Memories of Katinka

Memories of Katinka

A few days after my dad signed the contract with the Hartman-Steindorff Opera Company in 1922, he performed in Katinka, a musical composed in 1915 by Rudolf Friml and Otto Harbach. (The former was a noted composer, and the latter was considered America’s first great lyricist.) Throughout the 1920s, my dad kept a record of his theater work. In the pages of a loose-leaf binder, he’d paste a…

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Discovering California

Discovering California

Shortly after the end of World War I, my dad and his mom moved from Brooklyn to Northern California. Several relatives lived in Berkeley and Oakland, and my dad and grandmother headed west to join them. The photo above was taken in Berkeley on April 15, 1918. My dad is fifteen. My mom would be born almost exactly one year later. The record of my dad’s first years in…

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Lives Not Yet Intertwined

Lives Not Yet Intertwined

My dad was 16 years older than my mom, and I often think of what their lives were like before they found each other. During the 20s, when my dad was working in radio and touring up and down the West Coast as an actor, my mom was a child growing up in a company house in a Western Pennsylvania coal mining town. When my dad was working to bury…

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