Criminalizing poverty in the early 20th century: Bradley Street, New London

In a recent essay, I discussed the January 1909 statutory rape trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns, the first wife of my wife Nell’s paternal grandfather. I now plan to write a book contextualizing the trial within Connecticut from the Civil War (spurring a dramatic increase in prostitution) through waves of primarily Catholic and Jewish immigration, … Continue reading Criminalizing poverty in the early 20th century: Bradley Street, New London

And for my next book…putting the trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns in context

I have set aside for now my planned second book, Meet Me at the Counter: A Life in Diners, to focus on a book contextualizing the trial of Addie Burns, her life and the lives of the key players within Connecticut society of the time. In this and a subsequent essay, I will begin to … Continue reading And for my next book…putting the trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns in context

Interrogating Memory, Confirmation Bias and … My Great-Grandfather

After Nell first suggested in early July 2017 I write a book – and this essay popped into my head – I simply wanted to flesh out the separate facets of my film noir “journey” into a larger book, perhaps with a little family and local history for context. But, as everyone who reads this … Continue reading Interrogating Memory, Confirmation Bias and … My Great-Grandfather

Road trips and the fine art of tipping (Epilogue)

Following the election of Republican Donald J. Trump as president of the United States in 2016, I immediately began to donate small sums to a wide variety of organizations and political candidates. And as the race to the be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee began to take shape, I began making $10 donations to my … Continue reading Road trips and the fine art of tipping (Epilogue)

Happy July 4th! Here is my American story.

Happy 4th of July! Let me first note, transparent in my pedantry, the Declaration of Independence was actually approved on July 2, 1776. Nonetheless, it was dated July 4, 1776 and signed August 2, 1776. Allow me next to relate I was physically born (at long-since-closed Metropolitan Hospital, then at 3rd and Spruce) roughly 1/5 … Continue reading Happy July 4th! Here is my American story.

Samuel Joseph Kohn: exemplar of the Jewish immigrant experience

He had been a powerfully-built man, which served him well when he spent nearly two decades as a Philadelphia police officer (rising as high as plainclothes detective in the late 1940s). His 1940 World War II draft card lists the then-36-year-old patrolman as 5’10” tall and 210 pounds, dark-complexioned with black hair and brown eyes. … Continue reading Samuel Joseph Kohn: exemplar of the Jewish immigrant experience