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
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 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.
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?
“In saying that he was a Polish Jew I am merely stating a definitely ascertained fact.” . Sir Robert Anderson wrote this sentence on page 138 of his 1910 memoir The Lighter Side of My Life. Its context may be found in a preceding paragraph: “And the conclusion we came to was that he and … Continue reading Was Jack the Ripper Jewish?
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
Periodically, a fellow blogger will pose and answer random questions in the context of a “blog award nomination.” The most recent person to do so decided, with commendable egalitarianism, to threw open the question-answering door to any and all entrants, so I decided to consolidate a series of questions (and my own idiosyncratic answers) into … Continue reading Questions asked…and answered