Category Archives: History

Tom Lehrer and the Seven Old Ladies

While I was still in high school, my sister, a few years older, was in college. While home on Christmas break, she was captivated with Tom Lehrer, a Harvard mathematics professor who was a singer and songwriter on the side. … Continue reading

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The Little Brown Church in the Vale

There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood No lovelier spot in the dale No place is so dear to my childhood As the little brown church in the vale (Oh, come, come, come, come) Come to the church … Continue reading

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

I was watching this old movie (four “Mads”) on TV last night. I call such movies Dead People Movies because everyone in it, even the youngest, has long since died. The movie was made in 1963, and I think it … Continue reading

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Vocabulary: Pickelhaupt

(Vocabulary postings are words or phrases I recently came across in reading, did not fully understand, looked up, and discovered something new.) What is the name of the WWI spiked helmet worn by the German army? A: Pickelhaupt, which literally … Continue reading

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Auntie and Her Shimmy

This title is deceiving. There was nothing provocative about Auntie, not even her shimmy. She was no Auntie Mame. The Auntie I mean was my spinster great aunt, Florence Price, who lived in an upstairs back room of my grandparents … Continue reading

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Jean Shepherd’s Creeping Meatballism And the Night People

I pick a can of Coke from the refrigerator and printed on one entire side is “Share a Coke with your BFF.” Okay, maybe that idea was first presented at some ad agency meeting when “BFF” was a hip word … Continue reading

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The Sad Decline Of Newspapers

“Hard News,” by Jill Lepore. The New Yorker, 1/28/2019. This is a report on the decades-long decline of newspapers and its consequences. Don’t read it. Nothing can be done. Society has changed and there are no bad guys to blame. … Continue reading

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