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February 2016
As I See It

Charm of Vintage Valentines

When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew. - William Shakespeare

Phase Three

This One's for Newspapers

I remember covering the arraignment of several alleged mob chieftains who had come from various parts of the country for a meeting at a New York restaurant. I felt intimidated in the courtroom because one of the alleged mobsters periodically stared at me.

As I Recall...

School Field Trips

Not only was this their last passenger train, but also, it was a very short train. It consisted of one motorized, (self-propelled) car. That was of no consequence to us; it was large enough to accommodate our class, as there were only a few other passengers on board.


Very First Valentine’s Day Party

No one should embarrass anybody attending, or make faces, or go “yuk,” or refuse to kiss. Suppose the girl had awful breath, or dabbed too much of her mother’s perfume on? Same thing. Ground rules were called for.

January 2016
As I Recall...

Those Beautiful Cars of the ‘50s

I can’t remember when cars began to lose their distinctive appearances. It must have been a slow process, but it seemed to hit me suddenly when I was asked what kind of a car my neighbor drove. I realized I had no idea although I’d seen the car 50 times.


Yearning for Yesteryear’s Grocery Store

I also remember the huge pyramids of precariously stacked can goods — what an art form! Plus, back in the day, each item was sold in the same aisle and on the same shelf for decades; I didn’t need a GPS equipped smartphone to locate the pancake syrup each time I shopped.

December 2015
The Raven Lunatic

A 1967 Christmas Story

I am certain nervous children in Sears’ plaid robes re-created the manger scene. I am certain we sang carols about a needy couple two thousand years ago who had their child in poor surroundings. I am certain my brother and I ran from our bedrooms early the next morning to see what treasures lay wrapped and waiting under our tree.

The Raven Lunatic

In Defense of the Christmas Letter

For example, our 2013 letter highlights a once-in-a-lifetime trip that five family members took to Scotland and Ireland...With five aging bladders in our family, we also saw every bathroom, john, potty, outhouse, privy, loo, washroom and truck stop lounge in Scotland and Ireland.

As I Recall...

Memories of Christmases Past

The Salvation Army bell ringers, the little corner bands, nativity scenes and groups of carolers moving about the streets all enhance the exhilaration of the season. They are traditions that revive in us a magical and mutual feeling, and for many of us the remembrance for our joy at this time of year, for the birth of Christ.


The Christmas Stocking

To me, more than anticipated treats and seasonal secrets, these stockings represented our family. There we were, all together, a "set." Different sizes, different names. But we matched. We were complete. We belonged to each other. Hung across that Christmas mantelpiece every year was red-and-white-felt proof that we were a family.

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