Category Archives: Autobiography

Florence, Italy in 1957

After reading about Smyrna, which is now Izmir in Turkey, I took a little tour via Google Earth and was reminded of our visit to Florence, Italy in 1957. Mymother and I took a stroll down a narrow street, no more than 20 feet wide, until we came upon a plaza. perhaps a quarter acre in size, which, in the middle of the day, was entirely filled with young men standing and chatting with each other. The sixteen year old me was totally astonished by so much indolence.

When I mentioned this to my spouse of 56 years he, correctly, observed that chatting was their work. Which I do understand now. So, the streets of Izmir full of mostly men did not come as a surprise–only a reminder that the reason that the males, then and now, in Turkey and Afghanistan, can afford to chat or fight is because the females are doing all the essential work.

Izmir, which was Smyrna

IUDs in use

The insertion of intrauterine devices (IUDs) to prevent the implantation of fertilized ova in women has had a rocky history in the U.S. and I am not sure how to address an issue with which I have had some fifty-five years of experience. A summary article from the Kaiser Foundation indicates, at a minimum, that that is unusual. It seems to be generally assumed that the device is removed and/or replaced every five or ten years.
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ROUNDUP and me

Having grown up for the most part in major cities (LA, San Francisco, the Bronx) my awareness of environmental concerns was slow in developing. I did buy some herbicide for the second house we bought in New Hampshire in response to the weeds sprouting next to the foundation. But I never used it.
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A re-hash in response to Heather Cox Richardson

I might start off by explaining that references to German-Americans occasioned my being banned from Dailykos. That people took offense to a frank expression of opinion did not surprise me. After all, when I arrived in Los Angeles in 1949, the first directive from our German relatives was that German was not to be spoken in their house. They had sponsored our immigration in the expectation that my mother would add to their household income, which the only son was obviously incapable of doing.
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Unmarked graves

The big story out of Canada is the discovery of hundreds of bodies in unmarked graves at the sites of former Native residential schools. One is tempted (I was tempted) to ask if it would be better for the graves of children to have headstones, rather than addressing why/how they died. Turns out the missing headstones are significant because, according to survivors, there were grave markers that presumably got removed when their number became an embarrassment.
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