Lest We Forget
First-hand history lessons
Every Remembrance Day, reporters are asked to speak with those who witnessed history from the trenches, today, Rod Mickleburgh looks back at his personal archive and the stories that still haunt his Boomer-peacenik psyche
By Rod Mickleburgh
There’s nothing quite like the experience of talking to a veteran. They have so much to tell us of a time we peacenik baby-boomers simply can’t comprehend. Death and carnage and mayhem all around them, seeing buddies blown up or shot before their eyes, killing enemy soldiers themselves, and yet they carry on with the fight. Not quite the ordeal of finding a downtown parking spot. Over the years, I’ve interviewed veterans from the Boer War (no, I wasn’t there…), World War One (the worst of all wars), and the Second World War against fascism. Never have I failed to come away in awe at their courage in signing up, the hell they experienced, and their vivid recollections of a distant past. My own ...
The Sick Days: Part 15
Contemplating the 'therapeutic value of style' while struggling with serious illness
By Shelley Page
While dying of prostate cancer, New York Times book critic Anatole Broyard wrote about “the therapeutic value of style.” In Intoxicated By My Illness, he observed: “It seems to me that every seriously ill person needs to develop a style for his illness. I think that only by insisting on your style can you keep from falling out of love with yourself as the illness attempts to diminish or disfigure you.” I’ve long envied literary men who write boldly about their various afflictions, fatal and otherwise, knowing that their ability to do their job is never in doubt and they relish the protection that their reputations afford them. This is not the case for shift workers, dishwashers, desk jockeys that fill boxes with numbers for a modest salary, or almost anyone else. And not for girl reporters trying to figure out how to work sick. I am currently ...