Life Lessons from a Centenarian

As Abner and Mary Hammond taught us last year, the early 20th century press was obsessed with stories about the elderly doing anything besides sitting in rocking chairs. That press had a field day with Electa Kennedy. Starting in 1905 with an article anticipating her 100th birthday—in four years’ time—newspapers from California and Montana to Read More

Blabbing with a Buccaneer: Part Two

Ahoy, mateys! Welcome to the second and final chapter of my imagined interview with an unsung pirate of the Caribbean, Laurens Cornelis Boudewijn de Graaf. If you’re just coming onboard, be sure to catch up on Part One. Welcome back, Captain de Graaf. You were just telling us what self-aggrandizing feat you performed after tracking Read More

Blabbing with a Buccaneer: Part One

Like many women—and men, too—on occasion, I’ve fallen prey to the charms of an archetypical “bad boy.” What can I say? A few tattoos, a motorcycle and a hint of an attitude problem make for an inexplicably attractive combination. Swashbuckling pirates might just be the original bad boys: They seek out adventure and danger, they Read More