Friday, August 5, 2016

writer in the family

I was talking in an online writing forum the other day about the fact that my mother was a writer, which manifested itself in various ways throughout her life, and is undoubtedly why my sisters and I all share the inclination. I mentioned that her biggest claim to fame was a little piece she got into Reader's Digest's "Life in These United States" once. And I don't mean that ironically, because ever after that,  word would come to her or one of us that someone sitting in a waiting room or some equally random place had happened upon it and been thrilled to see her name.

Several people in the forum were equally jazzed to hear this, and one of them said he used to read that column every month as a child. He even asked me what year it had come out. I really didn't remember, but this led me to try to find it online, and much to my surprise, I did. Apparently the column was syndicated, so there is a copy online from the Milwaukee Journal.

I think about half the people who read here who are not Russian hackers (and yes, thank you, Russian hackers for boosting my stats into the stratosphere last month, no matter what your nefarious purposes) actually knew or at least know about my mom. For those of you who didn't know her, her little account shows up there as written by Carolyn Graham.

Here is the December, 1981 edition cover. I'm not sure if this is the one it appeared in or not. But sometime around there, anyway. In any case, it's representative of the period.



  1. I loved that feature in the Readers Digest, which I read at my grandparents's house. Enjoyed your mother's contribution! Loved the cover about the Chinese Connection, esp. given the Russian connection lately. Isn't it nice to be hacked by the Russians?

  2. You know, I think I probably read it at my grandmother's too, as I think it was probably a little conservative for our household. But it did have a lot of fun features. And I think they paid pretty well for those short pieces in those days.

  3. This is nice little story.
    The cover reminded me of the time when I was a kid and my parents had a subscription for the german version. I liked the smaller bits and the jokes but I remember they had also abbreviated versions of regular books which I did not like at all.

  4. Interesting, Eva, I hadn't realized it had international versions, but Wikipedia says it was in 40 countries by it's fortieth anniversary and has even added places like Serbia and China in this century.

    We somehow had a few volumes of those condensed books, maybe we had inherited some of them, but I remember being warned off them and I don't think anyone ever read them.

    Yes, there were lots of short fun things in the magazine, like Humor in Uniform and Word Power. They were very entertaining for a kid.