Author Archives: Jacqueline Damian

Bob Dylan: Bringing the Nobel back home

The first article I ever had published in a national magazine was a little essay about poetry in rock lyrics. I wrote it for a college course on magazine journalism and submitted it to a now-defunct publication called Music Journal, inspired by an English teacher who felt that Bob Dylan and the Beatles were producing […]

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A brief history of time

I was running the vacuum cleaner on Saturday when something my mother said suddenly came back to me. It was on another weekend long ago when Mom came over to find me likewise cleaning the house. “That’s what people who work do,” she told me. Retirees, by contrast, can do their housework any day they […]

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Gloria Steinem: Just one of the girls

It’s not often in life that you get to meet a public figure you’ve admired for as long as you can remember. Last weekend I did, when feminist superstar Gloria Steinem came to town for the Milford Readers and Writers Festival. Steinem was gracious, funny and inspiring as she spoke to a full house at […]

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Another reason to pick up a good book

My town is a great one for festivals, and there’s a new one in the offing this weekend. The first Milford Readers and Writers Festival will be held at the Milford Theater and other venues Sept. 30-Oct. 2, with three world-class authors—Gloria Steinem, John Berendt and M.K. Asante—as the headliners. Reading (writing too, for that […]

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Vietnam: The war that wouldn’t quit

In one way or another, everyone in the baby boom generation was marked by the Vietnam War. Choices made during those years come back to haunt male politicians decades later, even the ones who served heroically, like John Kerry. Those who avoided service (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Donald Trump) scramble to tell us why. […]

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Sick of sick talk

I remember as a kid being alternately fascinated and appalled by the after-dinner chat among the women at my grandmother’s table. After the men left the room, to either play or watch sports, my female relatives would open up about all manner of bodily insults, from operations and kidney stones to the agony of childbirth. […]

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Rollercoaster ride of longevity

Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I turn on the TV. They say an electronic screen is the worst prescription in the world for insomnia, but for me, the soft TV voices murmuring in the background are soothing. It’s like being a kid in my room, drifting off to sleep to the sound of my parents […]

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Life lessons from Mom

In her day, my mother was a political junkie. She attended town council meetings, wrote letters to senators, worked on local campaigns and followed national politics avidly. After suffering a series of small strokes at the age of 72, she no longer cared. “Let the next generation do the worrying,” she said. Nevertheless, in 2008 […]

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The eyes have it

Makeup has always been a mystery. How much is enough to get that “natural” look—the finish that says “I’m not wearing makeup, wink wink; I was born with a natural glow and these huge smoky eyes”—and how much is too much? You don’t want to be Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard.” Let’s assume you finally […]

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Creative disruption on the home front

Do you believe in horoscopes? Neither do I, but there’s something spooky in the way the prediction I saw in a magazine at the beginning of the month seems to be coming true. I specifically remember what the horoscope said, because the prognostications for August were so out of whack for this Virgo that I […]

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