DNA Miracle: Discovering My Father, 72 Years Later

Tomorrow morning, June 14, 2019, I set off on a journey that began in New York the early winter of 1947. Questions from a lecture by my friend, Professor Mark Christensen haunt me as I pack my suitcase and map my route: What is my …

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70 Years ago, A Few Months After Victory over Japan

My grandmother’s diary entry: 11-18-1945: Walked through Central Park—a telegram from John Curry saying he had arrived in San Francisco from Tokyo and was leaving for New York on Friday. This picture, taken two years before I was born, jumped out at me perhaps because …

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Chickenhouse Chronicles: 1950 Holy Land Visit

  My great grandmother, Katherine Thomas Philips, had a younger sister named Alice, who married Edmund Garstin.  They had two daughters: The eldest, Martha “Pattie” Thomas Garstin, born 1888, died in a mental institution, Normansfield Hospital, Teddington, in 1935. The second daughter, Eloise “Emily” Thomas Garstin, was …

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My Grandmother Studying Abnormal Behavior, Circa 1953, New York City College

Sixty years ago my grandmother began attending a psychology class at New York City College, studying abnormal behavior. For over half a century she searched in vain for a cure, trying to understand why her daughters had been cursed with mental illness. She left behind …

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