Nora’s Corner

Travel Talk

When I was a child, my mother’s strictest rule for me was “Never talk to strangers.” Many years later, I not only unconsciously ignored that rule, but talking to strangers became an essential part of my travel experiences. I found…

Big Bands—Big Business

My father was in charge of the fountain room and dance hall box office of Half-A-Hill, my parents’ restaurant and nightclub near Springfield, Missouri, from 1920 to 1939. He also bought all the supplies needed for this business. During the…

Another View of California

Photo | Submitted

On a recent trip to the northern California coast, Nora Caplan stopped at the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse in Mendocino, an historic site on a headland projecting far out into the ocean.

As a visitor, I’m a fan of California’s diversity of landscapes and historic sites. Over a period of some 40 years I’ve had the pleasure of savoring: The magnificent view of the Pacific from San Diego’s Point Loma with its…

Home Again in Independence

In 1948 I cast my first vote for President Truman. By then my loyalty to him wasn’t just that he was from my home state of Missouri and had taken on the burdens left to him by the death of…

Gifts My Parents Never Gave Me, Part II

Photo | Submitted

Nora Caplan inherited her father’s nose and eyes.

For most of my father’s life he was a specialty grocer and restaurateur. He had acquired a knowledge of how and where to purchase the best and freshest produce, meat, canned goods—every kind of quality food that customers expected in…

Gifts My Parents Never Gave Me, Part I

President Richard M. Nixon used to lament about his childhood, saying, “I never had a pony.” My parents did, however, give me a pony. He was a brown-and-white pinto with a hostile disposition. We shared an aversion to each other,…

A Ministry of Flowers

There are many pleasurable aspects of my living in the Friends House Retirement Community in Sandy Spring, Maryland. But the one I especially appreciate is the way fresh flowers appear regularly in unique arrangements for the library and a nook…

Dog-Friendly Trails

Photo | Hope Caplan

Lotus, a black Lab, enjoys walking the trail in Azalea Park in Charlottesville, Virginia.

I don’t have a dog, but I love my family’s canine members—Lilly, a Golden Retriever, and Lotus, a black Lab. Perhaps this is the reason I was attracted to a particular guidebook displayed in the California Welcome Center in El…

The Great Man Still Abides

It may rank as only seventh in the “List of America’s Favorite Architecture,” but the Lincoln Memorial is the most memorable to me. Seeing its unearthly beauty, especially at night with its image shimmering in the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln’s…

Time for HYGGE*

A sign above a book display near the Children’s Room in the Olney Library read, “Hygge with a Good Book.” I thought, “Oh, no, not another new acronym I’m supposed to know and I don’t.” Then I noticed another sign…