative? I’m not sure. Relatively speaking he is. Mel is my ex-brother-in-law. My first wife’s kid brother. My lasting memory of him was when I gave him my maroon varsity basketball jacket in 1954. I loved that jacket. It was reversible. I want it back but it’s too late. Gone even from Mel’s memory.

Here’s the thing about Mel. Peggy has fallen in love with him. What can I do? She loves her doctors, her physical therapist. Back in the day she even loved a particular bank teller and cashier at the market checkout. 

Mel turned into a witty, charming retiree living in Florida. It must have been that jacket that has given him such panache. He is Peggy’s knight in shining armor. They have their fun.

He calls me Rebbe because he knows how devout I am, steeped in orthodoxy and ready I am to lead the flock out of the back lot in the next Cecil B. DeMille epic.

Strange how both he and his sister had the same mother and father and yet one of them escaped unscathed. I presume Mel loved his Dad since he honors him in his email address.

Today Mel’s older brother died. His name was also Norm. By all accounts, a damaged guy. I don’t believe they spoke to each for many years. Not everyone could endure two Norms on his family tree. 

Mel blesses Peggy and me with three or four emails every day which he passes along for our amusement and edification. He is a world-class conduit.

Today I learned that in order to work in Antarctica one must have their wisdom teeth and appendix removed. One never knows when to drop such information at a dinner party but it is sure to impress.

The other day I learned that Canada ranks highest in Quality of Life survey with the U.S. down five notches at number twenty but still ahead of Uzbekistan. There are some things one cannot keep to oneself.

Don’t thank me; thank Mel. He is, by far, my favorite ex-anybody. Life has a way of circling back and I’m glad he is back in mine with or without that reversible jacket. Some things are just irreversible.

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