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December   7

Lest We Be Accused of Forgetting
Fdr Here it is, an audio postcard from the "day that will live in infamy." Or actually, the day after -- when the speech was made.

December 7, 2004 in Time Capsule | Permalink | Comments (1)

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November  22

Do You Remember?

Jfk2_2_1 A reader reminds us that we almost closed out the day without mentioning the 41st anniversary of the JFK assassination. Indeed -- but only because we lost track of the calendar, not because we don't feel the date is important.

Nov. 22, 1963 was -- like the Challenger explosion and now Sept. 11, 2001 -- one of those definitive how-old-were-you and how-did-you-find-out events. For the Barista, it was during third-grade, in an elementary school in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Our memories of the day itself are a little vague. That day blends into all the black-and-white hued days that followed and somehow seem linked: the non-stop TV coverage, the grave mood of all the grown-ups, the procession of mourners just a few miles away, John-John's brave salute, the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, the RFK assassination, the shooting of Martin Luther King ...

November 22, 2004 in Time Capsule | Permalink | Comments (8)

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November  20

Short Stop Diner, Back in the Day

Our coverage of the Short Stop Diner's conversion into a Dunkin' Donuts reminded our friend and reader Brooke Allen of a radio piece he heard about the diner several years ago. He looked it up and it turned out to be a Jane and Michael Stern segment on "The Splendid Table" from 2000. Here's a link that will take you to the show. (RealPlayer required.)

Fast forward about 8 minutes in, and hear all about the little diner famous for "eggs in the skillet."

short_stop

November 20, 2004 in A Friend Writes, Time Capsule | Permalink | Comments (1)

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October   8

Just Perfect

perfect_game One of those most iconic images in baseball: Don Larsen's perfect game. The game, 48 years ago today, was caught by Yogi Berra, seen here (#8) jumping on Larsen. If you see Yogi today, make sure to mention it.

October 8, 2004 in Time Capsule, Yogi | Permalink | Comments (2)

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September  11

Remembering 9/11: Debbie Galant

The Barista, who is at a family reunion in Baltimore, departs from the usual royal "we" in remembering 9/11.

I may have been the only person in the entire metropolitan area who missed the whole thing when it was happening. I was driving down to Camden to cover jury selection for the rabbi murder trial, and when I got out of range of WFUV, I turned on the CD player and listened to music for the rest of the ride. One of the songs I listened to was Shawn Colvin's "Another Plane Went Down," which gave me a weird feeling. But then that song always gave me a weird feeling. Did I have some sixth sense somewhere that all the molecules in the universe had cataclysmically rearranged themselves? I like to think I did. But at the time, I dismissed all my misgivings as nervousness about getting to Camden and finding the courthouse.tattered_flag_small_2

I got to Camden and parked; court was in session; jury selection was going on. I took notes assiduously and was blissfully unaware that the whole world had turned upside down. Then, about 11, the judge asked the lawyers whether they wanted to go ahead in light of the day's news and the thousands of people who'd likely died.

After turning to a lawyer behind me and learning in the briefest terms something about a plane flying into the World Trade Center, I fled from the courtroom like it was on fire. I asked some people outside the building what was going on, and they started to tell me the latest development, but I had to make them back up and tell me the story from the very beginning. They must have looked at the press credentials hanging around my neck and wondered if I was the most clueless reporter on earth. By then, the buildings were already down.

To this day, I'm still afraid to turn on the CD player in the car for long periods, for fear I'll miss some other earth-shattering news.

I'll never forget all the messages on my answering machine -- because my husband was out of town that day too -- as friends and relatives became increasingly nervous when we didn't answer. Or my son's comment after learning the Yankees game had been cancelled that night: "Are we never going to be allowed to be happy again?"

Being a writer of a smart-aleck column in the New York Times, I was tuned very closely to the disappearance -- and reappearance -- of humor. There was the famous "irony is dead" pronouncement. Then the poignant return of Jon Stewart. I first began to sneak some humor into my columns during the great shopping mall terror scare of Halloween 2001, when I was able to poke fun of my own terror at going shopping. In November -- after reading a story about Afghan women, liberated from the Taliban, who'd taken their freedom and gone to wash clothes in the river -- I wrote a column called "One Jersey Girl's Advice to Afghan Women," which imagined the life of the upscale, harried, carpooling New Jersey woman in a similar situation. Though Roz Chast got away with a similar cartoon in the New Yorker, my column drew 10 letters to the editor, mostly angry. A few, though, thought it was the best column I ever wrote.

September 11, 2004 in Time Capsule | Permalink | Comments (0)

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August  23

More Facts We Didn't Know

Every school child in Glen Ridge knows that Tom Cruise went to Glen Ridge High School, but who knew that Glen Ridge had a Titanic survivor? A story in today's Delco Times about Titanic survivors buried in Delaware County, Pa., reveals that a Glen Ridge jeweler named Henry Blank was a first-class passenger and got off safely in a lifeboat. Blank, who was 39 at the time, spent his last night on the fated vessel playing cards in the smoking room.

We think he might have fit in nicely at one of the poker games that take place on Wildwood Terrace.

August 23, 2004 in Time Capsule | Permalink | Comments (1)

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July  12

Newark Riots 1967

national_guard_in_newark_2 Thirty-seven years ago today, a Newark cab driver named John Smith was beaten by police after illegally passing a double-parked police car and then resisting arrest. That set off the Newark riots, which lasted five days, left 26 dead and caused $10 million in property damage.

The riots permanently changed Newark and the neighboring communities, as many of the city's residents fled to the outlying suburbs.

For more on the riots, go here, here or here.

Thanks to Sue Sadik for reminding us.

July 12, 2004 in Time Capsule | Permalink | Comments (1)

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