(Image credit: Norman Stein)

Posted by Ellen

Under a bench at a gas station near Meridian, Mississippi, Al made a new friend.

Posted by Ellen

A few minutes after commencement and commissioning last Friday, in the parking lot outside the Naval Academy's football stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, the new ensign in his choker whites and shades got his first salute, from midshipman Aaron Kalil, who still has a year to go until his own graduation and commissioning.

Per tradition, the new ensign bought this first salute, handing Aaron a silver dollar.

Ensign Stein now begins five years of active duty in the navy. Midshipman Kalil begins a year as captain of the U.S. Naval Academy wrestling team. There was champagne all around.

Posted by Ellen

With apologies to those among you who have been on this list since 2007, I am repeating here one of my favorite baby pictures, taken almost 30 years ago. As you can see, John got distracted, and Ted made his move.

The prize clutched in John's little fist must have been something really special, so tasty and/or entertaining that it would be coveted even by a six-month-old baby. Such as a nice little pebble or twig or clod of dirt.

I like this picture because it suggests something of the tone of brotherly, um, love among the boys as the family grew.  Even much, much later, whenever one of the boys would come home from college, odds were high he'd take a few minutes to go through his brothers' stuff and perhaps make off with a little something that wasn't being actively protected. Always, there was a stupid rationale--for example: "But it fits me better than it fits him."
 

Posted by Ellen

This picture must be ten or twelve years old now; Amelia Stein has grown up, finished high school and a year of college, and set out to begin her interior design studies at Parsons School of Art in New York City.

Once upon a time, the cost of living in some of the lower Manhattan neighborhoods not far from Parsons was so low that newly arrived immigrants moved into tenements there, straight off the boat. More recently, starving art students could still find affordable garrets in the vicinity. But nowadays, New York City is a tough place for students; Amelia was lucky enough to find a two-bedroom apartment to share . . . with five other girls. So far, she's loving it.