Harvard, Riyadh, and Las Vegas

My brother’s funeral is now scheduled for Friday, with the viewing on Thursday night.  So I’m going to carry through with my lecture on the campus of Harvard University on Monday.  (We’ll see how I do; I’m intermittently a basket case right now.)  Here’s the poster that’s evidently been put up around Harvard:

I was planning to call my brother on Monday night to report to him that I’d just given a lecture out at Harvard.  He always got a kick out of my travels, speeches, and adventures.  (Sometimes he even came along, just for the fun of it.)

I once called from al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and caught him, by chance, while he was sitting with his wife in the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.  We marveled about the miracle of modern communications.  I was amused, too, by the fact that Las Vegas and al-Riyadh are synonyms.  Both — the first in Spanish, of course, and the second in Arabic — are equivalents of English the meadows.  Yet neither one is even remotely “meadow-like.”

This is a meadow:

This is al-Riyadh:

And this is Las Vegas:

Having spent time in both places, I’d have to give Las Vegas the edge in the scenery department.  It’s surrounded by mountains, for one thing, while al-Riyadh . . . isn’t.  But neither one precisely fits my notion of a meadow:

Kenneth would probably have gotten a kick, too, out of the typo in the description of me on the Harvard poster.  For many years, just down the street from the family construction business in southern California that he took over from my father, a sign advertised “Edna Piccolo’s Pooldle Grooming.”  That extra “L” will get you every time.

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