“The thing that I tell young writers—and by young writers, a young writer can be any age you just have to be starting out—which is anything you can do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen […]

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“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: ‘Love. They must do it for love.’” Wendell Berry Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food The Biggest Little Farm is an extraordinary film. The documentary directed by John […]

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“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” From the funeral service in the Book of Common Prayer The memorial service for my mother was held Saturday in the historic chapel part of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland, Florida.  It was led by The Rev. Cameron MacMillian and was a beautiful […]

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Peter Hedges once met an actress on a subway in New York City who eventually told him the story about how some friends went to cook a Thanksgiving dinner but their oven didn’t work so they had to go around the building to get other people to let them cook their meal. Hedges thought, “That […]

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My mother was tough. Sue Stautner doesn’t look tough in this photo. But she was tough. She was born in the middle of the Great Depression and a chunk of her youth was taken up with the scarcity of the effects of a world at war. Those raised during the Depression and World War II […]

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“I learned a number of things [working on my first firm]. I remember there is a scene in the film [What’s Eating Gilbert Grape ] that I was so proud of—it was about seven pages too long.  [The director Lasse Hallström ] said the scene is about six and three quarters pages too long. I kept […]

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Long ago I embraced grown the coninsidence that happens occationally on this blog. Yesterday’s post touched on the period in the 1970s and ’80s when there was an influx of Haitian and Cuban refugees to Miami. I even included a photo I took during that era in Hialeah, Florida. Early this morning I happened to […]

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“In the early ’80s Miami was not the place to be.” Photographer Gary Monroe Last week I watched the documentary The Last Resort on Netflix and I found it fascinating.  The focus of the documentary is on photographers Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe as Miami Beach transitions from a Jewish retirement haven, to home for Haitian […]

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Now class, everyone thank Emily and Vanity Fair for making this video. (Virtual applause.) Scott W. Smith

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“One out of 21 black American males will be murdered in their lifetime. Most will die at the hands of another black male.” Opening graphic in Boyz n the Hood ”Before I could do long division, I mastered which neighborhoods and housing projects to never step foot in. I can easily remember running full speed […]

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