Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title page, copyright, dedication

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. ix-ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiii

For information from the files of the Hebrew Orphans' Home of Atlanta, I am grateful to Sandra K. Berman, archivist of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta. Mr. Sol Breibart, of Charleston, South Carolina, longtime scholar of the history of ...

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Prologue

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pp. 1-4

One hundred years ago, on a September day in 1902, three little boys were placed aboard a train in Charleston, South Carolina, and sent off to the Hebrew Orphans' Home in Atlanta, Georgia. They were not orphans; both their parents were living. Their father, however, was ill ...

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1. A Family

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pp. 5-17

The Males Departed in the order of their arrival. Harry, the patriarch, went first, then Dan, Manning, and last my father, Louis. All the sisters outlived them. Dora, oldest of all her generation, died in her mid-nineties, followed by Essie—Esther—and Ruthie, the youngest and also ...

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2. Dora

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pp. 18-24

During the late 1930s, there was a comic strip in the afternoon newspaper entitled "Little Miss Muffet." In one sequence Miss Muffet was being menaced by a scheming schoolmistress, and as the little girl's peril increased, my Aunt Dora grew so alarmed that she arranged to have a ...

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3. The Patriarch

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pp. 25-37

My uncle Harry, who was given to striking poses, was holding forth at dinner one day about the ideal existence. "If I could have lived at any time and in any place I chose," he declared expansively, "I'd like to have been a citizen of Charleston in the year 1810." To which my Uncle Manning, a man ...

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4. Riddle Me This

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pp. 38-62

Alone of the four brothers, my Uncle Dan, next oldest to Harry, left Charleston as a young man. While working as a newspaperman he taught himself to write plays. When in his thirties he had five new plays on Broadway in seven years, then spent a half-dozen years in Hollywood writing ...

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5. Strong Cigar [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 63-95

Sunday mornings in the 1930S my Uncle Manning would walk along a stone-ballasted embankment leading out into the Ashley River at the foot of Beaufain Street in Charleston, choose a seat on the rocks, and begin reading. It was there that my brother and sister and I would ...

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6. The Weatherman

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pp. 96-123

When in 1955 I published my first book, a friend telephoned my father to offer congratulations. Unlike his three brothers my father was not much on reading, and he tended to get his literary references confused. He had in mind the fables of the ugly duckling and the black ...

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7. Vocations

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pp. 124-139

My father was the fifth child and youngest son. A sister, Esther, was born in 1897, and another, Ruth, in 1902. When Hyman Levy Rubin was disabled by a heart attack that year, the two youngest children, Esther and Ruthie, were kept in Charleston rather than being sent away to the ...