Archive for December, 2010

Dinner in Herzlia

December 21st, 2010

This is such a small world, this dental one, especially when you’ve been swimming in it for as long as I have.

Had a dinner last week at a great restaurant next to Herzlia Marina in Israel. (Just a note that seafronts in the Middle East have been severely battered by violent storms over the last 2 weeks. Many casualties, some fatal. The damage can be seen everywhere. This bamboo wall is supposed to be erect and in order…

Our host was Ido Strauss, from the Israeli dental diamond manufacturer, accompanied by gentlemen from his Israeli and US sales staff. Next, Michael Grant, one of the international dental world’s colourful characters – and Dental Buddy. He’s an Englishman, currently living in Philadelphia, but spending much of his time in the Far East. He works closely with DMG, and also with Henry Schein as international advisor. He was in Israel to accompany Prof. Joel Berg, head of Paediatrics in Seattle, who gave a lecture here, organised by the Israel Paediatric Association.

Also present at the dinner was Herb Wolfe and his son, George, both from DMG, USA.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, in this little dental world, when you scratch the surface of so slightly, you just crash into friends…Herb was part of the Sultan group, which not so long ago became part of Dentsply. Before that, back in the early 70s, he was with Star Dental – and so was I! Well, I worked with that terrific company, Robert H. Sittig Associates, Inc., at the time the World’s leading dental export agent.

Herb and I share so many memories and friends, current and past.

And Star produced diamonds….that brought the Strauss guys back into the conversation.

We claimed that Star were the first to introduce different diamond bur grits. They used them in  sets of diamonds for special techniques: the Auto-Magics was one that I sold everywhere.

Smile – Promote your dentist

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Ruth Falcon

December 9th, 2010

I spent 1 year in NYC in 1966-7 as part of my 3-year apprenticeship in the dental world. My life was work, tennis in Central Park and opera. It was the Met’s 1st season at Lincoln Centre. Tickets were tough to come by in those days – and I was earning peanuts. I soon became one of the original ‘Official Met Standees’. We went on line every weekend, sometimes for 2 days, to buy standing-room-tickets at midday Sunday for the week 5 weeks’ hence.

I was living at the ‘famous’ Hotel Ansonia. My landlady was Mme Breisach, interpretation instructress at the Met. Singers would come to her to learn how to sing a part in a foreign language. So I met singers, both famous and young aspiring ones. They included a certain Ruth Falcon. She worked at Papagallo’s, a renowned shoe store that only employed the young singers. Once a month, they had recitals in the store for them.

Ruth and I were ‘a thing’ for a while. I remember nudging her each time she hummed loudly in the bus or subway, louder than the vehicle itself.

To last night..went to see ‘Don Carlo’. Had I been alone, I’d have been prepared to stand. I’m older perhaps, but I’m able to stand. Did so last year for Nathaiie Desay in ‘Lucia’. But this time I’m with my friend and customer from Germany. I get rear stalls, the row in front of the stall’s standees. I tell Joachim about my life those 44 years ago. I tell him about Ruth. We then chat to the lady standing directly behind us. After this and that, I find out she’s an aspiring singer. I tell her my story. When I mention Papagallo’s, she says her teacher told her the same story. ‘Who’s your teacher’, I asked expectantly. ‘Ruth Falcon’, came back the expected reply. Kerplunk!

I handed over my card and insisted she makes Ruth write to me; we got a lot to talk about……

Smile – Promote your dentist.


Henri Scars Struck

December 9th, 2010

Trivia – In the lifts (I am English) at the Meriden Hotel located next to the ADF meeting at the Palais de Congrès in Paris, we were mentally massaged by sounds of water and angels playing strange heavenly instruments. The name of the artist was Henri Scars Struck. (French? Star struck? Stage struck? What a strange name).
Not sure it made me happier in the 17 seconds I was in the car, but if I had been stuck in there for 3 hours, I am sure I would have gone crazy in a much gentler manner.

Smile – Promote your dentist.

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Stuck in US Airspace

December 7th, 2010

‘We are # 28 in line to take off’. Those are the words one loves to hear from the captain. La Guardia had only 1 runway working (perhaps the other was on tea-break). And then, when around #4 in line, a further delay is announced, due to excessive cross-winds.

I’ll miss my connection. Another day lost.

This flight is 3.49 hours….the delay is almost 2 hours. That’s a flight of almost 6 hours. And I see they’re charging for every scrap and snack of food and drink. You have got to be kidding…..minutes pass,,,

Don’t you just love flying.

I was in New York to attend the Great New York Dental show. Hadn’t been there for 3-4 years. Such a pleasure to be back in the Big Apple. I have lived in the city – actually rented an apartment not far from the World Trade Centre when it was being erected. One can’t NOT admire the place. You get everything there, whether you want it or not.

The expo was –in my humble opinion – mish-mash. That calls for bullets (now, where’s that button on the keyboard…)

• Some wonderful stands, with panache, flair, attractive colours, welcoming images, keen sales people. Others were, to put it mildly, totally resistant to attraction. ‘We need your visit like a hole in the head’ , they seemed to be screaming.

• There were some very large stands. Colgate is always up there, Ultradent, Dentsply, NSK, Schein to name a few (this is hopefully a clever way to gain kick-backs). And then there a multitude of mini-stands, many of whom really had nothing to show or say.

• I was impressed with some of the stands (booths for you speakers of US-English) that ran workshops or showed actual procedures. They appeared to be well-attended. In addition to the many lectures being given in the programme. It is a reminder that most exhibitions in the USA are combined quite successfully with educational programmes, whereas, at least in Europe, the two are often clearly separated. There, conferences have limited displays of trade exhibits, and some exhibitions are purely trade.

• Another eye-opener for me was the

……………ok, the trolley almost reached me. 2 rows ahead of me, the (poor) stewardess announces that ‘this is the last of the food – 1 box of Pringles’. And she’s still charging for it! (This is United, for those of you who want to join my disgust at this treatment).
I close my eyes and imagine a riot. In my most gentle English accent, I ask why, for a flight of almost 6 hours, we’re being charged. The robot answers ‘Sorry – the scheduled flight….it’s not our fault…bad weather…company policy’.
Gimme strength.

Then Miss Proops in front of me gets herself involved . She’s very tall, very slim, keeps getting up and either stretching, or getting something from the luggage compartment, showing her violent tattoo on my face. Can you believe it…she starts protecting the stewardess and the captain. Well, I quietly put her in her place. Doesn’t she realise that, up here at 30,000 feet, the captain’s in charge, and he had the chance to gain a lot of kudos by at least not charging for the food and at least ensuring the food is shared. Would have been fun getting the passengers’ support and involvement.
I reluctantly place my credit card back in its wallet, and sip on my free can of Coke (having rejected the $6 mini-bottle of rum).

So, where was I? Oh, forget about the stands. More important that the DTI lounge was a great place to escape the milling crowds and get some decent attention. Great cheese, Torsten.

Smile – Promote your dentist.

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