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.

La Vie…



Garrett Park’s octogenarian,
chain-smoking tree crew

removes a stump from
UD‘s front yard.

Gregor and Gregor, Climbing the Face of a Psychotherapist’s Office…

… in Kentlands, Maryland, this evening.

Scary Halloween Witch, Front Window, Chez UD

Washington! It may not be the most visually compelling city…

… but UD‘s hometown abundantly – maybe even uniquely – caters to your every political whim. So UD has for awhile been taken up with the issue of global female genital mutilation (half a million women in the United States have been cut, or are at risk of cutting, 50,000 of them in the Washington region; Maryland, where UD lives, is one of eight states with the highest rates), and a couple of nights ago she had merely to walk a few hundred yards from her university office in order to take part in a spectacular global forum about it.

She was able to ask one of the lead DOJ attorneys on the Jumana Nagarwala case in Detroit if we’re actually going to be able to put this Johns Hopkins University med school graduate in prison for a long time.

“We do not,” she replied, “take cases we are not confident we can win.” (Applause broke out at this.)

UD looks forward to Johns Hopkins University publicly rescinding Nagarwala’s degree, on the grounds that medical schools in the United States are not butcheries.

Linda Weil-Curiel, a heroic French attorney with a heroic family history, described her years of successful prosecution against cutters. “My most rewarding moment? I was sitting in a courthouse, looking over some notes, when three large and menacing men surrounded me. ‘You’re the reason our women no longer obey us,’ they said.”

Here she talks about the central, overwhelming importance of a secular state with a commitment to universal human rights. Lately she’s been trying to get all of this across to hapless England, which has a scandalously huge FGM problem, about which it seems unable to do anything. But of course French laïcité gives them an advantage, in this as in so many other matters.


Speaking of visually compelling, Pierre Foldès, the surgeon who pioneered reconstructive surgery for those who’ve been cut, was also there, and he treated us to many large graphic images of the whole shebang: mutilation, rehabilitation. Ol’ UD wasn’t expecting this, and she doesn’t mind telling you she underwent a certain interval of heebie-jeebies until she settled in to the whole clinical observation thing.

What better time?

Rockville Man Allegedly Stole from
Bank While He Was its President

UD Real Estate Appreciation Alert!

She lives just down the street – it’s a short, charming, tree-lined walk – from this site.

The White Flint Mall site could emerge as one of several Montgomery County locations suggested for an Amazon headquarters, County Executive Ike Leggett told real estate agents on Thursday.

The county is putting the finishing touches on its pitch to Amazon and will submit the proposal by mid-October…


I know. Unlikely.

But a girl can dream.


Plus, like a lot of people, I buy almost everything via Amazon. Once it’s steps away, I won’t even have to order. Just stroll over there and pick it off the shelves.


Oh, but by then I will have sold my insanely over-valued house to some Amazon exec…!

For UD’s Three-Minute Walk from her Office to the Foggy Bottom Metro….

… a new challenge.

Add to speeding ambulances, long shrieking political motorcades, CIA test-drones, constant jet traffic, presidential helicopters, political demonstrations, and rats… hospital transport helicopters:

George Washington University Hospital’s effort to repeal the District’s ban on helicopter landing pads in residential areas ignores the real risk to public safety of helicopter accidents and blindly accepts the claimed benefits. Unfortunately, helicopters — including hospital transport helicopters — can crash, and hospital helicopters have crashed on hospital helipads. A crash in the densely populated Foggy Bottom/West End area — which includes a busy Metro station — could be catastrophic.

From UD’s Backyard Wonderland of Dead Limbs…

… a mushroom.

You guessed it – first week of class.

UD will resume blogging tomorrow – right now she’s recovering from a very long day on campus.

Ne quittez pas.

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