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April 19, 2018

Dear Fellow Members,

   "April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain." My good friend, Robert Hempel - from Massapequa High School's English Department - recently sent me this citation. He knows I'm a sucker for good imagery and the works of T.S. Eliot. I was a bit torn - truth be told - for I nearly led with Twain's "In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." Ah April, so misunderstood.


    I knew a girl once, named April. She absolutely hated her name. "What's the problem," I asked. "My parents named me after a rain-soaked month...that's the best they could do?" "That's a lovely time of the year to be born," I suggested. "I agree," she replied, "but I was born on December 24th." "Look...consider yourself lucky...according to Florida birth records (trying my best to cheer her up)...there was a girl born in Pensacola on April 1, 1908 and her parents named her April Fool Harris. "Good grief," she shot back, "with a name like that...you wonder about the trajectory her life took." Well, there is a version of an English proverb that says, "Give a dog a bad name and you might as well hang him!" I guess she was hoping her name would be Noël.