My grandfather with his friend Sid, on a weekend outing to the Catskills.

Midi Sequenced
by Ted Keener

"So have a little faith and trust in what tomorrow brings.  You'll reach a star because there are such things"  ~ Stanley Adams, 'There Are Such Things'

My mother with my grandparents in Bronx Park, on September 5, 1943.

        My grandfather loved to take home movies.  On occasion, however, he found himself on the other side of the camera.  At those times, he showed a side of himself that I would not have the opportunity to see, years later -- a confident, playful Irving Gushin, unencumbered by the stresses of job insecurity and the oppressive binds of overmedication and self-doubt.

        I envy those friends and family who had the pleasure of knowing that Irving Gushin -- the man he was before he surrendered himself and his desires to valium and its co-conspirators of mind-numbing medications, the Irving Gushin before he lost sight of that 'green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.'  (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

        The grandfather I knew was a middle-aged man who in the late 1970's, was in the throes of a mid-life crisis.  My memories of him consist mainly of my observations of a man intent on reclaiming a youth that he had lost years earlier -- a desperation that would manifest itself in manic shopping sprees in which he'd indulge in his predilection for country-western clothes accessorised with turquoise rings and silver bracelets.  

        A new wardrobe, however, did little to improve his sense of self-worth:  my grandfather had become so discouraged that when my mother asked him one time to sing for his five grandchildren, he balked, insisting that he had lost his voice.  My grandfather, though, finally relented, and much to our delight, he had not lost his voice at all.  What he had lost, sadly, was a 'little faith and trust in what tomorrow brings'.

        On December 1, 1980, my grandfather was preparing for a cross-country trip with my grandmother, to visit our family in Louisville, Kentucky, when he collapsed on an L.A. street just outside of a camera store.  My grandfather had suffered a massive heartattack, and paramedics were not able to revive him.  He was only 61....  He never did reach a star.

        I had just turned 9 a couple of months earlier, when my grandfather passed away.  I therefore can't say that I really knew him, but I loved him ... very, very much.  The day he died, I recall curling myself behind my mother's old worn green recliner, and sobbing until I ran out of tears.  I am perhaps still mourning his death, to this day.

        I hope that this web site will serve as a sort of living memorial to him, as well as a testament of my great love and admiration for a man I wish I had known.  Grandpa, 'if there is some other way to prove that I love you, I swear I don't know how....  You'll never know if you don't know now.'  (Mack Gordon, You'll Never Know)

                   Daryl Osbrink