Melinda Beck

Separate, Not Equal

You can tell a lot about a culture by the way its inhabitants eat. In the cavernous mess hall of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., first-year cadets sit stiff-backed in their starched gray uniforms, their shoulders scrunched high in the awkward "brace" position, their shaved heads as bald as cue balls.

Patterns Of Abuse

The stories spill out from behind bedroom walls and onto the front pages. Back in 1983, before talk shows dissolved into daily confessionals, actor David Soul offered up the stunning admission that he'd abused his wife, Patti.

The Infertility Trap

USUALLY, WHEN MASSACHUSETTS state Rep. Ronald Gauch holds monthly office hours in Shrewsbury, he hears complaints about budget cuts or potholes. But last month constituents had a more startling grievance.

'Someone Dropped The Ball'

Why didn't Texas child-welfare workers do something sooner to protect the children of David Koresh's cult? In retrospect, the whole tangled saga is a classic case of serious allegations falling through the cracks between federal, state and local jurisdictions and between state lines.

The Questions Live On

Somewhere amid the ashes of Ranch Apocalypse there may be clues to what really happened. Then again, some of the evidence, like some of the bodies, may be burned beyond recognition.

The Impact On Gay Political Power

The "1 percent thing" wasn't mentioned at President Clinton's historic Oval Office meeting with gay and lesbian leaders last week. But the question hung in the air outside: if gays really represent such a tiny fraction of the population, will that stall the political momentum the gay-rights movement has built in recent years?

Doctors Under The Knife

They converged on Washington 1,000 strong last week-pediatricians from Chicago, anesthesiologists from Los Angeles, internists from Utah. They came representing every state in the union and every branch of the medical profession, hoping for the chance to make their voices heard.

Thy Kingdom Come

One of the deadliest days in U.S. law-enforcement history began quietly on the flat plains outside Waco, Texas. About 8:30 Sunday morning, an undercover agent who had infiltrated the bizarre cult known as the Branch Davidians heard the phone ring in the group's sprawling compound.

Mary Poppins Speaks Out

Nannies: dark-skinned women from Trinidad and El Salvador, watching tow-haired charges play in the sand. Fresh-faced Americans from the heartland, eager for adventure-if only their employers would come home before 10 p.m.


Society is full of mixed messages these days. You're supposed to save for your old age and build a nest egg that will see you through an attractive funeral.

The Flames Of A Crusader

All Sue Harang ever wanted, she says, was to ensure decent care for nursing-home patients. For her troubles, she suspects, someone crept up to the bunkhouse on her rural property near New Orleans last May and set it ablaze.

Painful Remedies

No issue facing American voters this fall strikes closer to home than health care, and none is more ponderous to explain. All three presidential candidates are guilty of promising too much, specifying too little and ignoring the enormous obstacles to serious change.


ARCHIE: Edith, if you're gonna have a change of life, you gotta do it right now. I'm gonna give you just 30 seconds. Now come on, CHANGE! EDITH: Can I finish my soup first?--"All in the Family," 1972For generations of women of a certain age, Edith Bunker's rejoinder said it all.

He Hits, She Runs, He Scores

It was Ladies' Night a few weeks back at Sip's, a popular bar in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and, as usual, several of the New York Mets were on hand. In the ladies' room, one temptress moaned, "My moles are smearing." On the dance floor, a male stripper in a gold thong gyrated in front of another woman, who licked champagne from his navel. "Wiggle it-just a little bit" boomed over the sound system--drowning out the muted television as it broadcast news of the latest Mets sex scandal.

The Divine Detective Strikes Again

Sam Spade he's not. And unlike G. K. Chesterton's. Father Brown or television's Murphy, James McClosky has never been or but the seminarian detective has earned startling reputation freeing falsely convicted prisoners he has just signed a movie deal for his life story.

Hand-Me-Down Genes

Whenever doctors asked Dan Maier, 29, if cancer ran in his family, he always said no. That was before he brought a tape recorder to brunch with his 92-year-old grandmother and asked her to help him construct a family history.

School Day For Seniors

Even before he retired from his job as a securities broker in 1984, Mac Gibbons knew he wanted to learn more history. "I had traveled all my adult life, and everywhere I went, I was amazed by how little I knew," he says.

State Of Emergency

He was stabbed during a racial melee in Brooklyn--but his problems didn't end there. Yankel Rosenbaum was taken to the emergency room of Kings County Hospital, where residents treated one stab wound but allegedly failed to notice another for 45 minutes.

Bonfire In Crown Heights

As an uneasy truce prevailed in New York City's Crown Heights neighborhood last week, it was tempting to see the conflagration as the latest chapter in the tangled history of black-Jewish relations.