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The Things That Remind Me Of Mom

My mom’s been gone for a decade, but I am still reminded of her frequently. Any good day in her favorite comic strips, Rose is Rose or Pickles brings her back. Political news that proves her favorite aphorism, “The Masses Are Asses.” The pictures of her in my office.

I was surprised, and did not expect, that this news from last week would make me yearn for her: Mort Sahl, Whose Biting Commentary Redefined Stand-Up, Dies at 94.

There were very few records in my home when I was a boy―nearly all of them selected by my mother. Broadway cast albums for West Side Story and Sweet Charity. My brother’s 45 rpm record, Paint It Black. The RCA stereophonic test record with Prokofiev’s Lt Kije Suite and Rag Mop as demonstrations. Vaughan Meader’s The First Family and two Mort Sahl albums, The Future Lies Ahead and Live at the hungry i. It was from Sahl that I learned a cherished and oft-used quotation, “If you maintain a consistent political position long enough, you will eventually be accused of treason.”

I listened to all of these albums dozens, if not hundreds of times; they are part of who I am. I only saw Sahl live once, at the Rheem Theater in Moraga, California, in September 1985, but he was still sharp, and funny, and still had his red v-neck sweater and rolled-up newspaper.

My mom loved him, I loved her, from whom I got much of my sense of humor and joie de vivre. Another of our connections is gone.

Science Made Simple

From the PBS Newshour on Oct. 15:

Dr. Celine Gounder:

Well, think of it like maybe a mug shot of a criminal. If you have two different photographs, one from the front, one from the side, you have a better chance of recognizing that person out in public than if you only had one snapshot.

And, similarly, these vaccines give your immune system different ways of looking at the virus. And so your immune system has a better shot at recognizing it down the line.