My parents were introduced early in 1917 through a get-together of cousins
from both sides of the family. Mother was just twenty-two and had recently completed her
final year at Columbia University. Dad was thirty-two and engaged to a wealthy Brooklyn
girl named Belle.
Dad was a perfect self-taught gentleman, always considerate of others feelings. He had
learned the fine art of good table manners at seven-course dinners at Belles house
by observing whomever he was seated next to. That included learning how to use a finger
At wealthy Jewish homes in those days, whether in Brooklyn or up on Fifth Avenue,
conversation was usually limited to the days activities. Business was never
discussed at table; conversation was about the next vacation (always at the same place) or
what was going on with cousin Yettas goiter.
Dad was slim, five-foot-nine and a half to my mothers five-three. He was almost
bald, but Mom said she took one look at him and decided.
From that moment on, Belle didnt stand a chance. My folks were married that