‘Montgomery County has not made its bid public, but it promoted a 60-acre site near a Metro stop.’

Les UDs are still in the running for the new Amazon headquarters. They live a hop, skip, and a jump from the site.

UD feels fortunate to see yet another transformation of…

… the Old Post Office. Most recently, it was transformed into the Trump Hotel.

Now this.

Architecture is certainly a living thing.

New Year: Finally Going Through David’s Books.

Eve Sedgwick’s devoted brother, my old boyfriend and friend, died seven years ago at the age of 57.

The turn of the year decided me to go to the basement where, over a decade ago, he asked us to store boxes of his books, tapes, clothing, and papers. Time to deal with the books.

I’d already gone through the papers, and sent Eve’s letters and photographs on to her widower, Hal, in New York City; I’d already given David’s clothes to Goodwill. The tightly taped and roped boxes of books, however, daunted me – their physical and emotional weight sat in a dark corner, fit to burst.

Yesterday, out under a winter sky, the sun piercingly clear, I watched a red fox slip across our yard and take the small hill up to our neighbor’s, and this somehow sealed the deal: I’d go down with a sharp pair of scissors and cut the ropes and shelve the books.


Not everything was a book. There
was a colorful, wonderful, untouched
Indonesian journal, in which I’ll
write lecture notes for this
semester’s classes.

There were 36 Heroes of the

David’s mother inscribed a copy
of Orwell’s writings to him.

A Straussian in his teens, David
held on to this 1967 pamphlet.

At the end of the copy of A Dialogue
on Love
that his sister gave him, she writes:

It never seems sensible to pass along moral injunctions.
I sometimes think that beyond the Golden Rule,

the only one that matters is this:
If you can
be happy, you should.

Post-New Year’s Bacchanalia

Quoting Mr UD on New Year’s Day.

“Since 1009 is a prime number, there are only four numbers that divide 2018: 1, 2, 1009, and 2018.”

UD Goes to Boston…

… as she does every December,
for a Polish Christmas.

Blogging continues unhindered.

On the cherry tree that fell down …

… in the 2012 derecho…

… turkey tail fungus.

Update: UD on Morning Edition

Just heard from the NPR reporter that the Garrett Park segment of the Ferdinand the Bull report for tomorrow morning got edited out. So I won’t be appearing.

Secure Destruction You Can Trust

Snapshot from Home.

From Joanna Soltan’s Collection of Wojciech Fangor’s Art…

this painting is now on sale.


That was quick. Sold.

Listen to Morning Edition, December 12…

… if you’d like to hear UD talk about what it’s like to live in Munro Leaf’s house. (This assumes any of my comments survive editing.)

Made a visit to the Garrett Park town archives tonight…

… and talked to my old friend Marian Green about Munro Leaf. (An NPR reporter visits me tomorrow to talk about Leaf as a resident of Garrett Park, and about what it’s like to live in his house.) Also got hold of this wonderful photograph of him enthralling children in some foreign country with stories of his famous bull.


Best of all was this article

about a Garrett Park Elementary School cookbook in which all recipes are in the metric system because “the Maryland State Board of Education has called for all Maryland schools to be totally metric by 1980.”

Munro Leaf of Garrett Park, the well-known children’s author, not only read and approved the manuscript but chose the title [Metric Tastes Good, A Different Kind of Cookbook From the Garrett Park Elementary School PTA] and drew the cover illustration.

UD is madly cleaning her house today because…

… tomorrow an NPR reporter, for Morning Edition, arrives to interview UD about what it’s like to live in Munro Leaf’s house.

This is all by way of preparation for the release, in a couple of weeks, of a big-time movie based on Munro’s book, The Story of Ferdinand.


(Photo of one of UD‘s topiary bulls
with a visiting cat by Judy Folkenberg.)

To Mark Mr UD’s Birthday…

… a 1962 letter to him from Le Corbusier.

I know – too light to read, plus in French.

You can see it much better if you’re reading
this blog on your cell phone.

Corbu is giving him one of his lithographs.

This one.

UD thanks Joanna Soltan.

Snapshots from Home: Coming Attractions, and Boardwalk Attractions.

Les UDs live in Munro Leaf’s house (Leaf’s NYT obituary was written by another Garrett Parker, Ben Franklin, with whose daughter UD went to school); they bought it from his sons. Leaf wrote The Story of Ferdinand, which is about to be released as a major motion picture — and may even be an Oscar contender.

Having grown up just down the street in Garrett Park from the Leafs, UD knew Margaret Leaf a little (Munro had died by the time our families got to know one another). Margaret also wrote children’s books.

Faithful readers know that Les UDs have various memorials to Ferdinand in and around the house – most famously, two topiary bulls in the front yard that children love and dogs love to bark at.

Anyway, what with the film coming out and all, UD has now received two media inquiries about her house from journalists preparing stories about the new film. If anything comes of these inquiries, she will of course link you to it.


UD has deep Ocean City roots. Her grandfather, Joseph Rapoport, in partnership with one of his brothers, Nathan, owned several boardwalk businesses and concessions. UD‘s father graduated from Ocean City High School.

Rapoports started buying property in Ocean City in 1905.

Joe and Nathan had a falling out of some kind, and Joe moved (in the ‘thirties? ‘forties?) to Port Deposit, an odd, amazing little town at the foot of bluffs overlooking the wide Susquehanna River, where he bought a department store that did insanely well because not long after he bought it, Roosevelt built a naval training facility a short walk away, and suddenly tens of thousands of people needed a department store. UD has vivid memories of visiting her grandfather at his store in Port Deposit. It’s a successful restaurant now.

Back in Ocean City, Joe’s brother Nathan was becoming legendary – “Mr Nathan,” a local celebrity and benefactor who continued to own property and run concessions for decades.

The boardwalk building Nathan retired to and died in – he lived on the top floor, and the bottom was – is – an ice cream parlor – is now all over the local news. The city has informed Nathan’s granddaughter, who has been leasing it to the parlor for forty years, that it owns the land it sits on, and it wants the Rapoports out of there and the building demolished. The Rapoports don’t really own it (it’s all very complicated: here) and after over a hundred years they need to disappear so the city can take it.

There’s a petition, natch.

I’ll be updating events about the Ocean City Rapoports here.

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