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Sunday, December 17, 2017

BIRTHDAY | John F. Karl

John Karl gets ready to blow out the
candle on his cake.
Yesterday I attended the birthday party of a great lawyer and good friend, John F. Karl.

The crowd of well-wishers, many of them from the extended Karl family, assembled in Washington, D.C.

There were several of us from the New York City area and some from as far away as California.


He succeeds.
The birthday cake featured John as a young man destined for success. 

His handsome portrait also appeared on a tee shirt that he spread out proudly over his tuxedo and red bow tie.
John as a handsome youth.

Mrs. Karl, the effervescent  Tyna Coles, cut the cake with energy and dispatch. Everyone had enough, and more, of tasty food and quality beverages.


Tyna cuts the cake.
I met some interesting new people. We talked about the Civil War and related battlefields, the Spy Museum in Washington and George Washington's under- appreciated role as spymaster of the American Revolution, the return of subprime housing paper to the marketplace, the worrisome growth of the value of cryptocurrency and other signs of a bubble, the problems facing Federal Reserve supervisors and policymakers, the Borgia family in Italy and the Mexican Riviera.

The tasty desserts included éclairs. I got to discussing the origin of the word éclair as the name of a pastry.


The 70th birthday tee shirt.
An éclair pastry is of course a hot-dog-roll-sized pastry filled with custard or whipped cream and usually covered on the top with chocolate or coffee icing. 

But why is it named after the French word for a flash of lightning?

The consensus of people with whom I spoke at the party supported my derivation:
"An éclair is French for a 'lightning flash'. A hot-dog-roll size pastry filled with custard or cream is called an éclair because, if left on a table, a lightning flash is its expected half-life."
Alice and I were grateful for being invited to this heart-warming event in honor of a man who has done more effective advocacy for individual workers than anyone else we know.