Author Archive

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...


A far away country

Samuel Reuben. A solid series of consonants and vowels composing a solid-sounding name that looked strong and reliable on the return addresses of all the letters and packages... read more...


The Art Institute

When I was growing up, the Art Institute of Chicago had a real, honest-to-goodness treasure chest behind the central staircase on the main floor. This was not just a plain box... read more...


Do you know where Daddy is?

As I write this, it is 11:00 o’clock at night and my eighty-year old Uncle Jack is in town on a business trip. He arrived at Newark Airport at 1:00 o’clock this morning. He wa... read more...


Gurgling with delight

Every letter that my father wrote…all…all had about them an empurpled intensity … a flair … an escalation of objects and events out of the mundane and into the celestial. ... read more...


Sell the tuxedos?

The spirit of Uncle Jack, my father’s brother, was manifested by both a steel safe and a gigantic roll of string. Uncle Jack and Aunt Libby recently moved from Highland Park, ... read more...


Deluxe Tuxedo Rental

Deluxe Tuxedo Rental was the name of the store that my father owned and operated on the South Side of Chicago. The things I recall about the store itself are few: There was a ... read more...


Dear Dad. I Just bought a motorcycle!

Every letter that my father wrote … all … all had about them an empurpled intensity… a flair … an escalation of objects and events out of the mundane and into the celestial. ... read more...


Dear Dad. I want to be a financial journalist!

Every letter that my father wrote … all … all had about them an empurpled intensity … a flair …an escalation of objects and events out of the mundane and into the celestial. ... read more...



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