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

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XIII

I have described elsewhere how my wife Nell, our two daughters—one in 4th grade and one in 6th grade—and I were already coping with social distancing and the closure of the public schools in Brookline, Massachusetts until at least May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XIII

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XI

I have described elsewhere how my wife Nell, our two daughters—one in 4th grade and one in 6th grade—and I were already coping with social distancing and the closure of the public schools in Brookline, Massachusetts until at least May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing XI

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing X

I have described elsewhere how my wife Nell, our two daughters—one in 4th grade and one in 6th grade—and I were already coping with social distancing and the closure of the public schools in Brookline, Massachusetts until at least May 4, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing X

Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing VII

I have described elsewhere how my wife Nell, our two daughters—one in 4th grade and one in 6th grade—and I were already coping with social distancing and the closure of the public schools in Brookline, Massachusetts until at least April 7, 2020. Besides staying inside as much as possible, we converted our dining room into … Continue reading Dispatches from Brookline: Home Schooling and Social Distancing VII

Stranger Things…about me?

Let us start with the easy one. ********** But first, if you have not watched—and still plan to watch—all 25 episodes of the gobsmackingly-excellent Stranger Things, then I strongly advise you not to read further until after you have done so. ********** In Episode 2 of Season 2, “Trick or Treat, Freak”, Nancy Wheeler (Natalia … Continue reading Stranger Things…about me?

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.

My great-grandfather, his brother-in-law…and The Three Stooges?

This coming October 15 would have been my great-grandfather David Louis Berger’s 150th birthday. Eight days later, I will mourn the 100th anniversary of his passing, under bizarre circumstances, but that is a tale I reserve for my book. “Louis,” as he preferred to be called (like my own father David Louis Berger liked to … Continue reading My great-grandfather, his brother-in-law…and The Three Stooges?

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