Friday, May 24, 2013

They Tried to Flim Flam Me and I'm Naming Names.

      I received an email (I think it's called an email blast) from Ardmore Nissan.  It read great - and although it sounded too good to be true - and you know what "they" say about things that sound too good to be true - I foolishly followed through - $5000.00 under MSRP for a 2013 Altima.

     We checked the Kelley Blue Book value of our 2009 Altima (between $13,000 and $14,000) and emailed our reply with a complete and honest description - less than 10,000 miles, no scratches or dents, serviced only by Ardmore Nissan, and never been in an accident.  And we offered our car plus $5000.00 for a cash deal for a 2013 Altima.

     We received an email reply of "sounds good."

     We replied to this email that if Ardmore Nissan is sincere and serious, we will bring in the title to our car, our car, and a check.  We stressed that $5000 was our offer, our bottom line.  We are not interested in negotiating for any higher price.  And, please tell us now if $5000 will be acceptable so we can save all of us both time and aggravation.

     The answer was - it is a deal if our car checks out as stated.

     So, we went to the bank, retrieved the title from the Safe Deposit box, drove to Ardmore Nissan, met the sales manager who turned us over to a sales rep and naively prepared to make our deal.

     We sat and talked for over an hour while the dealership put our car through its paces and we test drove a dark blue Altima.  By the way, no significant differences between it and our 2009 called out to us.

     Sounds great, right?  You'd be wrong!

     Then, the salesman pulled out his calculator and announced what he called a great deal - are you ready for this?  out car plus $12,000.  We said nothing - just took our stuff and started to walk out.  I couldn't help myself.  I told him that our deal, our bottom line deal, was $5000 and our car.  He thought he was countering with "let's split the difference."  I yelled NO.  Our deal was $5000.  He said what about taxes and title?  And we left without answering.

     We have saved all the emails that implied a deal, perhaps even a contract, which we sent to Nissan USA headquarters.  But that too is proving to be unsatisfactory because, they say all the dealerships are independently owned and operated.

     So, a warning to all you potential car buyers.  As has been the case for as long as I can remember - the dealers lie!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Music Calls Out to Us!

     The other day, we turned on Morning Joe and heard Paul Anka sing "Diana," which he said he wrote when he was 14.  What a treat!  Anka wrote "My Way" for Frank Sinatra and our late Senator Arlen Specter adopted that song as his own theme song.  Later on, we heard the Frank Sinatra version of "Come Fly With Me" as part of a commercial for something, don't remember what.  But that's not the point.

     Music has been a part of life forever.  In the olden, olden days; only a few people knew how to read and history, ethics, philosophy, logical thinking, family values, etc. had to be taught to the populace for the purpose of passing on and remembering traditions.  Remember, most people could not read, so the important stories were turned into song.  The Torah is read, actually chanted,   today to the same musical arrangement of notes as in Biblical times.  The wise people created specific trops for specific passages so that everyone could remember them and chant them.

     In Hawaii, or Polynesia, there was no written language but the stories of their heritage persisted through the same kind of chanting of family and community traditions.

     Today, Chip Kelley, Eagles' coach, plays rhythmic music for football plays.  Again, as I understand it, specific musical phrases are connected to specific formations for defensive and offensive maneuvers.  And, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Andy Reid is now incorporating music into his plays with his new team the Kansas City Chiefs.

     Now, let us turn to the Lower Merion School Board who thinks it is in the best interest of the students, especially in elementary schools, to receive less time with music and the arts.  The school board could not be more wrong.  We attended the May 16th Lower Merion High School spring music and arts festival.  These young and talented musicians showed enthusiasm and understanding  with their performances.  They need to be complimented and encouraged on their tenacity and hours and hours of practice.  But, I have to admit that I was disappointed in one aspect of the program.  And that is the program itself which listed the members of district, regional, state and eastern performance groups.  When my children attended Lower Merion High School, the names of those selected for these groups filled up an entire page.  In this year's program, although I did not count them, I am sure that there were less than 10 students who achieved this honor.

     Come on Lower Merion School Board and "get with the program."  Music is important!!!  Music has always been important!!!  Don't deprive our children of their right to know, love, understand, and appreciate the arts!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013


     My mother enjoyed all kinds of entertainment, from sports to theater to opera to orchestra to anything that was performed by top notch performers.  She loved the Phillies, I think Richie Ashburn was her favorite, and that's why she surprised both me and my father one day when she said that he had to get tickets for the A's/Yankees game.  The Phillies were and still are the National League team; the Philadelphia Athletics were the American League team.  My father, who never denied my mother anything, asked her why.  She told him that Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees was going to play the Athletics and she wanted to be sure that I got to see the greatest and best baseball player of the time.  In all honesty, all I remember was her excitement at going to this game, being at the game, and then talking about how great DiMaggio was.

     My mother also loved Marlon Brando and she took me to see him in the movie Viva Zapata.  I saw it recently on TV and realized why she liked Brando and wanted to see that movie.  We went to New York to see Pajama Game, David Wayne in Teahouse of the August Moon, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, and when we toured the NBC studios she gently insisted that I sing a song for the closed circuit and brand new television sets that were scattered throughout the building.

     When it came to piano lessons, she rode with me on the bus to center city for lessons at the school that has now been incorporated into the University of the Arts.  My father used to pick us up when the lessons were over.  My mother never drove - a good thing.  Her sense of direction was greatly distorted and if she said that she was sure that we had to make a right turn, we knew to turn left.

     I had season tickets, through the high school, to the students' concerts at the Academy of Music and even though I felt I could touch the ceiling from the seats, the music made a lasting impression on me.  My parents attended every recital and concert in which I performed, starting when I was 4 years old and lasting through college.  They traveled wherever and whenever I played the piano, the flute, and/or the cello.  I took dance lessons, art lessons, and singing lessons.  Dancing was not my forte, neither was art when my watercolor pumpkins on a fence ran, and singing served me well in choruses.

     As a mother, I had my share of attending sporting events and concerts.  I even was asked to play football with my son and his friends when he was in high school - I did; and I played in the University orchestras when my children asked me to join them.

     And now, as a grandmother, I am enjoying as many of the entertainment venues that my darling grandchildren participate in,.