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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 28, 2011 / 25 Adar I, 5771

How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When visiting the dentist or getting my hair cut, my policy is to concentrate on listening rather than talking. It is best to avoid distracting or offending someone who can immediately hurt you. This is especially true when Louis cuts my hair. Louis believes liberal conspiracies are everywhere; the Food Network is banned from his shop. He is always armed (including when he cuts hair) and competes in quick draw competitions. Last week Leslie cut my hair and since she admits to watching the Food Network our conversation is a bit more relaxed. Leslie was excited and delighted; her son is driving home from school for Spring Break. I made an exception to my policy and told her my Spring Break story.

When I was in college and Spring Break rolled around no one offered to send me to the Mexican, French or any other Rivera. Thanks to the ride board (pre Craig's list and Facebook) students and others would form groups that shared expenses and driving duties for trips over break. The good news was that my hometown was Miami, so it wasn't hard to find a group. The bad news, jumping into a car immediately following exams and driving for 22 hours straight with a group of exhausted strangers crammed into a car is awful, at best. Depending on your fellow drivers could be risky. My salvation came when I acquired Virgil the Volkswagen. Virgil wasn't just a rear engine, air-cooled, economy car; he was a poor man's Porsche, a sporty, Karmann Ghia. Virgil was my friend and on long trips the rear heating vents made great cinnamon, baked apples. I made the trek by myself on occasion, but when friends joined me the 22 hours of driving was a road trip adventure. Trips with friends reminded me of our family car trips. My father loved to stop and show Waynesboro, Georgia, "The Bird Dog Capitol of The World" and other oddities. But his true love was crops. We would pull off the road and stop in the middle of nowhere to do an unannounced self-tour of an orange grove, check out peanuts in the fields or examine how the cotton was growing. My father never met a road-side produce stand he didn't like. We bought in bulk, and loaded our family car up with baskets of strawberries and bushels of corn.

One Spring Break, Virgil and I sailed down the interstate headed home when we came upon a produce stand offering 8 watermelons for two bucks. It was a bargain, and as I knew my father would love it. I stuffed them into the back seat and the strapped two into the passenger seat. When Virgil and I reach Ocala, Florida we were caught in one of those awful afternoon thunderstorms that attack central Florida. It was a real "gully washer", a deluge with limited or no visibility. Virgil did his best to brave the storm but it was too much. There was a loud scrunching sound and the windshield wiper on the driver's stopped working. There was no point doing anything risky. I pulled over to the shoulder on the right side of the road and turned on my emergency flashers to wait out the storm.

Less than five minutes later there was an explosion as another car smashed into us and hurled Virgil down the embankment. There was broken glass everywhere, the rain was pouring through where windows used to be, it was all at odd angle because the front of the car rested on the embankment about four feet lower than the rear of the car. But there wasn't any rear of the car. I looked over and saw the car battery sitting on the back seat and had one thought, "Virgil is dead." I had a bruised and sore stomach, a bleeding busted lip, a chipped tooth, a bit of limp, but no serious injuries. Virgil had protected me. By the time I climbed out the passenger door and climb up the embankment, the rain had stopped. There were lots of muddy puddles and a thick cloud of humid, steamy fog hung over the pavement. In the middle of the median coming out of the other car was a large, hysterical woman pointing and screaming at me. I figured I would go over and see if she was all right, but as I approached her she backed away in horror. She must have been in shock because the closer I got the more she was crying, wailing and screaming. She shouted, "Your insides, your insides!!" I yelled back, "I'm okay. Are you all right?" She wouldn't let me get near her. She just kept pointing at me and screaming, "Your insides are showing. You're hurt bad." It was only then I look down and realized that I was covered from my neck down with pieces of watermelon. It took some time to calm her down and reassure her that the red stuff wasn't my vital organs, but fruit.

The tow truck driver gave me and my suitcases a lift to nearest airport where I changed my clothes. I called my parents asking them to pick me up when I arrived. I told them I had changed my mind and was flying rather than driving. After they picked me up and saw I was all right I told them about the accident, and the watermelon. Whenever I have watermelon it reminds me to count my blessings and realize that sometimes even the worst looking things, that upset us the most, aren't as bad as they appear.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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