Jonathan Zimmerman: As a Region Battered by Sandy Braces for the Nor'easter, I Think of GrandmaRoundup: Historians' Take
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. He is the author of “Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory” (Yale University Press).
What’s going to happen to Grandma?
That was my first worry, when I heard that hurricane Sandy was coming. Then I remembered: Grandma’s not here anymore. It’s easy to forget, because she was with us for so long; she passed last December at the age of 104. And I stayed at her Greenwich Village apartment two nights a week for 16 years, while commuting from my Philadelphia home to my job in New York.
So when the rains began, and the lights went out, I found myself lying in the dark and remembering Grandma – and the New York we had shared.
From the studio apartment that I now rent, just one floor above Grandma’s place, I made my way through a pitch-black hallway and down the stairs, guided only by the weak light of my cellphone. And I thought of 9/11.
On September 11, from the street outside my office, I had watched one of the Twin Towers crumble into dust. Then I went to Grandma’s apartment and we watched both buildings fall, over and over again, on her old television set....
comments powered by Disqus
- Conservative historian Arthur Herman slammed for saying Obama is highly submissive to Putin and other strong leaders
- Intellectual historians to gather in October
- Yuri N. Afanasyev, Historian Who Repudiated Communism, Dies at 81
- History professor gives Pittsburgh, PA columnist an “F” for a op ed on slavery
- Sharon Ullman says the work of historians is becoming increasingly invisible