Tag Archives: biography

Opening the Door

“He was sincere, and he was caring, and he was loving, and he was not like other people.  The fact of his acceptance and embrace was different among certain kinds of people– many just saw him as weirder than weird and that was that, but there were many others that found him delightful.  In a …

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1948, I’d like you to meet 2016:

In this excerpt from Henry Wallace, Harry Truman, and the Cold War by Richard J. Walton ©1976, try (just for fun) replacing “Harry Truman” with “Hillary Clinton,” and “Henry Wallace” with “Bernie Sanders”: This was a serious man raising serious questions and this is as good a time as any to deal with them. (J. …

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Guilt Consciousness

Excerpted from Henry Wallace, Harry Truman, and the Cold War by Richard J. Walton ©1976, Henry Wallace writes in his diary about  meeting  J. Robert Oppenheimer: I never saw a man in such an extremely nervous state as Oppenheimer.  He seemed to feel that the destruction of the entire human race was imminent…  He has …

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Faith

In this excerpt from The Chris Farley Show:  A Biography in Three Acts ©2008, Father Tom Gannon talks about Chris Farley and faith: Chris was caught in a transition in Catholicism between an old-church approach to faith and a newer way of thinking. The old view of spirituality was that life was like climbing a …

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You and Yours

In The Chris Farley Show:  A Biography in Three Acts ©2008, Jillian Seely remembers her friend: “The thing that was great about Chris was that he started all of his conversations with ‘How was your day?  What did you do?’  Nobody does that anymore.  That’s why Chris was so different from most people.  He was …

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Mis/Pre

I’m reading a biography of 17th century priest/scientist Athanasius Kircher, A Man of Misconceptions:  The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change by John Glassie, ©2012. The book is written in kind of a condescending tone, “Ha ha, let’s all laugh at the buffoon who got everything wrong,” but I don’t think that’s …

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Preconceived Notions

Excerpted from John Glassie’s excellent biography of Athanasius Kircher, A Man of Misconceptions ©2012: In 1610, twelve years before Kircher arrived in Cologne, Galileo Galilei, a mathematics professor in Padua, published a slim volume, Starry Messenger, about the observations he’d made with a new instrument he called the perspicillium, or the telescope.  It was a …

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Perpetual Christmas

Though the Governor’s official mansion in Albany was not a beautiful residence in 1918, I was not aware of it when we first arrived.  I did not notice that much of the furniture and many of the rugs were badly worn, and that the excessive use of red and green on furniture, curtains, rugs, and …

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