(b. unknown, Byelorussia; Smalnitsky changed to Small at Ellis Island)
PHILIP GOLDSTEIN (b. unknown, Poland)
Their children (b. Boston), in order of birth starting from eldest
MINNA b. 1904
marries SAM Son DAN b. 1930
JEN b. 1905
BENNIE b. 1909
HELEN b. 1911
marries Lou Daughter JANET b. 1943
PAULINE b. 1914
marries GEORGE Son PHIL b. 1939
FRANCIE b. 1920
This is the story of a family who made mistakes. Who made choices based on imperfect knowledge—of the world, and of themselves—and had to live with their consequences, as did I, the next generation of that family.
The words “prefrontal lobotomy” were spoken often, common currency growing up in my family. Sometimes I’d hear the term shortened to “frontal” lobotomy. I had no idea what premeant, but it seemed to confer authority, as though the speaker knew what he was talking about. This childhood recognition of distinctions made me—a Jewish, lower-middle-class child—a true citizen of Boston, a city that prided itself on being correct. I really should not have heard any of those words.