OP-ED: My Darling Daughter

By Shelly Reuben
OP-ED: My Darling Daughter

Next in the series from Come Home. Love, Dad, published by Bernard Street Books, a memoir about my father, Samuel Reuben – a truly extraordinary man.  Letter from my father.


February 10th, 1972

Dear Shelly ~

American has been built throu’ the use of highways and public roads.  Where vast distance is so much a consideration in our domestic politics and trade…The iron which combines with the railroad is a magician’s road, and has the power to create the sleeping energies of land and water.  And even on the coast, prudent men everywhere have begun to see that every American should be educated with a view to the values of land. 


My darling daughter.  It must be difficult for you to follow in your livelihood by traveling from Princeton to N.Y.C. every day.  But still it must be a refreshing experience to be doing so creative a work.  It is a long time since I wrote to you, altho, I look forward to getting news from you every day.


Write a letter to your brother in Tucson, Arizona, and to your sister in the City of Angels.


We must have kings and we must have nobles.  Nature provides such in every society.  Let us have our leading and inspiration from the best.  In every society some men are born to rule and some to advise.  In every age of the world there has been a leading nation, one of a more generous sentiment, whose eminent citizens were willing to stand for the interests of general justice and humanity, at the risk of being called the men of the moment, chimerical and fantastic.  Man alone, can perform the impossible.


Chucky has just called to be picked up in school.  He missed the bus.  Anyway, we send you our love and good wishes.  Dad     



Monday, March 27, 1972

My dear Shelly ~

We miss you so much.  It’s a long time since I wrote you.  At least mother has written.  As you know, Linda has left us to go to Blueberry Creek.  We wish her the best of luck and happiness.  Michael came in with us for the Passover holidays.  He has been busy with his old friends.  He surprised us with his playing on the piano, yes the piano!  He played us a couple of artistic selections …


In your study of literature and sciences, I can give you one piece of advice and that is in Italian.  When doing or reading any subject or book remember:  “Tanto Che Basti.”   “As Much as is Sufficient.”   With regard to the contemplation of ancient statues:  “Nonmai a Bastanza.”   “There can Never be Enough.”

Lots of love,

Dad & Mom, Michael & Chucky


July 23, 1972

Dear Shelly ~

You must be moved over by this time, anyway I hope you didn’t have any difficulties with the job.  Poetry to fit the occasion follows:

“O Captain!  My captain, our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weathered every rock,

The prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear,

The people all exulting.”


And so it goes onto how Horatio kept the bridge, which, of course, is another story:


“Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate:

To every man upon this earth

Death commeth soon or late

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds.

For the ashes of his fathers,

And the temples of his gods.”


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