Culture & Literature
The Saturday Evening Post

The Saturday Evening Post November/December 2018

The Saturday Evening Post, America’s oldest magazine, is a bimonthly publication dedicated to celebrating America – past, present and future. The Post delivers an historic perspective on the news that only a publication with its deep roots can provide.

United States
The Saturday Evening Post Society
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
too much of a good thing?

In 1912, Casimir Funk, the father of vitamin therapy, advanced the revolutionary idea that certain diseases, like beriberi, could be cured and prevented by curious substances found in foods — what he dubbed vital amines. The discovery was a major achievement in our understanding of health and disease. But if small amounts of vitamins are unquestionably key to good health, is taking high doses better? In the century since Funk’s discovery, megadoses of vitamins and minerals were touted for everything from curing the common cold to protection against cancer. Today, half of all American adults now take supplements regularly, spending $12 billion per year, writes Nina Shapiro, M.D., in “Vitamin Hype” (p 36). Unfortunately, recent studies have found little evidence that taking vitamin and mineral supplements improves longevity or fights disease.…

1 min.

Dennis Maurizi “When a librarian friend urged me to write about the Karpeles Manuscript Libraries (“History at Your Fingertips,” page 50), I was dubious — an article on libraries?” says Maurizi, who did a little research and discovered his friend was on to something. “Located across the United States, the library museums are home to the world’s largest private collection of historic manuscripts, pieces tied to the likes of Darwin, Lindbergh, and the Titanic. Better yet, admission is free.” Richard DeFino In “Facing the Demons” (page 22), DeFino opens up about his struggle with crippling anxiety and his search for a treatment that worked. “No one is impervious to mental health disorders, but as frightening as they are, peace of mind is possible,” says the writer, whose work has appeared in The Bronx…

5 min.

Da Bears! I truly enjoyed “Hello, Beautiful!” (Sept/Oct) about the polar bears. In the early 1950s, I lived in the Canadian arctic, working for the defense department supporting the scientific project International Geophysical Year. We were based at Churchill, Manitoba, and year-round enjoyed the company of polar bears — magnificent, beautiful, and intelligent animals. Eileen P. Birdsong, Pleasanton, California Heady Stuff Your article “A Bomb in the Brain” (Sept/Oct) really hit home. Eight years ago, I had a motorcycle wreck and suffered intracranial bleeding, so I relate to what the author went through. Joseph Sullenger, online comment “A Bomb in the Brain” was “déjà vu all over again” for me. In 2015, I was trimming a tree about 10 feet off the ground when the ladder slipped and I fell and was knocked unconscious for about…

5 min.
beauty and the feast

Must we deny ourselves an apex of joy, since we have no ability to control the nadir of misery? As a so-called international gypsy, a child raised by journalist parents around the globe (mostly the Mediterranean), I suppose it’s natural for me to be drawn to food. I have cooked professionally in many parts of the world, and eventually opened my own restaurant in New York City. But for me, the turning point came in 1971, when my parents bought a tumble-down farmhouse in a small town in Tuscany. The villagers still lived as they had for centuries, raising what they needed to live on and bartering for anything they didn’t produce. That was when I became aware of food as something to be celebrated and cherished — and even occasionally…

3 min.
mister rogers and me

One time, after I bumped into him at a local house party, he followed up with a note saying it was nice to see me there. Mister Rogers was my neighbor. Not as in make-believe TV neighbor, but as in actual neighbor, in suburban Pittsburgh. He lived in a six-bedroom house on Beechwood Boulevard. As a doctoral student and part-time journalist, I was managing in a ratty walk-up apartment. By car, it was just a few minutes between Fred’s home and mine. Although I knew at the time that he’d grown up affluent, Fred McFeely Rogers — a significant, if oft-ridiculed, cultural icon — didn’t seem to care about people’s means. This gentle fellow who, with his rotation of sweaters, starred in the pioneering children’s series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for 895 episodes,…

6 min.
taken for a ride

In Olney, a storm struck from the northwest, and I prayed it would give birth to a tornado and kill me dead. In an earlier issue (May/June 2018), I mentioned I would be taking a solo motorcycle trip south along the Mississippi River on my 1974 Triumph Bonneville. Several Post readers wrote asking if they could join me, one of whom was a woman wanting to know whether I was married and if I might like a little company. Apparently, there is nothing like a motorcycle trip to excite the imagination. I’m pleased to report the trip was a success, though it went nothing like I had planned. When Rod Collester, my friend and a vintage Triumph expert, learned my intentions, he advised me not to ride a 44-year-old motorcycle with an…