Where I Go: The Candy Wrapper Museum

Your Trash Is My Treasure—And a Sweet Reminder of the Past

In 2019, an unassuming package arrived at my front door.

Inside was a sooty 2-by-4-foot scrapbook filled with candy wrappers over 70 years old. On the surface, a piece of trash—one that in fact came from a dumpster, saved from oblivion during the move of Necco (the New England Confectionery Company) from its Cambridge, Massachusetts factory to nearby Revere in 2003. After the company went bankrupt 15 years later, it traveled 2,950 miles to La Verne, California, to the ranch house my husband Joe and I call home.

Why am I now …

In Praise of the Postcard

A Seemingly Obsolete Technology Invites Us to Ruminate on the Possibilities of the Past and the Future

The postcard selection on Vis, Croatia’s most remote island, was not terribly appealing. I considered a card adorned with a photograph of boats in the old harbor. Surely, I thought, …

Party Like It’s 1999, Again

What Gen Z’s Displaced Nostalgia for the Decade of Mixtapes, Friends, and Ripped Jeans Says About Us

At the end of the 1990s, all anyone could talk about was the impending Y2K doomsday—that moment on January 1, 2000, when computers would think our calendars had all flipped …

Nostalgia’s Ingenious Potential | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Nostalgia’s Ingenious Potential

Often Associated With People Who Are Angry About a Lost Past, These Feelings of Longing Can Help Inspire an Inclusive Future

When 19-year-old Swiss medical student Johannes Hofer first coined the term “nostalgia” in 1688, he had wanderers on his mind.

With this neologism, Hofer was describing the deep melancholy—a “wasting …

Longing for the Softer Side of Hurricanes

A Continent Away from Horrible Destruction, I Miss the Familial Routines of My South Florida Childhood

After school, whenever I walked into my family’s home in Davie, Florida, I was always reminded of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, which decimated nearly 64,000 homes some 60 miles away in …