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Synopsis

Today is Fathers’ Day and our children are planning a get together at their house. As is usual for this time of day, there was the morning fog replaced later by a clear sky, bright sunshine and warmth. The expected high temperature today is 71 degrees Fahrenheit up from this morning’s 65 but nowhere near the 91 degrees that thermometers would normally register on Father’s day when I was a kid. Our children have invited us over to celebrate, since our oldest son is now a father himself, and as my wife and I drove over to their duplex, I realized that three generations of my family will be there and it became clear to me that the time had come for me to provide them with a biographical accounting that will fill in some blanks about their paternal roots and give them a clearer understanding of one half of their cultural heritage. It may have appeared to our children during their short childhood visits to the ancestral homeland of their father, that their aunts, uncles and cousins lived differently, and were apparently not as sophisticated as the people with whom they interacted in Berkeley. They were too young to appreciate the fact that their aunts and uncles had successful careers as teachers, master welders, policemen, grocery chain manager, and personal assistant to the President of their country’s Senate. They probably judged that their cousins’ toys were comparatively primitive viewed against the electronic marvels that they were accustomed to, nor were they as numerous. Television reception there was deplorable compared to what they were used to at home, and the duration of programming was limited, but academically, their young relatives’ skills were comparable to their own. On one occasion they were awed by the ability of a few of their cousins to build a functional lean-to that fitted into the games they were

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