Father Friday 1, No Fonts (CN: death)

CN: Death of parent

Today is my father’s birthday: Maurice Ginzler. He was born (one of seven children) in 1912 (ten-eleven-twelve) so he’d be 107 today. Right now there’s a family reunion going on in Florida and there was a slideshow this morning of photos various relatives had amassed. I video conferenced and saw photos of him that I’d seen before, and a few I hadn’t. Pretty cool.

Thanks to Jimmy Ginzler, Ron Ginzler, Terri Ginzler Westerdale, Robert Rubenstein and Carolyn Simon for helping identify people in photos, and for clarifying comments on the text.

Late 1960s? Here’s one of me (small, dark hair)  and my older sister Sarah (medium, red hair, although you can’t tell in b/w) with Daddy (large, thousand-yard stare). According to my sister Denise (probably taking the photo) we were visiting her at Sarah Lawrence College, where she was a student.

Daddy died at 59, when I was nine, so I didn’t know him as an adult or even a teen. I remember him as always laughing and warm. Maybe that would have changed if I’d been older. According to various other family members, he was much better with babies and small children than older ones. He was involved in politics, like a lot of other atheist Jews. According to my mother Betty Ginzler Ruelius, he was a card-carrying Communist in the 1930s, although according to my sister Terri, he went to a couple of CP meetings and decided that it was not for him. So possibly he’d approve of my activism. Not sure how he’d deal with my being so very queer though. Hmmm.

Also according to Terri, he had a strong interest in philosophy and religions, Subud and particularly Scientology. Other siblings Ron and Denise confirm this too.

Right. He worked as a chemical engineer for a huge engineering services company called Stone & Webster (he always called it “Sweat & Worry”) in Boston, MA. During WWII he was exempt from fighting because he was doing important U.S. work helping design oil refineries in the Middle East. Or, after the war, destabilizing oil-producing nations, I’m not sure. E.g. in 1953 the CIA and British intelligence orchestrated a coup in Iran to overthrow democratically-elected Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh, to maintain partial control of the oil industry. So who knows, he may have helped (un)wittingly.

Here are all the pictures I have of him.

According to Ron Ginzler, taken during WWII in Abadan, Iran. On the right: the handsomest, with dark pants
1940s? Daddy with my oldest sister Terri.  She says, “This picture is probably Lynn Beach as it predates the move to England; we used to go there when we lived at Park Drive in Boston.”
A handwritten note on the back says this is from 1967.
Ginzler siblings. Back, L-R: Gladys, Manny, my late beloved aunt Anna Grace; front, L-R: Daddy, Sam. Not sure of the year but maybe 1950s? Is anyone good at dating men’s clothing?
1940s? Wartime, anyway. Daddy in natty double-breasted suit, Manny's wife Helen in natty pinstriped skirt suit, Manny in uniform
1940s? Wartime, anyway. Daddy in natty double-breasted suit, Manny’s wife Helen in natty pinstriped skirt suit, Manny in uniform
1949: Brother Manny, sister Gladys, Daddy

 

 

 

5 Replies to “Father Friday 1, No Fonts (CN: death)”

  1. I think the photo with the refinery in the background was taken during WW II in Abadan, Iran.
    I had never heard of him being a card-carrying Communist. Where did that information come from?
    Concerning Americans destabilizing 3rd World countries, see John Perkins’ Confessions of a Corporate Hit Man, and its sequel, where Perkins revealed Stone & Webster sent a $750 million dollar bribe to a member of Indonesia’s ruling family to ensure a huge plant would be built there. S&W went bankrupt some time after that and no longer exist.

  2. So interesting to read, Nicola! And so different from what I would have written as my memories are largely of when we lived in England. So, no involvement in politics, for example, but a strong interest in philosophy and religions, Subud and particularly Scientology.
    And you are right in thinking that he found it easy to relate to babies and small children.
    I do not think he was a member of the CP; what I recollect was that he went to a couple of CP meetings and decided that it was not for him.
    The picture at the beach is probably Lynn Beach as it predates the move to England; we used to go there when we lived at Park Drive in Boston.

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