Library Starter Kits


Here we have 5 boxes of assorted Jewish history books, videos, and even a Learn Hebrew record set that we’ll be donating to the Ann Arbor JCC later this week.



From left to right, we have the Book of Mormon, a Koran/Qu’ran, and a bit of Christian history on Jesus the Jew.  I’ve elected to save a good chunk of Dad’s theological library.  Not pictured is a lovely multi-volume set of various world scriptures.



This is how Dad read books – as if he was having a conversation with the author.  Not every book is marked.  Most hard-cover books escaped unscathed, as did anything more than 40 or 50 years old.  Many are only marked half way through.  Several books still had a bookmark in them, presumably from where he left off when another book caught his attention.


When I lived with Dad, he was often reading 6 to 10 books at one time, some for his classes at UB or Buff State, some for a pet project he was working on at the high school, and some just for personal enjoyment.



These are some psychology texts which belonged to my grandfather when he was at Columbia in the late 1940’s.  Aside from the terrifying title “The Manipulation of Human Behavior,” each book bore the inscription, “If found, return to N____ F____.  It’s worth more to me than it is to you!”  I’m not sure exactly how Dad came into possession of these books, because my grandfather certainly wouldn’t have knowingly given them away.  I’m guessing that during the years in which Dad was living with his parents after getting divorced from Mom, he probably just swept these books along with him when he moved out.


Our prizes today were the Hamilton Beach milkshake maker and a Hamilton Beach blender.  The milkshake maker I remember from my childhood, but the blender Dad must have purchased later.  It still has stickers on it, and as far as I can tell, has never been used.


In a few weeks, I’ll be starting the origin story of this whole crazy mess.  It seems appropriate timing.  Soon Rachel will be graduating from law school, and 3 years ago she graduated from undergrad.  Her graduation 3 years ago was the last time we saw Dad alive.


In other news, I got a birthday card from my deranged grandmother, but the full story of why I won’t go to New York to fulfill a dying woman’s wish to give photographs to her grand-daughter will take a little time to completely explain.

  1. Helen said:

    Just read your post on I too had to deal with the aftermath of parents’ accumulations. A bit different from your situation, but in essence the same. I too decided I don’t want someone else to have to deal with that with my stuff after I die. It’s a bit of a slow process for me, but it’s working. Good luck to you

  2. I came here from Miss Minimalist too. I’m really enjoying your blog. I’d love to hear more about your deranged grandmother and anything else you feel like sharing. I shared your writing with friends in the hope that more people will give thought to the inevitable, and what they leave behind for the people who love them.
    When my Nana died she had 2 suitcases of stuff (her daughter told me with sadness and horror) that contained her clothes and the things that she loved – a few letters and pictures from her family, a few trinkets… the rest she gave away to family and friends many years ago, and we have been able to enjoy them. There was no doubt about why she had what she had – it was either sentimentally important to her (and of a recent vintage) or she wore it or used it in her daily life. She was in a rest home, so she didn’t need a lot.

    • Thank you so much for reading. I’m really gaining a lot from sharing this story with a wider audience. Everyone in my immediate family has been living it for the last 3 years, so we’re all sort of sick of it! I will be starting the origin story later this week, stay tuned.

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