LETTER FROM ITHACA

January 30, 2006

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. America — and, as the late Walter Winchell used to kick off his radio broadcasts, before dishing the latest gossip — all the ships at sea! (To which I would add Mr. and Mrs. Europe, too! After all, a goodly number of my friends, acolytes, listeners, readers, etc., are located on the other side of the pond.)

Anyway, sports fans, this looks set to be banner year for all us here at Sander Media.

-In the literary sphere, “The Frank Family That Survived,” which came out last year in paperback in the UK, and seems to be doing very well, will be brought out in the Netherlands and Brazil this spring. I expect to be in the Netherlands for the latter — I mean the former. Oh well, you know what I mean.

Long ago, when I first started the book, I dreamed of one day being able to purchase it in Dutch in The Hague, where the story behind the book is sited. Now that dream seems close to be realized. And the publication of the Brasilian edition finally gives me the excuse to do what I have wanted to do ever since I saw the movie, “Flying Down to Rio!”

-In the journalistic vineyards, this month saw my return to the pages of The New York Times, in the form of a short but gezellig article in the Travel section about Den Haag, as well as the publication of my first feature, an article about my search for Byron’s Greece, in CNN Traveller.

-Over in the fiction field, last week saw the return of C-Town Blues, my novel-in-progress about the crazed life and times of my alter ego, Harold Rothman ’72, marking the third year The Cornell Daily Sun has carried my ode to Collegetown circa 1970. Sock it to me!

-Over in the cinema department, where my munchkins and I have been spending most of our time lately, my action-packed screenplay for “Epos,” which I am writing with my friend and fellow literary klepht Nick Lambrou, is proceeding apace.

-Our photography department, where we are gearing up for a major retrospective of my photography to be held this spring in the Fine Arts Library here at Cornell, tentatively scheduled for mid-April. You’re invited!

In short, things are happening!

PARTY TIME

Still and all, the recent production of which I am proudest and the highlight of the year thus far was the surprise birthday party I engineered (with the stellar support of my brother and sister-in-law) for my mother, Dorrit, on the occasion of her 85th birthday on January 9th at my favorite New York restaurant, Punch.

It was a lot of work, but seeing the look on her face as she walked into the restaurant, where she had been led to expect to meet a small party of six of us but instead was boisterously greeted by no less than 30 of her family, friends, and admirers (including a few diners at near-by tables who got into the swing of things — call it benign satori) made it worth all the while. You had to be there–

Keep those emails coming in!

Your devoted servant,

Gordon F. Sander

P.S. I am also pleased to announce that I have a bright and creative new assistant, Drea Kutik, a sophomore planning major here at Cornell (and a Risleyite, of course). With the assistance of David Schoonover, who designed this site, Drea will be my new web administrator. Now that we are a full crew again, you can look forward to a resumption of this column ASAP. Stay tuned!

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