When Good People Don’t Pay Attention

February 27, 2024

 A century ago, a charismatic charlatan in Indiana by the name of D.C. Stephenson “set in motion the [Ku Klux] Klan’s takeover of great swaths of America.”  Stephenson – who was a fraud, a huckster, a braggart, a bootlegger, a sex predator, and a serial liar – was the Klan’s Grand Dragon who, along with…

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Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30

November 7, 2023

When I was in my 20s, the mantra of freewheeling young people was, “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30”.  And we didn’t.   The median age of the U.S. today is 38.8, but we’re now a gerontocracy — “a state, society or group governed by old people.”   At the very top of our political system, both President…

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Babies – and Baby Steps

August 22, 2023

A British woman I know, who lives in California, recently gave birth to her first child. Her employer, Google, granted her six months of paid parental leave to care for her new baby. “Wow, that is so generous,” I told her, thinking back to the 1970s when I was given zero paid maternity leave for…

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Dr. Sue Rex: Teacher Extraordinaire

August 4, 2023

Sue Rex never wanted to be anything but a teacher. From her childhood days in Pennsylvania instructing her “classroom” of dolls to her decades as a special education teacher and professor of education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, teaching has been her life’s work. So when Dr. Rex, a Founder of SC WIL, a member of…

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Sister Fidelma Is on the Case

April 19, 2023

Another “Sister Fidelma” mystery (#34 in the series) will be published in July, and this makes me happy.   For nearly three decades I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of these historical mystery novels, set in ancient Ireland in the 7th century A.D.  Sister Fidelma, the red-haired, green-eyed title character, is a Celtic nun and a respected…

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“About Blimmin’ Time”

January 12, 2023

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine in New Zealand phoned to give me some exciting news:  her country had just made history as female lawmakers in Parliament became the majority for the first time. “About blimmin’ time,” one of the women legislators told reporters as the country’s legislative body tipped to 60…

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Saying No to Holiday Stress

December 12, 2022

Years ago, when I was a newspaper reporter working full-time and raising two young children as a single mother, I went to see my doctor.  I was tired and achy, and couldn’t seem to shake my flu-like symptoms. Dr. Woodward looked over my chart and said, “Do you know that you have been to see…

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Using Our Voice

October 11, 2022

I recently finished an engrossing historical novel called “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See, in which the author introduces her readers to nu shu, the phonetic, secret-code writing used for hundreds of years by women in a remote area of southern China.  Developed a thousand years ago, it is thought to be…

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Truth-Telling Women

July 31, 2022

Have you noticed lately how many truth-tellers — commonly known as “whistleblowers” — in this country are women? A star example is Cassidy Hutchinson, the young former White House aide whose volcanic testimony in June riveted viewers watching the public hearings of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. A whistleblower of another…

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Meeting Julia Child

June 5, 2022

In 1979 I met Julia Child, the iconic “French Chef” of television and cookbook fame.  She and her husband, Paul, came to a reception in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to meet the new class of Nieman Fellows, mid-career journalists who had been selected to study at Harvard for an academic year.  I was lucky enough to be…

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