TO ALAN (wherever I may find him)

Dear Alan,

Recall a while back sitting at Himmel’s restaurant with Walt and the wives, speculating about all meeting up in Portland? Carrie was thrilled to head west; Marc and Mary were down for it; and me? I assented to go (but it really wasn’t in my wheelhouse).

It never happened, of course, and in the few years since, as you know, I’ve formally codified the unwritten rule of my heart. The “Four State” Rule, I call it. Perhaps you remember…

If compelled to leave The Great State Of Ohio, I’ve limited myself to but a quartet of destinations: Illinois and New York —adopted homelands of my children— plus Nevada and Florida. (Ed. Note 1: Clark County only in Nevada, and east coast only in Florida).

Perhaps you scoff at my thinking and well I know how others (including but not limited to Ermine, who leads the league in out-of-county restaurants) sneer passively at my reverence of home…. but I’ve got to tell you, my good friend: I’m more convinced now than ever that The Four State Rule rules!

The problem with travellers is that they’re never just satisfied. One “hot spot” begets another and this place is better than that. Really? Is the sun any brighter in Turks and Caicos? Is the food any richer? Are the people much nicer? Is where you go this year any better than where you’ll go next year? And if it was so good this year why are you heading somewhere else next yere?

Give me northeast Ohio any day of the week. Any year.

Never a hurricane, rarely major flooding. Meteorology? Meaningless.

Home to culture and Corky’s.

And our roots.

Consider: a giant alligator crawled ‘cross a Florida fairway last week. You may have seen it on Youtube. That crap doesn’t happen up here. The only golf hazard we ever faced was on the fifth hole at Highland.

Look, Alan— I’m not judging. If you want your travel, go for it. But remember: you cut your teeth, and indeed made your mark on Cleveland’s sandlots with Sol’s Boys. To this day hereabouts you are known as “The Jewish John Wooden”. Think back, buddy. Where was all the action on that diamond? In the infield, of course. Closest to home.

What you need, mon frère, is a Life Coach. And for this, I volunteer.

Four states, I say. You can do it!. (Ed. Note 2: OK, six if you need them. You were always more liberal.).

Keep Oregon, both Carolinas…and Illinois.

Yeah, I’m giving you the Land Of Lincoln because I know you’ve got a book signing in Chicago this year. (Ed. Note 3:  And FYI, Wido:  Abe was Republican.  But let it go.).

Oh… and don’t forget to email me ‘bout the book signing. Am thinking I’ll be there.

In fact, I wouldn’t miss the gig — it being in Illinois and all….


Talk to ya soon, B


4 Responses to “TO ALAN (wherever I may find him)”

  1. Alan Wieder says:

    Much to say but for now only two things of equal importance. Family in Atlanta, NY, California, and Cape Town (sort of) beg for leniency in the rule. EVEN MORE: AMAZED YOU KNOW OF LIFE COACHES.

  2. Up From Dysfunction says:

    Leniency granted, of course. I remain a “bleeding heart”. That noted, as to your amazement that I know of life coaches — this even proves my point: we even have them in CLEVELAND. Hi to Joanie.

  3. Mark E says:

    Come to Florida!!!!!!

  4. bob snyder says:

    Let’s face it Portland is a nice place to be from. But nothing in Portland matters to anyone in the rest of the country. It’s O H I O that will impact the election. Major League Baseball and NFL don’t care about Portland. You know there is a long list to add. But hey, Portland is a nice place to take pictures of people. Alan come home to where you belong and visit Portland whenever you want. This reminds me of when the B went to E. Lansing and realized OHIO had more to offer so he came back. Wasn’t it Alan who was part of bringing him back?

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