My father is wearing a decades-old sweatshirt with dolphins printed on it.  There is a single drop of drool suspended improbably from the corner of his mouth.  I’m fascinated by it.  I watch the clock.  Two minutes go by.  Still there.  Five.

At minute seven, my father wakes with a jolt and wipes his chin.

“Nice nap?” I ask.

He nods, grimaces, and checks his Blackberry.

It is 12:15 am and my father has been awake since 5:00 the previous morning.

***

There were other times like this one.

I remember sitting on his lap fingering a worn Miles Davis album.  And he was singing in his strong, clear baritone “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

I was wearing pajamas with feet.  I was squirming with satisfaction.  I was burrowing my dark shampooed head into his chest.  I was dripping on his yellowed undershirt, poking my fingers into the tiny holes along the seams.

“So if you like pyjamas and I like pyjahmas, I’ll wear pyjamas and give up pyjahmas/ For we know we need each other so we, better call the whole off off/ Let’s call the whole thing off.”

I was safe.

***

My mother calls it The Baby.

The Blackberry, that is.

He checks it reflexively.  Compulsively.

He has been known to berate tech people for minor glitches.  System errors.  He cannot be without his Baby and he will not be without it.  Not without some shouting, anyway.

His Blackberry is his right arm.  Coffee is his lifeblood.  And sleep?  Sleep is for mere mortals.

***

Because my father didn’t go to court, I didn’t- for most of my childhood- have a particularly firm grasp on what precisely it was that he did.  It involved, as far as I understood, taxes. Sitting in an office in a big leather chair.  Long hours and endless meetings.  Files.  Lots of lots of files.

My father’s office is a shithole.  Red accordion binders covering every inch of it.  Ugly battered cherrywood bookcases.  He has- for reasons unbeknownst to me- a wreath made entirely of shells resting on top of a pile of papers.  On one wall is a painting I did when I was fourteen.  On the shelves are dated family photos taken sometime in the mid-’90s.  Pretty much everything in his office is circa 1994.

On Saturdays when we were small, Dad would let Hannah and I copy things for him on the xerox machine for ten cents an hour.  When that was done, we would retire to the conference room to get high off of whiteboard markers and spin ourselves stupid in the overstuffed chairs.

My father dreamt that we would both become attorneys.  We’d start out own practice.  Grossman, Grossman & Grossman.

***

I should tell you that my father is- according to Worth magazine, anyway- one of the hundred best attorneys in America.

I don’t know anyone who reads Worth magazine.  You have to buy it special at a Barnes & Noble.  Still, though.

He is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America and has been since 1993.  He specializes in tax and estate planning.

He is the self-described best-dressed man in Delaware.

My father is the smartest man I know.

I realize that’s an awfully childish thing to say.  Naive.  You’re supposed to outgrow this stuff.  To wise up and realize that your parents are just human.  Flesh-and-blood.

But I can’t help myself.  I’m 24-years-old.  Today my father is 57.  And still.  Still.  He is the smartest, the funniest, the kindest and- yes!- the best-dressed man I know.

***

Dad doesn’t dress down.  He doesn’t do casual Fridays.  He wears suits.  Day in, day out.  Beautiful, Italian-made suits.

When I was little, I’d come shop with him and he’d charge me with picking out his ties.  I’d finger the racks.  Deep golds and burgundies and pale lavenders.

Dad doesn’t shy away from color.  He wears pink and purple and he’s not fazed by paisley or floral prints.

He doesn’t, however, do discount.

In fact, he seems personally offended by Robert Zimmer, the Men’s Wearhouse guy.

There’s something about his catch phrase- “you’re gonna like the way you look- I guarantee it”- that incenses him.  Robert Zimmer and his wearhouse of cheap “designer” clothing enrage Dad in a completely disproportionate way.

I’ve found him- on more than one occasion- yelling at Zimmer’s bearded visage on the television screen.  “Someone ought to kill that jackass,” he’ll mutter.

“Where,” I asked him, “does this rage come from?  What’s the poor man done to deserve your wrath?”

I think it has something to do with the substandard quality of the suits.

***

“My next wife,” my father says, “will be Madonna.  I hear she’s converting to Judaism.”

I roll my eyes.  Typical Dad.  The word “modesty” has no place in his extensive vocabulary.

“Around the block,” he’ll tell us.  “There’s a line of women around the block, dying to go out with me.”

***

My father is impossible to shop for.  It’s the age-old question: what do you get for the man who has everything?

Around the holidays, he mentioned a CD box set he wanted.  Some Nazi conductor that no one’s ever heard of.  Kurtvangler, I thought his name was.

My mother and I went to Borders.  We asked a young clerk.

“Do you know anything about opera?” Mom probed.

He said he did.

We exchanged smug looks.

“Kurtvangler,” I said.  “A conductor.”

“Do you by any chance mean Kurt Vonnegut?”

I didn’t actually.

As it turned out, I didn’t mean Kurtvangler either.  What I meant to say was “Wilhelm Furtwängler.  A conductor from Berlin and, according to Wikipedia,  “widely considered to be one of the greatest symphonic and operatic conductors of the 20th century.”  Also-allegedly– a Nazi.

Did I mention that my father is an opera buff?  A jazz fanatic?  A classical music junkie?

He’s also the only man alive looking to buy the Wilhelm Furtwängler box set.

***

When my sister and I were small, my father read aloud to us.  Not children’s books.  Classics.  Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.  Johnny Tremain and The Phantom Toll Booth. He read me Shane by Jack Schaefer in which an entire chapter is devoted to the disposal of a tree stump.  My mother never got that book.  But me and Dad, we knew.  Symbolism.

My father read To Kill a Mockingbird to me and he called me Scout.  He cried and said, “I wish that I could be as good as Atticus Finch.”

To me, he already was.

***

When I was five, I drew my father with black hair and purple eyes.  I clothed him in a red jumpsuit.

To my knowledge, Dad has never owned a red jumpsuit.  Nor does he have purple eyes.  Like me, he has dark hair and dark eyes.  He has a wide smile that, in photographs, borders on manic.  He has a slight gap between his front two teeth and he wears extra-strength prescription glasses to correct his truly abominable eyesight.

When he was six, my father sold peeks up his baby sister’s skirt.  When he was fourteen, he and a friend blew up a toilet.

The bomb was on a delayed fuse and no one believed that he’d done it because he was such a good student.

As a child, he read the dictionary.

***

For most of my life, people have been telling me how wonderful my father is.

Once, at one of those defensive driving seminars, a woman came up to me after they’d passed out the diplomas and asked if my father was Jerry Grossman.  I said he was and she beamed.  “He’s our lawyer!  We just love him!”

This was always a source of pride.  My father was a Big Man.  An Important Man.

He was President of our synagogue when I was six and, for years afterward, his headshot hung on a wall with the rest of the past Presidents.  Sometimes at Hebrew School I’d walk by and touch it.  Just to say hi.

Everyone knows my father and everyone loves him.  He is smart and he is generous.  He also happens to be kind of an asshole.  He has a wicked temper.  A foul mouth.  He can be impatient and intolerant.  He’s impossibly vain.  He’s great in a crisis but the little things drive him nuts.  Paper cuts and stubbed toes and all that.

Last year we were taking a trip somewhere.  “We’re leaving at 8:00 am,” he intoned.  I was, of course, late.  Instead of 8:00, we left at 8:05.

When we arrived at the airport, the line for security stretched on for miles.  He turned to me, incensed.  “This is ALL.  YOUR.  FAULT.”

Which is to say that my father is complicated.  Flawed.

I tried to write about him before but I found myself stymied.  He is, it seems, beyond words.  He defies classification.

Today is his birthday.  Tax day, as fate would have it.  He is 57 and he shows no signs of slowing down.  He works 14-hour days.  He drinks eight cups of coffee and then tops it off with a daily martini.+  He zooms around the country and he jets up to New York to go to the opera.  He is a force of nature.

***

My sister is trying to get pregnant.  As such, I decided to ask my father what he’d like his grandchildren to call him.

Dad doesn’t like babies.  Small children make him uncomfortable.  They’re not particularly clever and they’re dirty, too.  I don’t think my father liked my sister or I until we were able to carry on proper conversations.

“What do you think, Dad?  Zadie?  Poppy?”

“I think,” he replied, “That I’d like to be called Mr. Grossman.”

 

+It is a great disappointment to Dad that neither my sister or I ever took to alcohol.  He has told me on multiple occasions that I’m “one of the few people who ought to drink more.

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Marni holds a B.A. from Vassar in Women's Studies. The degree turned out to be of little practical value, but nonetheless holds a lot of sentimental weight. She's written for BUST, Playgirl, Heeb and gURL.com. Her interests include subverting the patriarchy, reading, and "Law and Order": the Jerry Orbach years. She'd like to know why the inhabitants of the tiny Maine hamlet Cabot Cove so frequently come to violent ends. She'd also like someone to hire her.

56 responses to “Here’s to You, Mr. Grossman”

  1. D.R. Haney says:

    Ah, this was so nice, Marnie. I see it as a kind of sister piece to the trilogy that Gina wrote about her father at TNB at the beginning of the year.

    I can’t stand the Men’s Wearhouse guy, either. I wouldn’t say he ought to be killed, but something about his sandpaper-y voice drives me up the wall.

    I’m sure your father is much too good for Madonna, by the way.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      My father informs me that I ought to redact the exact names of the men’s clothing atelier here lest I open myself or himself up to a lawsuit.

      Which is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever heard.

  2. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Any father who reads To Kill a Mockingbird aloud to his children must have a bit of Atticus Finch within him. Lovely tribute to His Majesty.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      My mother can’t stand it when Hannah or I wax rhapsodic about the reading aloud. She was there, reading to us, every day. But it’s because it was so infrequent, of course, that we remember it so fondly.

  3. Irene Zion says:

    Marni,

    You wrote this very well. The images flow into one another to form a picture of your father for us to see perfectly. He’s very smart. He’s very vain. He’s punctual and one minute off from on time is the same as an hour. It seems as though he tried his best, but father/grandfather material he just isn’t.
    The adjective “cold” sticks with me. I imagine that “cold” sticks with you and always will.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      No! Irene! I didn’t mean it that way. Maybe I didn’t do such a great job. He’s great. That day at the airport, after he told me everything was my fault, I just stared at him. “Really? REALLY?”

      He’s quick to anger but just as quick to get over it. He allows me to call him on his bullshit. He’s a great father. I’m interested to see what kind of grandfather he’ll become.

      • Irene Zion says:

        Sorry, Marni, I’m pretty sure that there was some projection on my part.
        Read it through my eyes & changed it in my head to a story about me & my mother.
        My bad. Not enough sleep last night.
        The well-written part still stands, though ….

        • Marni Grossman says:

          Don’t worry! I have a tendency to think that things I find endearing and/or hilarious will translate better than they actually do.

          This is one of the reasons I will never write about my sister again. What I think is sweet, she finds awful.

          Apparently I’m meaner than I think I am.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Marni,

          I have the same problem with my kids. I write something that obviously no longer bothers me because it’s been decades since it has happened and now I think it’s really funny, but they think I’m attacking them and still holding grudges that I never held to begin with. It’s exhausting trying to figure out what your family will think instead of what you meant. Tell me when you get a handle on it, cause I REALLY need some help here!

  4. What a touching homage to your father, Marni. And yes, I tend to agree with you. Definitely seems like your pops is the living, breathing incarnation of Atticus Finch.

  5. Joe Daly says:

    Beautiful! I was already in a good mood when I read this, and now I’m even more content. It’s funny how so often it’s the details about ourselves that we tend to ignore, that our loved ones find so endearing. Loved the bit about Men’s Wearhouse!

    • Marni Grossman says:

      Yes! It’s those little things that tend to be most evocative. And thanks so much for the nice words. It means the world to me.

  6. Anon says:

    Marni, I’m going to again cross-reference pieces here and state that my new definition of “making it” is to have my daughter, twenty years from now, feel this way about me. A wonderfully humorous but, above all, very touching piece. Your father has something else that’s remarkable and impressive – you.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      Undoubtedly, you’re a great Dad. Any man with that kind of goal couldn’t help but be one.

      • Anon says:

        See? Remarkable and impressive 😉 . Thank you, Marni.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Aha! By chance, yesterday, I learned who you are, Mr. Anon. Going to update my find-that-stolen-Mac software . . . I found you.

          You’re Mr. Orbicule Undercover.

          http://www.orbicule.com/undercover/

          Of course, it’s possible that they are you.

          Or that it’s clipart, and I’m the last to know.

        • Anon says:

          HA! Outstanding, Mister Mitchell! Unfortunately, though, I simply lifted the best-looking image I encountered after having Erika Rae recommend a fedora for my gravatar. Looks like it was from Orbicule (who will likely now send me a cease-and-desist, but we may have to ask Mister Grossman about that). Actually, it was from someone on a message board who was using Orbicule’s image – double-plagiarized (ironic, since the software is supposed to track thieves).

          Of course, now that I read up on the product, there are certain interesting tie-ins to the technology I work with. And more frightening tie-ins to a product a friend at another company is working on. Yeesh. Abandon electronic technology, friends – it’ll be the death of us all sooner or later.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Putting aside all other issues, I find it amusing to know that at regular intervals my Macbook Pro asks the Orbicule server, “Have I been stolen?”

          Sheesh, don’t you know? Can’t you recognize my fingers on your trackpad?

          I spent a while working with RFID, but it was an overwhelmingly benign application (running).

          Sorry, Marni, for, ah, hijacking your thread.

        • Anon says:

          It’s okay. She already knows. This piece came with a hijack-alert manners upgrade – she was emailed an in-advance apology the second we started talking about my pic.

  7. Greg Olear says:

    And the high-water week at TNB continues with a Marni post!

    Thank you for spelling it right — Men’s Wearhouse. I think that’s clever. And I think Zimmer’s voice is mesmeric. And I like his beard. But I wouldn’t buy a suit there. Yuck.

    I love that your dad wants his grandkids to call him Mr. Grossman. That’s my favorite of the many great details. He sounds like a character on Entourage, which is the highest praise I can bestow.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      Dad would like that. Already he’s given to saying things like, “they call me Dr. McDreamy” or “There I am! Mr. Big!”

  8. Richard Cox says:

    I remember when you said you tried to write about your father, back when everyone was posting their Thousand Word pieces. I’m glad you finally did. I loved the little details and how you picked out his wonderful traits and those that make him a flawed human being. You make him seem larger than life and a real guy all at once.

    Particularly I loved this line, selfishly, because this is exactly how I am (or at least perceive myself to be):

    “He’s great in a crisis but the little things drive him nuts. Paper cuts and stubbed toes and all that.”

    When great calamity strikes I grow calm and somehow see things more easily and I’m able to keep emotions in check. But if I drop something three times in a row I’m likely to scream at it.

    Great post, Marni. Again.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Oh, and happy birthday, Mr. Grossman!

    • Marni Grossman says:

      I’d much rather be good in a crisis, though. Someone others can depend upon.

      Conversely, I’m very calm on a day-to-day basis. But I tend to be overly emotional and I worry that, should I ever be tested, I’d fall to pieces.

  9. Slade Ham says:

    Just based on my own troubles writing about my father, you really impressed me with this. It is difficult sometimes, and more so the closer you are I think. I’m glad you never took to alcohol, considering sober Marni can write like this. You can just pass your glass this way if you’d like.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      I think Dad gets wistful every time we’re out to dinner and they bring out the wine list and he has to go it alone. Feel a little bad about that, actually.

  10. Marni, I believe you just found the perfect present for Mr. Grossman.
    Just beautiful!
    ~ r

  11. admin says:

    If his grandchildren really do wind up calling him “Mr. Grossman,” I will be deeply impressed.

    Some grandparents pick their name; others have it chosen for them, usually by grandchildren who can’t speak well.

    That’s how one of my grandmothers became “Gammy.”

    I could see your dad winding up as “Moman” or “Goman” or some other phonetically mangled version of “Mr. Grossman.”

    This was lovely.

    Gotta imagine your dad will file this one away on his Blackberry.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      Goman. I think he’d really hate that. My great-aunt, for instance, was dubbed “Gaga” by her grandchildren and the rest of us think it’s pretty awful. What type of half-pint half-wit can’t pronounce “Grandma” properly?*

      I suspect that he’ll cave though and end up something more traditional. If not, there’s always “Sir.”

      *This is sarcasm. I love small children. Really I do.

  12. Marni, I just love this! Your dad is so vivid and strange and funny and yes, sounds like a force of nature. I love that you wrote this on his birthday, like I did with my dad, and think we should have a new TNB rule that everyone has to write a father piece on their dads’ birthdays. But I’ll venture to say that your dad would be a tough act to follow.

    I also think it’s really interesting, that phenomenon of having a Big Man as one’s father. My dad, while a neighborhood patriarch in our little hood (and a clothes horse like your dad, though very fond of designer discounts given his budget), is of course an 8th grade drop-out, constantly living among the regrets of all the things he “didn’t” do, the chances he didn’t have or didn’t take, and in a sense I grew up always extremely aware that it was not going to take much to “surpass” where he considered himself to be in the food chain: that pretty much I just had to graduate from high school and that would be that. When I wanted much more than that, it seemed odd to my father, I believe–almost arrogant or scandalous. Sometimes I still feel like he looks and me and shakes his head, just utterly perplexed by what propels me or what my life is like.

    Your reality growing up–and now as an emerging adult in the world–must be very, very different than mine was in terms of parental-and-self-expectations. Did you feel like there were great shoes to fill, coming from a father like yours? Do you think that’s been paralyzing, or inspiring, or both?

    • Marni Grossman says:

      YOUR piece was a hard act to follow, Gina.

      Mine is just a pale imitation.

      I think you’re right, though about living about to his example. It’s probably a little bit of both. Paralyzing and inspiring, that is.

      The other day I was talking with my friend Lacey on the phone and I realized that I’d probably never be as successful as my parents. Which is mightily depressing. It makes you feel as though all your privilege served only to make you soft and coddled and stupid.

      • Well, I don’t know a whole lot about privileged upbringings per se, but I can certainly attest to the fact that you are the opposite of stupid. So if your intellect and wit is what a Vassar education will buy, I’m going to “coddle” my daughters and send them there . . .

        I have heard seen a few of my friends go through the “I’ll never be as successful as my parents” realization. It’s a syndrome that’s kind of foreign to me, but I can understand the paralysis that might accompany such thoughts. But I promise you, Marni, you are way, way too young to make those kinds of predictions for yourself. You have no idea, yet, where this path of life will lead you.

        There are a lot of different kinds of success, which I know you already know. No, you’ll probably never be listed in a resource book as one of the “top 100” of your chosen profession. That is a certain route that you seem to have already chosen not to pursue. That type of success requires a kind of mindset that isn’t yours. It is formidable and impressive, yes. But it’s not all there is. In my mind, a 24 year old woman who is already publishing in major magazines and has acquired a rapt following of readers among writers 10-20 years older than herself here on TNB is destined for a different type of success. It will probably never make you a ton of money, I’ll admit. But I suspect there will be many people in your life who will tell your children and others about the impact you made on them, just as people tell you that about your dad . . .

  13. Thanks for this! Lovely! Will your father read it?

    • Marni Grossman says:

      He did. He said- as I told Duke- that he loved it but that I might want to leave out the specific references to the Men’s Wearhouse because there’s always a possibility that I could be sued for defamation.

      The joys of having a lawyer in the family.

  14. Matt says:

    I can only hope that when my time as a parent comes, my kids grow up to think of me in these terms.

    Well done.

  15. Zara Potts says:

    ‘He cried and said ‘I wish I could be as good as Atticus Finch.'”

    This says it all.

    Wonderful portrait, Marni. You have such a calm and gentle way of telling. You’re like a whisper of wind that grows steadily stronger and warmer with every paragraph. You have such a gift and I love your work.

    Beautiful Mr Grossman and his beautiful daughter.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      Oh, Zara, you give the best compliments! Mostly because they just mean so damn much coming from you!

  16. Simon Smithson says:

    A friend named their cat ‘Atticus Catticus’. It’s the equal-best name for a cat I’ve ever heard, along with ‘Doctor Girlfriend’.

    A touching tribute to your dad, Marni.

    And his dedication to sartorial elegance is awesome. He should gut that Zimmer SOB like a fish.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      When I told my mother that Dad was worried about being sued by the Men’s Wearhouse people, she said what he should really worry about is what might happen if Zimmer dies an untimely death.

  17. angela says:

    marni, what a lovely tribute to your dad. i’m glad you didn’t shy away from what makes him complicated and human.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      I don’t think he’d have it any other way. Tonight, at dinner, he told Mom and I that he hadn’t been able to work at all today because of the incredible influx of calls from well-wishers. Oy gevalt!

  18. What a fantastic portrait. It’s so great that he read those books to you… and I can’t believe that anyone works 14 hrs a day. I work that each WEEK! No joke.

    Mr. Grossman? Man, kids make me uncomfortable (even though I’m a kindergarten teacher…) but it’s so funny that he would want to be referred to as Mr. Grossman.

  19. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    Really nice to read a piece like this that is overwhelmingly positive towards one’s father, probably because I imagine my own currently small daughters growing up to write such honest and lovely things. So thanks for that.

    Also, a fun fact about George Zimmer: huge backer of pot legalization in CA. He’s like a hippie in a suit.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      A pot advocate, huh? Will wonders never cease?

      Then again, maybe that’s why he always seems so mellow…

  20. Thomas Wood says:

    Really enjoyed it, Marni. Made me think a lot about trying to write my own father, something, like you, I have attempted many times. It’s odd because in part I’m too close to the subject (can’t get a grasp on the whole picture) and yet in part I’m too removed (as in, there’s got to be so much more to him to know; I’ll never catch up).

    I always like thinking that knowing our parents is knowing a part of us and, in that respect, in knowing your father, you seem to be one heck of an interesting gal.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      I think you’re right. It’s hard to write about parents because they’re both a known quantity, and, on some level, and unknown too.

      I’ve always been fascinated by my parents’ past. I want to know everything. Which is difficult because, if my mother is to be believed, she had none.

      The other day I told her that it made me sad that, on some level, everyone was a mystery. That you’d never really understand what it was like to be in someone else’s head. She just shot me a look. “Why,” she asked scathingly, “would you waste your time thinking about that?”

      Total. Enigma.

  21. Erika Rae says:

    You do THE BEST descriptions of your family members. So honest. So real. Consequently, so beautiful.

    For reasons that will remain completely personal, this was my favorite segment:

    To my knowledge, Dad has never owned a red jumpsuit. Nor does he have purple eyes. Like me, he has dark hair and dark eyes. He has a wide smile that, in photographs, borders on manic. He has a slight gap between his front two teeth and he wears extra-strength prescription glasses to correct his truly abominable eyesight.

    You’re so awesome I can hardly stand it, Marni. And Robert Zimmer… he deserves a little battering.

    • Marni Grossman says:

      You are too nice, Erika!

      The sad part is that my family members are always the most interesting people in my stories. I always end up playing straight man.

  22. kristen says:

    Glad to know an inkling of Mr. Grossman through your piece. You drew him up w/ such loving precision.

    Favorite: “On Saturdays when we were small, Dad would let Hannah and I copy things for him on the xerox machine for ten cents an hour. When that was done, we would retire to the conference room to get high off of whiteboard markers and spin ourselves stupid in the overstuffed chairs.”

    Ah, the fond familiarity of these sorts of routines…

  23. Lou Fenech says:

    Marni,

    I was just catching up with JKG for his birthday (belatedly) and he told be about your blog. I think you pegged him just right.

    I still remember him at GU coming in at midnight from whatever activity he was into, putting on in order: 1) his argyle socks 2) Frank Sinatra hat and 3) His complete collection of “Old Blue Eyes” records. Then he would pull an all-nighter and ace the test that I had previously spent 5 days studying for. AMAZING.

    I really enjoyed your writing…keep it up!

    Best wishes,
    Lou Fenech

  24. […] with the David Copperfield crap: Her father is one of the finest attorneys in the state of Delaware.  Her sister is a bright red slash of lipstick.  Her mother thinks that Lorena Bobbit is […]

  25. Anna says:

    Marni –
    It’s funny you say you had such a hard time writing this because I think you nailed the peg on the head! I could never have as accurately described your father, even though when I was reading this I could imagine him the whole time exactly as you portrayed him! Another great piece by my favorite author. Sorry I’m a little late to join the response party! Belated happy b-day to Mr. Grossman.

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