Albert Einstein quote: “A hundred times every day…

Albert Einstein

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life is based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

– Albert Einstein

Photo source: Turner, Orren Jack, photographer. Albert Einstein, -1955. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004671908/>.

From Paris to the Civil Rights movement

She told her parents that life was long and youth was short and that she wasn’t ready for marriage. “I want to sit in cafes and drink cappuccinos and read books and feel the romantic aura of Paris,” she said, the scene dancing in her eyes.

“Who wouldn’t?” her father, Max, shouted, his arms flailing, trying to decide whether to support her adventurous spirit or attempt to guide his first-born child down a more traditional, in his mind, suitable path. “You must be responsible,” he went with.

“Despondent old people say be responsible,” she fired back.

Liza was fiery like her mother, Rita. Rita, a petite redhead with light freckles and prominent dimples, never raised her voice, but there was a certainty and finality, a conviction when she spoke. If she said she did, no one was going to change her opinion. Her daughter was the same way.

With her mind made, the day after graduating high school, Liza packed a small suitcase of clothes and a large one of books and flew to Paris. Mother and father drove her to the airport. Liza paid the bill.

In Paris, life was what she dreamed. Under the warm splendor of summer, she read books in cafes, wrote poetry and short fiction. She found a writers community, who at night argued politics and after danced until the sun rose, which they watched from the top of the city at Montmartre. Then they ate crepes and went to bed, to do it all over again in the evening.

There were many ex-pats from the U.S., but one, in particular, caught her eye. They flirted with their eyes first, each gazing over. She’d smile, he’d sheepishly look away. He was shy, not reserved, with deep, thoughtful eyes and a kind smile. He didn’t speak often, but when he did, all listened.

Liza didn’t wait for him to come to speak with her. One night she walked up to him as he was getting a drink and said, “I like some of your points on Socialism, but you do know Marx was wrong.” This was the flirtatious banter that spoke to both of their hearts.

That night she learned his name was Fred and he was a romantic, in love with art and literature. A recent college graduate, he moved to Paris to write a novel and enjoy greater freedom than U.S. life offered. Dark-skinned in look, mixed in ancestry, he had been born in Mississippi and raised in Boston. After high school, he studied at Boston University because Martin Luther King Jr. earned his doctorate there. And Martin was his hero. He watched Martin’s speeches, read his works, mimicked his presentation style, spread his gospel, and lived with the same vigor to change the world.

Liza and Fred were inseparable after that night, spending their evenings drinking wine on the banks of the Seine, picnicking in the parks, wandering the streets, and exploring bookstores. Liza, who grew up ballroom dancing, taught Fred to dance; Fred taught Liza about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. She wasn’t naive, but her suburban community in Massachusetts didn’t reflect much of the country. In learning about civil rights, she thought about her family and their stories, shared struggles of anti-Semitism with Fred. She was born in a dense forest in Poland, where Rita and Max and their families were part of a Jewish partisan troop, hiding for nearly five years. Her parents didn’t talk much about that time, but some stories she knew.

For both, Paris was an aura of love, a spirit of light, a wondrous place like nothing they had ever experienced. But as months passed, desires to stay changed. Although the aura was still there, the feelings were different. The cafes and cappuccinos felt bland now. Enjoying freedom while watching civil rights protestors in the states attacked, beaten, and imprisoned, was becoming unpalatable. Instilled in their minds now were the images of protestors in Birmingham.

It was time. Fred and Liza packed their bags and headed back home to join the civil rights movement.


Note: “From Paris to the Civil Rights movement” is a work of historical fiction. The story, characters, and incidents are fictitious.

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Fyodor Dostoevsky quote: “They sang…

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky for quote

“They sang the praises of nature, of the sea, of the woods. They liked making songs about one another, and praised each other like children; they were the simplest songs, but they sprang from their hearts and went to one’s heart. And not only in their songs but in all their lives they seemed to do nothing but admire one another. It was like being in love with each other, but an all-embracing, universal feeling.

– Fyodor Dostoevsky


“Fyodor Dostoevsky quote” sources: The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1877) / Fyodor Dostoevsky Wikiquote / Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky taken in 1861 by Mikhail Borisovich Tulinov / Wikimedia Commons

A snapshot biography of baseball star Tiby Eisen

Thelma "Tiby" Eisen

She was a baseball star. At bat, a good hitter. On the basepaths, a fast and fearless runner.

Born in 1922 in Los Angeles, CA, Thelma “Tiby” Eisen became interested in sports when she was around twelve or thirteen years old. By fourteen, she was playing in a semi-pro softball league. At eighteen, she was a fullback in what would be a short-lived professional football league for women. And in 1944, Tiby joined the American Girls Professional Baseball League, where she would play in 966 games, stealing 674 bases. After her professional baseball career ended, she played in a local Los Angeles softball league.

Years later, while helping establish the women’s exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993, she said, “We’re trying to record this so we have our place in history. It’s important to keep our baseball league in the limelight. It gets pushed into the background … [just as] women have been pushed into the background forever. If they knew more about our league, perhaps in the future some women will say, ‘Hey, maybe we can do it again.'”


Sources: https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/eisen-thelma-tiby / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelma_Eisen / photograph taken in 1945, American Jewish Historical Society Photography Collection, Center for Jewish History, NYC (https://www.flickr.com/photos/center_for_jewish_history/5530700036/)

A snapshot biography of Doris Miller

Portrait of Doris Miller

On the morning of December 7th, 1941, Doris Miller was working as a mess attendant on the battleship West Virginia in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was a Navy veteran of two years, joining at twenty years old after years working on his father’s farm. But that morning would look unlike any he had experienced.

Shortly before 8 am, the ships in Pearl Harbor came under attack. The West Virginia was hit. Doris, uninjured, helped move wounded soldiers to safety. After which, he took command of an anti-aircraft machine gun. Without prior training, he began firing, shooting down a couple of enemy planes. Then came the call to evacuate.

He survived that day and continued serving in the Navy. But two years later, in November 1943, Doris was aboard the aircraft carrier Liscome Bay when a torpedo sank the ship while cruising near Butaritari after the Battle of Makin. After being listed as missing for two years, the Navy declared him as having passed away.

Doris received the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart for his service, amongst other decorations and awards.


“A snapshot biography of Doris Miller” sources: Naval History and Heritage Command (https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/our-collections/photography/us-people/m/miller–doris/80-G-408456.html) / https://wacohistory.org/items/show/98 / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Miller