Remembering 9/11: Twenty Years Later

Diane White

The names on the 9/11 Memorial are etched into marble and our hearts. I touched the names and there was something. An echo or reverberation. Like the experience at the wall at the Vietnam Memorial. Tears. You see people grieving next to you and long to reach out to comfort them. Sometimes you do.

On 9/11, I was with Verizon in the Information Technology department on an early morning conference call. Someone suddenly shouted into the phone (More…)

The Quest to Deliver Women Rowing North


Diane Russell

(A known but obscure WordPress glitch inserted random characters into the link between our ‘teaser” and the full story.  They don’t show in “Edit” mode, so you discover them after you publish a new post.  We think we’ve fixed the issue, but we have to actually publish again to find out.  If the link to the full page fails again, we’ll rebuild it from scratch and publish later in the week.  Our apologies. –Editor)

During the Fall 2020 term, I took the OLLI-USF class led by Ara Rogers and Jane Applegate based on the book, Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher. The book encourages women in the last third of their lives to explore ways to make their lives more meaningful. It was especially helpful to bond with my classmates through Zoom. We discussed our pasts and how we planned to thrive during and after the pandemic!

I view Women Rowing North as an ideal reference book for women in my age group, so I decided to order (More…)

La Serenissima

Lynne Sebastian

We decided to walk back to the hotel rather than take a vaporetto.  For one thing, it was a lovely spring evening, and besides, no place in Venice is really all that far from any other place in Venice.  Once the mobs of day-visitors return to their hotels and caravans on the mainland in the late afternoon, Venice becomes a different place – quiet, elegant, sophisticated, ancient, and haunted. Straight-line routes are nonexistent here, so we wove a circuitous path along the narrow passageways that serve as streets and over some of the multitude of footbridges that arch across the narrow canals.

We walked beneath iron-railed balconies overflowing with flowers, the air hinting of roses, lilies, and geraniums.  We admired the (More…)

Three Wishes

Marilyn Myerson

It was the old standard – boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and the kicker, boy finds girl, – but, was it really the same old same old?

The boy in question is Benji, the girl is Jeannie.  Benji met Jeannie at a conference for mining engineers. He was new to the field and had ventured to these meetings to pursue job opportunities. Jeannie was something of an anomaly in the profession: she had been the only female in her graduating class. In her first few years of establishing herself, it was no surprise that she was met with sexist skepticism. As the years went on, however, more women entered the field and their presence was gradually accepted.

Jeannie was now at the peak of her career – she was a well-published author, the recipient of professional honours, and an executive in her firm.  (More…)

America the Beautiful: My Personal Story

Teri Dreyfuss-Gray

What does it mean to be an American?  To me it means everything.  What it means goes beyond my place of birth.  For me it goes back to when millions of Irish people, Italians, and Eastern Europeans crossed the Atlantic Ocean in search of a better life.

My mother’s parents were refugees who came to this country from Russia.  They fled religious persecution as the pogroms claimed the lives of their families.  They made a good life for themselves in the safety of Coney Island, owning a dry goods store.  They never talked about the old country:  only about how lucky they were in America,  the land of freedom.

My father’s father left his family in Romania as a young adult, because they were poor.  Once in America, he pursued his dream, became a chef and made a future for himself.  My father’s mom was born in Palestine.  She was the oldest of ten children and was sent to America to find opportunity and a better life.  She often talked of her pride in living in America and loved to sing the song, “America the Beautiful.”  My grandparents felt lucky, blessed, and safe to raise their children in the freedom of this beautiful country.  (More…)