Category Archives: History

Cellar or Basement?

When I was young, every house had a cellar, not a basement, but, as common as the term was, “cellar” has disappeared. Every home had steps leading from the kitchen down to the cellar.  Basement?  What’s that? Nobody I knew … Continue reading

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Christmas Tree Frugality

My East Lansdowne grandfather was a saver, typical of his generation. The basement (then called a cellar) was his man-cave and he stuffed the space between the ceiling joists with all sorts of salvaged items that just might come in … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Treating Mental Disorders With Chemicals

“Medicine In Mind,” by Jerome Groopman. The New Yorker, May 27, 2019. At one time, everyone knew that peptic ulcers were caused by emotional stress, certainly not a bacterial infection. No bacterium could possibly live in the highly acidic environment … Continue reading

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Dick Raezer And Angelo Micalizzi (Snook)

Both Dick Raezer and Angelo Micalizzi (Snook) were talented cartoonists, but neither continued on as a professional artist. Dick Raezer’s talent was officially recognized, and he did the cartoons in the inside covers of our graduation yearbook (1954 Lahian). I … Continue reading

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Train Didn’t Stop at Dundalk

I must have had a reputation for collecting odd stories for a long time. This is one of my favorites recently rediscovered as a clipping in my attic someone had sent me, but no indication of who sent it, or … Continue reading

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Lant

“Lant: Gone and Best Forgotten,” by Herbert T. Pratt. Unknown publication, June 1987. You probably never heard of the chemical lant, but a century ago, it was a common English word for fermented urine. So says Herbert Pratt of New … Continue reading

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Mike Royko On Leering

(Mike Royko, 1932-1997, was a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune whose column was reprinted in our local newspaper. I found this yellow clipping saved from many years ago in my attic. Here it is in its entirety, as closely … Continue reading

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