Category Archives: Dispatches

The Great Again Colossus

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus is a poem written in 1883 to help raise money for a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. In 1903 it was mounted on the pedestal on a bronze plaque. Though beloved by Americans … Continue reading

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The Cousins Lunch

“Let me get this straight,” said my husband as he dropped me off at our local Metro station. “You’re going to New York to meet a guy you met on the internet?” We laughed. What he said was literally true, … Continue reading

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The Message in the Laundry

One day in 1944 my future existence hung by a tenuous thread. If a message secreted in a batch of laundry had not reached its intended recipient I would never have been born. On such tiny twists of fate and … Continue reading

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Brass Rubbing

The line on the job application, paper in those days, asked “What are your hobbies?” I hesitated. The one piece of advice about job hunting I remembered from library school was “Never say your favorite hobby is reading.” Curious advice … Continue reading

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A Funeral and a Turf War

The newspaper clipping is yellowed with age but carefully folded and preserved in a box of papers left by my Irish grandmother. The box was inside a larger one with an assortment of family papers that sat in the back … Continue reading

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The Mobsters and the Baby Shoes

Back in the early 1970s my sister Angela worked for a temp agency in the East London suburbs of Essex. Her first assignment was with a company named Downy Baby Shoes. She imagined an office where grandmotherly women sewed baby … Continue reading

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Follow the Money

“Follow the money,” the famous words whispered by Deep Throat in an underground garage during the Watergate scandal, can be usefully applied to any number of ills afflicting American society. To take just the two main scourges of the present … Continue reading

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