I first heard of Josephine Baker in the 1980s, when my sister wrote a story about her in the New Haven Courier Register. Debby was a feature writer there, and her story mostly focused on the 12 children Baker had adopted from countries around the world. Josephine Baker and 10 of her 12 children on … Continue reading ‘Josephine Baker’s Last Dance’ tells an important story at the right moment
Sweetheart’s answer to where he went to school to become an arborist is, “I learned on the street.” We have that in common. To this day, I’ve never taken a journalism class. I learned to be a reporter on the street. Literally, somewhat, as part of my first job at a daily paper involved finding … Continue reading Talk to the understudy and other ‘stuff reporters do,’ starring Danny Arnold
Life has never been better. Or more frustrating. Every morning, I wake up with a list of things to do and hardly any of them get done. Some of that is laziness. Some is fear, some is inertia. This house is in the neighborhood, but it carols at us, not the other way around. Also, … Continue reading Speak the truth & sing the songs: ups and downs of everyday life, Government shutdowns & Christmas carols
Remember when you were a little kid and your parents told you not to be a sore loser? What? Your parents never told you that? Or they did, and you blew them off? Well, hello there, Robin Vos, Joel Kleefisch, Alberta Darling, Scott Fitzgerald and all but three of your Republican colleagues in the Wisconsin legislature. … Continue reading Sore losers in need of history lesson: an open letter to the Wisconsin legislature
Back in October, I got to represent the library system I work for as a panelist for a League of Women Voters event. It was called "Truth, Trust & Democracy."I got the gig because a manager at one of our branches knew I'd been a reporter Back in the Day, still commit occasional Acts of … Continue reading Truth, Trust & Democracy or ‘Me, on a panel with four amazing women’
I was in the middle of an anxiety dream involving my mother, peanut sauce and Wales when the sound of a door opening jarred me awake. It was Sweetheart, with our morning coffees. After I attempted to describe the dream (Sweetheart: "Peanut stew? That sounds terrible!"), I said, "It's Election Day!" Then, I started … Continue reading Retain your complaining rights! A “nag you to vote” post featuring Alice Cooper, Mom’s 3¢ postage stamp, Tuki & Ward 201
Five years ago, my pal Molly and her husband Richard flew in from New York to visit her parents, "Mel" (z"l) and "Sally." It was their first visit after M&S moved into "Old People Harvard," the independent and assisted-living community where Mom had been living for two years. It was a great gift to Mom … Continue reading Accidental landlording & purposeful librarianship: a dispatch from the busy zone with a reminder to VOTE TUESDAY!
File yesterday under “Days when you’re glad your mother and aunts are dead.” File yesterday under “This is why I grapple with knowing that I look and benefit from being white but don't ever feel entirely white.” File yesterday under “What part of their part in this do Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Chuck Grassley, Paul … Continue reading Whistle long enough, dogs show up: Best synagogue shooting response? Weep. Mourn. Vote.
Dear Dr. Ford: I watched some of your testimony last week and want you to know that I thought you were amazing. You made sense out of something that was hard to make sense of, and you did it with elegance and good humor and decency. It was easy to imagine you as … Continue reading Thank you from the bottom of my heart: an open letter to Dr. Susan Blasey Ford
Mom died on February 25th. Her funeral was in Utica, New York; yesterday was her memorial service. This is the eulogy I wrote and read yesterday. Eulogy II The first Tuesday after Mom’s funeral, I woke up and, because it has been part of my waking-up ritual for what seems like forever (even though it … Continue reading Death: the most unlikely of happy endings or ‘Bossiest Eulogy Ever’