A State of Mind

  The surrender of Japan and the assassination of President Kennedy, bracket an era variously known as Pax Americana, Good Times, the Best Years, Happy Days—the American High.  It was a time of solid families, effective schools, and reliable careers, a time when government and institutions … [Read more...]

Crossing the Wide Missouri

  In the late fifties, San Francisco’s North Beach lay at the edge of history, as though the half-millennium of westward migration had halted a few blocks from the Pacific to spawn this subterranean frontier.  From doorways along the teeming sidewalks, the sounds came floating into the night—a cool … [Read more...]

Radio Days

While my father trudged through the French winter, fearing he would not survive the war, it was my mother who died of lupus in sunny Pasadena where we had settled for her health.  My grandmother, who had been taking care of her, was afraid to tell a five-year-old the truth.  So she took me back to … [Read more...]

The Real Revolution

This appeared in Gentry and Gentry South Bay, February 2008.  The recent celebration of Fairchild’s 50th anniversary commemorated not just the founding of a company but an epochal turning point in human evolution. 1957 was in many ways the first year of our time.  The launch of Sputnik put … [Read more...]