I was lying awake at 4:30 a.m. the other morning, pondering my family tree, as one does, picturing exponentially expanding boxes stacked on boxes, each one representing another ancestor, and each layer another generation. Each box contains a person’s name, a location, and birth and sometimes death years. I don’t have all the information memorized, … Continue reading The Names of My Forefathers
Today, September 4, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of my maternal grandmother, Cora Segrest, nee Hawthorne. She was the epitome of a grandmother; the content for the encyclopedia entry for “Grandmother”; she possessed the sine qua non of grandmotherliness. My sister, my maternal cousins and I remember Nanny as a white-haired, physically … Continue reading A Cora Hawthorne Segrest Centennial
Many years ago I liked to dash off a poem every now and again as the mood struck me. The idea is always there, lurking, so now I’m gonna write a wee poem every day in April and post it here as part of National Poetry Writing Month. Thanks to Jamie Gaughran-Perez at Threespot for … Continue reading NaPoWriMo Poems
On this day, March 30, in 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot by the deranged John Hinckley, Jr. As news came into the school, all of us kids were lined up in the hallway outside our second floor classrooms to be led downstairs to the cafeteria for parental pick up. As we waited to go, … Continue reading Reagan Shot: “Don’t you dare say I told you so”
In late 1864, London Telegraph reporter George Augustus Sala, that paper’s Washington correspondent, interview the Lincolns in the Blue Parlor of the White House. In his article about that interview, Mr. Sala described his impressions of the president in great detail. More on that soon. Here is a key section that stood out in light … Continue reading Abe Lincoln: Great Joker of Jokes, the Sancho Panza Made Governor
I don’t pretend to have much knowledge of the first Crimean War, except to observe that it: (a) involved Britain, France, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire; (b) featured the Charge of the Light Brigade made famous by Lord Tennyson; and © made Florence Nightingale famous. Russia went to war against the Ottomans in late 1853 … Continue reading 160 Years After First Crimean War: Into the Valley of Death Again?
In my local writers’ group recently we were discussing the opening lines of novels. We hear about the importance of the first few lines, if not the FIRST line, both to capture the reader’s attention and also to capture a potential publisher’s. So I thought I’d dive somewhat randomly into my own library and share … Continue reading Opening Lines from 15 Novels
I finally read Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece, Gone With the Wind. Apparently, every woman I know read it when they were younger and it had a big impact on them. So, after my wife and mother repeatedly expressed surprise that I had never read it, I took up the challenge. And I’m glad I did. I … Continue reading 10 Things I Hated about Gone With the Wind
In China now, you may not find out about the Louisiana Purchase, or Gadsden Purchase, or other legal U.S. acquisitions of territory. The regime doesn’t want its people to relate these peaceful transfers of territory to the current dispute with Japan over some islands. Read about it here.
Never forget, we are reminded. How could we forget the clear blue sky on the cool September morning? How could we forget the routines we followed on our way to work, our way from work, our way out of town? How could we forget a shower of paper, like confetti, streaming down from the crippled … Continue reading How Could We Forget?