Welcome to my website. It is my karma that I have led an interesting life. I don’t know if I would wish that on my dearest friends, but for an author ….. well, use your own judgment.
To begin with, I was born in Poland and living in Warsaw before World War II began. And, of course, I was born Jewish. But Kiki, my beloved nanny, the only mother figure I knew, was Catholic and convinced that only Catholics went to heaven when they died. She proceeded to teach me Catholic prayers, the rosary, and when to stand up and when to kneel at mass so that she and I could be together through eternity.
Then Hitler attacked Poland, Kiki went back to her own people, and in her place I found the virtual stranger who was my mother. Mother was beautiful and she would prove herself resourceful, willful, and courageous. What she wasn’t, was nurturing. What she didn’t have was any understanding of seven-year-old boys in grief over loss of the only mother figure they ever knew. And with Nazi bombs falling about our ears, she did not have time to learn.
How is that as the beginning of an interesting life? In the next thirty-five years Mother would find ways to open doors not accessible to others. She and I would trek eleven hours through the snow covered Carpathian Mountains to escape the Soviets, we would play hide-and-seek with Hungarian Nazis, we would each fall in love, we would reach safety in New York where Mother would write a bestselling memoir, she would receive proposals of marriage from the rich and famous, and she would achieve her life’s goal as one of Philadelphia’s leading and most glittering hostesses. And in her pursuit of adulation she would, unwittingly, slam in my face doors that other parents strive to open.
But Mother was only a part of my karma. I like to say that “Mother was the necessity of invention” because I went on to create a plethora of difficulties and adventures for myself in my longing to become exactly what Mother didn’t want me to be, a normal, average person.
At that I have failed. In addition to being a survivor of the Holocaust, my mother, and boarding school, I have been a fencing teacher, a copy boy at the New York Times, a reporter, a captain of theater ushers, an Air Force navigator, an intercept instructor, a magazine editor, a prize winning documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematographer, director, editor, still photographer, sound engineer, publicist, married to the wrong woman for all the wrong reasons and divorced, a parent,a blackmailer, leader of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, a widower, an entrepreneur, smitten by the woman who would become my ultimate wife (I proposed on our first date, and she said, “No way!”), and an award winning author.
I have been published writing about the role of newspapers in a democratic society, the legitimacy of feelings, the nature of alcoholism, dealing with the irate customer, the nature of cats, photography, fundraising and public relations techniques, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Since retiring from filmmaking, I have drawn on these life experiences to write four memoirs and, so far, four novels. The memoirs deal with those parts of my life that I feel I can open to public scrutiny. Those parts that I feel I can’t, I have concealed under layers of make-believe and some loopy characters who try to lead normal lives in their fictional coastal village of Venice, Massachusetts, and pretty well fail at this task, as I have.