My wife and I saw Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia, which involved elements of science, physics, mathematics and nature. We thought it would be interesting to our son Carl, a physicist, our daughter Emily, who at the time was involved with restoring neighborhoods to benefit local residents, and our son-in-law Josh, who is adept at mathematics. We bought them tickets and on the scheduled day they took the E subway train from Queens to Manhattan, After the play was over, they boarded the train to return to Queens. The train was very crowded with no seat available. They stood, with their hands clutching the overhead bars and, engaged in an in-depth discussion about the subjects in the play they had just seen. As the train approached the Continental station in Queens, a man who had been sitting directly in front of them got up to leave. As he walked past, he turned and said, “Lady and Gentlemen, I have been riding this train for 20 years and in all that time I have never overheard a more intelligent discussion on any subject. Thank you and have a good evening.”

As an adult, I considered from time to time growing a mustache and beard, but was always met with resistance from my wife, my mother and children, Carl, who was 11 years old, and Emily, 8 years old. One summer while my children were away at camp and my wife away on a three-week trip to China, which my office commitments prevented me from joining, I viewed it as an opportunity to grow a mustache and beard, and so I commenced doing so. I had not realized there was a parents’ visiting day at Emily’s camp and so never-the-less beginning mustache and beard, on that day I was off to visit Emily. When I arrived and Emily saw what I had done, she became upset and said how much she disliked it. It was not a very good visit. Several days after I returned home, I received a letter from Emily. It said: “Dear Dad. You have no right to grow a mustache and beard when you know the entire family disapproves. Enclosed you will find a dollar. Go to the barber and have it shaved off. Love you, Emily.” Suffice it to say, I no longer have the dollar.