Like all fathers mine brought me varied exposures to a broader life than my own as well as the breadth of experiences that New York has to offer and would continue to offer throughout my life.
Previously, I’ve mentioned his writer friend Hector Chevigny, author of “My Eyes Have A Cold Nose”. Hector was many things to dad including friend and member of the Radio Writers Guild in which both were active. He was also a writer of scientific papers on being blind, having been blinded as an adult in the mid 1940s. He was one of my dad’s brilliant friends. I’ve also mentioned his dog who would curl up under my crib when they came to visit.
Hector died young, at 60 like my dad but five years earlier (1965).
Besides the things mentioned above Hector was a Quaker, the only one I can recall in my life. When he died in 1965, I was 16 and attended his funeral. His was not the first funeral I remember attending. Dr. Henry Eisenoff was the family pediatrician, the type that made house calls. He got me through measles, mumps and scarlet fever along with less serious ailments of the 1950s and 60s. He passed the year before Hector. His was the first funeral I remember; it was held at Temple Rodeph Sholom on West 83rd Street.
Hector’s funeral was held at the Quaker Meeting House downtown on East 15th Street. It was a simple place and so was the service. Friends and family rose to speak about Hector, a kind of community eulogy. My father had prepared, of course, several typewritten pages were folded the long way in his inside jacket pocket. He never took them out, so moved by the extemporaneous speeches of others. I don’t remember his words but I remember they were deeply felt as he joined the community in saying goodbye to a dear friend.