Fostering an American Girl

What are boundaries for? Imagine this: a girl, aged ten, is released to the state after her mother refuses to seek counseling for beating and starving her children. The girl sits in wait for a new home, gets one and wonders alone in her new room. Is this bed mine? Will wolves (the human kind…

Political Correctness: Ideas in Exile

It’s tempting to tsk, tsk at little remembered holidays celebrated in America’s past like POPE’S DAY in Boston. Oh, how intolerant we say. Did they really set aside a day to burn effigies of the Pope? Not the Pope! We may applaud the current pope’s stance on global warming, no cooling, no warming. We may…

Nothing New Under The Sun: Immigration

Even honey bees are an invasive species. Plants, insects and people tend to move–and take over. Populations explode and people jostle for position. Mrs. Astor of the late 19th century had a big house in NYC with a ballroom. People naturally wanted to attend her soirees. If you were “in” you were one of “The…

Immigrants of Yesteryear

Rock Springs, Wyoming 1885. A massacre that killed 28-50 Chinese miners seems a pretty solid case of racism–but no. Life and the hearts of men are never that simple. The  ideal of masculinity in the late 19th century was on a collision course with a new corporate manhood. One claimed a man to be an…

“Desperately Poor and Uncivilized” Proud To Be Irish Anyway

The Irish in my family were rogues and dreamers, back stabbers and the kindest people I’ve ever met. They knew how to throw a good funeral, but their parties were awkward with new wealth and old wounds. They were treated as the scum of the earth but knew how to fight. My blood’s been mixed…