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Some movies

Steve McQueen & the iconic Mustang
I’m not a film expert by any means, but it bothers me how many people haven’t seen or even say they “don’t like” old movies. Here’s a lightly annotated list, in chronological order, of a few I can’t imagine not enjoying. They’re movies I love and have seen several times (or more). All are a great pleasure to watch, and if they have redeeming social value, well, that’s extra.

* Sullivan’s Travels (1941). Joel McCrea plays a Hollywood director who’s successful with comedies but is dying to make a serious movie called O Brother Where Art Thou. As with all Sturges movies, there are switchbacks and guffaws galore.  Read More 
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O say I can't see

In the last 4 weeks I've broken or lost 5 pairs of sunglasses. The latest was a pair I bought on Thursday that fell off on Sunday. They were $7 on St Marks so not tragic, but I also lost my all-time favorite white-framed 60s Elizabeth Taylor ones.

I also lost a photo from maybe the 1980s where I was wearing 3 pairs of sunglasses, up & down my face.

Decluttering whether I want to or not.  Read More 
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Mysterious photo

I think this was Key West.
I think it was 1982.
I think I was on my way to go snorkeling.
It was a trip with Janet.
I got so sunburned I threw up that night.
My hair didn't stand up like that on its own.
My dad was still alive.
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Happy birthday, Stanton

We found so many things while clearing out Johnny's storage space.

We threw out a lot too.

Not this!

It's full-length, down to the ballet slippers he is wearing, & signed: Ted Berrigan, 1981

I hope you appreciate how much blood & sweat not to mention magical eliadic mind-power over matter bulk it took to compress 425 lbs of beautifully-aged crispy-sweet jelly-pork major-poet self-taught American mortal-coil flesh (meat!) into this dingbat-suit Oscar De La Renta whipped up personally for me to wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY in, Stanton!
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Breslau II

The Neue Synagogue was destroyed in 1938, during Kristallnacht
I know my dad's family was Reform, & I know they were moderately well-to-do, so I think it's a pretty good guess that this was his synagogue.

I wonder why his family left Breslau? Was it like leaving Boston for New York? It's about the same distance & with much more opportunity in the bigger city. His parents had little Hans & Charlotte (I can't remember if she was older or younger). Was it in-law trouble? Or maybe the relatives were in Berlin & Breslau was just a waystop?

My father's been gone almost 30 years, my oldest sister more than 10—who would know the answers to any of this? Frustrating but thrilling to have new questions. And why didn't I ever wonder about this before?

Update: My mother says Dad's father had gone to Breslau to work in a department store; they weren't from there. Also, his sister was older.  Read More 
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"A true Berliner comes from Breslau"

Breslau, in 1900, where my dad was born in 1906
I'm reading a noir mystery called Death in Breslau, by a Polish novelist named Marek Krajewski, which I bought because it's where my father was born.

The 1900 census listed 5,363 people (just over 1% of the population) as Polish speakers, and another 3,103 (0.7% of the population) as speaking both German and Polish. The population was 58% Protestant, 37% Catholic (including at least 2% Polish) and 5% Jewish (totaling 20,536 in the 1905 census). The Jewish community of Breslau was among the most important in Germany, producing several distinguished artists and scientists.

My father was born halfway between  Read More 
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I can't find my little cache of photos from The House. This was taken in 1979: Forrister, ?, me, ?, Billy McF
On this date, 43 years ago, my life changed. I hitchhiked to D.C. with my friend Beth to go to a large demonstration (500,000 of us!) against the Vietnam War. We slept overnight on the Mall & she woke up next to a guy who became her boyfriend for the next 3 years. I was stuck with his friends for the day, but they soon became of lifelong importance. We all lived in a hovel in Maryland known as The House. I learned to have fun & deep conversations, I discovered I had allies in this long strange trip, I still love Steve, Forrister, Phil, Theresa, Sam, Max, Paul E, Frenchy, Billy, Bill, George, the Man of Good Humor, Wayne, even Duane.

Breathing is also hard to put into words.  Read More 
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Henry Thomas

If I had been around when old blues guys like Henry Thomas were in their heyday, I suppose I wouldn’t have gone to hear them play. Surely that world would have been—was—closed to a not-wealthy white lady such as myself. And I most likely wouldn’t have made the effort. I don’t go, never did, to a lot of live music. Never seen  Read More 
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Yay for Julie Smith

I read a lot of mysteries, & I suppose like everyone who does, I am happy when I find a series I can live with for a nice long run. I like books set in places I've spent time, nothing too dark (no Mafia, please, except in Donna Leon), & good writing. And then there's something  Read More 
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So beautiful & so vicious.



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