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Archive for August 1st, 2021

by Sam Juliano

The dog days of August are upon us, meaning September and the start of school under uncertain health guidelines is right around the corner.  The situation is looking more and more likely mask mandates and social distancing will agin be in force as the Delta varient gains momentum.  Anyone who may have thought we were out of the woods a few months ago -and I was one of those people- must now confront a sad reality.  Summer school ends on Friday.  I have been teaching a creative writing-literature class since July 1st.

My family and I have been immersed watching the summer Olympics from Tokyo and have been rooting on the American team, which preasantly is locked in a fevered battle with China for gold medal supremecy.  We’d love to see Canada, Great Britain and Australia do very well too, and all have already made their mark. (as of Monday morning, China has pulled away with a seven gold medal lead over the U.S.)

This past week Jim Clark added mightily to his Andrei Tarkovsky series with a banner essay on the poetic Mirror.  Jim will soon be conducting an investigation of Italian master Antonioni.  Once again I must extend my deepest thanks to Valerie Clark for her amazing enthusiasm and humilty on the novels.  I am truly humbled.

Early Saturday morning I lost one of my dearest lifelong friends. John Beilin was born in 1955.  With approval of his lovely wife Edi, another treasured friend, I report his untimely passing here and on FB at age 65 from kidney issues dating back several years. John and I were elected on the same ticket to the Fairview Board of Education in 1980 and grew up on Grant Street., socializing constantly and eating out at all the local restaurants. John’s snarky humor was priceless as was his informed company. We saw many movies together, and he appreciated all the masters. He loved Ozu. We just had a long exchange on FB message on Thursday, making his passing two days later unconscionable. Losing anyone is horrific enough, but a lifelong friend is among the worst one can endure. His wife Edi is a gem, and to her I extended my condolences on the loss of her Prince. To his loving sister Linda (another cherished friend) and dear Pat I extend the same wrenching sadness. They have lost a sibling of high stature. He has joined his dear parents in Heaven and we all down here have lost more than we can reckon with. R.I.P John. The ride with you was a glorious one. Until we meet again. You left us with Edi, who is simply one of the best.  John was alwaysasking me about the two novels and almost by a strange intervention on Thursday I sent him the long passage in book #2, Irish Jesus in Fairview, that features him and his family.  He is mentioned many times in the first book Paradise Across the Hudson as well. He told me he was honored and was determined to make an appearance at our library for the presentation.  fate had other plans sadly. (more…)

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