‘Vision’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
‘Vision’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
The alarm rang and the radio spat news.
Bonwit Teller opened his eyes to a foggy San Francisco morning.
He threw off the comforter, angrily pulled down the shades, and
crawled back into bed.
The phone rang
“Hi Bonwit, it’s Jerry. This is your wake-up call per your request.”
“Are you up?”
“That was a helluva rant you gave last night”
“Which one? I was drunk.”
“About Old Man Lazaro.”
Bonwit sat up.
Jerry continued: “You made Old Man Lazaro look like a jackass.”
Bonwit sighed: “I guess I owe him an apology. I say wicked things
when I’m drunk. Thanks for the wake-up Jerry.”
Market Street looked like an Exodus scene.
“Let my people go,” Bonwit heard a beggar say.
He dropped some cash into the beggars’ cup and hurried into
He saw another beggar sitting cross-legged in front of the
His sign read: “Dying from AIDS. Please help.”
Bonwit dropped some cash into his cup and hurried onto
Bonwit was desperate for the train to arrive.
He thought of Old Man Lazaro: his face boyish, yet old, kind, yet cruel.
Bonwit spat on that face and remembered his rage at last night’s dinner.
Lazaro compared Bonwit to a General in a noble army:
“That’s what you are.” Lazaro said. “The sales force is your army. They depend on you for supplies and protection. Your people need you Bonwit.”
“I’m just a fucking travel agent and you’re just an old queen!” Bonwit drunkenly snarled.
Bonwit rose from the station and entered the Pyramid.
Bonwit thought; I am truly a pain in the ass.
As if I don’t know why I’m here
He smiled benevolently at the housekeeper. “Good morning Violet.”
’’Morning Mister Teller.”
“Have I met my obligations to you this week?”
“I got a paycheck if that’s what you mean?”
“I’m so pleased.” Bonwit replied.
He entered his office and rang his secretary: “Mary, will you call the Whiskey Shop and have a bottle of Macallan 1939 delivered to Mr. Lazaro?
“Yes Mr. Teller. Mr. Lazaro is in his office. He wants to meet with you.”
Bonwit entered Lazaro’s office and took a seat.
Lazaro glared at him. “Bonwit, darling! You’re late.”
“I walked this morning.”
Lazaro laughed. “I’m removing you from the Booth Account. Shirley
complained this morning.”
“She said Baxter’s tickets were late.”
“I had those tickets printed and sent before Shirley ordered them.”
Lazaro shrugged and smiled. “Maybe she has it in for you. Maybe she doesn’t
like old queens.”
Bonwit returned to his office and crossed to the picture window
behind his desk.
He studied the expanse of the Bridge and the shimmering blue
(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2019
‘Behind the Pyramid’ (c) Rob Goldstein
First posted May, 2017-Revised and re-posted January 2019.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable….
Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice,
suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate
concern of dedicated individuals.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Some shots of San Francisco’s 2019 Women’s March: the tone
was hopeful, angry, and determined.
This year we remember that most of the civilized world said yes
to Dr. Kings Dream.
The NATO Alliance promotes global human rights.
Dr. King’s Dream is a global movement.
Democracies will continue to build a more just, integrated and
inclusive global civilization.
We will continue to fight poverty, abuse, and discrimination.
We will not go back.
Photographs (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
This Nation in the past two years has become an active partner in the world’s greatest war against human slavery.
We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.
But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival.
Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon us all a sacred obligation to see to it that out of this war we and our children will gain something better than mere survival.
We are united in determination that this war shall not be followed by another interim which leads to new disaster- that we shall not repeat the tragic errors of ostrich isolationism—
If we analyze American history impartially, we cannot escape the fact that in our past we have not always forgotten individual and selfish and partisan interests in time of war—we have not always been united in purpose and direction. We cannot overlook the serious dissensions and the lack of unity in our war of the Revolution, in our War of 1812, or in our War Between the States, when the survival of the Union itself was at stake.
If ever there was a time to subordinate individual or group selfishness to the national good, that time is now. Disunity at home—bickering, self-seeking partisanship, stoppages of work, inflation, business as usual, politics as usual, luxury as usual, these are the influences which can undermine the morale of the brave men ready to die at the front for us here.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.
Because both versions are so good. Please forgive the annoying beeps at the beginning. The video is worth it. 🙂
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