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Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Another Cycle Has Begun

North Miami Beach, FL 01-07-2005
A.H. Schectman

Should I be lucky and beat the actuarial tables, another year of essays stretches out ahead of me. My routine of rising just before 6:00 a.m. will no doubt continue for, despite the change of venue and being aboard a floating hotel, I just had to get up before most and go up to deck 14 at the opposite end of the Coral Princess and enter the realm of fitness fanatics.  I went there to continue my therapy exercises and I was grateful for having the little yellow scooter that got me there. I found four machines that I could use to duplicate the exercises I needed and out of the ten days aboard I was able to get there seven times and feel a great deal better for it.

How shall I tell of the adventures that we had? Well, most of all there was eating and shopping and some side trips.  We got through the Panama Canal and saw the wonders created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Almost a century later, the Canal is too small for the behemoths that now ply the seas.  I think some entrepreneurs are looking into Nicaragua which once was the prime location before the powers settled on invading and taking over Panama.  Now it is the Panamanians who run the show but my only complaint is that Panama City on the west coast was not part of our itinerary. We also visited Costa Rica, Grand Cayman Island, Cozumel, Mexico and Belize. The Mayan ruins in Belize were just enough to satisfy our need to see really old monuments to other cultures in other times.

As you can see from the title of this essay, another year of my essays has begun.  This is essay number one.  I doubt that all the thoughts about the poverty we saw, the enterprise that was implicit in the peoples we visited and the excesses of those who filled every cabin on our ship will each take a separate essay. I have mixed feelings of being in the wrong place enjoying myself while war is raging in other parts of the world and wrongs are instituted among the American People by a misguided, selfish and wrong headed Administration.  But, enough about you and the World! Next is about me.

What has happened in a felicitous way is the ripening of the plan I had to plop myself down in the main thoroughfare of the ship and set up shop to draw left profiles in exchange for interesting conversation.  I was able to keep busy most mornings and afternoons that were free but I have not yet counted the number of photos I took of the sitter and his or her portrait.  My camera malfunctioned so I missed some of the people and a record of those drawings. However, I feel satisfied that I have not lost my skill but improved upon it.  The likenesses that I created were commented upon as being good but I was happy to have perfected (for me) a modus operandi for beginning and ending my drawings. The cycle has begun again and I am happy. Carol tells me that I created over 20 drawings.





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