The 8-hour workday

In the fall of 1919, a massive strike shut down the steel industry. The U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor held hearings to investigate the strike while it was in progress. One of the 350,000 striking workers, Andrew Pido, testified: The CHAIRMAN. What is the reason you struck this time? Mr. PIDO. I strike on … read more The 8-hour workday

Alma’s progeny

Every summer for the past five years, my sister Ann and I have come to Ohio for a week. We do ancestry research and visit old friends. And our Schnellinger cousins host a family reunion. Every year, there’s at least a couple of relatives I don’t know. Usually I know all my cousins, but not … read more Alma’s progeny

The sabra: From Hanoi to Jerusalem

In October 1993, I had given up on men. I was still recovering from the break-up of a long and disastrously passionate relationship that spring. Summer brought a series of brief mismatches and a suicidal bout of depression. On top of Hua Shan in northern China that October, I stood exhausted from a grueling climb … read more The sabra: From Hanoi to Jerusalem

German frittata

I’ve got four hungry people to feed this morning and no omelette pan. What to do? If you’re Germanic like me, you make a frittata. It’s perfect for a group breakfast on a weekend trip because you can keep them all busy doing the prep work of chopping, grating and mixing. I love having guests for this reason. … read more German frittata

Day 75: Hand me down

Yes, that’s me, and no, I was not a refugee from Russia. I am the youngest of four girls, and we all wore hand-me-downs from our cousins and siblings. They were sometimes embarrassingly ugly and shabby, but we were not allowed to complain about this. “Your father works hard,” Mom would say. The implication being, Whatever … read more Day 75: Hand me down

Day 13: Getting the name right

I’ve been doing ancestry research for a few years. It can be very addictive, like playing mahjong or Sudoku, putting all those pieces into place and making everything add up. One thing I really love is to correct mistakes made in the index to the U.S. Census. These records were hand-written, and transcribed to searchable … read more Day 13: Getting the name right