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Washed Apple by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Acquired Tastes

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Washed Apple My father was a wonderful guy and I’ve shared many loving memories of him.  (See My Father, the Outsider Artist,  My Dad and the Word Processor, Saying Farewell to a Special Guy,  and Six Pack) But he did have some strange food-related tastes and habits.   Apples were his favorite fruit,  and when…
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The Sweeter the Wine by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Acquired Tastes

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The Sweeter the Wine Wine was not exactly an acquired taste of mine,  but rather a delayed one.   For years I was a teetotaler – not by choice mind you,   but on doctor’s orders.   I suffered from migraine headaches since I was a young girl,   and I had been told wine…
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Do You Miss New York? by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By City vs Suburbs

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Dave Frishberg wrote it and no one sings it better than Rosie! See Clooney! – Dana Susan Lehrman 
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How to Raise a City Kid by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By City vs Suburbs

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How to Raise a City Kid Years ago when our son was a toddler many of our friends began fleeing to the suburbs.  They couldn’t imagine raising a child in Manhattan with all the dirt and crime. “But think of  the culture!”,  I would say. At the Met Museum five-year-old Noah,  wide-eyed at Arms &…
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Joy and Addis by
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(309 Stories)

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Joy and Addis  I’ve written about the memorable time in the early 1970s  when my husband Danny was working in London for a year and we lived in a rented flat in Chelsea off the Kings Road.   (See Laundry Day in London,  Kinky Boots,  Valentine’s Day in Foggytown ,  and Intro to Cookery) And I’ve…
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We Dance by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Meditation

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We Dance Shintoism has more followers in Japan than any other religion including Buddhism.   A polytheistic and animistic religion,  Shintoism,  like other Eastern faiths,  includes the practice of meditation and prayer,  and Japan boasts 100,000 Shinto shines.   But Shintoism has no central authority and its practices vary greatly among it adherents. Although possibly…
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My Conkeydoodle by
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(309 Stories)

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My Conkeydoodle  I’ve had many loving family relationships,  and one of them was with Conkeydoodle.   (See Call Me by Their Names) Conkeydoodle’s father Jack and my father Arthur were first cousins,  so I guess that made me and Conkey second cousins – or maybe first cousins once removed,  we never could quite figure that out.…
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Guardian by
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(309 Stories)

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Guardian  I never thought we’d lose touch or become estranged from good friends,   but sadly it happened.   (See The Gs and Malcolm)  But it seemed inconceivable that in our own family there’d be an estrangement,  but tragically that happened as well. In the early 1990s my sister Laurie married Andy,  and at the time…
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Sciatica by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Pain

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Sciatica Altho I’ve borne a child I can’t say I’ve experienced the pain of childbirth.   Early in my labor the doctor discovered the baby was in breech position and I’d need  a Cesarean,  and so I was put out and felt no pain.  (See My Brown-Eyed Girl) And once I had a really bad…
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Migraine by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Pain

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Migraine I must have been 11 or 12 the first time it hit me. I was sitting in the back seat with my friend Paula as her father drove us to a friend’s birthday party when I suddenly had a horrible nauseous headache.  I don’t remember what happened after that but I assume Paula’s dad…
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Who Trained Who? by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Training Pets

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Who Trained Who? In our house it’s pretty obvious! RetroFlash / 6 Words – Dana Susan Lehrman 
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Ashes and Stashes by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Stuff

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Ashes and Stashes When I retired after my long career as a librarian,  I embarked on a new venture – helping people declutter and organize their stuff!   (See Second Career – Home Organizer!) I advertised my organizing services and I started getting calls from folks who said they needed help getting a handle on their…
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TM and the Honeymoon Album by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Meditation

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TM and the Honeymoon Album Once years ago I heard  that a lecture on transcendental meditation was to be given at a local community center. Intrigued and eager to learn about the benefits of meditation I went,  and when the lecture ended I struck up a conversation with the young woman sitting next to me.…
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Turning Left in London by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The DMV

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Turning Left in London I’ve written about our magical year in the early 1970s when my husband Danny worked in his company’s London office.  (See Laundry Day in London, Valentine’s Day in Foggytown, Kinky Boots and Intro to Cookery) Here’s another story. Before we left for our London sojourn we went to the DMV,  presented our New York drivers licenses,…
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Driving with Susy by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The DMV

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Driving with Susy  Susy’s family lived on our block,  just a few houses away,  and our parents were close friends.  In my mind’s eye I can still see our mothers sitting together in our kitchen,  me watching in fascination as Susy’s mom twisted the string around her teabag to get the last drop of flavor.…
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French Dip by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Swimming

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French Dip One of the things I was determined to do when I retired was to perfect my French.   My husband’s parents were multi-lingual,  he heard  French spoken at home,  and he speaks it fluently.   But although I studied French in both high school and college,  my mastery of that beautiful tongue was…
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Three-Ring Circus by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Stress

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Three-Ring Circus A working woman who’s also a wife and mother can sometimes feel like a juggler in a three-ring circus. I was working at a job I loved when I discovered I was  pregnant,  and I happily applied for a maternity leave to start two weeks before the baby was due.   (See My Brown-Eyed…
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Life After 60 by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Turning Points

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Life After 60 Like most of us I’m sure my life has had many turning points  – one certainly was leaving home after college,  another my first job.  And then marriage,  and parenthood,  and that three ring circus as a working woman/wife/mother! And then in my early 60s I retired after my long career as…
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Sleeping Arrangements by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Training Pets

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Sleeping Arrangements  What’s more fun than a new kitten?  (See ASPCA) But they do require some serious training to show them who’s boss.   So the day we brought Jackie home from the ASPCA we read him the house rules –  don’t bite the hand that feeds you,  keep your paws off the house plants,  and…
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Cross Country by Mustang by
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(309 Stories)

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Cross Country by Mustang The summer of 1966 we were newly married when my husband Alan accepted a medical school externship in Denver.  The plan was to drive from New York to Colorado in our new red Ford Mustang convertible. The problem was the car had a stick shift,  and used to driving automatics I…
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Bronx Girl by
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(309 Stories)

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Bronx Girl “The Bronx?  No thonx!”  wrote the poet Ogden Nash. As a kid growing up in the Bronx I didn’t get it,  I didn’t realize my borough had a bad rap,  and I certainly wouldn’t have understood why.  The Bronx was my home and I loved it.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home) I even…
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Cincinnati by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Prejudice

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Cincinnati  Jackie Robinson was subject to unimaginable prejudice.  Teams would bring up their Southern minor leaguers to taunt and insult him. One day during a game in Cincy,  a border town to the former slave state of Kentucky,  Robinson’s Dodger teammate,  Louisville native Pee Wee Reese walked over to first base and put his arm…
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Broken Ankle by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Dangerous Deeds

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Broken Ankle  I’m the type who tends to play it safe.  In fact I can’t remember any really dangerous deeds done or risks taken. Although I once jumped off an elevated deck thinking the drop down was shorter than it actually was.   It resulted in a compound ankle fracture keeping me wheelchair bound and…
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The Gs by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Ex-Friends

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The Gs Louise and I were both living in the women’s graduate dorm at Columbia in the 1960s while I was in library school and she in the social work program,  and we soon became fast friends. Within a few years after grad school we each married,  happily our new husbands hit it off,  and…
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Diversity, it’s on Tap by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Disunited States

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Diversity,  It’s on Tap On Nov 19, 2022 a 45 year old Army vet named Richard Fierro was with his wife Jessica,  their daughter Kassie,  and some friends at Club Q,  a gay bar in Colorado Springs.  They were on the dance floor when a man armed with an AR15 -type weapon entered the club…
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Brass Ankle by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Prejudice

/ Stories

Rainbow Row,  Charleston SC I was raised in the Bronx, New York in 50s and 60s when the demographics were such that families in the  borough were predominantly Jewish – like mine – or Catholic.   In fact my friend Kathie, whose family was Moravian,  tells me she was often the only WASP in her…
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A Crack in Everything by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Perfection

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“Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” I love the lyric but it took me awhile to get the songwriter’s message. I thought when I got married my life would be perfectly and eternally blissful,  after…
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Passed Out in the Library by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The ER

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The last thing I remember was locking the door of the high school library at the end of the day.  And then inexplicably I found myself seated at my desk, confused,  and with an aching head. I had no memory of walking back to my office and sitting down at my desk before I passed…
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Malcolm by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Ex-Friends

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Malcolm I never imagined that after decades of friendship we and Malcolm would become estranged,  but regrettably it happened. He and my husband Danny roomed together in college and remained very close.  Mal was the most sophisticated one in their crowd  – he bought his clothes at Brooks,  went to Dunhill’s for his pipe tobacco,…
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Teacher Strike by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Strikes

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In September 1968 I was a new minted school librarian working in a New York City public high school when my union,  the United Federation of Teachers (UFT),  then led by Al Shanker,  voted to strike.  I joined the picket line. The strike followed a confrontation between a newly established community-controlled school board in the…
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Tanesha by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Homelessness

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Tanesha  Raised in an upper-middle class home I’m sure as a child I had little understanding of how the other half lives.  Years later working in the inner-city I had a rude awakening. As a newly licensed high school librarian I was assigned by the New York City Board of Education to a small vocational high…
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Literacy for Incarcerated Teens by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Prison

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Literacy for Incarcerated Teens  When I retired after my long career as a high school librarian,  my friend Karlan called me.  Karlan was recently retired herself after working for New York Public Library as a young adult librarian. “I’m heading a new organization called Literacy for Incarcerated Teens / LIT “,  she said, “it’s a good…
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The Great Jane Addams Library Flood by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Floods

/ Stories

I’ve written about my years as head librarian at Jane Addams,  a New York City public vocational high school.  (See Magazines for the Principal,  The Parking Lot Seniority List,  Shelf List, The Diary of a Young Girl,  Early Session and Educator of the Year:  Remembering Milton) Here’s another story. Because of our large student body for many years our…
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The Parents Group by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Community

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When our son was born in New York Hospital I was asked if we’d like to attend The First Year of Life,  a series of quarterly lectures by Lee Salk,  the renown child psychologist.  Of course we signed up and over the following year we attended four wonderful lectures held in a hospital meeting room.…
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Inks and Derek: Art and the Cricket Scores by
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(309 Stories)

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Inks and Derek: Art and the Cricket Scores In the early 1970s my husband Danny accepted a stint in his company’s London office.   (See Laundry Day in London,   Kinky Boots,  Valentine’s Day in Foggytown,  Intro to Cookery,  and Munro) He’d be working for a guy named Derek whom I hadn’t met,  but Danny assured me I’d…
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Seating Plan by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Community

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Years ago when our son was busy studying his bar mitzvah Torah portion,  we were busy planning the celebratory luncheon that would follow the service.  (See Ghostwriting in the Family) We picked the restaurant,  selected the menu,  made up the guest list,  and sent out the invitations. We invited family of course,  our friends and our…
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Tapestry by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Art’s Impact

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A few years ago my husband’s college roommate Ken invited us to join him on a trip to Normandy.   I had a bit of a hassle replacing my missing travel documents,  but eventually all was resolved.  (See The Purloined Passport) We flew first to Paris where we visited with family and friends, then rented a…
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The Peacock by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Fire

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Both my husband and I bear the scars of early burns.  Mine is under my chin and dates from a very minor,  almost funny childhood accident;  his scar is on his arm, dates from the hour of his birth, and tells a more somber tale. As I child I loved summer camp and went on…
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My Day in the ER by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The ER

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Recently I spend a day in the ER. I had a Zoom book club meeting the day before and was eating a tuna fish sandwich as I sat at my computer chatting with my book club friends. I made the tuna salad myself and in fact my husband was eating it downstairs while I was…
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Scammed! by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hacked!

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I thought I was pretty smart but the scammers out there are even smarter! A few years ago I got a call telling me my Verizon bill was overdue and my cell phone service would soon be discontinued. I thought I’d paid that bill and could easily have checked,  or  I could have hung up and called…
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The Gurney by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The ER

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Like many parents I’m sure we made several trips to the ER when our child was young. I remember once when our son was a toddler he split his lip falling in our apartment.  I couldn’t stench the blood and so my husband and I took him to the ER at our local hospital only…
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Munro by
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(309 Stories)

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Munro – Germany 1945  Munro Our son’s middle name is Munro.  It’s a Scottish name and a bit unusual for an American kid,  but it’s in keeping with the Jewish tradition of naming a child for someone beloved who has passed away.  In fact the Munro we knew had been a mentor to my husband…
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Wishing for Rain on the Vineyard by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Rainy Days

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We’ve spend many lovely summer vacations on Martha’s Vineyard and I’ve written about some of my memories of that idyllic island.  (See Menemsha Sunset,  and Carousel) Of course we reveled in sunny days when it was glorious to be at the beach or on the water,  and just as delightful to stroll in town shopping, antiquing,…
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Les Halles by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Dawn

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Les Halles I went to Europe for the first time in the late 1960s with my husband Alan on a belated honeymoon.  We spent a few days in Copenhagen where we saw Victor Borge in concert in Tivoli Gardens.   And then a week in Paris where our hotel room reeked of garlic –  thanks,…
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Doctors Hospital and the Very Sharp Cheese Plane by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The ER

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Until it closed in 2004 and the building was razed to make way for a new luxury high rise,  Doctors Hospital stood on East End Avenue two blocks from our apartment. Opened in 1929 as a small, private hospital,  originally for maternity cases,  it was soon favored by celebrities and over the years counted Marilyn…
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Doing My Civic Duty by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Jury Duty

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I’ve been called for jury service four or five times over the years,  and once was even appointed forelady and tasked with announcing the jury’s verdict to the judge. One case I remember was about an accused shoplifter charged with taking clothing into a department store dressing room,  removing all the price tags,  and attempting…
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The Pavilion by
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(309 Stories)

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The Pavilion  In March 2020 on the cusp of the Covid outbreak my husband was scheduled for surgery,  but the prospect of him spending even a few days in a large New York hospital was worrisome.  Luckily his doctor discharged him one day post-op,  I took him home,  and the next day we left Manhattan…
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The Elevator by
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(309 Stories)

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By New York standards our apartment building is not very big with 16 floors and 187 apartments,  and over the years we’ve come to know many of our neighbors altho certainly not all. One day I was in the elevator when  a women I’d seen in the building – but didn’t know – got on…
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Good Neighbors – for David K by
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(309 Stories)

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Writing once about the passage of time, I urged you to seize the day.   (See Time and the Taxi Man) I thought of those words recently at the funeral of our neighbor David K who had died suddenly the week before.  For decades my husband Danny and I shared the same East End Avenue address…
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Breakfast in Bed by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Mother’s Day

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Many years ago we spent a spring weekend with friends at their beach house a few hours from the city. That Sunday was Mother’s Day and our young son and our hosts’ two young kids had planned a lovely surprise.  Early that morning our bedroom door burst open and the three kids came in, our…
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Early Session by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Dawn

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Early Session I like to stay up late at night and sleep late in the morning.  (See Night Owl) But of course I couldn’t indulge those preferences during all my years working at a school,  especially the semesters I was on early session and had to punch a time clock at the ungodly hour of…
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Boycott by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Question Authority

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As a child I don’t remember  questioning the authority of my teachers,  I loved school and remember no run-ins there. My parents were easy-going and so neither do I remember much contention at home,  altho as a teenager I had the usual adolescent battles with my mother,  and remember storming out of the house during…
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Anti-authoritarianism by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Question Authority

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My German-born father was rather strict and accustomed to getting his own way.   When I turned 14 and was about to graduate from junior high he wanted to send me to boarding school in Switzerland.  I refused, not wanting to leave my friends and family. “It’s like the army,“  he retorted,  “and I’m the general…
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The Extension by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Cutting the Cord

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The big telephone issue these days of course is whether or not to give up our landlines.   But the big deal when I was young was whether a girl could convince her folks to have an extension to the family telephone installed in her bedroom! If they would,  l remember promising my parents,  I’d…
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Where Have the Years Gone? by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Aging

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I surely don’t remember getting older, but here I am!   (See Bus Stop) And yet altho I often forget where I parked my car,  or where I left my eyeglasses,   I can still remember in loving detail the big rubber boots my father wore as he pulled me on my sled during the northeastern…
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The Smell of the Greasepaint by
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(309 Stories)

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As a girl coming of age in the early 60’s I was enamored of the theater and dreamt of a life on the stage.   I’ve written about my glamorous and talented great aunt Miriam who performed in grand theaters and music halls in Europe and America,  and inspired me.  And I’ve also written about…
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Captain by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Veterans Day

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Captain Born in a small town in New York’s Catskill Mountains,  my father remembered dancing around a bonfire as a six-year-old to celebrate the 1918 armistice. Two decades later when the US entered WWII he enlisted in the Army as a newly minted physician.   Assigned to the Charleston,  SC  Port of Embarkation,  he was…
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Lost Child by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Trauma

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When our son was young we spent many summers in rented houses on the beach.   (See Skinny Dipping and The Great Hampton Babysitter Heist) One summer when he was three or four we were on a Hamptons beach when the kid went missing,   We may have thought the other one had eyes on him,  or maybe…
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Snow Day by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Changing Times

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Snow Day (Not exactly a Changing Times story but close enough.) Kids love snow days when the schools are closed,  and so do we teachers. One winter a few years ago we had lots of snow and every night we eagerly watched the weather report for the listing of school closures When we did have a…
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British Summer Time by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Changing Times

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British Summer Time I confess I’m rather chauvinistic about New York.   The city’s been my home pretty much all my life and I love the hustle and bustle,  the theater,  the 24/7 vibe,  the people-watching,  and I don’t even mind the noise and the traffic. Don’t get me wrong,  I love to travel and…
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The Cafe by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Imagined Lives

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Recently at a neighborhood cafe I saw an attractive older couple deep in conversation,  their hands touching on the table.  (See West Side Story)    Both wore wedding rings,  but their body language told me they weren’t married to each other.  I’ll never know their backstory so I imaged this one for them. The Cafe…
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Good Night (Hurricane) Irene! by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Lightning

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We’ve been affected by hurricanes twice  – by Irene in 2011 and by Sandy a year later.    Sandy caused us the most disruption – our Manhattan apartment building is near the East River and the storm caused it to overrun the adjacent FDR Drive and our street,  East End Ave,  and flood our building’s…
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Odessa by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Ceremony

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When I was growing up my parents had a housekeeper named Odessa.   She was a tall and stately-looking Black woman,  and I adored her. In the mornings before my mother left for work Odessa arrived,  made sure I finished my breakfast,  and walked me the few blocks to school.  And at 3:00 she’d be there…
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Mother’s Day 1985, Van Courtlandt Park by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Mother’s Day

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After the lunch and the long-stemmed rose,  we stopped in the park for a catch.  My husband took the baseball gloves from the trunk of the car and tossed one to each of us. “Both of you spread out.”,  he said,  and so obediently we each trotted across the grass. He threw the first ball…
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On the Aisle by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Theater

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The Play That Goes Wrong – sidesplitting. As a girl I dreamt of a life on the stage,  I acted in neighborhood and college theater, and spent a wonderful summer directing camp productions,  but alas I didn’t pursue that early dream.   (See Theater Dreams,  and Piano Man – Remembering Herb) But going to the theater has always been…
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What Does a Woman Want? by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Intelligence

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That supposed smart guy Sigmund Freud may not have been as smart as we thought.   His friend Marie Bonaparte ,  the great-grandniece of Emperor Napoleon,  a French author and analyst herself,  once sought treatment from the renown psychoanalyst for her own sexual problems. Famously Freud asked her,  “The great question that has never been…
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A Favor for the Coach by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Favors

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The Jane Addams HS boys basketball team with Coach Jon Ostrow (Ozzie) in the blue shirt. A Favor for the Coach I’ve shared many memories of my years working at Jane Addams HS.   (See Magazines for the Principal , The Diary of a Young Girl,  Going Back to Work , Mr October  and The Parking Lot…
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A Thousand Little Touches by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Marriage

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My father – six years older than my mother – died in his early 80s.   (See My Dad and the Word Processor,   Saying Farewell to a Special Guy,  Six Pack, My Father, the Outsider Artist,  GP and Turkey and Trimmings with Flu Shot) My mother,  who it seemed had never been sick a day in her…
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Obit by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Divorce

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Obit I was at work when my mother called to tell me Ruth M had died.   My mom was at the age when she read the obituaries every day looking for the names of friends and acquaintances,  and had seen Ruth’s name in the morning paper. Ruth was my ex-mother-in-law and I hadn’t seen…
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Writing for Retrospect by
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(309 Stories)

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Altho I’ve Retroflashed about my feelings for Retrospect,  there’s more to say about this wonderful website! In September 2019 at the urging of my friend Betsy,  and after some transcontinental calls to Suzy with tech questions,  I wrote my first Retro story for the prompt Road Rage.  It was about an accident I had with…
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2026 McGraw by
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(309 Stories)

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What’s Your Story? by
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(309 Stories)

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Knowing I write,  my friend Betsy invited me to join Retrospect.   I was already blogging,  but writing to weekly prompts sounded intriguing. Yet little did I know how special Retro would become for me and writing would be only one part of the experience;  reading stories by fellow writers another;  and building friendships across the country as…
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West Side Story by
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(309 Stories)

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West Side Story One wintry afternoon feeling chilled I stopped at an upper-westside cafe.  I asked for a cup of tea and drinking it I overheard an attractive older woman at the next table tell the waiter someone was meeting her. She was looking toward the door when a handsome gray-haired man entered,  glanced around…
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Shelf List by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By My First Computer

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Shelf List I was a librarian for almost 40 years,  most of those spent working in school libraries with several summers in a small public library as well.    (See The Diary of a Young Girl,  Magazines for the Principal,  My Snowy Year in Buffalo and Rainy Night on the Highway) I loved my time in…
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Getting Lost by
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(309 Stories)

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I must admit I have a poor sense of direction,  but luckily my husband has a very good one,  and he seldom gets us lost.   And on the rare occasions we do get lost,  he’s willing to stop and ask directions,  unlike my rather stubborn father.  (See 17 Gas Stations) But I remember a time,…
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Laughing Gas and the Chestnut Tree by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The Dentist

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When I was growing up we lived on a shady street in the Bronx.   Several doctors and dentists had offices on our block and my dad was one of them.   He was a GP who practiced on the ground floor of our three-story house and we lived on the two upper floors  “over…
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Around the World in 80 Days by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Family Feud

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I seldom saw my parents feuding,  but there was one thorny issue they couldn’t agree on.  When my mother retired after years of teaching she wanted my father to retire as well so that like many of their retired friends they could travel freely. They had traveled a bit over the years – across country,…
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Election Day Blues by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By First Time Voting

/ Stories

I don’t remember the first time I voted,  and altho a knee-jerk liberal,  I’ve never been particularly savvy about politics.  But my mother was very much so,  and I’m sure on my first Election Day  I took her advice as I usually have ever since   – “Vote Democratic;  and if candidates run on both…
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Intro to Cookery by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Learning To Cook

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Intro to Cookery We were still newlyweds when my husband’s company offered him the chance to work in their London office for a year and of course we took it!   (See Valentine’s Day in Foggytown,  Kinky Boots,  and Laundry Day in London) I took a leave of absence from my job,  we sublet our apartment,  and…
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Shuffling Off to Buffalo by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Planes and Trains

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Shuffling Off to Buffalo Back in my grad school days I was studying in New York and my boyfriend was upstate in Buffalo,  a good eight hour train ride away. Many weekends I’d catch the train at the Harlem 125th Street station to make the trip.  Then one Friday afternoon I was waiting on the…
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Lost Luggage by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Planes and Trains

/ Stories

When our son Noah was 4 or 5 we took him on his first plane trip to Aruba for a week’s vacation. I bought a set of matching suitcases on wheels in three sizes –  the big one for my husband,  the middle one for me,  and the small one for Noah,  and once we got…
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The Naked Emperor by
200
(309 Stories)

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As a young kid I’m sure when The Emperor’s New Clothes was read to me I was delighted by a boy much wiser than the grownups,  and unafraid to laugh at the foolish and naked ruler. And later when I was older and read the tale myself I surely appreciated the clever satire,  the pomposity and the…
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Sofa-bed by
200
(309 Stories)

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Our first living room couch was really a sofa-bed –  we bought it thinking when it wasn’t being a living room couch it could double as a guest bed – and it did,  legions of our friends have slept on it over the years with no complaints. And as I remember it was originally covered…
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The Great Knaidel Disaster by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Customer Service

/ Stories

As you may know a bowl of chicken soup without knaidelach is like a day without sunshine. For the uninitiated let me explain that knaidelach is the German-derived Yiddish word for matzo balls,  and knaidel the singular.   And as I’ve said,  without knaidelach chicken soup is just soup.  (See The Matzo Ball Spelling Bee) And as you can guess chicken…
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Rock Concert by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Drugs and Alcohol

/ Stories

Rock Concert When our son was 12 we took him to New Jersey’s Meadowlands Arena to his first rock concert – a stop on Bon Jovi’s  Slippery When Wet Tour. Later he told us Bon Jovi wasn’t really a cool band,  and going to a rock concert with your folks wasn’t cool at all.  …
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Our Philip Pearlstein Nude by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Priciest Purchase

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Nude on Blue Rug  1970 One weekend many years ago Danny and I visited friends in Pittsburgh and they took us to a local art gallery. We had no intention of buying anything but one lithograph  – Nude on Blue Rug – caught our eye,  perhaps partly because we had a very similar rug in our…
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Elliptical Intentions by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Priciest Purchase

/ Stories

Surely the priciest purchases we’ve made were our city coop and our house in the country,  and we’ve been enjoying both for years with no buyer’s remorse. But those aside,  one big expenditure we made that I do regret is the large elliptical exercise machine that’s been taking up space in our apartment. We’re not…
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Frances Henne by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Favorite Teacher

/ Stories

I’ve been inspired by many fine teachers over the years but the one who influenced me most was Frances Henne, my professor at Columbia’s graduate library school. Not a household name and surely not recognizable outside her field,   Dr Henne was a mover and a shaker in the children’s and young adult library world.…
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Educator of the Year – Remembering Milton by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Favorite Teacher

/ Stories

Educator of the Year – Remembering Milton I wasn’t on the faculty at Jane Addams High School for long before I realized there was something special about Milton. Milt’s job description was Stockman and his office was in the school’s basement and lined with shelves holding reams of paper, school stationery, notebooks, folders,  boxes of…
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Save the Date by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Procrastination

/ Stories

Procrastinate,  who me?  On the contrary,  I’m compulsive and sometimes I act TOO soon,  which I’ve learned can be just as problematic. There was the time I got a save-the-date for the out-of-town,  black-tie wedding of a friend’s son to be held on a date six months hence. Save-the-dates don’t have reply cards or mine…
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Brubeck by
200
(309 Stories)

/ Stories

I love live theatre and am happy to say I’ve been to many memorable stage performances over the years,  so many in fact that I’ll save them for another story. But I remember other memorable performances at festivals and stadiums,  and at cabarets and concert halls  – as a teenager hearing Ella Fitzgerald at the Danbury…
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The Inexplicable Magic of The Gates by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Art’s Impact

/ Stories

The Gates – Central Park, New York  2005 The Inexplicable Magic of The Gates  I’m an art-lover and avid museum-goer with what I guess is eclectic taste.   For example I don’t like abstract art.  (See In the Abstract) And yet though I prefer representational art,  I also like art that’s a bit phantasmic like Franz…
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“Do you believe in fairies?” by
200
(309 Stories)

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Eva Le Gallienne as Peter Pan 1928 When my mother was young her parents took her to Broadway to see Peter Pan,  the title role played by the actress Eva Le Gallienne who famously flew on wires over the heads of the audience. The London-born Le G as she was called,  who died in 1991 at…
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Bike Trail by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Riding a Bicycle

/ Stories

My friend Alice Bike Trail The summer we bought our weekend house in a Connecticut community friends invited us to lunch and introduced us to Alice and her husband David. I learned that Alice had a doctorate in music,  had worked in both the music and the publishing worlds,  sang in a New York chorus,…
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17 Gas Stations by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Car Trouble

/ Stories

DISCLAIMER :  Not exactly a car trouble story,  more like trouble in the car. The question is,  why won’t men stop to ask directions? The answer may be in John Gray’s well-known book Men are From Mars,  Women are From Venus.   Or in another fascinating book on gender differences entitled You Just Don’t Understand: Women and…
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Smash-Up by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Car Trouble

/ Stories

I must confess I’m not the best of drivers. (See  Life is a Highway,  Fender Bender,  and  Rainy Night on the Highway.)
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My Favorite Things by
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(309 Stories)

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I confess I’m not very sentimental.  (See With This Ring and Baby Shoes) But there are some things I own that are older than I am and that I treasure. One is certainly the brass dinner bell my grandmother rang to call the guests to meals at her small Catskill hotel.  (See My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel,  Hotel…
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“And that’s the way it is.” by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Broadcast News

/ Stories

I’ve written about my family dinners as we listened to Lowell Thomas reading the day’s news on our Emerson radio,  and how to my childish sensibility it seemed he was speaking directly to us in the intimacy of our kitchen.   (See Kitchen Radio) Years later on my parents’ black and white TV we watched the…
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Three Noahs by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By What's in a Name

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Noah R,  Noah G,  and Noah L As you may know it’s traditional in Jewish families to give children the names or initials of loved-ones who have died.   And so when we were expectant parents we planned to name the baby after my late father-in-law whose name was Naftali. My woman’s intuition told me…
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The Writing Life by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Why We Write

/ Stories

Why do we write?   For me words seem to come easily and I enjoy the writing process.   (See Why I Blog) But here’s what some renown writers have to say about their writing life. “I write because I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of living … I must order my life in sonnets…
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Tradition! by
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(309 Stories)

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Tradition! As a child I heard Yiddish spoken by my European-born grandparents and my first-generation American parents,  yet I never had the curiosity to learn to speak it myself. But my parents subscribed to New York’s Yiddish theatre company,  the Folksbiene,  and I’d go with them and follow the plays by reading the English supertitles.…
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My Father, the Outsider Artist by
200
(309 Stories)

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My Father,  the Outsider Artist  My father Arthur was a wise and quite a wonderful guy,  but I don’t remember him doling out wisdom or advice very often.  Rather he taught by example – he was a man of integrity,  warmth,   and an overwhelming kindness,  although he also had some rather annoying idiosyncrasies!    (See…
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Celebrate Me Home by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Songs We Sang

/ Stories

Celebrate Me Home I first heard the moving Kenny Loggins song Celebrate Me Home when my husband and I attended a weekend retreat run by a human potential movement called Lifespring.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home) I can’t say that weekend radically changed my life as the workshop leader promised,  but it did make me think about the real…
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Jessie’s 79th by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Special Birthdays

/ Stories

Like most kids I had a yearly birthday party,   and then like many girls of my generation a Sweet Sixteen. In later years we had a wonderful celebration for my son’s 13th birthday at his bar mitzvah.   (see Ghostwriting in the Family) And later a fun party for my husband’s 60th at Yankee Stadium.…
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The Wheat Field by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Mind the Gap

/ Stories

My grandparents emigrated from eastern Europe,  and my parents lived through a world war – my father sent overseas while my mother worked for the Army on the homefront.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home) And like all families there were skeletons in the closet,  and there were suicides on both sides that were whispered about,  and…
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Night Owl by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Sleepy Time

/ Stories

Night Owl I’ve always been a night owl,  but once ready for bed I don’t remember having trouble falling asleep – until lately. Blame it on aging,  or Covid concerns,  or worrying about the fate of the planet,  but lately there are nights I toss and turn until the wee hours. So what do I…
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My Brown-Eyed Girl by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The Eyes Have It

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My Brown-Eyed Girl I wear reading glasses, and have had the requisite cataract surgeries,   yet over the years I haven’t given much thought to my eyeglasses or to my changing vision.   But I have thought about the color of my eyes. In Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical masterpiece Carousel, the carnival barker Billy Bigelow soliloquizes about…
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The Dinner Party by
200
(309 Stories)

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“Don’t cry,” she said to me days before she died, “I’ve had a full and very happy life.”
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Danielle Mailer, Artist Extraordinaire by
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(309 Stories)

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The artist in her studio,  Goshen,  CT Danielle Mailer,  Artist Extraordinaire I love art but I don’t think of myself as a real collector,  although I do have three Danielle Mailers! Several years ago we were invited to an auction fundraiser by our friend H.  At the time he was director of Wellspring,  a residential…
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Dangerous! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Banned Books

/ Stories

I read banned books – to protest their banning of course,  but also because they’re invariably such good reads! As you may know,  countless modern classics have been banned or challenged at one time or another,  among them The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,  As I Lay Dying,  Beloved,  The Catcher in the Rye,  The Color Purple,…
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My Grandpa Henry by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Refugees

/ Stories

HANNAH & HENRY  circa 1915 In the early 20th century there was an influx of East European Jews coming to the States seeking refuge from troubled times at home.   Among them was my maternal grandfather Henry who came with his widowed mother Gertrude,   his younger brother David,  and Gertrude’s elderly and blind widowed…
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Outpatient by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Refugees

/ Stories

The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is heartbreaking as millions flee their homes and we watch helplessly on the TV news. At the turn of the 20th century,  with the Jewish influx of the time,  both my maternal and paternal grandparents emigrated to the States from Eastern Europe,  my father’s parents from Ukraine. They all came…
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Chipmunk by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The Great Beyond

/ Stories

We live in Manhattan and we will love the hustle and bustle of our city life,  but we also love communing with nature on weekends at our woodsy retreat in the Connecticut foothills.  (See Country Living, Wisdom in the Weeds,  and  Pickled) On one recent country weekend I came home from the market with a load of…
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“May You Live in Interesting Times” by
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(309 Stories)

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As we start our third year of this fearsome pandemic it’s hard to believe we’ve gotten through it this far.   Initially I was in a state of disbelief,  and it took me awhile to internalize how serious the situation was.  And then I felt sorry,  very sorry for myself. But in time I saw…
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Posing for the Camera by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Photo Booths

/ Stories

Stephanie and Me,  circa 1965 Posing for the Camera  Before we all took selfies on our cell phones,  and before  “BFF”  and “besties”  were entries in the Urban Dictionary,  Stephanie and I were best friends posing for pictures in a neighborhood photo booth.   We were practically inseparable then and I’ve written before about our…
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Hotel Kittens by
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(309 Stories)

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Hotel Kittens As you may remember I spent childhood summers at my grandmother Esther’s hotel in the Catskill town of Liberty,  NY.  (See My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel,  My Game Mother,  Playing with Fire,  and  The Troubadour) You may also remember that one of my beloved childhood pets – a cat with a beautiful…
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Our Special Guests by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Trauma

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Our Special Guests My loyal readers may remember that I spent happy childhood summers at my grandmother’s small hotel in the Catskills.  (See My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel,  My Game Mother,  Playing with Fire,  Hotel Kittens, The Cat and the Forshpeiz,  and The Troubadour) Here’s another hotel memory,  though this one is bittersweet. Every summer for many years…
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Say It Ain’t So, Joe! by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Cheating

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Say It Ain’t So, Joe! Apparently cheating is nothing new,  even the Biblical King David cheated on a wife or two. And cheating in professional sports has been around for a long time too.  Even before Pete Rose and the pine tar,  and the Boston Patriots and eDeflategate,  there was Shoeless Joe Jackson and the…
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Basement Kitten by
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(309 Stories)

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Baseball Kitten Always crazy about animals,  I’ve written before about some of my beloved pets over the years,  even my two attention-deficient goldfish!   (See Missing Pussycats,   Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog,  Fluffy and the Alligator Shoes,  ASPCA and Naval Funeral) When my husband Danny and I were newly married we lived in Westchester in…
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My Beloved Basement by
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(309 Stories)

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I’ve written before about 2026 McGraw Avenue,  the house in the Bronx where I grew up,  and  in my mind’s eye I can still see every room, nook and cranny.   (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home,   Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog,  and  Mr Bucco and the Ginger Cat) And now I even think…
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If It’s Sunday, This Must Be Yorkshire by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Time

/ Stories

Is it just me or is time flying by? With the new pandemic normal,  and all of us still somewhat in lockdown mode,  you’d think time would be creeping along like the proverbial snail. And you’d think we’d have all the time in the world to catch up on our reading,  or our knitting,  or…
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Time and the Taxi Man by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Time

/ Stories

Many years ago on the last day of our Jamaican honeymoon the hotelkeeper called a taxi to take us from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay for our flight home. When the driver picked us up he worried aloud that we hadn’t left enough time for the 100 kilometer trip,  and as we left the hotel…
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Taking the High Road by
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(309 Stories)

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Taking the High Road  In the early 1970s we spent an unforgettable year in London where my husband was working.   (See Kinky Boots,  Valentine’s Day in Foggytown,  and Laundry Day in London) During that time we took some wonderful trips around the UK and Europe.  However the one itinerary that we can still recite verbatim is our…
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Moonlight Sonata by
200
(309 Stories)

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Moonlight Sonata I’ve written before about my father Arthur who was truly a Renaissance man.  (See Saying Farewell to a Special Guy,  Six Pack,  and My Dad and the Word Processor) By profession Arthur was a family physician who when asked his medical specialty once quipped,  “I treat the skin and its contents.” And by avocation my…
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User Manual by
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(309 Stories)

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Although my son says only wimps read directions,  I really need them to assemble mechanical stuff that I buy. Just recently Florida friends sent us a crate of oranges.  We had an old citrus juicer that didn’t work very well,  and so now with all those oranges to squeeze I decided it was time to…
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Press Queen by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Newspapers

/ Stories

When I was an undergrad at NYU Heights I was a commuter student,  but stayed on campus after classes as much as I could to enjoy the extracurricular college life.  (See Ghostwriting in the Family,  The Fortune Cookie Candidate and Theatre Dreams) Steve,  the editor of the school paper,  was a friend and I’d often stop in…
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On My Honor I Will Try! by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Scouting

/ Stories

I was never a Brownie – I don’t remember why,  I guess it was just another example of my parents’ negligence.  (See Tennis Woes) Instead,  when I was in 4th or 5th grade,   too old for Brownies,  they signed me up for Girl Scouts.   But most of the other girls in my troop…
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With This Ring by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Lost and Found

/ Stories

I’m not superstitious or especially sentimental,  and that’s a good thing because over the years I’ve lost some precious pieces of jewelry –  two or three watches,  innumerable earrings,  and even a few wedding rings. When we married my husband gave me a simple band – not of gold or silver but of jade.  …
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Cookies and Milk by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Guilty Pleasures

/ Stories

Cookies and Milk Guilty pleasures?   Aside from dark chocolate and hanky-panky in the afternoon: Long baths with good books Long lunches with good friends The anticipatory buzz in the theatre before the curtain goes up Playing tennis on a hot day in a very light drizzle Playing Scrabble any day Yard sales Waiting in an…
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Both Sides Now by
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(309 Stories)

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Both Sides Now In 1968 Judy Collins recorded the Joni Mitchell song Both Sides Now,  and I listened to it over and over again. That year I was looking at love from both sides myself,  and in June I got married for the second time. My first marriage had lasted a little over a year.   Yet…
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Pittsburgh Egg Cream by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Comfort Food

/ Stories

Egg creams are like mother’s milk for us New Yorkers and they’re on the beverage menu in every coffee shop and diner in the five boroughs.   Yet apparently in other parts of the country this ambrosial comfort drink is practically unknown! After visiting friends in Pittsburgh years ago,   we were waiting for our…
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The Cat and the Forshpeiz by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Comfort Food

/ Stories

The Cat and the Forshpeiz As early as the turn of the 20th century,  East-European Jewish immigrants began traveling north from New York City to vacation and escape the summer heat in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. But it was after WWII in the 1940s and 50s that this influx reached it’s peak…
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Box Score by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Newspapers

/ Stories

When I was a girl growing up in the Bronx dozens of daily and weekly newspapers were being published in New York City.  My parents read the Times,  the Herald Tribune.  and the New York Post which was delivered to our house every afternoon. The Post was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton as a…
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Frenched! by
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(309 Stories)

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I was 11 years old the first time I went away to camp.   Until then I’d spent wonderful summers with my family at my grandmother’s small Catskill hotel.  (See My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel,  My Game Mother,  The Troubadour, and Playing with Fire) But my grandmother had just sold the hotel,  and in fact by…
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Family Photo by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Group Photos

/ Stories

I never knew my husband Danny’s father Naftali,  sadly he died while Danny was still in college.   But Naftali was one of nine siblings and I had the good fortune to know many of my husband’s  aunts and uncles.   (See  Tracing Our Roots,   College Girl –  for Aunt Hannah,  and  Minyan – for…
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Blizzard by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Snow Day

/ Stories

Blizzard  I was born in Charleston, SC where my dad was stationed during WW II.   After the war we returned to my folks’ native New York where they bought a house on the GI bill.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home,  Magnolia, The Story of a Garden,  and Mr Bucco and the Ginger Cat) And so…
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Spoiler Alert! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Comedy

/ Stories

Spoiler Alert! When Chevy Chase’s movie European Vacation  came out I watched it with my son and we thought it was hilarious. My husband hadn’t seen it and we regaled him with all the funny bits.  Sometime later we watched it together,  but to our surprise he didn’t find it very funny. Then he told…
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Words with Suzy by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

I’m not much of a gamester although both my parents played bridge,  my dad played chess,  and my mom played mah jongg,   (See My Game Mother) Of course as a kid I certainly played Monopoly and all the other popular board games of the day,  and in fact for years there was a tiny Clue…
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Life is a Highway by
200
(309 Stories)

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Life is a Highway  You may remember that I’ve banged up a few cars in my day, including my husband’s beloved T -bird.  (See Fender Bender and Rainy Night on the Highway) Finally I decided it was time to face the music and so early one Sunday morning I found myself at a mid-town hotel for a day-long…
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Rainy Night on the Highway by
200
(309 Stories)

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Rainy Night on the Highway I confess I’m not the best of drivers and I’ve had my share of accidents,  and have also taken some blame when I wasn’t even behind the wheel.  (See Fender Bender,  and The Chain Letter and the Fender Bender) Back in the late 60s I was working in a public library…
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The Gossips by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Gossip

/ Stories

The prolific American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell painted The Gossips in 1948 and like innumerable of his works it graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. As was his habit,  Rockwell used his friends and neighbors as his models,  and in The Gossips he even included himself  – that’s the artist with his ubiquitous pipe in the…
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“I hereby resolve (after eat healthy and exercise more) … by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Resolutions

/ Stories

to remember that friendships are more important than telling my book club the novel they all think is so great is really trash to be less judgmental when my husband watches news and sports and reruns on MeTV ad nauseam to call my cousins more often to call my friends more often to stop nagging…
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To an Athlete Dying Young by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Assassination

/ Stories

TO AN ATHLETE DYING YOUNG I remember that day so vividly,  it’s hard to believe it’s been almost 60 years. In the fall of 1963 I was in my senior year at NYU Heights.  (See Ghostwriting in the Family, The Fortune Cookie Candidate  and Theatre Dreams) I was a member of the college theatre group,  and half-past…
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Spinning for Hanukkah Gelt by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Dice

/ Stories

You probably don’t have to be Jewish to know about the Hanukkah game called Dreidel. It’s a betting game where each player antes up and then, depending on the spin of the dreidel  –  the four-sided spinning top that serves as the dice –  they take nothing from the pot (NUN),  half the pot (HEY),…
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The Year of Banana Bread by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Holiday Letters

/ Stories

Dear Family and Friends, As this year draws to a close I’m happy to say despite the pandemic and the lock-downs we were really busy with lots to tell you in my annual holiday letter! Although our travels were a bit limited this year,  we did take many trips back and forth between New York…
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The Corpse in the Office by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Comic Relief

/ Stories

I grew up in the Bronx on a tree-lined street that bordered the beautifully designed and landscaped housing complex called Parkchester.  (See Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog,  Magnolia, The Story of a Garden,  Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home) There were seven or eight stores on our street,  a bar called The White Gander,  and several…
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GP by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Family Medicine

/ Stories

My father was a GP with an office on the first floor of our house,  and we lived “over the store”    (See Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog,  Saying Farewell to a Special Guy, and Turkey and Trimmings with Flu Shot) My dad did it all – delivered babies,  took out splinters and appendixes,  and…
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My Zuzu by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Regrets

/ Stories

I’ve written about my beautiful kid sister Laurie – my Zuzu – who died in 2015 at age 61,  after a long and painful battle with MS.   (See Take Care of Your Sister,  Look for the Helpers –  for Laurie) If you’ve read my stories you know how gifted Laurie was,  and at the time…
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The Chain Letter and the Fender Bender by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Chain Letters

/ Stories

The Chain Letter and the Fender Bender The first story I wrote for Retro was about some rather costly auto body damage I caused when I was driving my husband’s beloved T-bird.   Needless to say he wasn’t happy about that.   (See Fender Bender) Years before we had another fender bender and although that time…
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My Blessings by
200
(309 Stories)

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November 26 was my father’s birthday and we always celebrated it on Thanksgiving.   Every year my mother hosted with our extended family around the table,  and after the turkey and the fixings there was always a birthday cake,  and toasts to my dad.   He was an especially wonderful soul,  and it’s not hyperbole…
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Flowers on the Windshield by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Parking

/ Stories

Flowers on the Windshield  After more than a year together I knew our marriage wasn’t working.   As we had no kids,  no communal property to speak of it,  and little contention between us,  it was a relatively simple divorce.   The grounds Alan and I agreed on were irreconcilable differences – which I guess…
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Mr Skeleton by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Trick or Treat?

/ Stories

Every Halloween when my son was young he and the other kids in our 17 story apartment building would start on the top floor and work their way down ringing doorbells. And for the kids who rang our bell,  we’d set up a spooky tableau with a floppy plastic skeleton we kept for years.  We’d…
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Body and Soul by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Family Medicine

/ Stories

Body and Soul Our generation may indeed be the last to remember when family doctors made house calls with their little black bags and really got to know their patients.    Nowadays with HMOs and PPOs,  and pre-authorization,  and all the other health insurance red tape and rigamarole,  it may seem harder to find a…
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Poke-Nook, the Lost Glove, and My Cousin Isly by
200
(309 Stories)

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After drafting this story we learned of the sudden death of our friend Arnie.  May his memory be a blessing. Pook-Nook, the Lost Glove, and My Cousin Isly Our poet and filmmaker friend Arnie Reisman was a regular panelist on Says You,  a witty NPR radio show about words.  Over the years I learned a…
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Don’t Know Much About History by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Regrets

/ Stories

I’m sure most of us with birthdays inching up to four score haven’t gotten this far in life without chalking up some regrets. Did I pursue my early aspirations for an actor’s life?  I didn’t – a reget.  (See Theatre Dreams) On our honeymoon we met a lovely couple from New Orleans who invited us to…
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Tennis Woes by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hobbies

/ Stories

Tennis Woes I’ve written recently about my pickleball addiction and also about my long,  and rather lackluster tennis career and my parents’ unforgivable role in it.  (See Pickled) Here’s more about that disappointing chapter in my sporting life. My parents were both athletic,  in facf my father was a really good tennis player in his…
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Carving Mr Pumpkin by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Trick or Treat?

/ Stories

Carving Mr Pumpkin It seems just yesteryear,  in our kitchen Noah at age 5  (did I really let him wield that sharp knife?)  and Sarah at 6  (my friend Celia’s sweet niece,  now a mother herself). Me with a headache  (“Dana’s famous migraines”,  I once heard Celia call them). “Go lie down,  I’ll watch the…
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Ferdinand by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Children's Books

/ Stories

“Once upon a time in Spain there was a little bull and his name was Ferdinand.”  So begins one of the most cherished children’s books of our time,  and my own childhood favorite. The Story of Ferdinand,  written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson,   was published in 1936 while across the Atlantic…
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Art Imitates Life by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Lemons to Lemonade

/ Stories

I don’t remember my mother Jessie saying  “When life gives you lemons,  make lemonade”,   but it certainly was her modus vivendi.  (See My Game Mother) Coming of age during the depression in New York’s Far Rockaway,  my mother’s parents were necessarily frugal.   But although money was tight,  her lawyer-father was able to send her…
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Distracted by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Attention Span

/ Stories

I’m a big reader –  or at least I was.    (See Book Slut, or Why I’m in Six Book Clubs) Actually a therapist once questioned whether I had an attention deficit because I told him I was easily distracted. –  I invariably forget pots on the stove,  and my son is not the only one…
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Never Forget by
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(309 Stories)

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Some of the things I witnessed 20 years ago during that awful September week in New York are seared in my memory and I’ll never forget. (See  9/11) The disbelief and horror as we watched TV news clips of a plane hitting the south tower of the World Trade Center,   then the tower in…
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The Parking Lot Seniority List by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Parking

/ Stories

The Parking Lot Seniority List For many years until I retired I worked as the librarian at Jane Addams,   a small,  inner-city vocational high school in the infamous south Bronx.   True,  the neighborhood was sketchy,   and the local bank where many of us cashed our monthly paychecks was robbed a couple of…
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Naval Funeral by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Attention Span

/ Stories

Naval Funeral My friends Tippy and Toppy had the fabled attention span of goldfish.  Whenever I made eye contact with them,   they’d meet my gaze for just a few seconds and then they’d turn away – as if they had bigger fish to fry. But they were dearly beloved friends and always  there for…
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Afternoon Tea at Hotel Wales by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Home Repair

/ Stories

When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 our Manhattan apartment building was severely affected,  we were evacuated and moved to a Marriott hotel three blocks away for a few days .  (See Cooking with Gas) A few years earlier we also had to vacate when during a renovation the construction dust forced us out.  (See  (The Lion,…
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The Purloined Passport by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Senior Moments

/ Stories

The Purloined Passport I pride myself on being organized,  in fact organizing became my second career!   (See Second Career) And altho I would tell my organizing clients to keep important documents in a desk or file cabinet,  for some reason I always kept my own passport in my dresser drawer. Several years ago our…
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Bone of Contention by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Mealtime

/ Stories

Bone of Contention  My mother never made much of a fuss over mealtimes,   nor did she take much pride in her own cooking – although I never remember a meal at her table that wasn’t delicious.  (See My Game Mother,   Still Life) She was a high school art teacher,   and came home every afternoon,…
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Country Living by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Home Repair

/ Stories

Country Living Although I grew up in a house,  most of my married life I’ve been a Manhattanite and an apartment dweller.  (See (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,  Cooking with Gas) However over the years we did spend many wonderful summers in houses at the beach.   (See The Great Hampton Babysitter Heist,  Menemsha…
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Skinny Dipping by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Nudity

/ Stories

Skinny Dipping For several summers in our early,  married-without-children years we rented a beach house with our good friends J and K.   After a few years our friends – serious fishermen by then –  opted for the mountains instead and bought a house near a trout stream.  (See Catskill Weekend) We rented that wonderful beach…
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Going Back to Work by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Going to Work

/ Stories

Mother and Child,  Mary Cassatt 1897 Going Back to Work I was working as a high school librarian,   with an easy 20 minute highway commute,  when I discovered  I was pregnant.   I happily applied for a maternity leave and told my principal I’d be leaving a week or two before my mid-March due…
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The One Who Got Away by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Dating

/ Stories

The One Who Got Away Like all red-bloodied,  pubescent American girls of the 50s I certainly did my share of dating. In junior high school we started to pair off and with little information and probably more mis-information about the birds and the bees,  we experimented.   (My cowardly parents,   rather than having that…
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Carousel by
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(309 Stories)

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Although merry-go-rounds or carousels are usually found at state and county fairs,  the oldest platform carousel in the country,  Flying Horses,  is actually a permanent fixture in the charming town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard where we’ve spent many idyllic summer vacations.  (See Menemsha Sunset) When our son was young we often took him to…
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Male Cornea by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Senior Moments

/ Stories

HIM,  upstairs:  “Do we have Alka Seltzer Plus?” ME,   downstairs:  “Yes,  it’s in the cabinet.” HIM,  upstairs:  “Where? ME,  downstairs:  “It’s in the cabinet in the white bin.” HIM,  upstairs:  “Where?” ME,  downstairs:  “It’s in the cabinet in the white bin on the left side.” HIM, from upstairs:   “Where?” ME,  downstairs getting hot…
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Mr Bucco and the Ginger Cat by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Home

/ Stories

Mr Bucco and the Ginger cat My parents’ first house was on a shady street in the Bronx bought after WW II on the GI bill.  My dad set up his medical practice on the first floor and we lived on the floor above.  (See also Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog,   Magnolia, The Story…
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Piano Man – Remembering Herb by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By That Summer

/ Stories

Piano Man – Remembering Herb My memories of that summer between college and grad school,  when I took a camp job with my friend Liz,  are bittersweet. Liz and I were co-counselors for a bunk of kids,  and I had also signed on as drama counselor.   When we arrived at camp I was introduced to…
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Booktalker – Remembering Sandra by
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(309 Stories)

/ Stories

During my working life I put up with a lot of teasing about whether I fit the stereotype of a librarian.   If it meant a stern old lady with her hair in a bun and her finger on her lips,   it wasn’t me.   And it surely wasn’t Sandra Payne  –  for starters,…
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The Camper-Waitress Goes to the Fair by
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(309 Stories)

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The summer my friend Stephanie and I were too old to be a campers but not old enough to be counselors,   we worked as camper-waitresses at a children’s camp in the Connecticut foothills.   Stephanie and I went on to become life-long friends,  but a friendship cut too short by her cancer death at…
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Pickled! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hobbies

/ Stories

Pickled! For years I worked on my tennis game but I seemed to have plateaued somewhere between advanced beginner and intermediate.    I blame my parents of course for my lack of prowess as they apparently valued piano over tennis lessons for their kids.  (And by the way after all that money spent,  and those…
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Dolly and Me at the DMV by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The DMV

/ Stories

My Boss Dolly Dolly and Me at the DMV I was a fairly new school librarian when I got a position at the newly opened Harry S Truman HS in the Bronx.   We were a library staff of three – Dorothy was head librarian,  and Ann and I were the young newbies –  but…
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Tracing Our Roots by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Family Trips

/ Stories

Hermine & Naftali,  Paris 1939 I’ve written about a family trip we made years ago tracing my roots to Charleston,  South Carolina where my father was stationed during the war and where I was born.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home) More recently we traced my husband’s roots to the German city of Stuttgart where his…
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44 Curzon Street by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Family Trips

/ Stories

44 CURZON STREET Our son Noah was 7 when we took him to London for the first time.   For our stay I  booked what was called a serviced flat at 44 Curzon Street in a lovely Mayfair neighborhood near Green Park. We arrived late in the evening with a very sleepy kid in tow,  and…
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Traveling Light by
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(309 Stories)

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For years before leaving on a trip I’d make a list of what to pack:  6 prs underwear,  6 prs stockings/sox,  nightgown and bathrobe,  2 prs shoes,   1 skirt,  1 pr pants,  at least 4 tops,  1 sweater,  rainwear,  jacket or coat,  umbrella,  toiletries,  camera and film,  passport,   plane tix,   travelers  checks,…
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Menemsha Sunset by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Cutting the Cord

/ Stories

Menemsha Sunset Like most of us I’m sure,  the one thing I can’t leave home without is my cell phone.   If I forget mine,  I rush back to get it, and can’t imagine how we lived without them, or their precursors the car phones.   So here’s a car phone story,   but first let me…
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The Thin Green Line by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Recycling

/ Stories

Although it can be time-consuming and a hassle,  I conscientiously recycle and I try to support organizations and legislation that advocate for environmental action to fight pollution and clean up the planet. I’ve been haunted by images of polar bears on melting ice caps;   and dead whales washing up on beaches with stomachs full…
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Fluffy and the Alligator Shoes by
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(309 Stories)

/ Stories

Fluffy and the Alligator Shoes The house I grew up in had many lovely architectural features – a fireplace,  a lovely stairwell,  and a beautiful oval stained glass window that was in my mother’s closet. I loved sitting in that closet.  It was a cozy and private place for a child to play,  and the light…
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Playing with Fire by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Fire

/ Stories

Playing with Fire As a child I spent summers with my family at my grandmother’s small Catskills hotel.  (See My Game Mother,  My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel , The Troubadour,  Hotel Kittens, The Cat and the Forshpeiz and Our Special Guests) One summer a family with a son about my age –  we both must have…
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ASPCA by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Naming Pets

/ Stories

ASPCA “The cancer has spread.”  said the vet,  “It’s time to put her down if you don’t want the cat to suffer.”   So broken-hearted,  we said goodbye to our beloved Lucy Gray. Taking a walk a few days later we found ourselves in front of the ASPCA.  We looked at each other and without…
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Turkey and Trimmings with Flu Shot by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Vaccination

/ Stories

Turkey and Trimmings with Flu Shot My father’s been gone 20 years but lately I think about him more and more.  (See Saying Farewell to a Special Guy,   My Dad and the Word Processor) His birthday was November 26  and we’d  always celebrate it on Thanksgiving at my folks’ house,  with several aunts,  uncles…
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My Love Affair with James Joyce by
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(309 Stories)

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My Love Affair with James Joyce Playwright Israel Horovitz was caught by several women who said  “Me too”,  and so was Prairie Home Companion creator Garrison Keillor;   filmmaker Woody Allen’s private life has been far from exemplary;   abstractionist Pablo Picasso and novelist Philip Roth were notorious womanizers;   the 17th century painter Caravaggio…
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I got shot! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Vaccination

/ Stories

Greeting du jour –  “Got your shots?” RetroFlash / Six Words Dana Susan Lehrman
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My Dad and the Word Processor by
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(309 Stories)

/ Stories

My Dad and the Word Processor My dad was knowledgeable and proficient in so many areas,   we thought of him as a Renaissance man.  (See Saying Farewell to a Special Guy,   Six Pack) In fact during the last few decades of his life he was even writing his memoirs,  not with an eye to publication…
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Kitchen Radio by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Remembering Radios

/ Stories

Back in the 50s it seemed – much to my childish angst –  my parents were the last on our Bronx block to get a television set.   But of course we always had the radio. My dad was a self-taught classical pianist and we had what was then a state-of-the-art hifi system and radio…
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Stay-at-Home Mom by
200
(309 Stories)

/ Stories

Stay-at-Home Mom I was a young stay-at-home mom when we moved to Manhattan with our 9-month-old baby boy – a perfect confluence of time,  place,  and circumstance!   (See Aruba Nights,  Chagall’s Cows,  The Alphabet Wall,  and Reading with Hattie, and Baking with Julia) In those early years Noah and I spent lots of time in…
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Six Pack by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Manners

/ Stories

Six Pack When my mom retired she and my dad moved out of the city and bought a charming little house two blocks from the beach in the Rockaways where they had both grown up and first met.  (See Still Life) But my dad was an old-fashioned GP and wasn’t ready to retire himself,  he always…
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Birmingham by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Inequality

/ Stories

Birmingham On the evening of April 4, l968 my boyfriend called to tell me he had just heard on the news that Martin Luther King, Jr had been shot.   We cried together over the phone,  and during that call we decided to marry – our small way of bringing some joy back into a…
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Play It Again, Sam by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Rewatchable Movies

/ Stories

Rewatchable?  Round up the usual suspects. Retroflash / 6 Words Dana Susan Lehrman
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Precious by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Rewatchable Movies

/ Stories

In 2010 the Oscar for Best Picture went to The Hurt Locker,  but in my book the award should have gone to one I was glad to watch a second time –  the nominated film Precious.   The film,  based on the young adult novel Push,  starred the amazing Gabourey Sidibe as Precious the abused…
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Only My Hairdresser Knows For Sure by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Haircuts

/ Stories

Oops,  now everybody knows for sure! Retroflash / 6 Words Dana Susan Lehrman
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Milk and Honey by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Inequality

/ Stories

FLU SEASON,  3:00am HE  (coughing,  wakes spouse)    “My throat’s killing me,  I think I need some warm milk and honey.” SHE  (sleepily)   “Oh, you poor boy,  I’ll go fix it.” She gets out of bed,  puts on her bathrobe and slippers,  and trudges off to the kitchen. TWO WEEKS LATER,  3:00am SHE  (coughing,…
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Look What They’ve Done to Your Pear, Milton Glaser! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Pet Peeves

/ Stories

Lynn Truss who wrote Eats,  Shoots and Leaves: the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation  is a woman after my own heart.   She wishes for a ‘grammar police force’  that would hunt down and arrest merchants with ungrammatical signs on their storefronts and others who abuse the King’s English. I share her peeve and have another…
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New Leaf by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Anniversaries

/ Stories

New Leaf Over the years we’ve thrown some big milestone parties –  for my husband Danny’s 30th birthday, our 25th anniversary,   Danny’s 60th at Yankee Stadium,  two big housewarmings,  my retirement,  my 70th,  and of course our son Noah’s bar mitzvah.  (See Ghostwriting in the Family) Then a few years ago on a glorious…
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Valentine’s Day in Foggytown by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Valentine's Day

/ Stories

Valentine’s Day in Foggytown Early in our marriage my husband had an opportunity to work at the London branch of his company and we didn’t hesitate to pack up and go!  (See Laundry Day in London, Intro to Cookery, and Kinky Boots) We rented a cosy flat with a little garden in the back and settled into…
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A Year of Loss by
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(309 Stories)

/ Stories

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the pandemic robbed us of life as we knew it. And in this frightful year I’ve lost several beloved friends.   Although it was cancer and heart disease that took them,  it was Covid that kept us from gathering together to mourn.   Zoom funerals and…
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Elbow Grease by
200
(309 Stories)

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Elbow Grease “Use Ajax the foaming cleanser,  foams the dirt right down the drain. You’ll stop paying the elbow tax,  when you start cleaning with Ajax!” As a kid I loved that silly jingle!   And in fact my mother always told us to use that proverbial elbow grease in whatever we did,  and not…
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Book Slut, or Why I’m in Six Book Clubs by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Cliques and Clubs

/ Stories

Most of my women friends are in a book club and some are even in two book clubs.  I’m in six.  I know that sounds a bit crazy,  but it really wasn’t my fault.  Here’s what happened. As a kid I loved to read,  in high school I was a staff editor for the literary…
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My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By First Memory

/ Stories

My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel The leader of a writing workshop I took years ago asked us to think back to our earliest memories and write about a place our heart remembers.   I thought of my grandmother’s hotel in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York where I spent childhood summers.  (See My Game…
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Fluffy, or How I Got My Dog by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By First Memory

/ Stories

Fluffy,  or How I Got My Dog It’s hard to know if I actually remember some of the stories my parents would tell about my naughty or my endearing childhood antics,   or if I’ve simply heard them so often I think I remember them.  But how I got my puppy is something  I remember…
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A Life in Baseball Caps by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hats

/ Stories

Altho I can’t remember the specifics,  we each must have brought some head gear into the marriage.  (We eloped so surely there were no top hats or bridal veils in our luggage that day!) When we met we were both NY Yankee fans –  me legitimately so as a Bronx girl,  he counterintuitively as a…
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Bed and Breakfast by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Valentine's Day

/ Stories

Bed and Breakfast On their first wedded Valentine’s Day they had their first big fight.   Angry and hurt,  she ran out to her car before he could stop her. She drove several miles to the small country inn they had often seen from the highway. To punish him and make him worry,  she promised…
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Chagall’s Cows by
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(309 Stories)

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Chagall’s Cows When our son was a toddler many friends began fleeing Manhattan.  They couldn’t imagine raising a child amid all the dirt and crime. “But think of the culture!”,    I’d say. Noah at 5,  wide-eyed at the Met’s Arm & Armor exhibit.   And making Purim masks at the Jewish Museum,  and model…
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Inaugural Poets by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Inaugurations

/ Stories

“Tyrants fear the poet.”                                   Amanda Gorman JOHN KENNEDY and ROBERT FROST Inauguration Day 1961,  the handsome young president and the weathered New England poet,   both hatless in the DC January chill. “The land was ours,  before we…
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Good Girl by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Good Trouble

/ Stories

As a kid I gave my parents little trouble and later showed only the usual rebellious teen spirit.  (They disapproved of guys I dated,  but that’s another story). And altho I’ve stood on picket lines,  argued  before the Corps of Engineers against ecologically disastrous city projects,  marched for good causes,  volunteered for a few,  and did…
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Reunion by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Reconnecting

/ Stories

Reunion A few months ago I wrote about three places,  each of which I can claim as a home town.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home,  The Lady with the Torch,  Kente Cloth) I was born in Charleston, SC yet for most of my adult life I’ve lived on Manhattan’s eastside.  But the east Bronx neighborhood of…
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Thanks for the Memories! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Thank You

/ Stories

How do I say thank you to four gals I’ve never met but feel I’ve known forever? – the Sacramento ringleader,  lawyer,  activist,  singer,  has a song title for every occasion – the big-hearted brunette from the Windy City,  blogger,  passionate educator,  kid whisperer – the Jersey girl now California techie,  science writer and editor…
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The Plug-In Drug by
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(309 Stories)

/ Stories

Most of my friends tell me they’ve been TV bingeing for years,  and now during lockdown it’s certainly the activity of choice.  So if that’s your guilty pleasure,  binge away. But I’ve never been much of a TV watcher,  and I couldn’t agree more with Marie Winn when in the 1970s she wrote about the problems…
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My Snowy Year in Buffalo by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Interviews

/ Stories

My Snowy Year in Buffalo In the mid-60s I was newly married and heading up to Buffalo, NY for a year while my husband completed med school.  I had just gotten my graduate library degree and applied to the Buffalo Dept of Ed for a school librarian’s job. I was interviewed at the school superintendent’s…
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Dear Younger Self by
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(309 Stories)

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What a cutie!   But seriously I’m here to give you some advice. Be a more adventurous eater,  try the sushi. Don’t fight with your mother so much,  you’ll find out later she was usually right. Practice the piano so you can play something besides Fur Elyse. Don’t abandon your theatre dreams and someday you…
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Behind the Mask by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hello Darkness

/ Stories

Like all families,  ours at times has been an unwilling friend to darkness.   A medical officer in WW II,  my dad served on troop ships bringing soldiers to theaters of war and returning with the wounded and the dead,  and on a Stateside army base during those dark days I was born. And over…
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Holiday in Limbo by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Holidays

/ Stories

It’s hard to believe but with the passing of the generations I’m now the family matriarch. It’s not my great-uncle Sid leading Seder but my husband,  not my aunt Babs cooking Rosh Hashanah dinner but me,  not my dad carving the Thanksgiving turkey but my son. But will he this year?  A 4-5 hour drive…
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Skate Key by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Fads and Trends

/ Stories

Skate Key Home from school,  a hurried snack,  bread with both sides buttered,  chocolate milk,  an apple offered but rudely refused.   (“Don’t be fresh, young lady!”) Skates strapped over shoes,  no purse,  no house key,  no hanky,  just a skate key on a ribbon around her neck,  then out the door.  (“Be careful!”) Down…
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The Troubadour by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Being Different

/ Stories

The Troubadour  I’ve written about my childhood summers at my grandmother’s small Catskill hotel.  (See My Game Mother and My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel)  Here’s another memory. Once or twice every summer when I was very young,  an elderly man whom we called the Troubadour came to the hotel to spend an evening entertaining the guests…
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The Matzo Ball Spelling Bee by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Spelling

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On May 30, 2013  Arvind Mahankali beat out almost 300 other youngsters to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.   Arvind,  a 13 year-old 8th grader from Bayside,  Queens and son of Indian immigrants,  was the first New York City winner in almost 20 years.   Interested in words and languages since he was in…
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Good Causes by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Volunteering

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Good Causes When we moved to Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood in the mid-1970s I was a young mother on maternity leave at home with a one-year-old,  and every day,  weather permitting,  we’d find ourselves  across the street in Carl Schurz Park.   The park was named in 1910 for the German-born Secretary of the Interior at…
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Judy’s Last Gift by
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(309 Stories)

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Judy’s Last Gift  It’s not hyperbole to say my friend Judy was the most thoughtful and giving person I’ve ever known.  Rather than randomly kind,  Judy was always kind. I met her a few months after I started dating my husband Danny.   He and I had driven from New York to Boston to spend New…
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In the Abstract by
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(309 Stories)

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In the Abstract In the early years of the 20th century a handful of European artists including the Russians Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimar Malevich,  the Dutchman Piet Mondrian,   and a lesser-known Swedish woman named Hilma af Klint began producing art with no attempt to represent external reality.   Rather,  they used shapes,  forms,  color,…
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Rolling Stoned at the Garden by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Drugs and Alcohol

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ROLLING STONED AT THE GARDEN I’ve told you about my dalliance in a New York coffee shop with Paul McCartney (See My Favorite Beatle),  so now let me tell you about my night at the Garden with the Rolling Stones. Our friends Mary and Frank own a deli and bakery on Mott Street that supplies…
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Saying Farewell to a Special Guy by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Final Farewell

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Saying Farewell to a Special Guy My father Arthur was a very special guy.   He was widely knowledgable yet possessed an endearing naiveté;  a scientist by profession,  he was an artist and musician by avocation;  annoyingly stubborn at times yet always generous of spirit;  a profound thinker and also mischievous;  a punster and a…
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The Fortune Cookie Candidate by
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(309 Stories)

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The Fortune Cookie Candidate  As the most important presidential race of our lifetime approaches,  and we hold our collective breath,  I remember another trying time and another election,   although one that was relatively angst-free. When I was an undergrad at NYU Heights in the early ‘60s I really threw myself into college life.  …
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A Sign on the Doorpost by
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(309 Stories)

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Our post-war Manhattan apartment building recently underwent a major renovation –   new elevators and new lobby furniture;   in the halls new carpeting,  wallpaper and lighting;  and new saddles,  bells and knobs for all our apartment doors. The construction company hired for the job sent a friendly crew of guys who enjoyed the chocolate…
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Cantor Gladys by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Final Farewell

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Gladys and I both lived uptown,   she on Manhattan’s westside and I on the east.   Yet we first met not in the city,   but in Lakeridge,  the Connecticut community where we both spent country weekends.   And once we discovered we both loved Scrabble,  we’d play together as often as we could,  and…
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Give Me the Low Tech Life! by
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(309 Stories)

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What was life like before computers?   Well for one thing we had to look stuff up ourselves.   And in those days to change the channel or turn off the TV you actually had to get off the couch,  annoying as that sounds.     But at least back then you could make calls…
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Kinky Boots by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Shoes

/ Stories

Kinky Boots I’m not a big shopper or a fashionista,  but let me tell you about some boots I bought back in the 1970s in London where we were living for an all-too-brief,  magical time.    (See Laundry Day in London,  Inks and Derek: Art and the Cricket Scores,  Valentine’s Day in Foggytown,  and Intro to Cookery)…
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My Aunt, Dede Allen by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

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My Aunt,  Dede Allen I’ve always been very proud of my aunt Dede Allen.  Movie buffs may know her as a stellar film editor and a pioneer in what had been a male-dominated craft. Dede worked her way up in the film business,  starting as a production runner at Columbia Pictures,  then editing commercial and…
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Ghostwriting in the Family by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Rites of Passage

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Ghostwriting in the Family  When I was in high school I don’t remember anyone making a big fuss over college admissions.  In fact what I remember most about senior year was shopping for my college wardrobe with my mother,  walking around Greenwich Village with my friends,  and slow dancing to 50s rock ‘n’ roll in…
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Missing Pussycats by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Lost and Found

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Missing Pussycats JINX I love pussycats and when I was growing up we had a long succession of wonderful ones.   Our house had a lovely garden and those lucky cats had the best of both worlds – indoors and out. In fact one of my favorite cats was a tom named Jinx,  a dirty stay-out…
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Tales of the Scrabble Table by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Brain Games

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Brought to You by the Letter Y  I love the game and that’s why the Scrabble gods watch over me. Last summer I was playing Scrabble with friends out on my deck.  After the game I folded the board and while I was sliding the tiles back into their little bag,  some slid off the…
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Front Row Seats by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

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Front Row Seats How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice!   And if you’re really famous you get to Madison Square Garden. I’ve seen The Rolling Stones at the Garden and two years ago we were there for Paul Simon’s farewell concert.   And a few years before that my friend Vivian and I…
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Still Life by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Lost and Found

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Still Life My mother Jessie was a damn good pinocle player. (See My Game Mother) But she was also a wonderful artist.   A fine arts major in college,  she later studied at New York’s renown Art Students League with the Russian-born artist Raphael Soyer celebrated for his paintings of social realism. Jessie went on to teach…
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Magnolia, The Story of a Garden by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The Garden

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Magnolia,  the Story of a Garden After the war a young couple returned to New York from Charleston with their 2 year-old daughter and bought a house in the Bronx on the GI Bill.   (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home)   There was a wonderful grape arbor in the garden and the girl’s grandmother made wine with…
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Revelations by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

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Revelations  Fame well deserved came to a young African American choreographer one night in 1960 when he premiered a new work at the 92nd St Y.  The choreographer was 29 year-old Alvin Ailey,  and the piece was Revelations. Inspired by what Ailey called blood memories of his rural Texas childhood,  and by Negro spirituals,  gospel,…
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Dirty Dishes by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By I Swore I'd Never

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I have to admit I’m a bit of a neat freak,  and I’ve  always prided myself on being well organized.   Marie Kondo is my hero,  and in fact home organizing actually became my second career.  (See Second Career) And what I preached to my organizing clients,  I practiced.    I would never, ever leave…
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Take Care of Your Sister by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Birth Order

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Take Care of Your Sister I was my parents’ first child and had only one sibling,  my sister Laurie. My folks had always wanted a second child but after I was born my mother had trouble conceiving again.   Of course at the time I was too young to be told or to understand such things,…
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Pitcher and Bowl by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Yard Sales

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I’m a sucker for pitchers and bowls. As you may know,  pitcher and bowl sets were first found in Victorian boudoirs where they were used as wash basins before the advent of indoor plumbing.  They’re still sought after as decorative pieces,  and I’ve always loved them. A few years ago I was in an antique…
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Catskill Weekend by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Forgiveness

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Catskill Weekend J was my husband’s college roommate and the two have been very close since then.   In fact J and his wife K are among our closest friends –  we’ve vacationed and travelled abroad together,  traditionally spend New Year’s Eve as a foursome,  and are always there to share each others’ joys and…
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Getting Woke by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Protests

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Getting Woke My folks, and my uncles and aunts were always politically active and die-hard liberals ,  and as children my sister and I and our cousins were used to hearing political rhetoric around the dinner table. Yet despite that red diaper babyhood,  I was seemingly apolitical and remained so well into my own adulthood…
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Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

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Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home My hometown?  Like many of us I guess I can claim more than one –  born in Charleston, SC but bred in the Bronx with idyllic summers spent at our family-run hotel in the Catskills.  (See My Heart Remembers My Grandmother’s Hotel,  The Troubadour, Hotel Kittens, The Cat and the Forshpeiz, and My Game Mother)…
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The Summer of My Discontent by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Summer

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The Summer of My Discontent This was to be the summer I really worked on my tennis game,  and planted my garden earlier,  learned to play Mah Jongg,   and caught up on all those unread New Yorkers. And this was to be the summer I finally mastered the  barbecue,  and took out my old…
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The Alphabet Wall by
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(309 Stories)

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The Alphabet Wall As you’ve surely noticed, when the last few generations of kids write,  they use block letters,  never cursive. In fact they don’t know how to write in cursive because unlike us Boomers,   they’ve never been taught.   Apparently over the years the pedagogical powers-that-be have decreed that penmanship and cursive writing…
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What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By War

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What Did You Do in the War,  Daddy? When our son was young he asked us if we were at Woodstock.  We had to say No,  but we didn’t have an answer when he asked,  Why not? He was disappointed and I’m sure we went down a notch or two in his esteem. He never…
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Kente Cloth by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

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Kente Cloth I live on Manhattan’s upper eastside across the street from Gracie Mansion,  the beautiful 1799 Federal- style house that overlooks the East River and is the residence of New York’s mayor and his family. On any given day I might see cops,  TV cameras, and angry protesters in front of the Mansion,  or…
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The Lady with the Torch by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

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The Lady with the Torch Like many New Yorkers I’m sure,   I don’t take in the local sights unless out-of-towners are in town!   So when friends from China were visiting recently we decided to take them to the Statue of Liberty where I probably hadn’t been since I was a school kid. Tickets to…
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Soul Collage by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Memorabilia

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I retired over 10 years ago and since then I gained over 20 pounds,  and try as I might,  I couldn’t seem to lose them. It’s understandable – at my age loosing pounds and inches is hard,  I’m not a gym rat (in fact we have a treadmill in our apartment which collects dust),  …
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B. Smith by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Chance Encounters

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 I was so sorry to learn of the recent death of restaurateur Barbara Smith at age 70 after a decade-long and very public battle with Alzheimer’s.   She and her husband chronicled their years living with the disease in their book Before I Forget. I had followed Barbara’s career since she was a beautiful young model…
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Black Tie Optional by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Embarrassment

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Over the years I’ve found myself in the same embarrassing situation at least three times,  most recently this past December when we got a wedding invitation from friends. Their son was to be married on New Year’s Eve at a lovely Greenwich, Connecticut hotel,  so I knew it would be a gala affair.   And sure…
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Fernando’s Fritattas by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Recipes

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When my son Noah was in high school the headmaster announced the school would be participating in an exchange program with 20 students from Spain.  The Spanish kids would come to New York for a month,  and at a later date our students would go to Spain.  Families were asked to host and we volunteered.…
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Aunt Babs and Uncle Paul by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

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I’ve written about all my aunts and uncles before. (See Call Me by Their Names) Here’s more about my wonderful aunt Babs and uncle Paul,  high school sweethearts who met as kids in the Rockaways. Family legend has it that when he was in medical school at NYU,  and Babs was at Skidmore College in upstate…
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Baby Shoes by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Memorabilia

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I’m not the sentimental type,  but when our son outgrew his first pair of baby shoes I decided to have them bronzed – separately. I gave one shoe to my mother-in-law who was then a widow,  and the other shoe to my parents. Years later when my mother-in-law died we took back her shoe,  and…
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Laundry Day in London by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Laundry

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Laundry Day in London Remembering gentler times when we weren’t so wary of others and had more trust in the kindness of strangers,   I think about laundry day in London. In the early 1970s my husband Danny had the chance to work in that wonderful city for a year and we grabbed it.  I…
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Comfort Food for Renee by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Recipes

/ Stories

I met Renee about 25 years ago when we were both working as librarians in the Bronx – she at New York Public Library,  and I at Jane Addams High School. Renee had been trained as a book discussion leader,  and as part of NYPL’s outreach to schools program she came to the neighboring Lehman…
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Old Wives’ Tales by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Superstition

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I’d never put a hat on the bed. I hold my breathe when I drive past a cemetery. When I see a nun in a habit,  I pull on my buttons. I’d never walk under an open ladder. I always bring the cup to the kettle,  never the kettle to the cup. I never open…
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Sheltering in Place by
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(309 Stories)

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Sheltering in Place Back in early February – which now seems a lifetime ago  – my husband Danny was told by his cardiologist that he would need surgery to correct a blocked carotid artery.  Of course I couldn’t resist chiding him that years of unhealthy snacking had finally caught up with him. Danny’s surgery was…
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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by
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(309 Stories)

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The Lion,  the Witch, and the Wardrobe Most New Yorkers have either a good or a bad real estate story.  Here’s mine and it’s a happy one! We moved into our 2 BR, 2 BATH, RIV VU upper eastside apartment when our son was less than a year old.  We loved  our building,  our local…
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White Shoulders for Aunt Frances by
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(309 Stories)

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I’m from a small family and have always felt close to my aunts and uncles.  Now, like my parents,  they’re all gone. (For more about my family see  Call Me by Their Names) My parents were each the middle child of three, and both had strong bonds with their siblings and stayed close despite geography,…
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Hermine’s Morning Joe by
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(309 Stories)

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I happen to be a tea drinker,  but I do like the smell of coffee brewing,  and when the coffee smells especially good I think of my mother-in-law Hermine. My mother was a very good cook,  but Hermine was an extraordinary one.   I,  on the other hand,  never prided myself much on my culinary…
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The Value of a Dollar by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Door-to-Door Sales

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I must admit I’ve never sold encyclopedias,  Fuller brushes,  or life insurance door-to-door,  and the closest I’ve ever come to being an Avon Lady was selling costume jewelry at Macys. When I was in college I lived at home and commuted to NYU.  Many of my high school friends also commuted to local colleges,  and…
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Theater Dreams by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Daydreaming

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Me as Helen Morgan, 1964 Theater Dreams When I was very young my parents took me to see the original Broadway production of The King and I and I was spellbound.  I listened to the cast album for hours and I dreamed about growing up to be a famous actress. One of my adored great aunts…
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Cooking with Gas by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Floods

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Cooking with Gas “Now you’re cooking with gas.”,   my grandmother used to say.  I thought of her after Hurricane Sandy hit New York on October 29, 2012. Although we live uptown,  our proximity to the East River puts our apartment building in the city’s infamous flood zone A.  When Sandy made landfall that day,…
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Unleavened by
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(309 Stories)

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Passover is a joyous holiday when we Jews celebrate our freedom from bondage in Egypt.  Every year at the Seder we retell the story of our ancestors who followed Moses across a desert in search of a new home in the Promised Land. The Bible tells us that these ancient Hebrews left in such haste…
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Passover Shopping List by
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(309 Stories)

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As the Passover season approaches I often find  myself laughing over something that happened many years ago. We were having 18 for Seder,  and after calling the butcher to order lamb for my traditional stew,  I wrote out a long shopping list for everything else I needed,  and headed for the  supermarket. Not surprisingly,  the…
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And Things That Go Bump in the Night by
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(309 Stories)

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It’s been one week since we started our unplanned Covid 19 quarantine/staycation and I’m still reeling with the disbelief and the worry.  And each day brings news of people we know or of well-known personalities who’ve been affected. Yesterday we learned of the coronavirus-related death at 81 of one of our greatest contemporary American playwrights,…
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9/11 by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Danger

/ Stories

First published for the prompt  9/11 Twenty Years Later,  I hope you read or reread this story now. 9/11 I’ll never forget the date my husband’s college roommate Joel came from Newton, Massachusetts to spend a few days with us in New York – it was Monday,  September 10, 2001. On that Monday Joel drove…
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Call Me by Their Names by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Nicknames

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Call Me By Their Names My parents named me Dana after two relatives they never knew – my father’s grandmother Dinah who perished in czarist Russia,  and my mother’s uncle David who drowned as a teenager in the Rockaways. I like my name and never minded that it’s a bit uncommon, but it’s always disconcerting…
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Minyan – for Uncle Sol by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Finding Your Tribe

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I don’t think of myself as an especially spiritual person, but after the death of my husband’s uncle Sol,  I had a religious experience. Sol,  who died just short of his 96th birthday,  was a surrogate father of sorts to my husband,  and grandfather to our son,  and a much beloved presence in all our…
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Yad Vashem by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Finding Your Tribe

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I’m not a religious person but I’ve always been proud to be Jewish and deeply connected to my faith – and moreso when I’m in Israel. The summer before he graduated from high school,  my son Noah spent 6 weeks there at a scouting program run by the Israeli army called Chetz V’Keshet  (Arrow and…
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Look for the Helpers – for Laurie by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Caregiving

/ Stories

Look for the Helpers – for Laurie My sister Laurie spent the last two years of her life in a Rockville, MD nursing home –  at 59 she may have been the youngest patient there.  I was Laurie’s medical  decision-maker then and eventually her court-appointed legal guardian. Laurie was strikingly beautiful, her looks and her…
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Birthday Calendar by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Leap Day

/ Stories

When I was a kid I thought it was very special that the year I was born – 1944 – was a leap year and that it had not one but two 4’s in it! And I was proud that I was born in the leap month of February,  but I did wish my birthday…
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Aunt Miriam, Diva by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Family Myths

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Aunt Miriam, Diva My glamorous and beautiful great-aunt Miriam Elias lived a rather scandalous life,  or so goes the family legend! Miriam was born in 1897 near Kamenets Podolski, Ukraine in a small village near Odessa.   Her village,  she once told us, was very much like the fictional shtetl Anatevka  immortalized in Fiddler on…
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Reading with Hattie, Baking with Julia by
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(309 Stories)

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Reading witn Hattie,  Baking with Julia When our son Noah was young he watched all the usual children’s TV shows of the time.  His favorites, as I remember were Sesame Street,  Mr Rogers, and The Electric Company. Watching The Electric Company,  Noah delighted in Morgan Freeman’s character Easy Reader, and Hattie Winston’s character Valerie the…
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Parlez-vous Francais? by
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(309 Stories)

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Parlez-vous Francais?   When I retired after my long and happy career as a New York City high school librarian I had many options.  I could apply for a waiver and return to work part-time at a city school, sharing the week with another librarian as some colleagues did.  I could apply to the public…
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Wisdom in the Weeds by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

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Wisdom in the Weeds When I retired friends asked me what I would do with all my free time. ”Oh, I don’t know “ I said,  “probably just more of the same things I enjoy – reading,  theatre,  travel,  tennis.” ”Why don’t you try something new,  try gardening,”  one friend suggested,  “it’s great physical exercise and…
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Mr October by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Super Bowl

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Mr October Super Bowl,  Final Four,  World Series – it’s all the same to us sports widows, so here’s another sad tale! A few years ago my friends Pat and David and I were planning a reunion for our former teaching colleagues at Jane Addams,  the small inner-city high school where we first met in…
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Sports Fanatic by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Super Bowl

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This may not exactly be a Super Bowl story as we’re a baseball family,  but it’s as close as I can get! A few years ago our friend Jon called on a  Saturday morning.  It just happened to be the third day of the World Series. ”We haven’t seen you guys in awhile,  how about…
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Postcards from a Secret Admirer by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Snail Mail

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Postcards from a Secret Admirer I don’t remember how it started, or which one of us sent the first one,  but when we were in junior high my best friend Stephanie and I began sending each other picture postcards that we’d sign.   “Love from your Secret Admirer.” I know it sounds like a silly…
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Moving Day Blues by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Moving Day

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Moving Day Blues I haven’t moved very often in my life, in fact for the past 40 years we’ve lived in Manhattan in the same “7 rms, river view”.  We love our apartment, our building,  and our neighborhood,  and don’t plan to move any time soon.  (See (The Lion, The Witch, and) The Wardrobe and Kente Cloth)…
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The Irishman by
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(309 Stories)

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The Irishman I must offer this quick take on The Irishman  and a plug for it’s re-recording sound mixer, my cousin Tom Fleischman! I’m proud to say Tom has won many awards including a 2012 Oscar for his work on the film Hugo, and has worked with Scorsese on many other films and loves the guy.  Here’s a…
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Second Career – Home Organizer! by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Get Organized

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Second Career – Home Organizer! I take little pride in my culinary skills,  am not a fashionista,  and may not be up on pop culture,  or as knowledgeable as I should be on world events,  but one thing I am is organized!  Yet over the years little did I know that after retirement organizing would…
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Bless the Bread by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By The New Year

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A new year for many of us means a time to take stock,  to make resolutions,  or to once again start that illusive diet.  But for my son Noah it means the rock, jam-band Phish will be on tour at Madison Square Garden once again for several consecutive nights. A few years ago the New…
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Parasite and Roma by
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(309 Stories)

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I love the movies and try to see all the good stuff. Last month I read the glowing reviews of Parasite ,  the new South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-Ho,  the Palme d’Or winner at Cannes.  And then when friend after friend after friend recommended it,  I was really intrigued and put it on top…
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Third Degree Burn by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Holidaze

/ Stories

Last year at about this time I  burned the top of my foot.  It was very painful and it looked pretty bad,  and so I went to see Dr A,  my dermatologist. He examined the wound and asked me how it had happened.   I was too embarrassed to tell him the whole truth,  and…
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Early Thanksgiving by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Holidaze

/ Stories

As I was preparing for Thanksgiving last month I thought about a Thanksgiving we celebrated several  seasons ago. That year as  November approached  I fretted over the many regrets I’d gotten in the past to my Thanksgiving invitations. One of my cousins and his family usually celebrated with his in-laws;  another often went to an…
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My Cousin Rick by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Cousins

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My Cousin Rick We were shocked some months ago to learn of the sudden death of my cousin Rick at age 66.  The family gathered in Rochester where Rick had lived, and several of us spoke at his moving memorial service. Since childhood my redheaded cousin had suffered a debilitating mental illness.  His devoted parents…
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Retreat by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Cousins

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Retreat  A dozen or so years ago my cousin Kathy called me in New York from DC and asked me to join her the following month for a Jewish women’s retreat. Because geography had always kept us apart,  spending a weekend with my cousin was appealing and a women’s retreat would be a new experience…
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Surprise Party by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Surprise!

/ Stories

When her husband Andrew was about to turn 40,   my friend Simi decided to throw him a big surprise party and she asked for my help. We were both stay-at-home moms then with plenty of free time on our hands for surprise party planning.  In fact for weeks before the party we must have…
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Bus Stop by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

While I was waiting at 86th Street for the Fifth Avenue bus the other day, a young woman, probably in her 20s,  walked up to me and asked where she could get the limited. I told her the limited bus stop was about two blocks south,  and she thanked me and started walking down Fifth.…
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College Girl – for Aunt Hannah by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Aging

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College Girl – for Aunt Hannah “One is never too old to learn.”,   Hannah told us when she announced she was starting college in her 80s. My husband’s aunt Hannah was the gentlest soul I’ve ever known.  No one in our family can remember her saying a harsh or an unkind word. Hannah and…
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My Favorite Beatle by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The Crush

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Like every girl of my generation, I had a favorite Beatle and about a year ago we actually met! My husband and I were having lunch at Lexington Candy Shop on Lex & 83rd,  a favorite local coffeeshop.  The place prides itself on it’s celebrity patronage with signed photos on the walls of Woody Allen…
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Cherry Coke by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By The Crush

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Cherry Coke I must confess I often find myself googling my college crush. Actually M was more than a crush,  he was my steady boyfriend during my freshman and sophomore years,  until I took a camp job that following summer and met someone else.  But that’s another story. M was a class ahead of me…
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Library Lesson by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

/ Stories

Library Lesson I was an English lit major in college and on track to teach high school English.  But an aunt and a family friend were librarians and they both encouraged me to consider that field. It sounded perfect for me,  and I applied to the graduate library programs at Simmons in Boston and at Columbia.…
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West with the Night by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

/ Stories

Walking down a tree-lined block in the East 80s the other day I passed a brownstone with a pretty patio fronting the street.  There on a small table someone had  left an open library book. Always curious about what others are reading,  I looked through the wrought iron gate to see the title – it…
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Magazines for the Principal – for David F by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Magazines

/ Stories

Magazines for the Principal I had a long and happy career as a school librarian,  the last years spent at Jane Addams,  a small vocational high school in the south Bronx.  The neighborhood was poor and rather sketchy,  and the students,  burdened with lives lived in those mean streets,  were sometimes difficult.  But our dedicated…
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The Diary of a Young Girl by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

/ Stories

The Diary of a Young Girl Among my friends and the distaff side of my family are many very accomplished women – doctors, nurses and therapists, a pharmacist and a research scientist, lawyers, two judges and a diplomat, a film editor, a TV producer and a theatrical director, several writers and artists, and a publisher…
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Rosie and Milt, the Literary Lady and the Second-Story Man by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hacks and Scams

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My uncle Milton wasn’t exactly a hardened criminal,  but the truth is he was once caught breaking and entering. Most of the time Milt was a mild-mannered, slightly absent-minded professor of chemistry at Smith College and lived with my aunt Roseanne in Northampton, Massachusetts in a wonderful Revolutionary-era house at the end of Poplar Hill…
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No Dice! by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Hacks and Scams

/ Stories

Try as I might, in my seven decades – most of which were lived in New York City of all places – I can’t remember being the victim of any shady deals or crooked schemes. I never shot craps in Vegas nor have I even been to Foxwoods. I was never conned in a dark…
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Why I Blog by
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(309 Stories)

Prompted By Why We Write

/ Stories

I originally posted this story on my blog World Thru Brown Eyes,  and after I was introduced to Retrospect I published it for the prompt Potpourri – Writers Choice.   But if you didn’t read it or don’t remember it,  here it is again to tell you Why We Write! WHY I BLOG One evening several years…
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Our Noisy Nanny by
200
(309 Stories)

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Our Noisy Nanny When my maternity leave came to an end and I was ready to go back to my teaching job, we knew we needed a nanny for our toddler. Mary R  had cleaned house for us weekly for years and we asked if she could care for Noah while I was at school.…
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The Great Hampton Babysitter Heist by
200
(309 Stories)

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The Great Hampton Babysitter Heist  When our son Noah was very young we spent several summers in the Hamptons in a rented house a short drive from both the beach and the town. One summer my husband Danny invited his business colleague Stan to join us for Noah was about five at the time, andMikey…
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Aruba Nights by
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(309 Stories)

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Aruba Nights Somewhere among all the art work, photos,  and birthday cards I’ve saved over the years are a few sheets of drawing paper with crayoned sketches,  fastened together with string to make a little book – a precious  piece of memorabilia from my son’s childhood. Noah must have been about four when we took…
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My Game Mother by
200
(309 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

My Game Mother When I was a child my grandmother owned a small hotel in the Catskills where my family spent idyllic summers.  Sadly when I was 11 she was no longer able to run it and the hotel was sold.  But when I think about the hotel, it seems only yesterday we were all…
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Fender Bender by
200
(309 Stories)

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Danny‘s beloved 2004 T-bird,  slightly scratched  Fender Bender When my husband Danny turned 60 he bought himself a birthday present – a light green Ford Thunderbird convertible.  Needless to say he loved that car,  and although I’d always thought of cars as basic transportation,  I must confess I loved that T-bird too! At first Danny…
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