Michael Forbes Wilcox

Author's posts

Word of the Day: Usufruct

Caveat: I’m not an attorney. My interest in this legal term derives from research I’ve been conducting relating to my upcoming (April/May 2019) OLLI course on Berkshire history. Specifically, I’ve been reading a wonderful 1983 book, recommended to me by two different people; Changes in the Land, by William Cronon, who is now at the University …

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A Walk Through Berkshire History

A Walk Through Berkshire History An OLLI Course, Spring 2019 Kimball Farms, Lenox April 18 and 25, May 2, 9, 16, and 23  3:00 to 4:30 PM Here is a preliminary description of a lecture course I will give this Spring in Lenox. You can find registration information on my OLLI page. I’ll also be …

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The Only Thing Difficult to Predict

Jill Lapore does a brilliant take-down of a flurry of recent literature themed “The Robots are Coming!” in her recent (March 4, 2019) New Yorker piece The Robot Caravan. Lapore’s acerbic and erudite wit skewers the doomsayers and technophobes who see the apocalypse coming. Her argument could be summed up in one paragraph from the …

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The Four Kingdoms of Autism

I attended a lecture at Simon’s Rock College at which the presenter mentioned a 2013 post by former NIMH Director Thomas Insel, entitled The Four Kingdoms of Autism. I was not familiar with this description, and it seemed to me to be a useful way to think about how autism is viewed. Dr. Insel offers four different …

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Friendships

This past winter, I taught a course on autism for OLLI, our local (Berkshire) adult education outfit. Along the way, I discussed the theme of friendships. One of the overriding messages I was attempting to convey in the 6-lecture course was that autism is not a deficiency, but a difference. To illustrate this, I shared …

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It Runs in the Family

Here’s a great picture of me with my Georging friend Ed, photobombed by his daughter Eve. Actually, as you can probably tell, this was a selfie by Eve, with Ed and me in the background. Very clever! The setting here is a classroom at CIP in Lee, very generously made available to us twice a …

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Romances of Old Berkshire

Romances of Old Berkshire I own a book, written by Willard Douglas Coxey, from which the title of this post was taken, published in 1931 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts by the Berkshire Courier. The author, according to the Find A Grave website, was born (1861) and died (1943) in Egremont, Mass. My brother Rick tells …

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Edwin Curtis Bidwell: an Early Physician of Vineland NJ

My grandmother (Grace Josephine Bidwell) Wilcox was one of the seminal figures of my youth. She was a wonderful story-teller, and she would enthrall me with tales of Stockbridge history, as well as stories of her younger days. Some of those stories involved her grandfather, Edwin Curtis Bidwell. I sensed that she had the same …

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Hiking To and Beyond Laura’s Tower

Part Two in a Series on Laura’s Tower and Ice Glen This post is my first follow-up to the preliminary announcement of my planned 90-minute lecture and discussion, to be given sometime in April or May of 2019. In subsequent posts I will share more background material on some of the illustrious characters in the …

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Laura’s Tower in Stockbridge Massachusetts

In the Spring of 2019, I will be teaching an OLLI course on local (Berkshire County) history. There will be six lectures covering six different locations, surveying the history and present use of the land, tracing as far back as possible before European contact, and continuing to the present day. This post represents my initial …

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