The Public Interest

Death of a family

Joseph Adelson

Winter 1993

THE AUTHOR of this book, Donald Katz, met one of its subjects, Ricky Gordon, while jogging. A friendship developed between them, in the course of which Gordon, a young composer, talked at length about his family. His father, Sam, had served in the Second World War. Sam had met his wife, Eve, while in tile service, and had married her before going overseas. Eve was good-looking, had a lovely singing voice, and had already begun a career as a popular singer, working in the Catskill hotels. They were Jewish, though somewhat uneasily so.  Their first child, Susan, was born in 1943--father and daughter met for the first time when she was two. Upon leaving the service, Sam gave up any thought of higher education in order to begin earning money to raise a family. He went to work as an electrician, formed a small company with a friend, then ended the partnership because the friend had limited ambitions and refused to take chances to build the company. Sam worked hard, took risks, and the business grew. Eve stayed home, and gave birth to Lorraine, Sheila, and Ricky.

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