Getting to know me…
A little bit of history
I guess you could say I am a product of my environment…I was born May 27, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. My parents were a typical middle class couple. My Father had a plumbing shop and my Mother was the homemaker and full time Mom. The Grandparents I knew, only one from each side were business people my mother’s father owned a hardware store and my father’s mothers family was smith. Both my parents experienced the great depression, the beginning of income tax in 1932 and social security in 1935 both well before my entrance. Unlike many of my aunts and uncles my parents were both born in the USA. My grandparents however were immigrants’ from Russia through Ellis Island and Poland through England to Ellis Island. My earliest memory is they spoke English and when required used Yiddish not Russian or Polish to keep their conversations private from the children. By the time I was five my aunts and uncles had started their exodus from Brooklyn where both families had planted their roots. The Meschkow Family three sons and many cousins were Plumbers all starting out in Brooklyn and then moving to New Jersey, Long Island, and upstate New York; allowing each one to practice their trade non- competitively. My Fathers sister opened an appliance store with my father’s help; the eldest sister left the area completely and worked for the railroad in Jacksonville Florida. Each member was industrious and multi faceted, only one uncle concentrated on the plumbing trade exclusively as a union plumber not a shop owner. The Silberman families were merchants My Grandfather opened a hardware store, an Italian American grocery and macaroni factory, his brothers were hardware manufacturers, distributors and my uncles and one of their sons were involved in my grandfathers’ original hardware store until 2005. Unlike my father’s family in my mother’s family the girls were at home till married as my grandfather had a much more chauvinistic outlook on women in the workplace for him it was about the “boys”; his family and brothers all were reasonably successful despite some of their views. My mother’s family seemed to be more book educated and followed the Conservative Jewish Religion; My Fathers family was less polished but very knowledgeable and followed the Orthodox Jewish Religion. As a boy I was exposed to the value of; quality craftsmanship, good planning, artistry in your craft, personal and family commitment, the value of smart work habits, and unquestionable honesty at every level. My mother instilled in me the importance of a first and lasting impressions; my father the value of proving yourself through your actions. I grew up in two private houses, my parents owned, I shared my bedroom with my brother we always had a car, televisions, and every new appliance, during the school year we always went away for the holidays. During the summer we vacationed, went on trips and did a lot of sightseeing. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing, building models or thinking about how things worked and were made. I would constantly test my skills. As a young child art was a hobby, a love, and an adventure through the things I created. Art especially well rendered pencil sketches were my specialty and their sole purpose was my enjoyment…this would soon change and enjoyment would turn to satisfaction for a job well done creating “art that works” not works of art… the career that later evolved may never have happened if not for a few bends in the road….