I enjoyed Nick A. Zaino III’s article about Carl Reiner (“Hanging with the 90-year-old man,” Arts, Feb. 24). I grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., and Robbie, as he was known then, was my best friend. We would have monthly dance parties at our homes and then go out to an ice cream parlor with our parents. Even as a star on “The Sid Caesar Show,” I remember Carl as a regular guy eating huge banana splits with us. I can’t tell you what a wonderful surprise it was to see Estelle in “When Harry Met Sally . . .” with her unforgettable line. I know I was the only person in the theater who knew who she was before the credits.
A number of years ago when Carl was in Boston on a book tour I went to see him. He said, “Of course I remember the Stowers from New Rochelle!” I gave him a copy of a fifth-grade social studies project that Rob and I worked on together.
I always smile when I see Carl on the screen or in print. I look forward to reading the book.
Re: “Climbing the walls with Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ ” (g, Feb. 22): Kafka, even triangulated, is always a difficult subject, and Joel Brown managed to clear the hurdle. It’s much easier to paint Kafka (I’m an artist) than write about him, so hats off to Brown.
Don Aucoin’s review was spot-on (“A harrowing, haunting descent into selves,” g, March 1). I have taught the work numerous times at the high school level in a course I put together called The Individual Versus Society (e.g. “Catcher,” “Mockingbird,” “Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Hamlet,” “Enemy of the People,” and many poems/stories from around the world), and I have ever considered Kafka’s tale most apt for motivated and mature high schoolers; consequently, I was a mite surprised to see some middle-schoolers there, one with a buddy and parents sitting right in front of me.
The lads, in tears, after about 50 minutes asked the parents if they could leave. They did.
My point: Possibly the review could have had embedded within it an “age-appropriate” caveat?
But may Aucoin’s fingers ever dance on the keyboard: Rock on!
a physics play
Re: “When scientists talk among themselves” (g, March 2, Joel Brown): I was a member of the Science on Stage salon for about seven years. As we know, memories can differ, and mine differs distinctly from Alan Brody’s on one small point. I remember quite clearly that it was not Alan Lightman, but George Benedek, a professor of physics at MIT and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, who first mentioned the book by Jeremy Bernstein during our discussion one evening. George also told some of the story of it, and I remember Mr. Brody being quite taken by the story. We were all surprised and gratified when he shared the script from his fine play with us about a year later.
Just wanted to set this small matter straight.
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