June 29, 2015 |
To honor Harvey Pollack's numerical obsession, I really should have counted, or somehow rated, all the readers who responded to last week's obituary for the Sixers' statistics guru. So fascinated were they by the details, the richness, the passions of Pollack's long life that it almost seemed as if this 93-year-old man's obituary were instead his public introduction. Sadly, that's often how it works. For most of us, the only time anyone bothers to construct a narrative of our lives is after we're dead.
November 7, 2014 |
WHEN ALMETA Scott Bowen cooked, she always included what she believed to be the most important ingredient: love. That undoubtedly was why the meals that emanated from her kitchen always tasted so good. She put a dollop of love in every dish, because Almeta not only loved to cook, she loved the people who sat down at her table, her extended family, friends and neighbors. They got a spiritual jolt with every course. The fact that she lived to 104 was a gift from God, she felt.
April 30, 2014 |
Jack Ramsay wasn't afraid to swim with the sharks. He didn't seek them out on the long open-water ventures near his Florida home, but fear couldn't keep him from the water, just as fear couldn't prevent anything in a long life of personal and professional accomplishment. Plus, there always seemed to be dolphins that joined him along the way, sharing his joy, following his path, staying near his side. The easy explanation is that Ramsay, who died Monday at the age of 89, had a charmed life.
February 28, 2013
Q: Kimberly, who are the healthiest and longest-living people? - Inquiring Mind Wants to Know A: Well, according to the experts, we may live in the wealthiest nation in the world, but the healthiest and longest-living people are in Japan-Okinawa, to be exact. Okinawans have significantly lower incidence rates of heart disease, as well as breast, ovarian and prostate cancer when compared to Americans. They live healthily into their late 80s and 90s. Some experts link Okinawans' long life spans with their diets, rich in grains, fruits and fish.
October 29, 2012 |
AT FIRST, the family of Agnes C. Burke was a little embarrassed to see her outside every day sweeping the sidewalk at 29th and Tasker streets, in Grays Ferry. But they soon realized that the task gave Agnes tremendous satisfaction. Not only was she keeping the neighborhood where she had lived all her life free of what seemed a never-ending accumulation of trash and grit, but she met and communicated with passers-by and made a social occasion of the job. Agnes performed this labor from age 65 to 95, ignoring summer heat or the bitter cold of winter.
May 10, 2012 |
Martin R. Delany is one of the most interesting people you've never heard of. He was, over the course of a long life (1812-85), a writer, editor, abolitionist, Harvard medical student, physician, judge, acquaintance of John Brown, and the first African American commissioned a major in the Army. He is also widely considered America's first black nationalist, the forerunner of Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, and Malcolm X. But unless you're a close student of African American history or 19th-century American literature, chances are very good that you don't know much about Delany, who stands in the long shadow cast by Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B.
March 9, 2012
DELRAY BEACH, FLA . - It was like in "The Graduate," where aimless Benjamin Braddock was given life advice by Mrs. Robinson's tight-jawed husband. "Plastics," the man said confidently and confidentially. The audience laughed, but screenwriter Buck Henry's advice was actually sound. Around the time the movie came out in 1967 my father was given one-word investment advice by Hy Federman, a vice president of the Amalgamated Bank: "Municipals," said Hy, confidently but not confidentially.
December 21, 2011 |
We've managed to acquire a remarkable family Hanukkah gift: a ship's manifest, an official passenger log that tracks my late mother-in-law's voyage to America in 1920. It's a taproot to family history, part of our clan's collective "Coming to America" story. Had she not made that voyage, nothing would be the same. Hinda Rubache came to these shores and through Ellis Island as a young woman of 22. She sailed from the city of Minsk in Russia, though her immigration papers say Poland because of the ever-changing borders.
September 16, 2011
LILLIAN DAVIS O'DANIEL celebrated her 100th birthday on Sept. 1. The West Philadelphia native devoted her long life to education. She died Sept. 8. She lived in West Philadelphia. Lillian was born in Philadelphia when Theodore Roosevelt was president. She was raised in Boston but returned to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she received degrees in education. She joined Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and married the late Therman O'Daniel. Both taught in schools in Baltimore.
May 18, 2011 |
BERNICE Smith-McDowell felt there was something missing in her life. As she reached her senior years, this woman who had done so much for others through a long life felt a vacancy in her own life. There was a spiritual need that she had not been able to fill at the various churches she had tried. The fulfillment just wasn't there. Then her daughter Patrecea Smith suggested she try her church, True Word Ministry, at 1719 Federal St., South Philadelphia, a little nondenominational church that always seemed to need painting and patching, described by its own pastor as a "hole in the wall.