Michael and Nick


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m_n.jpg (69204 bytes)Michael was born August 31, 1934, eleven months after we were married. He was delivered by our family doctor in our apartment. The delivery was a great problem for Mom. It seems that our bed was too low for the doctor to take delivery of the baby, so he suggested that the kitchen table would make it easier on Mom's back. I was beside her from the moment the doctor arrived until delivery. It was a painful delivery because Michael was a big baby, weighing 10-1/2 pounds and longer than a normal newborn baby. In fact, when Michael was born he looked like he was two months old. He was a beautiful child- and a handful. But Mother and baby were doing fine.

Nick was born on November 18, 1935. This time Jule had another doctor and he kept her weight down to one half the forty pounds she had gained when pregnant with Michael. Nick was born at Beth Israel Hospital, a Jewish Hospital, and the delivery was not a problem. Nick weighed in at 7 1/2 pounds. Michael was circumcised by the participating doctor, and Nick by the participating rabbi.

That was our family. Then we put a stop to any more children. Mom had it rough with two small boys only 14 months apart, especially with an apartment on the 3rd floor and five long blocks to my gas station. She would routinely cook dinner for the boys, then bundle them into a carriage and walk the five blocks to the station with a dinner bucket in hand to deliver me a hot lunch. Some woman. I was very grateful. I think the European custom played a big part in that.

I remember one day, Jule went shopping downtown and left me in charge of Nick, who was then about two or three years old. Somehow he got out of the gas station unnoticed, and was playing in the street pounding on the street car tracks with one of my hammers. Jule was coming home on the streetcar and saw him sitting in the middle of the street. She panicked and said to the conductor, "What crazy fool would let a small child play in the street?" Then she recognized Nick and yelled "Stop! Stop! That's my baby!"

Both boys were healthy and well disciplined. Mom did a great job disciplining the boys. I was a bit more timid in issuing discipline, and it was not my piece of cake. She gets all the credit for that. We worked together on those issues, and I would never override her orders. Both boys were always good children, in anybody's house in their own home, or wherever. They behaved well when we were all together out visiting.

Michael took after me in the sense of being a comedian, and Nick took after Jule who came from a more intellectual family. Many of the Mangos were lawyers. My family was classified as poor folks with a bit more heart.

What stands out most is how each of you boys thinks of each other and tries to help each other. I never received a phone call from either one of you without you asking how the other is doing.

It seems like there is lots of concern for each other, and I love that. It means a better relationship between the family and that is what family means: communicating and helping each one other. Solidarity. Keeping the wires open. I relish that though. I think both of them are doing fine.

I am proud of my two boys for their achievements in their lives, and I wish them more success as the years roll on.