Wednesday, July 05, 2017


look of surprise
It came in a plain 9”x12” white envelope. It looked like the usual mail we get every month from Stevenson University, its monthly magazine about the comings and goings of the University. It is important to us since TLW (The Little Woman)’s brother is the President Emeritus of the University.

Since I thought I knew what was in it, I decided to leave it to TLW to open, after all, it is her brother. Then later in the afternoon, my daily call came. This call is made every day by TLW. She calls to see if I am still alive and if not to know she needs to call the coroner.

“You got an envelope from Stevenson University.” I greet her call with.
Dr. Mannowitz

“Did you open it?” A measured response.

“No!” After carefully measuring MY words.

“Why don’t you, it might be pictures from the retirement dinner.” The wheels are always turning in her head.

“OK!” We hang up.

I go to open the envelope, I know it is not pictured because it would have had a stiff backing.

I open it at the top, and as I slide the contents open, I am greeted by a big surprise.

This is something that would shock my dear sweet mother-in-law, and cause my father-in-law to have a heart attack. There on the cover of a Jewish Times magazine was my Irish brother-in-law’s picture, grinning back at me under the masthead. Did he convert? Was he thinking of it? Was I hallucinating?

There is a caption reading “A New Beginning”. My Irish mother-in-law, God-fearing, and my Irish father-in-law would have read that and had conniptions, Dr. Kevin Manning was now Dr. Kevin Mannowitz!

Turns out he helped in his capacity as President of the University to purchase some land and buildings for children with disabilities that closed from a Jewish organization to add to the grounds of the Stevenson University which abutted the property.

I don’t know if I will be invited to his Bar Mitzvah.


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