Category Archive: Family

Aug 01

Things My Mother Taught Me

My mother had folk wisdom for every occasion. I’ll try to add to this list as I recall more of her sayings. A pint is a pound, the world round If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride Never look a gift horse in the mouth When the wind blows the tree leaves inside out, …

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Jul 26

My Genealogy

I’m hoping, as is my wont, to get off the road to hell. Nearly five years ago, I placed this genealogy chart on my website, with the intention of following up with more information and commentary. So the paving had begun some time ago. Recently, a friend in town reminded me that he had discovered …

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Jul 02

Thoughts on the Mahican-Mohawk Trail

The Backstory Behind any account of the indigenous peoples in my part of the world lies a tragic tale of the end of a civilization that had flourished for thousands of years, and the near-extirpation of a population and its culture. My plan (at least hope) is to publish several future posts on specific topics, …

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Feb 11

Equivalent Lands

A piece of local (New England) history. Did you know? I had never heard this term, although I was familiar with some of the boundary problems that had existed between Connecticut and Massachusetts. In the 1970s, I lived in Southwick Mass, which has a block of land that juts into Connecticut, and disrupts the otherwise …

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Dec 11

Hello OLLI Interview: Autism in the Age of Neurodiversity

Advance publicity for my OLLI course on autism is in full swing. Last week (on December 6), I attended an Open House in Pittsfield and gave a short pitch, and then (on December 7) I appeared on local public access TV in a half-hour interview, available here. The interview was a lot of fun, giving …

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Nov 15

Before the Days of Dial Phones

In doing some research at the Stockbridge Library, my brother came across an article (reproduced below) that appeared in the Berkshire Eagle in 1958, five years after the events he described in his recent article. A related picture appeared the next day. Notice the phone numbers given. I think dial phones came to Stockbridge in …

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Nov 12

Guest Blog: Historic Preservation in Stockbridge

My interest here is in the family connection, as well as my own memories of Stockbridge in the 1950s. I have reproduced here, without further comment, an article written by my brother that appeared in the Berkshire Edge recently. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1953, the Berkshire Evening Eagle published an op-ed article penned by Grace Bidwell …

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Sep 29

In Search of Doctor Beebe

I hardly know where to begin this story, because its roots stretch back a long way before my time. It centers around an old foundation, abandoned more than 100 years ago, that is now in the middle of the woods, but in its day was at the center of much activity. I first encountered this …

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Jan 18

Look What I Got in the Mail

I was 15 years old. My grandmother had sent me this notecard. I knew it was coming, because she had told me about it. “Someday,” she told me, “you will be very proud to have this.” I didn’t have to wait; I was proud of it from the moment she told me about it. I …

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Jan 16

Let’s See if I Can Tape This All Together

What do cupcakes and chocolate have in common? I guess that’s pretty obvious, but Scotch Tape? In September 2009 Scientific American devoted an entire issue to “Origins” and I’ve chosen three of my favorites to link together here. First up: cupcakes: where and when were they invented, and whence the name?   If you click …

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