One of the many recent revolutions in publishing is the readily available, relatively inexpensive ability to produce books through Internet publishing companies.
I could argue both for and against this trend. In this case I err on the side of good because now family elders can not only write their memoirs, but create an attractive and permanent book for family and friends to enjoy for posterity. (And all for a reasonable price thanks to single-copy printing, which is the real revolution.)
This is what Seattle native Harry Glickman has done in, Jeannette and I: A 75-Year Adventure, a collection of memoir, essays and opinion pieces assembled in tribute to his late wife Jeannette.
With computer and editing help from various family members, he has produced a volume of works written over 13 years that reflects on growing up and working in Seattle, family life and travels, and his 25 years as an Israeli orange farmer. This comes along with opinion pieces on a range of subjects from food to politics. (Harry admits he’s “way out in left field…any Republican that reads this book is not going to like it, or not going to like me.”)
Harry started writing when he got his first word processor at age 80. Now 94, and living with the knowledge that he has a defective heart valve, he says writing keeps him active and alert.
“I’m having more fun with my brain [now] than I ever had,” he says.
This is not to belie a life of adventure in work and travel. Coming from a working class family and raised in the Workman’s Circle tradition, he always worked hard in family businesses, cutting cloth, jarring pickles, managing parking lots. I found these tales of early-day Seattle the most entertaining. General readers will probably find much to enjoy in this history along with tales of his family’s travel adventures and their 35 years in Israel.
Although the Glickmans moved to Israel by accident (went on vacation, forgot to come home) Harry says that life there fulfilled a dream. Arriving as tourists in 1968, they visited friends on Moshav Avichail and learned they were entitled to purchase land in that country at bargain prices. The lush grounds, which “looked like an estate to me,” and the proximity to Tel Aviv and Haifa, inspired them to settle there.
“I always wanted to be a farmer,” Harry says, and “once I got [financial] security it happened. We became farmers in a Jewish neighborhood!”
The Glickmans spent summers in the States whenever possible, and a few years ago Harry and Jeannette returned for a summer, but never went back. Their youngest daughter, Debby, and her family, who were also ensconced in Avichail, quickly followed. Now Debby lives next door, her walls covered with Jeanette’s wonderful collection of embroidery panels that illustrate highlights of their family’s life.
Harry continues to write and guard his health. Already a vegetarian, he has now turned to a mostly raw-food diet. Asked to single out a favorite story, he chooses “Getting to Israel and the SS Kipriot,” the story of a Peugot purchased in France and a long land and sea voyage to the Holy Land.
You can purchase or download a copy at lulu.com.
• • •
Northwest Yeshiva High School students Rena Genauer, Shmuel Treiger and Josh Voss have been named commended students in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program, says Bob Cout, the school’s academic dean. They earned this by placing among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2011 competition by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
The students learned of their honor when they received letters of commendation from National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently.
• • •
Our esteemed editor, Joel Magalnick, has two of his photographs included in a new book, Tree Top, Creating a Revolution. Authored by Washington State University historian David Stratton, the book chronicles the history of this innovative Eastern Washington co-op, which started by taking apples that would have been thrown away and making juice out of them. The company, which was purchased by a cooperative of orchardists in 1960, pioneered frozen apple juice concentrate. But the plant has moved into more than just apples.
One section of the book covers the rabbis of Prosser, “the rabbis who kasher the plant for the grape harvest and have to be on-hand 24/7,” Joel explained to me. Last year he wrote a feature story on those rabbis and Stratton requested one of Joel’s photos from his day at the plant.
You can still read Joel’s piece here.