I’m basking in the memories of my recent trip to Palestine. Brief recap: Martin Randall Tours sponsored Palestine, Past & Present, October 15-23. Our leader was Curator Felicity Cobbing who’s excavated throughout the Middle East and who has written extensively about the history and archaeology of the Levant. We stayed in Bethlehem, Jericho and Jerusalem, exploring in the three cities and their environs.
On our fourth day in Palestine, we had an all day excursion to Jerusalem. We walked on the Ramparts from Jaffa Gate to Damascus Gate. Jerusalem is a cauldron of history, religion, politics and architecture. It is exciting and chaotic to see so many people celebrating their beliefs:Jews with untrimmed beard and pe’ot, Midwesterners with Jesus written across their t-shirts, Catholic nuns in traditional habits, groups marching and singing religious chants. We went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, it had the enchantment of the Lexington Avenue subway at rush hour. Once again, the most fascinating spectacle for me was watching people embrace their religious beliefs. Women lay prostrate on what is deemed Jesus’s empty tomb. We, along with everybody else in the universe, including their motorcycles, walked along the Via Dolorosa to the Ecce Homo Convent where there is a portion of a Hadrian arch. Like King Herod, Hadrian was a great builder (Remember the Pantheon?)
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old, the only witness to the stabbing and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School? Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?