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Sweet Memories of Lew

Gabe Oppenheimer’s essay, “Lew’s Place,” on Tendler’s restaurant [“Elsewhere,” Mar|Apr 2015] brought back loads of memories. A group of us from the Penn Law classes of 1962 and 1963 used to eat there once a week in the ’60s until, sadly, it closed.

Gabe didn’t mention how good the food was. It was typical New York Jewish deli fare, such as corned beef special (corned beef, coleslaw, and Russian dressing) on rye, with a full-sour dill pickle on the side. The old-time waitresses could take drink and sandwich orders from six customers at the table, not write them down, and place each person’s drink and sandwich in front of him without having to ask, ‘Who gets what?’ It wasn’t until you asked for the check that the waitress would write it all down (again without asking) and add it up without a calculator.

One thing Gabe got wrong: the restaurant was not on the corner of Broad and Locust. A drugstore was on the corner. Tendler’s was the next building to the north, and it will never be forgotten.

Robert J. Stern L’63 Merion Station, PA

… And Dad

I enjoyed the article on boxer Lew Tendler’s restaurant. It reminded me of my dad, Benjamin Broselow C’32, who was the first Jewish captain of the boxing team at Penn in 1931.

Robert J Broselow Res’68 Southland, TX

Kelly and Cohen Wasn’t Bad, Either

I was delighted to read Michael Zuckerman’s review of Harold Bershady’s memoir, When Marx Mattered [“Arts,” Mar|Apr 2015].

It was a fascinating piece, and brought back memories of hanging out with Harold on Locust Walk, discussing everything from philosophy to the latest Sociology Department gossip.

But what’s with the dig about “that awful Kelly and Cohen deli”?

K&C was one of the best places back then to eat, meet, and greet, and they had the best hot fudge in the district!

Esther Lafair CGS’76 Philadelphia

Cut Meat to Reduce Food Waste

It’s heartening to know that Penn sponsored a conference on food waste, and it was great to read about these issues in “Food Waste Nation” [“Gazetteer,” Mar|Apr 2015]. I was also glad to read the closing paragraphs that raised deeper and more problematic issues about feeding a growing population sustainably.

What was missing in the article, however, was mention of perhaps the biggest contributor to both food waste and environmental degradation: meat production. The conversion of grains and legumes into animal flesh and milk is shockingly inefficient and wasteful. Estimates range from 2-20 pounds of grain fed to animals to produce a single pound of meat. The great majority of that grain is sprayed with pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers that pollute our waterways and cause ocean dead-zones. Water usage in meat production is also tremendously inefficient and threatens our supply of fresh water in aquifers.

Even the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has declared animal agriculture to be a bigger contributor to climate change than transportation. If we care about food waste, feeding a growing population, and ensuring a healthy world for all people and other species, the best thing we could do is shift to a plant-based diet and grow food directly for human consumption.

Zoe Weil C’83 G’83 Surry, ME


Skip the Guilt

It was over the roar of my garbage disposal that I decided to pen a respectful counter-offering to “Food Waste Nation.” While I agree that commercial food purveyors should seek out new efficiencies to minimize the discarding of edible foodstuffs, I also know that such efficiencies are only universally developed and implemented when there is a measurable financial benefit to the enterprise. Campbell’s Soup’s good deed of feeding fruits and veggies deemed unfit for decent folks to the poor and homeless works well as a tax write-off (landfills don’t give tax receipts).

As for individual habits of consumption vs. waste, for anyone to feel some obligation or regret over not finishing their veggies is to burden oneself with unnecessary guilt. We can all shed our gastronomical remorse, because there are no practical means of sterilizing, repackaging, and returning our leftover culinary delights to the food supply chain. Lastly, the only way to truly ensure a nation of plate cleaners is via something just north of famine. Food shortages have proven themselves empirically to ensure that plates are licked clean. Guaranteed.

Jim Scott G’98 Mt. Laurel, NJ

Legalize (and Tax) It!

Regarding “Down by Law” [Mar|Apr 2015], part of the reason inner-city neighborhoods in America are being destroyed is the insane “War on Drugs,” which is being inflicted mainly on people of color.

Recreational drugs should be legalized starting with marijuana. This will also bring in a good deal of tax revenues as is happening in Colorado.

Daniel Nussbaum II C’63 Rochester, NY

More to Think About

The item, “Into Thin Air,” [“Gazetteer,” Mar|Apr 2015], proposing a link between decreased cancer rates and living at higher elevations, is interesting, but other areas that need to be explored include:

1. Chemical combination of pollutants with oxygen or other components of air, or just heavier molecules of pollution or otherwise, in the atmosphere with the oxygen molecules, so that these heavier molecules that remain closer to sea level of earth are being breathed at lower altitudes.

2. Oxygen density may be correlated, but not causal.

Myrna Agris CW’63 GEd’73 GrED’79 Houston, TX

Speakman Seminoles Forever

I read with sorrow the death notice of Guy Blynn W’67 [“Obituaries,” Mar|Apr 2015]. Guy was a prominent member of the Class of 1967. We were dormitory friends in Speakman Hall during our freshman year in 1963-64. Our eclectic group of student-athletes enabled us to win the dorm intramural football championship, and we lost only in the final All-University title game to the Delta Tau Delta fraternity champs. We were all very proud of our accomplishment.

Guy was the team leader who named us the “Speakman Seminoles.” He vowed to write a column and memorialize our team before we graduated, if he ever made sports editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian. True to his word, three years later, in the spring of 1967, he kept his promise and commemorated our team in an article called “The Seminoles Shall Live Forever.”

Guy will always be remembered by his classmates and never be forgotten by the “Speakman Seminoles.”

C. Vaughn Strimlan C’67 Pittsburgh

David F. Kaplan C’67 Greensboro, NC

Term Paper by Radio

Your article about Noam Osband Gr’15, Penn’s first dissertation candidate in anthropology to submit a film to capture his research [“Gazetteer,” Jan|Feb 2015], reminded me of my undergraduate experience at Penn.

I spent a lot of time doing production and programming at WXPN at the same time I was pursuing music studies, folklore, and history. At my suggestion, several professors agreed to listen to an audio production instead of reading a term paper. Using friends for actors, my topics included the effect of the political climate on music in post-revolutionary Russia and the roots of American jazz. The latter featured field recordings of traditional African and European music blended with segments of contemporary jazz tunes. In those pre-digital and download days, I made it easier for them to access by broadcasting them on the radio during my show on XPN. They just had to tune in and listen.

Michael Levine C’73 Montpelier, VT

Measure Gains Against Costs

I wish to commend Dr. David Casarett, in his essay “Reviving Tithonus,” [“Expert Opinion,” Jan|Feb 2015] for putting into words—with the authority of a trained and practicing physician—something that I have thought for a long time.

The ongoing discussions about the cost of healthcare in the US ignores this factor: the cost of medical interventions to prolong life when the quality of that life will be unknown, and in the case of older people, questionable.

As a practicing Christian and a septuagenarian, I am not impressed by current claims to extend the life expectancy past 100. There comes a time when we can look back on struggles, successes, achievements, and experience that are sufficient “for one lifetime.”

If it is God’s plan for us to enjoy, be instrumental to, or provide needed care for others into later years, then I prefer to leave the choosing to Him. My mother had been a widow and lonely for many years when her heart stopped, in her nursing home, and she was resuscitated. She was experiencing her first hospitalization, and being persuaded to have an implanted pacemaker, when she actually died peacefully overnight. Her last 48 hours were spent in unnecessary fear and confusion.

Barbara M. Thackray GEd’76 Chincoteague, VA

Resuscitate Me

I was fascinated by David Casarett’s essay.

I would only suggest that there is quite a difference between resuscitating an older person in a hospital with multiple issues vs. a person “on the street” who experiences a cardiac event. If I am in the former circumstance, my directions are to let me go; however, if I suffer an event today, I hope a good Samaritan comes to my aid.

Robert C. Wender G’77 Maumee, OH


In the course of his review of sociologist Harold Bershady’s memoir, When Marx Mattered [“Arts,” Mar|Apr 2015], Michael Zuckerman mused on the reasons that none of the other “towering figures who taught sociology at Penn … ever attempted a book-length personal history.” Only it turns out one of them had already published one: Renee Fox’s Field: A Sociologist’s Journey, came out in 2011; a paperback edition is scheduled for sometime this spring. Our apologies to Dr. Fox, and her publisher, Transaction (also Bershady’s, as it happens).

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