Category Archives: Uncategorized

Smoke Signals to Eleanor

Thanks to daughter Lauren Jenks for uncovering this long-lost response from Eleanor Roosevelt, pasted 55 years ago in a book to keep it safe. The topic was an interview I conducted with her through the mail. The elaborate adolescent signature to the … Continue reading

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Governor Jenks and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Cloak

Even before Ancestry.com, my family was steeped in genealogical lore. Grandpa Addison Jenks and his sister, Aunt Ava, spent their lives searching courthouse records for birth certificates, wills, and deeds that bore the Jenks name. Addison liked to do family … Continue reading

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Bobby Lee and the Great Statuary Purge

Statues of Civil War generals and politicians are being removed throughout the U.S., often with as little ceremony as the demolition of Saddam Hussein’s effigy in Bagdad. Saddam should have listened to Harry Truman before he ordered statues of himself. … Continue reading

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Subway Heroism

Mishaps on the New York subway are relatively rare, but when they happen they tend to shed light on the true nature of New Yorkers. This month a middle-aged man fell onto the subway tracks in Manhattan and a ballet … Continue reading

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Walt Herring and Big Truth

His biographers can’t find the actual quote, but theologian Karl Barth is credited with the advice to read the bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Today, he would advise us not to watch CNN unless we … Continue reading

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Jack and Ralph: Sung And Unsung

May 29, 2017 – President John F. Kennedy would have been 100 today. For those who lived through his presidency, it is singularly impossible to imagine the smiling young chief as an old man. He is frozen in our memories, … Continue reading

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“The Americans” and the World Council of Churches

The Americans, the FX series about a Soviet spy couple posing as American travel agents in Reagan-era Washington, has reignited a lightning storm of ecumenical history that had all but calmed. This week’s episode is blatantly titled “The World Council … Continue reading

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