Tag Archives: history

Mom, 40 years ago: taking care from far away

trudy.pearlsAfter my sister Leslie and I left my grandmother in Charlotte, NC with my parents and my sister Marcia in January 1975, I went back to Binghamton, NY and stayed in my grandmother’s house. She had a coal stove, and I had SEEN her operate for years. But seeing and doing were two different things, and soon, the fire went out, and the pipes froze.

I was pretty depressed after the breakup of my marriage to the Okie, so I mostly watched television. I mean hours at a time. My grandma’s set got only one station, WNBF-TV, the CBS affiliate. So I watched the soap operas As the World Turns, The Edge of Night, Guiding Light, and Search for Tomorrow. Don’t remember watching any game shows except Match Game. Viewed the bulk of the CBS nighttime schedule, except perhaps the movies. And, heaven help me, I watched Continue reading Mom, 40 years ago: taking care from far away

Remembering Francis Bellamy


From the Wikipedia:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898). The original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the September 8 issue of the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas.

Initially, it went like this: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Continue reading Remembering Francis Bellamy

Historic US Route 20

20_PostcardThe federal highway that is the longest in the United States was developed well before the Interstate system. That is Route 20, which starts in Boston, Massachusetts and ends in Newport, Oregon.

About three years ago, a fellow named Bryan T. Farr decided to drive the length of the highway, which he found to be quite beautiful, as he trekked through a dozen states. After he returned, he took no action about this experience for over a year, but he realized that he had to either do something with the hundreds of photos he took, or move on.

He ended up starting Continue reading Historic US Route 20

40 Years Ago: The crooked student government elections

voteUnlike in high school, where I was reasonably popular (student government president, drama club, et al), I was rather uninvolved in college; getting married at 19 will do that. I didn’t hang out at the bars and drink; the age of consent was 18 then. I just went to class, and came home, did the grocery shopping and like chores, I would go bowling occasionally with guys I knew, primarily my fellow political science majors.

In the spring of 1974, a bunch of my poli sci acquaintances decided to run as a team with some other folks, who I’ll call the Party and Dance folks. They figured they would capture the beer crowd (the poli sci) and the pot folks (P&D). Continue reading 40 Years Ago: The crooked student government elections

The Black Panther on the Daredevil art spread

Daredevil.ChroniclesComic book connoisseur Alan David Doane, who used to frequent the comic store known as FantaCo, where I used to work back in the 1980s, asked me this on Twitter recently:

“It took me 32 years to wonder — why is the Black Panther in this pinup? Anyone know?”
Continue reading The Black Panther on the Daredevil art spread

The past, education, happy, sad

paperrockNew York Erratic must be from New Jersey, she asks so many questions:

Are there any events in your life that you feel make good parables that you want to share one day with your daughter?

I was 51 when she was born, so there is a lot of my life to draw from. Huge parts of it she doesn’t know, significant events, and I’m not sure exactly when/if to tell her. Maybe if she asks. She DOES know about JEOPARDY!

I remember looking at photos of my mother with some guy she went out with before she dated my father, and initially, it was kind of weird, but hey, that was rather natural. When she would talk about it Continue reading The past, education, happy, sad

The Belgian Congo and Yugoslavia

During the Vietnam war, it was widely reported – I don’t remember if it was apocryphal or true – that most Americans could not find Vietnam on a map. Likewise, today’s students might be challenged to find Afghanistan or Iraq on the globe.

By contrast, I was a bit of a cartology fanatic when I was a child. My paternal grandfather, who lived upstairs, would give me maps from his National Geographic, which I would study at length. I still have some of them in the attic, BTW.

Unfortunately for my recall, the world kept changing. French West Africa and British East Africa became a slew of independent countries. What was once Belgian Congo became Zaire, but is now Continue reading The Belgian Congo and Yugoslavia