Category Archives: Autobiography

Lusting for celebrity

Talk about corrosive. How many good intentions are derailed by the lust for celebrity, a chance to be in the limelight?
I’m reminded that my mother, whose presence in my life lasted 64 years, held it against her mother that she had friends whose social status was less. It was something I simply did not understand. Her claim to have sought out important friends didn’t compute for the simple reason that, in the long run, she had none.
‘Tis not a complaint, but in the last years of her life, new acquaintances were confused by her reference to me as her “nurse.” A disappointment as a daughter, I was transformed into a status symbol.
Status seems to be associated with the brain stem. After languishing for some time in a semi-comatose state, four days before her eventual death, my mother seemingly roused herself to address me and the spouse at her bedside, as if she were dismissing us from her employ. She thanked us for our service and then sank back into unconsciousness, albeit not necessarily silence. Indeed, she voiced incomprehensible babble for hours at a time, which also suggests that speech emanates primarily from the brain stem, rather than the cognitive centers. Perhaps it is the brain stem which reprograms itself while we sleep. That would explain why individuals whose cognitive centers are severed have no awareness of dreaming.

Kingsley Plantation video from 1992

It is too large a file to upload directly to Hannah Blog. I might point out that this video has transitioned from a VHS tape to a computer file to a DVD and then back to a VOB, which, I was delighted to find, Youtube was prepared to upload. Not so Facebook. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years.

Unfortunately, I have already forgotten the steps I went through to excerpt the segment from the disk. I think MPEG Streamclip did the trick and produced the VOB.

74 Years an Evacuee

The first time I was evacuated was in early 1942, at the age of nine months. The allies bombing the German City of Aachen every night had become too traumatic, so my mother took her babe and fled to the Austrian Alps.

So, I spent the next three years in this rustic farm building: two rooms and a veranda and outhouse on the second floor; wood storage, bake oven and chicken coop on the first; no electricity; no running water.


Last night I slept in a metal storage shed because the house we are rehabbing on the mainland had just been sprayed with foam insulation and wasn’t fit to stay in. Well, that’s not the entire reason. Had I been willing to show my identification papers to the authorities, I could have returned with my spouse to Saint Simons Island when it “re-opened.” But, that’s not something I can do.
Continue reading

Wie kan ma nu so bloed sein?

The media are surging towards a consensus that the Rude Dude is stupid. The competitive impulse will lead them to pile on. Why did it take so long? Maybe it’s just a matter of mental derangement being hard to understand. Or maybe it’s that idiocy is hard to recognize. The many faces of idiocy? Would it be unfair (rude) to suggest that the faces the Dude rudely makes give him away?
Continue reading


The opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African American History and Culture is generating some jealous responses from people whose noses are out of joint. I consider it a welcome addition, a modicum of revenge for some of my own resentments, which may, I admit, be somewhat irrational.

Musings generated elsewhere follow. I have found over the years that my reactions discrimination on the basis of race are not widely appreciated. Some victims of discrimination are rather jealous of their status and want to believe that their situation is unique.

Continue reading