Author archives: ronroel

The Stench Of War

What does the war in Aleppo, Syria smell of? It smells of carbine, of wood smoke, of unwashed bodies, of rubbish rotting, of fear. Janine di Giovanni War means endless waiting, endless boredom. There is no electricity, so no television. You can’t read. You can’t see friends. You grow depressed[...]

Listening, Finally

JUST WHEN WE THINK WE KNOW THE HEART OF ANOTHER, WE FIND OUT THERE’S MORE TO LEARN Scott Wilson My wife Michelle loves Mary Chapin Carpenter. Last year, we put one of her albums in my car’s CD player and listened to some of it. It didn’t speak to me, I said as much, and Michelle never asked to [...]


THE FINE ART OF RE-INVENTION, FROM AGE 40 TO 90 Ron Roel Most everyone entering the middle ages has heard the decennial trope, "Fifty is the new forty," which, naturally, has morphed into "Sixty is the new fifty," as Boomers have gotten older. But few of us have envisioned how the next few decad[...]

So What’s Your Story?

EVERY LIFE HAS A MEMOIR WORTH TELLING Curtis Seltzer I discovered late in life that everyone has a story that’s worth telling–because every story has something worth knowing. Every life has moments when something is done or not done: a decision to bail or stick; an act of kindness[...]


ANIMALS Gus Franza Johnson was all hands. They flew about, they opened, they closed, they pointed, they shook. They were orchestrating mortality during lunch on a riverboat plying soft waterways. "There was the alligator," he said, eyes locked on mine, "watching. Those green eyes of his, h[...]