Articles by Galia Berry

Close Call: A Miracle


car in accident

Today I was witness to a miracle.

I was driving my car on Knights Hill Road from Bridgton to Lovell in western Maine, thinking about what a good day I’d had. Normally one doesn’t think happy thoughts after spending $250 on car repairs, but our brakes needed replacing and I’d gotten estimates that were $150 higher. I was happy to come back to rural Maine, where I know our mechanic and his family on a first-name basis. I also knew we’d be treated fairly and wouldn’t be overcharged.

Paul is a good, honest man. He is a U.S. military veteran fighting for recognition of his disabilities. He was exposed to very high doses of radiation without adequate protection in the Marshall Islands during military exercises. Many in his unit are dead from cancers related to this exposure, and Paul has already had several cancers. The government is refusing to acknowledge the military’s carelessness, because they don’t want to compensate the affected vets exposed during the testing. We usually discuss his latest lobbying efforts and meetings with senators and other politicos on behalf of his military buddies.


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Off the Beaten Track


moose

Why would a person leave a well-established Jewish community for a completely different lifestyle? Five years ago, Galia Berry and her husband, Joe, moved from Baltimore to the rural Maine woods.  Galia began writing a blog – an online journal – about her new life in Maine. Here, she talks about what precipitated their move and what she’s learned.

After my mother passed away, I found a diary she kept as a freshman in college, when she was newly engaged to the young man who would become her husband. All her hopes and dreams and the inner workings of her mind were contained within those pages. It was a dimension of my mother that pleasantly shocked and delighted me, because this side of her was unknown to me. How much do we really know a person, even those close to us? They aren’t always what they seem to be, within our limited perspective. Now that I am older, there are so many questions I have for my parents and grandparents, questions that didn’t even occur to me as a young adult. And now it’s too late to ask. So I thought, I need to write, and let my grandchildren know who I am and how I think, because some day they will have questions, and I may not be here to answer them. I wanted them to know the inner me, because, whether we like it or not, our forbears are part of who we are, and many of their traits are inherited, for better or for worse.


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Riot Redux


riots

It was dinner hour that hot summer evening: my mother, father, and I gathered around the black-and-white TV – there was no color television back in 1965 – watching the city burn. The Watts Riots lasted five days, and my father would emerge from them a changed man.

Los Angeles is huge geographically – and Watts was an hour away by car – but I, an eight-year-old little girl, was terrified.

“Don’t go!” my mother cried to my father.


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