Tag Archives: memoir

Sans frontières

“The more primitive a man is, the better he believes himself to be…Doubt and tolerance are the characteristics of civilised man.”
— Marill to Kern, in Prague

East Berlin

In January, 1984, one of the few places you could cross into East Berlin was at the Friedrichstrasse station, a transfer point for the U– and S-bahn, subway and tram. There you went through East German passport control, had your passport stamped, were several times informed that you could only stay for twenty-four hours, and last, but most important to the government of the ironically named German Democratic Republic, the required currency conversion from a Western currency (dollars, francs, lira, etc.) to the Mark der DDR; since I travelled with West German Marks, I converted those. The coins of East Germany felt so cheap that I could easily snap a coin in half. Continue Reading

Radiohead

On Thursday, November 30, American Public Media (APM) emailed all subscribers that today was the final newsletter edition of “The Writer’s Almanac” – the program would no longer be distributed by APM, which was terminating all contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after allegations of inappropriate behavior. Continue Reading

Lullaby for a Narcoleptic

Lullaby for a Narcoleptic

It started with The Washington Post. Elementary school mornings, and for all the rest of his school days until he left for university, over a breakfast of eggs and mint tea with sugar added, he started with the comics, then leafed through the A section to the editorials pages to look at the political cartoon… Continue Reading

The Sailing Classroom – Mahina Tiare III

The Sailing Classroom – Mahina Tiare III

Note – I came across this piece when cleaning up some old directories. I wrote it in 2004 and submitted it to at least one sailing magazine, but it was rejected. The sailing trip was in May, 2003. Think of a school and what comes to mind? Open, airy kindergartens with lots of space for kids… Continue Reading

In the beginning it was never better

It’s hard to know where you are in the arc of things until after the fact. Louis Auchincloss’s The Rector of Justin tells the story of the founder and first headmaster of a boys’ preparatory school, set in the first part of the twentieth century. Obscure and humble in its origins,  St. Justin grows into an elite institution: hundreds… Continue Reading

The End of Serendipity

The End of Serendipity

Serendipity: 1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. 2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries. 3. An instance of making such a discovery.1From the American Heritage Dictionary …continue May your every wish be immediately granted – Chinese Curse This is not about the ending of the the movie from 2001, which although flawed it does have… Continue Reading