Author: Nora H. Caplan

The Fourth of July at Half-A-Hill

It was July 4, 1935, in southwestern Missouri. The restaurant/nightclub my parents owned, called Half-A-Hill, was five miles south of Springfield, “the heart of the Ozarks.” Motorists heading toward Branson, Mo., (in those days, it was a tiny center for…

Small Blessings

I became intrigued the moment I heard about small dresses made from pillowcases, sent as gifts for little girls in Third World countries. I obtained a few color photos of the dresses from Jessica Disney, a volunteer for this church-sponsored…

Honors Long Overdue

I’ve only met a few “living legends” during my life. William T. Fauntroy Jr., one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen and a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor recipient, is one of them. Consequently, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to hear…

Growing up Victorian

Each April I’m reminded of three events: Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and two family birthdays — my second grandson’s and my mother’s. Though I think of Walt Whitman’s “When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed …” and the sorrow that poem…

A Good Day

My best friend B. is 96 years old, very deaf and almost blind. She lives with her daughter in Germantown. Each Friday I visit her, taking winding, rural Brink Road from Laytonsville almost all the way to Germantown. B. and…

Off-Camera ‘Lincoln’

Until mid-November, I was afraid to see the film “Lincoln.” Even though I’d heard advance favorable reviews, I reserved judgment until I arrived at the annual Lincoln Forum symposium in Gettysburg, Pa. I’d missed the private viewing of the film…

Meeting Mark Twain

Hal Holbrook has no monopoly on his reenacting Mark Twain. As I boarded the M.S. Dixie II for a sternwheeler cruise across Lake Tahoe, Mark Twain greeted me with an outstretched hand, “Welcome aboard.” He didn’t say his name, but…

Personal Epiphanies

For many years I thought the only meaning of the word “epiphany” was the name for the Christian holiday observed on Jan. 6 each year, which celebrates the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus. Later in my life…