Patricia Vaccarino

Freedom Spent

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When I was in college, a professor suggested that I read Freedom Spent by the legal writer Richard Harris. Freedom Spent was a narrative of three case studies in which Americans lost their civil liberties during legal proceedings that adhered to the letter of the law, or abided by a strict constructionist (narrow) interpretation of the law that disregarded the gravitas and prevailing spirit of the U.S. Constitution.  I lent Freedom Spent to so many friends that eventually I lost track of it and fear it is no longer in my library. 

Today, I am more convinced than ever that America has the most amazing...

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Latest Posts in Patricia Vaccarino

A Mother's Day Message

 

I must ask the same question of you that I ask of myself in the middle of the night: Why do we make the same mistakes over and over? Maybe you know the answer. I welcome your thoughts. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

 


How many times can your heart get broken?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…How many times can your heart get broken? This question is asked by fifteen-year-old Cookie Colangelo in The Heart of Yonkers.


NOTES FROM THE WORKING-CLASS: Wipe Out

My neighborhood in the north end, called Down the End by the locals, trilled and thrummed with the unerring twang of guitars. Every boy on the block, talented or not, musically inclined or musically challenged, had mastered the three simple chords to play Wipe Out on the guitar with unerring frequency, regardless of the season or the time of day. From garages and basements, yards, parks and parking lots, impromptu jam sessions broke out into the ubiquitous street sound of drums humping under the sturm and drang of electric guitars. 


Notes from the Working-Class: Reverence

Three white, working-class men, heads bowed, wistful eyes, lips pursed in silent prayer, are visibly overcome with emotion. They are baseball umpires, pressing their caps to their hearts in a show of reverence for two Little League teams. 


King Tide

Waves sneak up to the shore from nowhere. Mountains of water advance, attacking like a marauding army. Churning angry white foam, the King Tide has arrived on the north coast of Oregon. Water levels rise higher and tides grow stronger. Some tides crest far higher than others. Swell after swell, rising and falling, an ache and a sigh, reeking of salty spray. Sneaker waves suddenly smash against the beach with a boom like thunder. The power of water washing over us can take us on an unwanted ride far out to sea. Sudden fierce currents sweep victims away. Never turn your back to the ocean.