Beautiful River Phoenix; Martin’s busy packing; it’s Father’s Day …

Hi, friends and readers:

The young man whose photo I’ve posted here this morning was River Phoenix. Younger people who follow this blog probably don’t know who he was. River died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles in 1993. He was 23 years old.

River was a wonderful film actor, and a very gentle person. But he grew up in a dysfunctional family, and he had emotional issues. This led to drug abuse and, ultimately, his death. It was all very sad.

When he wasn’t working in L. A., River’s home was in Florida, near the city of Gainesville, where University of Florida is located. That’s where I attended undergraduate school four years. I never met River, but I wish I had.

River was a strict vegetarian and a staunch supporter of PETA, the animal rights organization. He lived in a rural area, enjoyed nature. I often wonder what he would have accomplished had he lived until today, but we’ll never know, will we? You can read all about River here:

River won numerous awards for his role in a film by Gus Van Sant titled My Own Private Idaho. He played a gay hustler with narcolepsy, and his performance was amazing. Rent the film sometime, you won’t be disappointed.

Tomorrow morning I fly to Newark, NJ, where I’ll rendezvous with my beautiful boyfriend. We’ll fly nonstop to Berlin, where we’ll stay a week with my close friend and former exchange student, Jens. It’s going to be fun, for certain. I love Berlin. It’s such a vibrant city and the people are nice. Never fear, friends, I’ll have my laptop with me and I’ll try to post daily while I’m in Deutschland. 

Here’s another photo of River Phoenix, taken when he was a little older. He was so handsome. What a loss …

Today is Father’s Day. It’s never been a day of significance for me, as I was never close to my dad. My parents divorced when I was six years old, and my dad never paid much attention to me. I had to live with him for two years when my mom was sick, and they were the worst two years of my life. He’s still alive today, but I have not spoken to him in almost thirty years. Depressing, eh?

Anyway, I hope your relationship with your father was better. If so, please take the time to let him know how much you appreciate everything he’s done for you. It’s important.

Alright, my suitcase is staring at me and saying, “Martin, get away from that computer and pack me.” There’s so much to remember: passport, credit cards, ATM cards, gels and liquids in a Ziploc bag, plenty of socks and underwear, books to read, electronics, German/English dictionary and Berlin guide book. I actually have a list I developed for those summers when I spent three months in Berlin, in a rented apartment. So, I’d better get busy, friends.

I doubt I’ll post tomorrow morning, as I must leave the house pretty early. So, I’ll wish you all a pleasant Sunday. As they say in Germany: Auf Wiedersehen. 

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