Memoirs & Biographies

learning-chinese-at-the-university-of-wisconsin-1972-1973

Learning Chinese at the University of Wisconsin — 1972–1973

This article recalls learning vernacular and written Chinese at the University of Wisconsin in Madison 1972-73. I vividly remember my classes, teachers, classmates, lodging, and extra-curricular activities.

memories-of-my-late-aunt-donna

Memories of My Late Aunt Donna

Donna Schmidt Breu was one of my late mother's younger sisters. My memories of Aunt Donna start in 1950 and end in 2004 when my mother and I last visited her. Aunt Donna was one of my favorite aunts.

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A Breakfast Gift

A visit to a restaurant ends with a gesture of kindness evoking an unexpected response. Memories of the last time I saw my best friend.

good-things-bad-days-and-ugly-experiences

Good Things, Bad Days and Ugly Experiences

Life is a mix of many good and some bad and ugly things. 'Things' that occur, chances that arise, thoughts that lead to good openings, ideas that go awry, accidents that prove beneficial, true friendships, love encounters, happy moments and bereavements that leave a vacuum in our hearts.

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My Memories per Brenda’s Prompt

This article is in response to Brenda Aldridge’s prompt, ‘memories’. It includes an acrostic poem and several of my memories while growing up.

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Ojha Uncle and His Shop of Optimism

This is a personal anecdote of a night in Delhi and how that filled me with positivity.

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Seven Things I Learned from Dad

I learned many useful things from my father while he was alive. In this article, I recall what dad taught me as a boy, youth, and man. This includes learning how to play baseball, drive a car, and do things by myself.

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Musical Mondegreens From My Teens

Mondegreens—the mishearing of words and phrases in verse and song—have featured prominently in many people's lives. In this article I recount a few (hopefully) humorous memories of mondegreens from my early adolescent years.

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Schnauzers: A Tribute to Misty

This is a simple recollection of my life with a quiet, demure, yet fiesta Schanuzer.

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Living in a College Fraternity in the 1960s and 1970s

Paul lived in Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry college fraternity chapter houses in the 1960s and 1970s. This article recalls his residence at the Alpha chapter in Madison, Wisconsin, Alpha Beta chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a brief stay at the Sigma house in Berkeley, California.

the-dark-history-of-moncofa-the-orange-grove-graves

The Dark History of Moncofa - The Orange Grove Graves

Moncofa (or Moncófar) is a beautiful coastal town in the northeast of Spain. Behind and beneath its beauty, though, lies a dark and painful past.

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Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 12 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 12 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

blessings-of-arunachala-a-serialized-travelogue-part-11-of-12

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 11 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 11 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 10 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 10 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 9 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 9 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

blessings-of-arunachala-a-serialized-travelogue-part-8-of-12

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 8 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 8 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

blessings-of-arunachala-a-serialized-travelogue-part-7-of-12

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 7 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 7 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

blessings-of-arunachala-a-serialized-travelogue-part-6-of-12

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 6 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 6 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

blessings-of-arunachala-a-serialized-travelogue-part-5-of-12

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 5 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 5 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

blessings-of-arunachala-a-serialized-travelogue-part-4-of-12

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 4 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 4 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 3 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 3 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 2 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 2 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 1 of 12

I did a 1000 Km solo drive from Pune to Ramana Maharishi's ashram in Tiruvannamalai in 2018. This is part 1 of a 12 part series that describes all the experiences I had on the road as well as in Tiruvannamalai.

summer-time-in-the-60s

Summer Time in the 60’s

The summers were carefree and seemingly everlasting until the year the four girls were killed in Birmingham Alabama by a vicious bomber. My summers and my life was never the same.

how-i-best-remember-my-youngest-sister

How I Best Remember My Youngest Sister

Constance Jo or Connie is my youngest sister and sibling. Although there is a big age difference between us, Connie has played a big part in my life. In this article, I recall my best memories of Connie from childhood up until the present.

pandemic-santa

Pandemic Santa

Christmas during the pandemic: Even Santa needs to take precautions. Can Old Saint Nick deliver in an era of social distancing and masks? One in a series of articles for a collection called "Diary of a Virus".

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Circus in the 21st Century: A Portrait of Circus United

Circuses are popular in the United States -- many, like Circus United, raise money for Shrine organizations. Fletcher Runyan, partner and producer of Circus United, shares his story with journalist and long-time circus lover Teri Silver.

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Mother’s Day Reflection: Hold Tight To Your Umbrella

A Mother's Day reflection of our sweet mother who is loosening the grip that tethers her as our earthly umbrella of protection. Oh, my sweet Mama, hold tight to your umbrella for a wee bit longer. But when it is time for our Mary Poppins to fly, enjoy that flight back home!

memories-of-my-eldest-sister

Memories of My Eldest Sister

Beatrice who is three years younger is my eldest sister. In this article, I first recall my memories of Bea when we lived in the city 1947-53. I then remember Bea when we were growing up on farms 1954-66. Finally, I reflect on my relationship with Bea and her family from 1971 through the present.

kick-the-can-every-summer

Kick the Can Every Summer

Kick the Can is an outside game for children and incorporates running, hide and seek, and tag. It was a game my siblings and I played each summer as long as the weather would permit. Is it a lost game or one that children are still playing?

My Mother - the Brightest Star in the Firmament

This is an article - of course it is! One I have been wanting to write for a long time! Its just about my mother: her nature, her qualities. My mother was just like any mother- but to me the epitome of all that a human being could aspire to! This article is a tribute to her humanity!

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The Girl and the Merle

A story of two beings finding each other and healing together.

what-it-felt-like-during-the-covid19-coronavirus-pandemic

What It Felt Like During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

To understand what it felt like as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic unfolded and what life was like during the pandemic, I am providing my own firsthand account of what the pandemic felt like to me as this rare and unsettling event enveloped the world and affected my life.

kenyawaterfalls

My Childhood Memoir

This is a brief autobiography of my childhood and how I started school

memories-of-my-birthday-celebrations

Memories of My Birthday Celebrations

This article recalls significant birthday celebrations. Highlighted are my 46th birthday bash in Taiwan, my 50th birthday in Philadelphia, and my 66th birthday party in Thailand. My birthday celebrations with family members are also described.

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Losing Her Has Never Been That Easy

Heartaches caused by losing my mom has never been easy.

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Stories My Dad Told, What’s in a Name

My dad hated his first name. In this, I explore names and dad's solution to living with his name as well and many others.

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A True Story of Finding Spanish Treasure in the Bahamas, Part 2

This is a true story about finding Spanish treasure in the Bahamas.

salvage-diving-and-treasure-hunting-in-the-bahamas

A True Story of Finding Spanish Treasure in the Bahamas

This is part one of a true story about hunting for Spanish treasure and salvage diving in the Bahamas.

stories-my-dad-told-the-granny-story

Stories My Dad Told, The Granny Story

My father was a practical joker and loved to pull pranks on us and others. This is one of my favorite stories he told about a practical joke he pulled on his mother-in-law.

sinking-of-the-titanic-ship-deaths-irish-third-class-passengers-in-steerage-ireland-sank-queenstown-denis-lennon

These Two Irish Third Class Passengers Died on the Titanic

Denis Lennon and Mary Mullin were a young couple from Ireland. They both died when the Titanic sank in 1912. They were third class passengers and had pretended to be brother and sister, using the names Denis and Mary Lennon on their ticket.

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Stories My Dad Told, Chiggers and Fishing

My dad told many funny stories from his childhood and some of my favorite ones were about his problems with his brother. Here are two stories for your amusement.

the-end-of-an-era-losing-family-and-a-sense-of-home

The Ending of An Era: Losing Family and a Sense of Home

I feel like this is the ending of an era as I lose yet another member of this beloved family and a sense of home. Yet, while I am sustained by our shared 40+ year history of precious memories, my heart still aches with the passing of these two matriarchs.

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Bahamas Lost Treasure Story

Here is a story about how I found treasure in the Bahamas when I lived aboard my small sailboat there.

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Stories My Dad Told, Late Night TV

My mother was a strict observer of the 8 or 8:30 bedtime even in the summer when the sun was still up at that time. This is a story about how dad helped up sneak a little late night TV.

remembering-paula

Remembering Paula

Life goes on until it doesn't. When we least expect it, things change and it's never the same again. This is dedicated to my friend, Paula, the most generous person I ever knew.

stories-my-dad-told-the-stolen-coke

Stories My Dad Told, The Stolen Coke

A funny story my dad used to tell was about how he would pilfer a coke from the gas station as a teenager. This is how he got caught and cured of stealing.

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Turtle Beach

As a child, I was fortunate enough to watch a sea turtle lay her eggs in the warm sand of a beach on the East Coast of Malaysia.