Dear H,

There’s been a symmetry to life that, on the eve of your birthday, I treasure more and more.

We were born sixteen months apart in the midst of the “baby boom”. How proximate is that? It would be like Max, the Prince Of Great Neck, gaining a brother next week.

Our mother—in the 50’s and 60’s—-not only considered us twins, but dressed us accordingly. We were oh so young then, and to family and friends, we were two peas in a pod: “The Boys”.

In tandem it was swift pitching on Rowland’s front lawn, hardball at the diamond, and sometimes, (though only at last resort), softball in the blacktopped area around back. We were, like I said, “The Boys”.

And it wasn’t just the school yard. In Little League we both wore blue on white for Hollywood, and yes, White Sox too. Moreover, to the extent that rules permitted, we shared a manager (some bald, fat man schlepping around a bat rack).

The realm of baseball, though, was idyllic. Outside, a real world waited. I didn’t like it trekking to Cedar-Center Lanes for bowling—kid brother tagging along. Not at all.

“Someday when your father and I are gone,” our melodramatic mother would urge, “All you’ll have is each other.”
“OK Mom.”

Teen years were awkward. Divorce had divided Eden us. Through junior high and high school we were rarely in the same building. What’s more, the camaraderie of Hebrew School carpools was no more, (a direct result of our two disparate post-Bar Mitzvah conversations


Bruce: “Dad, do you care now if I quit Hebrew school?”
Albert: “I’m sure you’ll do what you think is right”
(I went through ’67).


Harold: “Mom, do you care now if I quit Hebrew School?”
Elaine: “No.”
(You stopped on a dime).

Next came college, in Columbus. These were salad days. For a few brief years, Dad—his odyssey ended—had his sons together again…his “boys”.

Middle decades blur. The 70’s and 80’s begot the 90’s and a new century. Focus, though, returned. Our father gone and mother rusting, we learned, in OUR fifties and sixties, that we didn’t need baseball to team up.

How great was that? How special to see…long after her voice had stilled, that Mom was right?

H, bonded as I am to a myriad of wonderful, caring friends, the greatest of them all is you…my kid brother.

The best days of my life—front end and back—have been the years that we’ve been closest. It’s not coincidence.

Have a happy 61st. I’ll be back in town soon. If you want, we can even go bowling.

I love you,


  1. aunt helen says:

    I am sure that your brother appreciates this posting. He loves you, too. But, what is wrong with you? His birthday isn’t until Sunday. I will never understand you,

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