Monthly Archives: May 2017


Memorial Tales

Baltimore’s 65 acre Green Mount Cemetery seemed perfect for my morning constitutional, but the inscriptions so hobbled my pace, I could hardly claim any physical exercise.  Every tombstone offered a glimpse of a story that left me wondering over the rest.


Ensuring Memorability

Johns Hopkins loved his cousin, but couldn’t marry her because they were Quakers. Instead they married no one and joined in a lifetime platonic partnership.  With no heirs, the successful J. Hopkins designated his entire fortune to found Johns Hopkins University and Hospital.  Every year the University sends a celebratory contingent to Hopkins’ grave at Green Mount Cemetery to honor his memory.  So while a different Green Mount memorial promises eternal life through the memories of loved ones, Hopkins had better success by leaving no one.


Travels with Mom

  In the fifties, Crater Lake was overrun with bears. My parents watched a man taking a picture, go rigid when he realized that a bear was using him as a leaning post. A less friendly looking bear tempted Mom to try for a bear-on-the-attack photo. She popped out of the car and waited for the bear to rear up and threaten her. When it did, she lost her nerve and sprinted around the car. She kept trying, and she might have pulled it off if a cranky ranger hadn’t got involved. In the sixties, tattoos weren’t for “nice” people. […]


Library Cruise

I spent much of last year begging people to listen to programs I’d slaved over for months.  I got a few takers here and there.  Then I got my foot in the door with half a dozen libraries and the Colorado Springs Senior Center, and life is good! This year I let their schedulers know I’m rolling out my Whales presentation, and I’ve got five speaking date just like that.  I’ve always appreciated libraries—Steve says I’ve never seen a library tax I didn’t like—but now I am profoundly grateful to libraries, not only for speaking ops but for so many of […]


South Padre Sign

Can you give me a clue to step two? Jump?  Head between knees?   Fire!?