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The Last Days of Doughton Park

For more than forty years now, my family has vacationed in a small cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, near the tiny village of Laurel Springs. We built the cabin in the early 1970s, though we began visiting the area long before that. My father first came with my mother and sister in […]

1872 Bird's Eye View of Raleigh, 1872

City of Oaks

The Raleigh, North Carolina, of my childhood and youth was a constantly growing, ceaselessly expanding boom town. Every day, it seemed, some new shopping mall, office complex, or housing development opened; every week, a new road or highway was cut through the landscape; every year, the population swelled, and the town’s borders reached further out […]

Pedestrian/Vehicular Conflicts, UMass Amherst Campus Master Plan, p. 79

The Right of Way

The back-to-back traffic accidents, on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, involving pedestrians and motor vehicles on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst reminded me once again how vulnerable walkers and bicycle riders are in our automobile-obsessed culture, even in a place specifically designed to be separate and protected from that culture.  When people imagine […]

http://www.beatlesbible.com/1960/05/10/live-blue-angel-liverpool-audition-for-larry-parnes/

Suddenly, in Scotland

Perhaps the most memorable character in Tune In, the first volume of Mark Lewisohn’s projected three-volume biography of The Beatles, is not a person at all but a place – Liverpool, England.  Given the fascinating personalities involved here, that says a lot.  But the fact is: funny, drunk, dirty, old Liverpool permeates every aspect of […]

Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

In Memoriam: Bartlett Hall

Built in the late 1950s, Bartlett Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is home to the school’s large and vibrant English Department, its award-winning Writing Program, renowned departments of Art History, Philosophy, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and numerous other programs, most of them associated with the University’s College of Humanities and Fine […]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Valley

Secession Fever?

Although the idea is hardly “sweeping the nation,” there are probably more efforts underway right now to form new, breakaway states, and even new republics, within the United States than at any other time since the Civil War.  According to a recent article in The Daily Beast: Five counties in Maryland want to form their […]