Author Archive

My Father’s Koochen – In the oven … at last!

I rushed downstairs. On the kitchen counter, I saw: • A cutting-board • A rolling pin • Melted butter • Flour. In a glass bowl near the sink, I saw: • Dry cottage... read more...


My Father’s Koochen – Setting the Stage

Two or three times a year, at no particular day, month or season, my father would get an irresistible urge to bake koochen. This need was akin to salmon swimming upstream or g... read more...


He who has a thousand friends

The ways in which my father would spontaneously arrange words into oddly juxtapositioned concepts and sentences was a talent of which I stand in awe, and will always be immode... read more...


There’s No Place Like Home

For Samuel Reuben, words were like pebbles in a colorful and carefully assembled rock collection, with an occasional semi-precious stone or diamond tossed in. April 29, 19... read more...


Letter from The War Department

My father, Samuel Reuben, was part of the War Effort during World War II. His Blinker Training Machine helped to save lives and keep our nation free. I have a war time le... read more...


The parrot and the tiger

There was a narrow closet in my parents’ bedroom in the big house in Glencoe; in that closet were stacks of crisply laundered shirts fresh from the dry cleaner. Each shirt was... read more...


The Spaghetti Machine

My father’s infatuation with spools, levers, cranks and switches continued to grow with the size of his family. One unforgettable anniversary, he bought my mother a spaghetti-... read more...


The Most Wonderful Father in the World

At one time, my father invested heavily in weaving looms, which he sold at a profit. And dry goods, which he did not. That he had acquired the dry goods from a tenant in lieu... read more...


Convex mirrors and Yerbamata tea

My father’s inventions were not restricted to spools, batteries, metal clasps, and burglar alarms. Oh, no. I can still remember the stash of convex mirrors under the sturdy... read more...


Mystic, Merry Toyland

My father and I are the only members of our family unencumbered by university diplomas. Uncle Jack and Uncle Meyer are both attorneys, as was their sister Rose. But Samuel R... read more...


Magical binoculars

The first picture I ever saw of a naked woman wasn’t in National Geographic Magazine; it was on a calendar tacked to the wall of a machine shop I visited with my father when h... read more...


Apple blossoms and chickadees

Every letter that my father wrote … every unspoken remark before and after every raised eyebrow … every comment that something was “highly iconoclastic” … every mild mannered ... read more...


How Horatius Kept the Bridge

“Samuel Reuben, Jr., your father.” That’s how he signed many of the letters he wrote until my grandfather died. When he dropped the “junior,” I felt as if someone had come alo... read more...


Michael is experimenting with his photography

My father had a favorite phrase from the Bible: THE STONE THAT WAS REJECTED BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. In our family, my Dad was the chief cornerstone. February 11, 19... read more...


Never mind this stationery

The thick, black, inky strokes of a man who used a fountain pen long after the inventors of ballpoints assumed it had become extinct. Samuel Reuben. My father. Monday, Nov... read more...



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