Sandi Page

By Sandi Page, Member, FAU Osher LLI Jupiter Marketing Committee member


By popular demand, we’re back with more tales of travel disasters…just in time for your summer vacation planning!

One of my travel mishaps took place once again in my beloved Greece. Every other year, we would choose one or two of Greece’s many islands to explore. Our days were filled with sun, figs, grapes, pots of basil, warm, yeasty bread, and sightings of pelicans stealing fish from small local restaurateurs who would chase them, outraged. The pelicans always got away. Our lives felt charmed until one day, our luck almost ran out.

We were in a port hotel lobby at 6 a.m. on the island of Samos waiting for the ticket office to open to buy passage on the first boat of the day to Turkey.  Suddenly, a wasp flew out of nowhere and stung my companion on the finger.  Without thinking, he put his finger in his mouth to try to remove the stinger – a most regrettable action. His face and neck started swelling immediately. Fortunately, Samos is one of the few islands that has a hospital.

Knowing he was in grave danger, I calmly told him that we needed to get to the hospital immediately.  The taxi drivers refused to take us, thinking that the very short distance and, therefore, small fare, did not warrant losing their place in line. I offered them ten times the fare to no avail. They had been burned by tourists before.  We had no choice but to walk.  Upon arriving, the hospital lobby was dark and the reception desk unmanned, due to the early hour. I called out but no-one came. I yelled. Still no-one. In desperation, I started screaming. Finally, a disheveled-looking doctor, who had obviously been asleep, appeared, struggling to get into her white coat. She spoke no English or French and my rudimentary Greek was unequal to the task. By this time, my companion’s face had swelled up so as to be unrecognizable, his eyes mere slits, and he was having trouble breathing and was starting to panic. The doctor, in her sleep-dazed state, seemed unable to grasp the situation, so using my best “charade” skills, I acted out the wasp sting scenario. She gasped as it finally sunk in what had happened and she stepped closer to look at his face. He was immediately put on a stretcher, given a shot, hooked up to an I.V., and then put in the Men’s Ward, a huge room filled with 10 beds, all full, all Greeks. Families started arriving a few hours later, laden with food, and because of innate Greek hospitality and kindness, we were immediately adopted as one of their own.

One of the patients, a sweet young man with Down syndrome, offered us some fruit from a large platter his father had just brought in.  I took a piece and thanked him profusely in Greek. He then happily but painfully walked away to the next patient to share his treat.   As he passed, a sweet, sickening odor emanated from his legs. Gangrene was working its way up them.   Hiding my shock, I pretended to have noticed nothing unusual. I have never forgotten him.

Needing a break, I went into the hall and saw an old woman crying quietly on a bench. I sat down beside her. Sorrow and pain are a universal language and with a few small gestures to me – pointing to her wedding ring, then pointing to her heart, then pointing to her eyes which she slowly closed – I understood that her husband had just died. We fell into each other’s arms and wept together. I felt honored that she had invited me in to share her grief.  I have never forgotten her, either.

Only Greek-speaking doctors and nurses were on duty that day so all of my companion’s treatments were explained to us in sign language. The kind hospital staff let me spend the night in a bed in the children’s ward which was, thankfully, empty.

When an English-speaking doctor finally came in 34 hours later, he told us over and over again how very lucky we were – that if this had been my companion’s second wasp sting, he would have surely died, given the severity of his reaction to this first one. It went without saying that without hospital facilities, he would not have made it, either. The doctor told us that we must always carry shots with us for any future stings, but to follow up their use by immediately seeking out medical personnel. We were finally, after many goodbyes in Greek to our new friends, allowed to leave the hospital.

We found a little square in the town and sat down. My companion was very quiet, a silence I respected after all he had been through. He finally said, “You know what? I would really, REALLY have hated for my epitaph to read, “KILLED BY A WASP IN SAMOS.” We looked at each other, burst out laughing, and once more, we were back in vacation mode, with the almost-disaster behind us.

Read on as first our Osher LLI instructors and then our fellow students share some of their own harrowing travel adventures.  BONNES VACANCES, Y’ALL!


Taylor Hagood, Ph.D., Instructor
When I first found out about the travel disaster blog, I didn’t think I had much to contribute, since luckily I have not yet been robbed, kidnapped, or murdered while traveling. I was then informed that “disaster” could mean any kind of mishap, and that opened things up for me, since I have had plenty of those. Which one to tell about?
I guess I can tell one on myself. My father and I went to Rome several years ago. One of the biggest problems we encountered was finding a public restroom: strangely, many Europeans I know constantly complain that they cannot find public restrooms in the United States, and many Americans complain that they cannot find public restrooms in Europe.
As it turned out, there was a stand-alone, self-cleaning restroom near the entrance to one of the Metro stops. These are little container-like buildings with automatic doors that unlock and open when one puts a coin in them. My father decided to use it. He put a euro into the slot, the door opened, and he went in, closed the door behind him, took care of business, and came back out again.
I needed to use the facility too, but it seemed to me that the door would need to shut and the unit to clean itself first. I waited for the door to close. It didn’t. Having never used one of these before, I wasn’t sure how long to wait. I decided I had waited long enough. I closed the door behind me. Then the trouble started. I heard a click as the door locked. The light that had been on inside went out. A noise started. Suddenly I felt water spraying all around me.
I will just end the story by saying you can rest assured those self-cleaning toilets are sanitary.


Kurt F. Stone, D.D., Instructor From Teddy to Grizzly
Back in early 1979, I was approached by an international Jewish concern working in tandem with American intelligence and asked if I would consider going on a two-person mission of discovery in the then-Soviet Union.  The purpose of the mission was to locate and report on about two dozen Jewish “enemies of the state” whose major “crime” was holding underground classes and gatherings for the sole purpose of teaching modern idiomatic Hebrew.  After a bit of pondering, I agreed, met my traveling partner (a librarian fluent in Russian and Yiddish as well as a smattering of French and Hebrew), and then began a months-long course in how to be a spy.  Our handler taught us code, evasive tactics and how to communicate inside bugged spaces (that’s why the good Lord invented the “Etch A Sketch”), honest graft, and a host of methods to keep us safe in the Soviet underground.  We were also “armed” with about a dozen cartons of Winston cigarettes – the Russians’ favorite Western smoke.
Upon our arrival in Leningrad (now, once again, St. Petersburg) and clearing Soviet customs, we were delighted to find that everyone was quite cordial and smiling.  It was as if the fierce Soviet Bear had become a lovable Teddy.  The reason? The 1980 summer Olympics were to be taking place in Moscow – that’s why.
And then came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the “Graveyard of Empires.” Seemingly within the blink of an eye, much of the free world turned against the Soviet Union, threatening reprisals . . . most notably, the boycotting of the summer Olympics, which would cost them untold billions in foreign capital. Almost overnight, the Teddy Bear turned into a Grizzly.  No longer would a Winston or two guarantee that “the crones” (the older, uniformed women guarding elevators in hotels where foreigners stayed) would permit us access or egress after hours. Now, our government-appointed tails (theirs, not ours) were as obvious and irritating as a hangnail.
Nonetheless, we had an assignment and had to keep on locating and interviewing the brave men and women who, against all odds, continued teaching Hebrew at a series of underground gatherings.
So, what to do?  Weighing our options, we concluded that despite being Communists, the crones, tails and other minor officials who made our lives difficult had two things in common:
a) they were all chain smokers and b) they were all greedy.  And so, we took to surreptitiously handing out Winstons by the pack.  As a result, we started becoming everyone’s best friend and little by little, they left us alone. Disaster averted!
In retrospect, we in the West could have saved ourselves hundreds of billions of dollars in defense spending if only we had bombed the country with Winstons . . .


Benito Rakower, Ed.D., InstructorThe Altiplano
The altitude of Mexico City is 7,300 feet.  The once clear and arid air made it one of the healthiest cities in the world.  It also combined three distinct cultures.  Originally, an Aztec city built on a lake, it had the most pitiless civilization in human history.  The conquering Spanish introduced a new architecture.  Under French domination, it boasted the best restaurants in the world.
My mother had the idea that health was the result of sparse diet and healing came from herbs. On Sundays, she would take me and my older sister on excursions into the relatively empty scrub and cactus landscape of the plateau enveloping Mexico City.  She was looking for herbs and plants that promoted life.  I was four and my sister was ten.
We would take a bus out of the city and get off at some spot that attracted my mother’s interest. We roamed zig-zag with no destination and one Sunday, it went wrong.  We were lost. My mother, in her Chinese hat and snugly fitted dress, took stock.  Before choosing a direction, she looked toward the sun and regarded the distant mountains.  We walked side by side for some hours.  Miraculously, we came upon the stone arched entrance to an estancia.  There were no buildings visible.  A solitary guard wearing a large-brimmed, straw hat was leaning against one of the stone pillars.  There were crossed cartridge belts around his chest. A rifle leaned against the stone pillar by his side.
My mother asked if we could cross the estancia, as she surmised there was a road on the other side where we could catch a bus back to Mexico City.  With the suave courtesy of the unyielding Mexican character, he said that was impossible.  My mother pleaded with him for her children’s sake.  He maintained his adamantly courteous but negative stance.  A truly frightening confrontation.
My mother became sarcastic.  The guard reached for his rifle. I screamed.  My mother gave in. We began our silent march around the perimeter to the wire-enclosed estancia before coming to a grove of trees and more uneven ground. I could no longer walk.  My mother and sister alternated carrying me piggy-back.  I thought we would all perish but my mother and sister were grimly silent as they marched on.  There was a road back to the city.  And a bus.
I later learned that all women were just like my mother.


René Silvin, InstructorAboard the QE2, 1978
During the 1970s, my business was on both sides of the Atlantic and I used to cross from New York to Southampton, England, aboard the QE2, several times each summer.
On one occasion, during a typical “mid-Atlantic” storm, I was in the ship’s casino when, around 1 a.m., we all heard a huge crash and felt an odd, prolonged vibration. Shortly thereafter, I noticed the engines had been shut down. I went on deck only to see crew scurrying around the ship’s “whale back,” the area on a ship’s bow where docking equipment is stored.
By morning, the ship was, once again, under way but moving very slowly and listing slightly forward. Eventually, I discovered that one of the huge bow anchors had come loose and had smashed against the ship’s starboard side. It had pierced the hull at several points just below the water line, as the ship kept moving forward.
We limped into Boston, the nearest port, at a slow speed where passengers had to disembark and be transferred by bus to New York. It was an odd accident, which could have been much worse. Thankfully, there was no loss of life.


Wesley Borucki, Ph.D., Instructor
My one great travel disaster goes back to January 1987.  I was a junior in high school in suburban Detroit, and I was invited with about ten others from my school to participate in a delegation to the North American Invitational Model United Nations in Washington, D.C.  The day we were supposed to fly there, a huge blizzard hit the eastern seaboard; it affected cities from Boston all the way south to Atlanta, and airports up and down the east coast were closed.  That afternoon, Northwest Airlines got word that National Airport in Washington had re-opened, so they boarded us on a plane in Detroit, and we took off.  When we were almost to Washington, both National and Dulles Airports closed again.  There was no airport open close by, so the plane actually circled Washington, and the pilot announced that he was flying us back to Detroit!   When we landed, a reporter from the Detroit Free Press happened to be in the terminal.  When he heard our story, he interviewed us, and we got our picture in the next morning’s newspaper as a group.  Well, we all went home, and we did get a flight into Dulles Airport the next day just in time for the Model U.N.  While we were there, more snow fell in Washington and we could not get out for several days after we were scheduled to leave – the Metro trains were not even operating to National Airport.  While we were stuck, it was really brutal because I ran out of clean clothes.  As a result, whenever I travel now, I’m always guilty of overpacking!


Barbara DePalma, Student Near Disaster in Labrador
Austria was experiencing a very warm February when my husband and I went to St. Johann for a week of skiing. Due to the overnight freezing of the melting snow during the warm days, only expert skiers were allowed on the slopes. Instead of skiing, we had a marvelous time touring Austria.
Shortly after takeoff for our return to New York from Munich, we were informed that, due to an engine oil leak, we would be stopping in Amsterdam for repairs. The nine-hour layover allowed us to tour Amsterdam and experience a rijsttafel. No problem as that was something we had always wanted to do. Leaving Amsterdam, the pilot explained that the engine should be fine but, as a precaution, we were taking a longer northern route which flew over more land mass than the previous route over mostly ocean. Excellent decision because hours later, more engine problems necessitated a forced landing. The nearest airport was in Labrador which did not have a long enough runway to accommodate a 747. We were warned to be prepared for a rough landing. The flight crew secured everything possible and distributed pillows and blankets to cushion the landing.
As soon as the landing gear touched ground, maximum brakes and reverse thrust were used to stop the momentum before we reached the end of the runway. The engine was again “repaired” and the crew was faced with a more critical problem. Landing a decelerating 747 on a short runway was easier than taking off. To have a chance of clearing the runway, brakes needed to be depressed and maximum throttle given to the engine before going forward. The roar of the strained engine and the shaking of the plane while reaching maximum power would have woken the dead! Even though it was a short runway, the high-speed blast seemed like the longest ride of our lives. Once committed, there was no way to abort mission.
Upon landing in NYC, our plane was met by emergency vehicles who escorted us to the gate. As we deplaned, we were greeted by cheering newsmen, photographers, and airport personnel. We were spared the ordeal of going through customs because “we had already been through enough.”


Paul Newton, Student Bad Start to a California Trip
About ten years ago, a couple of my buddies and I decided to take a motorcycle trip to California and back.  They decided to start the trip by qualifying for the “Iron Butt” challenge. The ride had to be fully documented using photos and gas receipts showing that you had ridden at least 1000 miles in one 24-hour period.  This did not sound like a good idea at all to me but since I really wanted to go on the California trip with them, I begrudgingly agreed.  We started in Greenville, North Carolina about 5:00 a.m. and worked our way west stopping only at gas stations for the shortest time possible to refuel. As we approached the 700-mile mark, my body was aching badly and I knew that I was in trouble.  By 800 miles, it was hard to stand the pain and I did not know how I could ever finish this self-inflicted torturous task.  For the last hundred or so miles, every tenth of a mile was absolutely grueling and almost unbearable. About 10:00 p.m., we pulled into a gas station in Marietta, Oklahoma after traveling 1038 miles.  We could hardly get off our bikes, stand or use our hands to fill our gas tanks.  This 17-hour ride felt like the longest and most miserable day of my life. We kept the daily distance under 600 miles for the rest of what turned out to be a most wonderful trip.


Barbara McConaghy Johnson, Student Car Trouble
Back in the ‘80s when I was going to the Fall Fashion Collections in Milan, I had a travel disaster that I’ll always remember… both for fear and for admiration of keeping cool in adversity!
Leaving from La Guardia, our night flight was about 2 hours over the Atlantic when I saw a fireball strike the wing of our plane. It was lightning, and there was lots of screaming, bumpy turbulence and panic. Seemingly without missing a beat, our Captain got on the speaker and said, “Hi, everyone, no need to worry; it seems we’ve had a little car trouble and we’ll be heading back to New York. I’ll keep you posted.” After that, there wasn’t a sound in the huge cabin except for a girl saying her prayers in Italian. As we approached the airport, we could see that the runway was lined with ambulances, fire trucks and hoses in the arms of at-ready firefighters…still not a sound as we made that miraculous landing except for our brave captain saying “Welcome to New York” and then the whoops and applause of grateful passengers and crew who couldn’t wait to be back on the ground.


Paul Brown, StudentLondon Shopping – An Experience of a Lifetime
After another exciting trip to London, all that was left to do was return once more to Harrods to give my wife, Cynthia, a last try at convincing me to buy the spectacular leather jacket that she had shown me earlier in the week. After disappointing her with my decision, I suggested that she go up to the 2nd floor and settle the VAT tax issues while I sat in one of the “husband” chairs and read the International Herald Tribune. No more than five minutes had gone by before there was a sudden explosion in the street which destroyed the nearest door, approximately 40-50 feet from where I was sitting.  The public address system announced that there had been “an incident” in the front of the building and that all shoppers should leave through one of the side doors.   People immediately began their departure – no pushing, shoving, screaming or shoplifting.
I was relaxed, just watching the people, knowing that Cynthia was on the 2nd floor dealing with the VAT charges. Suddenly, I was grabbed from behind. It was Cynthia. She had gone back to the men’s department one more time.  The bomb had gone off about fifteen feet from where she was standing.  Luckily, there were no windows in the men’s department.  She was fine.
We quickly decided that the VAT would be taken care of at the airport. As we left the building, the police were on horseback and bodies were on the ground.  Walking quickly down one side street after another, we were able to get a cab back to the Connaught.  The phone was ringing. It was her dad calling to let us know there had been a bombing in London.  Cynthia told him we were fine and packing for the flight back.   They would never learn how close we were to that IRA bomb.





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Sandi Page

By Sandi Page, Member, FAU LLI Jupiter Marketing Committee member


Michael Tougias

Michael Tougias is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author and has written or co-authored 26 books on a variety of subjects:  true survival stories, history, humor and the outdoors, inspiration, and Young Adult/Middle Reader versions of some of his books.  He will be back at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Jupiter on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 for a presentation on the war between the Colonists and Native Americans in 1675-1676.   Mr. Tougias has written two books on the subject:  “Until I Have No Country (a novel of King Philip’s War)” and co-authored, with Eric Schultz, “King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict.”  A book-signing will follow his lecture.




Michael Tougias, who was “King Philip” and where did this little-referenced war take place?

King Philip was a Wampanoag leader whose Native American name was Metacom.  He was the son of Massasoit.   During a peaceful period before the war, the English bestowed upon Metacom the English name of Philip and called him a king instead of sachem (native for leader). The War was fought in New England.





How did you become interested in the subject and why did you write not one, but two, books on it?

When I first researched the war, I was surprised to learn that not only was this the first major war in America, but it also had the highest casualty rate of any war involving America – a higher casualty rate per capita than even the Civil War.  I realized that many people were not aware of this event and I first decided to tell the story through my historical novel Until I Have No Country.  Then, I joined forces with author Eric Schultz for our history of the war, a book titled King Philip’s War.  Eric is a superb researcher and writer, and this book covers every significant event during the war and also the reasons why this war happened.



One of the books is a fictionalized account of the war and the other is non-fiction.  Which is more difficult to write, fiction or non-fiction?  Why?

I think that depends on the author.  On the one hand, if an author really tries to stay true to the facts as I did during the writing of the historical novel, it can be difficult because the research is almost as daunting as the non-fiction version, and then you need to develop compelling characters.  I’ve written and co-written 26 books and Until I Have No Country is my only work of fiction, but my plan is to write more historical fiction in the future.  I think historical fiction can sometimes bring in a wider audience to a subject that the author is passionate about.


In 2014, you also collaborated on a memoir, this time with your daughter Kristin, titled The Cringe Chronicles: Mortifying Misadventures with my Dad.  What special challenges did that project present?    Which one of you had the final say in any “artistic” differences? How did you handle her remembrances of events that you had previously considered anodyne?

The Cringe Chronicles was a joy to co-author with my daughter.  She was the lead writer, focusing on her teenage years growing up with an eccentric Dad (me!) and all the strange trouble we got ourselves into.  Kristin came up with the concept that at the end of each chapter, she would give me a page or two for my rebuttal and different point of view on the same incident.  I was comfortable writing humor because I had written a book about my cabin in Vermont titled There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse: The Misadventures of a Mountain-man Wannabe.  That won the best nature book of the year in 2003 from the Independent Publishers Association.  So when Kristin wanted to write The Cringe Chronicles,  I jumped at the opportunity.


The reviews on your books are uniformly excellent but there must be an unhappy reader comment or book review from time to time.   I personally find truly bad reviews to be a high art form and a wonderful source of entertainment, not to be taken seriously.  (Dorothy Parker’s witty quotes on some writers’ works have always amused me).  What one terrible, but ultimately funny, review of your work stands out?  How do reviews in general, good or bad, affect you?

I remember when I wrote my very first book, which included natural history, The Boston Globe reviewer said I wasn’t as good as Thoreau.  I thought to myself “Who is, when it comes to nature?”  Since then, I’ve never let a bad review bother me.  When I’m writing, my mantra is “Keep it fast paced.”  I love books that pull me in and don’t let me go, and that’s what I try to write.


One of your books, The Finest Hours, about a heroic rescue of 30 stranded sailors by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Cape Cod, was turned into a major motion picture in 2016 by Walt Disney Pictures.  It starred Chris Pine, Eric Bana and Casey Affleck. Were you actively involved in the screen adaptation and film-making process?  How closely did the film version stick to the events as related in your book? What would you negotiate differently for any future film projects?

 Having a book made into a movie is a real blessing.  I had a small role in writing a bit of the screenplay, but after that, it was in the hands of Disney.  I would estimate about 70% of the movie matched what really happened and the other 30% was fictionalized for a better visual experience.  For any future film projects, I would ask to be more involved in the actual shooting of the movie and not just the screenplay.


As you mentioned earlier, you also wrote a book humorously titled There’s a Porcupine in My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain Man.  Could you share with us how that book came about?

When I was 22 years old, I bought a cabin on a remote hilltop overlooking a lake in Vermont. My plan was to maybe hone my skills so that I could live off the land and quit my day job.  It didn’t work out that way – in fact, I had so much to learn about living in the woods, it was one misadventure after another.  The book is similar to Bill Bryson’s A Walk In The Woods. Mr. Bryson read an early draft of the book and wrote to me that he loved it, so that was a big boost.  I wrote the book when I was about 40 years old, so I had perspective looking back at the younger me!


What is your writing process? Do you isolate yourself from your usual lifestyle?  What percentage of your time in bringing a book to fruition is spent in research and what percentage in actual writing?

Unlike most writers, I do not set aside certain hours in the day to write.  I might go a month without writing a thing, then go on a burst and write for hours every day.  Because most of my books are non-fiction, I would estimate 40% is research and 60% is writing and editing.


You write on a wide variety of subjects. Do you have the same editors and publishers for all of your different types of books? If so, this must present them with a real challenge in marketing you and your work. How do they deal with that?

Of my seven survival and rescue books, six were published by Simon and Schuster.  But for my other books, it has been a variety of publishers.  My long-time agent, who recently passed away, would have preferred that I stick with the survival and rescue themes, but he also understood that I like to mix things up.  There are many writers more gifted than me, but I believe I’m one of the more versatile writers out there.


Have you always been a writer?

I was in business management for many years and was moonlighting as a writer.  It was extremely difficult but I have a theory that if you have a goal, and try to take one little step toward it each day, you will eventually arrive.


What is your next writing project?

I have co-written a book with Casey Sherman about the U-2 Spy Plane pilots who discovered the missiles in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The title is Above & Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America’s Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission. The book is in its final phase of copy-editing.  It is already available on-line and will be released April 17 of this year.  The research was brutal, and it might be the toughest project I’ve done, but I’m so glad I stayed with it because I love the finished product.  I’m especially proud because the book draws attention to the sacrifice made by Major Rudolf “Rudy” Anderson, Jr., USAF, who was shot down on October 27, 1962 by the Soviets during his mission over Cuba.


One day in the faraway future, what would you like your epitaph to be on your tombstone?

That’s a tough one because I’ll probably have my ashes spread on my Vermont mountaintop.  But if I did have a tombstone and it mentioned writing, I’d say something like “Here lies a writer.  He wrote on war, rescue, humor, and nature.  His only guiding principals were to write with passion, keep it fast paced, and don’t take yourself too seriously.”


Michael Tougias

America’s First Major War – King Philip’s Indian War and the Shaping of America
Osher Lifelong Learning Complex, FAU Jupiter Campus
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.; Book-signing: 12:45 – 1:15 p.m.

To register, click here.




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The All-American Sports Writer, John Feinstein

By Kami Barrett-Batchelder Associate Director



John Feinstein



On Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 7 p.m., John Feinstein will present his second lecture at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Jupiter, “An Evening with John Feinstein – Backfield Boys: A Football Mystery in Black and White.”  This evening lecture is being generously sponsored by Ken and Felice Hassan.  A book-signing event will follow the lecture at 8:30 p.m. John Feinstein’s first lecture with Osher LLI was in the winter of 2016. It was received enthusiastically by our members who enjoyed the presentation on sports. We welcome Mr. Feinstein back this semester and would like to share a few snippets of information about him that you may not have known.



Did you know that

John Feinstein was born in New York City. His father, Martin Feinstein, was heavily involved in the arts having been the General Manager of the Washington National Opera from 1980 to 1995 and the first Executive Director of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. from 1972 to 1980.

John Feinstein is the author of 35 books, including two #1 New York Times Bestsellers: A Season on the Brink (1986) and A Good Walk Spoiled (1995).

A Season on the Brink was adapted to film with an ESPN production of the same title in 2002. It starred Brian Dennehy in the role of Bob Knight.

Mr. Feinstein is also the author of 10 young readers mysteries. His first young adult mystery, Last Shot: Mystery at the Final Four won the Edgar Allen Poe Award in 2006.

Feinstein’s book Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story, released in 2004, is about the life and final days of Tom Watson’s caddy, Bruce Edwards, who was diagnosed with ALS. Feinstein and long-time friend Terry Hanson engaged the William Morris Agency and commissioned a screenplay in conjunction with Matt Damon’s and Ben Affleck’s production company, LivePlanet. In 2010, Caddy for Life was produced in documentary format for the Golf Channel.

He currently works as a columnist for The Washington Post, Golf Digest and Golf World. He is a regular contributor to Golf Channel and hosts a college basketball show and a golf show for SiriusXM.

His latest book, Backfield Boys: A Football Mystery in Black and White (2017), which will be discussed during his Osher LLI lecture, follows freshman footballers Jason Roddin and Tom Jefferson. Jason is a blazing-fast wide receiver, while his best friend Tom has all the skills a standout quarterback needs. After summer football camp at an elite sports-focused boarding school, the boys are thrilled to be invited back with full-ride scholarships. But on day one of practice, they’re shocked when the team’s coaching staff makes Tom, a black kid, a receiver and Jason, a white kid, a quarterback.

His next book, to be published next February, is The Legends Club, a chronicle of the rivalries and friendships among Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Valvano.


An Evening with John Feinstein – Backfield Boys: A Football Mystery in Black and White
Generously sponsored by Felice and Ken Hassan
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.; Book-signing: 8:30 – 9:00 p.m.

To register, click here.






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Sandi Page

By Sandi Page, Member, FAU LLI Jupiter Marketing Committee member


Homer famously said in The Odyssey, “Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.” The same can be said of our 68-page LLI Jupiter Spring/Summer 2018 Course Catalog which has just been mailed to you! Embark on your own odyssey as you browse through it and then read the course and lecture anecdotes/descriptions below that several of our instructors have written just for you. You will find some of your old favorites and a number of new offerings, all ready to beguile and enchant you.

Some Spring/Summer 2018 Courses

Dr. Kurt F. Stone, D.D.
“Triple Threat” Cinema: Films Written & Directed by Their Stars
Mondays, March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 2018; 7 – 9 p.m. (Full 6 weeks or First 4 weeks option)

The Best Ten Dollars Jack Warner Ever Spent
For decades, the Hollywood “law of the land” was that (with the sole exception of Charlie Chaplin), screen writers wrote, directors directed and stars acted. Period. That began changing in early 1940 when the already celebrated screenwriter John Huston decided that he wanted to direct his next screenplay. Approaching his boss, Jack Warner, the producer extraordinaire said precisely 2 words: “NO WAY!” Taking a page from his colleague, screenwriter Preston Sturges, who had just directed his own screenplay – The Great McGinty – Huston made Warner the following offer: “I’ll sell you the screenplay for a measly ten bucks if you let me direct.” “And what if I give you a small filming budget?” Warner asked. “I’d do it for nothing!” the 34-year-old Huston enthusiastically replied. “Don’t tempt me,” Warner chuckled. “What picture do you want to do?” he asked. “I really want to do the third – and very best – version of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.

Giving the matter a bit of thought, Warner said “OK, what do I have to lose? Go ahead . . . but remember, if it’s a flop, you’re gonna be looking for a new job . . . fershtay?” Overjoyed, Huston signed the cheapest contract of his career, and proceeded to film Hammett’s classic crime drama in a scant 8 weeks . . . earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for himself, and a reputation as a man who could do it all. And, of course, The Maltese Falcon became one of the greatest films of all time. Huston would go on to write, direct and frequently star in another 4 dozen major pictures over the next 47 years and, perhaps most importantly, opened the door for Hollywood’s second “Triple Threat”: the 25-year-old Orson Welles who, the very next year, would write, direct and star in perhaps the greatest motion picture of all time: Citizen Kane.
Indeed, it certainly was the best ten bucks Jack Warner ever spent . . .

Wesley Borucki, Ph.D.
Sports Culture in the South and South Florida
Tuesdays, March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 2018; 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

There once was a kid in a northern suburb of Detroit who, in the early 1980s, dreamed of becoming a sportswriter for a major newspaper — sort of like the character of Ray Barone in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” But then, when completing an assigned research paper in high school on the career each student was considering, the kid discovered the starting salaries for journalists were really, really low. So, when he thought about his career plans and changed them shortly afterward, he logically chose a profession that was so incredibly remunerative: why, teaching, of course! Okay, even if it isn’t the highest-paying job in the world, that kid, now Wes Borucki, Ph.D., enjoys what he does immensely every day and wouldn’t do anything else, and he still gets to write about sports as a historian. Sports history has been a growing field for a couple of decades now, for changes in sports often illustrate wider changes in society. So, please join him as he shares his research with you on a variety of sports topics related to the South.

Taylor Hagood, Ph.D.
The Fireside Poets
Tuesdays, March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24, 2018; 12 – 1:30 p.m.
(Full 6 weeks or First 4 weeks option)

“Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.”

Thus wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “The Day is Done.” It is a perfect description of what a group of 19th century American poets were trying to accomplish: write poems that brought calm, quiet, and enjoyment. These poets, known as the “Fireside Poets,” were not the tormented-soul type poets who write edgy, politically-driven, obscure poetry that leaves you wondering if it is even poetry at all. Instead, these writers crafted musical poems that adhered to the rules of prosody and that pondered the common concerns of life, death, love, happiness, and sadness that all individuals experience. Mostly forgotten, these poets dominated the late 1800s literary scene in this country. My hope is to bring back some of their magic by telling about their lives and poetry.

Byron R. McCane, Ph.D.
More Than Once Upon a Time: Stories We Can’t Stop Telling
Wednesdays, April 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2018; 3 – 4:30 p.m.
(Full 6 weeks or First 4 weeks option)

From Adam and Eve to David and Goliath, stories from the Bible have a surprising influence in American culture. The highly-acclaimed film Mudbound, for example, is a riveting retelling of Adam and Eve’s banishment from the garden. And, if by chance you are thinking of running for public office, make sure your campaign evokes the Exodus narrative. It wins every time. In this course, we will explore five biblical tales which recur in television, film, politics, and media. In addition to the two stories mentioned above, we will also look at Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac, and David and Bathsheba.

Irving Labovitz, J.D.
OBJECTION! Current, Contentious and Confusing Legal Battles
Thursdays, March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018; 12 – 1:30 p.m.
(Full 6 weeks or First 4 weeks option)

LLI professors are often requested to laud the value of his/her class. I am not so bold. Rather, I submit that simply listing some of the varied topics discussed in depth last semester in our interactive classes may be somewhat more instructive, as follows:
The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and its legal relevance to business machinations related to the President; impeachment or 25th Amendment removal of a sitting President; the 3 iterations of the travel ban issued by the Executive Branch; The Masterpiece Cake shop case recently heard by the Supreme Court; net neutrality; legal exposures of Mssrs. Manafort, Kushner, Trump Sr. and Jr.; the future of Michael Flynn and grants of immunity; and the power of the President to unilaterally start an armed conflict today.
What else could happen next semester?

Stephanie Flint, Ph.D. student in FAU’s Comparative Studies program
Classic Monsters and the Supernatural in Popular Media and Culture: Histories and Interpretations of Monsters from Antiquity to Today
Thursdays, March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 2018; 2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Exactly 200 years ago this January, Mary Shelley published her wildly famous novel Frankenstein and changed the representation of monsters in popular culture forever. You don’t have to be a horror movie buff to know that monsters are everywhere. Whether you’re watching the next big horror flick or a children’s cartoon, monsters and the supernatural dominate American popular culture. But where do they come from? And why are they so ubiquitous? We will explore these questions alongside the history, theories, and representations of classic supernatural monsters in this four-week course. We will seek to answer deep questions like what constitutes monstrosity, alongside musings about how “Frankenstein” came to be the name of the monster (rather than its creator), and why it is that vampires sparkle now. We will focus our attention on classic Hollywood monsters (including Frankensteins, werewolves, zombies, and vampires), explore potential origins and meanings, all while tracing their representation in popular culture along the way. It’s sure to be a scream!

Terryl Lawrence, Ed.D.
A Potpourri of Summer Delights – Art for Everyone: Part I
Fridays, March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018; 12 – 1:30 p.m.
(Full 6 weeks or First 4 weeks option)

A Potpourri of Summer Delights – Join Me in Paris: Part II
Tuesdays, May 15, 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 2018; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Spring and summer are metaphors for richly woven baskets ready to be filled with extravagant experiences and fragrant bouquets of exotica. It is the time when we leave the winter behind and fulfill our dreams with moments of pure pleasure and joy, a time when we can actualize our dreams of travel, study, and delightful experiences.

I have always embraced these seasons for the freedom allowed. Pressures of work slow, and the air engulfs us with welcome warmth and enthusiasm as a daily greeting. I can close my eyes and relive the late afternoon swims with my dad in the tepid Atlantic Ocean in Brooklyn or the aroma of the pine trees as I walked through the forests collecting pinecones that decorated the carpet around Lake George.

This is a time for rebirth, rejoicing, and reveling in living with all of its constant surprises.
It is a time to create new memories, and to embroider them into our mind’s tableau of remembrances.

The talks I am offering this spring and summer address a mélange of unique and inspirational moments in the History of Art. The artists and art that I have chosen to share with you are diverse and optimistic; and, I believe, will help to adorn your season with enjoyable personal encounters, fun, beauty, love, and adventure.

Benito Rakower, Ed.D.
Six Unusual Films
Fridays, March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018; 2 – 4:30 p.m.; Film Discussion: 4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
(Full 6 weeks or First 4 weeks option)

One Day – 2011 (British/American)
British films depicting “University” graduates (Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh) share one quality. The young men and women speak English in an educated manner. If, on their graduation night, they continue to wear black cap and gown, while swilling Champagne by a fountain, they still look and sound educated.
In this unusual romantic comedy, two young people meet on their graduation night and spend an unexpectedly chaste night together. What neither of them recognizes is that their souls have meshed totally on the deepest level.
The boy is upper-class and charming, but somewhat irresponsible. The girl is middle-class, determined, highly intelligent, and driven by sustained self-confidence.
The film records the subsequent trajectories of their lives on the same yearly date, June 15. Occasionally, their paths intersect, but they marry other people. Eventually, the force of destiny exposed on their first night together cannot be resisted. They are married. And then, Fate strikes with senseless tragedy. That is not the end of the story.
Few films have ever gone this far in portraying the magic of romantic attraction in collision with the unforgiving contingencies of life.

Katie Muldoon
Bending Fate: International Films with Tales of How Ordinary People Try to Control Their Destiny
Wednesdays, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, 8, 15, 2018; 1 – 3:30 p.m. (1 – 4 p.m. on July 25);
Film discussion: 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Award-Winning International Films That Sparkle With Intelligence and Humanity
Sometimes you are lucky enough to stumble upon a film or two that sparkles with intelligence.
I was lucky enough to unearth six and am now even more fortunate as I have the opportunity to share these gems with those of you who join me for my summer class. What makes these films unique is the richness of feeling and emotions that surface as each character in each situation approaches the particular challenge in their story. Yes, every character and every film will face a challenge of a sort, but their stories aren’t harsh or depressing. On the contrary, we are reassured of the goodness of humans, their honesty, honor, morality and their delightful humor.

We’ll understand: the deepest desire of a youthful Italian beekeeper, what real honor is for an Estonian farmer, how miracles might happen for a middle-aged Welsh barmaid, the impossible choice of a Talmud scholar, and how differently a French middle-aged professor and a set of Hong Kong youngsters positively deal with different forms of loss. Prior to each class, background will be provided. After each film, we will discuss what we have seen.

Benito Rakower, Ed.D.
Tuscany and Provence: The Reinvention of Cinema
Thursdays, May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21, 2018; 1 – 3:30 p.m., Film Discussion: 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.

The two-part Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring are recognized to be the summit of French film making and a national treasure. Though the first part, Jean de Florette, can be shown alone, the greatness of the story requires the revelations supplied by Manon of the Spring. This summer film course provides an opportunity to view both parts sequentially. We are all familiar with the concept of “Greek Tragedy.” But its tremendous and devastating force can only be conveyed fully in art. No other films have ever caught the slow and relentless horror of tragic irony with the magnificence of these two films.
The legendary beauty of Provence and the stolid nature of its inhabitants provide the setting. Yves Montand gives a towering performance depicting a great character caught in the web of a flaw – rustic cleverness. The film compels us to reflect on what in this world cannot be forgiven and how guile, deception, and cunning have an outcome the exact opposite of what we desire.

Some Spring 2018 Lectures

Bert Diament, Ph.D.
Is it a Quirk or a Personality Disorder?
Tuesday, March 20, 2018; 7 – 8:30 p.m.

We are constantly assessing other people and often form over-generalized impressions about them. We do this automatically and assign them to various categories. If someone behaves in a way that does not conform to our expectations of how people should behave, we are quick to make an attribution as to why this person behaves that way. Some of us are arm-chair psychologists, and may even diagnose that person with some psychological label. For example, if our spouses do not conform to our expectations of “neatness,” if we are angry at them for this and other reasons, we may accuse them of being “passive-aggressive” or having “attention deficit disorder.” The same lack of neatness, if we have a more accepting relationship, is labeled as “forgetful,” a much more charitable attribute.
Whether you view another person’s behavior as “a minor quirk,” “unusual,” “unique,” “bizarre,” “crazy,” “off the charts,” or indicative of emotional problems, is probably more a reflection of your idiosyncrasies, and how much you like and appreciate this person, than this person’s objective “real” essence. People who are more accepting and less governed by narrow “shoulds” tend to be less judgmental and more charitable in their assessment of others.

Gary Wiren, Ph.D.
Golf: From the Roman Legions to Arnold’s Army – The Greatest Game
Monday, April 23, 2018; 12 – 1:30 p.m.

The title of “A Royal and Ancient Game” given to golf is quite accurate and will be shown to be so during my April lecture. What will be presented are examples first of golf-like games like Chui Wan that developed during the Song dynasty in China, 960-1279. Other stick and ball games from this example appeared later in Belgium, Italy, France, South America, Holland, and the U.K. with names like Kolf, Chole, Pall Mall, and others. We will take a look at the first Country Club in the Americas in Montreal, Canada and the early appearance of golf in South Carolina as well as meet “The Father of American Golf.” We’ll see early equipment used in these games and follow its evolution up to what we use today. You will hear stories that may surprise and amuse you as well as tragic tales of some short-lived champions.
Learn of our golfing American Presidents, who was, who wasn’t, and how they played. Hear of the reasons why the game is, for some, so compelling but, for others, is not. Even if you thought you knew a lot about the game of golf beforehand, you will leave knowing much more. It will be Educational, Motivational, and Enjoyable.

James B. Bruce, Ph.D.
Secrecy and Transparency in Government
Monday, March 19, 2018; 2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Government secrets—what do they hide? And why? Are there too many of them? Do we really need all that secrecy?
The new movie, The Post, celebrates the Top-Secret leak of the “Pentagon Papers.” Edward Snowden’s and Private Manning’s massive internet leaks caused a furor, along with policy changes to better protect individual privacy.
Yet U.S. intelligence failed to warn against al-Qaida’s terrorist attacks on September 11th partly because press leaks gave away a secret collection capability to intercept Osama bin Laden’s telephone calls. Intelligence against other threats like North Korean nuclear missiles has been weakened by public disclosures in the media.
Many allies and foreign partners are reluctant to share intelligence with the United States because they increasingly think the U.S. government cannot keep the sensitive secrets they give us. Many American businesses feel the same way. Previous intelligence partnerships with the private sector as well as with foreign governments are frayed or broken because these vital sources no longer trust the government to protect their discreet assistance.
Transparency and secrecy in conflict? This lecture explores these daunting questions and seeks answers to a significant 21st century issue in U.S. national security.

Robert P. Watson, Ph.D.
Incivility and Dysfunction in American Politics
Thursday, March 29, 2018; 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

You don’t have to be a political scientist to realize that our politics have taken a turn for the worse in terms of widespread dysfunction seemingly at all levels of government and the collapse of civility and common decency and decorum. It is difficult to even have a discussion about politics today, much less one that is civil and based in fact. I believe that this dilemma constitutes the most pressing threat to our political system today. As such, I plan to assess the root causes of these issues, examine the disturbingly long history of dysfunction and incivility for clues as to how we got to this point, and explore the consequences to our political system of these problems. That said, I also plan to do so with a dose of humor and a commitment to civility!

The Honorable Molly Williamson
Global Energy, Environment and Economy: Policy Nightmares
Tuesday, April 17, 2018; 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

Aaaargh: no energy crisis anymore? But wait, a fossil fuel crisis: we have so much, we have an environmental crisis? But wait, abundant traditional energy is making alternative and renewable sources MORE expensive? But wait, the global economic recovery is fragile at best, and there is growing concern about income and wealth disparities? How do policy makers navigate these murky political waters? But wait, there’s more: nobody agrees on the problem(s) or how to fix them. No, no, wait, there’s more: The international community doesn’t agree, no, it DOES agree, under U.S. leadership. No, no, wait, the U.S. just walked away. No, wait……

Ronald Feinman, Ph.D.
Six American Presidents and the Civil War Crisis
Thursday, April 19, 2018; 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

When the Civil War began in 1861, for the first time, we had six living Presidents – Abraham Lincoln and five former Presidents of the United States, an event which would not occur again until 1993.
Two of the former Presidents died in the second year of the Civil War (1862), with John Tyler having sworn his loyalty to the Confederate States of America, rather than the United States; and Martin Van Buren, the oldest former President taking the opposite view, strongly supportive of the Union, after having been the Presidential nominee of the Free Soil Party of 1848.
Millard Fillmore denounced secession of the South, and agreed that the Union must be maintained by force, if necessary, but was critical of the war policies of Abraham Lincoln.
Franklin Pierce was a strong critic of the Lincoln policies in the Civil War, had tried to prevent the outbreak of war, and saw the war as cruel, heartless, and unnecessary, and, thus, was seen as a Southern sympathizer, causing public opposition to him during the war.
James Buchanan, the President immediately before Lincoln, was blamed for taking no action against secession, and was under constant criticism for the outbreak of the war, but he supported the U.S. government during the war, and saw the attack at Fort Sumter as justification for military action against the South.

Tom Poulson, Ph.D.
Wine and Wisdom: “Restoring” Florida’s Everglades
Thursday, April 19, 2018; 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

The video of These Glades are Your Glades that I helped produce is overly optimistic about the future of our Everglades. There is still controversy about the Restoration Mantra of how to get the water right with Quantity, Quality, Distribution, and Timing (Q, Q, D, T). Too few pay attention to the wise old owl who sat in an oak, the more he saw the less he spoke, the less he spoke, the more he heard.

For Q, Q, D, and T, there is misinformation, misunderstanding, and misconception. Where is the Everglades? What causes harmful algal blooms? What causes seagrass die-off in fishing meccas? What causes cattail monocultures with little biodiversity?

We cannot revitalize our Everglades with the prevalence of unscientific Americans. I blame educators, scientists, government agencies, economists, politicians, businesses, and the media. There are goats and saints among individuals and organizations.

We need to listen to Pogo who observed, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We must think globally and act locally, individually, and collectively. When we demonstrate, advocate, and educate, let’s talk about poisons, diseases, slime, and shit. When legislation fails, let’s litigate: Sue the bastards! And be passionate: I’m bustin’ my ass to save the river of grass!

Barbara A. Falletta, Ed.D.
The Art of Ornament : Jewelry as a Record of History
Tuesday, April 24, 2018; 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

There’s a lot of truth to the statement: You are what you wear!
Throughout history, jewelry has revealed a vast amount of information about the people who wore it, their status in society, the culture and time period in which they lived, their values, and even their personal lives. From the Crown Jewels of England to a simple locket worn as a remembrance of a loved one, jewelry tells a story. This presentation will reveal two fascinating stories where jewelry has served a most valuable historical function in our world.

Christopher Strain, Ph.D.
Understanding the Debate over Confederate Monuments
Thursday, April 26, 2018; 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

Protests, rallies, showdowns, vandalism, midnight topplings… Why all the fuss over Confederate monuments and memorials? Across the South in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, statues of Confederate heroes and soldiers were erected in public squares and on courthouse lawns; there are seven hundred between Tampa, Florida and Charlottesville, Virginia. In Atlanta, likenesses of General Robert E. Lee, General Stonewall Jackson, and President Jefferson Davis were carved into the face of Stone Mountain, a kind of Confederate Mt. Rushmore. In recent months, these monuments have elicited demonstrations and counter-demonstrations—but why? And why now? What is the history of these monuments and why do they generate controversy today? We’ll delve into the past and present of the American South’s equestrian elegies in an attempt to understand the debate.

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Looking Back on the 1970s

Burt Atkins, Ph.D.





By Burt Atkins, Ph.D.

In May 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students at Kent State University who were protesting the war in Vietnam.  Four students were killed and a number of others wounded.  The shootings sent shock waves across the United States. Some people might have assumed that events like this one could have occurred in less respectable, less tolerant and certainly less democratic countries around the world. Many, however, were aghast that it had happened here, in the so-called “shining city upon a hill,” a phrase used by Ronald Reagan just a few years later to describe the United States.  Looking back, however, without the “fog of war” distorting our view, we can see more clearly that Kent State in 1970 was a continuation of violent trends occurring since the late 1960s. It’s too easy, then, to dismiss the 1970s as a “kidney stone of a decade,” as Doonesbury’s Zonker Harris did, or to think about it simply as an era of bell-bottoms, disco music, long unkempt hair and polyester leisure suits. The 1970s was a truly difficult decade, born amidst violence like Kent State, in which we had to endure gasoline shortages, economic stagflation and the Watergate scandal, among other events and problems. This was a decade in which one president was forced to resign from office, another was appointed, and a third would fail to be reelected once the decade ended.

My winter 2018 course is about this difficult, sometimes confusing, decade. It uses politics, popular culture, music and especially movies as a way of remembering the events and people who, for better or worse, made the 1970s what it was. The movies, especially, will serve as a cultural mirror reflecting the mood of the decade.  Often, the mood was one of ennui and alienation, as in Five Easy Pieces starring Jack Nicholson, or rebellion, as reflected in another Nicholson film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, or a conservative reaction to the liberalism of the 1960s, as in Dirty Harry and Death Wish. But sometimes movies used satire and humor to examine the mood of the decade, like Being There, a movie with a marvelous performance by Peter Sellers, and Woody Allen, at the top of his form in Annie Hall.

This is a course to take if you want to look back at an important decade that serves as a link between the turbulent 1960s and the fast-paced and dynamic 1980s.


Burton Atkins, Ph.D.
The 1970s: A Movie Retrospective on “a Kidney Stone of a Decade”
Wednesdays, January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28, 2018; 3 – 4:30 p.m.



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Authentic Relationships

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By Kurt F. Stone, D.D.

The first live theatre I recall attending was a performance of “The World of Sholem Aleichem,” nearly 65 years ago.  I was absolutely mesmerized by what was transpiring on stage, and fell in love with both his characters and the actors – especially Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Sam Levene and Lee Grant – who brought his “world” to life. I remember returning home and heading straight for our library, only to discover that -Eureka! – we actually had a copy of the book upon which the play was based.

Over the years, I read just about everything Sholem Aleichem (Solomon Rabinowitz) had written, and eventually began developing a one-man show in which I portrayed “the Jewish Mark Twain” to the best of my tragicomic ability.  Before too long, I found myself performing a couple of times a month, always tweaking and (hopefully) improving my one-man show.

By the early 1980s, I had appeared as Sholem Aleichem a couple of hundred times everywhere from California and Mississippi to Sydney, Tel Aviv and London.  Then, one day, shortly after relocating to South Florida, I appeared in Plantation.  After the show, an elegant, wonderfully turned-out woman of about 75 came up to me and told me how much she had enjoyed the performance.  I smiled, thanked her, and started to return to the green room.

“How long have you been performing as Sholem Aleichem?” she asked.

“Oh, about 12 or 13 years,” I answered.

“And how many performances would you say you’ve done in all that time?” she queried.

“Ah!” I thought, “perhaps she wants to hire me.”  I was about to hand her my agent’s card when she then asked, “And, on average, how much do you get for a performance – minus travel expenses?”

Doing a quick bit of mental math, I came up with a figure that even impressed me ever so slightly.  I awaited her next question, which I assumed would be about future availability.

Boy, was I ever wrong.  For what she said next almost caused me to drop dead on the spot from myocardial infarction:

“It seems to me that you owe me (and here she named a price well beyond my means) for use of the name and image of Sholem Aleichem.”  She looked serious. I felt a pounding in my chest.

“How is that possible?” I asked weakly.

“You never asked my permission!”

Then, it dawned on me: the women I was talking to had to be Sholem Aleichem’s sole surviving heir, the writer Bel Kaufman.  She must have read my mind and recognized when I figured out who she was, because at precisely that moment, she got an elfin twinkle in her eye.

“Ms. Kaufman, I presume?”

“Indeed!” she said.  “I really had you going, didn’t I?”

“You almost killed me,” I said.

“How would you like to help spend zayde’s gelt (Yiddish for “grandpa’s money”)?

“I thought he was broke when he died,” I responded.

“He was,” Bel said.  “But in the more than 60 years since his death, he’s become a millionaire due to royalties.  Would you like to join the advisory board of the Sholem Aleichem Foundation and help spend it?”

I couldn’t answer “Of Course!” quickly enough. Bel and I went out to lunch . . . then dinner . . . then lunch the next day.  And when she got back to New York, she had the Foundation stationary remade . . . it now included my name.

Bel died a mere three years ago . . . at age 103.  She was the last person who actually knew Sholem Aleichem in life . . . and saved me – her father’s imitator – from suffering a severe cardiac event.

Oh, how I miss Bel . . .


Kurt F. Stone, D.D.
An Evening with Sholem Aleichem: A One-Man Performance
Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 7 – 9 p.m.
To register, click here.

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Winter Smorgasbord

Sandi Page

By Sandi Page, Member, FAU Osher LLI Jupiter Marketing Committee member









I think you will all agree that the Winter 2018 Class Catalog is one of our richest offerings yet…a true smorgasbord for the intellect.

A huge shout-out goes to our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU, Jupiter staff who work so hard behind the scenes to consistently put together a delectable choice of lectures and courses to please just about any of our students’ sophisticated palates.

So, step right up to the buffet table and don’t just stick with the chicken and beef.
Try out some courses and professors whose work is unfamiliar to you!
Here are a few of the tasty items on the menu:


Robyn Lamp and Edgar Miguel Abréu
Operatic Love Duets
Wednesday, January 3, 2018; 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Opera can be a little intimidating. What do I wear? When do I clap? Do I research what I’m seeing beforehand? It can be a little much when it’s your first time, but fear not! This concert will give you a little taste of what you’ll see in the opera house! Opera is telling stories through music. It’s not elitist, it’s not pretentious. It is for everyone to enjoy. Alex Reedijk, the General Director of the Scottish Opera once said that “Opera is the stuff of life. It is the ultimate expression through live performance of the human condition, of all that we feel, fear and care about. Storytelling is a fundamental human need, and there is nothing that can beat opera as a way of telling the stories that need telling, the stories that help us to understand what it is to be human.” Edgar and I are offering some of the most beautiful love duets written for tenor and soprano. We will be singing in many languages and translations of everything will be projected so you can keep track of what is happening. Come to this concert to try something new, to lose yourself in beautiful music, and to experience some great storytelling! Oh, and don’t be afraid to clap whenever you want!!


Carol Adelman, Ph.D. and Ken Adelman, Ph.D.
History’s Greatest Battle and Love Story
Thursday, January 4, 2018; 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Book-signing: 12:30 – 1 p.m.

After years of sell-out crowds at FAU for inside scoops and funny stories about Reagan, Nixon, Johnson, etc., why change a popular formula – from contemporary characters everybody knows, to ancient folks nobody knows? For several reasons. I wanted to do the next FAU gig with my wife, Carol, who is a terrific presenter, best in the family. Together, we do most of our professional appearances.
Second, because this, too, is a fabulous story — of Britain’s greatest king winning Britain’s most stunning victories, and then winning the Princess of his defeated foe. Win the country, love and marry the Princess.
Third, because we tell this tale through film clips. Everyone loves going to the movies — even for brief scenes.
Last, to help FAU learners overcome a natural Shakes-fear. Everyone “knows” that Shakespeare is boring and unintelligible, with characters speaking in foreign tongue with only smatterings of English. But none of this is true.
Carol and I have been presenting Shakespeare to corporations as part of their executive training since 1997. Come see why this approach has been a smash for 20 years, why Shakespeare has been at the top of the charts for 400+ years, and why King Henry Vth has been celebrated as Britain’s greatest king for 600+ years.


Yoko Sata Kothari
Classical Concert Series: Love Triangle at Classical Piano – Romantic Music by Brahms and Mr. & Mrs. Schumann
Thursday, January 4, 2018; 2 – 3:30 p.m.

You don’t like classical music? Some of you think it is too complicated, difficult, and even boring. Alright then, what about love stories? Are you interested in listening to one? This concert is about 3 composers who were in love. Being a storyteller at the piano, my mission is to talk about this historical true love story as well as to perform their music. The program is full of music which is bitter and sweet, painful and joyful…I believe it’s something all of us can relate to in one way or another.
If classical music has not been what you normally listen to, this just may be the time for you to try it. It’s like trying a restaurant you have never been to before…you’ll never know how you will feel unless you go. So get out of your comfort zone and join me at this concert! I look forward to seeing you and getting feedback from you.


Ira Epstein, Ph.D.
The Comedy of Carol Burnett
Thursday, January 4, 2018; 7 – 8:30 p.m.

What pivotal role did Carol Burnett‘s grandmother play in her development? What one episode of her popular show was rejected by the CBS censors? Why did Carol Burnett refuse to perform her famous Tarzan yell in public? Come, learn and laugh!


Felicia Survis, Ph.D.
Bottled Water: The Improbable Commodity
Monday, January 8, 2018; 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Have you ever wondered whether bottled water is a better choice than tap water? Why has bottled water become such a big industry? Before you take your next sip of water, ask yourself, do you know where it is coming from and what type of testing it has been subject to? In this engaging lecture, we will explore the world of drinking water and specifically look at the evolution of bottled water, from Perrier to Aquafina, and how that has forever changed the way people think about tap water.


Robert Milne
Ragtime and Classical Music: A Comparison to Beethoven, Mozart and Others
Saturday, January 13, 2018; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Beethoven didn’t write ragtime. Neither did Mozart or J.S. Bach. However, the principles of good music are the same between both of these amazing forms of art. Bach learned composition by listening to others, as did Mozart. Beethoven studied briefly with Hayden, but most of the great classical composers didn’t study with anyone at all. The same is true in the field of ragtime. Great composers, such as Joseph Lamb and James Scott, never went near a composition class, and both of them wrote pieces still being played today. Scott Joplin was already a good composer and pianist long before he attended the George R. Smith College in Sedalia for two years. This class will heighten your awareness of what you hear next time the symphony orchestra, or the corner barroom piano player, cuts loose with another classic.


Bert Diament, Ph.D.
The Dynamics of Prejudice, Discrimination and Stereotyping
Monday, January 22, 2018; 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

If “prejudice” means judging someone before you actually know much about them, then I must be prejudiced. I am immediately annoyed with people who nonchalantly ask me “How are you?” because I know that most people really don’t care how I am! I am often tempted to respond with a litany of complaints about my health, our fractured politics, my deteriorating tennis game, etc. Sometimes, my response to this insincere inquiry is “Compared to what?!”
Another remark, which I experience as disingenuous, is when meeting someone for the first time, I am told “Nice to meet you!” Sometimes I respond with “How do you know? I may be a serial killer!”
My point is that all of us, on some level, are prejudiced, forming opinions of people in an instant, before we really get to know them, based on some personal, often not well articulated, idiosyncratic preference or judgment about their behavior.
A sign in my office reads: “Please take my advice, I am not using it” and, therefore, I recommend to you to be aware of your immediate reactions and reserve judgment until you get to know an individual better, and resist the temptation to respond negatively as I sometimes do.


Richard René Silvin
Mar-a-Lago, from Post to Trump: The History of a Classic Palm Beach Mansion
Tuesday, February 6, 2018; 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

In 1923, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Post Cereal heiress who built Mar-a-Lago, sailed into Gloucester, MA, aboard her husband E.F. Hutton’s magnificent yacht, the Hussar IV. A few days
later, sailing up the coast of Maine, her chef served them fish. Mrs. Hutton (Marjorie took three of her four husbands’ names) questioned her chef: how could the fish still be fresh when it was loaded aboard in Gloucester? The chef explained he had met a man on the docks in Gloucester who was experimenting with “frosted foods.” The man’s name was Clarence Birdseye. It took Mrs. Hutton three years to convince her skeptical husband of the long-term validity of the concept. Realizing his error, Hutton acquired Mr. Birdseye’s operation in 1927 and merged it into the Post Cereal Company, thus creating the General Foods Corporation. Of course, Mrs. Post was correct in her clairvoyance: “Frosted foods” became frozen foods and can now be found in every grocery store across the world.


Alex Dreyfoos and Steven Caras
The Life and Art of Alexander Dreyfoos: A Conversation with Mr. Dreyfoos and Steven Caras
Thursday, February 8, 2018; 10 – 11:30 a.m.; Book-signing: 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

It’s rare enough when children are equally interested in all things of interest to their parents. Yet it’s another thing entirely when a young person combines all those elements – in Alex Dryfoos’s case – photography, innovation, classical music – before setting out to achieve remarkable, life-saving, award-winning accomplishments.
From commanding a U.S. Air Force photo lab involving daily, 3-minute turn-around life or death decisions (deemed “one of the most important, dangerous, missions during the cold war era”) – to receiving an Academy Award for the advancement of photo-electronic equipment – to organizing a Palm Beach County Cultural Council with a specific objective to create what we now know as The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the list of his extraordinary achievements goes on.
The title of the Dreyfoos autobiography is Passion & Purpose. Passion and purpose indeed. Come engage in a conversation as Dreyfoos speaks candidly with friend and fellow photographer Steve Caras, covering a life spent building dreams – his own, and those of countless others.


Robert Milne
The Art of Improvising
Saturday, February 10, 2018; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

No one knows better than Bob Milne about improvising music: he’s done it for fifty years to, as he puts it, “keep the audience from going to sleep.” When music becomes predictable, it loses spontaneity, and the trick to doing this is, again says he, to “never play anything the same way twice.”
O.K., Bob, easy for you to say. Want to share some of that with us?
“Sure, I’d be happy to. First of all, take your eyes off the music. Secondly, close your eyes: make your fingers do the walking. Thirdly, don’t always use the same note in the bass…”
C’mon, Bob. Can’t you do any better than this?
“Well, uh, actually I can, but it’s easier to demonstrate than to write out in a speech. Come to the class and you’ll be able to follow it much better with your ears. Seeyah and Hearyah there.”


Daphne Nikolopoulos
Mysteries of the Anasazi: An Exploration of the Advanced Civilization – and Mysterious Disappearance – of America’s First People
Tuesday, February 20, 2018; 9 – 10:30 a.m.

In researching my newest novel, Firebird (due out in late 2018), I ventured to the Four Corners area of the American Southwest to investigate Native American cultures of the past and present. I spent time with the archaeologists of the Salmon Ruins historical site, venturing into active excavation areas near Kutz Canyon and delving into the ancient mysteries of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
In this class, I will share parts of my research with LLI students, illuminating such concepts as the astronomically precise building and mind-boggling infrastructure at Chacoan sites. The ancestral Puebloans aligned their impressive structures with lunar and solar events, such as the major lunar standstill, and hid a sophisticated cosmology and symbology within their architecture that archaeologists are still struggling to interpret.
This begs the question: What caused this seemingly well-organized, complex civilization to suddenly vanish? We will examine the theories—ranging from environmental influences to a violent turn to cannibalism—to develop a deeper understanding of the ancestral Puebloans and their influence on modern Pueblo people.
Join me for a look at the “Anasazi” and their mysterious, awe-inspiring sites, which are true treasures of earliest American history.


Michael Tougias
America’s First Major War: King Philip’s Indian War and the Shaping of America
Tuesday, February 20, 2018; 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.; Book-signing: 12:45 – 1:15 p.m.

Did you know that America’s very first war also had the highest casualty rate of any war involving America? King Philip’s Indian War was a turning point in American history, and the outcome of the war hung in the balance for 12 months. At my slide lecture, I’ll take you from the start of the war (and why it happened) through the battles to its ultimate conclusion. The battle sites are scattered throughout New England and many are worth visiting. I co-wrote the King Philip’s War history book to give the reader an appreciation of the dramatic twists and turns of the war. I wrote my historical novel, Until I Have No Country, to allow the reader to see the war from both the perspective of the Indians and the Colonists. I hope to do the same at the lecture, and insert the viewer into the war and “time travel” back to 1675-76!”


Myrna Goldberger
Discount Shopping and the Mega Stores
Wednesday, January 3, 2018; 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Web as the Marketplace
Saturday, February 24, 2018; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

As I was preparing for my fall and winter lectures at LLI, my priority was to find subjects that were gender friendly, age friendly and non-controversial. I decided to research the advent of the credit card and, in thinking about where it is used, my community informal survey suggested restaurants and malls. I am not a “foodie” so that left the rest of the shopping world. I learned that the founder of Macy’s was part of the whaling community in Nantucket. I learned that the Gimbel stores were born because the patriarch had seven sons and needed a way to feed all of them, that Alfred Bloomingdale had a shrewd, calculating mistress, that Nordstrom’s birthplace was 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. Finally, what clinched my interest was the discovery that department stores sprouted up because of a single invention. Without it, we may never have had any of the stores we can so easily name. I revealed that invention during my fall lectures on the history of department stores and their tycoons and will reveal the answer again to my winter students! Come to my January lecture about discount shopping and mega stores and my February lecture about on-line shopping as we continue the saga of America’s favorite pastime together.


Taylor Hagood, Ph.D.
Hagood Reads the Phone Book: Nashville
Monday, February 26, 2018; 3:45 – 5:15 p.m.

The latest installment of my phonebook lecture series focuses on the city of Nashville, Tennessee. Many know about the city’s country music industry, but less known is that Nashville has a strong history in higher education and sophisticated institutions that has caused it to be called the “Athens of the South.” In fact, few places blend high and low culture in such a compelling way as Nashville, and this one-time event will feature a host of curious, famous, and infamous characters from Andrew Jackson to Minnie Pearl.


Ronald Feinman, Ph.D.
Two Giant Figures in the Pre-Civil War U.S. Senate: Henry Clay and Daniel Webster
Tuesday, February 27, 2018; 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Henry Clay and Daniel Webster are the two most famous and renowned U.S. Senators in the pre-Civil War period of American history.
Both are seen as among the top ten U.S. Senators in all of American history. The U.S. Senate in 1957 chose them as two of the top five Senators until that time, and commissioned busts of all five to be created, and placed in the U.S. Senate chamber. Both were magnificent orators; both served as Secretary of State; both were Presidential candidates; both were seen in their lifetimes as statesmen, rare for politicians. Both failed to become President, although they were more outstanding and distinguished than most of the political leaders of their times in public office. Both promoted the idea of Union over secession, and contributed to the goal of preservation of the nation as one, working against the concept of civil war. Both Clay and Webster were leading figures in the Whig Party, and both died in 1852, with Clay dying four months before Webster.


Douglas J. Wessel, Ph.D.
Introduction to the Psychology of Religion: From Transformation to Terrorism
Tuesday, February 27, 2018; 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Ever since the dawn of modern science during the Renaissance, the demise of religion has been predicted. However, even though science and technology have certainly led to a greater understanding of the universe and provided the means to many improvements in our quality of life, religion has persisted. The trends toward monastic naturalism and secular humanism have been influential in some parts of the world and among some age groups more than others, but in other areas, religion is as pervasive and intense as ever.
In general terms, religion provides answers to questions about life that are outside the realm of science, about the meaning of our existence, dealing with an uncertain future, and inevitable death. Science and religion could be thought of epistemologically as two different ways of knowing that have unique roles in our understanding. In my lecture, we will utilize the science of psychology to learn about why people are religious, independent of any metaphysical assumptions, and the role of religious beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors in important facets of life. Religion continues to be a powerful force in our world, both for good and, all too often, associated with death and destruction.


James M. Adovasio, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Early Human Populations in the New World: A Biased Perspective
Monday, March 5, 2018; 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

I have been involved in anthropological archaeology for nearly half a century. Over a significant segment of that time, I have been involved in the excavation and attendant analyses of one of the oldest archaeological sites in the New World, Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Like so many very early archaeological sites in North and South America, Meadowcroft was not discovered by me but rather reported to me by an interested amateur prehistorian. I originally elected to work at Meadowcroft as a locus for training students in the protocols of then contemporary archaeology. I had absolutely no idea at the time that the site would prove to be extremely ancient or that it would contribute to the unraveling of the then paramount paradigm about the entry of humans into the New World. The point here is about the serendipity, or “blind luck,” often inherent in many so-called archaeological discoveries. Had I set out to actually locate a site like Meadowcroft, I indubitably would have failed to find such a place. This is often the case, not just in the New World, but around the globe as well. The basic message here is that it is great to be well prepared but even better to be lucky.


Tom Poulson, Ph.D.
Exploring Nature: Beguiled by the Wild
Wednesday, March 7, 2018; 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Here are two examples of how we will use scientific natural history to discover specializations of plants. First, we will observe the propagules of plants to hypothesize how they move away from the parent plant; this is dispersal. The propagule is the seed plus any structures that help it to disperse. Many of you will know dandelions whose propagules have a feathery top that floats in the wind. Here is my limerick about other kinds of objects that may or may not be propagules.

A fun lovin’ natch-ralist TP
Exhorts his students not JUST to see.
Tests of taste, touch, and smell
Range sublime to pure hell,
Cherries, sand burrs, and smart pills, Tee-hee!

Second, observe the plant that is not Spanish and not moss hanging in festoons from trees, especially oaks. Use natural experiments of where the plant is and is not on the tree and how the tree is doing in these two conditions. This will test alternative hypotheses. Is it competing with the tree? Is it helping the tree? Is it a parasite of the tree? Or is it having no effect on the tree?



Paul Mojzes, Ph.D.
Less Well-Known World Religions
Mondays, Jan, 8, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar. 5, 2018 (No class on Jan. 15); 9 – 10:30 a.m.

From the dawn of civilization, innumerable religions emerged in all known human communities. Every tribe had their own beliefs, rituals, codes of conduct, and patterns of organization. Some of these ancient, mostly tribal, religions still exist. In the past, we tended to name them “Primitive Religions” but the word “primitive” has a negative connotation so most scholars use the term “Primal Religions.” In this course, we’ll take a look at several characteristics of primal religions which still exist scattered around the world and even persist hidden in contemporary major religions.
Approximately 2,800 years ago, the so-called “axial age” occurred which began to give rise to the great historical religions. Some of these died out but many survived and even thrive in our own age. Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam could be called the “Big Five” and they are better known by most people. But there are others, not “lesser” but “less well-known” by us in the West, which are subjects of this course. At each of the class sessions, I’ll provide an overview first of the great religions of the Orient, namely Chinese originated Confucianism and Taoism and Japanese Shinto, then Indian religions of Jainism and Sikhism, and, at the end, the Iranian Zoroastrianism and a 19th Century Islamic outgrowth called the Baha’i World Faith.
I have had direct experiences with many aspects of these religions during my study travels in Asia. I will provide an overview of the life and teachings of the founder (if there is one) or early stages of these religions, then point out some crucial changes in their development, with some video clips to help us envision the many picturesque manifestations of these religions. However, I hope you will not expect to be entertained and educated the way Anthony Bourdain does it on CNN.


Robert G. Rabil, Ph.D.
U.S. National Security
Mondays, Jan. 8, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar. 5, 2018 (No class on Jan. 15); 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

This course on U.S. National Security underscores some of the most challenging issues facing our country. Significantly, these issues cannot be separated from their local, regional and international dimensions, whose political parameters have been set by poor domestic legitimacy, tenuous regional orders and conflicting global outlooks. To be sure, the United States is dealing with a multitude of challenges grounded in fluid political environments, while at the same time Washington is trying to set its foreign policy imprint in line with its composite definition of “America First” orientation. Each lecture of the course is based on fresh insights, grounded in primary sources and personal intellectual exchange with experts and officials.
The first lecture examines the nuances and the grey area of the U.S. military’s strategies and tactics in Iraq and the consequences of their applications. The second lecture draws the dramatic picture of the Sahel region, whose peoples have been afflicted by insecurity, unemployment, and desertification. Their hopes of a better future have already clashed with harsh realities. The third lecture exposes the operational hideout of policymakers who seek secrecy and intercession to launch their policy initiatives. The fourth lecture investigates the controversial Islamist Gulen and probes the growth and orientation of the Gulenist Islamic schools in the United States. The fifth lecture explores the strategies (and their ramifications) of the countries bordering the Arctic region as each one of them scrambles to geopolitically and financially profit from the region’s resources. The sixth lecture visits the unfolding developments in Syria within the context of regional and international rivalry, sectarianism and fighting jihadism. The seventh lecture probes French domestic policies that seek to substitute “assimilationism” for “multiculturalism” while trying to meet the challenge of Islamism and Salafism. The eighth lecture assesses the U.S. campaign against terrorism, underscoring its pitfalls, failures and successes.
As usual, the course tries to rise to the expectations of lifelong patrons by engaging in the most proactive research and analysis! And still tries to exude humor about what we (community of South Florida) encounter and appreciation for what we have!


Kurt F. Stone, D.D.
Words and Music: Hollywood Recycles the Classics
Mondays, Jan. 8, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar. 5, 12, 2018 (No class on Jan. 15, 22); 7 – 9 p.m.

SCORING MOTION PICTURES: Making a So-So Film Good and a Good Film Great

All movie buffs know that films began to talk in the late 1920s. Needless to say, it wreaked havoc within the industry; many great stars couldn’t speak English – or had voices, accents or impediments which betrayed their image with the movie-going public. What many don’t realize is that when movies started talking, it also required composers and arrangers to provide music-on-film.
The first complete movie score was composed and directed by the great Max Steiner, who would eventually amass 20 Oscar nominations and 3 wins. That film was the 1931 Oscar winner, Cimarron; history records that it almost never happened. Then-RKO head David O. Selznick was the one who decided the picture should have a complete musical score, and so asked Steiner, the head of RKO’s fledgling music department, “Who can we get to write the music for Cimarron?” Steiner said “How about Stokowski?” Selznick agreed and Steiner called Stokowski who said he would be delighted to do it for $300,000. Upon hearing this, Selznick almost had a stroke and told him to get hold of Gershwin. Gershwin said he’d certainly do the composition – for $250,000 – but would need at least a year.
“But Max,” Selznick screamed, “we’re opening in four weeks!” He then told him, “Max, put a temporary score on it; any old thing will do. How soon can you have it completed?” “Well, it’s Friday afternoon,” Steiner said. “Can you hold on till Monday morning?” Steiner went home and spent the entire weekend composing and arranging the film score. Cimarron opened on time – precisely four weeks later. The day after its premiere, the papers came out and reported that the picture was excellent. And what about the music? More than one movie critic proclaimed it “The greatest music that ever was written!”
For his herculean efforts, Steiner received a $50 bonus. And thus was born a new art form . . .


Taylor Hagood, Ph.D.
Shakespeare Retold II
Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018; 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

This winter, I’ll be offering another eight-week course on a selection of both famous and obscure Shakespeare plays. Just like last winter’s Shakespeare series, my goal is to do a kind of translation-performance of Shakespeare that makes the plays immediate and alive by delving into the motivations of the characters. This is a fun approach to Shakespeare that works through the barrier of early modern English to show how the plays are fresh and timeless enough to have been written yesterday. This Shakespeare course will be entertaining as well as educational.


Penelope Fritzer, Ph.D. and Margery Marcus, Ed.D.
The Art of Detective Fiction: What Evil Lurks
Thursdays, January 11, 18, 25, February 1, 2018; 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Colleagues as well as friends for over 30 years, Penelope and I both agree that there is nothing more delicious on a miserable, rainy night than a good detective novel. What we disagree on is what that novel should contain. Penelope likes them classical and bloodless; I prefer them graphic and dark. In this series, we deliver the gamut from the earliest detective novels to some of the most recent. Penelope relishes Agatha Christie and wrote her Master’s thesis on the “grande dame;” I am so enthralled with Canadian author Louise Penny, I want to move to her fictional town of Three Pines. (Yes, I know it’s not real, but, like Brigadoon, I keep hoping it will suddenly appear.) Our four-week series provides an overview of detection fiction and looks at our favorites, and, I hope, yours. Each session concludes with a book list guaranteed to provide you with great reads for a long time.


Irving Labovitz, J.D.
Objection! Current, Contentious and Confusing Legal Battles
Thursdays, Jan. 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, Mar. 1, 2018; 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Mark Twain once wrote: “Sorry this letter is so long, but I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.” The same might be said for attempting a brief description of my weekly class content not otherwise fulsomely described in your LLI catalogue. While its weekly structure is usually ‘driven’ by legal and Constitutional events of significant magnitude and concern directly affecting each of us and our families, our interactive dialogue does not attempt sagacity in anticipating resolutions, but rather addresses the import of such happenings and potential for resolution by one, or more, of the three co-equal branches of our Representative Democracy.
We hardly ever ‘solve the problem’, but each class is usually successful in: identifying and clarifying the complex and contentious legal issues du jour; considering any judicial precedents, and anticipating alternative potential resolutions in each instance by the implicated Judicial Department, Congress, or the Executive Branch; always keeping in mind that the final arbiter of the Constitutionality of any contested matter remains the Judiciary.
This course is not for everyone…just those who wish to be equipped each week with undisputed facts, accurate historical legal precedents, and the alternative legal and Constitutional theories for resolution; while contemplating that which is the “best prospective solution” in each instance remains with each student to await actual events.
As Sergeant Joe Friday often said on television’s ancient series, Dragnet…”just the facts, ma’am.”


Benito Rakower, Ed.D.
Eight 21st Century Films – The Reinvention of Cinema
Fridays, Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16, Mar. 2, 9, 2018 (No class on Feb. 23);1:30 – 4 p.m., Film discussion 4 – 4:30 p.m.

Shakespeare gave one of his most famous and baffling comments to a garrulous fool, “To thine own self be true…” I have never come across a persuasive explanation of what that means. But I can feel its pertinence to sanity, dignity, and serenity.
In a somewhat related context, only one novel has ever given me an understanding of the elusive, American male psyche. It was Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train. Nothing by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway or Herman Melville could rival it. How had a woman in her twenties, an English major at Barnard College, ever conceived the perfect structural form and profound psychology of this novel? The chapters alternate between the lives of two totally disparate men, one a handsome and brilliant young architect, the other a grotesque and despicable playboy. Hitchcock bought the film rights almost immediately and made a widely admired film version in which the architect becomes a tennis player engaged to a Senator’s daughter. Highsmith then turned her attention to an entirely different novel, The Price of Salt, published in 1952 under a pseudonym. It was later republished under the title Carol, which is also the title of the film as it appears in my winter film course. Carol was the first unequivocally lesbian novel with an unprecedented happy ending. Patricia Highsmith did not want to be identified as a lesbian writer, hence the pseudonym. She went on to become an immensely popular crime novelist. It was only in Europe that discerning readers recognized her “true” gift. An unswerving and relentless depiction of American men caught in the web of “success,” the suppression of their tangled sensitivity, and the tyranny of masculine role models. Carol was Highsmith’s only venture into a genre closest to her heart. The film Carol was nominated for six American Academy Awards and nine British Film Awards. It is a milestone in the exploration of Freud’s most famous question, “What do women want?”


Mark C. Schug, Ph.D.
Let’s Visit Four Key World Economic Regions: An Economic Analysis of Places You Might Want to Visit
Thursdays, February 8, 15, 22, March 1, 2018; 3:45 – 5:15 p.m.

So Many Hotspots, So Little Time

When I put this course together several months ago, I had no idea that each economic region I wanted to discuss would be featured so prominently in the headlines.
Tensions in North and South Korea have risen sharply since Kim Jong Un made unexpected progress on his nuclear program and is now lobbing missiles over Japan. Scary. I will trace the diverging economic paths taken by North and South Korea and will imagine what might happen next.
After the recent 19th Congress of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping has emerged as the strongest Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. What is the source of China’s economic miracle that has lifted millions of people out of poverty? Join us to learn what happened before and what might happen next.
Relations were supposed to be thawing with Cuba. Think again. I had to cancel my plans to visit because the U.S. State Department now says Cuba is not safe for Americans. But aren’t things getting better for the Cuban people now that Fidel is dead? I’ll be discussing that and more.
And then there is Brexit. Margaret Thatcher warned British citizens that joining the EU was not going to lead to the bright economic future that many envisioned. Is the EU too bureaucratic to succeed in the long term? How will its relationship with Britain change? Will the unexpected emergence of President Macron of France usher in a new era of economic growth on the continent? My final lecture of this series will be about the nature of the EU, its future.

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