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I'd found the exactly right woman, and I wanted to share this with my
father, and even I hoped that he would come up, at least this one time,
and share the ceremonies with us.
And I got back a letter from this guy that, to me, was
shocking. The whole theme of his letter was, “No, I do not think you
should getmarried. Your mother has sacrified to send you through
school.” I was at Columbia at the time, concluding my PhD-- and by the
way, he apparently was very proud of my academic achievements, because
my mother -- I wouldn't tell him about it, you know, but my mother
probably wrote him every detall, every scholarship I ever won, every
honor I ever won. And this guy stored this all up, and threw it back
to me, as reasons that I, at this stage of my life, should devote my
time and attention to taking care of my mother, and repaying her for
what she contributed toward my academic and other success.
I read the letter. And I showed it to my mother. My mother
said, “I told you.”
That was the last correspondence we had. I didn't reply to
the letter. He never wrote again. And he died about three years
ago. I'd been married 30, 35 years.
Now, the other interesting part of this is that my mother
corresponded with him, after this thing. I never did, and he never
wrote me. Whatever he knew about me, he knew through my mother, and
whatever I knew about him, I knew through my mother. And while my
mother never said this, I know, and she knows, that this was another
indication of our similarity -- that we were pretty much the same kind
of people. That's all I'm going to say about that guy.
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