David Bruce: Create, Then Take a Break — Good Deeds, Language

Good Deeds

• On 5 November 2012 in Southfield Township, Michigan, Ty Houston, age 48, a home care registered nurse, was filling out his absentee ballot when a medical emergency occurred. He said, “I was filling out the form as were an elderly couple sitting at a nearby table. His wife, who was helping him fill out the ballot, asked him a couple of questions but he didn’t respond. She screamed for help, and I went over to see what I could do.” Mr. Houston laid the elderly man, who had a tracheotomy, on the floor and gave him emergency medical assistance. Mr. Houston said, “He was dead. He had no heartbeat and he wasn’t breathing. I started CPR, and after a few minutes, he revived and started breathing again. He knew his name and his wife’s name.” Then he said something that showed what was important to him. Mr. Houston said, “The first question he asked was ‘Did I vote?’” His wife said, “Your life is my concern.” The elderly man told his wife that two things were important to him: “That I love you and that I finished what I came here to do: vote.” He did vote, and he was taken to William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, after he had thanked Mr. Houston, who said, “It was God’s divine word that I be there. Originally, I was just going to skip the ballot and just go to lunch that day.” Clerk Sharon Tischler said, “It was definitely a 911 scenario. It was great there was someone around to render aid.”

• On Sunday, 25 January 1931, two days after Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) had died after a brief illness while on tour, a spotlight lit an empty stage—the Apollo Theater in London—and moved around as if seeking the missing ballerina while the orchestra played “The Dying Swan” in her memory. By the way, Ms. Pavlova supported her mother with a liberal allowance in her native Russia, but occasionally the Soviet government returned the money to her, saying that it would not tolerate “bourgeois charity.”

Husbands and Wives

• Artists Otto and Gertrud Natzler, a husband-and-wife team, worked in ceramics, and they lived in a part of California in which earthquakes were frequent—living there was not a good idea. During one earthquake, the lights went out and they could hear crashes coming from a closet in which they had stored many of their ceramic pieces. Of course, falling ceramic pieces were making the crashes. Gertrud listened to the crashes, and then she said to her husband, “Here goes our life’s work.” Fortunately, only a few works of art of art were totally destroyed. Many were unscathed, and others could be repaired.

• As an international celebrity, Plácido Domingo occasionally receives romantic letters from women who don’t know how devoted he is to his wife and three sons. One letter suggested that he and the letter writer ride away on a white horse “just like Don José and Carmen in the second act. After reading the letter, Mr. Domingo commented, “She has conveniently forgotten what happens to Carmen in the fourth act!”

Language

• Businesspeople need to take into account different cultures. Comic singer Anna Russell had an American agent, Eastman Boomer, but she toured frequently in England, necessitating that letters be written back and forth between Boomer and an English business manager. Boomer used to complain, “I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. He writes two pages about the weather, the London scene, and enquires after my health, and he mentions business in the last paragraph as though it were an afterthought.” Meanwhile, the Englishmen complained about Boomer’s letters, “What’s the matter with Boomer? He writes when he wants the tour, how much, yours faithfully. Hasn’t he got any manners?” Ms. Russell was able to convince the Englishman to write more about business in his letters to Boomer, and she got Boomer to throw in some non-business paragraphs in his letters to the Englishmen, with the result that the two men ended up liking each other.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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