Open letter to democracy’s defender

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette May 17, 2023 Dear President Biden,  Please excuse this overdue response to your Vice Presidential Thank You letter of February, 8, 2012. Congressman  Richie Neal gave you a copy of my new book, On History’s Front Steps, (2011) covering Northampton’s first 350 years and my family’s small part inContinue reading “Open letter to democracy’s defender”

Florida 2023: Open carry. Closed minds.

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette April 19, 2023 “Florida parents upset by Michelangelo’s ‘David’ force out principal.” Washington Post, March 24, 2023. Firing a Florida charter school principal for forgetting to notify parents sixth-grade students of Renaissance classical art seems a bit of a stretch.  The Renaissance and I have a certain history,. IContinue reading “Florida 2023: Open carry. Closed minds.”

An Irish brogue abroad

NY Post, Feb. 16th: He came down with a bad case of blarney. An American cancer patient developed an “uncontrollable” Irish accent in a possible neurological disorder triggered by his immune system. I try to stay up with the news of the day. This opinion column vies with the Internet, morning shows, updates, all-day cable,Continue reading “An Irish brogue abroad”

Growing Up Irish in Hamp

In 1930, my 20-year-old father, James, emigrated to Northampton from County Kerry. His aunt was married to Dan Moriarty, a successful Irishman. The studious Moriarty children became teachers and doctors. Dad did odd jobs before renting a gas station in 1934. Jim married Imogene Smith. They met at the Northampton State Hospital. “Jean” was aContinue reading “Growing Up Irish in Hamp”

Motoring to the Opinion Page

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette January 17, 2023 I’m a big fan of memoirs, even in shorter versions called obituaries. Many a successful writer earned their spurs in the morgue; the highs and lows of famous lives. Politicians, actors, writers, comedians, athletes, worry: “the first line of my obit will be the dumbest thingContinue reading “Motoring to the Opinion Page”

Peace, love and joy this Christmas

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette December 20, 2022 Movie directors have one big advantage over writers, flashbacks! In seconds their audience can be shifted to childhood events, later revealed to have had a surprising influence. Scene: President Coolidge’s home town. I arrived on earth during 1933’s 12-day Christmas season. Around two thousand years afterContinue reading “Peace, love and joy this Christmas”

Saved By the Bell

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette November 21, 2022 The Oct. 13 Gazette’s headline and schematic shouted out that a $45 million commercial and residential building is planned for 79 King St. As lifelong subscribers, our parents, Jim and Imogene, must be having the laugh of their post-lifetime. Why? Because of remembering the shabby RichfieldContinue reading “Saved By the Bell”

Message from the 20th Century

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette October 17, 2022 In September, a Boston Globe Op-Ed was titled, “The White House bowling alley is a symbol of what’s wrong with US politics.” It began “Not long after President Truman’s departure from the White House, Americans began ‘bowling alone.’ That is, by scores of measures–from bowling toContinue reading Message from the 20th Century

Falling in Love with Love

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette September 21, 2022 In September, we celebrated our wedding anniversary, and a few birthdays with a picnic in Look Park. Following three years of Covid restrictions it felt great to greet dozens of loved ones for the pure joy of hugging each other.  In 1942, my parents took meContinue reading “Falling in Love with Love”