WUMB May Program Guide

Thanksgiving Leftovers…

Well now…this is awkward.

When last we met, I was getting ready to leave after seven years at WUMB and 21 years in Boston. There were good reasons for it. Senses of both obligation and genuinely missing things were part of it. Along the way, a funny thing happened. OK, maybe a few “funny” things. And then I decided to stay for now, after all.

[Cue Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”]

I realized emotionally that I’d made more friends in my Boston years than I realized intellectually. That is, there were a lot of people it was really hard to say “so long” to — even if it was only “farewell for now,” pending hoped-for visits back to Boston in the summer. Funniest of all was that I didn’t get the same signs of encouragement heading back to California that I’d gotten on the way out to Boston in 1997. For example, in December of 1996 I found myself following Boston Bruins results. Strange for a non-hockey fan in California. Someone suggested to me that emotionally, I was already in Boston before I’d even made the formal decision to make the move here. I love the Central Coast of California and my friends there. My family is nearby there. I sometimes miss it very much. But at the precipice of moving back – amidst a process that can feel overwhelming – it occurred to me I wasn’t back there emotionally. I was still uneasy about the whole process. That’s when it was suggested to me that if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. So, Mr. Don’t-Back-Out-of-Commitments-You-Make (i.e., me) decided it was OK to listen to that. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for it after all. And there you go; I am still here.

Phew, I’m glad that’s out of the way. Alright then, enough about me. On to the Thanksgiving Leftovers!

[Sing to the tune of the Scott McKenzie song, “San Francisco (Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair”)]:

If you are going to San Francisco / And you will spend some of your time outdoors
If you are going to San Francisco / We suggest, you buy yourself a mask.

I did go back to California for Thanksgiving. These days the immediate response to “California” has switched from images of sunny beaches to images of raging fires. We flew into San Francisco Airport. 50 to 100 miles east of there above the clouds, the sky had turned light brown. Either we’d been sucked into a time warp and were heading into Los Angeles in the 1970s or…perhaps we were seeing smoke from all those fires. As we approached the airport, a crewmember got on the PA. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to welcome you to San Francisco, California. If you plan on spending any time outdoors during your visit or stay in the San Francisco Bay area, we strongly recommend you buy a mask.”?? I kid you not. At some point the crewmember related this to the poor air quality due to all the fires in the area. While my brain tried to wrap itself around this announcement, my eyes drifted through the airplane windows to see airline employees on the ground wearing surgical masks. “Holy Moly,” I thought rationally, “we have flown into the news story!” How fortunate for me to be switching planes for another destination away from the smoke and fires. How fortunate to be able to watch the news story from a distance…

Let’s count what lucky stars we have. Hug the stars of your life, and have a fantastic holiday season!

~ Perry Persoff
(still here after all)


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