Pamela Varkony’s commentaries and essays appear regularly in newspapers, magazines, and online. She is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association’s Excellence in Journalism Award for Editorial Writing.
Our Lost Tohickon Valley
Pamela Varkony and her co-author conducted countless interviews and engaged in extensive research to produce their history of Upper Bucks County in the early Twentieth Century. “Our Lost Tohickon Valley” provides a riveting look at the lives, loves, and lifestyles of a unique and beautiful part of the country. Well received and reviewed, “Our Lost Tohickon Valley” is in its third printing.
(click on the thumbnails below to download the original in PDF format)
A Day In The Life: On the Road With The Toomey Campaign
On an early autumn day of above average temperatures and cloudless Pennsylvania blue sky, the morning starts with a bang for Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey. As he begins his remarks to the faithful gathered at the Republican State Committee meeting in the Harrisburg Hilton, a photographer standing on a chair behind the podium falls off the stage and comes crashing to the floor.
Afghanistan Translator Now Living Among His Heroes
Several weeks ago, my phone rang late enough in the evening that it startled me. The caller ID said only “Texas.” The voice at the other end was almost unintelligible because of a bad connection and a strong accent. Thinking it was a wrong number or prank call, I was about to hang up when I realized the person was saying “Palmula”: “Palmula, it is Mohammad, your friend from Afghanistan.” “Why does the caller ID say Texas?” I asked. “I am here, Palmula, I am here.”
Surviving Cancer Is Part Of Women’s History, Too
Hope was in the air as a group of ”over 40” women gathered to celebrate the survival of one of their own. Standing in the March chill, they posed for a group photograph, each holding a pink balloon. The guest of honor said ”Cheese!” and the moment was digitally frozen in time as the balloons drifted toward Heaven. Better them than the soul of a friend.
Betrayed Wives Message? Don’t Hurt Political Chances
In one of the most stunning self-inflicted wounds seen since a blue dress got stuffed into a bag instead of sent to the cleaners, New York governor, and once-probable presidential candidate Eliot Spitzer resigned amid allegations he was a regular customer of a high-priced prostitution ring. Watching Silda Spitzer stand by her husband before the cameras was painful to see.
Michele Norris Interview
In the middle of a hectic afternoon, with the phone ringing constantly and a deadline looming, I had decided to let voice mail take my calls for the rest of the day when the caller ID caught my attention: National Public Radio said the display, followed by a strangely familiar velvety voice on the machine, saying, “Hello, this is Michele Norris, (ME-shell as in the Beatles song), from All Things Considered”.
Underwear and Underworld
A fellow freelance writer called last week with an intriguing invitation: She had interviewed Ian Kerner, the author of the pop culture best seller, Be Honest…You’re Not That Into Him Either. My friend was invited to the book launch party in New York City: The venue was the famous, and for you Sex and the City buffs, the familiar, club/bar, BED. Surely they didn’t really have just beds. There had to be tables and chairs somewhere…there weren’t.
Civilian Casualties Hurt Mission In Afghanistan
The handsome young man in the hospital bed in Kabul, Afghanistan, manages a weak smile but it makes the surgical tape around his neck tighten against his wound and the smile vanishes. On a chair next to the bed, his mother rocks back and forth, repeating over and over an incantation to Allah for her son’s recovery.
Women’s Health Magazine: Action Figures
A heavy gold curtain is pulled across the glass doors of a three-story building in the heart of downtown Kabul. There’s no sign outside, but local women know what’s hidden here. It’s Venus, one of the capital’s first women-only gyms, founded by fitness lover Nargis Shearzad.
The SUV comes to a stop in a cloud of thick red Afghan dust. Like a scene from a western movie, as the air clears, the outline of a man emerges. Dressed in traditional Afghan salmar chemise and topi, arms folded across his chest, Sami Khan looks every inch the mujahedeen fighter.
Pennsylvania Magazine: Nostalgia on Main Street
In the days before Walmart, Kmart and Target, when I was growing up in Quakertown, Bucks County, the Sine’s 5&10 Cent Store was like a child’s wonderland filled with toys, gadgets, cherry Cokes and a train that chugged around the walls near the ceiling. A trip to Town was always an event, but when it included a walk through those double wooden doors, it became an adventure.
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