“Our friend Janet” (1914 – 2015)

“Our friend Janet” (1914 – 2015)
janet wolf

Front Page, NYTIMES, 12/8/15

All we Town Talkers were saddened to learn of Janet’s passing, but also uplifted by the story of her life. Front page of the The New York Times  no less.

We certainly noticed the Gleeful Gadabout Who Got the Town Talking was a regular contributor to The New Yorker‘s “Talk of the Town”department. That Department which itself anticipated our own magazine, while also bequeathing us the “first-person plural style.”

And what a Talker was “our friend Janet.” Later described in the obituary as: “garrulous, generous, whip-smart, endearingly harebrainedunflinchingly direct, occasionally lonely, more than a little ribald [she would have liked Talker loses his innocence, Rockily, at the Cinema Theater] supremely well connected and sometimes down but never out.”

And, our hearts melted when we learned that “Ms. Wolfe’s life .  . . . became an avidly followed picaresque.” Dear Janet, even from above, there is always a staff position open for you.

In Janet’s spirit, we would like to again thank readers for reading. And also gently nudge you to becoming more involved (contributions. collaborations, etc) or to send our way others who might be interested.

For an earlier call, see To readers and contributors, much thanks 


At the Asbury First, “I Dream Wall”, Park Avenue Festival, August 2015

Also, on the home page, we write:

Talker of the Town is a continuation of conversations begun in three Democratic and Chronicle blogs: Make City Schools Better, Unite Rochester and the Editorial Board. Since February 2013, urban education has been the primary focus. Now, the flowering of topics is limited only by our imaginations.

Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

Since then, we have not been that much in the city schools. As such, we are now counting on teachers to help tell the good stories within the RCSD.

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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