Archive | November, 2020


28 Nov

The selfie of us on our March anniversary (46th!) seems an appropriate one to begin a holiday letter for this most bizarre of years: a little crooked, a little blurry, and kind of manic! What can we say about a year in which we had to stay home for most of it? Since I wrote last year’s letter before our travels at Christmas, I’ll include some tales of that trip first. Since Max & Dottie & kiddos planned to be in Austin with her family, we decided we would drive over to be with them. We managed to find a great home to stay in via HomeExchange (so it was free accommodation!), and en route made a detour to the famous little Texas town of Marfa–the site of artist Donald Judd’s projects, and a place I had always wanted to visit. Despite the cold and a lot of closed galleries, it was a fascinating place, better than my expectations.   

Marfa Court House

George at the Marfa Store, and below, Chinati Foundation

It was great to see the kiddos in Austin, despite minor family illnesses. We were especially pleased to meet the kiddos’ new cousin Sonny, Dottie’s sister’s little boy, who looks exactly like his father!     


Other events:  My book, Three German Women, arrived in October! I love the cover, and the contents look better than I expected they would. Read about it here:

Sadly, George’s 93-year-old father, George Albert Boeck, Sr., died on Halloween day in Greeley, Colorado. He was a real gentleman who prided himself on being curmudgeonly, and we miss him greatly. To whom will we now send articles about Sherlock Holmes and Abraham Lincoln? Here is the obituary I wrote for him that appeared in the Greeley paper:

Finally, I gave in after months of not seeing the family, and flew via Southwest Airlines to Denver. A lovely visit, with Lyle, who wanted an axolotl, and Lou, who said his favorite animal was a unicorn.

About the only other event to report in this crazy year is that George has once again acquired a beehive! No bees yet, but it is a sign of his perpetual optimism that he’s waiting for a swarm to find the new digs to call home. So we persist in our hopes for renewal, regeneration, and lots of honey in the New Year!

Please let us hear from you, by whatever means:  EE & GB, 450 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626 644 2389, We both have Facebook pages, too! Thanks to all of you for making this year survivable! WE LOVE OUR TRIBE!


The book is here!

25 Nov

As many of you now know, the book that I began as blog entries on this site, and where I have posted numerous updates as I did the writing (, has now arrived! I am glad that I continued to search for the cover image until I found the one that looks right. I’m really pleased with how zappy it looks. The contents look better than I had expected, and now I wish I had included more images than I have.

What can I say? This book was a real labor of love, about women I knew, who lived through the most turbulent times in Central Europe, and managed to persevere and survive. This is my most personal work, not at all like the academic books and articles I’ve written in the past: a bit memoir, a bit women’s studies, a bit German history, it’s very hard to decide where it fits in book publishing categories. I do think it is important in recovering from obscurity the lives of intelligent, professionally active women who made contributions to their culture. Personally, I’m proudest of my translation (after transcribing, with the help of Adobe, from German Fraktur) of the marvelously evocative “Autobiografie einer jungen Frau” that Irmgard Kern wrote in 1934 (Appendix I). This series, presented over several weeks in the renowned Frankfurter Zeitung, was perhaps Kern’s finest writing, and presents such a vivid picture of the life of a privileged Catholic girl growing up in early 20th-century Berlin. I’m grateful as well that Maria Steinberg’s family allowed me to include some of the writings of Maria’s brother Jan, describing in fascinating detail their life on a farm estate outside of Berlin (Appendix II). A world now completely gone.

As happens with small publishing houses now, the book price is outrageously high, in my opinion, but it can’t be helped. While it is now available on, I have found that it is cheaper and faster to order directly from the British publishers, at this site:

For the moment, I think you can still get a 25% discount using this code PROMO25. I have also been assured that in six months, they will publish a paperback and e-Book at a lower price. My other suggestion for those who would like to read it but don’t want to buy it is that you request that your library purchase a copy! Most libraries, if they have any funding at all, are pretty amenable to patrons’ requests.

I would be most grateful to anyone who could suggest possible publications that might review such a book. There are tales here of those who had to flee the Nazis, stories about a woman who worked with The Monuments Men to save European art treasures, and rediscoveries of forgotten writers who got lost in the aftermath of World War II. The book is dedicated to the late film historian Thomas Elsaesser, whose own discoveries about his family’s history overlapped with the biography of one of “my” women. He was immensely helpful and enthusiastic about this project. I hope I have done justice to these women, who were such inspirations for this American.