Category Archives: Self-Referential

self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing, self-explanatory, self, self, self, …

RuPaul’s Hard Candy Christmas – Lawanda’s Favorite

Lady Lawanda’s Fine & Dandy Christmas Mix

I introduced Lady Lawanda, who was a talented singer, to a surprising number of songs that became special to her,1  including, most spectacularly, Anjani’s Blue Alert album2  and all things Cohen.

But she also became enamored of songs from musicians unknown or barely known to her, such as Southern Culture on the Skids (“Walk Like A Camel” and others), some of the more obscure Motown groups, Warren Zevon, Holly Cole, Bay City Rollers, Asleep At The Wheel, Lou Reed, Waylon and Willie, a batch of Twee groups, Modest Mouse, and, as I am fond of noting, many, many others.  Heck, there were any number of hymns3 she learned from me rather than through the church choir in which she sang for years. She was enchanted enough with the Camp CYOKAMO song to record a version with some of her choir colleagues that is now the only rendition of that classic available on the Internet. And, of course, without me she might never have known the rapture one can achieve only from listening to “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun,” “Men in Tights,” “Teenage Mutant Kung Fu Chickens,” “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” and “Cows With Guns.” Without my support, how would she have been able to distinguish between seven versions of “You Can Leave Your Hat On?”4

The point here is that Lady Lawanda heard a lot of my music, but her choices were, well, her own.

RuPaul

And #1 on her Christmas Hit parade was the cover of “Hard Candy Christmas” sung by RuPaul Andre Charles in his drag queen persona.5

I admit that Lawanda’s fascination with this song seems silly at first, but, on reflection, the lyrics of the chorus were, after all, a description of the way she lived.

I’ll be fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down

I can’t think of  a better way to  kick off the Heck Of A Guy Christmas/Winter Holiday Of Your Choice  Season.

Hard Candy Christmas – RuPaul

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

As a bonus, here’s a RuPaul holiday offering from his TV show, ” I’ll Be Home With Bells On”

  1. OK, I also introduced her to any number of songs about which she was less enthusiastic. Several unrequited efforts to enlist her as a fan of certain Grand Ole Opry stars from the 1950s come to mind. []
  2. Lawanda chose “Nightingale” from Blue Alert for her memorial service []
  3. Yes, hymns – I know a lot of hymns. Why does that seem unbelievable to everyone? []
  4. The original by Randy Newman and the covers by Tom Jones, Ty Herndon,  Joe Cocker, Garou, Eric Clapton, and Etta James. []
  5. I’ll post more from her Christmas Mix CD later. She was also wild for Jamaican music so I also made her a “Christmas Soon Come” Mix from which I may also post a song or two. []

Lawanda On My Mind – And My Flash Card

Here's Looking At You, Lawanda1

This post is a casual commemoration of Lady Lawanda, who was the woman in my life for the past three years and who died from breast cancer six months ago.2

Lawanda Surprises Me – Again

This morning, my new, hot shot flash card developed a glitch, necessitating the use of an old card to take a set of photos. When I transferred the images from my camera to my computer, I discovered two extra photos on the card in addition to those I had just taken.

One of those photos is atop this post. That’s Lady Lawanda walking down a hallway in my home, looking back over her shoulder at me. I think. I don’t recall taking this picture. There is nothing mysterious about that; I just don’t remember it, perhaps because it is a poor photo. Well, actually, the only egregious flaws are the focus, the color, and the exposure. And the red-eye glare. And the blurriness. Otherwise, it’s a dandy.

Nonetheless, it’s my conviction that that there is something special about Lawanda that shines unattenuated through the photo’s rather impressive technical faults.

A similar phenomenon has taken place many times in the past when I unexpectedly stumbled across something that reminded me of Julie.3 It is a testimony to Lawanda’s character and empathy that she was supportive during these events rather than threatened by them.

A Year Ago

I do recall this photo taken on the deck of my mother’s home in the Ozarks overlooking Table Rock Lake. That’s me on the viewer’s left and Lawanda on the right.

I can’t think of anything else to add that isn’t even more embarrassingly transparent.

  1. I find it necessary to note that “Lady Lawanda” was the blogonym she chose. []
  2. This post is also, secondarily, my apology for failing to publish any of the several posts I have in process that are based on information provided by others, thereby creating a degree of obligation on my part to use them in a timely manner. I can only murmur that I tried all day to work on a number of those compositions but got nowhere. The sun, I’ve heard, will come up tomorrow, and I’ll try again with the regular agenda. []
  3. Julie Showalter was my fiercely intelligent, wickedly sexy, and much beloved wife with whom I had a outrageously wonderful 20 year marriage that ended with her death in late 1999 from cancer diagnosed the week of our wedding. She was also a prize-winning author. Many posts on this blog are about her, our unlikely romance, and our life together, and still others consist of her writings. Information can be found at Julie Showalter FAQ. []

The Mystery Of The Move

Da Boyz and I moved into our new digs yesterday, a transition which actually brought to light several mysteries.

For example, how is it that two months ago, all necessary preparations appeared in place for the three of us to become independently-housed individuals on leaving our previous home, yet when I awaken on D-Day+1, I gaze upon my two offspring (or dead-on duplicates placed here for unspecified reasons by an alien race), who seem to believe they share my new address?

A related mystery is the spectacular disappearance of Mesomorph’s residence he was to share with roommates, a location and plan both said to be rock solid less than two weeks ago at which time I rented our current abode, a house that would be a tad tight but serviceable for Prodigal and me. The day before the move, Mesomorph’s much alluded-to 3  bedroom townhouse, along with the two prospective roommates, dissipated before my eyes, a feat which has precisely the credibility if not the hype of a Doug Henning-level vanishing stunt,

The preceding mystery does at least explain the enigma of why the movers identified one room in the new place as the “office-exercise area-storage closet-futon room.”

Of course, the all-encompassing Curse of the Progeny explains all of the above and far, far more. It does not, however, provide a solution to …

The Riddle Of The Spontaneously Self-replenishing Bottles Of Hydrogen Peroxide

In the course of the move, I uncovered no less than nine bottles of hydrogen peroxide in various sizes, all of which had been opened and all of which were at least 90% full.

That seems like a lot of hydrogen peroxide, especially given that the last time I recall using that household chemical was to cleanse a wound caused by a bicycle accident I suffered at age 8 and that I am quite sure I have never personally purchased a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in my life.

Further, all 9 bottles were discovered within the master bedroom and bathroom area, rendering my fall-back hypothesis for all local weirdness – i.e., the kids did it – unlikely since they rarely trespass in that sanctified area.

I suppose Julie1 bought them, although she was hardly the hoarding sort. And why hadn’t I noticed this vat of hydrogen peroxide before. And, why hoard hydrogen peroxide in any case?

Potential Explanations

I checked Wikipedia,for potential uses of hydrogen peroxide that  might, in turn, suggest the reasons we had somehow accumulated this lifetime supply of the stuff and found, among pages of possible ways hydrogen peroxide can be put into service, that

  • Diluted H2O2 (around 15%) is used to bleach human hair, hence the phrase “peroxide blonde”.
  • 3% H2O2 is effective at treating fresh (red) blood-stains in clothing and on other items. It must be applied to clothing before blood stains can be accidentally “set” with heated water. Cold water and soap are then used to remove the peroxide treated blood.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified hydrogen peroxide as a Low Regulatory Priority (LRP) drug for use in controlling fungus on fish and fish eggs.
  • Some gardeners and users of hydroponics advocate the use of hydrogen peroxide in watering solutions. They claim that its spontaneous decomposition releases oxygen that enhances a plant’s root development and helps to treat root rot (cellular root death due to lack of oxygen).
  • Laboratory tests conducted by fish culturists in recent years have demonstrated that common household hydrogen peroxide can be used safely to provide oxygen for small fish.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer effective in controlling sulfide and organic related odors in wastewater collection and treatment systems.
  • Mixed with baking soda and a small amount of hand soap, hydrogen peroxide is effective at removing skunk odor.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is used with phenyl oxalate ester and an appropriate dye in glow sticks as an oxidizing agent.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can be made to expand into a messy, massive foamy sort of sludge that apparently emits gases that stimulate raucous laughter in any victims downwind.

The answer became obvious once I found that high test hydrogen peroxide is used as a propellant in, for example, satellite thrusters and jet packs

Julie and Jet-packs – it’s a perfect fit.

Credit Due Department:

I found the marvelous photo atop this post at a site that didn’t credit its source (a favor I’ll return now) but did hot-link to it. That site was Mirage.Studio.7, a slick architectural blog, subtitled “Architecture is poetry,” which properly credits TESSELLAR,  a blog promoting “a new method of subdividing land for housing [that] produces better social, environmental and aesthetic outcomes, and in a way that also uses land more efficiently. In the series of blogs below, is an introduction to Tessellation Planning.”  Tessellar notes that the photo was taken by Rahmat Othman and accompanies an article in the New Straits Times, 15 August 2007, which explains, Farmer Abu Hassan Ahmad was so attached to his home; he decided to take the whole house with him when he had to move. ‘We had lived in the old site for more than 20 years, but now we want to be closer to my mother-in –law to take care of her.” The 56 year old farmer said several village elders got about 150 villagers to help with the big move.  Besides helping to carry the house half a kilometer to the new site, the villagers also took part in a “gotong-royong” (communal working together) to clear the land at the new location. It took an hour to move the house.2

The jet-pack photo is from Gizmodo and is part of a demo of an actual Hydrogen Peroxide-powered Jet Pack one can buy retail

  1. Julie Showalter was my fiercely intelligent, wickedly sexy, and much beloved wife with whom I had a outrageously wonderful 20 year marriage that ended with her death in late 1999 from cancer diagnosed the week of our wedding. She was also a prize-winning author. Many posts on this blog are about her, our unlikely romance, and our life together, and still others consist of her writings. Information can be found at Julie Showalter FAQ. []
  2. For a comparable community effort, read about the miracle of the Le Mans extrication at The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973: The Finale []

Say Goodbye, Turkey

Time To Hit The Road

This photo, taken just a few hours ago, may be one of the last shots of the Heck Of A House wild turkey published in the Heck Of A Guy log. Barring (more) unforeseen events, we should be moving to a temporary domicile (preparatory to absconding to warmer climes) in early September.

That means

  1. The back lawn bird, as well as the deer, the foxes, the coyotes, the possums, and an incredible number of squirrels and chipmunks will be left to the tender mercies of the new homeowners.
  2. The next 2-3 weeks will be filled with the joys of packing, moving, discontinuing utilities at one site and starting them at another, sending change of address cards, …

Which means, in turn, that posting may be rare for a while.

But I will be thinking of you.

Last Exit From Michael Reese – The Final Days

Statue of hospital benefactor, Michael Reese, in front of Main Reese

The Michael Reese Hospital Legacy

The long anticipated demise of Michael Reese Hospital, a stellar healthcare institution and a linchpin of Chicago’s South Side throughout most of the 20th Century, has become a certainty.

A deservedly dignified elegy for Michael Reese, where I completed my psychiatric residency in the 1970s, appeared last week in the Chicago Tribune, prompting me to write this leave-taking post.

An excerpt from the Tribune’s obituary, Congregation To Mourn Destruction Of Temple And Loss Of A Hospital, offers the philosophical perspective on which Reese was was founded and which sustained it thereafter:

“Jews came [to America] with the basic premise we would take care of our own,” said [Marc] Slutsky1 who practiced psychiatry at Michael Reese for more than 20 years. “Jewish hospitals became a manifestation of that.”

Another selection from that article indicates the role Reese played in healthcare and its importance to Chicago and the South Side:

In its prime, Reese trained more doctors, did more research, delivered more babies and provided more free care to the indigent than any other private hospital in the area. A doctor there developed the first incubator for infants. Another pioneered major innovations in cardiac care. When much of its middle-class Jewish clientele and constituents migrated to the suburbs, Reese struck a deal with Mayor Richard J. Daley to stay and rehabilitate the South Side.

Wikipedia lists other medical accomplishments attributable to Reese:

Louis Katz, the Medical Research Institute’s first full-time investigator and former president of the American Heart Association, was one of the first to explore the relation of coronary heart disease to cholesterol concentration in the blood. Cardiovascular Institute researchers Dr. Alfred Pick and Dr. Richard Langendorf, perfected the use of the electrocardiograph. Leonidas Berry was a pioneer in the development and use of the gastroscope. Dr. Samuel Soskin and Dr. Rachmiel Levine made important discoveries about the “gatekeeper” action in insulin, which is of fundamental importance to the understanding of diabetes. Dr. Albert Milzer and his research team were the first to kill the polio virus and make an effective vaccine against this debilitating virus.

The introduction to Meeting the Future, Honoring the Past2 by Dorothy H. Gardner enlarges on the origins of the Hospital:

Fortunately for humankind, care for the poor is among the many great traditions of the Jewish faith. Historically, this has often meant caring for “our own.” This was a primary motivation of the Jewish philanthropists who founded Michael Reese Hospital in 1879. No less important was securing an environment to train Jewish physicians denied admitting privileges and access to medical education elsewhere.

The History Of Michael Reese Hospital

Main Reese Building

Main Reese Building (Built 1907)

This summary of Reese’s founding and its early years, found in The Encyclopedia of Chicago, expands further on the hospital’s self-determined vision as well as laying out the pertinent factual data:

Among the many institutions destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was the hospital on LaSalle street (between Schiller and Goethe) established by the United Hebrew Relief Association. When Michael Reese, a wealthy real-estate developer, died in 1877 his will provided sufficient funds to build a new hospital. An 1836 Jewish immigrant from Bavaria, Reese had made a fortune in land speculation and silver mining by the 1850s. When the hospital was completed in 1880 Reese’s heirs requested that it be named in his honor and that it serve all of Chicago without regard to race, creed, or nationality.

The original Michael Reese building, located on the corner of 29th and Groveland Avenue, was replaced in 1907 by another, larger building on the same site. The hospital’s medical innovations included Julius Hess’s infant incubator (around 1915) and the first permanent incubator station for premature babies (1922). In 1946 Michael Reese Hospital along with a number of other area organizations formed the South Side Planning Board to refurbish the area surrounding the hospital, which had suffered considerable economic and physical decline. Like Illinois Institute of Technology and Mercy Hospital, Michael Reese preferred urban renewal to leaving the area altogether.

During my psychiatric residency at Michael Reese in the 1970s and my service on the Attending Staff for several years afterward, I became acutely aware that Reese was a flawed institution; at no time during my years there, however, did I detect any slippage from the mission that was embedded and integrated throughout the medical center. Reese took its role as benefactor to the ill very seriously and expected equal dedication from the clinicians it employed and those allowed to join its medical staff.

Of course, dedication to humanitarian goals is no guarantee of an organization’s survival – and may even be a cause of its decline.

Roy Grinker, MD and The Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Institute At Michael Reese Hospital

The Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Institute (P&PI) holds special meaning for me because it was the site of my psychiatric training and practice at Michael Reese.

roygrinkersr

Roy Grinker, MD

When I entered the residency, the head of P&PI was already one of the Grand Old Men of Psychiatry, Roy Grinker, MD.3 Rather than recount his numerous accomplishments here I will only note that he was an internationally prestigious and influential figure intimately associated with Reese, qualities apparent in this excerpt from The Biopsychosocial Model: Anything Goes?

After Meyer, Grinker (1900-1993), longtime chairman of the Michael Reese Department of Psychiatry in Chicago, can be seen as perhaps the leading thinker in this model. Roy Grinker, being one of Freud’s last analysands, had been trained not only in psychoanalysis but also in neurology and was an active clinical researcher whose empirical studies focused on the impact of war trauma on soldiers. He was highly critical of the orthodox evolution of the American Psychoanalytic Association and organized a rival group. For years, as the editor of the Archives of General Psychiatry, he had a major impact. He coined the term ‘biopsychosocial’ and emphasized its link to the then popular biological paradigm of ‘general systems theory’, a holistic view that saw reductionism as unscientific and that emphasized that the whole of a biological system is greater than its parts and that indeed no part could be understood except in relation to the whole.

Regardless of ones acceptance or rejection of the biopsychosocial model, Grinker’s leadership and the accomplishments of other senior psychiatric staff assured that Michael Reese psychiatry was treated with high regard.

Wexler Pavilion

Wexler Pavilion

When I arrived at Reese, Wexler Pavilion, then only a few years old, impressed me as a well appointed, attractive setting to practice outpatient psychiatric treatment. The awkwardness of the pie-shaped offices that occupied the perimeter of the building was a small price to pay for such relatively luxurious surroundings.4

Wexler Pavilion

The fate of Wexler Pavilion mirrors the course Michael Reese has taken. Lee Bey, who is responsible for the outstanding photos found in this post and who writes about architecture, among other topics, at Lee Bey: The Urban Observer, describes Wexler Pavilion in Michael Reese Hospital,

The empty circular Simon Wexler Psychiatric Research and Clinic Pavilion was designed by Chicago architects Ezra Gordon and Jack Levin. Built in 1962, this beautifully humane building was an outpatient facility with 35 interview rooms arranged around the circumference of the building. There is a skylight at the top and a research lab. Wexler was founder of Allied Radio Corp. His widow donated $150,000 of the building’s $450,000 cost. The photo below shows an interior staircase leading to the interview rooms. Peeling paint hangs from the ceiling and has collected on the floor.

wexler-stairs

Wexler Stairs: Those stairs connected the classrooms, administrative offices, and inpatient floors of P&PI with the outpatient offices of Wexler Pavilion.

David T. Siegel Institute for Communicative Disorders

Siegal Center

Shown above is the obviously deteriorating building, constructed in 1970, that housed the Siegal Institute, which was dedicated to the treatment of children with defective fundamental communication processes secondary to blindness, deafness, or profound childhood psychological disorders such as aphasia.

The Passing Of An Era

When my residency began, Michael Reese was, at least by my reckoning,5 in the final phase of its Golden Age.

The entire medical center was then populated with outstanding physicians, many of whom commuted from the North Shore suburbs to Reese’s South Side location rather than work at medical centers that were more conveniently located and which served a far richer and better insured clientele, and extraordinarily skilled and talented nurses. Patients and clinical staff displayed high morale. Residencies in psychiatry and other medical fields were accounted not just competitive but desirable.

On the other hand, it was obvious that Reese was the victim of worsening fiscal disadvantages which were primarily the consequence of serving a population with an increasingly larger proportion of impoverished patients who received charity care and patients funded by government assistant at rates so low that the Hospital lost money on every day of treatment rendered. Less money meant an increasingly shabby environment, reduced staffing, and delays in purchasing new technology. Tellingly, senior physicians could be heard complaining that not every resident planned to remain at Reese after completing training.

This was also a period during which many of Reese’s clinical leaders were retiring or seeking greener pastures at other facilities. That Grinker’s directorship of P&PI ended during my residency did not directly cause the problems but did epitomize them.

Then inexperienced with organizational psychology, I was surprised by the rampant, readily apparent hubris on display at Michael Reese, a quality which condensed and petrified as the problems worsened. Flexibility was nonexistent at administrative levels, archaic rules limiting innovation on the part of the private staff were rigorously enforced, and a bunker mentality prevailed.

In many ways, the situation at Reese in those days evoked nothing quite so much as the movie scenes of war correspondents reporting on a civil war in one or another Latin American or African nation, all the while residing, between assignments, in the country’s one remaining luxury hotel. Transiently safe within the surrounding chaos, they can, while the generator is working, drink parasol laden drinks and nibble on canapes within earshot of both the government’s reassurance that the revolution is all but quelled and the gunshots of nearby skirmishes marking the advances of the rebels.

This inward turning bravado should be understood in the context of the times. Healthcare organizations were, in many respects, insular kingdoms. Consider that it was typical for medical students who served residencies at hospitals other than those associated with their medical schools to be re-taught procedures, their senior residents explaining, for example, “This is how we put in a central line at Johns Hopkins/UCLA/Loyola/Michael Reese.”

Regardless, exclusively internal validation in the guiding of an institution is risky. As late as the latter part of the 1980s, when I knew several individuals still working at Reese, its free-fall was apparent – as was its insistence that reshuffling of old, failed strategies would be successful.

Over the past decade, I have had little involvement with Michael Reese, but from news reports it appears that a succession of increasingly desperate schemes to improve the Hospital’s finances have failed.

The corporate entities responsible for Reese have now officially informed the appropriate governmental agencies that the facility is no longer fiscally viable and will be closed.

The finale for Reese is likely to be the transformation of its 37 acres into the Olympic Village as part of the city’s bid for the 2016 Games. While this notion has been bruited about for several months, a formal plan seems to have solidified, as reported in the 8 August 2008 Trib:

Last month, Chicago proposed an $85 million deal for the purchase of the Michael Reese Hospital property from Reese’s landlord Medline Industries as a potential site for a 2016 Olympic Village.

The Final Goodbye

Michael Reese certainly deserves the regrets, the mourning, and the commendations for its past accomplishments. And I will join my voice to that chorus.

But, it is instructive to consider one more building on the Reese campus, again photographed and described by Lee Bey.

Laz Chapman Pathology Institute

Laz Chapman Pathology Institute

Excerpt and photo from Lee Bey: The Urban Observer – Michael Reese Hospital:

The former waiting room above–look at the dust settling on those red chairs like old ghosts–is the shuttered Laz Chapman Pathology Institute. The institute once hosted research on kidney and lung diseases. It had the very latest in electron microscopes, animal testing labs–even an autopsy room–when it was built in 1965. Laz Chapman, for whom the building is named, was CEO of H. Kramer & Co., a brass-smelting company in the Pilsen neighborhood. His estate funded the $400,000 cost of construction. And that painting, there, above the down staircase: I wonder if that’s Chapman himself looking out over the decay?

As the decrepit ruins of the Chapman Pathology Institute remind us, the demise of Michael Reese is also fittingly memorialized by Shelly’s poetic commentary on the desolation that mocks the hubris of the once great.

Ozymandias
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away
.

end3

Credit Due Department
The impressive photos in this post were taken by and used with the permission of Lee Bey, whose blog, Lee Bey: The Urban Observer, is worthy of perusal by anyone with an interest in Chicago or in architecture.

  1. Marc Slutsky, a central figure in the Tribune article, was a newly minted Attending Physician at Reese when I entered my psychiatric residency there. Consequently, we were colleagues for several years. []
  2. Meeting the Future, Honoring the Past by Dorothy H. Gardner. Judaism and Health Care: March/April 2000, Issue 14. []
  3. Anecdotes Grinker related to trainees about his analysis by one Dr Sigmund Freud are featured in two previous posts: Freud and His Damn Dog and A Freudian Trip. []
  4. Because mental health services typically do not require cutting edge, high priced technology that often calls for custom constructed spaces with esoteric requirements for power, protective devices, and other support, psychiatry and associated fields are routinely located in the oldest, least sophisticated areas of a healthcare facility. That was not the case at Reese. []
  5. I claim no special knowledge of the organization’s workings or insight into the future. I did perhaps have the debatable advantage of being an outsider (a Protestant from rural Missouri who knew little about Reese beyond its reputation for training psychiatrists) who was less influenced by the Reese mythology. []

Cue Leonard Cohen, It's Closing Time – HeckOfAHouse Sold

Closing Of HeckOfAHouse Sale Finally Completed – Apocalypse To Follow Later In Week



Readers may recall Best House Showing So Far, a post published almost four months ago extolling the virtues of the then-potential buyers who not only were personable, appreciative of the design and features of our home, laughed at my jokes, and attested to being interested in buying the place but also came bearing Harrods Peppermint Discs as a gift.

As it turns out, those folks did indeed decide, shortly after that showing, to buy the place. Price and terms were also quickly negotiated. And, the closing was set for early June.

That was the first tentative closing date that had to be rescheduled. Many others were to follow until today when, after an extraordinary series of delays, the closing – well, closed.

For now, we’ll celebrate with huzzahs all around. Details will follow at a later date.

Leonard, if you would, sir, take us on home …