Monthly Archives: April 2020

Life in Communist Hungary – 3


Memory is physical. At least for me, the feel of certain materials, the appearance of roll top wooden boxes used to store pencils, the taste of food I favored in my youth, the sight of iconic buildings like the House … Continue reading

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Life in Communist Hungary – 2


Having been under someone else’s dominion for almost five hundred years, Hungarians have developed a degree of resourcefulness and resiliency to a degree rarely found in other people. Lacking any natural borders to resist foreign invasion, divided by internal social … Continue reading

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Life in Communist Hungary – 1


Since I came to the States, I’ve had a number of Americans ask me, “What was it like living in a Communist country?” I tried to answer their question the best I could, but almost invariably I was left with … Continue reading

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Family – My Aunt Susie and Uncle Fred


Susie was born two years before my mom, and as her big sister, always considered herself both my mom’s boss, as well as protector. As a result, the two of them fought frequently, but loved each other unfailingly. Bright, strongly … Continue reading

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Viral Times, Times of Uncertainty


As a physician in the biologic sciences, a lot of my training has involved living with uncertainty, being forced to make decisions affecting patient lives with insufficient information. Yet, faced with our current coronavirus situation, I am as anxious, uncertain, … Continue reading

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Lies I’ve Been Told


St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th in Hungary, as well as in many parts of Europe. The progenitor of our American Santa Claus tradition, his birthday is the occasion for young children to receive small gifts, separate from … Continue reading

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My Personal Miracle


Under Communism in 1950s Hungary, workers were given a 1-2 week vacation each year at a government run hotel (since all private enterprise had been abolished, there were no other kind.) My father had his time assigned in a small … Continue reading

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A Priest Behind the Iron Curtain


My mother’s father had a younger brother who went on to become a Catholic priest prior to the outbreak of World War II. Part of his seminary training took place at the University in Heidelberg, Germany, as a result of … Continue reading

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Ladybug Memories


I was sitting outside on the patio, enjoying the morning sun being reflected back from the still snow covered peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains when a ladybug landed on my arm. It stayed for a minute, then flew away, … Continue reading

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Viral Times and Parental Communication


I recently read an article by Mark Agronin in the WSJ discussing why it is so difficult for us to communicate with people, even those we know well: our parents, our children. As it turns out, it’s because words we … Continue reading

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