Before twitter there were fan letters: Dear Mr. Redford

November 12, 1973 Dear Bob  Mr. Redford,I just had to write to tell you how hot and sexy talented, I think you are.  Laura and I bickered over who was more desirable — Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood — with as much fervor as we girls once debated who our favorite Beatle was, Paul or John, George or Ringo. Laura's mother, tiny Corky, curled up in her easy chair with a ciggie and a cup of tea, pronounced both actors 'tall drinks of water'. This was so long before  water became such a desirable commodity that we actually had to buy it by the bottle, back in the seventies when water was still free even in the once desert lands of Los Angeles, that I never quite understood the praise. But yes, Redford could put his shoes under my bed any time, as our mothers might have said, mostly about men whose paths they would likely never cross. I had it so bad for Robert Redford after seeing The Way We Were ; wishing I were Barbara Streisand with her impossibly long eleg

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Songs of My Mother

Que sera, sera was one of my mother's favorite songs; she sang it all the time while I was growing up. That's how I want to remember her, alive and singing the songs she loved.




She passed away on a Sunday, April 13th, 2012. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over a dozen years earlier, she really left us long before that. It's painful to think back on how confused she was, not just at the very end, but in those last years when her memories, her life, and its details faded as if they'd been written in disappearing ink. 


While the image of her looking lost and bewildered as her identity slipped away still haunts me, I'm pleased my eternally singing mother is so present in my writing. When I wrote the piece, Of Brasso and Brownies, about growing up in Niagara Falls in the sixties I thought it was about me but, reading it again, I can see my mother, alive and vital, loving and proud, played as big a role in my story as I did. 


Of Brasso and Brownies is #9 in my On the Street Where I Live stories.


Hello Mum, Are you there? It's me, Sim

But She's Not There


Miss Mouse Goes to Work My mother got me my first job.


Where Nobody Knows Your Name What Still Alice meant to me


A bit of a Ditz My biggest fear? That I'll have Alzheimer's disease too.


A Clippie on a double-decker bus


My Mother’s Voice



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