As I’ve suggested in past papers, I believe that my philosophy came from my parents and the relationship I established with my older siblings.
My parents were uneducated and came from different small villages near Odesa in Ukraine. They met in the US, and the rest is history. In 1926 we lived in Chicago. During the depression, my father worked as a laborer at odd jobs, although he was trained as a Carpenter and would become a fine cabinet maker. My mom raised six children, of which I was number five.
My mother was a tremendous caregiver who gave all of herself. No one ever went hungry whenever they visited our home. Every Friday evening, my parents went to an Odesa Club meeting where they danced (my mother loved to dance) and spoke Russian. My father was a happy observer who loved talking politics. He was a 1000% union man who went for Roosevelt. Sadly, my mother died much too early in my arms.
We never lived in a house during those days, only in 3rd-floor apartments. These never had more than three bedrooms and one shared bathroom. Naturally, problems arose from such close living, but we always worked them out. As I recall, I played a prominent role in mediating those arguments.
My siblings, including one gem of a sister and a younger brother, liked me, and each found a way to spend time with me. I listened to them and was a willing participant in anything they suggested.
I do firmly believe that this 18-year experience, until I went into the service, shaped me as I was and am. The rest I credit to my loving Lenette. Another miracle in my life.