Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Past is a Foreign Country

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there" - L.P. Hartley

At a family brunch today, given by my cousins Carl and Bonnie Seligson, my uncle Mark Yohalem told me a story about Joe Diamond. Around 1910, when he was courting Jennie Yohalem (a cousin of my grandfather's), the proud but one-eyed beauty of her family, Joe was so overwhelmed with passion in anticipation that whenever he knew he was going to call on her, he would go to a bordello first so as to arrive in a calm state. Her parents found out about this (he probably told them), and they thought it a splendid sign of his prudence and foresight, exactly the qualities they wanted in a son-in-law.

Since it was Mark that told me this, it might actually be true.

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