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Tuesday July 28, 2009:
I have been in the gravitational pull, and breathing atmosphere
Of the earth for seventy-two consecutive years.
I am announcing today (NO PRESS CONFERENCE PLEASE)
That I AM ‘BETTER THAN EVER’,
AS THE COWBOYS IN NEW MEXICO USED TO Say,
“I Am Raring To Go!”
Here, for no particular reason, is an anecdote from my life:
It is in the Autobiography I am writing:
…It’s about the time I had been in Cairo for an extended period,
On a business trip as an attorney,
on behalf of a Corporate Client in NYC.
I was negotiating a joint venture agreement between an all Jewish
New York City Corporation listed on the NYSE, and a group of
Arab investors in Kuwait,
to build a state of the art production facility in Egypt.
After arriving for a scheduled two-week stay in Cairo,
I learned that Arabs only do business with ‘friends’, -and it takes longer than two weeks, for them to decide if you are a friend or not…
I was booked at the world-famous Mena House Hotel across the road from the Great Pyramids at Giza, just outside Cairo.
I would sometimes ride an Arabian horse into the Sahara just after sunrise, as morning recreation…
Our ‘middleman’ was an Iraqi businessman who lived in Albuquerque.
We were not able to do any business for the first two weeks,
Despite daily meetings with our Arab contacts in Cairo.
Then, once they decided they would be friends with me,
it became necessary for my client rep and I to travel to Kuwait City, which was only legally accessible then,
By invitation from a Kuwaiti citizen.
Our trip stretched into a month; my client was paying as much in gratuities to the desk clerk at the hotel as the room rate cost,
-Just to keep us in the hotel, - which was always fully booked.
There were daily scenes in the lobby involving people
Who thought they had a room booked, but were told that due to
Some mistake there was no room for them…
Then, I received word from my ex-wife in Albuquerque
That my eighty-year-old Father was in the hospital,
with a life threatening medical emergency, and I should come home immediately.
Booking a flight from Cairo to Albuquerque on short notice is never simple.
On the morning I was to take an early flight out of Cairo,
My taxi driver had to abandon the usual traffic routes in the city (which operate on the basic Arab premise of Ensha Allah,
– Which means “Whatever Allah Wills,” –
– This is also the basis for the basic Egyptian traffic rule –
– ‘First Vehicle into any space always has the right-of-way’).
My Taxi Driver, therefore, creatively used the relatively quiet and uncrowded Railroad tracks running to the airport, as his ‘freeway’.
As we bumped and bounced over the railroad-tie-‘highway’,
Watching for trains, it occurred to me that, Helen Keller once said, ‘Life is nothing, if not an Adventure’.
When I arrived back in Albuquerque I went straight to the hospital room, where my Father had been laying quietly for days.
I entered his room and my Mother said to the nurse in the room, “This is my son, Robert”, - to which my Father responded weakly, without opening his eyes, “He’s my son too.” Then…
The nurse, as women are wont to do, came in, on cue, with
“He still has a sense of humor.”
Which I believe is true of both of us; -but there was a difference.
I never saw my Father angry or rude at any time in his whole life.
As for me, jocularity has always been my greatest weakness...
After my Father recovered, I flew to New York City to report to the client on my Middle East trip.
Evidently the news had preceded me, because when I arrived in their Board Room, atop Rockefeller Center, --as I entered the room in my usual unacceptable casual sports jacket with an open shirt, the President of the Company stood, in his dark three piece suit, and announced to the members of the Board -“Gentlemen It is Mr. Hanna, -Please remove your neckties,” And they did, deftly, …
Without removing their vests.
When I was born, the automobile was a new invention. The railroad had just completed a track across America, and radio and newspapers were the ways we ‘got the news’.
Today I have really great facebook friends all over the world.
We have met the millennium, and it is we- (to paraphrase Pogo), -
-Archeologically speaking, - As in –“Digging The Ween’s,”- (“The US, or We” is explored from clues unearthed centuries from now --in a very funny skit performed on air years ago.)
Today I had a discussion with a lady friend about Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, and Woody’s (relatively speaking) new wife.
We talked about how Woody could have received the prestigious
Felipe Prince of Austria Award in view of his damaged public image --in the same year that Mia Farrow accused him of child abuse involving her adopted Asian daughter, - who is now Woody’s new wife.
THE YEAR 2009 IS A CUSP OF OPPORTUNITY FOR HUMANITY,
in my (not so) humble opinion…
Procreation at a phenomenal rate has been an essential element of evolution.