Stories From A Life

Been there. Done that. Writing about it.

Sally Swift

Sally Swift
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
June 14
VP, Repartee
Swift Retorts
sally: a journey, a venture, an expression of feeling, an outburst, a quip, a wisecrack ... me


AUGUST 18, 2014 3:52PM

Suicide From The Inside

This space left empty. In memoriam.

 The shocking suicide of Robin Williams brought many of us together in a uniquely intimate connection. We and our families share life-threatening conditions, bi-polar disorder with clinical depression, anxiety, panic attacks. Mental illness. It'sRead full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2013 5:03PM

Friday, November 22, 1963


Walter Cronkite-JFK - video powered by Metacafe


"I am absolutely sure he never knew what hit him," Dr. Tom Shires, chief surgeon, Parkland Hospital, Dallas, November 22, 1963

If you remember the assassination of John F. Kennedy, you also remember we didn't know what hit us either.
Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 2:28PM

Rosh Hashanah, Imagine Peace

A beautiful example (even with Bill Clinton's off-key singing) of children coming together in peace.

Every year on Rosh Hashanah I try to find ways to explain the meaning of the Jewish High Holy Days, their importance in the lives of human beings everywhere. Rosh Hashana and Yom KippurRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 28, 2013 4:49PM

Bert and Ernie Are Not Gay


bert and ernie newsweek

"They are not gay, they are not straight, they are puppets."  Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime. This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.” Jack HunterRead full post »

It's official. Michael Douglas has jumped the shark. From unconvincing homo to questionable Lothario in a blink. A cynical head trip of cunning design. So to speak.

douglas liberace

liberace piano

It's been established I've met Liberace, in my parent's home during my childhood. He adored my mother, was very sweetRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 23, 2013 3:02PM

Liberace, Behind My Candelabra


 “As he grew more artificial, he grew more genuine.” Quentin Crisp.

I haven't seen Steven Soderbergh's HBO movie, "Behind the Candelabra," about Liberace, the Maestro of Kitsch and his young lover Scott Thorson. I haven't met Michael Douglas, who plays Liberace, or MRead full post »

flowers and card 

If you're a parent or have had parents, if you're a college student or have had college students, if you ever tried to do something nice for Mom and screwed it up just a little ... this is for you.

I first told this story in 2005, feeling the painRead full post »



Be Who You Are, Not Who I Tell You To Be

My husband was and is a hands-on father. Involved. Loving and supportive. Caring more about the kid's learning and safety and success and happiness than society's gratuitous rules. It worked.

Son has always been
Read full post »

MARCH 13, 2013 6:33PM

Mood Elevation


Poor us. Life is handing out a lot of lemons and we're not having much luck making lemonade.

It's causing some nasty moods. A lot of us have been under the weather or beset by the weather. Feeling blue. Out of sorts. Grumpy. Not feeling the love.

We… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 15, 2013 1:40AM

My Mind-Boggling First Kiss


Love is in the air this week. The glow of new or renewed romance will last at least a few more days, maybe longer. Perfect timing to tell you about my very First Kiss. 

My ground rules for a real first kiss are simple. It should be aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 23, 2013 7:34PM

I Got Married On A Bet 31 Years Ago Today


Back Story
I  never wanted to marry, which is odd because though I've sown my share of wild oats around the globe, I'm basically a monogamous homebody. Wherever I've lived, I've created a nest. And preferred only one man at a time to share it with me. But never quite

Read full post »

hbg phl and me 

Counter-clockwise from right: the late Gov Shapp, his chief of staff Dick Doran (RIP), a local judge, State Senator Vince Fumo, Buddy's protege and successor, now in prison. I almost went to jail too.

This year's election is being framed
Read full post »

  hurricane sandy

Hurricane Sandy is not a joke or a myth or a government conspiracy. This monster storm, just in time for Halloween, is going to pound an area from Massachusetts all the way to Florida, beginning Sunday and lasting at least until Tuesday.

States in its path, including majorRead full post »

OCTOBER 5, 2012 12:09AM

Bagging Big Bird

big bird gun    
Beth A. Keiser, AP (gun graphic added - SS)

"Americans overwhelmingly see public broadcasting as an unbiased information source. Perhaps that's what the GOP finds so offensive about it." Former Rep. David Obey, (D) Wisconsin

"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the sub
Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 3, 2012 4:19PM

Presidential Debates, Appearance VS Substance


A little over four years ago Senators Barack Obama and John McCain squared off in a series of presidential debates as historic as the debates between Vice President Nixon and Senator Kennedy a little over four decades ago. The Nixon-Kennedy debates were the first ever televised, inRead full post »




"The overarching theme of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is 'change:' to change from what we were before and to become new individuals. The motif behind it all is accountability. We are responsible for our actions... What we do or say has an impact and a resonanceRead full post »

movie shooter 
Would you shush this guy in a movie theater? Don't.

I'm embarrassed to admit that Philadelphia ranks consistantly at or near the top of gun violence statistics in American cities. And in some sort of weird, ironic twist of fate, we actually had a shooting in a movie theater hereRead full post »

bernstein ephron

Richard Drew/Associated Press

“I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn't work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.”Read full post »

birthday cake 

Meme: "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Most of us know about the blog trend called Memes. As defined above, a meme is the essence of viral community. By the

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 31, 2012 2:13PM

Bob Dylan, My Story

 Charles Dharapak/AP

"Bob's voice, with its weight, its unique gravely power, was redefining not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel. Today, everybody from Bruce Springsteen to U2 owes Bob a debt of gratitude. There is not a bigger giant iRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 11, 2012 1:04PM

Breast Feeding Frenzy, Time Mag Jumps the Wrong Shark

breast feedingCover of Facebook page Hey, LACMA! Breastfeeding isn't shameful.

"I breast-fed all three of my children, because the milk is free." Michelle Singletary

I wouldn't touch the Time Magazine article on mothers breast feeding older kids with a ten foot pole. For me, it's a simple equation: AmuseRead full post »


"[I]f I were standing at the beginning of time...and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trekRead full post »


"Here's to a long life, and a merry one; a quick death, and an easy one; a pretty girl, and an honest one; a cold beer - and another one!" Old Irish toast

Yes, Bridget, the world's going the hell in a hand basket. Sometimes we need to stepRead full post »


Back Story
I  never wanted to marry, which is odd because though I've sown my share of wild oats around the globe, I'm basically a monogamous homebody. Wherever I've lived, I've created a nest. And preferred only one man at a time to share it with me. But never quite

Read full post »


"Our goal is exposing Rick Santorum to everyone who cares that his extreme agenda and his harsh and often hostile brand of politics has sought to divide us, coarsened our public conversation and simply failed to improve the lives of most Americans.", 2005, web site defuncRead full post »