Blog 100 – The MomentSlater Awards

I started this blog on August 22, 2010 for three reasons:

  1. To write stories about special moments in my life
  2. To memorialize and honor special people I know
  3. To become a better writer

The MomentSlater Award
Now, at the end of 2011, I have reached my 100th blog post. Considering that this represents about 200 hours of work, 100,000 words and 1000 photographs, I am very content to have gotten this far with this life project. Since it is my blog and I get creative license to do what I want, I thought that for post #100 I would hand out the first ever MomentSlater Awards for the past year. 

Billy and Oscar weren't available
These awards celebrate my observations of special moments witnessed. These moments are similar to Oscar level performances.  I tried to get Billy Crystal to be the guest host but he was busy. There is no Price Waterhouse involved in counting the ballots since I came up with this by myself, voted myself and tabulated the winners all alone. 

The envelope please...

Ra El Remez
THE MOMENTSLATER COURAGE AWARD is awarded to my wife Ra El for her persistence, strength and spirited example she sets each day. She consistently demonstrates that the challenges that are put in front of you are there because of lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained. She is a shining example of grace, compassion and gratitude. Without infringing on her personal story which only she can tell, I get to live in the twinkling light of her magnificence. I get to observe her reaching new heights with every moment of every day. This MomentSlater Award is a lifetime achievement and, as she will attest to, it has taken many lifetimes to achieve this higher state of being. Congratulations Ra El! 

Bea with her great granddaughter
Juliet Paige Bedrin
THE MOMENTSLATER LIVING ON MY OWN AWARD (80 AND UP CATEGORY) goes to Bea Slater, my mom.  Since my father’s passing in August 2009, she has lived by herself learning to do things she never previously did before like pay the bills and use Facebook and email. Her award celebrates her ability to keep on living and celebrating life. Her persistence in staying active, her commitment to family and her insistence on keeping her Friday hair appointments with Tommy, shows that life goes on and there is always more to enjoy. I am blessed by her example and know that when she occasionally goes to a casino to gamble, my father is watching over her, encouraging her on and helping her win a few extra bets. Go mom!

Fanny Slater
THE MOMENTSLATER LIVING ON MY OWN AWARD (30 AND UNDER) goes to Fanny Slater who moved across the country in September 2010 to see what it is like to be 3000 miles away from everyone she knows and loves. Her experiment was to challenge her own fears and face them head on in a strange and far away land known by two little initials- L.A. Through persistence and with the help of a humorous, mischievous black and white feline friend named Olive, she has been able to find work, friends and some great food opportunities. She has started her own blog, From Raleighwood to Hollywood and was invited to be a regular guest blogger on the Talk Nerdy To Me Lover blog. She has become a fabulous, heart-centered writer who brings happiness and hilarity to all her readers. Most of all, she has persevered in the face of numerous obstacles and challenges and learned some invaluable life lessons about her journey. I celebrate her accomplishments, her wit and humor and her ability to make to make Greek tzatziki sauce from scratch! Fanny you are a star! 

Sarah Slater
THE MOMENTSLATER LIVING ON MY OWN AWARD (30 TO 80 CATEGORY-TROPICAL EDITION) goes to Sarah, my older daughter. She has established herself at Punahou School as a compassionate and loving resource to her students. She is someone they can come to for help and advice no matter what the problem is that they face. In her outreach to friends, she has been a dependable and loving presence in the lives of her many whose paths have intersected with hers. Although 6000 miles away from home, she has created her own version of home, tropical style, that allows her to do the work she wants in the place she wants to be. And although she doesn't technically live alone since a small, white-haired magical four-legged Hawaiian feline companion named Nani also shares her space, she has created a wonderful life for herself and I couldn’t be prouder of all she has achieved. And if you ever want to know how to use a hammock, just send her a Facebook message. Aloha Sarah and congratulations.  

Mitchell Slater and Leslie Dickstein
THE MOMENTSLATER BEST BROTHER (and sister-in-law) AWARD goes to Mitchell Slater, my younger brother and Leslie Dickstein my sister-in-law. During the last 2 years, Mitchell and Leslie have been ever present in my Mom’s life helping her since my father’s passing. Mitchell unselfishly and with unconditional love, has made himself available for my mom and included her in every possible activity that he and his wonderful wife Leslie are involved in with the kids, their temple or neighborhood events. Mitchell has never missed a chance to sit and watch Sunday football with mom, take her out to the movies or just invite her over to cook their special Tuesday night dinners. I am so blessed and thankful to both Mitchell and Leslie for being so available, so present and so ready to help my mom at a moment’s notice. Mitch and Leslie, the Boss wanted to present the award to you in person but he is stuck at Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. 

Diane and Jerry Bedrin
THE MOMENTSLATER BEST SISTER (and brother-in-law) AWARD goes to Diane Bedrin, my older sister and brother-in-law Jerry Bedrin. During the last 2 years, Diane has tirelessly been there to take mom to Kings, to the knitting store or to the Hamptons for some R&R. Both she and Jerry are aways looking after Mom and her every need with unselfish love and devotion. And, during a special time in Diane and Jerry’s life as they enjoy their grandchildren, she makes sure that Mom gets to see Henry and Juliet (her great grandchildren) as often as possible.  They both make sure she is taken care of in a way that is difficult for me to do from 500 miles away. I am so grateful for their love and the way they help Mom with all the things she needs. Thanks Di Di and Big Jer. 

Jack Slater (center), George and Francis Ginsberg (upper left), Annette Lawrence (upper right)
Rita Laderman (lower left) and Gertie and Joe Slater (lower right) 
THE MOMENTSLATER IN MEMORIAM AWARDS goes to some special people who are always watching over me and guiding me along my own journey. My father Jack whose loving presence is as strong today as it was when he was part of the physical world. He set the standards for being a husband, a father, a brother and a great friend. He taught me that real men not only cry but they keep their lifelong promises. 

To my beloved Aunt Annette, who remains my guide to writing, cooking, the arts and all things British, I know you are reading every word I write and helping me get better each and every day. I always sense your creative voice whispering in my ear when I am trying to solve a problem. 

To Poppa George and Grandma Fannie, I celebrate your lives by cooking stuffed cabbage and sharing the beautiful photographs and albums you made for me on something we call the Internet. I honor the memory of your love and all the time you shared with me.

And to Joe and Gertie Slater, my father’s parents, I celebrate the remarkably generous people that set the bar for giving and keeping family together. 

And a special shout out to Aunt Rita, Aunt Sara and Uncle Hymie and those countless other souls who touched my life in special ways for so much of my life.

Lt. Mango 
Finally, a special Memorial MeowmentSlater to Lt. Mango who made his transition this year. Mango was a special feline friend who taught me so many lessons about life, balance and chicken. I feel his furry presence when I am in the kitchen cooking his favorite meals. His golden aura is still present in our home and will remain with us always. 

Accepting this special award is Shambala who was Mango's brother. Not only is he accepting this special award for Mango but he too has been awarded a special MOMENTSLATER SIT IN MY LAP award for 2011. He has learned to manage to find a space among my laptop and my dinner tray to make himself at home on most nights. Congratulations Shambo, you are the cat's pajamas!

MomentSlater Reader
THE MOMENTSLATER READER AWARD goes to all of the tens of thousands of people who have read my blog posts over the last 15 months and who have shared comments and kinds words and observations. Since August of 2010, I have had over 45,000 pages read by roughly 25,000 people who never knew me beforehand. Through the wonders of the Internet and social media, my personal stories from lunch with Ronald Reagan, eating Sushi with Ben and Jerry and teaching Macho Man how to send an email have attracted a small but dedicated audience.  I love writing about food and wine moments, Zen moments, family moments and marketing moments too. My guest moments posts have also been quite popular. like the post by my niece Georgia about my mother's wedding or the story from my nephew Harrison about the first day of college. I even got a guest post by my niece Jaime Bedrin, a Dartmouth graduate, Columbia Journalism School graduate and teacher who has worked for NPR. Jaime wrote a guest blog about her Mom. I had a guest post by my colleague Yolanda's son Javier who wrote about meeting President Obama and the most popular guest post of all was by my Mom in her Letter to Juliet, her great-granddaughter. 

So this award goes out to all of those who have taken the time to read my stories or who have shared them with friends. I am eternally grateful to you for taking a few moments out of your busy day to read about some special moments in my life.  

Let the party begin 
So, now that the awards have been handed out, it is time for the parties to begin. As I uncork the champagne and heat up the stuffed cabbage, I will drink a toast to all of the winners. May the coming year of 2012 bring you the fulfillment of all the special dreams and wishes that you hold in your heart.

Happy New Year and remember to celebrate your moments. 

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