"Sand in my shoes... "
"Sand from Havana... " Remember that song? (I used to perform it.)
Mazel tov to ALAN GROSS on his recent release (after 5 years) from Cuba.
Surely it was a Chanukah miracle!
"Father of the Nuclear Navy"...
HYMAN GEORGE RICKOVER was a United States Navy admiral who directed the original development of naval nuclear propulsion and controlled its operations for three decades as director of Naval Reactors. In addition, he oversaw the development of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world's first commercial pressurized water reactor used for generating electricity. He is known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy," which as of July 2007 had produced 200 nuclear-powered submarines, and 23 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and cruisers, though many of these U.S. vessels are now decommissioned and others under construction.
In 1973 Hyman Rickover was promoted to four-star admiral after 51 years of commissioned service. With his unique personality, political connections, responsibilities, and depth of knowledge regarding naval nuclear propulsion, Rickover became the longest serving naval officer in U.S. history with 53 years active duty.
So why am I writing about Hyman Rickover, you ask?
I recently learned that he was Jewish. He was born Chaim Godalia Rickover in Poland at the time it was ruled by the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. His parents later changed his name to Hyman, also derived from the same Hebrew (meaning "life.") He did not use his middle name Godalia (Yiddish for "God is Great.") but when required to list one for the Naval Academy oath, he substituted George. The family name, Rickover, is derived from the village and estate of Ryki, located within 100 kilometres of Warsaw.
Hyman made passage to New York City (and later to Chicago) with his mother and sister Faygele, in 1906, fleeing anti-Semitic Russian pogroms during the Revolution of 1905 that killed over 3,000 Jews, joining his dad who had made earlier, initial trips to become established. Decades later, the entire remaining Jewish communities of Ryki and Makow Mazowiecki (his birthplace) were killed or otherwise perished during the Holocaust.
To conclude, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover was a flamboyant maverick, a unique American hero. When few thought it possible, (then a captain) Rickover harnessed the power of the atom to drive the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, whose trip under the polar ice pack was one of the great adventure stories of the 1950s.
Later, he built the world's first nuclear aircraft carrier and the first commercial nuclear power plant.
Today, when questions about nuclear power have arisen again, we would do well to consider the story of the man who started it all, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover.
(I am so very proud of this Jewish genius!)
The very best...
And possibly the best looking, (that's why my spouse always accompanies me when I have a dental appointment), I've written about Dr. SCOTT G. COHEN recently but received a phone call last week from LUCILLA WEINROTH, telling me she went to him also and was "so pleased" (and she also agreed about his looks!)
Dr. Cohen, originally from the Maitland/Winter Park area, had an early desire to pursue dentistry after completion of braces treatment as a teenager. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University followed by his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Kentucky in 2003. After completing the Periodontal Residency Program at the University of Washington in 2006, he returned to Winter Park and joined the practice of Drs. Chace and Horvat.
Dr. Cohen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, which is the highest level of professional achievement in periodontics. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Dental Society of Greater Orlando and is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, Academy of Osseointegration and Florida Dental Association. He has lectured to local dental societies and is engaged in numerous hours of continuing education courses each year.
His greatest joy is his growing family... his wife, SARAH, and 2 sons, JACOB and ZACH.
(Okay, Lucilla, I can't handle competition. I found him first!)
Where is our Alan?...
We used to hear our own ALAN ROCK each morning during the week hosting his popular radio show on WUCF FM 89.9. But lately there's been a change.
News from the radio station serving the Central Florida community for 35 years as a listener-supported service, "The Alan Rock Morning Jazz Extravaganza" will now be heard only on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.
(Thank goodness I found you, Alan. I love your program!)
True, I'm not a terrific cook... well... I'm not a good cook, so Irv takes me out to eat often. (Who can blame him?)
Just recently, we went to Bob Evans Farms restaurant on Semoran Boulevard in Fern Park, where we were treated royally by waitress, CARRIE IRELAND. She reminded me of my mom when I was younger. She never let me or Irv leave anything over, packaging food and drink for us to take home!
And speaking of my mom, our waitress at the Winter Park Steak N' Shake restaurant on Semoran Blvd, MICHELE HARRINGTON, was so loving, charming and warm, I wanted to take her home with me. (She felt like a family member!)
Speaking of family...
As I write this column, my spouse, Irv is in Winter Park Memorial Hospital, division of Florida Hospital.
For the past three days he has been cared for by a terrific guy, SAMIR PATEL, a registered nurse assigned to help him with everything. Samir is there during each day to make sure Irv is taken care of and I am grateful.
(You are showing me up for sure, Samir!)
Also, before Chanukah, I wrote an article about Chanukah toys I found at the Pet Supermarket on Aloma Avenue, Winter Park. They were the cutest and perfect for my Jewish dog, CHLOE. (The Gefilte fish said "Oy Vay" when pressed or bitten into and the draydle sang "The Draydle song when pressed or bitten into!)
I complimented the manager of that store, DAVID MOORE, a great guy who made sure those special doggy toys were available for "babies" like my canine.
One for the road...
Speaking of dogs, I recently was told this joke by my friend, Cantor ISAAC KRIGER (who, with his wife, ELIZABETH, visited Irv in the hospital.)
The rabbi wanted to show off his dog to his friend, so he threw a ball and told his dog to "fetch."
The dog responded immediately by complaining: "I don't like living with the rabbi. I don't like the food he gives me... I never get to eat ham, never get to eat pork and I have to daven on Saturdays instead of playing with my toys"... and on and on.
The friend said to the rabbi, "Why doesn't the dog obey?"
The rabbi responded: "He's hard of hearing. He must have thought I said kvetch!"