Friday, October 16, 2020

Who You Gonna Vote For?

This article appeared in the Vail Daily on October 16, 2020. 

 

 

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. That’s up to you. And I’m not going to tell you who I’m voting for. That’s up to me.

 

What I have learned is that, depending on where we come from and what our life experiences have been, we’re inclined to use that as the basis for our decisions. 

 

So here’s mine: I grew up in a fifties suburb and had a perfect Eisenhower era education. I attended a suburban high school where we were a microcosm of the country. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I later earned a master’s degree.

 

My life has gone through many reinventions since those idyllic years when I was growing up. 

 

Among the many influences in my life: teaching in the inner-city schools of Washington, DC, in high schools in the Illinois prairies near an Air Force base, in a college community, and in the suburbs like the one which I attended; working in a mega media corporation; and owning and operating a small business. Among the strongest influences were the jobs I held before I became a college graduate: as a waitress, a receptionist, and as a counter person. I have enjoyed a long-time marriage and have a great family.

 

I’ve watched life change from those ideal Eisenhower era days and I’ve tried to change with them. I am grateful that I have a relatively comfortable life especially here in Vail.

 

I think my experience and my background skew me to deliberate beyond my own needs. I understand what it’s like to have experienced small-town life, what it’s like to be a military brat, how a corporation runs, and what it means to be a parent. 

 

So as an American, and as this election is upon us, I ask myself a lot of questions. Do I make my decisions based on my pocketbook? Do I make my decisions based on thinking of the needs of others? Do I make my decisions based on who I want to represent me in the world? Do I place more importance on the needs of my state as opposed to the needs of other states that might be very different than mine? Who do I think would know best how to run our country?

 

Rather than getting on the bandwagon and just voting with the herd, I ask people to individually examine their life experiences and think carefully as to why they are making their personal choices. 

 

I consider myself open minded. I just want to know why people vote the way they do. Maybe it comes down to whether you vote with your head, with your heart or maybe both.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Little White Lies


One day I remember taking my children with me to the grocery store. They were probably about the same age as my grandchildren are now, maybe 9 and 10, something like that. 

For some reason we wound up talking about not liking something, not sure whether it was a person or a grocery or what, but the subject came up as to when you tell the truth and when you tell a "little white lie." It seemed like it was OK to say you don't like carrots but it wasn't OK to say you didn't like your friend's friend, Bobby Anderson.

Basically we came to the conclusion that you never want to purposely hurt someone's feelings so you might "fudge" a bit. Instead of saying you don't like a person's friend you might say who you like to play with. Or instead of saying you didn't want to go to someone's house, you might say that you have to baby sit for your brother or that you are grounded or that your grandmother comes to see you on Saturdays. Maybe you have to use all those excuses before that person finally gets the message that he is not on the top of your "go visit list." Whatever your "little white lie," I cautioned that you never really want to get caught, so be sure to avoid saying something where the truth would finally get out. Perhaps you had no grandmother or your mother volunteered to your friend that you weren't grounded or your brother is too old to have a baby sitter.

Finally we all came to the conclusion that we could always tell the truth to each other because we're family. It was just not always a good idea to tell others! There was comfort in that. 

Figuring out how to craft a perfect "white lie" doesn't always work for those of us who like to tell the truth. I always had difficulty with this. And it always amazed me when others were so good at it.



http://mimipockross.com

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Pulling-Harvey-Out-Her-Hat/dp/1538131684/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1MR1B6FXUMJ3Y&dchild=1&keywords=pulling+harvey+out+of+her+hat&qid=1594222892&s=books&sprefix=pulling+harv,aps,169&sr=1-1

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48768527-pulling-harvey-out-of-her-hat?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=RRvlZMsj1S&rank=1

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pulling-harvey-out-of-her-hat-mimi-pockross/1134735749?ean=9781538131688

ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD (LIMELIGHT EDITIONS): https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538131688/Pulling-Harvey-Out-of-Her-Hat-The-Amazing-Story-of-Mary-Coyle-Chase


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Family

At my book club the other day everyone was talking about how they were occupying their time while we are all relatively on lock down. A lot of people talked about cleaning projects such as using a toothbrush to clean the bathroom grouting. Neighbors talked about getting together once a week in someone's backyard to visit and drink coffee. I talked about my new liaison I am having with long lost relatives and the attempt by all of us to bring some sort of a semblance to our past.

It all started when the youngest children of members of our extended decided that we needed to know more about our roots. At the start, there were seven children in the family, four daughters and three sons. The parents had come from Ukraine and had settled in Chicago in the early 1900s. The grandchildren did the research on the ancestry websites and then we have all emailed and zoomed together at various times. The remaining son of one of the brothers (the father of one of the granddaughters) then put his thoughts in emails and provided all kinds of interesting anecdotes about growing up in Chicago and why the families had difficulty staying in touch. The network of cousins has expanded to three different siblings of the original seven. Each time we have gathered, out host cousin has posted a backdrop of the town in Ukraine where the original family was from and then we have exchanged memories and continue to try and clear up facts. When did they arrive? Where did they live?

It's been a delightful segue during a time when we're all trying to make some sense out of our current situation. The last time we met we traded favorite recipes that our mothers had inherited from their mothers. I offered my German mother's plum cake recipe and my cousin gave her grandmother's strudel recipe. I was amazed to discover that the family had lived in a bustling city of 64,000 and not in a tiny village like the one from Fiddler on the Roof and that they weren't at all like Tevye, the milkman. They were actually pretty comfortable. We also found that we had a lot in common. For example, a thread of being frugal seems to run through the family, and there is a tendency toward longevity. I liked too that so many of my cousins were academics even though I am not.

I hope there will be more discoveries to come in the future. So far it's been a great ride.







Thursday, July 23, 2020

Policy

When I first owned my art gallery, a customer brought back an expensive pot after he had purchased it three months before and asked for his money back. I was devastated. First my self-esteem was hurt, but second, I didn't have five hundred dollars in cash to give him his refund.

Once I had reluctantly found the money to give to him, I decided it was time to make my policy on returns more defined and more noticeable.  I had to think about this and decide what was fair to both the customer and to me, the struggling owner of the gallery.

Soon after I posted my return policy right by the cash register and repeated the policy in my quarterly newsletter.  It turned out that you had to return the merchandise, assuming it was in good condition, within ten days or else there was no refund. The refund would be reissued in the form that it was originally paid for. 

Each time that a customer made a purchase I reminded them of the policy. 

For the most part that took care of the problem, but there were still exceptions. One time, someone custom ordered a headboard and then complained that he didn't like the item when it was delivered. Another time a customer complained that the lamps he custom ordered were uneven and he couldn't live with that. In each case I had to explain that art was never perfect. I settled differently in each case. I can't remember exactly how, but I think I gave them each credit and just took back the items and then eventually resold them.

Since my college days, I have always been interested in policy. I think it's always a matter of establishing guidelines that work and then making sure everyone understands the rules. What I didn't understand until I was a store owner is that regardless of the rules, some people will always try to get around them. Then it's up to the person in charge to figure out what to do. Litigating is time consuming and expensive. Going to the press is another alternative. Learning from your mistakes was what I settled on. 

Back to the drawing board, I went.




COMING IN THE FALL OF 2020!















Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I Wish

The year was 1965 and my husband Keith and I were newly married and decided to move to Washington, DC where Keith worked on a National Science Foundation grant and I worked as a traveling speech improvement teacher in Washington, D.C.'s inner city.

I had grown up in a very segregated suburb of Chicago where the tribal wars were between Jews and non-Jews. With the exception of a friend's cleaning lady, I had never met an African-American. It was a new experience to be in a world I knew nothing about. Sometimes when I was making my rounds of my schools I was often the only white person in the school, a role reversal of sorts.

It had only been twelve years since Brown v. Board of Education had passed and the seven African-American women teachers on my team of ten were still feeling the sting of attending school in segregated times. Often they would share with me how they felt during those years.

Being with these women changed my life as did teaching in some of the poorest black neighborhood schools. I developed a respect for the teachers who had accomplished so much and would go on to  even greater heights after I left for Illinois the following year. It was a joy to learn about scrapple, eye-opening to see six-foot tall teenagers in my seventh grade classroom, and touching to deliver one little black girl to the projects when we completed an after-school activity that she so enjoyed.

I feel privileged to have had my eyes opened to a culture so different than mine. Maybe that's what all of my fellow Americans need to do: put themselves in places other than where they feel most comfortable. Maybe then we would all learn to respect one another.

Mimi


                                                   COMING IN THE FALL OF 2020:




Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I Saw a Purple Cow






So I'm hearing about young parents trying to figure out how to get through the day during these trying times and I'm remembering my own trials and tribulations.

What comes to mind is:
     Living through brutal Chicago winters with an infant and a toddler. One day, stuck in the house after another blizzard and with my husband downtown and me an hour away in a suburb, throwing the two kids on a sled and pulling them through the snowy terrain to the local merchants' district for a hamburger and fries at Shelton's Grill.  And then pulling the sled back again. It took up most of the day.
     Being stuck in the house for several weeks while all three of us were sick with the flu and dramatizing a book  (I think it was Dr. Seuss) with lifesize posters and dialogue. Our goal was to entertain for an upcoming Thanksgiving.
     Climbing up three flights of stairs at the local YMCA for a kids' class, hauling the umbroller and the two kids and getting to the top and finding out that I had the wrong date for the class.
     Taking my two year old to Moms and Kids swimming lessons in the bitter cold winter even though I hate to swim.

Still I look back at raising my kids as a great time in my life. I bought all the books of activities to do with kids and found the Sesame Street Activities Book and I Saw a Purple Cow to be a great source of ideas. Thank goodness that every afternoon after their naps I could place both kids in front of the television to watch Sesame Street. I actually watched too and that was followed by Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. We made cookies for every occasion always using the basic butter cookie recipe from the Sesame Street Activities Book.

No regrets!


COMING SOON!!!






   

Monday, May 11, 2020

I'm Mrs. America!

Nostalgia set in last Sunday when I was watching a segment on CBS's Sunday Morning that featured entertainment icon Martha Stewart.  There she was with her signature blonde casual haircut, garbed in a sunny yellow sweater and speaking from her shining stainless steel kitchen outlined on the top of the screen by an array of at least twenty-five spotless copper pans and standing behind her counter where an ultra deluxe mixmaster sat next to a bowl of freshly hatched eggs from her nearby chicken coop.

When I was a young mother, Stewart was a fast rising star that used her domestic talents to create an empire that eventually included dozens of cookbooks, several television shows and that still produces a regularly published magazine. Except for her controversial stint in jail for insider trading, Stewart is an ironic example of how she used women's traditional skills to build a wealthy empire.

In the same week that Martha's segment on how to make everything but the kitchen sink cookies during the coronavirus was taking place, I had just finished watching the fifth episode of Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett, an FX miniseries about the seventies and the women's lib movement, a time during which I was a young wife and mother.

Blanchett stars in the role of Phyllis Schafly, who rose to the top as the spokeswoman against the Equal Rights Amendment. Also featured in the series are the high profile feminists of the time who opposed her: Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and Bella Abzug.

I recall the times vividly. My peers and I were all struggling to figure out which side of the argument to support. Did we want to be domestic like Martha or did we want the instant equality of opportunity that Gloria and Bella were proposing? Phyllis believed that by diminishing the line between women's and men's roles that society would suffer. She gathered legions of followers that impressed the Republican establishment and made her a power player all while living at home with her lawyer husband and five children.

All of my friends were in favor of the ERA and, though I'm more of a sideline person, I signed the Illinois petition and once joined a protest in Chicago's Grant Park. (Of note: Schafly was from Alton, Illinois and the amendment failed in the state).

Many of us during this time decided to work part-time work while others stayed home and hunkered down as full-time mothers who filled in with book clubs and volunteer work. I personally took a part-time marketing job at a small shopping district near my house and worked for several women merchants, also mothers and wives.

Recently I gave a talk to a group of women some of whom had no knowledge of this time and never had to fight for gender equality. They were professionals and mothers and had never thought about staying home. It was a shock to one that I had any guilt about trying to balance a professional life with being a mother. Her kids were raised in day care and had learned at an early age how to take care of themselves.

This week's television programs on Martha Stewart and Mrs. America revisit women's choices and let us all reevaluate the women's movement. Can a domestic queen like Martha Stewart receive adoration for building an empire based on the tools of a homemaker? Was Phyllis Schafly trying to balance her own ambitions with being a homemaker? Were the feminists all just bitter women who had an axe to grind and made the movement their job? Is it a good fight to specifically legislate that women should have equal opportunities in every sector of American life?

The question of the ERA amendment is currently being revisited and could possibly do better this time. We'll see.












Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Living with a Pandemic Bird


We live in a beautiful home in the mountains. From every window opening we can see in the near distance the snowcap peaks. Tall imposing evergreens and aspens dot our property. From time to time moose have bunked in our backyard, deer have visited regularly and a friendly fox often has whizzed by our back patio. Every winter my husband puts up bird feeders that attract small wrens, bluebirds, and all types of indigenous birds.

So being quarantined in such a lovely place is not all bad. We make do ordering from Instacart and take regular walks in our neighborhood that is located at the bottom of a national park trail. We are grateful that our family is doing as well as can be expected and that we are regularly able to stay in touch by phone and on Facetime.

It was a surprise to us when an uninvited visitor, an angry bird, began pecking at our tall two- story high hall window from day to night. He was a large red-breasted brown speckled bird and he was relentless. It seemed he didn’t want us to feel that we weren’t being affected by the virus. He wanted us to experience a bit of suffering. Maybe he thought we needed something to do during the countless hours of the day.

From early morning to late dusk, Mr. Angry Bird knocked at the window, only to be deterred momentarily to branches of our front evergreen tree for short periods of time.
It took a while to figure out what we might do to discourage him. (We had no idea if it was a him or a her.) The window is a combination of stained glass and clear glass and on the ledge we have a wildflower arrangement that is surrounded by a glass covering. We decided to hide the glass flower arrangement. That worked for about a half hour.

We turned to the internet for advice. It recommended hanging something with movement and that shines in the window. We up put an old dream catcher and affixed it to the window. Nada.

Then we called the wildlife division of the Parks and Recreation Department. He said birds don’t like raptors and we should try putting an image of one in the window. Two efforts failed. The pounding went on.

Then we called the wildlife company that had gotten rid of the squirrels that were running around in the rafters above our upstairs rooms. She explained the situation was that it was mating season and birds seeing their reflection think what they’re seeing is a prospect. “Block the windows with some covering.” We search around for old posters, newspapers, magazine covers and old calendar cover sheets. Success.

The next day we go downstairs to our family room to do a television yoga session and guess who’s waiting for us at a window in the room? Our visitor, the angry bird. We interrupt the yoga session to put up more paper. We get through the session. Still the bird finds an opening at the bottom. We put up the board and the front cover from our Risk game on the ledge. We can see him sitting on the ground figuring out how to widen his entry. 

This has now been going on for almost two weeks and we’re still not sure that it’s over and that our menacing visitor won’t return again.

If anything, our angry bird has put it all into perspective. An annoyance like him is a pain, but it’s not the end of the world. He’ll go away someday and hopefully so will Corona-19. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Lee Phillip Bell (My Idol)


In 1970 I was attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. I had been teaching speech and English for six years and decided to pursue a master's degree in communication. I was ready for a change from teaching. As part of my program, I accepted the opportunity to become an intern at the local CBS station, a former roller rink, that was located at the edge of downtown Chicago. Until I was nine months pregnant with our first child, every weekday I commuted on the "El" and walked several blocks to CBS.

After a semester of interning, I was hired by the producer of the local talk show to become a secretary in charge of communicating with the show's viewers and of rejecting in a nice manner those people or  companies that my bosses (the producer and the talk show hostess) decided not to have as guests on the show. In addition I was asked to answer the phone and run errands (buying fish for the hostess at Burhop's Fish Store) and picking up the hostess's week of clothes to wear at Saks Fifth Avenue located nearby on Michigan Avenue.

The hostess of the show was a woman named Lee Philip Bell. When I went to work for her, she was already an institution in Chicago. She was married to an ex-advertising executive with whom she wrote soap operas; she was the mother of three children (whom I sometimes baby sat for); she was an able interviewer to every famous person who came to Chicago including Tennessee Williams, Bette Midler, jazz musician Ramsey Lewis, and film director Frank Capra; and she was also a strong advocate and participant in Chicago's community. In addition, during each half hour show, I was situated in the control room as the "assistant director" and watched my boss in action every day.

What a privilege to learn from such an amazing role model. Lee never lost her "cool." Rather every day was fun. She could chat just as easily with Nick, our stage manager as she could with A.C. Neilsen and Mahalia Jackson. Her interest in others included me. On my birthday we would celebrate at the Palmer House's famous Pump Room where we would sit at Table One.

Each day when her noon interview was complete, she would leave the building so she could perform her domestic duties, i.e. running two households and caring for her amazing children.

Here was a woman who did it all and it always seemed that she did it so easily. She could finesse any conflict or disagreement and never seem to mind whatever she was asked to do. She always wanted to know about you. I'll always remember when I invited my parents to visit me at the studio. My father would smile for years when he recalled meeting her. She was as always her charming self.

A few years ago I had a conversation with her. She was already in her late 80s and was a widow, but she remained as perky and positive as ever. Now living in LA she continued to work at the company her children were producing the two long-running soap operas, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. She told me she "liked to keep busy."

Lee Phillip Bell passed away last week at the age of 91, but her influence on me will be everlasting. Of all my mentors, she will always remain at the top of the list.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

I'm Still Learning

Lately I've been looking back at some of the "life lessons" I've experienced since I began a serious writing career many years ago.

I'm reminded of a moment when I was writing about Navajo rugs. I didn't know a thing about the subject, and the man I was interviewing was a revered expert in the field. He said two things that stuck with me. They both had to do with my lack of preparation. He observed that I needed to learn my subject matter before I could intelligently talk to him. The second was that the way I could learn the meaning of "good quality" was to extensively compare rugs on my own. The more I was familiar with the subject, the better I could make a solid judgement.

A few years later, I was writing an article for my city publication on jewelry design, another subject I knew nothing about. My editor was so patient as he ushered me through the process. I struggled with trying to figure out how to focus my article. For me, finding authorities was not the problem. I had been trained well when I worked for a CBS Chicago talk show. What was difficult was synthesizing the theme, making comparisons between designers and still writing an article that would hold the reader's attention.  As a sidelight, I also learned how to control those I was interviewing. One of the designers wanted to read my article before it was published to make sure she was portrayed in a good light. One of the cardinal rules, I learned, was that the article I wrote needed only to have my imprimateur and no-one else's as long as the facts were true.

The joy of writing continues for me to be  the discoveries I make every time I tackle a new subject as well as the unending goal of mine: to educate and entertain with integrity.

I love reading about successful writers who have settled into repeating a prescribed method. Maybe I just haven't achieved that capability yet. I still think that, even if that were miraculously to occur, I would still desire to always keep learning and keep getting better.




Friday, January 10, 2020

Robert Redford and Me

My father always told me that making gains in life would always be a matter of taking two steps forward and one step backward. He had lots of sayings, "Act the part and you'll be the part," Benjamin Franklin's "All that you do, do with your might. Things done by halves are never done right." "I don't like that man. I need to get to know him better." "You're known by your friends as well as your enemies." He was a Dale Carnegie man and was always trying to improve himself. I think he did a pretty good job for a scrapper from the west side of Chicago.

I don't think my dad ever had any hopes for his daughter to become a writer. Actually I don't think he had any aspirations for me at all. They were all for my brother and he was very disappointed when his son took a totally different direction.

I have just completed writing my third book and the first one to be published by a traditional publisher.

I'm feeling very nostalgic about the long road that has led me to what I consider a very important achievement.

One of my favorite steps forward occurred in the seventies when I retired from working first as a teacher and then as a television producer to become a stay at home mom. In quick succession I gave birth to two sons. I believed in laundering my own diapers and I used to call the bathroom "O'Hare Field" where the dirty diapers were lined up before I laundered them. In winter each day it would take me an hour to bundle up the children to go pick up my husband at the train station in the bitter Chicago cold.

I was living in a Chicago North Shore suburb and had become a runner first indoors at the local high school track and in the summer along the streets of the lush suburb in which I lived.

The suburb was so picturesque that several movies were shot in the area. One of the earliest to be filmed was "Ordinary People" starring and produced by Robert Redford and also starring Mary Tyler Moore.

I knew one of the sets was a few blocks away from where I lived and one day I happened to run by the house.

Looky loos surrounded the set and there were trailers all over the place.

After my run, I went home and wrote about it.

Then in a bold move, I called up (in those days it wasn't all about email) a new magazine that covered the North Shore and asked if they might be interested in publishing the article. They said they couldn't pay me but if I wanted to have it published anyway, they would like to publish it.

To see my name in print was enough and the reception was quite pleasing. A lot of people read the article.

That was the beginning of my official writing career.

Through the years there have been many highs and lows and many lessons to be learned.

I have to say that the struggles have made it worth the time it took to get to this point. In the future I hope the path will get easier, but just trying and once in a while succeeding in what I love to do most is a thrill for me.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Reading Through LIfe


Reading has always been a big part of my life and now that I’ve been around for more than seven decades, I’ve been thinking about how my reading life has journeyed.

I can’t remember my first book or having my mother or my father read to me.

I do remember that when I was in fourth grade my teacher Mrs. Beere (very pregnant at the time) read the class “Charlotte’s Web.” And I do remember going to my school library and having Mrs. Petersen suggest a series of orange biographies for me to read. My recollection was that they included biographies about Robert Fulton who invented the steamboat and Jane Adams a well known social worker who started Hull House, a home for poor women. I must have read ten of these biographies. When I had finished those books, Mrs. Petersen handed me a huge volume; it was the biography of Mary Todd Lincoln and it took me months to complete. This was probably my first real introduction to adversity.

Out of the classroom, I began to read stories about Betsy written by Maude Harte Lovelace and went from when Betsy was young in Betsy, Tacy and Tib to the final Betsy’s Wedding written in 1952. Most of my early reading was about living in the idyllic fifties. Ironically I never read Laura Ingalls Wilder. I did read the Sue Barton books about being a nurse and some Cherry Ames books. I have never liked mysteries and only read one Nancy Drew. And
I did love the Bobbsey Twins. 

I probably had a big lapse in reading starting in middle school and only when Grace Metalious’s Peyton Place made its sensational debut in the late fifties did I decide I wanted to take up books very seriously. That paved the way for my further reading of Danielle Steele and Judith Krantz when I was raising my children.

Occasionally I would get serious about literature and read the icons particularly American writers from the twentieth century like Saul Bellow, John Steinbeck, Philip Roth, and eventually even some women like Edith Wharton.

Through the years there’s a thread in my reading. I’ve become more confident about what I choose and to be able to identify it immediately. I’ve learned I like to mirror what society is up to. I’ve always been an idealist and hoping to make things better. For that reason, I’ve gone through periods where all I read about is the Holocaust or African Americans or Women.

Regardless, as I grow older my thirst to read is only increasing. Whether I’m being entertained or educated or made to think, there is no doubt about my love for reading.

Not too long ago a New York Times reporter, Joanne Kaufman talked about her time reading “Malt Shop Novels” and confessed that at the time she was embarrassed that she wasn’t reading more erudite literature. I definitely back up her take and enclose the link to her essay with my own take on how we don't always have to be deep readers!

Something to pass on to our kids and grandkids.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

THE Post

Yesterday I went to see "The Post," Stephen Spielberg's new movie about the Washington Post's decision to publish documents stolen by Daniel Ellsberg from the Defense Department that verified the futility of the Viet Nam War six years prior to Mr. Ellsberg's theft and while the war was continuing to rage and kill hundreds of thousands of American soldiers.  With megastars like Tom Hanks as Post editor Ben Bradley and Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, the very tentative and new publisher who had just inherited her position when her husband died by suicide, and with John Williams writing the music, there could be no doubt that the movie was Oscar worthy. Right?

Well, it is a winner on many counts.  First the message is so "right on" at the moment and the sets and clothes are fun to watch and there's a lot cute "shticks" that keep the audience entertained.  For example, all during the back and forth that takes place at Mrs. Graham's beautiful Georgetown brownstone, her grandaughter sells lemonade and makes a tidy sum.  And there's another very funny scene where one of the lower members of the editorial staff is asked who had delivered Ellsberg's documents and he goes on and on describing her hippie clothes and finally settles in on "tie-dye" with nobody listening.

It's also a winner because it's written and directed by two women who present the entire tale from a woman's point of view albeit with a very heavy hand.  There's the "touching scene" where Katherine sits next to her daughter in the bedroom where her two granddaughters are sleeping and Katherine relives her feelings at the time of her husband's death when she is asked by the newspaper's board to give a few words of reassurance and her daughter writes the words for her to say.  The words show the strength of the conviction that though she's a woman and she's had no experience except in caring for her children and giving unending cocktail parties, several of which are shown in the movie, she can do the job.

Above all the courage that Mrs. Graham and Ben Bradley cobble together to take the chance that they may go to jail for publishing the papers and risk the profitability of the company against the wishes of all the financiers and professionals that surround them is so mind boggling that whatever other reason for the clumsiness of the movie pales in comparison.

There are many scenes that emphasize women's roles at the time:  Mrs. Graham walks into a boardroom where she is the only female.  She dithers frequently in her demeanor frequently apologizing when she knocks over a chair or when she crosses a street until in the crowning moment she finds her voice and makes her final decision against the majority of men in the room.  At the end of the movie, the message is punctuated by her departure from the Supreme Court where a sea of women step aside as she descends the stairs.  Very symbolic.

I find it interesting that my daughter-in-law thought the movie was boring.  What that says to me is that despite the timely message about the importance of freedom of the press, the minutiae regarding the jigs and jogs that occurred before the Post's win lacks action.  It's just too "talky" for her.  Even I had trouble understanding some of the dialogue and I'm a political wonk.

As for Mr. Hanks and Ms. Streep, they are their amazing selves and just not convincing enough to be sold to me as the larger than life figures of Ben Bradley and Katherine Graham.

Still, I was totally drawn to the retelling of a time in which I was living through the dark days of an unending war that came to no good.