Prizes, Patriotism and Peace

Prizes, Patriotism and Peace

Random Thoughts On Acceptance And Change The first prize I ever won for writing anything was in elementary school. The American flag was the topic. Innocent, and far beyond my immature imaginings, I wrote about what I thought were my father’s feelings for the American flag. As a Russian refugee, his patriotism was both sincere and strong. And even though I won the first prize, my father dismissed the whole event by saying I was too young to write about anything. In many ways, of course, he was absolutely right (but I did have to start somewhere). The next thing I knew, people around me were burning that same flag and wearing it as clothing. Although I didn’t burn flags, or even wear any, for that matter, I did protest and I marched. Civil rights and the...

Puzzling The Storms

Puzzling The Storms

When Hurricane Carol hit the Northeast coastline in 1954, I was five years old. My sister was 13. Our house was a sturdy one, built for sea captains and their wives and families in an historical courtyard of similar wooden three-story structures, erected on serious foundations to withstand just such storms and harsh winters. I would be starting school this year, but in those days, school did not begin until after Labor Day, and we were still in summer mode. There were sprinkles of sand in most of my shoes, fresh from long walks by the shore. No one in our courtyard had a garage, and so each family parked their car in front of their home in this horseshoe courtyard, shaded by massive oak and maple trees that had stood solidly for years. They had seemed to me to be...

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