HLS Letters

The 2008 Slatin Saga

  • January 16, 2009

HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

Health wise it was a good year.

During my annual visit to Florida in February, I came down with a pneumonia virus. Gerry Hill’s physician prescribed a medicine that cured the hacking cough. A few days later we discovered blood smears in my bed and on the rugs. I was taken to the Clearwater hospital. X-rays indicated that I had broken my right pinky toe in three places (I never felt a thing). The bone in the toe was seriously infected and immediate amputation was ordered. I had no idea that there was a flourishing market for used toe body parts. In addition to the little toe, it was also necessary to slice off a section of the sole bone. After a week of rehab, learning to walk with the aid of a stroller, Gerry telephoned Anne, suggesting that Thomas come down to fetch me home. We were glad that he refused to let me fly back alone (my intention). I have not been hospitalized since.

I did get to see the Morris and Edith Kolodney and the John and Leah Odum, but not Joel, Carol and Leigh Tanner, the Penny, Rick, Joe, Kelly, Wyatt Timm, or Teresa Slobodkin or Craig Warner or Pat and Dave Ramsay. I attend rehab exercises three times a week. When I go through the routines I feel fit as a fiddle. The exercises have restored much of my stamina and my rosy outlook. Whenever I miss rehab appointments, I am out of sorts and take my surliness out on the animals. They seem to sense my disposition and stay clear. We still have six (too many) cats. Recently we acquired a handsome dog-named William; he replaced our beloved and departed Schuyler Anne forbids me from traveling alone. We are considering making the winter trip to Florida together. We would not stay at Gerry’s and rent a vehicle for our local use. Scheduling depends on whether or not Anne has opposition in her reelection bid in March. At the moment, it appears that she will run unopposed. Her popularity does not appear to have waned, but who knows what lurks in the political background? I have Many Visitors I was quite pleased to have friends from afar come to visit me since I am more or less confined to Stamford. Suzy Colt made her customary stop by on her way elsewhere. Evelyn Fleder, Wendy F. T. Tyler and Gloria Smith stayed a coupe of days. We had not seen each other in five or more years. Gloria came by later while attending a conference in Cooperstown. Larry Sicular always drops in when he is in town, as does Fred Allen. Fred has won a battle with a timorous growth in his throat. From California the Mullen Family, Kelly, Sean, Bradley and Ryan stayed visiting for a few days. Karen Schaffer, a high school classmate of Anne’s came to visit during the summer and stayed for a week.
We went to Western New York to visit Hildred and her son, George and his companion, Flora. Anne also spent time with a distant relative, Marilyn Tracey, (recently discovered). They visited their family gravesites and photographed tombstones. Meantime, Harvey watched the Wimbledon tennis matches on the telly. This is a common procedure when we come to South Wales. If we come later and the U. S. Open is in progress, I watch that while Anne meanders around the graveyards.

In November before the presidential elections, a time that suited Anne very well, we went to visit my sister Sandy in California. Unfortunately Sandy was hospitalized with pneumonia, which meant cancellation of visits to the Sean Mullen , David Patterson, Harold Leigh, Irv Harrison, and Paul Ash Families. John and Donna Patterson came down for the weekend to see us. Of course Jill, Don and Katie visited many times. Then, as you could have suspected, I caught the pneumonia bug. However I refused to be hospitalized and contrary to Sandy’s physician’s urgent advice, we flew home. My doctor’s prescription of strong antibiotics was an effective cure.
I managed to connect with sister-in-law, Teresa Riley Slatin, her daughter, Joy, her son-in-law, Bill and their son, Danny. John and Donna also shared the luncheon. In my father’s house we were permitted to read at the dining table at breakfast or lunchtime. Dinner was reserved for conversation. I have had a battle with macular degeneration ever since it was diagnosed and confirmed by specialists when I was in my fifties. Fortunately the disease did not progress as I aged. I had cataract surgery in both eyes, which finally led to my giving up my driver’s license as I lost depth perception. The ophthalmologists at Bassett in Cooperstown have been treating me for nearly twenty years. A couple of years ago I was part of an experimental group undergoing laser treatment an other experimental procedures. Today my eyesight is 20/30 and I can read the newspaper without the use of glasses. However if I read for prolonged periods of time, my eyes tear and I must use reading glasses. Being able to read is vital for everybody, particularly for a scientist, who has to keep up with the published research in science? I also now read for pleasure. I had given up reading fiction novels, sci-fi, mysteries and poetry, saving my sight for the scientific literature. But now with my restored sight I am reading these old loves once again. I am rereading novels I loved and finding my love has vanished in some cases. I joined a poetry club that meets monthly and discusses selected books at their meetings. Of course I keep up with the scientific literature and reading two or three books at a time. Fortunately Anne is a voracious reader and we exchange delicious tidbits from time to time. Her Honor The Mayor Of Stamford 
Her Honor If one takes the assignment of mayor seriously, and Anne did so, then her hours are day and night. The mayor’s office is both at the village hall and at our residence. Telephone calls are accepted at all hours and on any day. She has run an open transparent regime and listens to and promotes the will of her constituency. Her elected Board of Trustees is very competent and the heads of the various village committees are also top-notch appointees. The team works well together, which eases her load. She has taken advantage of any and all help available from the state’s various agencies. As far as we can determine, the village gives her high approval ratings. Anne is running for re-election in March. I believe she will run unopposed.

Additionally, she is an active Village Library Board Member and still works at Core Values. Wednesday evenings, she hosts a knitting class. She maintains an ancestral family tree of her family and mine, and has done the same on special request for intimates. She carries on an extensive e-mail correspondence with family, hers, and mine with friends, ancient and new, and particularly with anybody concerned with village matters pro and con. And she still has time to care for me in attendance to all my many needs. A remarkable woman indeed! In September, we had a bad scare. During a routine medical checkup, her doctor found a strange growth on her lungs. A cancerous tumor was suspected. Anne was hospitalized immediately and a biopsy was taken. Fortunately the diagnosis now was pneumonia in her right lung. She remained in the hospital for eight days and released to resume her official duties. She was not at all concerned during this ordeal, but I was frightened as becomes a Jewish husband.

Five of our six cats, namely, Sophie, Murphy, Arabella, Plato, and Grey Kitty and our dachshund, Lucy, love to sleep on top of Annie and I can understand that. The animals avoid me, keeping a good distance at all times. Recently William has shown an eagerness to join in, but obviously that is not to be.

In August we attended Suzy Colt’s fiftieth birthday celebration, in NH. Suzy is my godchild and it is incredible that she is fifty. Penny Colt Smith was born on my birth date and continually reminds me of the event. She and Cori Colt Null, and a slew of friends also appeared. It was a grand party. Penny is Suzy’s elder sister; Cori is their stepsister. Suzy’s dear friends, Maxine and Victor Kumin, held the gala affair at the farm run. Victor turned out to have been at Los Alamos with me during the war. Small world!

Thomas and Angie have had to make several repairs on their house. Thomas will do those repairs he knows but will hire out such work that are beyond his skills. This winter he had to install a backup an auxiliary electrical supply source to avoid burst pipes, heat during occasional power outages common in the area. This he did himself. He has a book of poetry published as well as many photographs he has taken. These features and other fascinating data can be seen on his website.

Angie and Thomas are voracious readers too. They delight in current Best Sellers and we donate some of our already-read books to them.

Angie’s father, Bob Conklin, has been having a serious medical problem with his heart, and is receiving good care in Rochester, NY. . He lives in Jefferson, which is about six miles from Stamford. Therefore when they drop by to visit with him, Thomas will pop by to see how I am doing. While here he always has some chore to do for Anne or me. So we get to see him three or four times a week.

Thomas is very active in Middleburgh’s EMS squad. Recently he witnessed an accident on the NY Thruway, near Little Falls, NY. A passenger car, traveling at a high speed, had flipped off the road and landed in the median, upside down. Thomas could not believe that the man in the automobile had survived. But he had. A State Trooper arrived shortly after Thomas had extricated the man from the car and had started patient care.

There were serious cuts and abrasions, but no broken bones. The paramedic complemented Thomas’ handiwork and said he believed that his fortuitous presence had saved the driver’s life. Shortly afterwards the still dazed man said to Thomas, “You’re white and I’m black, and you saved my life!” Thomas said, “I am an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), and my job is to help you, my patient, and it doesn’t matter what color you are.”

So Much Hope and Faith Invested in One Man
We strongly supported Hilary Clinton in the primary race for the presidency. We listened to all the debates, both democratic and republican and were impressed by Barrack Obama’s lucid and intelligent responses. Nevertheless we stayed for Hilary until the end. We switch our support to Obama after he won the nomination. His biography, studies; postgraduate work and his philosophy and attitude had also impressed us. We were truly excited over his victory over the republican, John McCain for whom we have admiration.
Now we are concerned with the maelstrom of problems enveloping the president elect. In our opinion he appears to have made superior cabinet and appointment selections. But what is the priority he must make on taking office? He has been saddled with a complicated mess that surely is unsolvable. Considering, for example, the economy in shambles, rising unemployment, entitlements, rising health costs, reduced revenues, social security reforms, earmarks, fiscal deficits, foreclosures, bailouts, loss of international status, unresolved and expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and another brewing between Israel and Hamas in Palestine, domestic unrest and anxiety, global recessions, environmental catastrophes, terrorism running rampant everywhere; to mention but a few of his immediate problems. He will face opposition! From his own party as well as that of the republicans. No matter which program he starts to correct, he will find strong opposition from the other neglected sectors. It is a no win situation since he must show considerable positive progress in less than two years time.

Are John, the Baptist’s Revelations predictions coming to pass? The world is in economic collapse; suffering unpredicted floods, tummies, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic action, famine, pandemics, disease, pestilences, cholera, asteroid threats from outer space, glacier melting, resistant viruses, aridity, and is Armageddon in the wings? Is Osama Bin Laden the antichrist? Or are there others? If Obama is to succeed in saving the nation from disaster, he must have full cooperation at home and of all nations on both sides of both oceans and tons of luck.
The world’s dependence on fossil oil is a concurrent global problem that must be resolved. The recent price of $149/barrel of oil was a major contribution to the global recession since that high cost of a raw material made its use and any products derived for it prohibitively expensive. The search for a substitute was mandatory. At present mobile transportation is solely dependent on a liquid fuel. The development of a synthetic fuel from methane (LNG), coal and water is possible and should be encouraged. Meanwhile oil should be barred from all uses except mobile transportation.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH US
By mail: 78 Main Street, Stamford, New York 12167
By telephone: 607 652-7793
By FAX: 607 652-5077
Harvey’s e-mail: harvey@tomslatin.com
Anne’s email: anne@tomslatin.com
Thomas’ web site: tomslatin.com
(This site is worth a long look.)
Thomas’ email: tom@tomslatin.com
Angie’s email: angie@tomslatin.com

January 16, 2009

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