Those Whacky Reenactors

Those folks who wear period clothing and reenact famous battles—I’m not sure I ever verbally poked fun at them, but I’m sure I spent some time thinking they were a tad goofy. But then again, maybe I didn’t. I’ve always had a quirky hobby or two myself, and for a long time I’ve openly admired anyone who did something, anything, rather than sit on the couch and watch TV and ...

Read More

Children and Ovens

Arriving at the border seeking asylum is an ancient practice among civilized societies, one that has been legally sanctioned in society for decades, in some cases centuries. If you have found a way to justify children being torn from their parents at our border, rest assured you will find a way to justify when they are all sent to the ovens. You won’t be the first in the crowd to send ...

Read More

Collector Extraordinaire #1: Cynthia Elyce Rubin

By the time Cynthia Elyce Rubin had finished the renovations in her Manhattan apartment on the Upper West Side, acting as her own general contractor as she tore down walls and made two tiny apartments into one, she hadn’t thought about her postcard collection in a while. A student in folk art, in fact the first person to receive a Ph.D. in the field from NYU, she’d moved to the ...

Read More

A Folsom Prison Muse

When I was a kid, my hometown held its annual fair in late August, the week before school began. It was pretty much what you’d expect of a small town, Midwestern fair—Ferris Wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, games to win stuffed animals and plenty of contests related to farm life—livestock and flower and baked-goods competitions. It was the kind of fair that could make you think those were innocent times until you got ...

Read More