Fathers and Sons
"It's like a movie, really, when I start to think about it," Tamir Druz's mother, Bella, says of her life.
And, indeed, her life and the lives of her husband and two sons could make a movie, a story of epic sweep, a story that takes the family across three continents, from terror, squalor, and despair to comfort and security, with enough perils along the way to suit a half dozen Paulines. It even has a corny ending: one son, Tamir, wins one of America's most coveted awards for young men and women—the Westinghouse—and is congratulated by the president of the United States. It is a story with a message sentimental enough to have exasperated Louis B. Mayer and prompted him to use Western Union. The message is that struggle, and only struggle, gets you anywhere in this world.
"I never blamed anybody for my troubles; I solved them," says Tamir's father, Alexander Druz, with steely conviction. That self‐ reliance has been bred in Tamir's bones.
Alexander, a tall, solidly built man with a graying Douglas Fairbanks mustache, would be an armchair philosopher if he ever took the time to sit in an armchair. He is full of epigrams that were born of his tumultuous experiences: a birth in the Lvov ghetto, a clawing survival there through World War II, a youth under Stalinist Russia, immigration to Israel, service in the Yom Kippur War, a nervous journey to the United States, an anxious start in New York. His experience is written on his tongue. He speaks Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, and English. And this epic of a life has given Alexander a perspective on American life so unconventional it seems almost revolutionary. For example, when he talks about education from his hard-bitten outlook, he rejects almost all the