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Brick or Treat, anyone?? 11/3/2017
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Our eldest son was still with us on October first. Winding up a fantastic nine-day visit, it was his last day before heading back to his home in LA.

He writes for “Star Trek Discovery” and that evening we watched Episode 3 together. The show airs on Sunday evenings at 8:30 EST on CBS All Access, and I’m hooked. I can’t be accused of partiality for recommending it, especially since the series has just been renewed for a second season: it’s really, really good!

The following morning, we were up at dawn to drive our Californian to the airport. We had had such a great time and are counting the days until he and his lovely gal come to visit again at Christmas. It will be here before we know it, right? I can’t wait!

It was my turn to host our monthly bunko gathering two days later. I went to town with a Halloween theme, decorating the house with a whole cast of witches, goblins and carved pumpkins. Most of the usual gang attended, but my sister was away visiting her son and family in Denver. We missed her and a couple of other regulars,of course, but we are lucky to have great subs. It was a fun night, if I do say so myself :)

Later that week, I performed with Abe and our band at a private function. The charming, witty master of ceremonies was the Most Reverend Bishop Roger W. Gries, now retired. What a personality! During the event, he would interrupt us with “commercials” in the form of updates on the Indians’ baseball playoff score. I had seen him on a few previous occasions in a much more serious role, celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation. All in all, a truly lovely person.

Five days later, Ed and I attended the wedding of our dear friends’(Scott and Sandi) daughter’s wedding. It was held in Cleveland’s historic Park Lane Ballroom. The bride was beautiful, the groom was a sweetheart, the speeches were moving and we had a grand time dancing and catching up with friends.

The following week, we drove down to Akron with friends, Tom and Corrina, to attend a wonderful dinner, hosted by another friend, John. It was great fun. I even sat in and sang some Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight songs (after a bit of prompting from our host) with the two very talented musicians providing the entertainment for the evening.

Two days later we attended another wedding! The groom was the son of our friend and Congressman Jim Renacci, who is running for Governor of Ohio. He and his wife, Tina, are terrific people. We made new friends with our tablemates, danced to a rocking band, were touched by emotional toasts and enjoyed a fabulous dinner. And oh yes, the bride and groom formed another beautiful(of course)young couple!

The next day we were invited to a bicentennial celebration of the Bahá’i faith by our friends, Hari and Jinous. The members were very welcoming. The Bahá’i philosophy is a unified world order of all faiths, which sounds like an appeasing concept, don’t you think?

The day before Halloween, I rehearsed with Jim Brickman and singer John Trones for this year’s “Comfort & Joy” Holiday Tour. Following rehearsal, we dressed up in Halloween costumes for Jim’s Facebook Live video streaming event, “Brick or Treat.”

Here’s the cast: a retired Jim Brickman complete with dreadlocks, playing in a piano bar in Jamaica. Bob, our sound man as a rock guitarist with improbably long pink tresses, also retired and living in Jamaica. Lastly, John and I played a newlywed cowboy and cowgirl couple. Owners of a pumpkin patch back home, we were on our honeymoon in Jamaica, and somehow ended up in the piano bar with the other two characters. The whole thing was totally silly! There were moments when I couldn’t hold back the laughter. We sang Christmas carol melodies with Halloween lyrics, such as “Deck the Patch” instead of “Deck the Halls” and played around with some of Jim’s classics like “The Gift” and “Destiny”, in a similar fashion. By the end of the video, a nostalgic Jim had resolved to come out of his Jamaica retirement to tour at Christmas again, with all of us in tow. Which leads to the 2017 “Comfort and Joy” Holiday Tour, coming soon to a city near you! If you missed this madcap video, tune into Jim Brickman’s Facebook page to share the fun!

The next day was Halloween, and Ed and I were invited by our friend, Bev Warren, president of Kent State University, to watch Kent’s Golden Flashers football team, from her “President’s Suite”. Sadly, the home team lost to Bowling Green University, but we savored the opportunity to catch up with Bev, of whom we are so fond.

It was only 38 degrees outside, and we were also delighted to watch the game from her warm suite. We dined on a wonderful buffet of flank steak, barbecued chicken, chili, pumpkin soup, a macaroni bar, salads and a variety of desserts. It was a fun night, but the best part was spending time with this indefatigable dynamo. She has been guiding the university to great things under her leadership and we are so proud to know her. It was a lovely way to spend Halloween and the perfect ending to another "social" month.

And now, what can I say but “Happy Thanksgiving”, until we meet again here next month!