Madeline and Her Sisters

Believe me, I have thought a great deal about this one. I wasn’t really sure I could even write it, even though I’ve written about lot of others in my family, including my Dad. Yeah, it’s, as the cliche goes, complicated. Writing about my Mom was never going to be easy because in her ownContinue reading “Madeline and Her Sisters”

Aunt Frances to You, But Grandmom to Me

“Weren’t there any women in your family?” No. Italians reproduce asexually. At least married ones. Look, there were some people in my family who were too good to be true. My maternal grandmother was one of them. So if you are as cynical as I am, you will stop right here. But that doesn’t changeContinue reading “Aunt Frances to You, But Grandmom to Me”

Dick, This is Woodrow. Did I Wake You?

(The following is a text written 21 years ago on the occasion of a commemoration of Woodrow Borah, the Shepherd Professor, Emeritus, at Berkeley. I didn’t go, but someone–who knows, delivered it. It is verbatim. Borah once called me on a Saturday morning at 10:00 A.M. The title was his memorable opening sally. I hadContinue reading “Dick, This is Woodrow. Did I Wake You?”

Hello, Dick. What’s Up?

Earlier this year, I published an In Memoriam for my thesis supervisor, Stanley J. Stein, who died at 99. It was not easy to write. All the difficulties of graduate education, and they range from personal to professional, come back to you when you are asked to write a memorial. And there is one youContinue reading “Hello, Dick. What’s Up?”