Like any self-respecting adolescent I went through my teenage years on 83rd Street making sure I was not my father. At the time, the sentiment meant that I was not a writer, could not be a writer, did not want to be a writer. After all, Dad made his living as a writer (25 years with ABC after the Blue Network and so much more.) But this was untrue for me, even then.
The earliest writing I can recall was my report on the U-2 in sixth grade. It was lengthy and quite complete. I later wrote typical adolescent love poetry. There was the Jewish poetry period and the college columnist period. There was the report writing for work and the essay writing in Newsday and the Op-Ed pieces in Newsday and The New York Times. Some of this was paid. Some of this was about things that happened on West 83rdStreet. Later, it was policy writing, a guide to doing the work honestly and a booklet on health care compliance for a national accrediting body.
I was, in fact, prolific. Just like my Dad.
The one effort I have not yet found concrete evidence of was the column that appeared in the CCNY House Plan Association newspaper. It was called, I believe, just “Thoughts”. One day I hope to be able to find this work in the Morris Raphael Cohen Library at City College. I do remember helping to put the paper to bed at the printers but I have no real recollection of my contribution to content.
For years my family turned to me to write letters of complaint to government and business. And I was often called upon to consult about resumes and cover letters; even outside the family. I seem to have written for a lot of different things for a lot of different reasons.
In the Jewish period I wrote this acrostic:
Taught and cherished for centuries.
Overrun but not destroyed.
Reborn with every generation,
Against all manner of hatred
Have you survived and will you continue.
In the adolescent period, I wrote this:
always be aware
be aware of others
be aware of how they act
be aware of how you act…….
And of course, love. Here’s a piece of one:
What do you mean?
What is it that you symbolize?
Why do you stand out from amongst the rest?
You are a light, bright and shining,
A beacon, pointing the way,
A neon sign, flashing a message,
A reminder that life is to be lived.
You are yesterday and tomorrow,
But and most of all,
You Are Today.
I remember for whom I wrote that. Maybe this is why she wasn’t interested?
I think I’ve progressed.
And, I don’t write poetry any more.