Worthy Tombstone

After Mozart's death, in 1791, his wife Constanza moved to Copenhagen and married Georg Nissen. They had a good life together. When Nissen died, Constanza had his tombstone inscribed thusly: "Here rests Mozart's widow's second spouse."

From my book Obie's Opus.

— Obie Yadgar

If I Were To Choose

If I were to chose . . .

I would choose the Filarmonica 13 Doble Temple square point . . .

Straight Razor Design's 3-in. English Bridal Strop . . .

Heinrich L. Thater's 24 mm. silver tip brush . . .

Geo F. Trumper's rose shave cream . . .

John Allen's Slick Water pre-shave . . .

Straight Razor Design's mother earth lather bowl . . .

Sitting atop the classic-style pewter shave mug filled with hot water . . .

A healthy sweep of alum  block . . .

A refreshing splash of cold water . . .

Love At First Shave

Something extraordinary happens with the first straight razor shave. For some, the experience turns into an instant love affair. It was for me.

Christopher Marlowe said in his poem Hero and Leander: "Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?" That truth well applies to the straight razor.


Since starting with the straight razor, I found myself in a continuous search for the Holy Grail: the perfect shave. I used different brands of straight razors and different size blades. I lathered with various soaps and creams. I improvised on stropping methods, razor technique, angle variation and skin streching. I tried everything within my modest expertise with straight razor shaving to find the Holy Grail.

SWMBO Revelation

The first time I came across the acronym SWMBO ("She who must be obeyed") was at Straight Razor Place, a learned forum for traditional and straight razor shavers, I was curious where I had heard it before. I knew I had under an important enough circumstance for the acronym to carve out a chunk in my memory.

Locker Room Chat: And it Vibrates

"Oh, man, look at that thing. Damn, and it hurts."

"I see you talk to the mirror, too."

"Dude, I took out a chunk."

"You're not kidding. Whoa, that's a mean looking gash over your kisser."

"Yeah, and I've a date tonight."

"Ooooooo . . . not good."

"Chick's not gonna kiss me with that thing."

"Unless she's Dracula's daughter."

"No way, dude. She's a great looking chick."

"Maybe you can just hold hands."

"I ain't holding hands with the chick."

"Well, I'll tell you, friend, no chick's going to chow on that kisser."

Qateeni Gabbara: An Assyrian Opera — Bosc/Khoshaba

     French composer Michel Bosc can easily envision his Qateeni Gabbara, a work in progress, becoming the first Assyrian National Opera. "It's a very melodic and colorful opera that also has a universal appeal," he says.

Inanna: An Opera of Ancient Sumer/John Craton

     The story of Inanna (Queen of Heaven) dates to 3000 B.C. in the city of Ur in ancient Sumer. Inanna was the godess of love, fertility and war. The Akkadians called her Ishtar. She appears in a number of fascinating myths and stories, including a cycle of poems describing her relationship with her lover Dumuzi — called Tammuz by the Akkadians — who is the god of vegetation.

Gilgamesh: Assyrian Oratorio

     The ancient Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh has inspired scores of novels, plays and operas. Gilgamesh, the Assyrian opera by the American composer John Craton, is also sung in Aramaic, the language of the Assyrians. Craton's Gilgamesh is a work in progress.

Roomrama: Assyrian National Anthem — Issabey/Yosip

     Nebu Issabey, the Assyrian violinist and conductor, composed the Assyrian National Anthem "Roomrama" to lyrics by the Assyrian poet and activist Yosip Bet Yosip. The American composer John Craton arranged it for orchestra. "Roomrama" is a tender and heartfelt musical signature of the long and bittersweet journey of the Assyrians since the fall of the Assyrian empire in 612 B.C. "I hear a love of country and of one's homeland," says Craton, "a desire to never let the past glories of a nation fade away."

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