My Peculiar Little Footnote to Apollo 11

I wrote and published this item on Facebook on July 21, 2009, when the 40th anniversary of the first landing on the moon was triggering numerous reminiscences. The incident described here is a unique, if little-heralded, footnote to this landmark event in the history of the human species. All the attention to the 40th anniversary of the […]

Eyewitness to an Astonishing Moment in History

Palace Square Last week, on the eve of July Fourth, I wrote about my late father-in-law, Bob Kelley, and his Bicentennial Essay in The American Historical Review. With the fireworks still (figuratively) echoing in my ears, I’m writing this week about another personal connection with the Fourth of July. On that date in 1978, I witnessed […]

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 […]

The Liberation of Rome

On June 5, 1944 – 72 years ago today, and one day before the D-Day invasion of Normandy – American troops, advancing north in Italy, liberated Rome from the Nazis. I am lucky to have had a personal glimpse of Rome’s liberation from one of my professors at Yale, the late Ivo Lederer.* Fourteen years […]

Helping Bring Progress to the Third World & Crack Open the Iron Curtain

The following are some thoughts I was invited to write about “national service” – in view of my having served in the Peace Corps and the U.S. Foreign Service – for inclusion in the Class Book of the Yale University Class of 1966, in preparation for our 50th reunion next weekend (June 3-5, 2016): Don’t […]

On Playing the Guitar, Segovia Didn’t Always Have the Last Word

This week, I was reminded of a story that my dad, Nathan I. Daniel, a pioneer in the field of electric guitars and musical instrument amplifiers, used to tell about the time he met Andres Segovia, perhaps the greatest guitarist the world has ever known. The meeting took place in the early 1950s at the […]

Courthouse Square Reunified – More Than the Sum of Two Halves

I wrote this article in December 2015 for the 2016 edition of the annual Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce directory (aka the Santa Rosa Community Resource and Business Guide), which was published this week. Text begins beneath photo “Charming” … “tempting” … “idyllic” … “stunning” … “a jewel” … “a delight” … “great for families […]

Seven Centuries of ‘Sex, Lies But No Videotape’

A book whose contents I’ve been editing on and off over the past year and a half has now been published. Pancheri – Our Story is the life’s avocational work of an extraordinary guy, now a friend, Gene Pancheri, a retired chemical engineer living in Cincinnati, who discovered his family’s roots in a sub-Alpine valley […]

Surreal Welcome to Leningrad

Bank Bridge over the Griboyedov Canal, one of many canals in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), sometimes called “the Venice of the North.” As a young Foreign Service officer, I arrived in Leningrad in early July 1976 to begin a two-year assignment at the U.S. consulate-general in that city, the second-largest in the USSR. I flew […]