Leigh Newman and I were two among the legions of blue-uniformed girls at Baltimore’s Roland Park Country School in the late 1980s. She was a couple of years behind me, a condition that sometimes renders younger girls invisible, but Leigh was never that. Despite being quiet, she was both luminous and likable. I was happy to reconnect with Leigh in our 30s, through the New York/Baltimore writing circuit. And I was even happier to read her lyrical, honest memoir Still Points North: Surviving the World’s Greatest Alaskan Childhood (Dial Press, March 2013).
This week, the Maryland Zoo bid goodbye to Alaska the polar bear, one of the zoo’s most-beloved residents — and an animal with a Hollywood-ready life featuring evil zookeepers, valiant vets, and polar bear sign language. Seriously, someone should option this: