Ground Hog Day, 2005


Dear Friends-and-Relations,

Philip &

Thea are



ghd-2005-pic1aIsaac James Essex was born on June 3, 2004, son of Lisa Marie Kubelick and Tony Essex.  Technically our son is a step-grandfather, since his wife Margie was already the mother of Lisa Marie when Phil T. married her; obviously that doesn’t keep him from being proud as punch!


Is it maturity?  Is it senility?
Is it the seven-year itch?

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Seven years ago we moved to our aerie on the seventh floor.  Can we stay, or should we move?  And, if so, where?

ghd-2005-pic2Right now we are managing fine on our own, with lots of freely given help from our loving daughter Lisa Kelly and her family right here in Palo Alto. But will that still be the case after another seven years?

Our possibilities are:

A.  Stay here and hire help as we need it.

B.  Stay here and sign up with a Care Management firm.  They will provide help as we need it, and will handle all details of insurance, taxes, hiring and firing, etc.

C.  Move to the Saratoga Retirement Community in March.  They have all three stages on one site: independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.  We have an option on a two-bedroom apartment.  But it’s seventeen miles away from family and church.

D.  Move to Pilgrim Haven Retirement Community (also three stage) in 3 to 5 years.  We are on a slowly moving waiting list.

Exciting, isn’t it?  We’ll let you know!

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It was a wonderful occasion. To see our youngest grandson up there on the bema; so self confident; so much “in charge”. One can truly believe that “today he is a man.”

ghd-1999-pic4As with his sister, Rivka’s two years ago, he had lots of family up there reading from the Torah and other parts of the service: mother, father, uncle, 2 aunts, 2 sisters, and 6 cousins. It was fascinating, watching and listening to all of those different voices chanting away.

As if that weren’t enough, only two days before he had led a regular service at 6:45 in the morning. That’s why we were able to get that great picture, since cameras are not allowed on Shabbat. (ps. You can see more pictures at

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My chief hobby this year has been the UUCPA Thespians. One of the things I do there is write notices for the church bulletin. It’s fun. Here are three of the ones I wrote in 2004. If you’d like to read more, including current ones, send me an email.


Judge: William Shakespeare, you are charged with being a male chauvinist pig and of writing a play which denigrates the role of women in society. How plead you?
Attorney for the Defense: Not Guilty, your Honor.

William Shakespeare

Attorney for the prosecution: We intend to show that the character Petruchio is a clever bully who forces Katerina to bow to his will.* The play reflects the defeat of a spirited and intelligent woman forced to give in to a society that dominates and controls women and allows them only very limited room for self-expression.*
Attorney for the Defense: Not so, your Honor. Petruchio is a loving husband who teaches his maladjusted bride to find happiness in marriage; Katerina’s acquiescence in playing the part of obedient wife reflects a joyous acceptance of her assigned role as a married woman and the beginning of a fulfilling partnership with her husband.*
Katerina (to herself): They are both wrong, you know. Petruchio is a boob who is easily taken in by my wiles. As long as I play this silly role as the obedient wife in public [I can get my] own way in private.*

*The Taming of the Shrew I Introduction:
( /print)


You lust after the beautiful Alcmena, but she is virtuous and has no interest in taking a lover while her husband, General Amphitryon, is away at war. So you disguise yourself as Amphitryon, say you’ve returned home from the war a day early, and …


Or maybe you are Mercury, Jove’s sidekick. You disguise yourself as Sosia, Amphitryon’s servant to stand guard for Jove. And when the real Sosia shows up, you succeed in convincing him that you are he and that he doesn’t exist.

Of course, it isn’t very nice fun, since it’s achieved at other’s expense, but then, it’s only a play. And Jove relents at the end and explains everything and Alcmena’s child by Jove turns out to be Hercules so Amphitryon is proud as can be and a good time is had by all – including you if you show up at 7:00 on March 8 in Room 4-5.

Geewhiz! Giraudoux’ Gallic
Gambol in Greece

If you read Amphitryon with us in March, you already know most of the characters and you know the bare bones of the plot. But unless you come and read with us in April, you’ll have no idea of the play

AMPHITRYON 38 by Jean Giraudoux

The characters are Greek, yes. But they act more like Frenchmen. You could picture Maurice Chevalier or Louis Jordan as Jupiter or Mercury; in the Plautus version which we read last month, you would be more likely to cast the Three Stooges.

Here’s the situation near the end of Act II. Alkmena loves her husband Amphitryon passionately, but she would rather kill herself than go to bed with any other, even if it be a god. Jupiter is besotted with Alkmena and is determined to bed her and impregnate her with Hercules. Mercury shows up and tells Alkmena that Jupiter will come to her bed tonight in the guise of her husband, and there is nothing she can do to prevent it. The news of this forthcoming event has been broadcast everywhere, and the entire town of Thebes is overjoyed by the honor of it all.

Queen Leda shows up. It is some time since she had her fling with Jupiter when he was disguised as a swan, and she wants an encore. Alkmena has an inspiration. Lend Leda her nightclothes and her perfumes and put her in the bedroom under the dimmest of lights …

You can see the possibilities. Two males, both looking like Amphitryon; two females, both appearing to be Alkmena. Who beds with whom, and who knows whom else is in the bed?

I won’t tell you, but if you come read with us, you might get lucky and be one of those four people – just think of the fun you’ll have! All you have to do is show up at 7:00 on Monday, April 12 in the Fireside Room.

And may you, too,
have fun in 2005