Marlene Wagman-Geller

"As far back as I can remember, it was always on my bucket list, even before the term bucket list was coined,
to be a writer. It was a natural progression to want to go from reading books to writing one."
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What's in a Name? (1956

What's in a Name? (1956
Jan 11, 2023 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Initially because of delicious food a woman embarked on a drama filled path that rivaled an ancient Greek tragedy. Although it involved unimaginable heartache, she later remarked of her marriage to Malcolm X, “It was hectic, beautiful and unforgettable-the greatest thing in my life.”  

Victoria's Secret (1872)

Victoria's Secret (1872)
Jan 06, 2023 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
      Now and again, as ladies bowl over the remaining barricades, there emerges the specter that one day there may be a triumphant outcome for a female aspiring to the Oval Office. Victoria Woodhull made a prescient statement when she became the first female candidate to run for president and proclaimed, “What may appear absurd today will assume a serious aspect tomorrow.”

Black Magic (1987)

Black Magic (1987)
Jan 03, 2023 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
  In 1973, the Doobie Brothers crooned, “I wanna get lost in your rock’ n’ roll and drift away.” Thirteen years later the lyrics, rather than a paean to romantic fulfillment, alluded to women who had to drift away from their dream of becoming the Founding Mothers of Cleveland’s newly instituted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The gender gap reared its head when the music emporium listed its first ten inductees: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and the Everly Brothers.  Apparently, the museum did not abide by First Lady Abigail Adam’s admonition, “Remember the ladies.” The decision did not sit well with those consecrated to the Women’s Liberation Movement. Had society not read Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch, perused Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine, listened to Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”? Perhaps their struggle finally bore fruit: in 1988, Aretha Louise Franklin received her R-E-S-P-E-C-T when she became the first female inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Sun King (1803)

The Sun King (1803)
Dec 26, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Louisiana creates a spicy Bouillabaisse of Mardi Gras and jazz, of Creole and Cajun, of Baton Rouge and the French quarter. The Old-World flavor is stamped on the New World as Louisiana was once the domain of King Louis XIV.

Bye Felicia (1847)

Bye Felicia (1847)
Dec 23, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Chapter 58: Bye Felicia  (1847)

       Although one of the world’s best-known books, no one has read it from cover to cover; it is the only place where success comes before work; its ending is predictable. The man whose name graces the American dictionary: Noah Webster.

  

Prince Charming (1931)

Prince Charming (1931)
Dec 20, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
In the German Grimm Brothers’ Sleeping Beauty, Aurora pricks her finger on a spindle and falls into an enchanted slumber until aroused by the kiss of the handsome prince. In the twentieth-century American version, Sleeping Beauty did not awaken and may have been sent into an eternal sleep by the hand of her own dark prince.

He Scores!(1893)

He Scores!(1893)
Dec 18, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Hockey players covet their sport’s Stanley Cup, North America’s oldest and most colorful trophy. While fans keep their eyes on the prize, many draw a blank when it comes to its originator: Frederick Arthur Stanley, (Lord Stanley of Preston.)

So Long Lives This (1635)

So Long Lives This (1635)
Dec 16, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
There are fascinating facts about Maryland. Harriet Tubman was born on one of its plantations that became a station on the Underground Railroad. Native Francis Scott Key, (ancestor of F. Scott Fitzgerald from whom he received his first and middle name), penned “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The state’s baseball team, the Ravens, stems from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem. And a king christened Maryland after Queen Henrietta Maria, known as Queen Mary.

Steel Gardenia (1895)

Steel Gardenia (1895)
Dec 15, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
The Civil Rights timeline has witnessed significant African-American firsts, each a step closer to Dr. King’s ‘We shall overcome.’ In sports Althea Gibson competed at Wimbledon in 1951, in music Marion Anderson sang at the Metropolitan in 1955, in literature Toni Morrison received the Nobel Prize in 1993. Another woman who succeeded in the proverbial against all odds arena was a Southern ‘belle’ whose achievements made for a quilt of the bitter, of the sweet.

The Destroyer of Worlds (1945)

The Destroyer of Worlds (1945)
Dec 14, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
We have all had to come up with names-for children, pets, toys. No christening, however, had the impact of the occasion a general christened his plane after his mother, Enola Gay Haggard Tibbetts.

Shall Lead Them (2003)

Shall Lead Them (2003)
Dec 12, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

“I want you to panic.”

           A Victorian adage states, “Children should be seen and not heard.” The nineteenth century more does not apply to a Swedish teen who has made it her mission to both be seen and heard, not for self-aggrandizement, but to ensure the well-being of the planet.

The Very Best (1910)

The Very Best (1910)
Dec 12, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Card aisles appeal to occasions from cradle to grave including those involving weddings, baby showers, and birthdays. Most bear the name Hallmark, a nod to founder Joyce Clyde Hall.

A Deep Breath (1960)

A Deep Breath (1960)
Dec 10, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
   In Friends, Ross, his ex-wife, Carol, and her partner, Susan, participated in a Lamaze class. The birthing method allowed expectant parents to be active participants in labor, rather than the mother lying helplessly on a hospital bed, the latter handing out cigars in the waiting-room. The prenatal program would not have existed without Dr. Fernand Lamaze.

She and Trouble (1920)

She and Trouble (1920)
Dec 10, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
  When the Tin Man made his request, the Wizard of Oz tried to dissuade him with the admonition, “Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.” Nevertheless, Dorothy’s companion persisted as he understood life without a heart-for all its residual pain-is what made existence bearable. The simple woodcutter understood a lesson a haughty queen never fathomed. 

The Mill (1896)

The Mill (1896)
Dec 10, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
     Upon occasion, it requires more than a box of Godiva chocolates or a Hallmark card to capture the heart of a ladylove. Richard Wagner composed the “Siegfried Idyll” as a birthday gift for his wife, Cosima. Tsar Alexander III presented jewel encrusted Fabergé eggs as Easter gifts for his tsarina. Richard Burton wowed Elizabeth Taylor with a 69-carat pear-shaped diamond. Yet these gestures pale in comparison to what a royal relinquished for this ladylove.

Sharpness of Thorns (1875)

Sharpness of Thorns (1875)
Dec 06, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
The Kentucky Derby, a slice of Americana, presents a kaleidoscope of outlandish hats, frosty mint juleps, and colorful jockey silks. The event’s racetrack, Churchill Downs, hosts what is described as “the greatest two minutes in sports.” Hidden in the spectacle are the namesakes of Churchill Downs: John and Henry Churchill.

100 Times More

100 Times More
Dec 04, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Moses and Mandela famously had to endure long walks to freedom through the wilderness- the Desert of Sinai and the desert of Apartheid.  But what is less known is that as they each gave their rallying cry, “Let my people go!” they were both supported by women in the wings: the biblical prophet helped by his wife Zipporah, the contemporary leader through his own helpmeet, part Mother Teresa, part Lucrezia Borgia.

The Black Sky (1910)

The Black Sky (1910)
Dec 03, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
“Keynmol fargesn!” “Never forget!” was the rallying cry of the Warsaw Ghetto. The doomed Resistance fighters’ plea was for the world to remember the systematic slaughter of Poland’s Jews. Yet history should also never forget the bravery of those who fought the forces of darkness. One of these was a diminutive woman who cast a giant light.  

Profiting Contractor (1654)

Profiting Contractor (1654)
Dec 02, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Why the White House received its name is self-evident; however, another home for a head of state proves cryptic. The residence for the British Prime Minister is 10 Downing Street, christened after Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet.

Last Words (1763)

Last Words (1763)
Dec 01, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

The British poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote, “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to love.” A conqueror whose empress conquered his heart proved that in the winter old men’s hearts also turn to love.

      History acknowledges that France’s most acclaimed general possessed the ambition of the Scottish general Macbeth. What is less well known is Napoleon Bonaparte also possessed the romantic nature of Romeo, the jealousy of Othello.