Blog

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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GOOD BYE, COLUMBUS!

October 12, 2017

Two years ago, I lived in Massachusetts, where we celebrated Columbus Day. Now I live in California, where we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Good bye, Columbus! I’ll miss you, I suppose. It’s not that big a deal. The names of holidays do change. Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day; Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s…

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I’VE HAD IT WITH THE SECOND AMENDMENT

October 3, 2017

Well, let’s just say, I’ve had it with the Second Amendment being used as an excuse to do absolutely nothing about the carnage we are all beginning to accept as normal here in the land of the free and home of the brave. And I ask: Are we really still free? Can we ever be…

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BOSTON –WHERE SEABEE HISTORY INSPIRES OPTIMISM

September 11, 2017

If you want to place yourself in the very center of the storied arc of U. S. Naval history, go to Boston. Thursday night I was honored to attend #Seabee75, the Seabee Diamond Anniversary reception at the U.S.S. Constitution National Historic Site. Present were former Seabees of every era since the Navy’s Construction Battalions (CBs)…

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Writing with a Purpose

September 5, 2017

Pry open the skull of anyone who has spent a lifetime writing for hire, as I have, and inside you’ll find an infinite jumble of half-written creative pieces that would look like “magnetic poetry” on steroids if they could be attached somehow to a gigantic cosmic refrigerator. A journal is one way to capture, contain,…

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Mrs. Penfire

Meet Mrs. Penfire

September 4, 2017

When my two daughters were young, I read to them every night. When they were very young they loved Richard Scarry’s Big Book of Nursery Tales. They each requested different stories on different nights. Over the years, my own favorite became the story of the Little Red Hen. I realized why, of course. The Little Red…

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