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Your Comments: In Case of Attack/Philadelphia

October 26, 2015

My little ditty on nuclear war preparedness brought a few comments. Rita said: Even as a little kid, I knew air raid drills were silly. Adonna added: You made me laugh out loud. I remember having to do this in grade school but no in junior high or high school. And it is funny now but…

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Philadelphia, Mississippi

October 23, 2015

Yesterday I finished a new Sleeper Ave. story, mostly about school integration after the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that was the beginning of the end of legal apartheid in America. I haven’t scheduled it yet; I’ll post it sometime in the next few weeks. In researching the story, I realized I had forgotten…

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Old Jokes

October 20, 2015

Tomorrow’s Sleeper Ave. story is kind of a silly one. Those of a certain age will recall the black humor the nuclear arms race inspired. Somewhere in my bookcase is a cheery pamphlet from the 1950s of early 60s with upbeat instructions for surviving a nuclear attack, illustrated with cute cartoon drawings. The whole thing has a…

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To Grandma’s House We Go

October 6, 2015

Tomorrow’s Sleeper Ave. story is a bit of a change. It’s a subject I found impossible to illustrate to my satisfaction. I just couldn’t find a way to make the drawings convey the sense of the moment. In the hands of a more accomplished artist it might have been possible, but I can only work with…

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The New Models

September 29, 2015

It was just about this time of year when the new cars for the next model year were unveiled. The mid- to late 1950s saw a great leap in new car design. Suddenly gone were the clunky old models, replaced by sleek new chariots. The dawn of the space age had a profound impact on industrial…

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Atonement

September 22, 2015

At Sundown tonight Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins. It’s the culmination of the High Holidays, a ten-day period that began last week with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It’s a time of solemn reflection and rededication of one’s life to self-improvement and to nobler callings. When I was a boy, it was a time…

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Comments–Short Wave RAdio

September 18, 2015

A number of readers recalled the short wave radio craze, and the weirdness of the Red Scare of the 1950s, as well. James had this to say: You capture the paranoia of the times well! Beth added: Very interesting. I remember when short wave was all the rage and being fascinated by it. Just the idea…

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Fellow Traveler

September 15, 2015

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m (still) reading “American Prometheus,” the biography of the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who spearheaded the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos during the Second World War. One of the things the book does quite well is recreate the climate of Cold War paranoia that led to the…

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Your Comments–Substitute Teacher

September 11, 2015

The story of the anti-semitic substitute teacher drew plenty of comments from readers, many of whom were outraged. I’ve thought a lot about the incident since I posted the story. I think it happened in the third or fourth grade, when I was nine or ten, which would have been only a decade after the end of World…

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Substitutions

September 8, 2015

I generally liked school, even loved it. For the most part, my teachers were quite good, and more than a handful were the kind you remember, and thank, your whole life. That said, it was almost always a great day at school when we had a substitute teacher. She (it was rarely a he) would…

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