But first . . .


Tom Friedman: Putin and Netanyahu Show Why Bad Things Happen to Bad Leaders


David Currier was my hands-on editor at PARADE.

You’ve never heard of him, even though he worked on thousands of pieces by scores of writers reaching tens of millions of people.

He died at 87 a few months ago, beloved by everyone.  Brilliant, mirthful, and completely without ego.

At the Zoom memorial this week I learned that “in addition to his passion for ballet and opera, he attended the show where Andy Kaufman invited the entire Carnegie Hall audience to board buses for milk and cookies afterwards” — perfect.

And one of David’s colleagues, remarking on his lack of ego, remembered David once telling him:

“I’ve always preferred to dance in the spotlight of others.” 

If PARADE was your newspaper’s Sunday supplement, David quietly added something to your life.


Last week: advice in case  someone gets hit by a bus.

Today: advice born of the house fire that upended my friends lives:

Google Lens has been an amazing tool to help us recover.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many sentimental things we found online that we would never have been able to find with just simple searching and online shopping.

For example: We went to the Star Wars Celebration last year and purchased amazing, custom (expensive) artwork from some independent artists. They were completely destroyed.  Imagine typing “Star Wars artwork” in Google hoping to find that custom artwork!  Impossible.  But we found an image of the artwork in the background of another pic on our phone. We zoomed on the background and Google Lens found the exact artwork on the artist’s website.  Amazing!  We purchased it — something we thought would never be replaced.

We also found vintage cookbooks, kids’ childhood memory toys (2004 Mickey Mouse) and clothes using Google Lens. It’s an amazing tool. With Google Lens, eBay, and some other online auction sites, we have been able to replace much that went up in smoke.  It has really helped with the recovery process for the kids. When they come home, there are some familiar items in our rental house to help them feel as though not everything is lost.

Our takeaway message #1:  Take pics or a simple video to document everything in your house.

Message #2: Store important backups offsite. I had tons of backups of all of my stuff (expecting earthquake), but just had external hard drives in my office (next to the machine I backed up). Dumb. All of those external hard drives melted in the fire. Laurie had lots of stuff stored in DropBox so she was able to recover all of her work.

Message #3:  Be sure to check your insurance policy to see what coverage you have. You want “replacement cost” insurance!  Because we had paid extra for it, we got NOT for the depreciated “actual value” of the house and contents but the MUCH higher cost to replace it all.



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