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                    about our feature stories....

Working for a major New York publication—at that time the sixth largest in the country—is another kind of trip! I (Andy) spent ten years as contributing editor of Ladies’ Home Journal, and most of the stories I covered involved women who had survived shattering experiences. Three of those stories were made into TV movies starring well-known actresses such as Pam Dawber and Jill Eikenberry.

During those years, I also wrote four books—Shifting Gears: Planning a New Strategy for Midlife (Crown Books / Random House); Good Books for the Curious Traveler (two volumes; Johnson Books; foreword by Arthur Frommer) and Handcrafted in the Blue Ridge (Peachtree Publishers).

In the meantime, Irv was busy with his pediatric dental practice. Now, while we often collaborate on feature articles if we find the subject especially interesting, we prefer to spend our time travel writing and helping people write their personal and family histories.

Here, examples of a just a few of my feature stories:

Three Women and a Baby

          Ladies' Home Journal

Ask Jimmy Mack where he came from, and the precocious five-year-old doesn’t bat an eyelash. “I grew from Aunt Ann’s egg and in Aunt Kathy’s tummy,” he says matter-of-factly.

His mother, Linda Mack, 41, a part-time business manager in Bandon, Oregon, gives him a hug. “Can you imagine the look on his teacher’s face when Jimmy explains this during a sex-education class,” she asks with a laugh.   Read more.

Making a Big Move

         Time Magazine

Linda Schweitzer isn't a wallower. The petite blond, 56, is pragmatic and capable. Problems get solved, and little is left unresolved in her life. So when she was darkened by a profound sadness one ordinary Sunday afternoon at her sister-in-law's house in Shelton, Conn., she knew something had to be done.

The cause of her dismay? Call it family-happiness envy.   Read more.

These Stories Will Change Your Life


Dad is laughing so hard that everyone else in the room—all 32 nieces, nephews, cousins and long-time friends—is laughing too. This strikes me as strange since no one knows what he’s laughing about; he hasn’t yet reached the punch line.

He’s in the midst of reading aloud a story about his father—something about how my grandfather was in his grocery store, back in the early '30s, when a man came in “with the name of Bu or Lu, or some two-letter word.”

My dad pauses, gasps for air and continues reading through his laughter: 

"That's a short name," said Dad.

"Bet mine's shorter," said a guy standing nearby.

"Not possible," said Dad.

"Wanna bet?" said the man.

"Sure," said Dad.

"Well," says my own father, looking up from his book, "you got it. The man’s name was Shorter!"

And his face is red with the hilarity of it.

My dad’s 89, and he doesn’t laugh as much as he used to. Ailing joints, failing kidneys—it’s not all that much fun getting old, he tells me. But today he’s not worrying about the future. He’s reminiscing about the past. And he’s loving every minute of it.   Read more.