Sunday, March 29, 2015

20-20 Vision

Yom rishon, 9 Nisan 5775.

Photo credit Coby Raz
That moment at Thursday night's 2014-2015 Championship game when the score is 18 to 10 in the last few minutes of a hard-fought but clean game -- on both sides of the field AND in the stands -- when you think: "Gosh, it would be nice if our boys make the extra two points."

Not just because a larger lead will allow the Judean Rebels' mamas in the stands to breathe for the first time in two hours. But because there would be a certain poetry in the winning score of the championship game being 20, in honor of Number 20.

And then it happens.

I choose not to thank God for the score, because the mamas on the Tel Aviv Pioneers' side were praying, too.

Rather, I'll thank Him that this game's injuries weren't too terrible, that my boys can still walk, that somehow even our hotheads didn't lose theirs. That people in the very packed stands -- maybe around seven hundred fans! -- were nice to each other for the most part, had fun with each other, enjoyed a great game together without forgetting that we're ultimately all on the same team.

This is the biggest deal I'll make of it, because you don't like to make a show of this stuff. But I'm really happy for you, Number 20, that the final score sang your song. Well done, MVP.

It was quite a game, ALL of my boys. Those who made headlines, those who made the headlines possible by doing your jobs, and those who were just there with your hearts when your bodies let you down.

I'm proud of each and every one of you.

Now -- go home and heal. See you next season -- on the gridiron or in the stands.

Coach Eastman, photo credit Walla

Special mention to my friend Keren Baht Heyn for being the friendliest and most helpful door- and elevator-person Kraft has ever seen. Good on ya, girlfriend!

Most photos used taken by Naomi Molly Eastman. Stills captured from video of game, which will hopefully be available soon!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Leonard Nimoy and My Summer Vacation

Yom rishon, 10 Adar 5775.

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Coming from a small town in the western United States, I can't drop too many names. But in my youth, I was privileged to meet and work briefly with Leonard Nimoy in a community theater production of the musical Oliver!

The local theater group worked for several weeks perfecting our production of the famous 1968 musical. As fearful of the stage then as I am now, I didn't try out for the show. Rather, I had the fun of working backstage with the makeup crew, learning everything I know (and would use for many plays and Purims after that) from one of Lon Chaney Jr.'s theatrical makeup students, Ralph Thompson. The play backstage was as fascinating as the one onstage -- and had the added benefit of changing every night!

My makeup teacher, Ralph Thompson, at work

That's me, aging one of our young actors for his part as Mr. Brownlow.

He seemed happy with the final results. :-)

Much work was done before Leonard Nimoy arrived to play the role of Fagin.

I was very impressed with all of the talent and work that went into the production, and waited anxiously with everyone else for the two weeks before the performance when we would finally get to meet Leonard Nimoy.

Some of the ladies in the cast whose natural beauty was enhanced by our staff

Mr. and Mrs. Bumble and Co. getting into character

Our Artful Dodger really got into his role!

"Letting our hair down" at a cast party. Yes, children, we really did dress and dance like that.

When he joined the cast, Mr. Nimoy brought a few subtle and not-so-subtle suggestions that completely changed the small-town community play into a very professional extravaganza. He recommended, for example, that instead of the "Who Will Buy" scene being confined to the stage, the various merchants should enter the theater from the rear doors, and parade down the aisles, "offering" their wares to the audience. Each enhancement was welcomed by the cast and crew, and we really gave the audience a wonderful show! Mr. Nimoy even took a few moments to give me some tips about makeup, as well as complimenting me on my work, with his trademark smile.

One of my high school "besties" posing with the great man for posterity

I grew up with everyone else in my generation with Mr. Spock as the conflicted "mixed-breed" son of a normal emotional Earthling mother and a logic-is-everything seemingly emotionless Vulcan father, and all of the interesting scenarios that character created for the Star Trek TV and movie series. Leonard Nimoy was a poet and a singer, and probably a very fine man. He was one of my Jewish brothers.

And for a few weeks during a summer between high school grades, my life was made a little more interesting by his presence.

Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy.

All photos taken by the writer or with her camera and her permission.