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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov 4, 2011 / 7 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

The Sound of Music

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was just a bystander and had nothing to do with it. That much should be made clear from the first. It was a most improbable occurrence. But I can testify it took place. I was there. And was as awestruck as everybody else.

It wouldn't have been at all unusual in Dallas or New York, or in any of the country's great metropolitan centers. But this took place some 25 years ago in Pine Bluff, Ark. -- population 60,000 at the time. A small Southern river town that was getting smaller all the time. As small Southern river towns will.

It happened on the night of October 10, 1987. At the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The curtain went up, the musicians were all in their places, the conductor lifted his baton, and the brand new, fully accoutered, complete Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra began its inaugural concert -- and its history.

Just as improbable, a quarter of a century later, the music goes on in Pine Bluff.

On another splendid October night, supporters of the orchestra gathered for a gala dinner to celebrate the orchestra's silver anniversary season.

What a night. It was a combination of hometown reunion, celebration of the past, and the beginning of the orchestra's next quarter of a century. It was good to get back home and see so many familiar faces. Well, most of them.

There was much talk of absent friends, for time takes its toll. Yet nothing good is ever lost. The light from distant stars continues to shine long after they themselves are gone.

I had been present at the creation of the orchestra, but only by happenstance. I was the husband of one of the founders. And husbands are just bystanders when a group of Southern women determines to do the improbable. And, being Southern women, proceed to do it.

One day a few of them decided that what Pine Bluff, Ark., needed was a symphony orchestra. Because otherwise how would all the promising young musicians in the Pine Bluff public schools get to play in a symphony?

Until I read a brief history of the orchestra the other day, I had only the sketchiest idea of how it all came about. All I knew was that one day back in the 1980s, I wandered into the back bedroom and found it full of fund-raising letters for, of all things, a symphony orchestra in Pine Bluff, Ark.

What an improbable idea.

But these ladies made it a reality. Which was just like 'em. What they decided on, they did.

It started with Ellen Nuckolls and couple of other music teachers in the Pine Bluff public schools -- Ellen Stutchman and Jane Huffstettler. They in turn broached the idea to Carolyn Greenberg.

They knew their woman.

You'd have to have known Carolyn yourself to understand why she was the perfect choice. She had this mellifluous voice deep out of the heart of Texas -- Waco, to be exact -- and this beatific smile.

Culturally, I'd say she was a cross between Patsy Cline and Van Cliburn. She could arm-rassle a bass fiddle into the back of her old station wagon for a morning trip with the youth orchestra, return in time to conjugate some Latin verbs, and then prepare a Passover seder that night. All the while reading an English murder mystery, probably one by Dorothy Sayers or maybe Sarah Caudwell. They still line the shelves downstairs in the library she left behind.

It was all in a day's work for a Pine Bluff matron. And still is. Busy young mothers in small towns everywhere will understand.

When we left Pine Bluff a few years later, somebody said something that's stayed with me: "Many of us are going to miss Paul," he said politely. "Everybody's gonna miss Carolyn."

Most impressive of all, Carolyn thought everybody was just as nice as she was. And when it was she who approached them, they were. Regardless of race, creed, color, national origin or personal temperament.

When it came to raising funds for this unlikely endeavor, Carolyn in turn made a perfect choice of her own. She recruited the ever gracious Diane Ayers, wife of W.E. Ayers, a local banker with Southern manners, good sense and a way of getting good things done without calling attention to himself. I still think of him as Pine Bluff's own George Bailey. It's a wonderful life.

The rest was history -- and music.

The orchestra's 25th year was the perfect opportunity for this little Southern river town to celebrate itself. And it did. All it had to do was wake up and listen to the music.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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