Category Archives: Personal

The Value of an Older Brother

I suppose younger brothers have their merits. Bill Fallon, who turns 65 today, had three of them. Pete, a year younger, was his buddy. They shared friends, sports, and were comrades in crime and prank. I was four years junior, … Continue reading

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Ayn Rand & Altruism

This essay was recently published in WBUR Cognoscenti, where it generated more comments than all my previous Cognoscenti articles combined. Ayn Rand is still a polarizing character.     April is National Volunteer Month. Over the past forty years I’ve donated time in … Continue reading

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Objecting to the Truth as I See It

The following essay was published in WBUR Cognoscenti on March 31, 2015: Narrative non-fiction is not an objective undertaking; the author determines which facts to include and shapes their interpretation. So how does a writer flesh out the virtues and … Continue reading

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Counting Every Step

I’m a good little doobie. When the voice of authority tells me do something, I do it. Even when that voice is distant (I never call anyone after 10 p.m., per my mother’s directive circa 1966). Even when that voice … Continue reading

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The War in Snyder’s Grocery Store

Jack Fallon died twenty years ago last week. He was an eccentric and endearing character. When the rest of his World War II generation were busy conforming to grey flannel suits, he marched to whatever voices resonated in his head. … Continue reading

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Rise and Shine – for the 21,897th Time

Last Sunday was my birthday. I turned 60. Everyone who knows me steers clear of me on that day. It’s not that I mind getting old – being 60 suits me as well as Gloria Steinem turning 40. It’s just … Continue reading

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MIT Takes a Slice of my Life

The MIT Alumni Association publishes a Slice of Life every day. Back in October they made a podcast about my work in Haiti, (MIT Alumni Interview) which proved so successful they followed up with a short video, available on You … Continue reading

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