The Bearded One

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Here are photos of me back when I was a Fellow of the American Academy of Rome in 1986-88. Those of you who know me now may react with some surprise.

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Holland Lee Hendrix Passes Away

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Sad news. Holly Hendrix was the man (then a senior Ph.D. student) who convinced me to go to Harvard Divinity School and study New Testament and Judaism for a masters degree on my way to a Ph.D. He gave me a whole slide show to get me interested and excited. Most of my family and friends thought I was nuts, but he was persuasive, and the course of my life changed.

I remember Holly chain smoking cigarettes in the library lounge during bull sessions. I roomed with him in Thasos (Greece) during a summer archaeological dig–he was the head of our team; I was a young graduate student. I recall swimming in the ocean in the afternoon with other grad students and him, laughing, and soaking up the sun. I recall evenings of ouzo and late nights of scotch (I was not much of a drinker, but he enjoyed himself), followed by cold Greek sink-water instant coffee in the morning (disgusting, but classic Holly). Holly would stay up half the night preparing for the next day of digging, while I tried to sleep.

Holly was a lot of fun to travel with. One time we went on a joint trip with HDS and Haverford (where he was teaching), and I watched him relate to his students who clearly loved him. He was also a fantastic dancer, and I saw him once walk into a Greek disco (Athens, I think) and just let loose. I still wish I could dance like that. Do people remember the string quartets with Helmut Koester? Helmut could not play the violin very well, but he loved to play. Holly played the viola (if I recall correctly), and he was a very good musician. I cannot get the picture out of my mind of Helmut sawing away with Holly and others masterfully playing their instruments: a very funny juxtaxposition both of musicianship and power.

I am sad to hear this news and recall him fondly as one of the primary people who set me on my professional path in life–in many ways.

http://utsnyc.edu/pages-primary/institutes–initiatives/institutes–initiatives—holland-hendrix-obituary

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Dead Sea Relaxation

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Floating and relaxing in the Dead Sea in Israel in October 2012 (with Dianne Bazell).

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Bryce Canyon National Park

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Here we (with Dianne Bazell) are at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah in August, 2014.

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Grand Staircase Escalante

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Here we are in Grand Staircase, Escalante in southern Utah. Above are three photos.

And see these videos below:

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Suzanna in Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv

 

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And here’s a 2012 photo from Suzanna, a restaurant in Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv, the oldest neighborhood in Tel Aviv (southwest part of the city near the Arab city, Jaffa) with Irit Averbuch: Great food as always in Tel Aviv.

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Tel Aviv: Eating at Benny HaDayag

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Conspicuous food consumption in Tel Aviv. The first pictures are from Benny HaDayag (Benny the Fisherman–בני הדייג) on the Tel Aviv waterfront. I learned a lot of Hebrew names for fish–I don’t even know all their names in English (see the very last picture). Fish is a big deal Israel–and it’s really good, prepared in all sorts of interesting ways–along with all kinds of great salads, eggplant dishes, and other accompaniments. Dianne and I are eating with our good friend, Irit Averbuch, lover of all things Tel Aviv and Japanese.

And here’s the mouth-watering menu: http://www.bennyhadayag.co.il/

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Arches National Park

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Arches National Park, just north of Moab in Eastern Utah, which we visited in August, 2014 (with Dianne Bazell)

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Dianne Bazell’s Inadvertent Selfie

 

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Dianne took this inadvertently at Monument Rocks, Kansas, in August, 2014. I love this photo.

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Kansas Monument Rocks

 

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Here we were in August, 2014, in Western Kansas at a site called Monument Rocks. Who would’ve thunk it, but in the middle of the plains you find these amazing rock formations from an ancient sea that once divided North America. In the rocks, you can actually see the tiny shells and bones of molluscs, crustaceans, and fish that fell to the bottom as they died millions of years ago, forming a limestone ooze, and hardening over time. I had a little encounter with what I believe was a rattlesnake (I kept on hearing a rattle, and it got louder as I walked until I realized what it probably was and got out of there before I took too close a look). Just stunning the kind of beauty you can find in the most unexpected places.

This site was apparently the first U.S. landmark so designated by the Department of Interior. It takes over an hour and a half to get there on a dirt road, but it’s well worth the trouble. A blast.

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