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NauenThen

The lure of the exotic

It's something that immigrants & nonwhites face, but I think of it in terms of being from South Dakota, which gets its fair share of being exoticized. I know this because I have so many times heard "I've never met anyone from South Dakota before!" followed by questions like "Did you grow up on a  Read More 
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The Beatles

As everyone knows, the Beatles' first visit to America was in 1964, when they were on the Ed Sullivan show. My mother poked her head into the den, said they all had bad teeth, & lost interest in them entirely.

I tried to boost my cachet in grade school by saying my mother (also from Liverpool) had babysat the Beatles. An actual fact is that my uncle went to the same high school as Paul McCartney.  Read More 
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My doppelganger II?

I cut this picture out of the Times way back when because she looked so much like me (to me). I long since lost the photo but I just found the rest of the obituary as I was going through files (my continuing & permanent project!). I had remembered only that she was a Russian ballerina, & now I know she was Felia Doubrovska, who died in 1981 at age 85. At first I couldn't find this photo online, & wondered why I ever saw a resemblance in other pictures of her. But the TimesMachine took me to the exact page, and there she (I) was.  Read More 
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On 5th Street

How does someone lose a shoe like this?
Failed Insults


if trouble comes looking for me
I’ll be hard to find

death is a dream & love is forever
soon night closes round & we are lost forever

this too shall pass.
it already has.

you have everything I have
only you’ve had it a lot longer

you used to come at 10 o’clock
& now you come at noon Read More 
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Shiva

Moishe's delicious rugelach.
Making a shiva call yesterday reminded me of sitting shiva for my sister in 2002. At one point I remarked to a (non-Jewish) friend that this was the only shiva I'd ever been to where no one brought rugelach. The next day he returned, bearing a giant bag of arugula and an expression of "I love you, El, but I will never understand the Jews."  Read More 
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Buffalo for the Broken Heart

I first knew of Dan O'Brien from reading his excellent short stories. Then I discovered he owned a ranch in South Dakota & got more interested yet. He's a naturalist, environmentalist, & endangered-species biologist who almost 20 years ago switched from raising cattle to buffalo, acting on his belief that returning buffalo to the northern plains would help restore the land to "an American Serengeti, complete with migrating herds of many species of large herbivores, predators, birds, and scavengers," Read More 
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Lucky

Clockwise from top left: Lucky, Bobby, Lucky, Bobby & Lucky as I remember them best, playing cards.
I've been thinking about my old neighbor, Homer "Lucky" Tessier. He & his friend/boyfriend Bobby McLaughlin had adjacent apartments on the top floor. They would sit in their doorways in their undershirts, playing cribbage, smoking & kibitzing. After Bobby died, in 1983, Lucky was at loose ends. He was too deaf to be able to talk on the phone until Maggie & I convinced (forced) him to get hearing aids. Then he became part of the world again for the next 5 years, until he died, of emphysema, on New Year's Day 1989 at age 62.

I asked him once how he got the nickname Lucky. He said,  Read More 
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A little poem from the past III

In the early 1980s I had a job with a private office & lots of free time, & this is some of what I was writing. I'm not peeking ahead; I'm not putting up everything.


March 29

We grew up playing badminton
in her backyard

Now she reads
Monique Wittig

with joy


—1983
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Tiny little post-birthday thing

Google gave me my very own page!
I was also thinking having a birthday is like having to eat all your Halloween candy at once. If you don't do it on the day, there's nothing left over.
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I said it's my birthday

Yes, it's that day of the year again, when I put on the birthday hat. This year, someone got the idea that my birthday was earlier this week, & said something on Facebook, so that special excitement started pouring in early. Which was a little embarrassing, even for me, who loves my birthday beyond reason.

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