- Stories & Articles by Sonia
Articles and Stories by Sonia Pressman Fuentes
- In Memoriam: Lynn Ruth Miller.
- On July 29, 2020, the new website of the Cornell Club of Sarasota-Manatee was launched. It included Sonia's article on her friendship with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- Sonia's article, "The Meadows has a fascinating history," appeared in the online newspaper, the Sarasota News Leader, on Sept. 13, 2019. Sonia bought a condo at The Meadows in March 1999 and thereafter spent varying amounts of time there during the winters. Beginning on Nov. 1, 2006, she lived there full-time until Nov. 1, 2019, when she moved to a nearby Jewish senior community called Aviva. In early January 2020, The Meadoword, the newspaper of The Meadows, republished that article. You can access it here.
- Sonia's article, "How Being an Immigrant Shaped My Life," appeared in the summer newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of SW Florida, published on April 3, 2019, and on its website. You can read the article in pdf format here.
- On Jan. 14, 2019, Sonia's remembrance of her late, feminist friend, Dr. Bernice "Bunny" Sandler (known as the "Godmother of Title IX"), who died at the age of 90 on Jan. 5, 2019, in her Washington, D.C. condo, was published in the "We Remember" section of the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA).
- On Nov. 1, 2018, a paperback anthology of writings by older women about their lives entitled “You’re Doing What?: Older Women’s Tales of Achievement & Adventure,” edited by Marjorie Penn Lasky, was published. In a section called " A Life of Activism," it contains a piece by Sonia named "Eighty-five years old in Sarasota County, Florida." The book can be purchased from Amazon. For purchases in bulk, Regent Press (email@example.com) will take orders for 10 or more books and provide them at a discount.
- Sonia's write-up of her experiences with Hurricane Irma in Sarasota in September of 2017 appeared in the Cornell Alumni Magazine of July/Aug. 2018 in the Class Notes for her class, the class of 1950, on page 69.
- On March 20, 2018, Mary Wilson, president of the Greater Orlando, FL chapter of NOW, put Sonia's write-up on how she became a feminist in the chapter's enewsletter.
- In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2018, The Forward newspaper shared its readers' stories, including Sonia's.
- Sonia participates in a one-hour webinar set up by the National Women's History Project (NWHP) on Jan. 13, 2016. 1) Click here to read about NWHP. 2) To listen to the oral comments and see the written comments, click on "webinar archive" toward the bottom of your screen. On the "webinar archive" screen, it is, however, very difficult to move the written comments up or down. 3) To get a clearer view of the written comments and to be able to move them up and down easily, click on "Chat Log." 4) Click on "Final PowerPoint Presentation" if you would like to see that.
- Sonia's article on the second wave of the women's movement: its origin, accomplishments, and the problems that remain--both in the U.S. and globally--appeared on June 14, 2015, on the website of the Institute for Science and Human Values.
- Sonia's write-up appeared on the Facebook page of the Red Star Line Museum commemorating the 81st anniversary of the arrival in the U.S. from Germany, via Belgium, of Sonia and the rest of her immediate family.
- "My Jewish Weekend in Sarasota," sent by Sonia to her friends, Nov. 16, 2014.
- "History Without Hitler?", Op-Ed in the New York Times and its international edition, October 26, 2014. This Op-Ed was written by Sonia's friend, Timothy Ryback, and edited by Sonia.
- "End of Life Issue," October 16, 2014.
- “Top 18 Issues Challenging Women Today,” The Shriver Report, May 5, 2014.
- Sonia’s letter of April 16, 2014, to Bishop Frank J. DeWane, bishop of the Venice, FL diocese, is on the blog of Bridget Mary Meehen.
- “The Second Wave of the Women’s Movement—Past, Present, and Future,” Women You You Should Know website, March 26, 2014.
- Sonia reminisces about her three British feminist friends, March 25, 2014.
- Sonia’s article about her trip to the Catskills appeared in the Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee (Jan. 2014, Vol. 44, No. 1, p. 23A).
- Three-part series by Sonia in the Sullivan County Democrat, a newspaper in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
- Sonia’s submission to the book Mother Knows Better - Sense and Nonsense from American Moms by Patti Murphy is one of over two hundred momisms in the book.
- Sonia’s article about the travails of The Forward after Superstorm Sandy appeared in Der Bay (Vol. XXIII, No. II, Mar.-Apr. 2013, p. 12).
- NOW (National Organization for Women) Founder Sonia Fuentes Gives Back To Education.
- "A heart-healthy diet is easier to adhere to than it may seem, especially with plenty of grocery and restaurant choices in Sarasota," December 7, 2012. (To see this article, which first appeared in the online Sarasota News Leader, once the large picture appears, scroll down to the article.) On April 27, 2015, the article was published on the website of Vegan Everyday Stories. On May 22, 2015, a shortened version of the article appeared on the website of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
- “A Journey of Discovery,” Sonia’s article about her September 2011 week’s trip to Germany exploring Jewish life in Germany, published in two parts.
- "Finding My Identity as a Feminist" - This article appeared in the online magazine, Identity, on September 21, 2011.
- "My Story" - This article appeared in HavaMag, Issue 4, August, 2011.
- To access the article:
- Click on the arrow to the right until it takes you to the Table of Contents on the left.
- Click on the first item in the Table of Contents, which is the article about Sonia, on page 10.
- When you come to the article, double click on each page to make the type readable.
- To access the article:
- "First Woman: Sonia Pressman Fuentes," appeared at the end of July 2011 in Ms. JD, an e-zine for women law students and lawyers.
- “Judging Our Future: Supreme Women Move Up,” about the increasing percent of women judges on the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts, went online in the Café section of On the Issues e-zine on December 21, 2010. In February of 2012, the article was added to the featured news & comments section of the website of Cornell University’s Avon Global Center for Women and Justice.
- "Advancing Rights: 1964 Marks the Beginning of a New Era" - This article was published in On The Issues Magazine, Café section, on August 25, 2010, in celebration of Women’s Equity Day, the 90th anniversary of suffrage, August 26, 2010.
- Sonia has written articles for Scitable, a website for women in science, or been introduced as a resource on women and employment law for Scitable, as follows:
- Sonia decries American women’s ignorance of the legal rights they have achieved since the early 1960s and lists those rights. (August 13, 2013)
- Sonia discusses breast implant ruptures and leaks. (Mar. 21, 2011)
- "Sonia Pressman Fuentes on Pregnancy Leave, Parental Care Leave, and the Law" - Sonia explains the law on leave and benefits in connection with pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery. (July 28, 2010)
- Correction to posting of June 3, 2010, introducing Sonia as Scitable’s resource on women and employment law. (June 4, 2010)
- Sonia is introduced as Scitable’s resource on women and employment law. (June 3, 2010)
- "My Life After Divorce" - Sonia discusses her life after divorce for a “Divorce and Women’s Success” series. (2010)
- "A Negative Experience, A Positive Outcome" - The lucky day Fuentes was fired. (2009)
- "First Wedding at the Fontainebleau," an unpublished anecdote, November 23, 2008.
- Added as a Luminary on inspiremetoday.com, Oct. 2009, and updated in Nov. 2013.
- “If You Build It, They Will Come—The Birth of A Yiddish Club,” published in Der Bay, The International Anglo-Yiddish Newsletter (Vol. XVII, No. 9, Nov. 2007). Sonia starts a Yiddish Club in Sarasota, FL. Also published in the Gantseh Megillah. (Nov. 14, 2007, Issue 8.10)
- "My Fortuitous Escape from the Holocaust and My Life Thereafter" - This article is published on a Web site called "Women and the Holocaust." (2006)
- “A Love Letter to Ostuni” (2005)
- "My Visit to Piltz" - A sequel to "A Visit to Piltz." (2005)
- "Three-hour Tour Turns Unforgettable" - This article, by Fuentes, recalling the saga of her trip to the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford estates in Ft. Myers, FL, appeared in The East County Observer, a newspaper in East Manatee and Sarasota Counties, Florida, January 16, 2003.
- "A Special Bond" - Sonia wrote an article about the water exercise class she attended at the Y on Potter Park Drive in Sarasota starting in 2003.
- "I Lucky Everything: The Story of a Real `Miss Saigon'" - Along with a manicure, a reminder of how immigrants revitalize our nation. (2002)
- "A Visit to Piltz" - This article is about Fuentes' August 2001 journey to her parents' birthplace, a village called Piltz in Poland. (2001)
- "How I Built a Life in Retirement" - Sonia had a difficult time adjusting to retirement, and then she entered the best years of her life. (2000)
- "How I Published My Memoir: A Lawyer-Feminist's Story" - This is the story of the six years Fuentes spent in researching, writing, publishing and marketing her memoir and making the transition from being a lawyer to a writer and public speaker. (Also see: "How I Got Published in South Africa) (2000)
- "A Seder in Shanghai" - Fuentes participates in a seder in a most unlikely city, Shanghai, China. This piece appeared previously in JoyZine and on Harry Leichter's website. (1999)
- "HUD Goes to the Moscow Trade Show" - This article was originally published in Sparks 28. March - April, 1999. (1999)
- Breast Cancer and Ruptured/Leaking Breast Implants - The story of Fuentes' experience with breast cancer. (1998)
- "Three United States Feminists: A Personal Tribute" - This article is about Fuentes' most memorable encounters with Alice Paul, the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, and Catherine East (1998).
- “Representing Women,” a 17-page article, originally published in Frontiers, a Journal of Women Studies (Vol. 18, No.3, Nov. 3, 1997), by the Washington State University Press, is available by emailing Sonia at firstname.lastname@example.org and asking her to email it to you or by purchasing it at jstor.org. This was Sonia’s first published article about women’s rights.
- "House of History" (written in 1996) -- A history of the headquarters of the National Woman's Party (NWP). The house, most recently known as the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument and previously known as the Sewall-Belmont House, was for many years the headquarters of the National Woman's Party. However, at the end of 2020, NWP ended its existence and transferred its functions to the Alice Paul Institute in New Jersey.
- "Magnolias" - A Washington, DC, love story. (1996)
- "Family Past Unfolds Like Detective Story" - Research Leads to Ship's Records, a Movie and Snapshots. (1995)
- “Impressions: The Status of Women in Southeast Asia,” published in the Common Law Lawyer (no longer in existence), Sept.-Oct. 1978. (To enlarge the print on machines using Windows, hold down the control button of your computer while moving the wheel of your mouse. If viewing through Adobe Acrobat, enlarge the text with the plus button, or use the percentage dropdown list.)
- In March 1970, an article called “Job Discrimination and the Black Woman” written by Sonia under her maiden name was published in the NAACP’s Crisis magazine. In June 1970, Pauli Murray introduced that article into the record of the House Special Subcommittee of the Education Committee chaired by Rep. Edith Green.
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Sonia Pressman Fuentes
In Memoriam: Lynn Ruth Miller
I met my late friend, Lynn Ruth Miller, an American who had spent the last several years in London, on only one occasion. This is surprising to me because we had been such close friends. But our friendship flourished through emails. I did, however, have a phone conversation with her with regard to sending her a present for her 87th birthday on October 11, 2020, and she planned to visit me toward the end of 2021 in Sarasota, FL.
On the afternoon of September 7, 2021, however, I received an email from Sarah-Louise Young, a British actress, writer, director, and internationally-renowned cabaret performer, who was a close friend and entertainment collaborator of Lynn Ruth's. Sarah-Louise told me that she had just received a phone call from the hospice where Lynn Ruth was staying telling her that Lynn Ruth had died at about 4:30 p.m. London time (11:30 a.m. Eastern time in the U.S.). Sarah-Louise and I had been expecting that call for several days.
Sarah-Louise made the arrangements in connection with Lynn Ruth's death and memorial service.
The one time I met Lynn Ruth was on August 31, 2008, at the wedding of my gay friends, the late Michael Fein and Arnold Hanna, in Montreal, Canada. Michael, who was Jewish, was the publisher of a monthly online magazine called the Gantseh Megillah, with articles of interest to the Jewish community, and Arnold, who is not Jewish, helped him with the magazine. (Megillah, which has various English spellings, is a Hebrew, Yiddish, and English word that means "scroll" or "volume." It refers especially to the Book of Esther, which is read aloud at the Jewish holiday of Purim. Its slang definition is "a long, involved story or account." Gantseh, which also has various English spellings, is a Yiddish word that means "whole." Thus, "gantseh Megillah," often used derisively, means "everything, every aspect or element.")
Both Lynn Ruth and I had contributed articles that were published in that magazine and had become friends of Michael and Arnold. Lynn Ruth at that time lived in San Francisco. She entertained at the wedding by telling humorous stories, as I recall.
Michael and Arnold had been living together 20 years at the time of their wedding, but after Canada allowed same-sex marriages on July 20, 2005, they decided to get married.
Lynn Ruth was an American writer of articles and books, an amateur painter, and a comedian. What made her unique was that at the age of 71, she embarked upon a show business career as a comedian--and became a flaming success after not having been a success at much of anything in her entire life: she didn't have a particularly good relationship with her parents, had two failed marriages, never had any children, none of her books had attained fame, and she didn't have much in the way of money. But after she became a comedian, she sold her San Francisco home, moved to London, became known as the oldest stand-up comedian in the world, and traveled the world doing her comedy routines. Before she was felled in July of 2021 by a mild heart attack and an advanced case of esophageal cancer, she told me she planned to buy a house and get a Ph.D. I believed she would do these things as she appeared to be unstoppable.
Her comedy career started when Lynn Ruth, at 71, noticed an ad for a course for aspiring comedians at the San Francisco Comedy College, the largest stand-up school in the U.S. She thought that would be a good subject for one of her newspaper articles and discussed that with Kurtis Matthews, founder of the college, who agreed. Lynn took the course and then realized she herself should become a comedian. So, she did. When she got offers to host two TV programs in the UK, she left her U.S. life and moved to London. Then she found herself in a visa struggle with the government of the UK, which she, of course, won. It is described on John Fleming's blog.
Thereafter, she went from success to success as a comedian and occasional burlesque stripper. Her past website told part of the story:
"Dubbed the new Joan Rivers of Fringe Comedy at the Edinburgh International Fringe.
"LYNN RUTH MILLER started comedy & cabaret at 70. She made it to Las Vegas in America's Got Talent, 2008, won People's Choice in 2009, Branson Comedy Festival, the finals in Bill Word's Funniest Female Contest 2009 and semi-finals in the SF International Comedy Competition, the top 100 in Britain's Got Talent not to mention winning both nights for the Texas Barbecue Festival without taking anything off that matters. . . .
"2014 TOandST winner: best cabaret Edinburgh Fringe
2015 Liberty Award Leicester Comedy Festival
2015 Old Comedian of the Year Finalist"
Lynn Ruth traveled the world to do her comedy routines. Among the places where she performed were London, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Hanoi, Bangkok, Amsterdam, and Utrecht (in the Netherlands).
Lynn Ruth died at the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which has a special significance in Judaism. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was also a friend of mine, and also 87 at the time of her death, also died during the Jewish New Year. A Reuters article of Sept. 19, 2020, by the Reuters Staff, states as follows about RBG's death at that time of year:
"Her death on the eve of Rosh Hashanah also has significance in Jewish tradition, rabbis and friends said. 'One of the themes of Rosh Hashanah suggests that very righteous people would die at the very end of the year because they were needed until the very end,' said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
"Those who die on the new year holiday are considered 'tzadik,' a title given to the righteous and saintly.
“'God has held back until the last moment bc they were needed most & were the most righteous,' National Public Radio journalist Nina Totenberg, a close friend of Ginsburg, wrote on Twitter."
I like to think that my dear friend, Ruth Lynn Miller, was also held back until the last minute.
©2021 by Sonia Pressman Fuentes