Thirty Years Ago Tonight

Thirty years ago today, Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 that departed Heathrow for JFK, was blown up at just after 7pm while at 31,000 feet over Scotland.

A Black Day

October 12, 2015: A black day I'll never forget.

What Will Be Said About The Obama Memorial?

Many of you have heard of the Confederate statue tumult in the U.S. The American Civil War, which ended in 1865 with the total defeat of the Confederate southern states, remains difficult in American public life. Most of those Confederate statues were erected from the 1910s to the 1960s. I explained in a post in …

Fifteen Years Ago

Part of a personal experience of mine, placed in September 1994 for fictional purposes: That indoor observation deck was indeed superb. (I'm a bit better with heights now than I was then. 😉 ) The roof walkaround just above it was reached by escalator with no guided escort being necessary, and was a more "open" …

A Final Note To Someone

Dear ________, I know we have not seen each other in over 20 years. That last time, we hadn't really thought it was goodbye forever, it just sort of turned out that way. Ultimately we didn't want exactly the same things and drifted apart. Such is the way of the world. We aren't the only …

Mother’s Day: A Year Later

I wanted to share some U.S. Mother's Day personal thoughts here - two days early. I choose to do that because, well, this is the first year my mother will not be here for one. Also, I don't feel this post is quite appropriate for Sunday itself. I don't mind others celebrating, but I wish …

Places Lived In England (A List)

Whew. Done. We're entirely moved out of the Trowbridge house. Our UK worldly possessions are now mostly in a storage facility near Bristol. (Where we had thought we would be moving. We were wrong.) This morning, we're at friends' in Bath (who've lent us their place while they are on holiday). Later, we drive to …

Lower Manhattan Skyline, 1990s

I thought reposting this from one year ago was the most appropriate way to recall that day once again…

R. J. Nello

I’ve always been fond of this photo I’d taken in 1991. Since September 11, 2001, it has come to mean even more to me. I used it eventually on the back cover of Passports:

Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center's Twin Towers, from the Liberty Island ferry. [Photo by me, 1991.] Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, from the Liberty Island ferry. [Photo by me, 1991.]

The passage of time is inevitable. My soon to be 20 year old English nephew said to me last year that to him the Twin Towers meant, basically, terrorism. He was so young in 2001 that he naturally doesn’t recall it really being anything else. But it merits also to be remembered in history for all that it was before that horrible morning.

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Sneak Peek: Our Grandparents

If you are partly "Italian-American" (as I am), and that ancestry stems from you being a product of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. between about 1870-1914 (as I am), it's likely you grew up with a complicated relationship with Italy. My maternal great-grandparents were all Italian immigrants. My grandparents were born in the U.S. …

Ten Years On: The Day’s A Blur

July 7, 2005 was like any other normal day. A few days a week I took public transportation - either overground train, or tube - to my university office in north London where I then worked. Other days I drove. I liked to vary the commute. That day, I'd pre-booked the car in with a …

“There never will be anything more interesting in America than that Civil War never.”

Following the murders of nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina, old social media photographs of the white supremacist arrested for it naturally surfaced almost immediately. In one, he's wearing jacket patches of the apartheid South Africa flag and the white minority government Rhodesia flag. In another, he's posing on a car displaying the Confederate States …

Happy Mother’s Day (UK)

Most weekends I don't do much original writing. I try to confine it to the "work week." Weekends I usually aim to take a break (aside from my journal here). In recent weeks, though, I've felt I've been on something of "hot streak." Yesterday, an idea for a small plot twist struck me too. Fearing …

Americans Make The Movies (And At Times, We’re Really Sorry)

I've spent much of the last 25 years often as the (only) American in the room - be it with family, friends, or workplace colleagues. As you know if you visit here regularly, I've now also spent several years writing novels in which I've created characters sourced from some of my (especially early) "travel" and …

Connections

In having posted back on Wednesday about those "ghosts" in our lives, one aspect of remembering deserves expanding: it is, we know, music. It stays with us. In many respects, our lives' passage is marked by a "soundtrack." I had one of those experiences sitting in a small restaurant at lunchtime. During our meal, a "background …

Good Days And Bad Days

It's a beautiful late afternoon now after a snowy, cloudy start here in La Clusaz, France - about an hour's drive from Geneva, where we'd landed yesterday afternoon: Where we're staying.... the chalet owner and staff.... let's just say there seems some future story "material" here. 😉 Out and about today, my wife also said …

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