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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 2, 2010 / 22 Menachem-Av, 5770

Mayberry is where you decide to make it

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We've heard much these past few years about "small-town values," most recently iterated and personified by Sarah Palin.

When politicians speak of small-town values, we know what they mean. Generally, they are invoking family, faith and flag -- coincidentally the subtitle of Palin's next book, "America by Heart." In the politician's world, small towns are where "real Americans" live, as opposed to all those other people -- the vast majority of Americans -- who live in urban areas.

As someone who grew up in a small town (and left as soon as possible) and who recently has chosen to live in a small town (though lately in absentia), I've given this a lot of thought. Despite all my implicit exposure to small-town values, I never really understood what they were until I moved to Olive Street, a three-block-long street in the nation's capital.

Lots of familiar people have lived on Olive Street. Mary Jo Kopechne lived across the street and down a few doors. Julia Child lived two blocks down. Olive Street made brief appearances in the movies "Burn After Reading" and "Wedding Crashers."

One could say that my arrival here four years ago was providential. I was a day away from moving into an apartment in Dupont Circle when, passing through Georgetown, I decided to take one quick turn around the nearest block -- just to see. And, voila. A small townhouse was for rent, and the people who were to become my neighbors and extended family were on the sidewalk. It was cocktail hour.

Who could resist?

Thus I came to be wedged between Jack and Craig on one side and Meaghan on the other. Jack and Craig have lived on Olive Street the longest -- the span of their 25 years together in what can only be described as the most small-town-values union I've ever witnessed. Meaghan, a widow, soon thereafter went to Guatemala to adopt Josephina, who, now bilingual and a determined tricyclist, has become the block's child. Not long ago, Meaghan married Nigel, who added Reagan and Drew to our neighborhood brood.

There are other beloved neighbors -- Molly, Susan, John. And then there are dogs Teddy and Maggie; Zoe, the three-legged cat; Bella, the cat who single-handedly has managed to solve our back alley's rat problem; and assorted others, including Ollie, the five-pound blind poodle I adopted a year ago. In our time together, we Olive Streeters have celebrated one wedding, two funerals (dogs Jake and Beezie), a couple of blizzards, a Pulitzer Prize and, now, my departure. I am leaving in a few days for a much bigger town -- New York City -- to begin a new adventure.

Sorting through the clutter that gathers unbidden in the corners of one's life got me thinking about the meaning of this little speck on Google's Earth. I've left a lot of towns and cities here and there, but I've never felt as sad. The obvious reason is that I am leaving friends, but more than that, I leave behind a history of daily expressions of what it means to be human: The night a friend died and Jack and Craig took me in; the dozens of times I knocked on their door to say, "I'm hungry and out of food," knowing they would say, "You're in luck!"

The daily conversations with Meaghan over our shared garden wall. The delightful Josephina, who slips scribbled notes through my mail slot or goes to the refrigerator for Coconut water I keep on hand for her. The sound of Craig dragging everyone's garbage cans to the curb, until one day a careless motorist hit him crossing the street. The block has gone to pot since he's been on crutches.

So goes life in the city. But if those aren't small-town values, I don't know what we're talking about. All the inferences one has drawn from reading the foregoing are meant to be taken to heart. Families come in many configurations. And small-town values have nothing to do with small towns.

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