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was humorous. I don't know. My daughter Peggy has a lot of that. I
don't know where it comes from, but I guess I refined it because of my
contacts to theater and with people who -- it's not like “Make 'em
laugh, make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh.” But I went to the Palace
Theater regularly. I saw all the great comedians.
As a boy.
As a boy. I saw the Marx Brothers, Milton Berle when he was
sixteen, J.C. Flippen, the great master of ceremonies, Burns and Allen,
and I was always taking notes and sending the notes to my brothers
Jack and Phil, who were performing in the Catskills, for sketches they
were going to do, and I was giving them the jokes. So I don't know,
it's not a joke-telling kind of thing, but I think it's a cynical humor or
Sort of the Jewish world view of people at the mercy of a crazy
That's one way of putting it. But I guess the fact that I'm
Jewish also adds to it. I think there's something in my Jewish
upbringing, the kind of people I dealt with, that helped in this humor
kind of thing.
Looking back, are there areas of regret or things that you might
have done differently?
I guess there are many things I would have done differently. I
think that, for example, the whole question of Bread and Roses
reaching an audience of our members more effectively could have
been done differently, based upon what I know now.
But more important, the regret I have is that what this meant to my
family. I was never home, so I was physically never close to my
daughters. They knew me and they loved me, and I know that, but I
would never be able to spend much time with them. And in Anne's
case, it's very special. Here was Anne taking care of the children,
taking care of the family, cooking, and going to graduate school to get
A Ph.D. in sociology. And then continuing as an assistant to a
very distinguished professor, Matilda White Riley, and teaching at
Rutgers, and going out to Rutgers, and yet being responsible for the
family. And then was--or is the author of a number of very, very
important works on aging in society. She was doing all of this without
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