Disability and Elderly Issues

Architecture, Political Power & Money

Disability and Elderly Issues

The complete Nocturns of Chopin

Disability and Elderly Issues

Frank Sinatra’s “My [Our] Way”

Disability and Elderly Issues

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments


Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love 
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove. 
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wand’ring bark, 
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle’s compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 

If this be error and upon me prov’d, 
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Disability and Elderly Issues

The racist obscene remark that drove President Ford to remove his Secretary of Agriculture

“On October 3, 1976, President Ford accepted Earl Butz’s forced resignation after a racist, obscene remark became public knowledge. On the airplane coming back from the Republican convention in Kansas City, Pat Boone had asked Butz why the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, could not attract black voters. (Pat Boone is a singer most famous for ‘Love Letters in the Sand’; for wearing white buck shoes and for preaching to teenagers on the virtues of sexual continence and wholesome family life.) Butz answered,

‘I’ll tell you what coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; a warm place to shit. That’s all.'”

page 79 The Politics of Food by me

Disability and Elderly Issues

LSD Goddess Joanna Harcourt-Smith


Timothy Leary


Reprisa (sp?), Ca


Dear Joel

Asking people if they believe in a Supra Human Plan. Some say– Yes, it is all written own in the Bible. Koran, Book of Mormon etc the Vedas etc.

Some say– no ,the human mind evolves, progresses, unfolds

others reply — wuch speculations are futile–have no plan, there is no progress, take


Timothy Leary wrote me from his jail cell. The adjoining cell contained Charles Manson. Shortly after I received the letter, I visited Timothy next to the vending machines.

I had spent months squiring around the beautiful, French speaking socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith who was next to Timothy in Kabul, Afghanistan when G.Gordon Liddy, on urgent orders from Richard Nixon, arrested Timothy..

I regarded the interview as one last chance for Timothy to demonstrate that he was not a total and complete horse’s ass.

Immediately after Joanna’s press conference, where ( except for a handful of aspiring reporters, Imwasmrhe only one there who actually published anything. I was covering Tim’s arrest by G? Gordon Liddy, the worst of Nixon’s Watergate bad guys for the Village Voice. Only, after submitting an article on Tim’s plight to my editor Ross Wetzeon, Ross wrote, “ I guess this is interesting Joel. But Timothy Leary is yesterday’s news. Good luck finding someone who cares about an old hat story.”

Meanwhile, in SF, where my friends— attending Greatful Dead concerts in Golden Gate Park—had not a clue that the Sixties were over expressed fascination at Joanna whom SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen referred to frequently as “Joanna hyphenate”

The only reason I had stayed around the Leary entourage was Joanna with whom I was head over heals in love.

Joanna and I had made love while peaking on Owsley’s LSD.

At the time, Timothy, Joanna, David Phillips and I held to a mystical belief, as it were cannon law, that one could not tell a lie if one were on LSD. So, the test in the red road of Folsom prison, Joanna and I embraced. Then Joanna, who the week before had described in detail how much she had enjoyed making love to me listing descriptions of the orgasisms she had achieved with my assistance, Timothy embraced me. Go figure, There we were all three peaking on acid right here.

After that, there was no turning back. It was Timothy or me.
Foolishly, Joanna picked Timothy.

My best friend David Phillips, who died last year wrote the following about Timothy, Joanna and me:

“Joel Solkoff came to live with me in my apartment on Fell Street; we moved to Mullen Avenue and took lots of acid, and then he moved to a house on 24th Street. Meanwhile Tim and Rosemary fled Algeria to Switzerland, they broke up, Rosemary left for Sicily and further exile adventures with John Schewel, Tim hooked up with the adventuress Joanna Harcourt-Smith, was busted with her in Afghanistan, and was brought back to Folsom, a high security California prison near the appropriately named hamlet of Represa in Sacramento County. And here’s where my involvement in the Leariad resumed.

Joel was at this time trying to make a living as a free-lance journalist, and got the idea of doing a story on Tim. I think he sold the idea to Oui, a glossy semi-pornographic magazine started in 1972

Oui was a Playboy product, with naked women but also with intellectual pretensions; Jon Carroll, formerly of Rolling Stone and now (2010) a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, was the editor. To do the story Joel needed to visit Tim, but access to Tim was controlled by Joanna, who had gone through a form of occult “marriage” and called herself Joanna Leary although Tim was still legally married to Rosemary. Joanna had relocated to San Francisco to agitate for Tim’s release, or so she wanted it to appear. Nothing was ever quite what it seemed with Joanna.

I was at home on Mullen Avenue when Joel called me, at 2 AM and asked me to come right over to his 24th Street apartment and talk about getting Tim out of prison.

So I went over, and there was Joel with Joanna and some other people. They had various wacky ideas about petitions and political pressure and so on. I patiently explained the legal situation to them, as far as I knew it. I didn’t tell them anything client-confidential  indeed I didn’t know anything specific to Tim’s case that had not been either in the news or in publicly filed court papers.

Most of what I told them had to do with the legal system, which they did not understand very well, and with the futility of that kind of approach in almost any criminal case (and especially this one) that has already gone to judgment, which they did not understand at all.7 As I recall there was some slight hinting about extra-legal means for releasing Tim – I said at once I would have nothing to do with that, and advised them not to have anything to do with it either.Joanna was a very formidable personality. She was brilliant, she was beautiful, she had enormous psychic and sexual power, and she spoke English with an elegant aristocratic European accent.

She was accustomed to using her charisma to get people to do what she wanted. What she wanted at the moment, or so she said, was to get Tim released (did she get him arrested also?), and she quite
openly bent all efforts to that end. I’m not sure what she wanted from Joel – maybe a favorable story, or maybe a chance for herself or Tim to use the pages of Oui to make a public statement.

Joel wanted Joanna to give him access to Tim [ which Joanna did in spades]– in theory he didn’t need her permission to visit Tim, but he did need Tim’s agreement to see him and this Joanna either controlled, or said she did.

When Timothy was alive his favorite song was: “Timothy Leary is Dead.”

Disability and Elderly Issues

Rethinking Jabotinsky who helped create the State of Israel

Disability and Elderly Issues

Remembering Jean and Marvin Staiman and their love of Israel

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, US, June 2, 2011,

22 Sivan

For years, congregation Ohev Shalom has benefitted from the services of Rabbi Herbert Horowitz. Rabbi Horowitz  was a friend of my good friend Marvin Staiman. Marvin died on January 17th (my mother’s birthday) at age 93. Marvin died not long after the death at age 92 of his wife Jean. Marvin died four months after Jean’s death. 

Marvin and Jean were married for over 70 years–an accomplishment  praiseworthy beyond my ability. Following the first commandment in the Five Books of Moses, “Be fruitful and multiply,”. Marvin and Jean Staiman were fruitful. Consider, they had six children: Keith, Cynthia, Jeffrey, Richard, Jonathan, and Rebecca. They had 19 grandchildren; {I merely have four grandchildren,} Marvin and Jean also had 19 great grandchildren Indeed!.

Rabbi Howowitz told me over the phone on Tuesday: “The death of Marvin and Jean has left a void for each and every member of Congregation Ohev Shalom.”

Photo of Jean Staiman by me

My relationship with Jean stemmed from the fact that Marvin did not read books; Jean did. {Marvin read newspapers, magazines, and Jewish publications–lots of them}.


 I had been standing next to the Bemma (platform/altar ) at the synagogue Marvin’s grandfather had helped found (back when Peter Herdic was alive). I handed my book on surviving cancer to Marvin and he handed it to Jean. That is when I first met her. 

 Upon meeting Jean for the first time, she smiled. It was the kind of smile you might wish your grandmother was here to smile at you, During the time Jean  and I became friends, Jean was extremely hard of hearing. When I visited her in their home on Grampian Blvd (a house with a far too narrow driveway), I would pull out my reporter’s notebook and we would write back and forth.

Writing on the sabbath is forbidden. The Jewish Sabbath begins on Friday evening to the end of the day on Saturday  (until one can see three stars in the sky); {For candle lighting times please see Congregation Ohev Shalom’s excellent website Congregation Ohev Shalom: )].

To repeat, writing  is not permitted in a Orthodox synagogue on Friday night and S.aturday So, Jean and I could not communicate with words. We would sit next to each other at Saturday lunches and smile and occasionally we would touch each other’s shoulder. At first, it felt strange but after the first time, communicating in this way–this non-verbal happy way–seemed natural.

Our bond stemmed from our love of books, especially books that have something to say. I had published a book on my experience with cancer and surviving it. The reason I know she loved it is because she said so to Marvin and two of her sons.

Photo of Marvin Staiman by me

The void my synagogue is experiencing as a result of Marvin’s death concerns those actions Marvin regarded as essential to his view of what it means to be a Jew. For one thing, being a Jew for Marvin meant praying to God in Hebrew and Aramaic (the language of Jesus). The second requirement, even more significant than Hebrew prayer, is working to preserve the State of Israel. Eretz (land of) Yisrael (Israel).

Marvin remembered vividly the Israeli 1948 War of Independence about which Wikipedia wrote: “The 1948 (or FirstArab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day, and a military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May.

“The first deaths of the 1947–1949 Palestine war occurred on 30 November 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews.There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Arabs and Jews. Arab opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the 1944–1947 Jewish insurgency in Palestine. In 1947, these ongoing tensions erupted into civil war following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the Special International Regime encompassing the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.”

Although Israeli government officials compare the current Israeli Hamas War to 1948–nothing could be farther from the truth. In 1948, there emerged true stories of the difficulties involved. Victims of the Holocaust, those fleeing Auschwitz and the other camps, landed on Israeli soil, were handed Sten guns, the often problematic guns the British left behind. Many died, especially on the road to the Old City of Jerusalem. Gone without a trace.

Marvin’s success at raising funds for Israel in 1948 was critical to the effort which still seems like a miracle that the Jews won. Today, as a consequence of the 1967 Six Day War, Israel emerged as an important military power in the region. In six days, Israel conquered the skies on day one and next took over access to the Old City of Jerusalem–since 1948 the Jordanian government had prohibited access to our holiest spot, the Western Wall of the Second Temple. In the South, Israeli soldiers in tanks changed tank warfare forever, causing the United States to create M1 tanks to replace the tanks that won World War II. In the north, where most of the Israeli casualties took place, soldiers scaled the Golan Heights and might have reached Damascus if they so desired

The Israeli air force, widely praised for winning the day, consisted of French Mirage jets–French because the US was not yet willing to sell jets to Israel The American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).emerged from an organization that was primarily a news source with an excellent newsletter to a lobbying group whose power has been compared to the liquor and alcohol lobby.

At the aftermath of the Six Day. War, French President DeGaulle refused to sell Israel’s air force spare parts. The US then provided Israel with a US built air force, It would seem that the US will continue to provide needed weapons.That may not be the case. There are reports that some Israeli military authorities believe Israel will be helped by receiving Congressional  permission to buy bombs that demolish bunkers, like the ones Hamas uses to make terrorist strikes.

To make sense of this, asking myself how would Marvin react to the news that for 11 days Israel was at war with Hamas. Now there is a fragile and badly needed cease fire. Therefore, I called Richard, Marvin’s son, who runs the family business, to have our synagogue respond to the crisis posed by the Israel Hamas War and the cease fire that has followed. Stay tuned.


Finally, consider Williamsport attorney Fred Holland’s observation: ““Marv and Jean were two lights who shone brilliantly as one, providing illumination of all good things in Williamsport, and anywhere else they were.” I  could not put it any better.-

Joel Solkoff, US Editor, e-architect.UK, member Ohev Sha;o,.Cherry Street, Williamsport

Copyright 2021 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved”olumns