Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

I am writing this note Saturday morning November 9, 2019. I intend to spend part of today writing my book. Nine of 14 chapters are in good draft form.

Before working on Chapter 7, I want to share a few thoughts from today.

Berlin Wall Comes Down

Thirty years ago today, the Berlin Wall was opened.

Over the next months, the enslaved populations of Eastern Europe freed themselves from Russian and Communist dictatorships. The bi-polar world, as we understood it, ended. The imminent threat of nuclear war was lifted. Some commentators wrote about “the end if history.”

I was in Philadelphia during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Nuclear missiles fired by Russia at Philadelphia and other US cities was a real possibility. Later I could not leave the US without permission because of my security clearance. Free travel as we know it today was unthinkable. Marek Horak came to the US and sailed on CHARIAD for a few years before going back to the Czech Republic with an American wife. Could not have happened with the wall up.

In Havana, we saw what a country looks like after living under socialism and communism for 50 years. The people are wonderful, but the 500 year old city is crumbling from neglect because the government owns and runs everything and no one has an incentive to do anything.

Old red car in front of old building in Havana Cuba

Doing the Right Thing

One of the lead articles in Boston press is about Mass General Hospital settling a lawsuit by a surgeon who it fired for blowing the whistle on bad practices in the operating room that could endanger patients. The surgeon is Dennis Burke. You may remember my Escape from Mass General email some years ago describing my knee replacement at MGH. Dr. Burke was the celebrity surgeon who performed my surgery. I could not have had a better outcome thanks to Dr. Burke who ignored everything I asked for about the surgery. He did what was right for me and for MGH.

Last Step

You got my report on putting CHARIAD to bed for the winter. Steve Perry captured my last step off the mighty CHARIAD as we tucked her in last weekend.

Color Explosion

Fall foliage is a moving feast in New England. The vivid colors begin in northern Vermont and New Hampshire and come south to Mass and Conn. I have taken several afternoons to capture the colors. I have not had time to go through the images, but here is one I can share.

Fall red leaves and green grass photo by Rick Williams

In Boston last night, we had our first below freezing temps. This is a weekend for bundling up and getting out for a walk or hike.

Wherever I am reaching you, I hope you will find joy in your life today.

My best,