My earliest memories of my father are perhaps my most profound.
He was very strong, physically, emotionally.
He had used his wits and efforts to rescue himself and his family during the Holocaust in Europe.
He arrived in post-war America with a young wife and three month old child, knowing almost no English and having few funds.
The next day he he went to look for a job. He found one, not in his field, auto and truck mechanics, but as a maintenance worker.
He was like the lead ship in a flotilla.
Everyone followed him.
Or, at least it seemed that way.
Within a year, he, his brother and brother-in-law bought a used truck.
My father overhauled the engine and the three of them began to work as drivers and movers.
They soon bought another truck.
He would drive to far-off places like Washington D.C. and Baltimore and when he returned, would eat the food my mother had prepared as we waited to capture his attention.
“Meine scheine maidele, meine scheine ketzele,” he would sing in Yiddish.”
“My pretty little girl, my pretty kitten.”
I remember him carrying me in his arms down Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the early evening after my short legs had grown too weary to walk any further and feeling eternally safe.