Her Stories

Mary Ann Hogan was an award-winning journalist and teacher whose credits included The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and Mother Jones. She specialized in personal essays, and for six years was syndicated by the Los Angeles Times.  Returning to her childhood home in Mill Valley before she died in 2019 of lymphoma, she wrote a community column for the Marin Independent Journal.

Here’s a selection of links to Mary Ann’s work:

The New York Times

TV on the Front Lines:  Television becomes part of the 1980s  public-education effort against AIDS in San Francisco. (Subscription or free trial required.)

Washington Post

Don’t Tell Me I Can’t: Jim Brunotte was always a hell-raiser. It started in Chicago in 1947 when he came out of his mother’s womb a blue baby. At the age of 6 he contracted polio and the doctors told him he’d never walk again.

Los Angeles Times

(Subscription required.)

The Joy of Crying: It turns out tears are good for you — even though cultural mores discourage us from shedding any. Related story: Crying Types: How hard do you cry?

The Why of the Why: A simple question — Why? — gets to the heart of the matter. Einstein knew it. But can you overdo it?

He-Men in Training: A mom wonders whether boys survive without a Guy Stuff.

Head Trip: Why do we hum the songs that get stuck in our heads?

Twigged Out: A new life means nesting season.

A New Home, a New Life: “Aren’t you excited?” someone inevitably asks when I describe our future home. “It’s great,” I say. “Just great.”

Bed and Bored: Searching for the right mattress can be … tiresome. Related story: In CA, the King Lives.

The Super, Ultra, Maxi Revolution Practical View: The feminine-protection boom is producing a mindboggling array of space age pads. Some even have wings.

Spell-Bound Hang-ups: Big shots still don’t know whether it’s p-o-t-a-t-o-e  or  p-o-t-a-t-o. Related story: E-Mail: A Language From Cyberspace.

What is an American icon?: Elvis? A mushroom cloud? That’s a decision for the Stamp Advisory Committee.

Toxic Friendships: Friend or Foe?: Hard to Tell in Toxic Relationships.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Babied: When celebrities join the parenthood club, how  do they manage their mega busy lives?

When the Story’s End Is Just the Beginning. Tongue in cheek list of sequels we hope we never see.

A World of Nagging: Why we Carp and Harp: The hills are alive with the sound of people getting in each other’s faces.

Florida Sun Sentinel 

(Links to articles are through Newspapers.Com, which at the time of this writing offered a free trial.)

Rock ‘N’ Roll Rest Home:The answer to again Baby Boomers getting older may be blowing in the wind.

Suicide in America: More common than murder, but not talked about or dealt with.

Memories of Mom: Sounds of  her mother’s chopping bowl bring back memories.

The Sacramento Bee

(Links through newspapers.com, free trial or subscription required).

Southern Discomfort?: I’m a Bubba, he’s a Bubba, you a Bubba, too?

A spot of tea?: The tea that inspired the Earl of Sandwich to put peanut butter on bread is in a spot of trouble in England. 

​​The Dancing Raisins: of California’s central valley Now Belong to the Ages.

Greek Chic: And now for some cultural nominations.

 The Real Fear of Flying: At last, for this fearful flier,  tranquility at 30,000 feet.

Oakland Tribune

(The Tribune’s online archive, going to back only to 2001, is now part of the archive of the East Bay Times. Links to articles are through Newspapers.Com, which at the time of this writing offered a free trial.)

John Lennon’s Death: Does it really mean the spirit of the 1960s is gone? Mary Ann’s page-one story.

For Erin: Erin Elizabeth Anderson’s obituary, for her and all the other teenagers whose lives and deaths go untold.  .

The Mental Health Maze (a four-part series) 

1: The Dilemma of what to do with society’s “mad.”

2: Fine Lines  separate “illness” from “lifestyle.”

3: The Judicial Process pits doctor against patient

4: Demystifying Mental Illness is the major task.

Addiction problems: ​​Study Cites Big Problems in Methadone Program.

Interview: The Enlightenment of Sally Kempton, from journalist to Swami. 

This is Where We Live: Afternoon on Rodeo Beach: A fort and those sweeping views.

Chocolate: They rhapsodize over the yummiest of confections.

Bucky: Interview with the legendary R. Buckminster Fuller​ says specialization imperils mankind.

Blue Devils: Behind their spangled eyes lives a drum and bugle corp performing with overpowering precision and class.  

Marin Independent Journal / Mill Valley Column

Mill Valley: Saga of The Fork Causes Neighborhood Stir:
How public art and suburban life converged at a fork in the road.

Smug and Grumpy? Look Again: The Urban Dictionary defines Mill Valley as the city “that was the basis for the South Park episode ‘SmugAlert!’ ”

Are you a Millbilly?: Do you live in the old family home? Are  the rips in your jeans real, not designer? Do you stop for crossing pedestrians?

Capturing the Artistic Soul of a Community: For as long as tribal memory serves, this place has been a magnet, haven and incubator for artists — poets to producers to painters …

Bear Brigade Aids North Bay Fire Victims: Consider the teddy bear. Then, how it’s meant to be snug in the arms of a child. Jane Scurich knows. …

A Town That’s Gone to the Dogs: Eons ago, when human first domesticated dog, a sacred bond was struck …

Mill Valley Market to Hit Yuletide Milestone: He made a wrong turn coming off the Corte Madera Grade.That’s how Frank Canepa, born in Italy in 1896, discovered Mill Valley.

Angel Wings are Unfolding: You don’t have to believe in angels to see them at work among us.

Small Things Spell the Essence: The small pieces, the under-the-radar, unheralded  — each trivial by itself, but knit together, the essence of a place.

Mill Valley’s Counter Culture on Display: Those who lived in this quaint and curious town during the late 1960s … will tell you it was the time from which everything else sprang.

We’re a Bench Town: Chris Ford showed up as usual, 8 a.m., Peet’s Coffee, downtown Mill Valley, to sit on the outdoor bench to sip his java in the sun … .

Want to own a slice of history?: FOR SALE: 2.6 acres of Mill Valley history. Included: 80 heritage redwoods (maybe more, count ’em); a 100-year-old stone bridge crossing a caroling creek; an iconic main house, definitely a fixer-upper.

Turning Bench Design Into Art Form: The town that loves its benches is about to get even benchier.

Teens Serve Rube Goldberg for Breakfast: How do you pour a bowl of cereal? Easy. Just follow these 57 simple steps.

Dipsea Race Quiz: Test Your Knowledge: Think of it as Mill Valley’s annual tribal rite.

Quill Magazine

An Indelible Force: A Tribute to Roy Aarons: To much of the journalism world, he was s a warrior for newsroom diversity. To me, a mentor.

Mother Jones Magazine

The Good Marriage?: Dr. Judith Wallerstein wants to know what makes couples happy

Journal of Digital and Media Literacy

Summary of “In the Digital Age”: It’s a Rhetorical Tetrahedron.

Media Studies Center Journal (Routledge Reprint)

Great Courage, Small Places: Journalists who believe their work matters (with Eric Newton).


Is the Pope Catholic?: Everything you always wanted to know about His Holiness, but were afraid to ask!

Crusaders, Scoundrels, Journalists: Credited at the end of the book, Mary Ann was the primary writer of this text as well as the history gallery of the original Newseum in Rosslyn, Va. “Crusaders”  traces the lives and times of nearly 300 American newspeople.