A Glimpse of the Stone Age

A Stone Age celebration As 2017 comes to a close, here’s another holiday-related recollection that comes to mind. It’s from the time I was in Papua New Guinea on my way home to the United States following Peace Corps service in India. What, you might ask, does this have to do with the holidays? Hang […]

Not Your Everyday Christmas Story

I’d been thinking of republishing last year’s Christmas blog post, but today, just as Santa is harnessing the reindeer and filling his sleigh with toys in preparation for tonight’s globe-girdling ride, I’m recalling another long-ago Christmas event that I hope readers will find of interest. This was one of our family’s many holiday gatherings in […]

Another Memorable Thanksgiving

I’d been considering re-posting the blog item I wrote last year at this time, My Most Memorable Thanksgiving, when I recalled another unconventional celebration of this wonderful holiday from my boyhood. I was perhaps 6 or 7 at the time, and my parents were going to do something unusual for the four-day weekend. They decided […]

Father’s Day Memories

Dad, in a characteristically playful mood, horsing around with champagne corks at a birthday party (at about age 80) On Father’s Day, as spring gives way to summer in the Northern Hemisphere (and a heat wave here in California), we can all appreciate the pleasure of a nice, cool shower. I have a little twist […]

Mother’s Day Memories

As I write this post in the week preceding Mother’s Day, I’m sifting through memories of my mom, trying – but failing – to come up with something as amusing, or at least as memorable, as some of the stories I’ve told in this blog about my dad, who was a certifiable character. Mom – […]

Happy Easter!

Russian Easter Eggs Have you ever locked yourself out of the car? With the motor running? On a narrow street? With traffic stuck behind you? Because you’re just outside the Russian Orthodox Cathedral as the Midnight Easter Service is about to begin? Yup! It happened to me. Which is a self-exculpatory way of saying, “Yes, […]

A Memory of Christmas Past

Christmas morning never fails to remind me of the most memorable holiday event I’ve ever experienced. No, this is not the heart-warming story of family gathered round a blazing fireplace, sipping eggnog and inhaling the aroma of freshly baked cookies. Rather, it’s a tale of a somewhat less time-honored Christmas tradition – the grab-bag game. […]

My Most Memorable Thanksgiving

The most memorable Thanksgiving I’ve ever experienced1 took place in 1970 in Pawarkheda, pretty much in the geographic center of India.2 It was the site of a training facility belonging to the government of Madhya Pradesh (M.P., or Central State), which was made available to the Peace Corps to train a new group of volunteers […]

July Fourth – a Personal Connection

America’s Independence Day reminds me of my late father-in-law, Robert L. Kelley, a history professor. A warm, wonderful man, he made an indelible first impression on me. As Sandra, then my fiancé, ushered me into her family’s home in Santa Barbara, California, for the first time shortly before Thanksgiving 1986, Bob Kelley spread his arms […]

Oh, Brother!

Last week, I told a tale about a trilingual conversation my dad witnessed between guitar immortal Andres Sergovia and luthier Mario Maccaferri. Much of that conversation would have been unintelligible to my dad – whose familiarity with other languages was limited to Yiddish (the native language of his immigrant parents) and high school French and […]