Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Anecdotes

Henry VIII for a Five-Year-Old

One of my daughters, a medieval history scholar and expert on European royalty, recently acquired a Henry VIII mug with images of his six wives surrounding him. Appropriately, when the Queens get into hot water (e.g., tea or coffee), their heads disappear. What she hadn’t anticipated was how fascinated her five-year-old daughter would be with […]

Teaching Contract Bridge to Intelligent Women

I learned contract bridge at 13 and played through grad school. Then came almost 40 years without a bid. But for the last year or so, I’ve been teaching bridge to a group of women. It has been a particularly satisfying endeavor for two reasons: 1) they are members of AAUW—American Association of University Women—and […]

Profile: Bert James, Mountain of a Man

Albert’s Place dressed up for the movies Bert James is a huge, bearded man who can build, drive, or fix anything. When I arrived at his place five miles north of I-90 near Kingston, Idaho, I expected to and did see him astride one of him many machines. We first met when he approached me […]

Dog Gone

My daughter recently put her 13-year-old cat down. Her post about it was heartfelt and touching. Today Lee Geiger, a chum from my Wall Street days, wrote about saying farewell to his dog. I reprint his goodbye below. * * * * * This is not a good day. The Fat Guy is driving me […]

Sheiks on a Plane

Ali Balak Qatlar Satif Luwi Qatlar On a balmy Saturday morning in late-1978, two 30-something brothers boarded a Pacific Southwest Airlines flight in Los Angeles. As they walked up the outdoor stairway into the PSA jet, the two men looked suspiciously like Arab terrorists during a time when Arab terrorism was non-existent. They were traveling […]

Lost! (Episode 4: St. Croix)

A mile south of our camp, we found a fallen sign next to a broken road leading uphill and west: Scenic Route. Our now-crumpled map, provided free at the airport days earlier by hopeful advertisers, echoed the invitation: Scenic Route. Our eyes met, questioned, then agreed. A right turn, and we were adventure-borne. In minutes […]

One More Guggle-Muggle for the Road

Like most families, the nostrums necessary to palliate childhood ills were administered by my mother and grandmother. One, however, came from my father, and until last night, I thought it was his invention. Winter in Southern California is barely winter. But colds, coughs, and bad dreams can besiege a child in any clime. I was […]

Me and Miss Jones–Gee Whiz!

I am next to Miss Jones It was 1953. I was eight. I had known California for over five years and knew bits of New York and Pennsylvania through my parents’ stories. Miss Jones was from someplace between the coasts. I’ve forgotten her first name, and I’ve forgotten the state. Iowa, maybe Nebraska. She was […]

Go Sue Yourself!

Perhaps based upon a well-known, anatomically difficult, consensual act, Wells Fargo has sued itself in a Florida foreclosure case reported by Business Insider earlier this month: “Wells Fargo holds the first and second mortgages on a condominium….As holder of the first, Wells Fargo is suing all other lien holders, including the holder of the second, […]

A House Cat Murdered My Wife…That’s My Story

Treswick was a big cat, a bad cat. He was, his owners averred, tres wicked. It was 1967. I was a first-year graduate student living in Peabody Terrace, the married students’ housing, a walking bridge across the river from Harvard Business School. These were tall, narrow buildings, four units to a floor, all sharing a […]