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The Pantheon

May 22, 2018

It was beginning to rain. And of course, our umbrellas were back in our hotel room. So we headed back in that direction, soon found ourselves in the Piazza della Rotonda, and noticed that the line to enter the Pantheon—endlessly long an hour earlier—was now nearly inconsequential. So we nipped inside. Because this iconic structure—built…

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MR. & MRS. PENFIRE ARRIVE IN ROME

May 19, 2018

At Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumincio Airport, having survived our 12-hour flight, emerging from baggage claim and customs and realizing there was no driver holding up a sign with our name to welcome us, John retrieved his printout from the shuttle service he had booked. Okay, we failed to read the complete message on our confirmation…

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Mr. & Mrs. Penfire Go to Italy

May 18, 2018

We trudged off the plane in Rome after a 12-hour flight, a bit disheveled and jet lagged, shuffled dutifully through zigzag lines to get our passports stamped, emerged into the terminal on a walkway lined by faces—drivers holding signs that named the travelers they were there to meet. We searched in vain for our names,…

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What would Susan B. Anthony Think?

March 6, 2018

How and why did an organization dedicated to limiting a woman’s right to control her own reproductive system—her own body—take the name of a woman whose lifelong commitment to women’s rights is legendary? I didn’t know the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) existed until I happened upon Mike Pence’s remarks at the luncheon last…

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I love a parade!

February 9, 2018

“Back in the olden days”…when I was a little girl… my hometown staged a parade on Memorial Day. I don’t remember who exactly was marching, but surely there were military units with their wonderful bands; troops of scouts, always a bit out of step; cars, usually convertibles holding waving town officials, a few pristine antique…

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Born on The Day of Infamy!

December 7, 2017

When your birthday is December 7th (as mine is), you grow up well aware of what happened on that date in 1941. Back in the 1950s and ‘60s when I was a schoolgirl, I took this reality for granted. “When’s your birthday?” “December 7th.” A wide-eyed step backward—an apprehensive look… as though I had a…

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Never Again: Syrians are crying for help. Who is listening?

November 21, 2017

What do the words “Never Again” mean to you? Last night I attended a screening of “Cries from Syria” at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Helen Mirren, and afterwards there was a conversation with the Director, Evgeny Afineevsky. This powerful documentary traces the disintegration of the country that…

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