View Suzy's profile

You Don’t Mess Around With Gym* by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Physical Education, or Gym as we called it, was by far my least favorite class in high school. First of all, we had to wear these horrible gymsuits, one-piece numbers that snapped up the front. They were hideous looking things, as you can see from the Featured Image. No girl looked good in them, no…
Read More

Give Me Just A Little More Time by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Exams

/ Stories

Wow, blue books! So many memories! I considered calling the story “Blank Space” — because there was always a lot more blank space than writing in my blue books — but figured this crowd wouldn’t know the Taylor Swift song, so I went with a 1970 song that applies equally well to my exam-taking experience.…
Read More

Baby You Can Drive My Car by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Learning to Drive

/ Stories

The driving age in New Jersey, where I grew up, was seventeen for some reason, even though in almost every other state in the union it was sixteen. Not only that, you had to be seventeen before you could even get your learner’s permit. I turned seventeen on August 30, 1968, and two weeks later…
Read More

A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Cold War Coping

/ Stories

At my elementary school, which I attended from 1956 to 1962, we never hid under our desks or heard the phrase “duck and cover.” We had our own fallout shelter to protect us from the Russians. The school was a large building, three stories plus a basement, which took up (in my memory at least)…
Read More

Pollution by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Earth Day

/ Stories

In 1965, Tom Lehrer recorded the song “Pollution,” purporting to give advice to a foreign traveler visiting the US. If you visit American city You will find it very pretty Just two things which you must beware Don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air. At the time it seemed funny, since usually it…
Read More

Taxman by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Taxes

/ Stories

Let me tell you how it will be There’s one for you, nineteen for me ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman The Beatles, who had grown up poor, weren’t very happy to discover once they were making oodles of money that the British government was going to take most of it. Not sure…
Read More

Poetry in Motion by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Poetry

/ Stories

There are many poets whose work I cherish. For instance, Robert Frost. I can easily recite all four stanzas of “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” and most of “The Road Not Taken,” although I don’t recall ever intentionally trying to memorize them. I love anything by e. e. cummings. I don’t know any…
Read More

Cake by the Ocean by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Spring Break

/ Stories

Faithful readers of Retrospect may recall my story on the prompt Beaches, which included memories of two spring break trips I took three decades apart: a 1961 trip with my parents and sisters to Fort Lauderdale shortly after the movie Where the Boys Are came out; and a 1992 trip to Maui with my future second husband…
Read More

Hillary by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Women We Admire

/ Stories

Hillary. Rodham. Clinton She has been a woman I admire since 1992. There is so much I could say about her, but like the speaker “who needs no introduction” and then gets one anyway, it just doesn’t seem necessary. Everyone knows about her, and all the truths and lies that have been attached to her…
Read More

Back Stabbers by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Betrayal

/ Stories

They smilin’ in your face All the time they want to take your place The back stabbers. . . . What follows is not the only story of betrayal that has occurred in my life, but let’s just say that it’s the only one that I’m willing to make public. Putting out on the internet…
Read More

Knock Three Times by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By My First Apartment

/ Stories

I lived in my first — and only — apartment building the summer after my sophomore year of college. I had snagged a great summer job working for Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co. in Boston. My dear friend Kit, who was part of my Comstock Hall crowd, had a job as a research assistant for a…
Read More

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By New Beginnings

/ Stories

This might be one of the scariest things I’ve ever done! A new beginning as a website owner/administrator is not something I ever expected. It feels a little like riding on this ferris wheel. When John and Patti announced that Retrospect would cease operations on December 31, 2018, I felt bereft. It had been such…
Read More

Turn, Turn, Turn by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Turning Points

/ Stories

To everything there is a season. . . . The first time the prompt Turning Points appeared was in August 2016, and I wrote Universe ablaze with changes about the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. That event was a major turning point in my life, setting me on the political course that I have followed ever since.…
Read More

Gifts Are For Giving by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Gifts

/ Stories

I am not an easy person to buy presents for. I know that, and I discourage family members from buying me things. Because I hardly ever like them. They will invariably be the wrong color, or the wrong size, or the wrong shape, or just not something that is useful to me. Even jewelry, I…
Read More

Homeward Bound by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Home

/ Stories

This is the house I grew up in, a two-story red brick house with a full attic and basement, on a corner lot in Belleville, New Jersey. My father’s medical office is on the side, you can see the entrance to it on the far right in the picture. My parents moved into this house…
Read More

Sing, Sing A Song by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Songs We Sang

/ Stories

I grew up singing. My family sang all the time. On holidays and other occasions we would gather around the piano and sing, sometimes in unison, more often taking different parts. In the early years, it was my aunt Daisy who played the piano, but at some point my oldest sister took over that role. If…
Read More

Over the River Again by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Family

/ Stories

I am reposting the story I wrote for the prompt “Gratitude” two years ago, with updates. I decided to do it this way, rather than just move the old story to this prompt, because this will be my 100th story! Thank you for your indulgence. *** Thanksgiving was always the most special holiday in my family…
Read More

Politics and Poker by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

/ Stories

Fiorello! is a wonderful musical about New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (yes, he’s the one for whom the airport is named). It ran on Broadway from November 1959 through October 1961. I went to see it with my mother on Election Day 1960. One of the songs in the musical, “Politics and Poker,” contains…
Read More

Telephone Line by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to love making phony phone calls. I don’t know why it seemed so hilarious, but it did. We would dial a number that we picked at random out of the telephone book. When someone answered, we would say “Is your refrigerator running?” They would say…
Read More

Bows and Flows of Angel Hair by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Accessories? I have never been into purses or shoes or hats or scarves. I have bought all those things, of course, but only as needed, not in a collecting kind of way. However, in junior high school, I wore bows in my hair almost every day. My coiffure may not have been the angel hair…
Read More

Why Do I Have To Choose by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Beatles vs Stones

/ Stories

I always thought it was a sillly competition. Why did people expect you to declare allegiance to only one band, the Rolling Stones or the Beatles? I loved them both! I see now that I bought 13 Beatles albums and only 10 Stones albums (and I have photographed both sets on my living room carpet),…
Read More

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Parties

/ Stories

I love parties! I almost always have a great time at them. Certainly college parties are among my fondest memories of those years. But for me, the good ones don’t seem to make for interesting stories. So here’s a story about the worst party of my life. 1966. The drinking age in New Jersey was…
Read More

Be True to Your School by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Middle School

/ Stories

Middle School. . . . In our day they called it Junior High School. I don’t know when the name was changed, or why, but in any event, I never went to one. My first school was a K-8, and my second school was a 7-12. My town didn’t have a Junior High at that…
Read More

Fame by Proxy by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

/ Stories

Fame by Proxy  is the name of a 2008 album by a band called If I Had A HiFi, which is a palindromic name. (Read it backwards if you don’t believe me.) All the members of the band also have palindromic names, such as Dr Awkward and Mr Alarm. I have never heard any of…
Read More

Magic Carpet Ride by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By 1968

/ Stories

1968. One of my favorite years ever, just seeing those four digits makes me happy. The prompt reminds me that many bad things happened that year too. But if I had to pick the one year of my life that had the greatest impact on me, it would definitely be 1968. Actually, I have already…
Read More

Blame It On Mexico by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Nudity

/ Stories

I am not comfortable with group nudity. I’ve managed to change clothes discreetly in locker rooms and dorm rooms, even while those all around me were letting it all hang out. I have never gone to a nude beach or a nude hot tub party. Sorry, that’s just not me. But there was one time…
Read More

Food, Glorious Food by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Diets

/ Stories

I have never been on a diet. I don’t say this to brag, just stating a fact. I have no idea how many calories are in anything. I have never read a diet book or listened to a diet guru. I eat whatever I want to, and stop when I feel full. Yet I have…
Read More

Time in a Bottle by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Vintage Photos

/ Stories

I first saw this photo after my mother died. My oldest sister, who is the repository of all the family photos that my parents had (because she lived the closest), was scanning many pictures and emailing them to my other sister and me for use in the shiva-type services we were each having in our…
Read More

A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Prom

/ Stories

This is the story of the prom nobody remembers. Literally. All I know is who I went with and what I wore. Jeff, the boy I had been dating since New Year’s Eve of senior year, was a sophomore at Rutgers, but came home every weekend to see me. So when I asked him to…
Read More

Ooh Baby Baby by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Babies

/ Stories

In my early twenties I had absolutely no interest in babies. I didn’t find them cute, or interesting, or cuddly. When friends or classmates were showing off their babies, I would of course say Oh your baby is so adorable, but I actually thought they were ugly and noisy and smelly. I certainly didn’t want…
Read More

The Perfect Nanny by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The Twilight Zone

/ Stories

“The Perfect Nanny” is a song from the movie Mary Poppins, in which the children describe the characteristics they want in a nanny. You must be kind, you must be witty Very sweet and fairly pretty Take us on outings, give us treats Sing songs, bring sweets We were lucky enough to find our own perfect…
Read More

Paperback Writer by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By What We Read

/ Stories

As a child I was a voracious reader, devouring all the book series that were popular at that time — The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Sue Barton, and Honey Bunch and Norman. Of these five, the only one that seems to have survived is Nancy Drew. Maybe a girl detective has more staying…
Read More

Street Fighting [Wo]man by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Student Activism

/ Stories

“Hey! The time is right for violent revolution” sang Mick Jagger in August 1968. When I heard it, I had just come back from the Democratic Convention in Chicago, where I was tear gassed by the police. I was seventeen years old and I was ready to learn how to be a revolutionary. The Rolling…
Read More

As Time Goes By by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Then: Kneeling down in front of the ironing board to iron my hair, so that it will be pin straight, as the fashion dictates. Sometimes burning my left hand (which is holding the hairbrush) with the tip of the iron in my right hand, because I can’t see what I’m doing. Now: What’s an ironing board? Electric…
Read More

Go Tell Aunt Rhody by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

My mother and father each had only one sibling, a sister. My father’s sister, Adele, was a pharmacist who never married. We were her only family, so she spent holidays with us, and always gave us presents on our birthdays. But my sisters and I never felt close to her. She talked too loudly and…
Read More

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Restaurants

/ Stories

Billy Joel probably never ate at the Italian restaurant my family favored when I was young, since he grew up in New York, not New Jersey, but he must have had a similar place in mind when he wrote the song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Don’s 21 was located on McCarter Highway in Newark,…
Read More

Celluloid Heroes by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Best Picture

/ Stories

“Everybody’s a dreamer, everybody’s a star,” sang the Kinks in their 1972 song “Celluloid Heroes.” So true. I nominate this song to be the permanent theme song of the Academy Awards show. First movie: Sayonara. As far as I remember, this was my first movie in a theatre, although I probably saw others on television…
Read More

What’s Goin’ On by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Watergate

/ Stories

“What do you remember about Watergate?” asks this week’s prompt. I am finding it a very difficult question to answer. Right now I could tell you everything that happened from the night of the break-in at Democratic Headquarters on June 17, 1972 (two days after I graduated from college), to the resignation of Richard Nixon…
Read More

Why must I be-e a teen-A-ger in love? by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Teenager in Love

/ Stories

Every time I have seen the phrase “teenager in love” – starting with the first time this prompt appeared in Retrospect two years ago – I have read it as teen-A-ger, with the accent on the second syllable, rather than TEEN-ager, the usual pronunciation, with the accent on the first syllable. In contrast, if the…
Read More

Too Much Time on My Hands (Styx) by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

/ Stories

I loved being a lawyer. I can’t think of any other career I would have rather had. Well, except for being a rock ‘n’ roll singer – that would have been the best. But besides playing Linda Ronstadt at my office holiday party and singing a few local gigs with my first husband’s band, I…
Read More

We Can Work It Out by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Roommates

/ Stories

Sometimes you can work it out, sometimes you can’t. I’ve had a lot of roommates, starting as a 17-year-old college freshman, and ending when I bought my first house at age 27. CAVEAT: This story is way too long to sustain anyone’s interest, so I advise reading maybe about half of it. Once I started…
Read More

What Did You Learn in School Today? by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By A Year in the Life

/ Stories

In September 1958 I had just turned seven, and I was in Mrs. Smith's second-grade class
Read More

Livin’ La Vida Loca by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Vacations

/ Stories

Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, a good length of time for a vacation
Read More

You Say You Want a Revolution by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By That Night

/ Stories

When I started college in September 1968, I was fresh from the McCarthy presidential campaign and still somewhat idealistic, yet also radicalized as a result of being tear-gassed in the streets of Chicago. I went to SDS meetings that fall, but I was still wearing McCarthy campaign buttons every day. I had dozens of different…
Read More

Beechwood 4-5789 by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Technology

/ Stories

We were early adopters of email, and also of cellphones. Our first email account was through CompuServe, and our user name was a string of numbers that we didn’t even get to pick, so for me they were impossible to remember. My 32-year-old daughter Sabrina, however, can still recite that string of numbers, twenty-some years…
Read More

Different Drum by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Being Different

/ Stories

In the summer of 1970 the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society had the wonderful opportunity to sing two concerts at Tanglewood, with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. It was an exciting time. We spent the week before the concerts living at Tanglewood, with many rehearsals but also quite a bit of free time.…
Read More

The Way We Were by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Reunions

/ Stories

I am a reunion junkie! I love them, and it always makes me sad when friends choose not to attend. Last month, October 2017, I had two incredible reunions two weeks apart — my college 45th and my law school 40th. I was on the planning committees for both reunions, worked hard to make them…
Read More

Teach Your Children by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Gender Roles

/ Stories

For my parents, the gender roles were clear. My mother was in charge of the house and the family, my father dealt with the outside world and earned the money to support us. He might have disagreed with some of the decisions she made regarding us kids, but he would have no more told her…
Read More

They Say It’s Your Birthday by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Birthdays

/ Stories

Birthdays have always been a big deal to me. I was born on my father’s birthday, which was very special to me, even in the years when I wasn’t close to him. My middle sister was born two days before my mother’s birthday, and I always wished she could have waited another 48 hours to…
Read More

Talkin’ ’bout my generation by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Generation Gap

/ Stories

The Who, in their song My Generation, famously said “Hope I die before I get old.” One of their members did, drummer Keith Moon, who died at age 32 in 1978. The rest of them later said that line was not to be taken literally. In the abstract I did believe the admonition not to…
Read More

Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind? by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The Road Not Taken

/ Stories

It was 1974, and after two years of working at the US Department of Transportation, I was ready to quit my job and go to law school. I had applied to several schools on the East Coast, as well as UC Berkeley and two other California schools that I didn’t know much about. Those last…
Read More

Love That Dirty Water by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

My oldest sister went off to Radcliffe College in September 1962, just as I started seventh grade. I was fascinated with Radcliffe – the apple trees with circular benches around them in Radcliffe Yard, the nine old homey-looking brick dorms around the lush green Quad – and with the bustling Harvard Square area. It seemed…
Read More

The End of the World by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By 9/11

/ Stories

Looking back at August-September 2001 brings to mind the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The two weeks prior to what we now just refer to as 9/11 contained some of the best times of my life, and then, of course, the…
Read More

Highway to Hell by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

How is the Ku Klux Klan still a thing? In old movies we see those white-sheeted ridiculous-looking figures riding on horseback through the countryside, carrying fiery torches, setting the shacks of poor black people ablaze and leaving burning crosses to light up the night. But this is in the past, right? Wa-a-a-ay in the past!…
Read More

I Will Survive by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Illness

/ Stories

On March 10, 2008, I had my annual mammogram. Never a pleasant experience, but tolerable, and I dutifully went every year without giving it much thought. That year was different. A few days afterwards the imaging center called me and said they wanted to do another mammogram of my right breast, so on March 20…
Read More

Hooray for Hollywood by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By What We Watched

/ Stories

The first time this prompt, “What We Watched,” appeared, I wrote a story about the television shows I loved growing up, TV shows of my youth. That was the very first story I posted on Retrospect, and it started me on a wonderful adventure which has continued through 60 stories so far, with many more yet to…
Read More

The Great Pretender by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

In 1978, a newly minted lawyer, I got a job with the California Attorney General’s Office. There were lots of hip, young lawyers there, since it was viewed in many legal circles as a training ground for the big-bucks private law firms. There was great camaraderie among the younger lawyers, with drinks at a nearby…
Read More

A Whiter Shade of Pale by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Summer of Love

/ Stories

1967. The Summer of Love was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I was going to turn sixteen at the end of August — which meant that I had been claiming to be sixteen for months. I thought I was very sophisticated and wise. Retrospect readers may have already seen…
Read More

Something to Talk About by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Concerts

/ Stories

A Saturday in April. Sophomore year of college. Three days later Nixon would invade Cambodia. Less than a week after that, four students would be killed at Kent State, and the Harvard campus would go out on strike for the second spring in a row. But all that was still ahead, and at this point…
Read More

Scarlet Ribbons by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Lessons

/ Stories

In the summer of 1965 I decided I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I was turning 14 at the end of the summer, and it was my second year at a leftist work camp called Lincoln Farm. One of my favorite aspects of camp was the singing we did — at campfires,…
Read More

Remember (Walking in the Sand) by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The Beach

/ Stories

We didn’t go to many beaches when I was a kid, because my mother didn’t like sand, and dreaded the possibility of having it tracked into the car or the house. So we generally spent our vacations at places with lakes or pools. We did go to Atlantic City once a year for a medical…
Read More

Father and Daughter by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Father's Day

/ Stories

Paul Simon’s song “Father and Daughter” starts out “If you leap awake / In the mirror of a bad dream…” This reminds me of my favorite story about my father, which I have told to my children numerous times. When I was little, I had a recurring nightmare about a witch chasing me. I think…
Read More

Graduation Mix Tape by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Graduation Advice

/ Stories

Giving the graduates a mix tape of advice
Read More

Draft Dodger Rag by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Memorial Day weekend in Sacramento is most notable for the Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, which has occurred every year since 1974. It is an amazing four days of music and fun, with bands from all over the country and the world who make the pilgrimage to northern California to play traditional jazz. I didn’t discover it until…
Read More

When I’m Sixty-Four by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Paul McCartney famously wrote the lines “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four” when he was 16 years old, although he didn’t put it on an album until Sgt. Pepper nine years later. It was released in the summer of 1967, when I was turning 16, the same age he was…
Read More

Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Mainly I remember my mother’s closet as a great place to play hide and seek. It was a big walk-in closet shaped like an L, so you could go around the corner to hide and a seeker might just look in the doorway and not see you. There was also a little door that led…
Read More

You’ve Got A Friend by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Friendship

/ Stories

When I was little — practically from birth — I had a best friend named Bette. Her parents were good friends with my parents, and she had two older sisters whose ages roughly corresponded to the ages of my older sisters. Our two families rented houses next door to each other at Lake Hopatcong every summer.…
Read More

Stray Cat Strut by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Pets

/ Stories

It was the end of the summer of 1992. Ed and I had bought a beautiful big old house and moved into it with my two children, seven-year-old Sabrina and four-year-old Ben. It seemed like the right time to get a kitten. We knew if we took the kids with us to the animal shelter,…
Read More

Blinded by the Light by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Science

/ Stories

I must confess that I have never been very interested in science. Conversations on scientific topics tend to make my eyes glaze over. My only good science experience was in first grade. We had a lovely teacher named Miss Garcelon, who had just graduated from teachers college, and we were her first class. She decided, for…
Read More

Tradition by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Faith

/ Stories

Faith, for me, is a complicated topic. As I said in an earlier Retrospect story, I mostly don’t believe in God. But for some reason I’m not quite ready to rule out the possibility entirely. For instance, all through my years in school, when I was nervous about an exam, I would talk to God, saying “if…
Read More

Take Me Out to the Ball Game by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Big Fan

/ Stories

My house is across the street from a park with several baseball diamonds, and around the corner from a school whose baseball field and snack shack are the headquarters for the local Little League. Every year on opening day there is a parade that goes past my house, with pickup trucks full of screaming little…
Read More

With a Little Help From My Friends by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Altered States

/ Stories

Summer 1967 It’s the Summer of Love in San Francisco Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. Meanwhile, across the country, A high school girl, not quite sixteen, End-of-summer birthday, Tall and thin, with curly hair she irons straight, And glasses which she seldom wears Feels too old to go to camp, Off to a summer…
Read More

Bridge Over Troubled Waters by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Toys & Games

/ Stories

When I was growing up, my family had a ton of board games, and a finished room in the basement where we kept them all and played them with our friends or with each other. Chiefly I remember Sorry and Chutes & Ladders when I was really young, and then Monopoly and Clue when I was…
Read More

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Women's Lib

/ Stories

Posting this on International Women’s Day! * * * * * * * I was a feminist long before I knew such a word existed. When I was a child, adults who knew my father, a doctor, frequently asked me, “When you grow up are you going to be a nurse and help your father?” This outraged…
Read More

Stayin’ Alive by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Dance Crazes

/ Stories

Is it okay to be frivolous in these dark times?
Read More

Steal Away (Into the Night) by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By In Trouble

/ Stories

Steal This Book, said Abbie Hoffman
Read More

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The First Time

/ Stories

This song demanded that I write about it
Read More

This Story Is Not About Cooking by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Cooking

/ Stories

This story may or may not turn out to be about cooking. Mainly it is about my mother, who, as I write, is lying in a hospital bed holding on to life by only the slenderest of threads. By the time you read this, the thread may have snapped. But she will always be a…
Read More

We Shall Overcome by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Usually I write the story first and then look for a song for the title. This time I picked the song first. It is the third week in January, the week between Martin Luther King’s birthday and the ending of the Obama Administration. I feel like it is the last week before our country descends into…
Read More

Lead Us Not into Social Media by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Temptation

/ Stories

Facebook. Such a silly thing when it started, just a way for college students to check each other out, find out if someone was available or in a relationship, whatever. When it expanded beyond those with an “edu” email address and became available to all, I joined, at the invitation of a friend who wanted me…
Read More

Those Were the Days, My Friend by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Readers of Retrospect may recall my maternal grandparents from two other stories, No Way To Say Goodbye, about my grandfather’s death, and Which Side Are You On?, in which I discussed their flight from the Cossacks and their search for the American Dream. They were a significant part of my childhood, living with my parents, my sisters, and me in our…
Read More

Auld Lang Syne by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By New Beginnings

/ Stories

New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite times. Saying good-bye to the old year, however good or bad it may have been, and ushering in the new one, with all of its promise. Making resolutions, and possibly even keeping them. Drinking champagne and watching the ball go down in Times Square. (For years I…
Read More

Stardust… golden… caught in the devil’s bargain by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

I’m writing this on the day after the Electoral College met and actually, officially, chose that awful man to be the next President of the United States. In the six weeks since the election I have been wishing for something to happen to prevent this from occurring. First I wished (and confidently believed) that the…
Read More

This Little Light of Mine by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Traditions

/ Stories

Chanukah has always been my favorite holiday. Not because of the gifts — my parents actually gave us our gifts on Dec. 25th when the rest of our friends were getting theirs — but because I loved lighting the candles, singing the traditional songs, playing dreidel, and eating Chanukah gelt (chocolate circles wrapped in gold…
Read More

The beauty, the splendor, the wonder of my hair by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

/ Stories

The musical Hair opened on Broadway in April 1968, and I saw it some time that spring with my friend Amy, who lived in Manhattan. Amy had been my roommate the previous summer at a program for high school students at Syracuse University. It was Amy who first introduced me to marijuana, so it was…
Read More

Over the River and Through the Woods by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Gratitude

/ Stories

Thanksgiving was always the most special holiday in my family when I was growing up. It was the one time of the year when everyone would gather, aunts and uncles and cousins, to spend the day together, eating and talking and enjoying each other. It was the only time all year that we ate in the dining…
Read More

Which Side Are You On? by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The American Dream

/ Stories

All four of my grandparents came to this country around 1900 from the area we loosely referred to as Russia, although borders were fluid then. My grandfathers were leaving to avoid serving in the czar’s army, and they were all fleeing from Cossacks and pogroms and the terrors of anti-Semitism. They settled on the Lower…
Read More

Eve of Destruction by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

/ Stories

I began this story on Monday, November 7. Here was my first paragraph: I am starting to write this the night before the election. The anxiety and suspense are palpable. Perhaps by the time I finish it, we will have elected our first woman President. I then wrote a few paragraphs about the political views of my…
Read More

No Way to Say Goodbye, part two by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The Great Beyond

/ Stories

How do you tell your teenage children that their father has died? While perhaps not completely unexpected, I knew his death would be a shock to them, and wished I could shield them from the pain. Readers of Retrospect will remember Barry from two earlier stories, So Much in Common, about our meeting, and Nice Day for a White…
Read More

No Way To Say Goodbye by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By The Great Beyond

/ Stories

My first experience with death was my grandfather’s, when I was eleven years old. Both of my maternal grandparents (Nana and Papa) lived with us in our big brick house in New Jersey, and had for as long as I can remember — possibly since before I was born. My grandmother had one of the…
Read More

Monster Mash by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Halloween

/ Stories

When I was growing up, Halloween was a fun evening, but not nearly as big a deal as it had become by the time my kids were observing it. My parents didn’t carve jack-o-lanterns or decorate the house. I know I went out trick-or-treating every year, and I certainly wore a costume, but I am…
Read More

To Sing In Perfect Harmony by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By In the Band

/ Stories

I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t read music. I must have learned at about the same time I learned to read words, around three years old. It has always been a part of my life. I took piano lessons and then oboe lessons, but the thing I always liked the best was singing.…
Read More

The I Hate to Cook Book by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

/ Stories

My mother was not much of a cook. She made dinner every night for 30 years (except for the occasional restaurant meal), and then, when my father retired and the kids were all grown up and gone, she never cooked again. She certainly never imbued any of her three daughters with a love of cooking,…
Read More

We Are Family by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Parenthood

/ Stories

When I was a little girl, I always imagined that when I grew up I would have three children. That’s how many there were in my family, and it seemed like just the right number to me. However, I vowed, they would be close enough in age that they could all hang out and have fun…
Read More

Launching my firstborn by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Instead of a heart-to-heart talk, we sang along with a "classic rock" station at the top of our lungs.
Read More

Born to be Wild (in the snow) by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Something Wild

/ Stories

I have always been a city girl. I am not much of a hiker or camper. Oh I have done my share of both, but neither one is something I would choose if I were picking the activity. Even though I can appreciate the beauty of a wild or dramatic panorama, if I have to hike a long…
Read More

Nine to Five by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Working

/ Stories

When I graduated from college, I was pretty sure I wanted to go to law school eventually, but I was VERY sure that I wanted to take some time off from school first. I was sick of writing papers and taking exams and always having some assignment hanging over my head to make me feel…
Read More

The End of the Innocence by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Disasters

/ Stories

It was November of my eighth grade year. For our last period of the day, the girls had home economics and the boys had a free period. Needless to say, we were pretty annoyed about this unfairness, even in that pre-feminist era. The school required the girls to take TWO YEARS of home ec, in…
Read More

So Much in Common by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By How We Met

/ Stories

I had met someone who seemed like the love of my life a couple of years earlier, and it hadn’t worked out (although it would when the time was right). On the rebound from him, I started dating the handsomest guy in the entire Attorney General’s Office, who had already slept with every other attractive single woman…
Read More

Suitcases without wheels by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Good Riddance

/ Stories

Why did it take so long for someone to come up with the idea of putting wheels on suitcases? I can remember so many trips, not only in my childhood but in my young adulthood as well, that involved lugging heavy suitcases that I could barely pick up. You might think this would have encouraged…
Read More

Universe ablaze with changes by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Turning Points

/ Stories

A turning point can be something good that happens, or something bad. A birth, a death, a national election, or even someone new that you meet by chance, can turn your life upside down and make it so much better or worse. ************************************* Sometimes it seems that my life has moved, is moving, in a…
Read More

My 1966 Plymouth Valiant convertible by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By My First Car

/ Stories

My parents bought the car in the fall of 1965. It was a 1966 model, and they custom-ordered it with all the features they (and I) wanted. I was 14 years old, a sophomore in high school, and the age to get a driver’s license in New Jersey was 17, so I clearly wasn’t going…
Read More

In The Summertime by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Camp

/ Stories

Summer camp was a major part of my childhood experience. Not only the eight weeks I spent there each summer, but the letters back and forth to camp friends for the other ten months of the year. We poured out our hearts to each other in ways that we would never do with friends at home.…
Read More

On the Road Again by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Travel

/ Stories

Bits and pieces of many trips lodged in my memory.
Read More

Such Devoted Sisters by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Siblings

/ Stories

“Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.” This 1954 Irving Berlin song was sung by Rosemary Clooney in the movie White Christmas, and my sisters and I learned to sing it at an early age. And we are devoted, it’s not just a song lyric. I feel incredibly lucky to have my two sisters. As I…
Read More

Nice Day for a White Wedding by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Weddings

/ Stories

Whenever I hear the term "white wedding" now, the Billy Idol song starts running through my head.
Read More

Up, Up and Away by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Graduation

/ Stories

The girls wore long gowns and white gloves, and the boys wore tuxedos. The girls also carried bouquets of long-stemmed roses in colors that were coordinated with our gowns.
Read More

The Milk Bottle by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Those We Miss

/ Stories

I was born on my father's 42nd birthday. He always said that I was the best birthday present he ever got.
Read More

Law school and basketball by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Sports

/ Stories

How basketball saved my sanity in law school.
Read More

Rock and Roll Never Forgets by
100
(116 Stories)

/ Stories

Sixties and Seventies music is still the best!
Read More

Most Amazing Summer Job Ever by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By My First Paycheck

/ Stories

The summer before college I had a job that changed my entire life. If only it had changed the nation's history as well.
Read More

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Hitchhiking

/ Stories

Two college girls on a summer adventure by plane, train, and many automobiles.
Read More

Modern Dance Lessons by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Lessons

/ Stories

Looking back at modern dance lessons in Manhattan, and the drive through the Holland Tunnel to get there.
Read More

Sadie Hawkins Dance by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By Teenager in Love

/ Stories

A freshman girl is daring enough to ask a senior boy to the Sadie Hawkins Dance.
Read More

The Culotte Rebellion by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By What We Wore

/ Stories

What happened when a new principal tried to impose a dress code in a high school where the students were not inclined to follow anyone else's rules.
Read More

TV shows of my youth by
100
(116 Stories)

Prompted By What We Watched

/ Stories

The three TV shows that were an important part of my childhood, all of whose theme songs I can still easily sing from memory.
Read More