Looking back…

By Caitlin Kelly

With so much more time at home to reflect, it’s been interesting to flip through old photos, enjoying happy memories.

A few of these:


Jose and I, now together 20 years, married in 2011, met through an online dating site, which I was writing about for a magazine story. His was one of (!) 200 replies to my profile, whose candid headline was Catch Me If You Can. He did!

Not one to hesitate, he pulled out the big guns and, within two months of meeting me, invited me to the White House News Photographers annual dinner, a black tie affair in D.C. seated with senior photo editors of his employer, The New York Times. No pressure!

And, showing off his extraordinary access as a former NYT White House Press Corps photographer, we were allowed into the Oval Office.








Two of my proudest moments: Malled (2011) and Blown Away (2004.) I loved writing both books and have two proposals I’m slowly working on. Journalism has been so decimated in the past decade and there are very few places that still offer room to tell a story in depth — and pay enough to make it worth doing.


Caitlin Kelly Health Care Story


September 2019, Ontario, doing one of the 30 interviews for my story on Canadian healthcare, interviewing a physician. Jose and I traveled around rural Ontario for three weeks that month and had a fantastic time — I interviewed plenty of people but we also stayed with old friends, like a woman I hadn’t seen in 50 years (!) I went to private school with. So fun!



jose at pulitzer01


Jose thought it would be a good idea to photograph the judging of the Pulitzers, so he did! When you work 100 percent freelance, as we both do, you’re constantly drumming up ideas to sell. No ideas, no income!



caitlin team


The fab team of radiologists and physicians my on my final day of radiation for early stage breast cancer, November 15, 2018. They were so kind and compassionate.





We love visiting Montreal. Such charm! It’s about a 6.5 hour drive from our home in New York. I love speaking and hearing French encore une fois and we have some friends there to catch up with. We even now have a favorite room at the hotel we like, the Omni Mount Royal — which overlooks the exact site of the (torn down) brownstone I lived in at 12 with my mother. We used to fly kites on Mount Royal — and when I met my first husband in his final year of med school at McGill, took him up there on a ffffffrrrezzzing caleche ride. So many memories!




Summer 2017, a glorious Budapest cafe. I treated myself to an unprecedented six weeks’ travel through six countries: France, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, England. It was worth every penny. Dying to travel again! Unlikely — I met up there with my best friend from university, who lives in Kamloops, B.C., whose daughter had been studying in Eastern Europe. 




Yup, that’s fellow Canadian, actor Mike Myers, who I met at Fleet Week in NYC a few years ago, at a Canadian consulate event. He was a lot of fun.





Our wedding, September 2011, on an island in Toronto. A tiny church, with 25 friends/family in attendance. It was a perfect fall afternoon.





This would have been pre-1994, when I was competing as a sabre fencer at nationals.




The view from across the road. Can’t walk down to the sea very far — thorns and bog!


June 2015, Co. Donegal, where we rented a cottage



I learned how to canoe at camp -- useful when we went to Nicaragua
On assignment in Nicaragua for WaterAid — Jen in the bow of a dugout canoe


I’ve been so fortunate to have paid adventures like this one! March 2014. My first ride in a dug-out canoe.






I had planned to leave journalism and become an interior designer so I studied here in the 1990s — and loved it! Then I taught writing there for years.



The Grand Canyon — whose profound silence makes your ears ring


I’ve been twice. What an amazing place! This is from 2013




What a hoot! This would have been 2011 or earlier, before my hip replacement. They gave me the clothes to keep! And the photographer (small world!) came from Atlanta to New York, the husband of an old friend.





This is probably my proudest writing moment — a National Magazine Award for an essay (humor!) about my divorce. I wrote it and sent to a national Canadian women’s magazine who sat on it for a few years (I got divorced in 1995), but they did a great edit — and voila!

14 thoughts on “Looking back…

  1. Jan Jasper

    What a wonderful retrospective!. Great memories and photos – in particular, the photo of the Budapest Cafe is absolutely stunning. What would we do without photos and the memories they trigger? OMG, you and Jose in the Oval Office!

  2. These are all huge moments, and well documented. It is so interesting to look back at one’s life and reflect, it’s all about moments.

  3. Great read. I saw those red doors and just knew that photo had to have been taken in Montreal – probably in better days. Our poor city is now the epicentre of Covid 19 in Canada and is going through a similar situation as New York.

    1. Funny! Those doorways and steps — like the metal spiral outdoor staircases — are so YUL.

      I know! I see a lot of the news from Canada on Twitter. So sorry….why do you think it’s so bad there?

      1. My understanding is that it has gone through the retirement homes and care homes like a match in dry hay. Many of them are private, terribly understaffed and poorly run. Otherwise, the covid numbers would be much, much lower. The premier has already said that going forward, all care homes will be made public in order to ensure that standards are met.

      2. It was really shocking —- same here in NJ and a veterans’ home. I hate to say it, but glad my mother (in a Victoria nursing home) was not alive for this.

      3. We would all love to know why it’s so bad here. There were only 17 confirmed cases when quarantine began on March 13th and now we have more than 40,000 and close to 3,500 deaths. One theory is that our March school break is earlier than other provinces, so families had traveled before anyone knew about the virus. More importantly, I think, is the lack of preparation in the seniors’ residences, where the virus has decimated so many. Three times as many seniors live in a residence than in any other province. We are all looking forward to a bit of good news.

      4. This is terrible…so so sorry!

        In NY (esp. NYC), the governor explains almost daily why it was hit so hard — millions of people came to NY through its 2 international airports long before anyone realized it wasn’t coming from China — but through Italy/Europe from people who went to China then Europe then NY. So no testing or tracing or anyone wearing masks then.

        One very weird finding is that it’s often people who stayed at home (!?) — didn’t work or travel — who get it. i.e. infected by someone else.

  4. Marge

    I think I still have that magazine somewhere. It was what made me start thinking about having my hip replaced which I eventually did. (Left one in 2017 and Right one in 2018). I reached out to you and we had a few conversations about it.

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