Virginia Johnson

R.I.P. William Safire: Lord of the Language Arts, 1929-2009

Mr. Safire had no college degree, yet he went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1978 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. Already in his forties when he joined the NYT staff, Safire had previously worked as a U.S. Army correspondant, as a publicist, and as a radio & television producer. He also wrote speeches for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew and was outraged to discover that Nixon's administration had been secretly taping his phone conversations.

Another Flower Gone: Good-bye to Mary Travers

A daughter of union organizers, Mary grew up in Greenwich Village and while only a teenager sang backup for the legendary Pete Seeger. Today, her clear, warm vocals on songs written by Seeger and Bob Dylan remind us of the softer aspects of 1960s social struggle. "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Blowin' in the Wind" are still favorites for youth groups.

Remembering September 11

It's been eight years, but the loss our nation sustained on that terrible day in September is undiminished by changing times.

Have an Easter Parade!

Make an Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it. You can wear it yourself or give it to your mom or sister. Then dress up in your best for an Easter parade. Whether you stroll through your neighborhood with every bike you have festooned with ribbons or take a proud walk all around your own house, an Easter parade is a fun way to chase away gray rainy days.

Don't Forget the Eggs

Abracadabra!

The purpose of magic has changed since temple priests in ancient times used mechanical devices to make wine pour from statues' mouths and doors open with the sound of thunder. Entertainers in the Middle Ages would try other techniques such as sleight of hand to mystify the crowds as they traveled from city to city.

September's All Fun: Abracadabra!

Get started learning magic tricks today, and by autumn's end you will be ready to put on a truly impressive magic show. You can amaze everyone by pulling coins out of thin air or making a friend vanish. The Internet has a few sites that can show you tricks for free, but the library has lots of magic books and videos to help you put on a spectacular performance. Read this month's All Fun article for more.

Donating School Supplies

It's time to stand in line and complain about the high cost of school supplies. Parents groan, whip out their pieces of plastic, gnash their teeth, and pay up. It's what we do every year. Even after checking for the best sales and rebates, the total is still hard to take. But this is what we have to do. And yet, have you ever considered that you are lucky to be able to do it at all?
Read on for ways you can help less fortunate kids get the supplies they need.

Frank McCourt: The Man Himself

When Frank McCourt passed last month, he left behind memoirs filled with anguish, love, and dark merriment.  Personal experiences are what this Irish-American author took and shaped into works of sorrowful beauty.

Woodstock Memories

Forty years ago, crowds of young people converged on the quiet farming town of Bethel, New York, for a legendary concert. For many, it was the pivotal cultural event of their lives. The Woodstock Generation may be approaching retirement age, but the memories of those wild summer days rock on in books, music, and video.

August Is National Parks Month

Camping, fishing, hiking, history, grand vistas, and horseback riding--there are so many possibilities in our national parks.