Joel Ezra Solkoff

Oct 12, 1948–May 3, 2022

“If I am not for myself,
   who will be for me?
And, if I am only for myself,
   what am I?
And if not now,

–Hillel, the great sage.


  • LSD Goddess Joanna Harcourt-Smith

    LSD Goddess Joanna Harcourt-Smith

    Timothy Leary wrote me from his jail cell. The adjoining cell contained Charles Manson. Shortly after I received the letter, I visited Timothy next to the vending machines. I had spent months squiring around the beautiful, French speaking socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith who was next to Timothy in Kabul, Afghanistan when G.Gordon Liddy, on urgent orders from Richard Nixon, arrested Timothy. I regarded the interview as one last chance for Timothy to demonstrate that he was not a total and complete horse’s ass. The only reason I had stayed around the Leary entourage was Joanna with whom I was head over heals in love. Joanna and I had made love while peaking on Owsley’s LSD. After that, there was no turning back. It was Timothy or me. Foolishly, Joanna picked Timothy.

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  • Ani Ma’Amin: This is what I believe

    Ani Ma’Amin: This is what I believe

    Most recently, my “expertise” has resulted in my efforts to affirm Eli Weisel’s insistance that being a Jew ( surrounded as I had been in the 1950s by tattooed survivors of the Holocaust) requires us as Jews to end genocide of whatever form; specifically in Yemen, the Mayanmar region of what used to be Burma, Venezuela ( most especially on the Western border in Colombia) the Sudan, and ….

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  • Strangers and Snow

    From where I sit stuck in the February snow on the Allen Street hill facing home after breakfast at Webster’s Café and Bookstore, the words come to mind like a mantra that has governed the last 15 years of my life as a man who cannot walk, “…I have always depended on the kindness of […]

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    [MY FEBRUARY 2010 COLUMN FROM VOICES OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA] From Where I Sit “…Dr. [Margaret] Pfanstiehl…said her goal was to engage the sight-deprived to‘live a 20/20 existence without 20/20 vision.’”                             –from The Washington Post. Dr. Pfanstiehl, mourned last month in a Maryland ceremony, was blind and promoted audio description technology to the point where […]

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  • Background Whimsy for February 2010 Voices Column above

    Background Whimsy for February 2010 Voices Column above

    MY NEW POWER CHAIR Picture 1. It is nearly dawn here at my apartment in Addison Court. Lately, I have been getting up early, drinking 5 cups of Ethiopian coffee and so ending my caffeine for the day. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Pictured here is the view from my kitchen/dining room/living room window. I look out East onto […]

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  • Firefighter Love: From Addison Court Report February, 2009

    [Note: Addison Court is an independent living facility in Downtown State College for citizens aged 55 and older and individuals with disabilities. Many of its residents are aged 70, 80, and 90. Last year we had problems with faulty fire alarms which demonstrted residents did not know what to do when the alarm went off […]

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  • Kvetzing in Centre County, December 2009 Version

    Preparing for the next column–a columnist kvetches 1.Submitted by jsolkoff on Sat, 2009-12-26 Dear Reader I write a column for Voices which appears in the Community and Lifestyles section. The column “From Where I Sit” is about the disabled and elderly. [Please note that according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (frequently […]

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  • Interview with The Duke Taught Me a Lesson from Voices of Central Pennsylvania, December 2009-January 2010

    Interview with The Duke Taught Me a Lesson from Voices of Central Pennsylvania, December 2009-January 2010

    From Where I Sit John Wayne once granted me a telephoneinterview on his experiences with cancer.For those readers too young to remember [aconcept that defies imagination], JohnWayne (nicknamed The Duke) was anAcademy-Award winning actor whoappeared in 142 movies. His cowboy andother macho roles served as an icon for mygeneration on how a real man is […]

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  • Why I came to State College: For the money from Voices of Central Pennsylvania, November, 2009

    From Where I Sit: I came to State College for the money. In March 2002, I was sitting in the Office of Professor Elias Mpofu, program head for Penn State’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program, a program I was just invited to join. Professor Mpofu asked, “Why did you decide to come to Penn State?” “For the […]

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