Reconnections in the US
2011 August - Vernon Kronenberg and Harry Stuart
Vernon and Harry both shared the same interests - finding one's roots. They met by coincidence in Washington DC while attending the Jewish Genealogical Societies' convention in August. Long, long time - no see!
2009 June - John Goldlust and Joe Grynbaum
John Goldlust and Cathy traveled with Joe and Patty Grynbaum in Italy.
2009 June 27- Michael Price & Harry Stuart
The last time we saw each other was at Narrabean camp in Sydney in 1960. Michael visited Florida and we met again - discussed the last 49 years over lunch - and promised to meet again in 49 years.
2009 May 2-9 - Henry Burstyner & Harry Stuart
Henry and I have known each other since we were 13 plus or minus. We bunked together for a couple of years in Toronto in the late ‘60s. He has approved the contents of this article but "reserves the right to publish his own version later".
So, when Henry was visiting New York in the late ‘70s, he called me up and asked how far Philadelphia was from New York – he wanted to visit. I told him that it was one hour by train and that we could meet him at 30th St. station in Philly. Sounded good. Next day he called again and complained that, while making travel arrangements, he was told that the journey would take seven hours, not one hour, and that that was too long. I asked him where he thought we lived. “Pittsburgh”, he responded. No, Henry, not quite right.
Thirty years later, I have to report, much to our amusement, he has not changed. Let me describe, with his full concurrence, what occurred in early May when Elaine and I went on a one week cruise with Henry and his long-time companion Batya Gdanski. We shall call this experience ‘Travels with Henry’, or perhaps more accurately, ‘Travails with Henry’.
Travels Travails with Henry
By Harry Stuart
Book the hotel: Since I was making the excursion arrangements for the cruise ports-of-call, Henry and I passed various documents back and forth via email. Just as well – because he had booked his arrival hotel in Miami for only one night instead of three. Which wouldn’t have been so bad – except it was in the next month. Both Henry and I were quite amused – at least the hotel wasn’t in Pittsburgh.
Before the cruise. During our wonderful reunion in Miami, Batya reported that Henry had already ‘lost’ his hat and a credit card (twice) – with it mysteriously showing up somewhere or other – and they had only been out of Oz for 4 days. Well, it was a little worse – apparently he got mad at a Los Angeles cab driver when he didn’t know where Collins St. was. That was really unfair to the driver since Collins St. is in Miami, not LA.
On the cruise. Our cruise took us to from Miami to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the Bahamas instead of Mexico which was inexplicably dropped because of some swine. As we started off, little did we know the amount of amusement we would experience in the next seven days.
Making the coffee: For those of us who travel frequently, we know the instructions regarding the use of our hotel room’s coffee maker. And for those of us who travel less frequently, the instructions are printed in 40-point type on the device itself. Doesn’t matter – who reads them anyway. So when Henry decided to make himself a cup of coffee and poured the water into the wrong orifice, one can imagine that the cabin did receive a nice new colour when the coffee contents spread themselves on to the furniture, mirror and carpet as it made its way out of confinement. Ok. So that was a lesson learned. But it happened again in Amsterdam after the cruise, as Batya reports. Instructions on that one must have been in Dutch.
Aging the Passport. Ever seen a well-travelled man’s passport? Well, if you really want to impress someone and make it look that you have been on the road for ages, try this: in your cabin’s bathtub, wash out a pair of jeans and leave your passport in one of its pockets. Then, several hours later, remove the passport and dry it carefully using Kleenex to soak up excess water and not damage the pages. Voila! An aged passport whose pages look very weathered. Now, convince Immigration at your next port of call that the state of the document is natural when it is used a lot.
Get out of my cabin. Henry went back to his cabin one morning (to check on his drying passport?) only to find that the key didn’t work. The noise generated by the unsuccessful attempts to enter brought the occupants to the door wherein Henry insisted that they were in the wrong cabin. They were not – so, was the problem that he was on the wrong side of the ship, the wrong deck – or the wrong cruise ship? He won’t tell us so we will never know. And those folks were allowed to stay in their cabin although he threatened them with a lawsuit if they touched his passport.
Right substance, wrong orifice. Ever accidentally put Preparation H instead of toothpaste on your toothbrush? Then you could identify with the screams produced when one puts mouth freshener in one’s nose and Snore Easy down one’s throat. However, Batya’s plutzing overrode any agonizing sounds. “The tears are still running down my face as I write this to you” she said, “I should write a book”.
Lead with your chin. When you are at sea, it’s dark at night. And when one has to go to the bathroom in an unfamiliar place after awakening from a deep sleep, watch where you’re walking. Like – don’t trip over your partner’s bed on the way to the conveniences. And if you do, don’t lead with your chin. Because if you do, you may plant it on a piece of furniture and do damage to your chin and/or the furniture. So, check out the photo of the four of us and see if you can see the rip on Henry’s chin. A Band-aid covered the wound for a couple of days but the furniture had to be destroyed. Henry’s neighbours gave us a list of the words they heard used in the middle of that night – quite impressive – some 40 expletives with no repetitions. My take on all this – when you get out of bed – it’s ‘feet first’.
All four of us had a wonderful time on that journey. In hindsight, Henry laughs at his antics and knows that we are laughing with him, not at him. He and Batya are now in Israel (middle of May, 2009) visiting Henry’s sister Susan and their family. Bon voyage, Henry and Batya – may our paths cross again before another 9 years pass.
And they took the opportunity to continue the tradition of recording their march through life with another 'famous' (in their minds) pose.
It all started in 1968 in Toronto, then 1979 and 1998 in Melbourne, and 2009 in Miami.
2008 January 1 - John Goldlust and Joe Grynbaum
(Our trip to) New York worked out really well. We stumbled into a fabulous location on the upper east-side in a ground floor duplex. A friend from Melbourne (who had lived in NY for two years a few years ago) joined us so we were able to split the rent and it turned out very reasonably - much better and cheaper than any affordable hotel. The weather wasn't too bad either - many sunny days and not too cold - the coldest times we had were on side trips to Toronto (-17), Washington (-10) and Hartford (-5). The last was to visit Joe and Patty Grynbaum for New Year which was great - we got to shovel the driveway as it snowed on New Year's Day - how I've been missing that experience - John Goldlust
2006 April 21 - Jack Katz and Harry Stuart
It's hard for women to keep a secret? Yes, according to Marlene Katz, who had to do so for 3 weeks until Harry 'dropped in' on Jack. They were in Denver to participate in their daughter's birth of their first child - the third grandchild for J & M. When Harry appeared at the door of their kids' apartment, Jack was beyond words (not typical, may we say). However, by the end of the next day, they were all caught up but promised a more frequent meetings in the future since they didn't think another 42 years was a practicable number.
2005 July 23 - Ghislaine Palumbo and Harry Stuart
Holding their first 40-year reunion, Ghislaine Palumbo aka Jessie Rosmarin sauntered down from her home in Connecticut dropping in on Harry & Elaine. Harry and Ghis had not seen each other for 40 years + or - 4 days
2004 June 20 - Ben Ezras visit the Golombs and the Stuarts
June 20, 2004 saw a reunion, in Philadelphia, of Henry and Ros Ben Ezra, David and Susha Golomb and Harry and Elaine Stuart. Henry and Ros were at the start of their American vacation; the others live in that area. Pictured from left to right: Harry, Elaine, David, Ros, Henry and Susha.
2004 March 7 - Marlene Katz visits the Stuarts
2002 June - Leah Feder visits the Stuarts
Marlene Katz, wife of Jack Katz (Melbourne), dropped in to Philadelphia early in March, 2004 as part of a world business trip. Pictured above, Elaine Stuart, Marlene, Harry Stuart. Marlene and Harry had not seen each for over 40 years. However, the record was held by Elaine who had never seen Marlene at all
In June of 2002, Leah Feder visited the USA spending time, amongst others, with Harry and Elaine Stuart in Philadelphia. Leah and Harry had not seen each other for 43 years - the last time when Leah made aliyah in 1959.
2005 June 3 - Aaron Ninedek, Eve Tauber and Harry Stuart
As part of their world tour to publicize Nudnik the Shmendrik Camper, Aaron and Eve paid homage to the principal publicist of the tour - webmaster Harry and his wife Elaine in Philadelphia in early June, 2005. (however, nothing happened until 2015.)