Trying Times

Posted By on October 8, 2008

I’m settling into retirement—can’t help calling that even though it’s by no means the end—in peculiarly unsettling times. Work isn’t easy to get, though I seem to be on the verge of securing a part-time job, which I’m happy for. The days unfold erratically; some crawl, some whiz by. Pearl the dog is getting bigger and sweeter, I’m reading a lot (don’t miss Amitav Ghosh’s “Sea of Poppies”) and becoming more involved in politics, particularly now that Sarah Palin is looking more and more like Joe McCarthy. Time for a change indeed.

Karen, meanwhile, is going through hard times because her newspaper, The Plain Dealer, is going through hard times. She finished her graphic novel, “Thick Through the Middle,” and has sent it to various publishers for consideration; she’s been working with the Aids Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, creating her first graphic brochure (it’s great); she’s exploring and anxious and it’s scary. She’ll do fine; she’s resourceful, multitalented and productive.

I’ve been pretty busy. Last month, I took my first trip as a hospitality-trade freelancer, attending the Lodging Conference in Phoenix for Asian Hospitality, a London-based magazine I’ll contribute to regularly. I also developed a piece on the RGM Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania for International Watch magazine. It was great to work on it with Rich Roberts, the man who got me to China, Dubai and quite a bit of Europe in the past two years. (Wyndham Worldwide laid off Rich a month ago in what seems like a corporate downsizing with a vendetta at its heart.)

What’s the point of this, you ask? Nothing particular, just what may be a last shot before the Nov. 4 election. I’m working for Obama-Biden—I’m a volunteer coordinator in the South Euclid Blue Knights—and am beginning to anticipate an Obama win, which would be fantastic. Watching Sarah Palin at Florida rallies brings me back to when my father taught at Ohio State University in the ‘50s when being an intellectual, let alone a foreigner (he was German), let alone a Jew, was way suspect. McCarthyism ruled in the very early ‘50s, when I first became aware of politics. Palin suggests McCarthyism is not far from ruling again. McCain? He could be contained, he would negotiate; for a Republican, he’s not totally closed-minded. But Palin? Really scary, and only a heartbeat away.



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About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: