February 3, 2013 |
Thirty-four years and what looked like a century ago, I traveled inside what was then known as Red China. With official United States recognition approaching, the People's Republic opened its doors. Having studied in Taiwan, I received a limited visa and missed the Great Wall and other sites. After teaching Chinese culture for 30 years, I returned in November. What we saw on my return was more contemporary than I anticipated, and being there was inspiring. Here were 12-lane highways intersecting modern, crowded cities; stores with merchandise aplenty; and a fashionably dressed, vibrant people.
March 11, 1990 |
Naturally, it was my friend Wayne Marshall who spotted the small item in the New York Times reporting that the president of Exxon's shipping subsidiary, Frank Iarossi, has resigned to become chairman of a standards- setting organization for the shipping trade. Wayne sent over the clip under the heading "Ironies Beyond the Capacity of Any Writer to Invent. " Wayne goes in for that sort of thing. He also collects ugly postcards. Don't send him one of those jackalope postcards that people are always sending from Wyoming or someplace.
April 8, 2012 |
William B. McNamee told his grandson a secret about memory, even as he was losing his own memory to Alzheimer's. One day, we'll be strangers . . . but you can remember the way we held hands when the wind moves through your fingers. McNamee, an orthopedic surgeon from Drexel Hill, died in 2003. Six years later, as Matthew Ross Smith drove along the Schuylkill - with a hand out the window in the early-spring breeze - his grandfather's words came back to him. Thus was born the Spaces Between Your Fingers Project, which offers people across America a chance to connect by tracing their handprints on postcards.
May 23, 1994
Philadelphia public schools have a lot of balls in the air these days. The search for a new superintendent is coming down to the wire, contract negotiations with the teachers are under way, and $30 million in budget cuts are being implemented on top of a $90 million reduction last year. With so much going on, the low-key but determined efforts of the religious right to take control of the public education would be easy to overlook. Easy - but dangerous. Across the nation, Christian fundamentalist organizations have quietly helped place 12,470 religious-right activists on the 15,400 school boards.
April 29, 1996 |
The Phillies announced yesterday that reserved-seat tickets to the All-Star Game on July 9 at Veterans Stadium will be made available to the public through a random drawing, with a two-ticket limit per entry. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets must send a standard-size postcard to the Phillies, postmarked between May 1 and May 10, to be eligible for the drawing. Postcards should include name, address and daytime and nighttime telephone numbers. Those wanting wheelchair-accessible seating should indicate that on their postcards.
March 1, 1989 |
FOX'S 'NO. 1 FAN' A FIEND? A shipping clerk accused of sending more than 5,000 threatening letters to actor Michael J. Fox was jailed yesterday after prosecutors said she posed a risk to Fox and his pregnant wife, actress Tracy Pollan. The clerk, Tina Ledbetter, 26, who crouched on the courtroom floor to hide from photographers, had been free on bail of $50,000. She pleaded not guilty yesterday to five charges of making threats. The letters, addressed to Fox, star of films such as "Back to the Future" and the TV series "Family Ties," began arriving at Paramount studios in February 1988, according to Deputy DA Norm Shapiro.
November 28, 1995 |
Back in the days when King of Prussia wasn't even a glimmer in shoppers' eyes, Norristown was the place to buy the finer things in life - linens, hand- carved furniture and imported china. Memorabilia from that era, plus a few Norristown natives who remember those good old days, will fill the Old Continental Bank at 510 West Marshall St. on Saturday during the fourth annual Norristown History Day. "It's like a walk down memory lane for some people," said Debbie Terranova, who organizes the event and displays her collection of old letters, photographs and advertisements related to Norristown people and institutions.
December 17, 1987 |
"I have so many people to buy for," sighed the young woman as she contemplated a graceful bud vase. Then, a moment later: "But at these prices, how can I go wrong?" she asked, as she gingerly placed six of the vases in her shopping basket. How indeed. Odd-Lot Trading, which specializes in selling off closeout merchandise, can be a godsend this time of year: You'll find a wide variety of merchandise to stimulate gift ideas, and prices are excellent. Here are a few items I spotted late last week: Three-piece set of lacquered trays by Jay Import: trays measure (in inches)
May 22, 1986 |
The mood is getting looser and more festive on this huge cruise ship each day as the Today show plies the waters off the Southeastern states. This morning's program (7 a.m., Ch. 3), broadcast from dockside near Jacksonville, Fla., is the fourth of five installments of "the Today cruise. " Coincidentally, this is the fourth installment of The Innocent Aboard, a behind-the-scenes look at what's happening aboard the Norway. Today's topics: local contest winners (some cavorting, some complaining)
June 10, 1988 |
A suicide attempt would not seem to be a guaranteed mirthmaker, nor wouldan actress who is hung up on drugs and falling for guys like a Hollywood producer who uses women like Kleenex. Be prepared for your jaw to drop frequently as you flip the pages of Postcards from the Edge by actress Carrie Fisher (Pocket Books, $4.50). The near-suicide actress in question is Suzanne Vale, about to turn (uh-oh) 30 and worrying that she's falling for producer Jack. Here is Jack on his hang-up: "I met this one girl last week, this actress, Suzanne Vale, and . . . you know, I'm very upfront about not wanting to get into a committed thing.