Joe Lieberman May Have Been the Guy Who Taught Me How to Create a Martini — And a Few Loftier Thoughts on a Principled Politician

Joseph I. Lieberman, Feb. 24, 1942 – Mar. 27, 2024 Joe Lieberman’s death this week brought back memories of my freshman year at Yale, when I made a brief effort to “heel” (that is, to try out for a position as a writer) at the Yale Daily News, the nation’s oldest independent college daily newspaper […]

For His 111th Birthday, a Few More Dad Stories

Dad test-driving my tricycle, late 1940s Yesterday would have been my dad’s birthday. Actually it was his birthday — not “would have been.” Unfortunately, he is no longer with us to have enjoyed it, not that he would likely have enjoyed being as creaky as one might be at 1.11 centuries of age. I recall […]

Kitty Yannone: An Appreciation

Kitty Yannone. (All photos of Kitty are “borrowed” from her Facebook page. Photos from the Hall of Honor induction (below) and the link to the video (also below) are provided courtesy of PRSA Hawaii.) Today I’m sharing some memories of a friend, colleague and former boss — Kitty Yannone — who passed away two months […]

America Shamed Itself in 2021 — Must We Continue Down the Same Path?

Afghan refugee family crossing U.S. southern border Following America’s shameful, chaotic flight from Kabul in August 2021, I wrote to my senators and congressman in Washington and, in two blog posts (https://pen4rent.com/chaos-in-kabul and https://pen4rent.com/shameful-unforgiveable), to my friends and family. I said, in part, It is … reprehensible for the U.S. to be so callous in […]

Why Give a Gaggle of Gamer Geeks Access to Top Secret Info?

Teixeira under arrest A few years ago, I blogged about the time my then-seven-year-old son quick-wittedly did his best to keep a secret (about a surprise birthday party) from his grandpa. If you’ve been following the news this past week, you’re probably aware that the Pentagon has been learning that secrets can’t always be entrusted […]

Vignettes From Long-Ago Travels

Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon, from my 1971 visit to Burma As anyone who has followed this blog is surely aware, I did a fair amount in international traveling in decades gone by. In this episode I’m presenting a few recollections from some of those travels. Today, an odd pairing of destinations: Italy and Myanmar (formerly known […]

The Critical Ingredient

  A few days ago I joined a recently formed LinkedIn group of alumni of and current students at the REECA (Russia, East Europe and Central Asia) master’s degree program at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. When I was there, 1966–1968, it was known more simply as the Russian Research Center (RRC), […]

Beating a Cold the Hard Way

Hovercraft crossing the English Channel, the White Cliffs of Dover in the background A cold nearly tripped up our trip to Michigan for our daughter Naomi’s wedding last month. The day before we were to leave (on Thursday before the Sunday wedding), Sandra felt the classic symptoms coming on and was hoping it was just […]

Tummy Tickler Bridge

The gently arched Hermitage Bridge carrying the Neva River Embankment roadway across the mouth of the Zimnaya Kanavka. In the background, the pedestrian bridge linking the Hermitage Museum (right) to the Hermitage Theater. A few days ago something — I’ve already forgotten what — reminded me of one of the small pleasures of life I […]

Richard R. Kelley, Dec. 28, 1933 – Feb. 24, 2022

February 24 will long be remembered as the day when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Awful as I feel about this appalling act of aggression in a part of the world of great interest to me, February 24, 2022, will for me also be the date of a more personal loss. It’s the day […]