Author Archive

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...


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...



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