Remembering Lizzie

Lizzie had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen; and although she was an exquisite woman, I remember her smile most of all. And her voice.  Lizzie had a soft, mellow and slightly deep voice.

To be honest, I remember more than her voice and her smile. She was something else.

I met her in Spanish 200 at McGill, which I had chosen that as my 3rd language requirement. So had she. Over the next three years, we slowly moved from speaking English to speaking Spanish, which both of us did quite well.

Lizzie and I used to meet before class started and  would continue talking after classes ended. I don’t even remember what we talked about. But we talked for hours and hours over the years.

“Do you know who you are talking to?” asked Paul, as we ate at the student union. “She was the most popular girl in school, and she has been seeing this guy Steven for over 4 years. You don’t have a chance”.

One of the things Lizzie and I talked about were concerts at the new Places des Arts. I had seen her there with the aforementioned Steve. I had been with Paula.

Lizzie and I agreed that “wouldn’t it be nice if we saw a concert together” and we never did. As my studies at McGill  ended, I was back in Israel doing my MA and she had gone to grad school.

I was living in Kiryat Yovel, Jerusalem in a student dorm, along with a German PhD student named Hans who was studying the commonalities between Yiddish and Hebrew, and  an agriculture student named Uri, who was almost never in the flat.

One day, I got an aerogram from a McGill friend who stated, by the way, that “Lizzie W from McGill Class of 70 was killed in a car accident on the way to Ottawa. Do you remember her?”

Some people loose their memories with age. I have a memory like an elephant. And when I think of Lizzie 50 years after I met her in Prof Stagen’s Spanish class in Peterson Hall, Room 120 at 1000 AM, I wish my memory was not as good as it is.

 

 

 

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C’est moi-about me

Georges, my long time companion

That’s me

 

“We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files”  Mrs Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel

……..

I am 71 year old OD Canadian-Israeli consultant, specializing in acute global diversity, post merger integration, interfaces between HQ’s and their “remote offices” and working with senior managers/teams to acquire global competency. And no,I have not retired, nor is it in the plan. However, I put aside time for lots and lots of reading, walking, swimming, writing this blog as well as  my satric blog,  which saves me mental health charges.

I am multi lingual, educated at McGill (Montreal) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem). My Hebrew and English are perfect. My French used to be excellent but has become very rusty. I need a few months in Spain to retrieve my Spanish, in which I was almost fluent. I can muddle along in Arabic, ie understand the gist of a conversation. Although my satric character Gloria loves long German words, I do not know any German at all.

I am a nonconformist, an acquired taste and in some ways, a “most peculiar” man

To begin my career, I spent time a career officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, years and service of which I am very proud. These years of service give me a free pass to express my ideas freely, which I do. I am secular, atheist, radical centrist, liberal yet realistic and not woke.

I work with Fortune 500 companies, family businesses, start ups, individuals and Boards in India, the Mid East, Europe, China South East Asia and North America. I have even worked in Australia 11 times, but to be honest, the commute from Israel to Sydney is a son of a bitch and all that I remember about Sydney is the fatigue and the name MacQuarie, which I saw plastered everywhere.

I am appalled by  the western bias of Organization Development  and hope that before I die, I can make a difference to rework OD’s value to global organizing. I don’t plan on dying any time soon,but I no longer buy unripe bananas. My latest obscure article on this subject is attached.

I am a disciplined reader. One classic, followed by a best seller, followed by a historical biography, followed by a book in Hebrew,and repeat. I am a great fan of Radio Swiss Classic, and never miss the daily  Haaretz and the weekly Economist. 

I also like reading stuff with which I do not agree. Especially in this day and age when people love to inhale their own smoke, if you get my drift.

Part of  my family has been in Israel since the beginning of the British Mandate in Palestine (1918) after Word War One. The rest of my family comes from England and Montreal. All of my family is secular. Thank God.

I have a son (Amir) , a daughter (Sarai) , a son in law (Nadav) and a daughter in law (Deby) . I have 4 grandchildren, Daniel, Johnny, Maya and Rona, and I had a real British grandmother,  and a Canadian one.

 

 

 

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