Hello, I just called to tell you that Mom died.

was on the shuttle bus from Van Nuys to LAX about 9am when I called my
Mom’s condo in Seattle and asked her caregiver if my Mom was still
living. "No, I’m sorry. She passed away just a few minutes ago. We
haven’t even had the chance to call your family yet. Would you mind
calling your sister and letting her know, and do you mind calling so
and so and……..?"

I wasn’t surprised at the news, not in
the least. In all practicality Mom "should" have passed away last
night, but she knew there was a dinner party at my brother’s house for
Senator  Hillary Clinton, and Mom would NEVER screw  up a dinner party.
Sooo she waited till the party was over, the place cleaned up and the
dishes put away, and the host and hostess rested before cancelling her
subscription  to linear time.
We are sending her body UPS to Walla Walla. Funeral Friday in the old hometown. What a way to have a family reunion.


laid my mom to rest Friday in Walla Walla, Washington. We flew down
there in my brother’s plane — or his company’s plane. It was my
brother, his wife, his daughter, my sister,  her son (Lee Goldberg), my
son, the Rabbi, and my ex-wife.

Meeting us there were the rest of my sisters kids (Linda Woods and Karen Dinino, and Tod Goldberg) and my daughter, Anea.

hadnt been to Walla Walla since about 2002, and my ex hadnt been there
since 1998.  It was very strange to be "home" in the town where I grew
up, where I raised  my own kids, and where I have so much "history" —
personal, professional, and emotional. 

After the graveside
service, folks toddled off to the Marcus Whitman Hotel for dinner…but
I grabbed my daughter’s rent a car, and my son and I drove over to the
Taco wagon by the park.  What a memory rush!! When we lived there, he
and I would go there all the time, and I even had a special burrito
that they made for me to my specifications.  When we walked up to the
taco wagon, the wonderful woman who runs it recognized us right away
and about fell over in her cellantro. She hadnt seen us in years! "Do
you want your special?" she asked. SURE!!! She remembered how to make
it just like in the :"old days" – and there we were, wearing our dark
suits with torn black ribbons, going "mmmmmmmmmmmm" as we savored one
of the great pleasures in life — a comnination of smells, sights and
flavors from the days years ago when he was little (instead of 26) my
folks were both still living, I was a married man with a four bedroom
home, full recording studio in the basement, and sitting in the park
with my son and/or daughter, enjoying Tinos Tacos was one of life’s
simple pleasures.  We also drove by the house I grew up in, the grade
school I attnended, and saw how the little town had changed….Walla
Walla, thanks to the exploding wine industry has become the Beverly
Hills of Eastern Washington…the home I sold in 2000 for $250,000 is,
seven years later, worth over one million dollars. Go figure. Prices
have skyrocketed, and the town’s image is surprisingly snooty for a
farm town built on wheat ranches and bordellos.

No, bordellos are not a type of onion.

is gone. Dad is gone. I dont live there anymore. None of us do, except
my cousin Steve. Except to visit my parents’ graves, or for nostalgia,
there isn’t anything there for me except memories….most of them very
good ones…after all i was born there, lived there until i was 18, and
then lived there again for another 18 years between 1980 and 1998.  Now
I live in Los Angeles…well, actually Van Nuys, Ca.  I’ll be back
there sometime this coming week. Right now I’m in Seattle, Wa. in my
brothers lovely home on Lake Washington. My daughter flies in from her
overnight stay in Walla Walla Saturday, she and I and my son will spend
Saturday night together for fun….then she is off to New York on


Life is so full of life, even when someone dies.



2 Responses to “Hello, I just called to tell you that Mom died.”

  1. Mike Barer

    I knew that as a non-drinker you would not be as excited by the winery explosion. Maybe it will perk up the exotic grape juice industry.


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