May 10, 2003 After I posted a piece about my mother’s childhood, a number of people noted what a hard man my grandfather was. True, but all my memories of him are good ones. Growing up, I knew he was a force of nature and not to be crossed, but mostly I remember him smiling […]

Time has passed, and I think I can talk about the bug now. It was Holy Week, 2010, at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles, N.Y. 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 […]

Originally posted on Read, Seen, Heard:
In the Old City of Shanghai, just outside the Yu Yuan Garden, sits the Huxinting tea house, said to have been built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as a private retreat, and restored in 1855, when it became a public tea house. The tea house is reached via the…

Originally posted on Post Office Postcards:
It’s not a postcard, but it is a favorite image, showing the pneumatic mail department in the basement of an American post office. The practice of loading mail into canisters and shooting them through tubes with compressed air dates back to the nineteenth century. A pneumatic line linked the…

What follows is a piece by a friend and mentor whose writing I value. He’s not Web-oriented, so I offered to post this piece for him, and he accepted. Enjoy. A former student was in town the other day and came by for a visit. I hadn’t seen him in some time. He’s sixty-eight now […]

I had a teacher in college who suggested that the political spectrum is not a line, with the extreme left at one end and extreme right at the other, but rather a circle, and when you go to either extreme you actually loop around and bump into your “opposite.” This could explain the love affair […]

It began with a gift from a friend who was helping to clean out the house of a man who died without heirs. My friend saved an oak-framed picture from the dumpster and gave it to me. A couple of months later, I was looking on the Web for information on an artist and on […]

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