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Showing posts from December 22, 2008

Obsessed with the News

For the Holidays, some stories about my family. First, my paternal grandfather.

I am obsessed with the News. I got that from Grandpa.

Every morning I listen to the news. I read the newspaper on the train. I get a dozen Google news alerts every day in my e-mail. Am I obsessed with the news? Probably, but I have a good reason. My parents were daily news junkies. In my father’s case, his devotion to the news came from avoiding the mistakes of my grandfather, whose ignorance of world events led to the worst year of his life.

Grandpa started his life in the Ukraine more than a century ago; he trapped ermine so he could make enough money for the bribes and the one-way ticket out of Tsarist Russia. He was one of the fortunate few poor Jews who escaped the slaughter of a million Jews by the Cossacks in the 1890s. In America he met my grandmother Esther, and together they started both a fruit business and a family. By 1910 the business grew and Grandpa had dealers in Egypt, Palestine, …