Author Archives: kihm

Golden Slumbers

Some time in the 1970s, I was in the dark of the microform room at Bird Library, Syracuse University, looking at some early English verse, when I stumbled upon a song from the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Forty years later, of course, the Beatles’ music has been analyzed and documented to the last note, but then, […]

Mom’s Bookplate

Growing up, I saw my mother’s bookplate in many of the books I picked up at home, and recently saw it again in a cookbook that had been up in the attic: But this time, I wondered where that quote came from. As it turns out, it’s from Shakespeare, Duke Senior exiled in the forest […]

The Bug

Years have passed, and I think I can talk about the bug now. It was Holy Week, 2010, at St. James’ Episcopal Church. I sang in the choir. The choir sat in the front of the church, a few steps above the congregation and a step below the altar. Which is to say, we were […]

You Can’t Compete

In February of 2014, Dr. James David Manning, pastor of the ATLAH World Missionary Church in New York City, shocked America when he revealed that the President of the United States practices ceremonial magic and has the ability to summon and control demons. In particular, homosexual demons. Manning said, “Obama has released these demons particularly […]

Spared by a Barbarian

It was 1969. I had just finished language school in Monterey, California, and had been sent for Intelligence Training to Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. It was a six-week course, but we were a week late and had to wait five weeks for the next cycle. So we had five weeks of […]

The Tea Party

If you find the contemporary Tea Party to be obnoxious, there’s a reason to be found in history. The Sons of Liberty, the perpetrators of the original Boston Tea Party, although enshrined in patriotic memory, were themselves obnoxious. They were not, I was sad to learn, the clean and well-mannered men who sang “The Liberty […]

King C. Gillette

The doctor, concerned about my grandfather’s heart, ordered him to leave the room when the Friday Night Fights came on the television. Following the doctor’s instructions to the letter, Grandpa Braun left the room, stood in the hall and watched from the doorway, shadow boxing and puffing. I was in the room, on the sofa, […]

Sydney Smith, Polo’s Gift to Baseball

When I hear the name Sydney Smith, my thoughts fly to the English wit and cleric (1771- 1845) whose letters are among the most delightful ever written. However, there is another Sydney Smith who, while not so quotable, is still interesting. Born in 1883 in Smithville, South Carolina, a small town just south of Camden, […]

Polo Widows

Louise Astor Van Alen Mdivani Alexis and Serge Mdivani, two Georgian princes who fled to Paris after the Soviet invasion of their birthplace in 1921, excelled at marrying wealthy women and creating polo widows, the latter skill financed by the former. In 1931, Alexis Mdivani married Louise Astor Van Alen, but in 1933 he dumped […]

Guano

Few things make me happier than the arrival of Architectural Digest, and the December 2013 issue more than fulfilled my eager expectations. Savor with me this morsel from a feature on a Paris apartment (“A Backward Glance” by Mitchell Owens): “And what about the hefty red-marble pedestals holding aloft two Japanese covered jars? They came […]

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