These are not fireflies, but they do a beautiful two-minute dance through the sky.


And neither had I.  But here, in a short obituary, the life of Bernard Mayes.


Or should have!  (Perhaps you’ve seen “The Graduate”?  “Annie”?)  Mike Nichols died Wednesday.  My generation grew up with the comedy team of  Mike Nichols & Elaine May (“Mother, you’re making me feel awful.”  “Really, Arthur?  If I could believe that, I’d be the happiest mother in the world.”)  Both went on to do amazing work.  Here, his New York Times obituary.  And here, my friend Charles Kaiser’s more particular remembrance.  (The agent Charles refers to, Luis Sanjurjo, shared a house with us on Fire Island.  I was, naturally, in charge of the  money — splitting all the bills by the number of us sharing the house that week-end, which was the house rule: no matter how many meals you ate or skipped, how many beers you took from the refrigerator, we just split it.  Leading Luis to whimper late one Sunday afternoon, tagged for $56.67 when he had been absent much of the weekend, “But I only had one yogurt!”  And so it goes.)


Not fair food as in, say, cotton candy.  Or fair food as in, “eh — the food was okay.”  Or fair food as in fare-but-you’re-from-another-land-trying-to-learn-this-impossible-language-of-ours — the restaurant’s fare was just fair, but at least the prices were, also.  Yes!  That’s the fair I mean: fair as in just.  Watch Eva Longoria talk with Stephen Colbert about her documentary, Food Chains, and the Fair Food project.   Those Florida tomatoes we eat?  (To take just one example.)  The Immokalee workers who pick them are fighting for a decent wage and some respect.  And they’re making progress.  All it takes, in the case of tomatoes, is another penny a pound, estimated to cost the average American consumer 44 cents a year.  Hurray for Wal-Mart!  Hurray, McDonald’s!  Get with it, Publix: charge us a tiny bit more so farm workers can have a marginally decent life.


Have a great weekend.



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