Little Did I Know: Recollections and Reflections

Little Did I Know: Recollections and Reflections

Little Did I Know: Recollections and Reflections

Little Did I Know: Recollections and Reflections

Excerpt

Among the people who rise out of my past to claim first mention in this book, my uncle Berel is the most persistent. This would have surprised him. He played only a brief role in my life, and had no idea that it was of any importance. He must have supposed--if he ever thought about it at all--that when he was dead and gone I would call him to mind affectionately now and again, but less and less frequently, less and less clearly, as the years passed; and that by the time I reached his age he would be among the ghostliest of my memories. I, for my part, surely did not look so far ahead; but now I am much older than he was at the time of our intimacy, and I find myself thinking about him more and more frequently, and seeing him more and more clearly. It is, in fact, impossible to disallow his claim.

So there he is, Uncle Berel, my mother's brother, Berel Acker, the tailor, who does very little tailoring, making most of his living, such as it is, from repairing, cleaning, and pressing. I usually see him in profile, at his work table before the window facing north on grimy East Fifteenth Street, between First and Second Avenues, while I sit at his right, and we carry on long conversations which . . .

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