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Weddings, Women, Sweets, and Wishes

By Caroline LangstonFebruary 14, 2017

My heirloom cookbook was born during a Washington D.C. snowstorm in February of what was then called “The Year 2000,” in my final months of singlehood before I was to be married in July. That storm barely registers in the city’s memory now: it was neither the Blizzard of 1996, with its eight-foot-high snowbanks, 2003’s…

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Ready to Run

By Caroline LangstonFebruary 9, 2017

Midway along the journey of our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the straight path… And the reason I had wandered off from the straight path, Brothers and Sisters, was because—for the first time in my forty-eight years on this weary earth, I started doing…

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Martin, Everett, and Me

By Caroline LangstonJanuary 16, 2017

I am writing this essay on the fortieth anniversary of my father’s death, so my immediate thought about Martin Luther King, Jr. this morning is of those four precious small children left fatherless on April 4, 1968. There are two things I’m thinking about fathers: The nimbus of their influence continues to fall across your…

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I Miss Gwen Ifill

By Caroline LangstonDecember 19, 2016

For Kate Keplinger It is the blight man was born for It is Margaret that you mourn for… —“Spring and Fall,” Gerard Manley Hopkins “I’m sorry for your loss,” my friend Dionne posted in response to a note I posted on Facebook. I’d just come back on the redeye from the West Coast that morning, and…

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The Resurrection Volvo

By Caroline LangstonOctober 31, 2016

Just about nine months ago—the Tuesday after Valentine’s Day, to be exact—I hit a carload of nuns. It’s not like I was trying to or anything, though: It was the middle of the morning, a misty winter day. I was driving on a quiet street in the part of Washington, D.C. that’s sometimes called “Little…

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Thank You, Black Southern Belles

By Caroline LangstonOctober 4, 2016

In the twenty-plus years since the Internet became a feature of our lives, there have emerged a couple of articles of conventional wisdom that I, for one, find pretty dubious. First, there’s the claim that “everything on the Internet lasts forever,” usually made in reference to warnings about the dangers of teen “sexting,” or work…

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My September 11 Story, and Ours, Part II

By Caroline LangstonSeptember 13, 2016

For Scott Simon, and for Bill Craven Continued from yesterday. In the back of my closet, inside a cellophane folder where I keep the rarest papers I own, there is a plain piece of unremarkable 8 ½ by 11 printer paper. At the top of the paper is the inscrutable coding “TC2001091307CD22AM.” Just to look…

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My September 11, and Ours: Part I

By Caroline LangstonSeptember 12, 2016

We knew in an instant everything about our lives had changed, but we did not know how much, or that everything would be different from what we had thought.

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The Help-less

By Caroline LangstonAugust 26, 2016

The movie The Help has been out almost a month by now, but the surrounding hubbub seems in no way to be subsiding. Heated discussions about the film and its portrayal of the early civil rights era have raged across the internet, the style sections of the newspaper, and public radio call-in programs. Based on…

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The Neglected Garden, Part II

By Caroline LangstonAugust 16, 2016

Continued from yesterday. The dollhouse my father was building for me was still unfinished when he draped a boat tarpaulin over the top, to protect it against the summer rain. The doctor had told my parents that there was a tumor in his lung. He was being sent to the M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston,…

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