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

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

My Missed Meeting and Lessons Learned

One time I was taking a plane to Washington for a meeting. We got diverted to Baltimore. Weather, engine trouble, I don’t remember what. The disembodied voice told us we could get off the plane if we wanted but we’d be back in the air soon. I believed the [...]

My Immigrant Grandmothers and Irving Berlin

When I wrote in a recent column that I didn't know my fathers' parents, that wasn't quite true. I did know my grandmother Bertha Steinfield, at least a little.  he was bedridden at her sister Nellie's house in Revere, Massachusetts. My father took me there to see her when [...]

My Golf Clubs and the Links That Bind

If you think golf is a country club sport for rich white men, you didn’t grow up in Claremont in the 1950s. It’s true that the golf course was at the “Claremont Country Club,” and that some of the town’s wealthier citizens were members. But golf in Claremont was [...]

My Ancestral Homelands and a Hill of Crosses

I have long regretted that my inclination to ask questions didn't surface at an earlier age. And never more so than on our trip last month to the countries of my grandparents, Lithuania and Poland, where I was reminded of how little I know about my own heritage. Somewhere, [...]

My Spring Song and Keeping Young

A year ago the Pats were winners, Deflating the charge they were pigskin sinners; The best comeback ever, a gleeful fourth quarter, Edelman the brick, and Brady the mortar. Not so good this year, gone are the thrills, Three Patriots players have gone to the hills; Amendola departed, and [...]

My Father’s Widgets and Imagining a World Without

Sometime around 1912, my father and his brothers started a company in Claremont and named it “The Claremont Waste Manufacturing Company.” People in town called it the “shoddy mill,” a place where they turned rags into flock. When I was young, I asked my father, “Is flock useful?” “It’s [...]

My Football Days and the Taste of Reality

According to Super Bowl half-time star Justin Timberlake, his two-year-old son, Silas, “will never play football.” He’s not alone. Among American parents, nearly fifty percent feel the same way. I’ll admit that I never encouraged my sons to play football, and they didn’t. But in the Claremont of my [...]

My Bad Habit and the Bedside Jug

I know from experience that New Year’s resolutions are easy to make. I also know they're easy to break. I can only think of one that I made and kept. On January 1, 1975, a mere eleven years after the Surgeon General announced that smoking was bad for your [...]

My Pianist and Each New Day

I met the Pianist in Boston in 1984, and I noticed right away that she was taller than me. One day I mentioned that undeniable fact, and she said, “You’re not short, you’re medium.” That made me feel somewhat better. Early on, I realized that musicians and lawyers are [...]

My Lifelong Learners and the Continuing Experiment

  “The Constitution is an experiment, just as all life is an experiment.” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes I’ve been teaching an adult education constitutional law course at Keene State this fall. When I signed up to do this, I wondered whether anyone would take the course. I needn’t have [...]