Essays2017-05-19T20:27:29-04:00

The following articles were originally published in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

My White Childhood and the Moral Universe

I never had a schoolmate of color until I got to college in 1957. Reg Lindsay, my law partner and friend years later, did me one better. Born and raised in segregated Birmingham, he never had a white schoolmate until he got to Harvard Law School in the late [...]

My Cousin From the Old Country and Bob Dylan

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. Bob Dylan (1963) On February 22, I went to New York City to see my grandson Jacob, who works for an advertising agency, and my granddaughter Susie, who is a sophomore at Barnard College. We met that afternoon at the [...]

My Fire Stick and Turning the Page

As you probably know, you can buy devices from Apple, Amazon, and others that enable “streaming” on your television. This is particularly useful if you don’t have cable because it isn’t available on your road or because you’ve got better things to do with your money. If you do [...]

My Wannabe Candidates and a Pre-Inaugural Conversation

I don’t usually write about presidential politics in these pages, but what else is there to talk about these days? I suppose I could pick the coronavirus, but I’d rather not. So I’m looking back to candidates I’ve seen with my own two eyes, from times past and present. [...]

My Incomplete Passes and the Glint in His Eye

Like most New Englanders, I’m a Patriots fan, at least when they win. For a long time, Tom Brady has dominated our sports world like no other player. Over the years, whatever the score, it didn’t seem to matter. Tom would turn it around, even if the Pats were [...]

My Crystal Ball and Twenty for 2020

Last year’s crystal ball predicted that President Trump would read the Mueller Report as soon as he finished Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past.” So far as I know, neither that nor any of my other 18 predictions came true. But here I go again, with twenty for 2020, which [...]

My Improved Senses and Old Habits

My right eye has always had an uncorrectable “lazy muscle,” but the other one has worked pretty well. Even so, after I got my driver’s license I wasn’t seeing road signs clearly enough, so I started wearing glasses to make my left eye less myopic, and driving immediately became [...]

My Medical Naiveté and He Who Laughs Last

Suppose you’re going into the hospital for surgery. Maybe it’s day surgery, a hernia operation for example (I’ve had more than one of those), or maybe it’s something more serious. Whatever it is, you go in beforehand to meet with the doctor. Those meetings are pretty routine, but suppose [...]

My Jewish Holidays and the Survival of Faith

The Jewish High Holidays are based on the Hebrew calendar. So you never know from one year to the next just when the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) will arrive. This year, the Hebrew New Year 5780 began at sundown on September [...]

My Maestro and the Gift of Music

The Pianist and I became part-time Jaffrey residents in 1986. One day that summer, we saw there was a concert in Peterborough, so we went and discovered something called Monadnock Music. The conductor was a man named James Bolle. “I know him,” the Pianist told me. “He conducts the [...]

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