Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing my readers a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I hope that you’ll be sharing a delicious meal with friends and family. On “Black Friday,” forgo the shopping. Continue to partake in the simple joys of hearth and home. Spend a day on the elements of life truly deserving thanks.

Thanksgiving Postcard
(Courtesy of New York Public Library)
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A Halloween Classic

Every October, I celebrate the Halloween season by reading a collection or two of ghost stories. I fell in love with such tales during my childhood.

Recently, I happened upon an excellent documentary on the author H.P. Lovecraft. In this film, John Carpenter, famous for directing Halloween and other genre classics, recollected first encountering the writings of Lovecraft. Carpenter’s father gave him a copy of Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, an anthology containing several Lovecraft stories. Continue reading

Christopher Columbus & Washington Irving

The current historic interpretation and understanding of Christopher Columbus stands as complicated. To put it mildly.

Controversy aside, Christopher Columbus figured prominently in the formation of a uniquely American cultural identity. This seems to be forgotten today amid our debates over identity politics and historical grievances.

Proof: Washington Irving, the writer with whom I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time, penned a multi-volume biography of Columbus. Continue reading