February 25, 2019

Baby Lambs: Can't You Just Hear Them Baaaaaaaaaahhhh?

Sisters Bonni + Pamela holding Exhibitions I and II

I am a She Warrior Post-Stroke Survivor. I've worked hard to get to this point in my recovery. 

What I see in this photo is me and my sister holding two newborn lambs. I also see the celebration of another springtime, more time to live and to toast good health, happiness, birth, and mirth.

I want to thank my 88-year old mother for giving birth to me, and then giving me a second chance to live on I-95 on that fateful Easter morning; to Janie and Joe for being my Good Samaritans; to my beloved family and friends for keeping vigil; to the doctors and nurses in ICU at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and to those at the acute in-patient unit at Phelps Memorial Hospital. 

Here's to another springtime celebrating the birth of baby lambs!

February 19, 2019

David H. Kogen, Long May He Reign

We remembered our beloved father, David H. Kogen, on February 13. In 1986, I was in Alexandria, Virginia, working on a joint-marketing campaign, "Project Hometown America," for American Express Travel Related Services and United Way. Only weeks before, on January 28, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. My colleagues and I were stunned when we saw the traumatizing event on TV.

My mother called me on the morning of the 13th with the news: Daddy died playing tennis. A heart attack, right on the court. I screamed and ran into the ladies room. An older woman was in there and said, "Dear, do you need a hug?" I told her I was fine. Why didn't I let her hug me? I was far from fine. I just got word that my father died.

Here is a photo of me and my sister (left) with our father. Pamela and I are adorably outfitted in twin sailor dresses sewn by our mother. (Click here for "Fall 1966: The Cool and Groovy Look".) There's a peak of my white gloves. We had to wear them because of germs.

My father was a true gentleman. Smart, funny, thoughtful ... and see how much he loved his girls?

David H. Kogen, long may he reign.

January 31, 2019

It's My Birthday in Three Days

On February 3, I will celebrate another year of being here to live a great life. 

As a Post-Stroke She-Warrior Survivor



beyond belief

to have 

this opportunity 


P A R T Y    O N!!!

January 21, 2019


Squirrels jump into the headlines today with
Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights legend whose legacy was non-violence and civil disobedience.

On January 21, we also commemorate squirrels.

Click here for my HuffPost piece (that went viral):  "Squirrel Appreciation Day:
Don't Miss Celebrating!"


I’m a big fan of squirrel appreciation day! You’d have to be nuts not to like squirrels!
~B. LeVar

January 13, 2019

Bill Murray In Real Life (Do you believe it?)

I saw the documentary, "The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man" (by Gravitas Ventures and winner of a slew of awards. You can catch it on Netflix). It turns out that I'm not the only one with a Bill Murray unexpected adventure. Amongst the many places he has shown up include popping up at parties, looking for a ride at the side of the road, doing dishes at a fraternity, in an engagement photo of a couple, crashing a private party at a karaoke bar, handing out cookies at an airport, and even riding a children's bicycle through Wal-Mart.

Well ... I have my own Bill Murray story.

I was walking down 6th in NYC. All of a sudden this guy starts talking to me. I look around, and it's BILL MURRAY. We walked and talked for at least seven blocks, including waiting together at corners for the lights to change. I've worked with celebrities, and it's rare  -- especially for someone with his wattage of fame -- that they would take that amount of time with some random person. He took this little moment and charged it with meaning.

So when someone says, "You're never going to believe who showed up. Bill Murray!"

I believe it. The guy is pure enigmatic legend.


This in from Figaro Jones (gofigaro.com):

"Back when Michael Kogen was the proprietor of his little jewel, Piermont (NY) Fine Wine & Spirits, I occasionally filled in for him when he had something else to do. One summer day when I was at the shop alone, the door swung open, and a fellow strolled in with three young boys, all wearing rubber boots. He reached out to shake hands, saying, "Hi, I'm Bill." But he did so by putting his hand behind his baggy T-shirt, shaking my hand with his shirt-covered hand, adding, "Sorry, we were just picking up garbage along the riverbank."
Yup, Bill Murray. He bought a bottle or two of wine and went on his merry way. A sweet moment."

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