Not Pretty Enough

Pretty was the thing. It was indiscreet to talk about marrying for money, but Pretty was the Golden Ticket to happiness with a rich man who would find you irresistible, love you beyond reason, and give you everything your heart desired. Pretty could lead to a career in acting or modeling, but not in science,…

Mama Lesh

Note: The original post appeared on my autobiographical blog, “My Own Ordinary Life.” I am reposting it here because addiction and suicide are so often in the news. The problems are both more prevalent and more widely reported these days, but addiction didn’t start with hippies and rock stars in the 1960s. My grandmother, born…

In search of a story: heat and ashes

When the developers of Danza del Sol in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, didn’t sell enough apartments to recuperate their investment, the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara bought it to use for conferences and guest housing. I was an employee of the university, and we were offered generous discounts  on short-term rentals of  the suites. When my husband’s cousin Ricardo and his…

Insidious Invisibility

When #BlackLivesMatter is countered with hateful slogans of the faux-egalitarian #AllLivesMatter, I recall sadly how, for a good part of my life, Black Lives really didn’t matter. Wichita Falls, Texas, didn’t hate black people. Many of us even kind of liked black people. We expressed our racial bias in a manner even more insidious than hate or aggression. We simply didn’t see black people. The evidence of this is in vintage issues of my hometown newspaper: the lack of evidence of any black population at all.

An Open Letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton

It is never too late to do the right thing, but I fear it is too late to do the right thing and win back those of us who have admired you and wished good things for you. I would be hard put to say, at this moment, what the right thing for you to do would even be.