My father met my mother in the Brooklyn College library, no doubt wooed her with his wit, and married her in 1951. They were both determined to escape the confines of their Orthodox (him) and Eastern European immigrant (her) families and neighborhoods. They had me, their only child, in 1956, and in 1958, moved to suburban Maryland. They enjoyed travel, visiting museums, and hosting a playreading group.
My father's idealism led him to work for the still-young New Deal-inspired Social Security Administration and to become a civil rights activist with Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) in Baltimore, where he strategized behind the scenes for fair housing and employment. In 1967, he sold our house in a white suburb to a black family over the “blockbuster!” cries of the neighbors, then moved our family to Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that was unique for being racially and economically integrated by design. I remember going to the Poor People’s March on Washington with my father and seeing him cry for the first time when Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. My father continued to write to public officials, consume news voraciously, and support liberal causes all his life.