Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tanenbaums

When I began work as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in March 1988 my supervisor, legal assistant administrator, Maggie Sinnott, was married to one of the firm's partners, a litigator who did some work for the client Eastern Airlines, named Larry Tanenbaum.  Maggie Sinnott and Larry Tanenbaum got divorced.

By 1991 Larry Tanenbaum was dating Rebecca Jackson, who was one of my coworkers in the Litigation Support Group, supervised by Chris Robertson.  Larry Tanenbaum and Rebecca Jackson Tanenbaum are now married.

I vaguely recall that for a time after I moved to the Terrace Office Suite that housed Litigation Support, beginning April 8, 1991, Rebecca Jackson worked in the cubicle adjacent to mine.  Rebecca Jackson would therefore have first-hand knowledge of my frightening, disruptive and bizarre behavior that led to the decision to terminate my employment in late October 1991.

Another Litigation Support employee, Bob Dillon, would also have first-hand knowledge of my bizarre behavior.


Gary Freedman said...

Other Lit Support employees:

Gary Freedman said...

Complete List of Lit Support Staff in 1991:

Gary Freedman said...

I'm really a good driver," said Rebecca Jackson's voice, as we shook hands goodbye. Her face said, "Please don't make me look bad in the newspaper."

How could I, when Rebecca is such an accomplished word-coiner? She has just proven it by carting off first prize in the February version of our monthly neologism contest.

The challenge, to which Rebecca and about 3,000 fellow wordsmiths responded, was:

They are ugly, black and plentiful – those scrape marks left on pillars in underground parking garages by drivers who aren't quite as deft at maneuvering a car as they might think. The scrape marks are called...

Rebecca's winning answer:


That's a cute "turn" on "carcasses," which is what cars threaten to become when their drivers sideswipe pillars. My neologism radar knew "carkisses" was a winner right away.

Corey Gass, of Arlington, Les Ralston, of Northwest Washington, and Mark Brown Perry knew it, too. They filed the same entry, but later than Rebecca. By our rules, she and she alone stands in the winner's circle.

Our February champ is a marketing consultant. Although she is only 33, she has dabbled in several different employment ponds, having done time in law and advertising before settling on her current field. She has spent the last three years as a consultant to the Association of Electric Cooperatives in Arlington.

Rebecca grew up in Fairfax and graduated from Chantilly High School. She's married to Larry Tanenbaum, and she's the mother of Alexis (4) and Ross (2).

Perhaps most pertinently, Rebecca once left a carkiss.

She was maneuvering through a parking lot in the family's Explorer when she mashed a side-view mirror against a pillar. It dangled from a wire all the way home – and it left a major league dark smudge on the pillar.

The mirror cost $254 to fix, but the incident indirectly won her a victory lunch of seared tuna and black coffee at D.C. Coast. Sympathy for the first; congratulations for the second.Excellent, neologists! Now that you're warmed up (and the weather is, too), let's take aim at the March challenge, which is:

Regardless of age and marital status, every male does it. When he's introduced to an attractive woman, he sucks in his gut and puffs out his chest. This deeply rooted reflex is called... (Click to see winning entries)

First prize is just as deeply rooted. It's a free lunch, at a restaurant of the winner's choice, in or sanely near Washington.

Contest rules: You may enter as often as you like, on one piece of paper or several. Joint entries are welcome. So are entries submitted by fax (202-334-5150) and e-mail ( Entries must bear day and evening phone numbers, including area code(s). All entries become my property. Entries will not be accepted by phone or returned. In case of duplicate winning entries, I'll choose the one I receive first.

Please mail entries to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.

© 2000 Bob Levey (

Gary Freedman said...

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