"Where did I park the car?..."
This is a question I asked my spouse once, as I was coming out of a shopping center. "Where did I park the car? I don't remember. I think I may have Alzheimer's disease," was the complete question I asked him.
He responded, "It's not forgetting where you parked the car that indicates Alzheimer's... it's when you forget what to do with the car!"
(He was right!)
On the subject of Alzheimer's disease, the following comes directly from the "Health & Science page of the current issue of The Week magazine:
"Alzheimer's disease could be prevented, and perhaps even cured, by boosting the brain's immune system, a new study suggests.
In a study involving mice, Stanford University scientists have succeeded in reversing Alzheimer's-like symptoms with a drug that boosts microglia, cells that control the brain, clearing it of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful deposits.
When microglia ages, a protein called EP2 stops them from operating as efficiently... resulting in the damaged nerve cells associated with Alzheimer's.
Researchers found that by blocking EP2's activity, they can enable the microglia to function normally again. When they genetically engineered mice not to produce any EP2, the rodents didn't develop any signs of Alzheimer's similarly, when researchers blocked the protein in mice that already had the neurodegenerative disease, it reversed their memory decline and confusion.
The team is now hoping to create a compound that blocks EP2 without producing any adverse side effects. "Microglia are the brain's beat cops," Stanford University's KARRIN ANDRESSON told The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). "Our experiments show that keeping them on the right track counters memory loss and preserves healthy brain physiology."
(So, sweetheart, WHERE DID I PARK THE CAR????).
I got so many phone calls...
People (some I knew, some I have never had the pleasure of meeting but said they knew me from this column) phoned me to tell me that I missed a fabulous show at the COS Seniors meeting at Congregation Ohev Shalom recently.
A musical duo, KERENA and PAUL MOELLER performed to everyone's delight, Paul on guitar and Kerena on cello. I was told by the callers that they sounded like an entire orchestra.
(I am beating myself up about missing this performance but it couldn't be helped.)
Rest assured, I will do everything in my power to be at the next COS Senior's meeting on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 1, at Congregation Ohev Shalom, 613 Concourse Parkway South in Maitland, beginning at 2 p.m.
Once again, music lovers will be treated to a terrific program. Professional harpist CATHERINE WAY will perform.
Catherine Way has been a professional harpist for 25 years. Prior to moving to Orlando from Chicago in 1998, she performed for a Broadway-bound show tour from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to the Broadway stage in New York City. (Kennedy Center entertainment? There is NO better.)
Catherine performs for special events for Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and solo concerts at The Villages. She also teaches private harp lessons and plays for hundreds of special public and private events and weddings throughout the Central Florida region.
As usual, after the musical performance, refreshments will be served... and still for the low cost of $5, COS Senior members; $8, all others. (Of course, you can bring your friends to this memorable event!)
There will also be raffles.
Any questions? Phone BERNY at 407-767-6763. For directions, phone the synagogue at 407-298-4650.
(I will remind you of this event as the date gets closer.)
Speaking of a delight...
And also saying "There is no better," I sincerely feel that there was no better than Irving Jacobson, my friend who passed away recently at almost 105 years old.
Irving was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1910 one of six children born to Sarah and Adolph Jacobson. He left Germany for the United States in 1927, coming through Ellis Island looking for a better life. In 1931 he met Jean Linial and fell in love. He so often referred to that time of his life as beautiful and complete. Two years later their first daughter was born and four years later a son came along. In 1940 the family moved to Miami where he and his brothers bought a handbag factory. Stylecraft Handbags was the family business. In 1949 (our own) JOY WINTER was born and the family was complete. Irving came to Orlando to live with his daughter, Joy, and son-in-law, LON, 11 years ago. He often said that they gave him the strength and happiness to go on in life.
All who knew him know what a gentleman he was with a great sense of humor. According to Joy, "Papa leaves us with a legacy of love, strength, and perseverance. He leaves behind 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild "
Incidentally, Irving's legacy continues. I recently heard from Joy again. She wrote: Our daughter, JESSICA, and son-in-law, PETE, are expecting their second child any day now... another boy. Lon and I will be driving to Atlanta to be with them. The circle of life."
(The "circle of life" continues indeed!)
Do you speak Yiddish?...
I recently heard from a lovely lady, ESTELLE WHEELER of Congregation Ohev Shalom. She wrote:
"Yiddish is such a colorful language that my program committee decided that it would be great to bring 'Mamaloshen' back to life.
We were able to get JOAN POHL to lead the class and MIMI SHADER at the piano to lead some Yiddish melodies. This is simply a fun session. There is no reading or writing. One does not have to know even one word of Yiddish. We laugh, we sing, we try to make phrases etc. There is no charge and it is open to anyone interested in bringing Yiddish to life.
Our next session will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Ohev at 10 a.m.
I'm hoping to establish a set Wednesday for the class. Ohev's calendar is usually free of other meetings or activities on Wednesdays. I'm waiting to hear back from Joan to see which Wednesday of the month works best for her."
(Wednesdays may work for me as well! I would love to learn Yiddish. My mom was born in Montreal, Canada, so I heard a lot of French spoken while growing up... and I married into a Sephardic family.)
One for the road...
Benjamin woke up one Saturday morning in a bad mood. When he came down to breakfast, he put on his yarmulke and sat across the table from his visiting sister, Sarah.
"I'm not going to shul today!" he said to Sarah emphatically.
"Yes you are." Sarah replied calmly.
"No I'm not... I don't think I really want to ever go again!" Benjamin said with obvious irritation. "The people down there don't like me, they ignore me sometimes... they don't appreciate me at all... and I won't go back."
"Yes, you will go today, and you will continue," said Sarah with confidence. And, I'll give you two reasons. Number one, you're 45 years old... and Number two, you're the rabbi!"