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My Mother, My Teacher

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Long after my mother passed away at the age of 96, I still think about calling her on the phone to tell her about something that happened to me that day. The urge, the habit, the fulfillment of reporting a success, a regret, a stumble, a gift, has not left me, nor do I think […]

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Without the Groundhog

SpringFlowers

Spring… Finally! My mother taught me how to tell when a cake is done. You pull out a straw from a broom, insert it slowly into the cake and then pull it out quickly. If it comes out without wet batter, the cake is done. The tricky part, of course, is finding a broom in […]

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When Is a Cook a Chef?

Leslie Lampert & Josyane Colwell

My grandmother could have been a famous chef. But that wasn’t happening in the early 1900s when Margit landed at Ellis Island with a head filled with Hungarian recipes. These weren’t recipes she memorized from a cookbook, but recipes she devised from the memory of the taste of her mother’s cooking. When she married my grandfather, […]

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How Potatoes Saved My Life

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This is a very simple bit of prose. It has no earth-shattering, moral lesson.  It’s just a simple story about how potatoes saved my life when I was a teenager at Far Rockaway High School. Recently, I was reminded of it while observing the usual stresses of adolescence now that my granddaughters are teenagers. No […]

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Try to Remember

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I used to think September was a breeze – the kind of mellow month when all one had to do was inhale the colorful palette that nature creates every autumn. But now it seems that September has become a challenge with a daunting schedule of occasions. National Arts Education Week and Hispanic Heritage Month have arrived […]

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A Westchester Icon

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In a world where few people agree about anything, I took pleasure in the news that most people including President Obama and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson agree that EL Doctorow, who passed away last month, was a national treasure.  His parents named him Edgar after Poe. EL reminded his mother frequently that she misfired […]

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Amazing Grace

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Larry Salley, our ArtsWestchester board member since 2004, not surprisingly was trying to get a plane ticket to Charleston, South Carolina when we sat down to lunch one Friday. While we perused the menu, Larry paused to explain that his cousins were elders in the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, the scene of the unspeakable massacre of nine […]

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Them Thar Woods

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The sound of a jackhammer is as unmistakable as Beethoven’s Fifth. At least, so I thought. Lolling around one morning, I felt my bed shaking with a rat-a-tat. I knew the sound well. It was the sound of a jackhammer. Years ago, when I bought my home in the woods of Armonk, I hired a […]

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