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The King's New Dictionary  


( An Adult Fairy Tale ) 

Once upon a time in the medieval kingdom of Foffdan, the King had a dream. And lo, in the dream, a great wizard appeared before him and cautioned, “You have been a goodly counsellor to your subjects over the years, However no-one in the kingdom is wise enough to succeed you. There is an urgent need for a Dictionary of Regulations to guide future kings of Foffdan in their decisions once you are gone.” 

Next morning, the king called his his chief Advisor…

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The Death Wish 

I was just stepping away from the piano when our host thanked me warmly and observed, “you have an excellent hand position; you've clearly had fine training.” She was an elderly Hungarian Jew, whose tatooed forearm bore witness to unspoken Nazi horrors. 

I acknowledged her compliment and asked if she might favor our small gathering with a selection or two of her own.”You must be quite accomplished,” I added, “judging by the difficulty of the sheet music in your piano bench.” 

“Oh, I don't play anymore” she…

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How the Arts Have Sustained Me During the Pandemic  

During the first couple of weeks of being confined to my apartment, I was at loose ends, trying to get adjusted to the loss of my exercise classes, piano playing commitments, concerts, lunches and activities with friends. By week three however, it was clear that things were not going to return to normal soon, if ever, and I had no choice but to adapt to the new reality. I decided the way forward was to focus on my various artistic pursuits that had always been a source of challenge and satisfaction…

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Dear Abby 

This article featuring a New Year's poem I found among the papers of a deceased co-writer was published in Dear Abby's New Year's column for the year 2000. I have since noted that it has now also been uploaded onto the Internet. I still consider it one of the best New Year's poems I have ever read. Interestingly, Abby contacted me later saying she tried to identify the writer of the poem by approaching local historians in Menomonie Wisconsin where it first appeared in a school paper in 1934, but was unable…

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Robert Ward ( Bob ) Margeson June 28th 1944 – December 16th 2016 A Memoire by Frank Levin 

I met Bob in our first year at Fisher Park High School. We shared the same home room along with Andrew Carson, Brian Joynt and others who would become friends and acquaintences for life. 

Even then, with his tall, lanky frame, high forehead, horn-rimmed glasses, and flat brown hair, he typified the quintessential nerd, long before the term became known. And it soon became obvious, he was every bit as smart as he looked. He was soft-spoken and kind, with a dry, never-biting sense of humour, and I soon began…

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A Good Man and a Hard Worker 

Wesley liked to consider himself a good man, and a hard worker. He always got to the office early and stayed late. Frequently he would work through his lunch break, eating his sandwiches and sipping his milk ( good for the ulcer ) brought to him promptly at noon by one of the typists. He would take great pains to proofread the work of his five subordinates, changing a word or correcting a code number with  his sharp red pencil.  And he was always ready to assist his staff by developing neverending memoranda…

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