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Our Mothers Ourselves
Katie Hafner -- longtime New York Times reporter and author of "Mother Daughter Me" -- interviews the offspring of one extraordinary mother. The concept is simple. And sometimes simple turns profound.
3 days ago
Joy Liasson, whose warmth carries on. A conversation with Mara Liasson
Joy Liasson was born in Pittsburgh in 1926, a child of the Depression. She was an aspiring writer who met her husband when he accidentally burned a hole in one of the two dresses she owned. They went on to have children, including a daughter who became a well known voice in America's political news coverage. That is my guest, Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for NPR. Joy didn't work when her children were young, but raised them to care about writing, reading and democracy. She wrote children's stories, worked for the League of Women's Voters, and worked for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Southern Westchester, which provided special education to gifted children. *Artwork by Paula Mangin (**@PaulaBallah**) Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry Producer: Claire Trageser Social Media: Claire Trageser Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com**. Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. **Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts**. *
Nov 4, 2021
Ginny Hughes, Unflappable Mom. A Conversation with Mallory Woodruff
When Ginny Hughes's oldest daughter, Mallory, was born, she knew something was terribly wrong. Ginny started talking to doctors, they told her she was having "the mommy worry syndrome." But Ginny was a nurse and knew to trust her instincts. Eventually Ginny took Mallory to see Dr. Celia Ores, a pediatrician in New York. All Dr. Ores had to do was kiss Mallory and taste her salty skin, and she knew -- Mallory had cystic fibrosis. After a more formal "sweat" test, the diagnosis was confirmed, and Ginny then devoted the rest of her life to caring for Mallory and her sister, getting them the best treatment, teaching other caregivers their care regimens, traveling to New York City every three months for appointments. When Mallory was diagnosed, the life expectancy for cystic fibrosis patients was in the teens or early 20s. She's now 36. Ginny Hughes lives in Greenwich, Connecticut and helps Mallory with her own kids. “My health is so good because of her care," Mallory says of her mom. "She taught me how to take care of myself, she got me this far, and now medications are out that make cystic fibrosis a side dish to my life." * Artwork by Paula Mangin (**@PaulaBallah**) Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry Producer: Claire Trageser Social Media: Claire Trageser Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com**. Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. **Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts**. *
Oct 7, 2021
Barbara Van Dusen, the Jackpot of Moms. A Conversation With Lisa Van Dusen
I've known Lisa Van Dusen for nearly 40 years, and I've always loved the way Lisa talks about her mother, Barbara: with unalloyed love and respect. Barbara is truly the mother "jackpot," as Lisa likes to put it. She is positive, kind, and generous, and gave her three daughters an idyllic childhood in many ways. Now 93 and still going strong, she grew rugged and hardy during her Minnesota childhood. She grew up in Duluth, and then as a teenager, started going to boarding school in New York, which required taking three different trains. But even that journey, which many would see as an intimidating challenge, Barbara made into a positive. During train layovers in Chicgao, she would spend hours in the record department of a department store (yes, such departments were a thing back then) listening to records. She went on to Smith College, then became an incredibly loving mother to her daughters. Lisa Van Dusen is an artist and the creator and host of First Person, a civic engagement champion and executive director of the Palo Alto Community Fund. * Artwork by Paula Mangin (**@PaulaBallah**) * *Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry * *Producer: Claire Trageser * *Social Media: Claire Trageser * *Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com**. Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. **Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts**. *
Sep 9, 2021
Valerie Jarrett, Political Rock Star and Unflappable Mom. A Conversation With Laura Jarrett
*Valerie Jarrett needs very little introduction. She's been a political force since the 1980s, when she worked first for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, then for his successor, Richard Daley.* *In 1991, she hired a young woman named Michelle Robinson —and thus was born a long friendship and working relationship with the Obamas. Jarrett was a senior White House advisor and is now president of the Obama Foundation. She was a single mother who, in spite of an insanely busy work life, always made certain that her daughter, Laura, knew she came first.* *Laura Jarrett has also had a very impressive career. She's the anchor of **"Early Start"** on CNN, and previously worked as a political correspondent covering the Justice Department. And before that, like her mother, she was an attorney in Chicago.* *Laura is also a mother of a two-year-old, which gives her mother Valerie a new role of grandmother—one that she's embraced wholeheartedly. * *Artwork by Paula Mangin (**@PaulaBallah**)* *Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry* *Producer: Claire Trageser* *Social Media: Claire Trageser* *Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com**. Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. **Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts**. *
Aug 26, 2021
Benter Akoth, Determined to Educate Girls. A Conversation with Enos Magaga.
Benter Akoth was born and lives in Kenya, where education is often seen as an opportunity that is given only to boys. But Benter has wanted to change that ever since she was told in primary school that girls could also be things like doctors, engineers, and architects, if they got educated. Although her own education was cut short, she passed on her conviction that girls should be educated too to her son Enos Magaga. He has taken this ideal and made it his life’s work. This week Katie Semro fills in as host for Katie Hafner, and talks with Magaga about how his mother taught him to value education for girls and to respect women despite this being completely contrary to what he saw around him. For more about Magaga's work educating girls in Kenya with Beads for Education visit their website: http://www.beadsforeducation.org/ Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah). Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry. Producer: Katie Semro Executive Producer: Katie Hafner Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud. Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to its own feed. Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts, or search for Mother Mine wherever you listen.
Aug 12, 2021
Rita Kelly Mullan, Agent of Peaceable Change. A Conversation With Bronagh Hanley
*Rita Kelly Mullan worked as a nurse, founded the nonprofit **The Irish National Caucus**, successfully lobbied the U.S. government to recognize human rights issues in Northern Ireland, received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, was named one of the Top 100 Peacemakers by Irish America Magazine, and testified multiple times before Congress.* *But she was described as a ‘Belfast housewife’ in a 1979 story in **The New York Times. * *Born in Northern Ireland in 1940, Rita went on to become a key part of U.S. involvement there. She helped lobby for the passage of the MacBride Principles, a code of conduct for U.S. companies doing business in Northern Ireland. * *She emigrated to the U.S. as a single mother with her two kids in 1976 to escape the violent conflict between Ireland and Northern Ireland. After arriving, she was able to find a job as a nurse in Arkansas, then moved her family to Washington D.C. to start her nonprofit and lobby the government.* *This week, Katie speaks with Rita’s daughter, **Bronagh Hanley**, about her childhood and her mother’s work. Bronagh is the founder of **Big Noise PR**, a San Francisco-based public relations firm.* *Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah)* *Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry* *Producer: Alice Hudson, Claire Trageser* *Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com**. Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. **Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts**. *
Jul 29, 2021
Molly Luther, Passionate Composer. A Conversation with Meg Luther Lindholm
In her late 30s Molly Luther went back to school to become a composer. It was the 1950s and going back to school at her age was unusual as was her career choice. But she was passionate and she gambled it all — her marriage, money from her mother — to pursue her dream. And her story is like that of many people, she started off well, but then things took a downward turn and never came back up. After all, most people’s lives aren't a fairy tale. But despite the difficulties and sorrows, Molly's daughter Meg Luther Lindholm felt such unconditional love from her mother that it continues to give her strength decades after her mother's death. Katie Semro fills in as host and talks with Meg about the passionate woman who was her mother, and the heartbreaking life she led. More about Molly: Listen to Molly Luther's Music. Meg's episode about her mother, The Golden Haired Girl, on her podcast Uplifted. Meg's Mother Mine Episode: 22 Passionate Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah). Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry. Producer: Katie Semro Executive Producer: Katie Hafner Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud.
Jul 15, 2021
Alice Davidson, Send-Back Queen. A Conversation with Sara Davidson
*Author and journalist **Sara Davidson** is an award-winning storyteller, and she says she learned that skill from her mother Alice. Every night before bed, Alice would tell Sara and her sister the next installment in a serial story about a miniature girl named P Winky Smith who was so small she could fit in your pocket. * *But that doesn’t mean their relationship was idyllic by any stretch. For Sara, there were high highs and low lows in her childhood. Her mother was funny and once had dreams of being a comedic actress (she also had one of the first nose jobs in L.A.!) but she could also be derisive, mean and stubborn.* *Alice then developed dementia, and for Sara this was the first time she could truly love her mother, in part because ailing Alice had forgotten many of the things they had fought about.* *Together, Sara and Katie talk about dashed dreams, nose jobs, and the challenges of growing up with such a complicated mother, especially Alice Davidson, who was known as the “send-back queen” because she never settled for a dish that wasn’t perfectly prepared in a restaurant.* *Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah)* *Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry* *Producers: Alice Hudson, Claire Trageser* *Social Media: Ilana Nevins **Special thanks to Sarge, for permission to use the clip from his routine about the beleaguered Jewish husband.* *Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com** Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. **Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts**. *
Jul 1, 2021
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Religious Leader. A Conversation with Erin Prophet
*There is so much fascination around cults and extreme religions in popular culture, with movies like **Midsommar **and series like **Wild Wild Country**. We seem to have an endless appetite for stories about how people find themselves in thrall to a group and its ideas -- as well as its leader .* *But what if you were born into the inner sanctum of such a group? That was the case for Erin Prophet. Her mother, Elizabeth Prophet, was at one time the leader of The Church Universal and Triumphant, which at its height boasted 50,000 members worldwide.* *Elizabeth's followers considered her an Ascended Master and Messenger of God. Her 1989 prediction of a nuclear conflagration prompted her followers to build fallout shelters and bunkers in Montana and gather enough food and supplies to last for years. Of course, the nuclear Armageddon didn't happen.* *Described by critics as a cult, The Church Universal and Triumphant is where Erin grew up. Her mother worked 24 hours a day, but she also loved to dance and would occasionally indulge in a glass of wine, which was against church rules. Erin’s memoir, **Prophet’s Daughter**, **is her attempt to explore the complexity of her mother.* *Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah)* *Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry* *Producers: Alice Hudson, Claire Trageser* *Social Media: Ilana Nevins* *Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud at **www.ourmothersourselves.com* Note: Our sister podcast, Mother Mine, has moved to a separate feed. Click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts.
Jun 25, 2021
Where is Mother Mine?
We've heard from some of you that having Mother Mine episodes mixed in with Our Mothers Ourselves episodes is getting confusing. So we've decided to switch Mother Mine over to it's own podcast feed. To keep listening to it, just search for Mother Mine in your favorite podcast app and hit subscribe. You'll then have access to all the old episodes and the new ones as they come out. Click here to listen to Mother Mine on Apple Podcasts. We hope you will continue to enjoy listening to both Our Mothers Ourselves and Mother Mine. Thank you! Katie Hafner & Katie Semro
Jun 20, 2021
Luca Di Pietro: Creating community around food. A Conversation with Isabella Di Pietro
Although we usually celebrate mothers here on Our Mothers Ourselves, once a year for Fathers' Day we celebrate a father. This year Katie Semro, from the Mother Mine mini-series, fills in for Katie Hafner as host, and talks with Isabella Di Pietro about her father Luca who owns and runs the Tarallucci e Vino restaurants in NYC. Katie talks with Isabella about how the family rose to the challenges of the pandemic by creating the organization Feed the Frontlines NYC which not only helped them save their restaurant and keep their staff, but also helped other restaurants do the same whilst feeding health care workers and New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity. Listen to hear the story of how good food, soccer, and an open mind make Luca an extraordinary father. Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah). Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry. Producer: Katie Semro Executive Producer: Katie Hafner Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to…
Jun 3, 2021
Parental Alienation: When Divorcing Parents Go Too Far
Divorce is hard on anyone, and sometimes the children of divorce become pawns in their parents' game of revenge. But what happens when that goes too far? It’s known as ‘parental alienation.' One parent uses tactics to make the children hate or fear the other parent so much that they begin to reject them as a parent altogether. That’s what happened to Olivia (her name has been changed to protect privacy) and her brother. Olivia shares with Katie how she became a puppet to her father, whose only goal was to turn his children against his ex-wife. This isn’t just run of the mill bitterness engendered by divorce. ‘Parental alienation’ is a term recognized by courts and mental health professionals, and for Olivia and her brother, it took years before they understood exactly what their father had done. Olivia and her brother truly believed their mother didn’t love them. In return, they treated her with disdain and disrespect, always lamenting how much they’d rather be with…
May 20, 2021
Linda Heidenreich, A Life Fully Lived. A Conversation with Brittany Zaccagnini
This week, Katie Semro, from the Mother Mine mini-series, fills in for Katie Hafner as host. Katie interviews her childhood best friend Brittany Zaccagnini about her mother Linda Steed Heidenreich’s 54 years of life lived fully. Linda was a vivacious woman who made everyone she met feel special. She loved her family, and also worked hard in a variety of careers. And yet, as Brittany tells Katie, her mother never put any pressure on her children to be perfect. Linda managed to encourage them to strive hard but was never disappointed with them. She asked only that they try their best. Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah). Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry. Producer: Katie Semro Executive Producer: Katie Hafner Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the Mother Word Cloud.
May 9, 2021
Bernice Wachter, Mama Bear. A Conversation with Lori Wolfson and Andrea Wachter
Happy Mother's Day! Sending some extra love today to all the extraordinary mothers out there! And speaking of extraordinary mothers.... This week, Katie interviews her sisters-in law, Lori Wolfson and Andrea Wachter, about their mother, Bernice Wachter. Bernice raised her kids in quintessential “Mama Bear" mode, striking the perfect balance between giving guidance and granting independence. She gave her children the room to make their own mistakes, but still pushed them to do what she sensed was right. And through all the ups and downs, Bernice has never lost her wonderful sense of humor! *Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah) Music composed and performed by Andrea Perry Producers: Alice Hudson & Sophie McNulty Mother Word Cloud: Please contribute the one word that best describes your mother to the **Mother Word Cloud.* Also, starting this week, we're bringing you the *Mother Mine* mini-series from producer Katie Semro, right here on the Our Mothers Ourselves Buzzsprout feed.…
Apr 22, 2021
Lorraine Fixler -- The Long Goodbye. Sarah Kuhn on the gradual loss of the vivacious mother she once knew.
Sarah Kuhn is a busy person. She's the founder of Juna, a community and app for moms and moms-to-be; she hosts the The Juna Women Podcast; and she's a mom herself -- three times over. In this episode, Sarah talks with Katie about her own mother, Lorraine Fixler, who was born in the UK and emigrated to the United States as a child. Lorraine met Sarah’s dad while working in his law practice. Lorraine was the kind of mother who could run a business and still host the best slumber parties for her daughter. In our interview, Sarah discusses the dramatic way her relationship with her mom has changed in the last decade. Lorraine was just 60 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She's been in decline since Sarah was in her 20s. Through genetic testing, Sarah has discovered that she too is at high risk for developing Alzheimer's. Sarah talks about the way she has struggled without her mother’s guiding hand as she raises her own children but also the way she works to hold o…
Apr 7, 2021
Helene Goldstein Wolff, who saved her children from the Nazis. A conversation with Sonia Levitin
Sonia Levitin was born to a Jewish family in Berlin in 1934, just as Germany was entering its darkest period in history. With Hitler tightening his grip on the country, Sonia's mother, Helene Goldstein Wolff, plotted their escape. In 1938, Helene fled with her children first to Switzerland, then America. Helene instilled in her daughters a sense of dignity and the courage to persevere—lessons that have lasted a lifetime. As her aging mother developed dementia, Sonia became her caretaker, repaying the tender kindness and loving protection Helene brought to Sonia’s own childhood. Helene died in 1993, and Sonia would give anything to tell her mother just how much she loved and appreciated her, one final time. In this week’s episode, Sonia tells Katie about her early life in Berlin, the family's escape to Switzerland, and the deep love she and her mother shared for each other. Journey to America, Sonia's fictional account of the family's escape from Germany, is both beautiful and…
Mar 25, 2021
Nicole Harrison. @AstronautAbby talks about her pragmatic, supportive mom
Every month is women's history month at Our Mothers Ourselves. Still, we wanted to mark the occasion by talking to a young woman who has plans to make a big mark on history. This week, Katie speaks with Abby Harrison, also known as Astronaut Abby. Abby has wanted to be an astronaut since she was a little girl, and the 23-year-old Harvard research assistant wants to be the first person to walk on Mars. Abby and her mom, Nicole Harrison, have launched the nonprofit The Mars Generation to encourage young women to become interested in the STEM fields. Only one in ten astronauts has been a woman, and as Abby sees it, that statistic needs to change. Abby has her sights set much higher and believes she can inspire the next generation of astronauts, with the potential to reach Mars within 20 years. NASA recently promised to put a woman and the next man on the moon by 2024. Abby tells Katie how her mom demonstrated strength and drive throughout her life, growing up with a single mom hersel…
Mar 5, 2021
Harriet Turkle -- Sherry Turkle's Homage to her Mother, who plays a central role in "The Empathy Diaries"
This week, Katie speaks with MIT social scientist Sherry Turkle about her charismatic and vibrant mother, Harriet. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Harriet, a spirited woman, longed for a husband and family. Her first marriage, however, did not work out. Her in-laws did not approve of her non-Kosher lifestyle and her husband had started performing Skinnerian-like experiments on their infant daughter Sherry. Harriet left him, taking Sherry with her and covering up all traces of her former marriage. Harriet soon remarried and Sherry grew up with her being told to pretend that he was her biological father. The lies and omissions that surrounded Sherry’s childhood colored her relationship with her mom, leading to anger, and what Sherry describes as an “indirect cruelty” toward her mother. To learn more about Sherry and Harriet, read Sherry’s her new book, The Empathy Diaries, A Memoir, which explores her relationship with her mother. Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBallah) Music co…
Feb 25, 2021
A Mother, a Daughter, and Little Choice. A Conversation about China's One-Child Policy (独生子女政策) with Simeng Dai.
As mothers, we try to raise our children with all the resources, attention, love, and support we can muster, but sometimes forces far bigger than us make doing so impossible. This week, Katie speaks with Simeng Dai, a Facebook data engineer who grew up in China under its One-Child Policy. In her conversation with Katie, Simeng discusses the challenges she and her mother, Aiying Huang, faced in 1990’s China. As the mother of three children, Aiying underwent a forced late-term abortion and, eventually, a mandatory sterilization. Simeng, Aiying’s second-born daughter, grew up apart from the family, feeling unwanted and unloved. This episode is about troubled motherhood, and the systems that prevent mothers from raising their children with the resources, attention, and love that they need. To learn more about Simeng Dai and Aiying Huang, check out Oh! Mama, a podcast Simeng made that is centered on an interview with Aiying. Note: The podcast is in Mandarin. *You can find a translat…
Feb 11, 2021
Flora Horne. "She Broke the Cycle." A Conversation with Malaika Horne and Gwen Moore
This week, Katie talks with Dr. Malaika Horne, a public policy scholar and author, and her sister Gwen Moor, curator at the Missouri History Museum, about their inspiring mother, Flora. Flora Horne was born in Mississippi to sharecropper parents in 1916. During the Great Migration of the 1930’s, she moved to St. Louis with her family. There, she married and raised six children at the height of the Jim Crow era. Although Flora was deprived of a full education, she instilled the values of learning in her children from a young age. To Flora, education was the wisest path to independence and prosperity. In this episode, Malaika and Gwen discuss the racism and violence that their family faced in the middle of the 20th century. They also discuss the many ways in which Flora rose above near-impossible circumstances to provide loving, nurturing homes for her children. To learn more about Flora, her life, and her children, you can find Malaika’s book here: Mother Wit: Exalting Motherhood…
Jan 28, 2021
Maria Tallchief: By Turns Firebird, Cinderella, Mother, Muse. A Conversation with Elise Paschen
Maria Tallchief was born Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief in 1925 in Fairfax, Oklahoma, where her grandfather had served as chief in the Osage Nation. Seventeen years later, she found her way to New York and became one of the most famous American ballerinas of the 20th century. She rejected suggestions that she change her name to Tallchieva, at the time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Tallchief would become forever linked to some of George Balanchine's most transformational ballets. (Not only was she his prinicipal muse, but she was married to him for six years). In 1949, when she danced the title role of Igor Stravinsky's Firebird to Balanchine's incredibly complex choreography, she caused a sensation. No one had seen anything like it. At the height of her career, Tallchief was considered the most technically brilliant ballerina the U.S. had ever produced. I spoke with Maria Tallchief's daughter, the renowned poet Elise Paschen, about her mother's childhood, her…
Jan 14, 2021
Lea Alcott's Unerring Support for her Daughter's Golf Passion. A Conversation with Amy Alcott
As anyone who's watched the new HBO documentary Tiger can tell you, when you catch the golf bug as a kid, it can stick with you for a lifetime. Amy Alcott fell for golf when she was a little girl growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Her mother gave her garden over to her daughter's passion, and the front yard became a putting and chipping green. Soup cans were hammered into the ground to make the holes. It paid off. Amy became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1975, and won five major championships and 29 LPGA tour events in all. She's in the World Golf Hall of Fame. What kind of kid -- especially a girl in pre-title IV era --has the self confidence to pursue a dream like that? And what kind of mother would glory in her daughter's delight, as Lea Alcott so clearly did in hers? Katie and Amy chat about Lea's own childhood, the idea of giving to your daughter what you didn't have access to, and the evocative powers of a good glass of Scotch whiskey. Artwork by Paula Mangin (@PaulaBall…
Dec 31, 2020
Anne Morrow Lindbergh -- "You'll Have the Sky." A Conversation with Reeve Lindbergh
In 1929, Anne Spencer Morrow, a 23-year-old introverted intellectual, married a man who was, at the time, arguably the most celebrated person in the world. He was Charles Lindbergh, and his incredible solo flight over the Atlantic in 1927 had catapulted him to a wild level of fame. It was Charles Lindbergh, decades before Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana, whose fame first gave rise to packs of news photographers. They followed the Lindberghs everywhere. When the Lindberghs' infant son Charles Jr. was kidnapped in1932 , the press paid frenzied attention to the crime; the story remained in the headlines for months. Among the many heartbreaking artifacts that remain from the kidnapping is a front-page item in The New York Times from March 3, 1932: It's a brief notice, stating that the baby had been ill: "In the hope that whoever has taken the baby may see and understand the necessity for care, Mrs. Lindbergh...gave out the diet she had been following." It included -- underscoring a you…
Dec 24, 2020
One of our favorite episodes: Julie Andrews -- She is Our Sunshine. A Conversation with Emma Walton Hamilton
*"She's probably the most resilient person I know." -- Emma Walton Hamilton * For the holidays, we're revisiting Katie's conversation with Emma Walton Hamilton, daughter of the extraordinary Julie Andrews, about her mom's difficult childhood and her determination to give her own children stability and, above all, constant love. Julie Andrews's two memoirs, Home, and Home Work, are at once heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. While reading the books in preparation for the interview, Katie toggled between listening to Julie's narration, and reading. She was struck by how differently she absorbed the material depending on the medium. That is, when she heard Julie's familiar voice, so thoroughly had she absorbed the calming effect of that voice over the years, she found it hard to feel the darkness of the material. Emma speaks about her mother's innocence, well into adulthood, a true surprise given the effect that parts of her childhood could have had on her. Emma and her mother have writte…
Dec 6, 2020
Tanjeet Basra. Indian Matchmaking and the evolution of a marriage. A Conversation with Gurki Basra
Gurki Basra knows a thing or two about dating. She even starred in Season One of the Netflix show *Dating Around*, in which she went on a famously bad date. Her mother, Tanjeet Basra, on the other hand, had never been on a date, right up to the day she got married when she was 22, which also happened to be the day she met her husband for the first time. Katie talks to Gurki about her parents' wedding and marriage, and the wisdom Gurki gained in watching the ultimate blind date evolve into a loving marriage. Please visit the *mother word cloud page** *and contribute your own word to describe your mother. * Music composed and performed by **Andrea Perry.** Artwork by Paula Mangin. (@PaulaBallah) Producer: David Walters Send us email at: firstname.lastname@example.org *
Nov 27, 2020
David Whyte's mother, the lyrical Mary O'Sullivan, whose love radiated like the sun itself.
*[Note: This episode is dedicated to the late poet (and editor non pareil), David Corcoran. We miss you, David.]** * In this strangest of holiday seasons, when so many of us are missing our extra limb of extended family, I’m not so sure it’s just cheer we could use. As we turn this final page on our dark 2020, we might need something that transports us in a different way. The wisdom of the poet and philosopher *David Whyte*, especially when it comes to the wonderful relationship he had with his mother, Mary O’Sullivan, might be just the right tonic for our times. I got in touch with Whyte about coming on to *Our Mothers Ourselves *after I heard him tell a heartbreaking story about his mother during his popular *Sunday Series*. Thomas Crocker, Whyte’s very kind right-hand person, got back to me and said that David’s schedule was hectic, but there was something about the invitation that spoke to him. That’s the way things tend to happen with this podcast: People find themse…
Nov 22, 2020
Alison Aucoin’s mother, Lynn Evans. The Facebook Post about one Covid death that stands for 404,689 in the U.S. – and counting.
*Updated Jan. 21, 2021* Alison Aucoin doesn't seem like the type of person given to making profane gestures. But after her mother, Lynn Evans, contracted Covid and died last April in New Orleans, Alison -- livid with anger -- posted a photograph to Facebook that quickly went viral. Alison's post, a raw rant straight from the heart, was directed at Donald Trump and his egregeious mishandling of the pandemic that killed her mother. Katie interviews Alison about her mother's life, their mutual devotion, and the terrible circumstances around Lynn's illness and death. As of today, Thursday, Jan. 21,2021, the CDC puts the total number of deaths in the U.S. at *404,689. * Let's put that number in perspective. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake killed 3,000 people in the SF Bay Area. The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 killed 2,605 people. These latest tolls from Covid are happening in a single day. Lynn Evans is one of those lost to this pandemic. Each one of those people h…
Nov 15, 2020
Rita Waterman, Soul Mother. A conversation with Ariel Leve
When I started this podcast just before Mother's Day 2020, my main goal was to shine a light on extraordinary mothers. I figured the world was plenty sated with books, articles, films, blogs, and podcasts about ways in which women fell short as mothers, and, given that we could use some uplifting stories, devoting attention to those who were simply great mothers seemed like a good idea. In other words, narcissistic/dysfunctional/dud mothers need not apply. Which brings me to Ariel Leve's story. A few months ago, shortly after I interviewed Will Blythe, whose mother, Gloria, and her "invisible love" for her children made for an engrossing conversation, Will suggested I interview the writer Ariel Leve. Her biological mother was difficult (an understatement, I was to learn later), he said. "Thanks but no thanks," I said. But he wouldn't take no for an answer, and he told me about Rita Waterman, the woman Ariel considers her surrogate mother and guardian angel, her soul mother. Without Ri…
Nov 7, 2020
Liz Mitchell – Manual Not Included. A Conversation with Biz Mitchell.
"Yoo hoo! Look what I found down here!" Who could possibly could resist a mother's call to investigate? Elizabeth Mushinsky Mitchell came by her parenting instinctively. She lost her own mother when she was eight, but had a feel for what it took to be a great mother: true engagement, genuine pathos, and a generous dose of inventiveness. From 1992, she was coordinator of the Gold Key tour guide program at *Choate Rosemary Hall*, and was admired and beloved by the students there. She died in 2015. Katie speaks with Liz's daughter, journalist Biz Mitchell, whose latest book is *Lincoln's Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House,** *published in October 2020 by *Counterpoint Press.* This, too, is a week where we give thanks to every mother who is no longer here to bask her in daughter's achievement. We express special gratitude to Shyamala Gopalan Harris, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's mom, who would be oh so proud. *Don't forget to visit u…
Nov 1, 2020
"What Would Betta Do?" Betta Ehrenfeld – A Gracious Southern Lady with an opinion or two...or three...
Some people are just plain born with moxie. Meet Elizabeth "Betta" Dixon MacCarthy Ehrenfeld , who left her hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1942, at the age of 16, got on a train -- by herself -- and headed north. Her first stop was Bronxville, N.Y., and Sarah Lawrence College. By the time she was barely 21 she had a law degree from Yale. Back then, women with law degrees were considered top candidates for legal secretarial work. But Betta would have none of that. She went on to practice copyright law, then worked as a Legal Aid Society lawyer. Betta died in January 2019, at age 92. Just before the midterm elections in 2018, she wanted to remind people to vote. So she had a sign made that simply said *VOTE*, had her photo taken, ahad cards made with that image on the front -- and sent them to everyone she knew. Betta was a founding subscriber to Ms. Magazine, a card-carrying atheist, an occasional scofflaw ("somtimes the rules aren't correct") and an avid traveler. When B…
Oct 25, 2020
Costanza Pascolato – Fashion Icon. A Conversation with Consuelo Blocker (Uma conversa com Consuelo Blocker)
She's considered Brazil's "Pope of Fashion," and to most people in the fashion world she is known simply as Costanza. Costanza's parents, Gabriella and Michele Pascolato, emigrated from Italy to Brazil in the aftermath of World War II, and in 1948 they started the Santaconstancia textile company, which became a fixture in Brazil's world of fabric and fashion. By the age of six, Costanza had already developed her own sense of style. Now 81, she remains an icon of fashion and style, her signature look recognized around the world. Katie speaks with Costanza's daughter Consuelo, who has managed to revere her mother and find a voice of her own. A note: This week we introduce a pair of partnerships with small-batch companies that make products we love. Visit the *Our Mothers Ourselves* Web site for more about that. *And while you're there, please contribute your word to the mother word cloud. Music composed and performed by **Andrea Perry.** Artwork by Paula Mangin. (@PaulaBallah) Prod…
Oct 10, 2020
Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals, 40 years on. A conversation with Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins
A self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde had a poem for every occasion, says her daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, in this week’s conversation with Katie Hafner. Lorde's lifelong love of words led her to a life as a renowned poet and author of more than a dozen volumes. Her poetry is unflinching, raw and filled with rage against social, racial and sexual norms. In 1978, Lorde was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. Her experiences and emotions at that time were chronicled in her diaries, which were then published in a book titled, The Cancer Journals. The Cancer Journals was among the first narratives to lend voice to the physical and emotional isolation of breast cancer, is now being republished 40 years after its original release. Elizabeth, an ob-gyn who is currently studying acupuncture, speaks about her reactions to her mother's work when she was young, her mother's life and legacy, and the continued releva…
Oct 4, 2020
Julie Andrews – She Is Our Sunshine – An Interview with Emma Walton Hamilton
*"She is probably the most resilient person I know." -- Emma Walton Hamilton * This week, Katie talks with Emma Walton Hamilton, daughter of the extraordinary Julie Andrews, about her mom's difficult childhood and her determination to give her own children stability and, above all, constant love. Julie Andrews's two memoirs, Home, and Home Work, are at once heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. While reading the books in preparation for the interview, Katie toggled between listening to Julie's narration, and reading. She was struck by how differently she absorbed the material depending on the medium. That is, when she heard Julie's familiar voice, so thoroughly had she absorbed the calming effect of that voice over the years, she found it hard to feel the darkness of the material. Emma speaks about her mother's innocence, well into adulthood, a true surprise given the effect that parts of her childhood could have had on her. Emma and her mother have written more than 30 children's books…
Sep 26, 2020
Alice Waters of Chez Panisse – Cooking is an Act of Love. A Conversation with Fanny Singer
What with the country in total turmoil, and people doing a lot of fretful handwringing, it might be time to take a breather and celebrate someone who's brought an abundance of solid joy to the palates of so many. Katie talks with Fanny Singer, the daughter of famed chef and farm-to-table trailblazer Alice Waters, who in 1971 started her Berkeley, Calif. restaurant Chez Panisse intending to feed her community of 60's friends and fellow activists. In the process, she created an entire culinary movement that forever changed the way we think about food. Fanny's new book, Always Home: A Daughter's Recipes & Stories, is an ode to her mother that rings true and clear. Her pure -- and deeply requited -- love for her mother is in ample evidence on every page. Katie and Fanny explore the ways in which Alice expressed her love for Fanny, and the many gifts she has bestowed upon her daughter -- and the world. *Don't forget to visit us at** ourmothersourselves.com.** And while you're there, ple…
Sep 21, 2020
Celia Amster Bader – "The Bravest and Strongest Person I Have Known." - RBG
In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Katie takes a close look at the influence her mother, Celia Amster Bader, had on her daughter. Katie interviews Jane Sherron de Hart, a historian and professor emerita at UC Santa Barbara. Celia was the daughter of immigrants who came to the United States in 1901 to flee the pogroms that were taking place across Eastern Europe. Celia and her sister, Sadie, were deprived of a college education not just because of a lack of money, but because of traditional assumptions about the place of women. "Jewish families commonly sacrificed the futures of their daughters to ensure that a son might attend a prestigious school and enter a high-status profession," wrote Dr. De Hart, in her 2018 biography, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life. (2018). Celia and her husband, Nathan, settled in New York, eventually moving to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, where Ruth grew up. In her June 14, 1993 speech in the White House Rose Garden after b…
Sep 13, 2020
Erin Brockovich Redux -- Where *did* she get that gumption?
In this era of uncertainty and anxiety, some things are a reliable fixture. Exhibit A: The tenacity of Erin Brockovich, who took on PG&E for its water contamination, won a mammoth settlement for her clients, and inspired an Oscar-winning film. In the eponymous role, Julia Roberts was plenty feisty but by many accounts she wasn't as in-your-face fiery as the real Erin Brockovich, a self-described "foul-mouthed, short-skirted blonde woman from Kansas." Brockovich has a new book, *Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Can Do About It.** * “We are amid a major water crisis that is beyond anything you can imagine,” Brockovich writes. The book is filled with righteous anger directed at corporations who “lie, cheat, sue, intimidate, falsify documents, and outright bully." The book is getting rave reviews, so it seems fitting to replay the episode from a few months ago, in which Erin talks about her mother Betty Jo Pattee, who passed on to Erin h…
Sep 6, 2020
Geraldine Ferraro, Part Two -- Trailblazer. A Conversation with Donna Zaccaro
Our series commemorating the 19th Amendment ends with the second segment on the first female Vice Presidential candidate, Geraldine Anne "Gerry" Ferraro (August 26, 1935 – March 26, 2011). In this conversation with Ferraro's daughter, documentary filmmaker Donna Zaccaro, Katie takes a closer look at Ferraro The Candidate. When Walter Mondale chose Ferraro as his running mate on the Democratic ticket in 1984, Mondale's campaign got an immediate boost. The mood inside the convention hall was electric. And Ferraro's acceptance speech was dazzling. But she faced a level of scrutiny that her male counterparts simply did not. Nevertheless, she handled some of those patronizing men -- like then Vice President George Bush during their debate -- with just the right mix of respect and humility. In the documentary, Paving the Way, produced and directed by Zaccaro, we learn more about Ferraro's feelings about her place in history and her hopes for the generations of women who have followed he…
Aug 30, 2020
Geraldine Ferraro, Part One – Trailblazer for Kamala Harris. An interview with Donna Zaccaro
Our series commemorating the 19th Amendment continues, with the third and final installment. The subject: Geraldine Anne "Gerry" Ferraro (August 26, 1935 – March 26, 2011) In the first of a two-part interview with Ferraro's daughter, the filmmaker and producer Donna Zaccaro, Katie explores the late Congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate's early life and first years in Congress. Ferraro was just 48 years old when Walter Mondale chose her as his running mate in the 1984 presidential election. Zaccaro's documentary about her mother, Paving the Way, is a rich portrait of a woman whose hard work and dedication to social justice left a lasting impression on society. You can read Ferraro's speech from the 1984 Democratic National Convention, or watch it on YouTube. *Don't forget to visit us at** ourmothersourselves.com.** And while you're there, please contribute your word to the mother word cloud. Music composed and performed by **Andrea Perry.** Artwork by Paula Mangin. (@Pau…
Aug 23, 2020
Rhoda Barney Jenkins -- What do you do when Elizabeth Cady Stanton happens to be your great-grandmother?
It's a big week for the history of women's rights. August 26 -- Women's Equality Day -- commemorates the 1920 passage of women's suffrage in the U.S., with 19th Amendment Centennial Day. This episode is the second in a three-part series celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Katie speaks with Coline Jenkins, great-great granddaughter of famous suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who in 1848 led the Woman’s Rights Convention, the Seneca Falls, N.Y. convention that fought for the social, civil and religious rights of women. Stanton started the convention with a speech on the convention’s goals and purpose: “We are assembled to protest against a form of government, existing without the consent of the governed—to declare our right to be free as man is free, to be represented in the government which we are taxed to support, to have such disgraceful laws as give man the power to chastise and imprison his wife, to take the wages which she e…
Aug 18, 2020
Bella Abzug -- A Woman's Place is in The House. A Conversation with Liz Abzug.
This is the first of a three-part series published over the course of three weeks, honoring the 100th anniversary of the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. *A Woman's Place is in The House* (the title refers to Abzug's famous campaign slogan) celebrates Bella Abzug, a lawyer, Congresswoman and leader in the fight for women's rights. She was Gloria Steinem's mentor, and worked as a labor and civil rights lawyer. Fresh out of Columbia Law School in 1945, she spent four years defending Willie McGee, a young Black man in Laurel, Mississippi who had been convicted of raping a white woman. Katie speaks with Bella Abzug’s daughter Liz Abzug, about her mother’s childhood; Bella’s own parents, who immigrated from Russia; what it was like to have a mother like Bella Abzug; and the issues surrounding women’s rights that remain unresolved half a century later. Liz and Katie also listen to clips from Harvey Fierstein's 2019 one-person play, "Bella Be…
Aug 8, 2020
Kathleen Collins -- Lost Love Part 2. Critical edition.
*Part Two* of the conversation with Nina Lorez Collins about her mother, the late filmmaker, playwright, and writer Kathleen Collins. Nina talks about THE TRUNK, what it was like to be the shepherd of the many works her mother left behind, and the instrumental role Nina played in seeing to it that her mother's big talent find its rightful place in modern American literature. Katie and Nina also play film and literary critics with a small selection of Collins's complex and highly autobiographical work. Nina runs TheWoolfer.com, a social platform for women over 40. * A note to all: For the audio word montage that starts each episode, please record one word to describe your mother. Send your one word as an mp3 file to email@example.com, and we'll include it in the audio montage. And here's the visual word montage, reflecting the thousands of words people have chosen to describe their mother: www.katiehafner.com/word-cloud/ *
Aug 2, 2020
Kathleen Collins -- Lost Love. An Interview with Nina Collins
In this, the first of two parts, Katie talks to Nina Lorez Collins about her mother, the groundbreaking filmmaker and writer, Kathleen Collins. Collins died of breast cancer in 1988, when she was just 46. She was one of the first Black women to direct a feature film. In this episode, Nina talks about her mother's childhood in New Jersey, her stormy relationship with Nina's father, a White man she met while studying French cinema in Paris in the 1960s. And Nina talks about her mother's cancer, an illness she hid from her children until two weeks before she died. Nina is a writer and entrepreneur who runs the Website TheWoolfer.com, a social network for women over 40.
Jul 26, 2020
Gloria Blythe's Invisible Love for Her Children, and Her Less Invisible Passion for the Tar Heels
What are you to make of it if your mother isn't demonstrative with her love? She doesn't hug you or kiss you or tell you she loves you. But still, you know at your core that she loves you truly, madly, deeply. But how do you know? Katie explores the phenomenon of invisible love with the writer Will Blythe, whose mother was too shy and reserved to express her love for her four children in ways you might expect of a loving mom. She did other things instead to show her feelings. One of those ways was to take up a passion of her children's: Gloria Blythe became, like them, a hard-core fan of The Tar Heels, the University of North Carolina's legendary basketball team. She's also the hero of Will Blythe's book, *To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry.** * *Don't forget to visit us at** ourmothersourselves.com.** And while you're there, please contribute your…
Jul 12, 2020
Lillian Yonally -- World War II WASP -- "Why choose a man over a plane?"
Chuck Yeager didn't have anything on Lillian Yonally. Sure, Yeager was a record-setting test pilot, the first to exceed the speed of sound. But Yonally broke through a different barrier: gender stereotypes. Yonally, a World War II pilot, was one tough woman. She served in the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP. The WASP picked up the slack at home when all the male pilots went overseas. Yonally's main job as a WASP was flying B-25 bombers with a target in tow, while new recruits on the ground fired with live ammunition at the target. More than 25,000 women applied to the WASP program. Only 1,830 were eaccpeted and 1,074 completed the training. At age 98, Yonally is one of the few WASP still alive. Katie speaks with Yonally's daughter, Lynn Yonally.
Jul 4, 2020
Erin Brockovich has her mom, B.J. Pattee, to thank for her "stick-to-itive-ness."
Katie talks with Erin Brockovich (yes, that Erin Brockovich), who attributes her doggedness and fearlessness to her mother's own unwavering determination, wrapped in a lifelong embrace of encouragement, love, and faith. Erin's childhood memories are of unalloyed happiness and optimism. Betty Jo Pattee, born in Ponca City, Oklahoma,raised Erin and her siblings to see things through, however tough it gets. She was spiritual without belonging to any particular denomination. B.J. was the first to pinpoint her daughter's dyslexia, and became Erin's most ardent champion, determined to let Erin know she was different but far from inferior.
Jun 28, 2020
Michiko Miki Gorman: New York City and Boston Marathon winner. A Conversation with Danielle Mika Nagel
This week, Katie talks with Danielle Mika Nagel, Director of Mindfulness at Lululemon, about her mother, Michiko "Miki" Gorman, the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon, in 1976. Four decades passed before another American woman won that race. Gorman arrived in the U.S. from a small Japanese village in 1963, at age 28, took up running in her 30s, and never stopped. She was so accustomed to running 100 miles at a time that a marathon was a relative cinch. She won the New York Marathon twice, and the Boston Marathon twice. Danielle talks about her mother's optimism and grit in spite of growing up in a Japanese culture that expected women to be submissive and unambitious. Gorman died in 2015, at age 80. Her 2018 obituary appeared in The New York Times's Overlooked No More series of belated tributes. *Don't forget to visit us at** ourmothersourselves.com.** And while you're there, please contribute your word to the mother word cloud. Music composed and performed by *…
Jun 21, 2020
Talmadge E. King Sr.: "If Your Father Builds a Wooden House..."
For a Father's Day change of pace, Katie speaks with Dr. Talmadge E. King, Jr., a world-renowned lung specialist and Dean of the Medical School at the University of California, San Francisco. In the 1960s, Dr. King's father, Talmadge King Senior, born in 1922 in the segregated South, was recruited by the small community of Darien, on the Georgia coast, to serve as the city's first African American police officer. Mr. King instilled in his five children a sense of doing better with each successive generation. He offered a simple metaphor: "If your father builds a wooden house, it's your responsibility to build a brick house."
Jun 16, 2020
Marsha Emanuel, mother of Ezekiel, Ari, and Rahm Emanuel
Katie talks with Zeke Emanuel about his mother, Marsha. Marsha raised three incredible sons in the 1960s: Zeke, now a prominent physician and health policy expert; Rahm, President Obama's Chief of Staff and former Mayor of Chicago; and Ari, a famous Hollywood Agent. Instead of Boy Scout meetings and Little League practice, Marsha Emanuel took her three little boys to Civil Rights marches and anti-war protests. Zeke and Katie explore what it was about Marsha's out-of-the-mainstream approach to child rearing that helped shape him and his two younger brothers. *Don't forget to visit us at** ourmothersourselves.com.** And while you're there, please contribute your word to the mother word cloud. Music composed and performed by **Andrea Perry.** Artwork by Paula Mangin. (@PaulaBallah) Producer: Alice Hudson Intern: Rosie Manock (@RosieManock)*
Jun 7, 2020
Athena Linos (Αθηνά Λινού) -- Paying It Forward (Twice Over)
Athena Linos, 68, a highly regarded Greek epidemiologist, has been called that country's Anthony Fauci. She was born and raised in a small Greek village, the daughter of the town's baker. Athena succeeded in Greece's patriarchal society because her mother did all she could to see that Athena had a chance for academic achievement that had been inaccessible to her. All of Athena's four daughters have succeeded in their own right, as has her son. Katie interviews one of those daughters, Natalia Linos, 38, who followed in her mother's footsteps and became an epidemiologist. And like her mother, Natalia is a strong advocate for health equity. She's now executive director of of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard. *Don't forget to visit us at** ourmothersourselves.com.** And while you're there, please contribute your word to the mother word cloud. Music composed and performed by **Andrea Perry.** Artwork by Paula Mangin. (@PaulaBallah) Producer: Alice Hudson Intern: Rosi…
May 31, 2020
Helen Stark -- How Did She Pull That Off?
Katie interviews Marya Stark, founding executive director of Emerge America, about Marya's mother, Helen, who lived for most of her life with a debilitating lung condition that left her with 25% of normal lung capacity. Helen had nine children, and somehow managed to make each believe that that one child was her favorite. Katie and Marya dig deep into how Helen might have managed to pull that off.
May 24, 2020
Anne Halley -- Feminist Poet and Mother of Three
Katie talks with art historian Peter Chametzky about his mother, the feminist poet Anne Halley, whose family fled Nazi Germany for the United States in the 1930s. Halley's Holocaust poems are haunting and precise. Her "housewife" poems are by turns funny and searing.
May 17, 2020
California Assembly Member Shirley Weber's mother, Mildred Nash -- Eight Children and a Giving Hand
*UPDATED DECEMBER 17, 2020* Katie interviews Dr. Shirley Weber, a California State Assembly Member from San Diego, whose mother, Mildred, raised eight kids in L.A. in the 1950s and 1960s, after she her husband, David, fled a lynch mob in rural Arkansas in 1951. Mildred's philosophy of life: Keep your hand open in order to give. Dr. Weber, a retired San Diego State University professor, has been a member of the California State Assembly since 2012. She is also the head of the Legislative Black Caucus. When, the Electoral College voted on December 14, officially making Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala Harris the next president and vice president of the United States, it was Dr. Weber who presided over the vote. A wide-ranging Q&A with Dr. Weber ran recently in The New York Times, in which she talked about her childhood in Arkansas, and her thoughts on being part of the democratic process: “I continue to be amazed at being able to participate in the process at this level.” See the…
May 10, 2020
Mrs. Fitzpatrick -- Does She Have a First Name?
In this inaugural podcast of Our Mothers Ourselves, Katie Hafner talks with Ellen Fitzpatrick, a professor of 20th century U.S. history, about her mother, Mary. Mrs. Fitzpatrick was for many years a favorite math teacher at Amherst Regional High School. She majored in math at U Mass in the 1940s, and went on to raise six kids while working full-time. Widowed suddenly in 1975 at age 52, Mary Fitzpatrick carried on. Hers wasn't a flashy life, but it was a meaningful one, leaving a deep impression on thousands of people at a pivotal time in their lives. And it makes you think: It really does matter how you live your life every day.