Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today is Grandpa B’s yirtzheit, my mother’s father. Which means it's succoth, Grandpa B also died on a jewish holiday. Dad lit a candle for him and told me a story about when he worked for him.

Dad was saying, “You worked with your grandfather at the store." "When did he die?" "1978" "So I was 16 years old." "He wasn’t the easiest man to get along with, but I stood up to him. He was a good man.”

“We had a disagreement and whenever you had a disagreement you would go to the basement of the bakery. I said to him, we’ve got to straighten something out, he replied, ‘Stanley, some things can’t be straightened out. They remain crooked.’ Grandpa was a brilliant man, what could I say to that.”

Micah got braces today, blue and red railroad tracks. To be on for at least a year, he seems to be doing O.K. Dad and I were talking about my orthodontist, who was also my mother’s orthodontist. Mom and I had braces at the same time. Dad was being funny, he said he argued with grandpa about my mother’s teeth, he felt he got cheated, that he got faulty merchandise and that grandpa should have paid for Mom’s braces. No dowry and imperfect teeth, that’s a raw deal. Mom’s orthodontist was a very interesting woman, I think her name was Naomi Coval. She was a total believer in fixing people’s faces by fixing their teeth, she had some amazing before and after photos. People who would never smile before, She also traveled to Africa to fix teeth. She had pictures all over her office of Africans and her successes, plus she liked to talk, told interesting stories, not that I can remember even one of them, but I do remember not minding my visits to her, they were often just me and mom together and her office was in North Lawrence which was almost a 20 minute drive from home – at least it seemed really far to me at the time. I think the stories she told were often about Africa…

This evening in a little while Jackie, Stan and I are heading to the synagogue for International Peace Day to watch a movie called the Little Town of Bethlehem…

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