Bonjour! Revolution? Our French Origin Story

  France’s role in American life predates the birth of the United States. Our founding Fathers were greatly influenced by French Philosophers of the Enlightenment- Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau. Thomas Jefferson loved everything French; Benjamin Franklin loved quite a few French women and spent many years in France. These founding Americans absorbed the concepts of “Liberty, […]

Bonjour!  Revolution?  Our French Origin Story

The Secret Life of Trees

From my window I see a very tall tree with contorted branches. It looks the same throughout the year so there is really nothing to “observe” about it except for the visiting crows and sparrows who perch on it on their way somewhere else. I have found out that it is a twisted oak tree. […]

The Secret Life of Trees

Nursery Rhymes and Crimes

Have parents really been listening to the nursery rhymes they read to their children at bedtime? Do they truly want them to hear that after Jack and Jill climbed up the famous hill, that Jack sustained a head injury while Jill was left careening down the hill behind him? How about the maid in the […]

Nursery Rhymes and Crimes

Catmania

  When I lived in Beirut in the 1930’s, I used to feed a stray cat who hung around outside our house. I would lower a container of leftovers to him from a kitchen window. People’s relationship with cats goes back to antiquity. Cat images are found on walls of ancient caves as well as […]

Catmania

Our Lady Lives On

    I saw Notre Dame Cathedral for the first time in December 1946. I had just arrived in France from Tel Aviv and cathedrals were not part of my life experience. I did not know a gargoyle from a chimera. As I stood on the vast esplanade in the piercing cold and looked at Notre Dame, […]

Our Lady Lives On

Algeria in Chaos

Algerian President  Abdelaziz Bouteflika recently announced that he would be running for a fifth term. He did not make the announcement personally. In fact, he has not spoken a word in public for the last five years. He spends most of his time in Switzerland, being treated for an unknown illness. His only public appearances […]

Algeria in Chaos