Archive for March, 2016

From Amsterdam to Eilat

March 22nd, 2016


This is primarily for those amongst you who don’t get out enough, who are stuck in Smallville, somewhere, forever staring at the tourist maps, or perhaps flipping through images on Google of your potentially favourite vacation place.

After the cold and windy excitement of Chicago, I had the pleasure of attending Dental Expo in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the capital of….the Netherlands. (Do NOT refer to Holland as the country when in the country. Holland is officially just one the the provinces in the Netherlands. And do not make the mistake of knowingly claiming that Den Haag / The Hague is the capital. It’s not. Amsterdam is the capital. However, you will find there the government buildings, the king’s palace and International Court of Justice).

As some of you may know, The Netherlands has been for many years the home of ‘open houses’, exhibitions put on by individual dealers, a chance for their loyal customers to become even more loyal, and to purchase a surprisingly large percentage of their annual needs during those couple of days.

I mention this, as some have presumed over the years that the Dutch dentist is ‘an easy sell’. Well, he/she may be very easy with whom to communicate, but an easy sell….no. This becomes obvious when attending the national expo, as was the case last week. A lot of interest, many discussions, but no avalanche of orders.

What was to be noticed was the effort to entertain. Almost every stand offered at least sweets, if not snacks, drinks and other goodies. Coffee machines were abundance. So you would think the visitors did not need to be fed. Far from it. I don’t think I have ever seen such an attractive display of foods etc. at a dental show…


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And this is not on the floor above or in the foyer. This area was located right next to our booth. And the eating area was expansive and also very attractive.

Certainly, the visitor left the expo well-informed and very well-fed

Thence to Eilat in southern Israel. You all know that I am living in Israel since I moved with my Israeli wife and kids in 1984. If any of you want to know about the unquestionably interesting country, contact me – stephen.pohlmann@gmail com – and I’ll put you on my Letter from Israel’ distribution list. Been writing that for many years, giving my view of this country’s people, politics and landscape.

Eilat is a sliver of land squeezed next to Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (there are 4 local airports). All 4 countries have resorts down here, but, I am told that Israel’s is by far the most developed. Las Vegas style hotels, boardwalks, night life, tax-free purchases, including the famous Dead Sea cosmetics, and access to the gorgeous waters of the Red Sea, ideal for snorkling. While many countries still freeze, Eilat’s current temperature is a perfect mid-20s C. Midweek, and you can always get on the tennis courts.

The occasion here is the biennial conference organized by AB 2000, perhaps Israel’s leading dental dealer.

100-150 dentists bring spouses – and some kids – to enjoy a good time, to view products on the 30 or so manufacturers’ stands (I displayed my American Eagle instruments) and to attend a series of always excellent lectures. This year, they were proud to welcome Lorenzo Vanini for the first time to Israel to show how the average dentist can become an artist with the materials available.


Here he is doing last-minute preparations for his lecture…

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Otherwise, there were cocktail and dinner next to the pool..speeches by the dealer, Alon Brock, surrounded by his family, and happily-fed people…


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And finally, the view from the room…

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– Not bad…


Smile – Support your dentist



In and around Chicago MidWinter

March 9th, 2016



Starting to write this on what us known as Super Tuesday, March 1st, the first big day in the US primaries for the election of President. Just in case, I took picture of President Trip Tower…




Then, prior to the MidWinter Meeting,  I went to the Art Institute and met Christopher Monkhouse, curator of European Decorative Arts, where we arranged a meeting between 2 18th C English glasses, engraved by the same hand in 1714 (mine) and 1716. It were as if the 2 glasses were hugging each other, and speaking a clear Western County dialect.




Christopher then took me, my brother and nephew to some other galleries, which included a glimpse at a recently-loaned Jackson Pollock, valued at around $200 million


Chicago05 Chicago06 Chicago07


And a cute bit of trivia about the wonderful ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms’ exhibition – Here are 3 of his versions of the same scene. This bedroom was located in a house in Arles in Provence. In the acclaimed Kirk Douglas movie ‘Lust for Life’, the role of the owner of that house was played by….my father! (Eric Pohlmann).




Then we spent a morning visiting Crabtree Farm, the home of John H. Bryan, semi-retired businessman, philanthropist and fantastic art collector. Check out the 1926 indoor tennis court, at the entrance of which is what is claimed to be the oldest known painting of a tennis player, from the early 1500’s. (The English could really play in those days).




And among other wonderful objéts d’art was one of the original 4 Duke of Wellington chairs….

Then, to keep things legal, I HAD to to to the McCormick Centre and work. On the way in, I noticed….




America remains politically correct.




All are welcome, from all over the World…




And at the end, everything is put away in boxes…



….And we fly away.

Smile – Support your dentist.