Memories of My Grandfather

Grandpa Al.

My Grandpa Al was a seminal figure in my life. The youngest of 12 children, he was born in 1913 in Austria-Hungary and came to America at age 2. He was raised in a poor Jewish family and acquired a worldly education on the tough Bronx streets. He married young and became a traveling pasta salesman singing Italian songs to his customers.

Tired of east coast winters, he moved his wife and three daughters (my mom included) across country to…