Wednesday, November 22, 1995


Swapping Tales with Gene Dorfman incomplete)

Swapping Tales with Gene Dorfman
The information technology industry is truly a wonderful thing. Without it a community newspaper - or any newspaper - would be in trouble. Now a reporter can type a story directly into a computer, and it gets formatted into newspaper columns, without a need for a typesetter, proofreader or copy editor (a mixed blessing, these latter two, but they do reduce costs). There is another computer, a scanner, that reads a ragged-edge manuscript and converts it into justified (that is smooth-edge) newspaper columns, ready for paste up. It can also take a

Eugene Dorfman, FSA, a resident of 2nd Ave and 21st St for 35 years, is moving to a nursing home in Boca Raton, FL on January 26th. Gene was a community activist for a number of years, as a volunteer worker in Congressman Bill Green's office and as a teacher of English as a second language through the auspices of the English-Speaking Union. A math graduate of Williams College (1936), member of the US Army during WWII and an actuary with a local life insurance company for many years, he had a life-long interest in philosophy, and corresponded with Sir Karl Popper, the British thinker. He was also a collector of the books of Henry Miller, and brought them in from France during the years when the explicit autor could not be published in his native country. On several occasions the US Customs confiscated his cargo, but Gene persevered.

Swapping tales refers to Gene's vacations in the South of France, in the Provence, and in Toulouse, where he visited the hometite of Fermat, the margermatician whose theorem seemingly has is in the way of being solved. He vacationed in the sunbathers' island, Isle de Levant, in the Isles de Hyeres, South of Toulon, where French and British nudists congregated. The scenery of the Hyeres Islands was appealing, and when my wife, an avid reader of George Simenon's Inspector Maigret series, read his Arche de Noe novel, with its descriptions of the countryside on the Isle de Porquerolles, in the Hyeres , we decided to look into it.

We called the French Tourist office, which expressed wonderment at this farfetcherd inquiry and eventually sent some mimeographed pages in French, describing the island. Surprisingly, there was an Arche de Noe hotel there.

That was enough for us. Next year we vacationed in Kandersteg, Switzerland, and took a train from Domodossola on the border, through Genoa and the lovely Italian Riviera countryside, to Nice. The Nice beach is rocky, and the sunshine people had to take the little local train to Juan les Pines or Cab d'Antibes for beach life . we did that for two days, and took the local bus to Touluse, to see the French Riviera on the run. Cannes was rainy, and we took a lunch brak in , Brigitte Bardot country. The bus was on the quayside, near a huge yacht that had an ekeectrified sign in two languages "Entree Forbidden." Not intimidated, wew ent to a cafe and ordered local fish soup. The waiter told us to take local red wine with it. "Fish ?" we questioned, to which he gave us the local equivqlent of "Trust me." We did, and the heavy Provence red balanced the stew completely.

Moving right along we now came to to Le Levandou, a saeport stop. I jumped out to ask whether they had a ferry to Porquerolle, to be told that the summer ferry schedule had stopped at the end of August. Back to the bus. Nothing daunted, (to be cont)

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