Ithaca, New York
May 30, 2011:

Dearest friends, colleagues, fans and assorted cyber-hangers on. Welcome back to the Sander Zone! Two and a half long years after a mysterious virus penetrated our inner perimeter causing this site to go black, or half black, the Sander Zone is back in operation, and hooray for that!

A lot has happened since we last spoke to you all the way back in 2009.

For one thing, pleased to report, I finished THE BATTLE OF FINLAND, or Taistelu Suomesta (as it is known in Finland) my long awaited history in progress about the 1939-40 Fenno-Soviet Winter War; saw it become a best-seller—in Finland (No.2)—gave over a dozen readings from the book—including, perhaps most memorably, one at the Raateen Portti, the extraordinary cenotaph the Soviet and Finnish soldiers who fell
in that epochal battle in eastern central Finland in late December
1939 and early January 1940—received at least one medal (from the grateful son of a Winter War veteran); and basically maxed it out.

Excerpts from the book, which—also pleased to report—will be published in this country next year by the University Press of Kansas, can be found in the new Winter War category, under Books.

Meantime I also managed to write several more chapters of Jesse Ball, the memoir I am co-writing with my friend Jesse Braverman (also attached); got the Cornell University Press to reissue my first book, Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television’s Last Angry Man (hooray); mentored several dozen more students and “taught” two more sessions of my “Hanging Out” class at Cornell (see my new assistant Scott Reu’s “testimonial” in Journalism/Humor-Miscellany); took a few thousand more photos; fulfilled a long standing dream and visited booming Budapest for Blue Wings Magazine, the in-flight Finnair magazine (see Travel Reportage); lost a gold ring, then—miraculously—found it on the sidewalk several days later….and that’ll do it for now. More—much much more—to come!

Before I split, a brief shout out to my former assistant and newly minted Cornell graduate, Tal Gluck Cornell ’11, who was with me for two full years and who provided stellar support for The Battle of Finland, along with his fellow Cornellian, J.J. Manford ’06; Mau Vuori, who also reupped and provided key support for the publicity leg of the book and lent her special Nordic frisson to the project; my just departed assistant, Courtney Stevenson Cornell ‘13, who helped get the book in shape for publication here, made a zillion phone calls for me, reorganized my office and SO much more; her fellow munchkin and my incoming executive assistant, the ever-charming and resourceful Courtney Mayszak Cornell ‘14, who provided key support for Serling II; her colleague and incoming co-captain, the formidable Scott Reu Cornell ‘13, who helped get the site back up and generally proved the right man at the right time at the end of the term; the elusive Thom Levine, a.k.a., “the missing link;” and last but not least, my long suffering site designer, David Schoonover Cornell ’05, who redesigned the site and hung in there while until I was able to put together a cyber-salvage led by Scott, so we could, to paraphrase Winston Churchill’s words, advance to the bright, sunlit uplands. Huzza!

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