Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Places

Monday, April 21, 2014
As a followup to last week’s report on our Passover seders, Steve North, Stuyvesant ‘58, CCNY ‘62 and distinguished trial attorney, writes "Before the opera last Wednesday, Sue (wife) and I went to Rosa Mexicana (west side) for a pre theatre dinner (we avoid bread and pasta and ‘do the best we can’). To our surprise, they had a full printed Passover Menu insert with Mexican flavored matzoh ball soup, charosis, brisket etc. It was quite good and much appreciated."

Lately, I have been spending more time on Memory Lane than on the streets adjoining the Palazzo di Gotthelf. Now, it’s the 50th anniversary of the New York’s World’s Fair, as the New York Times abundantly reminds us.

As I think back, it strikes me that I visited the fair only once, even though it was only a little over 4 miles away, point-to-point, from my parent’s home in Woodhaven to the fair grounds, 5 miles if driving. There were two main reasons for my near-miss of the event. First, you couldn’t get there from there. The relatively short distance between those two locations was unnavigable by public transportation, that is by any reasonable use of public transportation. As best as I can reconstruct my 1964 travel options, it would have taken one bus, two trains and a long walk to cover the distance. Of course, I had no car then, the exploding Dodge sedan having come and gone. Second, by 1964, I had effectively relocated to Ithaca, New York as a graduate student. My visits to the City were few and far between, most often occasioned by major family events. So, the transportation challenge rarely presented itself.

My one visit, in the summer of 1964, was in the company of John Langley Stanley, my roommate and friend of blessed memory. John borrowed a car from his family in Westchester, picked me up in Queens, and drove us to the World’s Fair. I remember Michelangelo’s Pietà on display, an extraordinary gesture by Rome. Viewing was controlled by standing on a walkway that slowly moved past the statue that either was illuminated by a blue light or sat in front of a blue backdrop.

There was lot of Walt Disney at this World’s Fair. We saw the animatronic (a word and design created by Disney) Lincoln delivering a robotic Gettysburg Address. I admit that I was entertained by Disney’s "It’s A Small World," a ride through a pavilion populated by an international array of cavorting animatronic children, who blessedly did not have to be fed or taken to the potty.  We no doubt saw more, but my only other extant memory is the Löwenbräu pavilion, where John and I sat drinking beer for several hours, assuming the role of scholars-in-residence. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Melanie L. provided this bit of cartography.

Click to enlarge

If you can’t stop laughing after examining this map, read the following: And our poor ain’t doing so well either. On the other hand, for "well-off families, the United States still has easily the world’s most prosperous major economy."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
No bread, noodles, rice for 8 days. I must have lost 50 pounds, but I’ll return to fighting weight soon enough, I imagine. I started my return to rotundness at Jr. Sushi, 86A West Broadway, a tiny, new joint. Almost half the floor space is taken up by a sushi bar, cash register and prep area. Eight two-tops blanket the remaining space, forcing you into balletic moves in order to get across the room. Not seeing any gefilte fish on the glossy, laminated, picture menu, I ordered the deluxe sushi platter ($22.95), containing 10 pieces of tuna, salmon and yellowtail sushi, and a tuna roll, cut into six pieces. Everything tasted fresh. Because of the tight quarters and busy turnover, I did not dawdle although I was equipped with both the New Yorker and the Sunday Times Magazine. I consider the library function a very important part of my lunch time and I probably won't go back to Jr. Sushi during normal eating hours.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
I hastened from the courthouse at noon in order to meet Michael Ratner on the subway platform at Grand Central on the way to the Mets game, starting at 1 PM. Since I spent the whole morning conducting case conferences, lunch wasn’t on the menu. However, the baseball game was nourishing, in its own way. The Mets won 4-1, beating St. Louis, last year’s World Series Champions, in 3 out of 4 games. The seats, which I have for 17 of my 20-game plan, offer excellent sight lines. They are also entirely shaded, good news for hot summer days, but bad news on a day with gusty winds up to 35 MPH, resulting in temperatures at least 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the field. While the scoreboard said 61 degrees, I sat in my top coat over a coat and tie, with a fleece scarf and gloves on, never quite getting warm. 

Friday, April 25, 2014
Tonight, America’s Favorite Epidemiologist is taking a finalist in her My Best Husband contest to the Four Seasons, 99 East 52nd Street, for dinner, in honor of his recent birthday. The Four Seasons is thought to be her lucky companion’s favorite restaurant, and speculation is rife that he will order their roast duck, unmatched in any cuisine. Since he is a man of few words, we will only be able to imagine his delight in the food and the company.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Let My People Eat

Monday, April 14, 2014
I don’t know where you were on Saturday, March 29, 2014, but, after reading the report in yesterday’s Times about the wedding of Sofia Alvarez and Adam Squires in Baltimore, the bride’s hometown, I’m glad that I missed it. The couple sounds perfectly pleasant, she is a playwright and he is a graphic designer. Of course, I find it trying to go to a large wedding (over 200 guests) where you know few other guests. That usually induces a need in me for more than the usual amount of alcohol. However, an alcoholic fog might not have been sufficient to blot out one vivid image, one that emerges from the printed page almost as stunningly as if I had seen it in person. Quoth the Times: "The wedding dinner, catered by Clementine, a Baltimore farm-to-table restaurant, featured a whole roasted Whistlepig Hollow Double Cross pig, the head of which was displayed on a platter near the wedding cake." No dessert for me.

For sure, the touchy-feely left is able to come up with nonsense that can compete with our Domestic Enemies of Sanity. It seems that a bunch of students in and around San Diego State University and UC-San Diego have been publishing a raunchy and irreverent humor tabloid called The Koala. See The aggressively offensive publication has upset any number of people at the unofficially-affiliated institutions. My favorite comment in the article above came from a professor in San Diego State’s women’s studies department: "I dread when it comes out. It makes students terrified and uncomfortable and not proud to be here." Those poor kids. War and senility and earthquakes make me terrified and uncomfortable, but those San Diego student have to cope with "jokes about homosexuals, Jews, Latinos, African-Americans, cancer patients and injured orphans." I bet that they just can’t wait to graduate and go to work.

Lent and Passover have some crude parallels besides arising more or less simultaneously each year. They both involve changes to eating habits as a sign of devotion. Lent is five times longer, but Passover, which begins tonight, is far more restrictive. It’s well known that my adherence to Jewish ritual and observance is, to say the least, eclectic, for which, I believe, there is no word in Hebrew. One rule that I adhere to during Passover is No Sandwiches, bread being the Kryptonite of Passover, after all. So, for my last pre-holiday meal I went to Hanoi Sandwich, 224A Canal Street (August 14, 2013), for a delicious banh mi, the signature dish of the Viet Cong.

This tiny space, where as many people squeeze in to buy lottery tickets as to get food, has three small, knee-high metal tables and six chairs on the sidewalk if you care to eat in, that is out really. In any case, I had a Hanoi barbecue meatball sandwich ($5.50) on a just-warmed, foot-long baguette, containing "BBQ soy [sauce], chicken meatballs, herbs, carrots, pickles, special dark sauce, jalapeno." Yummy. I was careful not to drip anything on my nice duds, since the low table was about one yard below my mouth. An extra surprise is the decrease, yes, I said decrease, in price of sandwiches from $5.95 to $5.50 since my last visit. There’s the making of a religion right there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
As always, we are fortunate to have our Passover seders at Aunt Judi’s and Uncle Stu’s in Englewood, New Jersey, where they still make Jews like they used to. Some cynics might claim that my faithful attendance at these seders is entirely attributable to Aunt Judi’s cooking. It is true that, year in and year out, I come away rhapsodizing about her inventive (strictly Kosher for Passover) menu and its faultless execution. However, I think that the tale of the Exodus (with or without Paul Newman), a tale of liberation from slavery, is worthy of repetition by all regardless of what’s for dinner. But, when Aunt Judi prepares and serves fried gefilte fish, beef brisket (so tender that thinking about a knife was all that was necessary), baked chicken in French dressing with a panko crumb crust, confetti vegetable souffle, matzoh jam kugel (hard to explain, but a great favorite even with the fussy little kids), cous cous with onions, health salad, strawberry-rhubarb compote, brownies, chocolate chip mandel brot (always at the head of my class), cinnamon and sugar mandel brot, and wonderful meringue nut cookies (feather light and full of slivered almonds), as she did last night, I can’t help but be more pious than usual.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Snow! Snowing! Last night, when we completed our flight from Egypt, we found our car covered with almost an inch of wet snow and more falling. That was April 15th in northern New Jersey, not northern Saskatchewan. Actually, it was April 16th by the time we were able to breath the air of freedom in Bergen County, which made this weather phenomenon even stranger. Fortunately, I was fueled for the journey out of Egypt and across the George Washington Bridge by fried gefilte fish (I could have this with every meal I will ever eat), veal brisket, Aunt Judi’s Famous Sweet and Sour Meatballs, chicken with garlic in wine sauce, vegetarian kishke (an attempt to gentrify one of the classic artery-clogging dishes of Jewish cuisine), three mushroom pilaf, red cabbage salad, broccoli souffle, chocolate chip mandel brot, cinnamon and sugar mandel brot, zebra cookies (chocolate cookies heavily dusted with powdered sugar) and chocolate cookies. On both nights, fresh fruit salad and commercial cakes and cookies were also available to pick up the slack.

The College Board announced details of the revised SAT today. Most disappointing to me was that "[o]ne big change is in the vocabulary questions, which will no longer include obscure words. Instead, the focus will be on what the College Board calls ‘high utility’ words that appear in many contexts, in many disciplines — often with shifting meanings — and they will be tested in context." Those couple of lines themselves present a test of reading comprehension that, I fear, many of us would fail. I have to admit that I never heard of high utility words; it’s enough that I am coping with New York Giant quarterback Eli Manning’s high ankle sprain, although I’m not sure where anyone’s high ankle begins. Maybe high utility words are to linguists as high ankle sprains are to orthopedists? It is beyond cavil that the College Board’s penchant to agglomerate a bevy of ostensibly arcane, obfuscatory, or nebulous words and proscribe them to lexical desuetude is demeritorious. Fie!

Friday, April 18, 2014
What bitter medicine to end this otherwise festive week. The headline reads:
Enrollments Exceed Obama’s Target for Health Care Act
Its sickening to think that millions of people now have health insurance thanks to the Socialist-In-Chief.  They might actually go to doctors when something ails them instead of merely molting in private.  This also contradicts the compassionate prescription once offered by George W. Bush, a real American President.  "People have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room."  Will we recover?

Friday, April 11, 2014

40 Years, 4.5% and 44.98 Euros

Monday, April 7, 2014
I can’t think of a medical test that is enjoyable, or even slightly amusing. They may hurt you with needles. They may be life threatening, such as the cardiac stress test which is intended to see how long it takes to induce a heart attack. They may be introduced by an ugly 24-hour preparation period, such as a colonoscopy. Of course, the good results of a medical test should produce good feelings, possibly enough to outweigh the annoyance, inconvenience or discomfort of the test itself.

This morning, I had to take a visual field test to detect glaucoma, which may measure psychology more effectively than vision. With one eye covered by a patch, you place your head into half a dinosaur egg. You are directed to stare at a small light straight ahead. You hold an electric buzzer (silent actually, it doesn’t buzz). When you see little pinpoints of light anywhere in your field of vision, you press the buzzer. Eventually, a diagram of your hits and misses is produced, presumably showing how good your vision is, at least at detecting little pinpoints of light.

Each eye takes about five minutes, and as it goes on you get weary, hitting the buzzer because there should have been a pinpoint of light, maybe where there wasn’t. Worse is the challenge presented to a competitive sort like me, someone who usually did well on standardized tests even after an extended period of academic sloth and indolence in the normal learning environment. With my head inside that scooped out dinosaur egg, I know that I’m missing some flashes. I’m old and I’m there because of deteriorating vision. But, I don’t want to get a bad score. I want to hit all those damn lights; I want to produce a test diagram that looks as dense as the stars in the sky.

No physical pain, no hours of purging, no gasping for breath, but this is a rotten test.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Forty years ago today, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, thereby beating Babe Ruth’s record. Since my memory is one of the too-few-to-begin-with virtues that I cling to, I sat for a few moments and was able to recover the experience. I was living and working in Los Angeles, managing a staff of computer programmers and analysts teamed with a sales force. A group of us, almost all salespeople (our office employed the first woman in sales nationally, I think) went to the Cock’n Bull Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, opened in 1937 and closed in 1987. No, I am not kidding; I am not signifying that all that follows is bogus.

The Cock’n Bull was, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, "a mock British tavern favored by notables ranging from author Somerset Maugham and actor Richard Burton (who changed his favorite table each time he changed wives) to rock singer Rod Stewart and his soccer team." We favored it because it was noisy and crowded, poured good drinks and featured all-you-could-eat roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, with trifle for dessert. In those days before the existence of sports bars decorated entirely with Japanese television screens, Cock’n Bull was the perfect place to watch this important baseball game on one or two small television sets over the bar. I don’t think any of us watching (including other expatriate New Yorkers) were ever Atlanta Braves fans, an onerous label under any circumstances, but we were all rooting for Aaron. Fortunately, unlike some other celebrations that we had at the Cock’n Bull, all of us eventually made it home without the intervention of the LAPD.

A long walk got me to New Great Bakery, 303 Grand Street. It was new and a bakery, and fairly large. The left side of the joint was entirely taken by counters, with the hot food dispensed at the end. The other 2/3 of the space was taken by tables where one person sat in every other chair.

I had four buns ($2) filled with chopped indeterminate meat, and a dish of mei fun ($1.75), angel hair pasta, cooked with slight amounts of onion, celery, carrots and a few teeny slivers of meat. Put it this way, it would keep you from starving.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I was doing a little daydreaming and recalling the excellent meal that America’s Favorite Epidemiologist and I had three years ago at Taillevent in Paris, a Michelin 2 star restaurant. Out of curiosity, I looked up the restaurant in Trip Advisor and found that it rated 4+ stars of 5, and sat 62 out of 11,984 restaurants reviewed in Paris. Since I seemed to never have eaten at the 61 restaurants preceding it, I can’t rightfully complain, but they should be awfully damn good by comparison. I’ll try and close the gap as soon as possible.

What interested me especially were the 17 "Poor" or "Terrible" reviews of Taillevent, out of the 373 recorded, about 4.5%. What went awry? I noted that the basic flaw among the disgruntled, as opposed to the giddy delight of the Upper West Side’s Power Couple, was going for dinner, not lunch. Taillevent offers a priced fixed lunch at a fraction of the cost of its à la carte dinner prices. This is typically the case in the finest restaurants in London, Paris and New York, allowing you to splurge without insolvency. Some of the negative reviewers hit one thousand bucks at dinner for two, although serious wine drinking was likely involved. I know that I could not be happy spending that much money at dinner with less than a minyan.

One of the unhappy few wrote in Japanese. Google offered to translate and here is an exact copy of a portion of Google’s translation:

"I chose the menu degustation the plunge is also Japanese menu, because it is quite likely to take in a la carte. Potion of Ichi-sara but ... I was impressed big fine (was great more a la carte but), and Yes with cream or butter all dish out dish out, Cry large in taste and beautiful dish at first completely give up by the time of the main meat in our couple to admission."

If you use Google to look up ichi sara, you encounter this lovely young lady modeling the Ichi Sara cape, on sale at 44.98 Euros.

In conclusion, Google should not quit its day job.

Friday, April 11, 2014
Arthur Dobrin trekked in from Westbury, New York to attend a conference and give a poetry reading at Poet’s House, " a national poetry library and literary center," located in Battery Park City. Situated on the lower western tip of Manhattan Island, this area was still the Hudson River when Hank Aaron hit his record-breaking home run. However, over 3 million cubic yards of soil and rock excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center and other projects, along with sand dredged from New York Harbor, created this new space. Stuyvesant High School relocated there in a building that is just about everything that the old one was not.

Since Arthur, who has the dubious distinction of being my oldest (in duration) friend, would be in downtown Manhattan in daylight, this gave us an opportunity to have lunch together. Because he expressed a preference for Asian food, I chose Kori Tribeca, 253 Church Street, the very good Korean restaurant where the Boyz Club met most recently. An additional coincidence is that Kori is the name of his daughter from long before the restaurant opened. We both had the Bulgoki lunch box, ($13.50), thin sliced marinated beef, salad, glass noodles, one fried dumpling, a slice of omelette, potato salad (!) and rice, he white, me brown. This is the fourth time I’ve been to Kori and it gets more crowded each time, deservedly.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Opening Day and Closing Ceremonies

Monday, March 31, 2014
In spite of our delight at celebrating the birthday of Professor David today, this is still a very sad day. It’s the opening day for the New York Mets baseball season, and I’m taking off to go to the stadium. Although the Mets have an overall losing record throughout their 52-year history, they typically perform well on the first game of their season, 32 wins versus 20 losses, but that’s insufficient to have me greet this day cheerfully.

Today, and henceforth, if I wish to listen to the Mets on the radio, enjoying particularly the professional broadcasting skills of Howie Rose, I have to turn to WOR, 710 on the AM dial. There are six radios in the Palazzo di Gotthelf, four under my total control, and one in shared custody. My four radios are tuned to WFAN, 660 on the AM dial, with occasional excursions to ESPN radio, 98.7 on the FM dial. At one time, there was never a reason to leave WFAN. It broadcast the Mets, the New York Giants, the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks, with Steve Sommers, the Schmoozer, doing the overnight broadcasts.

During 1993-1994, when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and the Knicks were one game shy of winning the NBA championship, I had the good fortune to be unemployed much of the year, allowing me to sit and listen to my radio (tuned to WFAN) most of my waking hours. That was during the 23-year period that I lived without a television set by choice. Of course, when there was a lull in the sports schedules, I had ample time to read, often a book a day. Marriage, among other benefits, brought a television set (two actually) back into my life. However, these days, even after replacing the original two television sets in my bride's dowry, I still turn on the radio to catch at least part of a game when I cannot sit still in front of the television.

Over time, the Rangers and Knicks left WFAN, migrating to ESPN radio. A few months ago, and here's the source of my great sadness, WFAN announced that it was going to be the radio voice of the Yankees. I understood the attraction of broadcasting the deep-pocket Yankees, but I was quite distressed. Word of the Mets new destination was delayed, at first. I hoped that they were destined for ESPN, which would require me to return to WFAN only for the Giants, usually on Sunday afternoons. Then, the cruel news. WOR, radio home of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, two of the most prominent Domestic Enemies of Sanity, would broadcast the Mets. Now, besides the challenge of moving about three different radio stations on four radios during the year, there was the prospect of tuning into Limbaugh or Hannity because of a rain delay or other scheduling mishap.

For the time being, I'm tuning my four radios to ESPN, at least through the end of hockey season, and will simply attend Mets games in person. Of course, if a lot of free time becomes available as a result of eschewing the Mets on the radio, I can always return to reading or even talking to my wife.

You might say that Leo Bretholz was my first client as a lawyer. I never met him and only learned about him in the obituary printed in the Sunday Times, after he died at age 93. He left Vienna as a Jewish teenager, fleeing the Nazis, and made his way to Belgium. Once the Blitzkrieg overtook almost all of Western Europe he dodged and weaved through Jewish ghettos, Roman Catholic religious residences, and ditches in the woods. His luck lasted only so long and he was caught in France and put on a transport to Auschwitz. With another prisoner, he managed to leap from the train after prying open a small window, and kept on the run for another two years. Once the war ended, he came to the United States, raised a family and owned a couple of businesses.

In 2000, Leo Bretholz became a plaintiff in a federal class action suit aimed at SNCF, the French national railroad system. That’s where I come in. When I graduated from law school in 2001, the legal job market was collapsing along with the dot com economy and the towers of the World Trade Center. As a result of some research that I did in a third-year seminar, I was asked to work as a researcher for a group of lawyers mounting a class action suit against SNCF for its role in transporting French Jews to their death in Auschwitz. We had evidence that SNCF took on this role as business-as-usual, showing no reluctance to cooperate with the Nazis. SNCF’s most appalling conduct, to my mind, came once the Nazis were thrown out of France and General Charles DeGaulle established a new regime. SNCF billed the new government for the rental of the boxcars in which Jews were packed to the point of suffocation.

My job, for which I was promised compensation if and when we ever recovered damages from SNCF, was to research the US law that could be used to bring SNCF into an American court. I found ample support for our position, but the federal courts held that a federal statute enacted 31 years after the end of WWII eliminated the grounds to prosecute SNCF. Until passage of that statute, SNCF’s conduct was vulnerable under US law. In our case, the courts applied retroactivity even though unmentioned in the statute itself, although that’s not always the rule.

So, Leo Bretholz told his story to schoolchildren in the Baltimore area where he lived, testified before the US Congress and state legislative committees, but only heard from SNCF that it was following orders. I got a job with the New York State court system at about the time that the SNCF suit was first rebuffed in the federal courts. Since then, my role has been to stand between plaintiff and defendant, acting only on behalf of the judge who has to decide between the contesting parties. Therefore, Leo Bretholz became my last client, just as he had been my first.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Melanie L. sent me an article providing another measure of our success in the war on the poor, identifying how far the prevailing minimum wage goes to paying rent by locality. Metropolitan areas are the reporting unit, and the Big Apple doesn’t even make the Final Four. San Francisco, Honolulu, Silicon Valley and Orange County, CA come before Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), the closest that my neighbors and I get to thorough economic cleansing. In fact, New York City isn’t even in the Top Ten.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. issued an opinion this morning that said: "There is no right in our democracy more basic than the right to participate in electing our political leaders." Was this eloquence in behalf of turning back attempts to limit voting and restrict access to the polling place? Gee whiz, no. He was in the process of striking down limits on campaign spending. You see, everybody, rich and poor alike, has the right to spend millions of dollars to elect our political leaders. According to Roberts, spending limits "intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise ‘the most fundamental First Amendment activities,’" that is, to rent a politician. Of course, some of those "citizens" are multinational corporations who don’t pay taxes like you and me ( or even have jury duty.

I went to the Lobster Boat Restaurant, 11 Mott Street, when it first opened (June 3, 2010). I enjoyed the food that I ate, although I turned back some unusual side dishes – garlic bread with everything? The service and hygiene, on the other hand, were well below par. Today, accompanied by Ilana M., my courthouse colleague, I returned, hoping for a more consistent, high level of performance. And, we found it closed.

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Not easily deterred, I returned to the Lobster Boat, alone. This turned out to be a mistake, not, however, because of what I ate, half a small fried chicken ($7.95) that really seemed roasted, but because of what I didn’t eat. Going alone and not very hungry, I skipped the multi-course one person lunches ($12.95-16.95) still including garlic bread, and had no reason to venture into the more-elaborate two person lunches (around $30.95). The chicken, served with a piece of lemon and a small dish of sauce, made of rice wine, soy sauce and garlic I’d guess, was good and satisfied my limited hunger.

I was the only customer in any of the seven booths, one large round and one large square table, so service was prompt. All the tables were covered by black oilcloth printed with an overlay of yellow squares. Unlike my experience with the red checked oilcloth on my previous visit, just after the restaurant opened, the oilcloth was free of the sticky residue of a past meal.

Friday, April 4, 2014
Finally, a farewell to Bill Tong, who had a big funeral at lunchtime at the Wah Wing Sang Funeral Corp., 26 Mulberry Street. I couldn’t help but notice this as I headed to Wo Hop, 17 Mott Street, for the second time this week. There were two bands playing as the very expensive- looking, burnished copper coffin was carried to the hearse – the six-piece Italian group, 3 trumpets/cornets, 1 trombone and 2 drums, and the four-piece Chinese group, 1 cymbal, 1 gong and two men playing brass horns that looked like reduced-size vuvuzelas. That’s a first. I’ve seen each group before, the Italian group much more often, oddly enough, but never the two together. Not surprisingly, there was no attempt to coordinate the music-making.

By the way, I don’t think that Bill Tong was the right name, although that’s what I was told by a Chinese man standing in the crowd. After I ate, I went back to the funeral parlor and looked at the list of names posted on the front door, its cast of characters, so to speak. None approximated Bill Tong and the Internet only turned up the death of Bill Tong, 81, of Canon City, Colorado on March 3rd. That Mr. Tong was buried without services, at his request, according to the Canon City Daily Record. Now that I think about it, maybe the man on the street misunderstood my question and responded with his own name, Bill Tong. I hope that’s not bad luck.