Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Dated Memory:

Bernard "Bernie" Epstein and his wife Aida had a party at their home in April 1970.  Bernie Epstein was my mother's supervisor at The Franklin Institute Research Laboratories in Philadelphia.  My mother and father attended the party at the Epstein home in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.  I did not attend, since I did not become an Institutnik till July 1970 -- July 13, 1970 to be exact.

My parents told me about the party.  The Director of the Science Information  Services Department Alec Peters read one of his poems.  Aida Epstein, a piano teacher who also concertized, performed Robert Schumann's Traumerei.    Mrs. Epstein said she didn't care that much for Chopin.  Lydia Ederlyi and her husband Ivan (Glenside, Pennsylvania), now a retired Mathematics professor at Temple University, were there.  (I later worked with Lydia Erdelyi at The Franklin Institute.  She was Romanian, but was fluent in German; Ivan Erdelyi, also Romanian, was a native Hungarian speaker.  I remember on one occasion in about May 1972 Lydia Erdelyi translated a German-language letter for me that I had received from the archivist at The Richard Wagner Archives in Bayreuth, Germany (Gertrude Strobel).

My mother mentioned that the Epsteins planned to purchase furniture designed by George Nakashima for their home.

My father related that Bernie Epstein had told the guests that the Epsteins would not be serving bread or any leavened products because it was the Jewish holiday of Passover.  The Epsteins were observant Jews.  Aida Epstein was originally from Argentina, which has a large Jewish population, by the way.  In 1970 Passover started on April 21st.  The Epsteins' party was held on a Saturday evening.  So we know the party took place on Saturday April 25, 1970--although I have no specific recollection of that event.

Several years ago I sent Bernie Epstein a copy of my book Significant Moments.  You may ask: Why would I bother to send Mr. Epstein a copy of my book?  It is because the Epsteins did not serve bread at Passover.  That memory was imprinted on my mind.

See also: An Undated Memory.


Gary Freedman said...

The Epsteins have a middle-aged son named David Mario Epstein.

Gary Freedman said...

Bernie Epstein died in about the year 2007.

Gary Freedman said...

The Epsteins music room was lined with cork -- like Marcel Proust's cork-lined room!