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 […]

Crowning Thoughts — And Raining on a Reigning Parade

King Charles III Yesterday’s coronation of King Charles III in Great Britain brings to mind a few thoughts. First, some seven-decade-old recollections and then a bit of provocative musing for which admirers of monarchy — not just fans of the British royal family — could be forgiven for thinking that I’m raining on the reigning […]

My Immigrant Family

Lena and Meyer Daniel, 1918-19, with children Ray, Sally and Nathan I’m starting off the new year with a bit of century-old history. While Sandra and I were visiting the East Coast a few months ago, my cousin Trude (see photo at the end of this post) showed me a couple of very old photos in […]

Mentally Wrestling With the Illegal Immigration Issue

Honduran migrants I began writing this post two days ago after reading about the “caravan” of several thousand Honduran migrants that has been halted at Mexico’s southern border. If and when they are eventually allowed to cross into Mexico, it appears that most of them hope to keep heading north to the U.S. Presumably, most […]

They’re Not Actually Birdbrains

Blinky with my dad (I was perhaps 10 years old when I took this Polaroid shot; Dad would have been about 42) Most of my friends and family love dogs and cats. My preference, however, has always been birds, the parrot family in particular. I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a beautiful, comic […]

Advance Man for the Grim Reaper? No, Thank You!

Stereotypical obit writer I recently read an article in The Economist about Obit, a documentary on the obituary writers at the New York Times. As someone whose writing credits include several obits, I found the article of considerable interest. I got my start in the genre when I was working as publications manager for Alexander […]

Have You Ever Run Out of Gas?

Troitsky (Kirovsky) Bridge I have. Probably more often than you. I believe it’s in my genes. My dad told me he was notorious, as a young man, for returning home on fumes after an outing in his father’s car. On at least one occasion, according to these stories, when my grandfather went out in the […]

The Best Language-learning Experience Ever

Prabha Gupta, my first Hindi teacher (I discovered this photo in my slide archives over a year after I published this blog post) Part of the good fortune I’ve had in a career that afforded me the opportunity to live and work in several other countries has been the chance to learn other languages and […]

Never Entrust a Secret to a Seven-Year-Old

Adam The morning of his 70th birthday, September 23, 1982, my kids and I were visiting my dad, Nathan I. Daniel, in Honolulu. My stepmom, Connie, was busily overseeing last-minute preparations for the surprise party she had planned for that evening. Although it was going to take place in a restaurant – a great way […]