Ted and I were really close friends, starting in I think the third grade, P.S. 27, which is when he, Leon, and his very sweet parents moved to Hawthorne Ave., around the corner from us. We were at 106 Valentine Lane. Years later we moved to 80 Belvedere Drive, but that was still just a short walk. We were always very aware of how many interests we had in common. Especially classical music. We had a little group of kids who were trying to start an orchestra. We would meet at Bernice Morris’ house, on Belvedere Drive. Ted was to be the leader and conductor. That was only logical since he was the drum major for the Hawthorne Jr. H. S. marching band. We were trying to play a concerto; I can’t remember if it was Tschaikovsky or Rachmaninoff. I do remember there was a beautiful theme in the first movement, and I wanted to try to play that first. But Ted wanted to work on the third movement for some reason! He didn’t get very far with that, met only a few times.
I remember a funny thing that happened. There was supposed to be a meteor shower. It was to happen in the middle of the night, 2 or 3 AM. We agreed to meet outside, between our houses, and watch, weather permitting. Well, I did wake up in time, but even though the weather permitted, I just couldn’t (well, didn’t) get out of my warm comfortable bed to go outside. Ted did, and criticized me the next day (mildly and humorously) for giving in to my desire for comfort rather than getting up to do something of scientific interest!
We had lots of intellectual discussions, covering all sorts of subjects, from the benefits of nose-picking all the way to free will and determinism. When we were somewhere around the age of 10 to 12 years, we agreed that since human behavior was determined, people couldn’t really be blamed for their bad behavior. But, for the sake of society, they had to be held responsible!
I remember a discussion about which would be worse, to go blind or to go deaf. Since we both loved classical music, we agreed that going deaf would be worse. But that did take a lot of discussing!
I remember when Ted was drum major for the band, we used to both be really bothered by how Isobel Craig, the other drum major(ette) would start marching with her right foot whereas the left foot is supposed to coincide with the first beat of the music! It really bothered Ted and me!
Sometimes we’d be on a walk, and didn’t say much, and then later would come up with the same thought simultaneously. Well, I guess that happened a few times. So when we both ended up going into psychiatry, that was kind of a repeat of those coincidences, if you follow me.
When I went to college in the Midwest, and he back East, or maybe it was when he was in the service, we pretty much lost contact. But then we resumed it years oater. I remember visiting Ted and Mary Lou at their warm, comfortable house on One Folly Lane. I remember meeting you at “the diner” in Yonkers.
We both happened to be in Yonkers when our high school class had its 50th reunion (somewhere up the river, maybe Hastings). The only reason I went was because Ted would be there. And it was wonderful!.
Ted was always really sweet to my mother, when she lived alone, visiting her when he’d come down from Worcester.
And her kitchen was brightened by the great clock made and given to her by Mary Lou.
Donald Leff, who had lived, as a kid, on Sunnyside Drive, always wanted the three of us to get together and walk around the neighborhood, on what he called “a nostalgia tour”. But we never did.
—Condolences to all,