Pages 107-112 of Document Submission to Social Security
FAX NO. 609 235 5569 MEREDITH FINANCIAL SERVICES
transmittal for Mrs. Estelle Jacobson c/o Mr. Edward Jacobson
Past, present, and future. Enjoy the Convention and keep your eye out for the Silver Bullet.
[The cover letter refers to the 1992 Democratic National Convention that nominated Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas for President and Senator Al Gore of Tennessee for Vice President. The convention was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York from July 13 to July 16, 1992. The Clinton-Gore ticket then faced and defeated incumbents George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle in the 1992 presidential election.
The “Silver Bullet” is a reference to Bob Strauss, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Strauss was serving as DNC chairman in 1976, the year Jimmy Carter was nominated for President; coincidentally, the 1976 Democratic National Convention --like the 1992 convention -- was held at Madison Square Garden in New York. My father had died on July 2, 1976. I remember while watching television coverage of the 1976 convention my mother said to me: “Dad would have liked this.”
The cover letter transmits a five-page document: an early version of an interpretation of a dream that I later titled, in 1993: “The Dream of the Four Miltons.” Keep in mind that one interpretation of a dream does not negate or preclude other interpretations -- even polar opposite interpretations. For, as Paul Roazen has pointed out, "dreams can have many levels."
It may be an issue of psychoanalytic interest to recognize the possible importance of political conventions in my psychology. At age two-and-one-half, during the summer of 1956, a presidential election year, I suffered an injury to the mouth. My registration of television coverage of the Democratic National Convention of 1956, which coincided with traumatic experiences important to my superego development, may have had lasting significance. See Joseph Fernando, “The Exceptions: Structural and Dynamic Aspects,” 52: 17-28, 1997. This issue is discussed at greater length at:
(Coincidentally, Madison Square Garden, the site of the 1976 and 1992 Democratic National Conventions, is located within walking distance of Columbus Circle in Manhattan -- a fact pertinent to the above link.)
I once had a dream [on about March 16, 1990] about a birthday cake--a dream that I told Dr. Palombo about. Why would somebody dream about a birthday cake?
I have a few thoughts about that. I have a few conscious recollections that may be related to the dream, but I wouldn’t place too much stock in them because these conscious recollections don’t really have that peculiar feeling that you get when you hit upon the real basis of a dream thought.
[Actually, as of this writing in the year 2010, I see this document as surprisingly insightful.]
1. Saturday December 24, 1966. Christmas eve. The day after my 13th birthday on December 23rd. There was a huge snowstorm that day. I believe it had been snowing since the early morning, and the snow was already deep by mid-day. Mom had to do the weekly food shopping, but she couldn’t take the car because of the storm. She got my sled, tied a box to it, and you and she went to the supermarket on foot. Her plan was to put the groceries in the box and drag them home on the sled. You probably remember that. Earlier that morning, Dad got in some big rage with Mom in the kitchen about something; I don’t remember what it was about but I recall that he wasn’t angry with me. (In the dream, Dr. Palombo was enraged. He said to an unidentified woman in a hotel room., “I am the great Stanley Palombo, a professor of medicine, and one of the greatest psychiatrists in the world! And room service is sending up a birthday cake for you? Who are you? You’re nobody.” Dr. Palombo’s rage with the unidentified woman matched Dad’s rage with Mom.)
[My father's mother died on Christmas Eve in the year 1933; his father had died on New Year's Day in 1929. My father was generally very moody, depressed, and agitated around the holidays. Apparently, he suffered from unresolved grief about the deaths of his parents, which typically emerged at year's end.]
While you and Mom were gone. I got a telephone call from your aunt. I told her that you and Mom had gone to the supermarket. She was on my case, and wanted to know why I didn’t go to the supermarket with Mom instead of you. I told her I had just taken a shower.
Later that afternoon, after both of you got back, Mom said that she had ordered a birthday cake from Gimbel’s in Cheltenham (another department store!) and that if she didn’t pick up the cake that day, December 24th, she would lose her deposit (I think there may be something psychologically significant here -- the idea of losing a deposit on a birthday cake -- but I can’t think what it might be. It may relate to guilt [debt]). She hoped that maybe the storm would let up. So we waited around all afternoon for the storm to let up so that we could go to Gimbel’s to pick up the cake. The storm never got any better. So, around the early evening Mom and I trudged off in the snow to pick up the birthday cake. To walk to Gimbel’s in Cheltenham under normal conditions took about 25 minutes. But the storm was a real blizzard. It was incredibly windy and the snow was falling really hard. Also, by early evening the snow was fairly deep. I think it must have taken us over an hour to get to the department store. We picked up the cake and took the bus home.
2. The psychological meaning of the above anecdote may have some added significance for me because of a somewhat parallel incident that occurred a few years earlier, on Friday January 20, 1961, when I was 7 years old. (JFK was inaugurated that day, that’s how I remember it. This fact in itself may be significant because I tried to “resign from office” [i.e., I attempted suicide] (like Nixon, JFK’s opponent in 1960) on Tuesday November 8, 1977, the anniversary of JFK’s election--or the anniversary of Nixon’s defeat, depending on your point of view.)
On the morning of January 20, 1961, I appeared to have come down with chicken pox. Dr. Bloom [my pediatrician] said I should stop by the office to be examined. There was a really bad snowstorm raging that day also, just as on December 24, 1966. (A banner headline on the font page of the New York Times on Saturday January 21, 1961 reads: “Kennedy Sworn In, Asks ‘Global Alliance Against Tyranny, Want, Disease and War; 24-hour Snowstorm Ties Up City Area; Schools Closed.”) Dad was home from work that day because of the storm. Mom put me on my sled and pulled me through the snow to the doctor’s office on January 20, 1961. (My being pulled on the sled may be related to the dream image of the unidentified woman as a spoiled little princess. This idea ties in with your aunt’s imputations during her telephone call on December 24, 1966, when she wanted to know why I didn’t take the sled to the supermarket with Mom instead of you.) There’s another point of contact between my office visit with Dr. Bloom on January 20, 1961 for chicken pox and the dream about Dr. Palombo. In 1961 there was no treatment for chicken pox. But Dr. Bloom gave Mom a few packets of some type of powder that I was supposed to bathe in. I think the medicated bath was supposed to alleviate itching, but I can’t recall now. In one part of the dream about Dr. Palombo, he was lounging in an inflatable raft in a swimming pool. (Of course, this association is far afield of Moses in the Nile, which is another one of my associations to the dream about Dr. Palombo. But perhaps inflatable raft = sled = Moses’ ark of bulrushes. Also, the transition from Republican father figure Eisenhower to Democratic father figure Kennedy on January 20, 1961 parallels Moses’ transition from the son of a Hebrew father to the son of an Egyptian father. Cf. paragraph 6.)
[In 1966 Helen Tartakoff introduced a nosological entity, the “Nobel Prize complex,” to apply to people who have in common many of the following characteristics: They are preoccupied with the achievement of diverse ambitious goals, which may include, for example, the wish to become President, to attain great wealth, to be a social leader, or to win an Oscar. My association to Moses makes sense if one identifies this dream as relating to a "Nobel Prize Complex": Moses, like President Kennedy, was a social leader.]
My conscious recollections and feelings about the events on December 24, 1966 and January 20, 1961 may have merged in my mind, if that’s possible.
3. What is possibly very significant about these events is that they may be screen memories (if I have my terminology right) for the events surrounding the time when I stuck a curtain rod in my mouth. My being taken to the doctor for chicken pox on January 20, 1961 may have merged with the now lost memories of what happened when Mom took me to the doctor after my early oral injury. There’s a point of contact between Dr,. Palombo’s rage in the dream and what Mom said about Dr. Bloom’s response when he later found out about what happened with the curtain rod. Mom said Dr. Bloom was furious with her. He said “how could you have let that happen? HOW COULD YOU HAVE LET THAT HAPPEN? " It was Dr. Schley who originally treated me, since Dr. Bloom was away on vacation.
["Dr. Bloom was on vacation." This fact is circumstantial evidence that I suffered the accidental injury to my mouth during the summer of 1956--at age two and one-half.]
The name Schley is phonetically related to sleigh, or sled. Not that I stuck the curtain rod in my mouth in the kitchen while Mom was on the telephone; in the dream it was the telephone call from room service that prompted Dr Palombo’s rage (the dream setting of a hotel room, or bedroom, may be a distortion of real events that may have occurred in a kitchen; this would be consistent with a conflict over phallic and oral drive wishes),
further, the issue of rage tied in with Dad’s anger with Mom in the kitchen on December 24, 1966. (Though it seems unlikely that a two and one-half year-old child would register any awareness of national political events, the following coincidence should at least be noted. If my early oral injury did happen at age two and one-half, this would place the occurrence of the incident during the summer of 1956, around the time of the national presidential conventions that nominated, respectively, President Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.)
4. In May 1964 Dad attended , as a delegate, the biannual convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, held in New York City. On Saturday May 9, 1964 President Johnson, flanked by New York mayor, Robert Wagner and union president, Jacob S. Potofsky, spoke at the opening of the Amalgamated’s 50th anniversary convention in the Singer Bowl at the New York World’s Fair. The New York Times, front page, May 10, 1964. Dad said he saw Johnson speak at the opening ceremony.
[At the time I had this dream, in March 1990, I was engaged on a long-term document production task at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld -- a document production task for litigation concerning Eastern Airlines' ongoing disputes with its employee unions.]
While he [my father] was away at the convention, I developed a strange rash. Mom took me to see Dr. Bloom, who diagnosed German measles. By the time Dad got back from New York I was fine.
But a short time later, I developed tonsillitis. I was bedridden with a sore throat and a high fever. Dr. Bloom made a house call, diagnosed the illness, and administered a dose of penicillin in my bedroom (room service?). As a delegate to his convention, Dad had to make a speech before his Local, reporting on the events at the convention. I can recall being bedridden with tonsillitis one weekend and Dad sitting with me in a chair in my bedroom and writing his speech on a notepad. He practiced the speech in front of me. (Thoughts of Woodrow Wilson’s relationship with his father. Wilson’s father, a Protestant minister, used to practice his sermons in front of his son--at least that’s what former Soviet Ambassador William Bullitt claimed in his book about Wilson, co-written with Freud.) (The minutes of the union meeting act which Dad gave his speech in around May 1964 may still be preserved at the Local headquarters South Street.)
The year 1964 was a presidential election year. The Democratic and Republican presidential nominating conventions in 1964 were the first I have any conscious recollection of; I was 10 years old at the time. I think the Republican convention that nominated Goldwater was held in San Francisco, and the Democratic convention that nominated LBJ was held, of course, in Atlantic City.
I saved all the newspapers reporting on the Democratic party convention, which, naturally featured a lot of speechmaking. I suspect that my interest in all the speechmaking at the Democratic convention--unusual for a 10 year old-- was greatly enhanced by dad’s practicing his speech about his union’s convention before me earlier in May of that same year; my identification of dad with U.S. Presidents may have been heightened by this coincidence.
Thursday August 27, 1964, the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City--the day on which Lyndon Johnson accepted his party’s nomination for President of the United States--was also Johnson’s 56th birthday.
[As of this writing, in the year 2010--I am 56 years old.]
Concerning the Texas-size boardwalk fete honoring Johnson, the New York Times reported that “President Johnson had a ball tonight on his 56th birthday [in Atlantic City]. There have been other balls in other years for other Presidential nominees of ‘the party with a heart,’ as Sam Rayburn, the late Speaker of the House, loved to call the Democratic party. But never has there been a ball like this one. This was a ball on Texas scale. It burst the confines of the ballroom in Convention Hall, where thousands of delegates and other party faithful of high and low degree shoved and shouted in honor of President Johnson. . . . There--for the President to cut--was the cake, a great red-white-and-blue-icinged map of the United States in which Rhode Island was less than bite size and Texas could feed a regiment.” New York Times, at 12, August 28, 1964.
5. The only incident I can recall that involves anything remotely related to “room service” occurred in Atlantic City in 1972. Dad and I went to Atlantic City that year for a few days when I was 18 years old; we stayed at a motel.
["What you don't know when you're 18 is that you'll be 18 for the rest of your life."]
One evening I had a pretty bad case of sunburn, and didn’t want to go out out for dinner. Dad was angry. He said I hadn’t listened to him when, earlier in the day on the beach, he had told me to cover up.
[The year 1972 was the year of Watergate, when the term "cover up" took on a whole new meaning!]
(Dad’s conviviality earlier in the day on the beach and anger with me in the evening in the motel room parallels Dr. Palombo’s behavior in the dream.)
[In 1972 my father and I stayed at the "Dennis Hotel" in Atlantic City. At the time of this dream, on about March 16, 1990, "Dennis Race" was the name of the hiring partner at the law firm where I worked, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld.
See pages 49 to 54 of Document Submission to Social Security: "7. In the late winter of 1990 [possibly Friday March 16, 1990], after I had first been assigned to litigation support, and litigation support moved from the 12th floor to the terrace level, Christine Robertson held a luncheon in the terrace level at which she had ordered pizza ([Chris Robertson said:] “It sure beats the hell out of everything else.”) Someone at the meeting was talking about Dennis Race, in my presence. The reference was somewhat gratuitous. I may have the recollection all wrong,* but I seem to recall that it related to Dennis Race complaining about some kind of noise (possibly emanating from the firm’s exercise room (*Dennis Race’s office is not located anywhere near the firm’s exercise room), and that some action was taken to cut down on the noise in response to Mr. Race’s complaint.
[Note the "primal scene" implications of the phrase, "noises emanating from the exercise room." The term "primal scene fantasy" is psychoanalytic jargon denoting fantasies about the parents having sex.]
The statement suggested that Dennis Race had “pull” in the firm. I had the self-referential feeling that Dennis Race had said something positive about me, and the person was trying to elicit a negative response from me so that Dennis Race could be told, “You see what he did when I mentioned you.”) (My interpretation of this incident related to another axis: The gratuitous and questionable remarks that are made about people who have said something favorable about me.) (Also, these were the “events of the previous day” relating to my dream about Dr. Palombo in the swimming pool (another axis), suggesting that Dennis Race and the practice of law may somehow have been connected with that dream." ]
[During the 1972 visit to Atlantic City] Dad went out to a delicatessen and brought back my dinner--a roast beef or corned beef sandwich.
Oddly, our stay in Atlantic City [in the summer of 1972] was coincident with the Democratic National Convention that nominated George McGovern for President. I can recall watching the convention in the motel room in Atlantic City with a bad case of sunburn. (Coincidentally, it was during this stay in Atlantic City in 1972 that Dad and I saw The Godfather [=Dr. Palombo?]).
[In 1972, I was 18 years old and therefore eligible to vote for the first time in my life. I cast my first vote in my life for George McGovern for President.
Also, it was in the fall of 1972 that I took a Public Speaking course at Penn State, where I was a college sophomore. My teacher, Stanley Cutler, also a Penn State graduate, said I was one of the finest Public Speaking students he had ever had. Being a good public speaker is, in a sense, part of my psychopathology:
"Descriptions of the schizoid personality as hidden behind an outward appearance of emotional engagement have long been recognized, beginning with Fairbairn's description of 'schizoid exhibitionism' in which he remarked that the schizoid individual is able to express quite a lot of feeling and to make what appear to be impressive social contacts but in reality giving nothing and losing nothing, because since he is only playing a part his own personality is not involved. According to Fairbairn, the person "...disowns the part which he is playing and thus the schizoid individual seeks to preserve his own personality intact and immune from compromise." Further references to the secret schizoid come from Masud Khan, Jeffrey Seinfeld, and Philip Manfield, who gives a palpable description of an SPD individual who actually "enjoys" regular public speaking engagements, but experiences great difficulty in the breaks when audience members would attempt to engage him emotionally.]
6. In November 1962, when I was 8 years old, former Philadelphia mayor and district attorney, Richardson Dilworth, a Democrat, was running for governor of Pennsylvania against Republican, William Scranton. The Dilworth campaign distributed a paperback biography of Dilworth, detailing his military, legal and political career. Dad’s union had distributed a copy of the biography of Dilworth, detailing his military, legal and political career. Dad’s union had distributed a copy of the biography to the membership; dad gave the book to me. I think I identified Dilworth’s having served in the Marine Corps in the South Pacific in World War II with Dad’s having served in the South Pacific [in the U.S. Army] in the war. (Dilworth was also a founding partner of one of the major Philadelphia law firms, now designated Dilworth, Paxson Kalish and Kauffman).
[William T. Coleman, Esq. used to be a named partner in Dilworth's law firm; he was Dilworth's law partner. William Coleman, a prominent African American lawyer -- according Vernon Jordan, all black people who went to college know each other -- served as Secretary of Transportation in the Carter Administration.
Robert S. Strauss, Esq. served as U.S Trade Representative and Envoy to the Middle-East Peace negotiations in the Carter Administration.]
One day at school [in November 1962], one of my fourth-grade classmates, Aaron Ezekiel (cf. paragraph 2), discussing Moses identification)-- a fellow Dilworth supported and a good Democrat--and I were walking around the schoolyard.
["Aaron" was the name of the brother of Moses in the Bible.]
We were trying to figure out which teachers would vote for Dilworth and which planned to vote for Scranton. If we liked a particular teacher we would say, “She looks like a Democrat--she’ll probably vote for Dilworth.” But, if we didn’t like a certain teacher we’d say, “She’s definitely a Republican--she’ll vote for Scranton.”
[See "The Dream of Milton's Successor" from the year 1995 (note that this dream interpretation was written in 1992):