In 1969 I was in seventh grade. One fall afternoon, I took an ill-advised short cut home from school through an empty lot. It was there that a man dragged me into bushes, gagged and raped me. It was less than two weeks after my 12th birthday.
My granddaughter Ellie came to visit one mild day and we had a whole 3 1/2 hours with her alone at our house while my daughter Anna visited friends in the area.
It was the first time we had her alone at our house for that long. I loved it.
About 40 years and two weeks ago, on one of our daily drives, I parked in front of a record store on the East Side of Buffalo and asked my mother to pick some music that she knew, but which I had never heard. I told her I would buy whatever record she picked.
This was a eulogy I gave in honor of my brother Seamus, who died after a brief but spirited fight against ALS.
The man we mourn today had many names: Jim, Casey, Dad Cat to Rachel and Papa to grandson Aiden. Yet his brothers and sisters always called him Seamus, Gaelic for James, the family name our mother gave him at birth. Seamus, as the oldest of six kids born in seven and a half years, presided at the dawn of all of our childhood memories. And at times, he was the family hero.
This is a speech I gave at the request of Temple Emanu-El, Waterford, Jan. 15, 2017, five days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
My friend Paul Greenberg, Pulitzer prize winner and EPE of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, says that nothing good ever came out of committee except for the King James version of the Bible and the 1st Amendment, and neither of them count because both were miracles.
Laird B. Anderson was a journalist, an Army veteran, but above all, a teacher. In October, he died in his sleep at the age of 78.
Laird taught journalism at The American University in Washington, D.C., and for years he chaired its graduate school of Journalism and Public Affairs.
So, you want the NY Times to publish your commentary? Many are called, but few are chosen.
The NY Times oped page gets many hundreds of submissions for a small handful of spaces every week. In addition, because the staffs solicits other op-eds from known experts, the number of spaces available for your opinion piece in any given week dwindles into the single digits.
Why write an oped?
Because the world deserves to hear your voice. Yes, yours. And because expressing an opinion is just the first step. Impact matters. More on that in a minute.
Rarely to we get to see two members of one family – one a prominent senator – penning nearly-simultaneous columns on one of the most discussed issues of the day. But that’s what we have in Sen. Robert Portman’s column published in the Columbus Dispatch and other Ohio newspapers March 15, announcing that he changed his decades-long opposition to gay marriage since finding out that his son Will is gay. On March 25, his son, Will Portman, wrote a Yale Review column describing the process of coming out as a gay man to his parents, family and friends.
The acting profession hugs itself more than any other group, with the possible exception, my husband reminds me, of writers. But awards for writing are rarely televised. And acting awards ceremonies such as the Academy Awards (scheduled for Feb. 24), have one common denominator: The winners make truly hideous acceptance speeches.