|Splendor in the Grass|
Well, we had quite a brouhaha when I posted earlier about my Syrian relatives. One of my cousins was extremely upset and let loose a personal attack in response to what she and other relatives thought was a shameful depiction of my Syrian grandfather as an angry man. My cousin apologized later, but I made the mistake of not accepting it as graciously as I might have, and my cousin took offense again. I decided that going back and forth on my blog was too upsetting for everyone, so I closed the comments. Thank you to those of you who had such thoughtful, interesting responses to both that post and to the spat as it unfolded. I did not paint a full portrait of my grandfather -- he was, obviously, a complex man and having strong opinions was only one of his characteristics (that I've apparently inherited and that I grapple with almost daily!). I thought this would be understood, but I offended not only my cousins but my dear Uncle Charles, my grandfather's only son. He wrote me a loving message on my Facebook page that I am going to post here. I think you'll get a far richer picture of my grandfather than mine, and also see where I might even get my wicked sense of humor.
Elizabeth ,I hope this does not start a family feud ( Hatfield and Mc Coys ) but i felt i had to respond .My Dad was not an angry Man and was not against Jews or Moslem he worked for many years for a Jewish boss and they were like family he was always invited to all his children's weddings and if you could picture it wore a yomica( spelling is bad ). I went deep sea fishing many times with his Syrian Jewish and Moslem friends out of Sheepshead Bay to the Jersey coast. He had strong feelings ( like you on many subjects ) on what is going on in the Middle East. Remember he lived in the period after World War 1 ,when Britain and France chopped up the area creating new countries out of other peoples land (ex Trans Jordan ) i know its before your time and your interest in the Middle East History while you studied Chinese and cooking might not have existed .loved my Dad and was so proud of how people looked up to him ,coming over for his advise and reading letters from Syria that they received and could not read. I have many good memories of my dad and so does Amy . He loved all his Grandchildren equally and it hurt her and yes your uncle Charles . He showed so much love to my beloved Vivian as well as to all his son in-laws. I remember when we were young my Dad would take us onSunday rides and we would all sing as we rode and i could see the happiness in his eyes. He would try to sing but he only knew a part of a song ( cherrie cherrie be ) an old song it was a happy time. i know Mom went thru times like all married people go thru ( im sure you can relate ) but i remember after all of us left the nest and they lived in a apartment in New Jersey when we would visit them they seemed so happy. He worked with Mom on a assembly line together in a factory and later he worked for a Jewish Lady who owned a candy newspaper store in Danville N.J. and a wonderful relation with her he was so honored that she let him open and close. II am sorry that all you remember is a terrible legacy . I write this with love, and a am blesses to have so many nieices and nephews who i love dearly and they all treat me with so much respect.
Thanks for that, Uncle Charles, and I apologize for hurting you. (As for the potential family feud, I know for a fact that my cousins are far better armed and better shots than I'd ever be, so I'm keeping my distance from here on out!)