Wednesday, October 10, 2007

proud of my little bro

What's a blog for if not to share some family triumphs?

In my father's email, the one containing remarks about standing in class, I also got news that my little brother Sean is in Berlin to play cello with an orchestra there. I have yet to learn which orchestra it is (Dad's email didn't say), but I think it's great that Sean's gotten an international gig. Sean's dream-- last I checked, anyway-- is to work someplace like New York City in an orchestra like the Met or the Phil, or to work in an equivalent orchestra in Boston. I hope he gets his big break; he really is a pro at what he does.

In the meantime, I'm envious that he's in Berlin. The last time I was there (the only time I was there, in fact) was in November of 1989, a week after the Wall came down. Checkpoint Charlie was still functioning at the time; I imagine it's little more than a relic now. That was the year I was living and studying in Switzerland (1989-90), and it was a momentous occasion on several fronts. You might recall that, in December of that same year, Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife were caught trying to flee the coup in Romania; they were put against a wall and shot on Christmas Day. 1989 was the year that Salman Rushdie was fatwa'ed, and it was also, quite memorably, the year of the Tiananmen Square massacre. A 1989 event I consider the polar opposite of Tiananmen was the election of the eloquent and very pro-democracy Vaclav Havel as president of what was then Czechoslovakia. Movie-wise (I tend to remember years in terms of which movies came out when), 1989 gave us Tim Burton's "Batman" and Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." A lot was going on that year.


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