OP-ED: Iconoclastic Observations

By Shelly Reuben
Shelly Reuben
Shelly Reuben

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.   Letters from Dad.

General Headquarters

Office of Samuel Reuben

June 17, 1974

Dear Selma, Shelly, Linda & Chucky ~

I am writing this letter in quadruples to insure cooperational uniformity of action in response.

Thank you all for the telephone calls on Father’s Day, even tho’ most of the talking was done by dear little mama.  By the way Yesterday (Sunday), David and his wife Sandy came home with a painting by some spaced-out artist.  Covered with glass and protected by four coats of paint on the frame.  It was a bargain costing twenty dollars and easily worth two-dollars and sixty-five cents.  Well, mother fell in a trap when she offered to help take a few coats of paint off the frame.  Sandy accepted her help so fast it was phenomenal.

Well!  They both slaved at the layers of paint that the frame had until they were exhausted.  Finally they succeeded in taking three coats off.  At this particular time in space, the painting was worth three-dollars and seventeen cents on the flea markets of Paris, France.  That ended the day of Sunday, June 16, 1974.

Today, Monday, June 17, 1974 I had previously been notified that I was selected by the Sheriff’s Office of Lake County Circuit Court that I was to serve Jury duty for three weeks.

Needless to say this was a heart-warming offer and right up my alley.  I dressed warmly because it was a cold morning and required deep thought.  I found that the jurors were selected at random for the courtrooms.  After the judge had advised the jurors of their duties and how not to avoid them, because there always were a few cockatoos who needed further instruction in courtroom procedure, the judge then opened up a Pandora’s box or a can of worms for the jurors to behold by asking if there were any questions.  

This was overcome by laborious action. 

It seems that a jury has to come to some form of agreement with respect to the verdict.  Not by 11 to 1 or 10 to 2 or 9 to 3, but all twelve jurors have to agree either guilty or not guilty.  This posed a problem because some of the jurors would agree to anything so long as they got the twelve dollars and fifty cents from the court for the day’s work.  On the other hand, there were others who had a matter of principle to overcome and they didn’t care if they didn’t eat for three days straight, so long as the verdict ran their way.

It’s wonderful how everyone shines in courtroom procedure after learning from Perry Mason how a trial is to be conducted ~ Especially Sam Irwin, Judge Serica and habeas corpus.  And what with subpoenas and the president’s private council with Haldeman and Erlichman with Watergate standing at our entrances and Nixon leaving his post for a trip to the Middle East.

Well that’s all for now.

Love, Dad

P.S.  It all could be settled with a pound of lox and a couple of dozen bagels with some cream cheese.  S.R.

Copyright © 2011, Shelly Reuben.  Reprinted from Come Home. Love, Dad, originally published by Bernard Street Books. ISBN: 0-9662868-1-2Available from barnesandnoble.com; Amazon.com, or your local bookstore.  Shelly Reuben has been nominated for Edgar, Prometheus, and Falcon awards.  For more about her books, visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.shellyreuben.com" \o "http://www.shellyreuben.com/" www.shellyreuben.comLink to David M. Kinchen's reviews of her novels "The Skirt Man" and "Tabula Rasa":  HYPERLINK "http://www.huntingtonnews.net/columns/060605-kinchen-review.html" \o "http://www.huntingtonnews.net/columns/060605-kinchen-review.html" http://www.huntingtonnews.net/columns/060605-kinchen-review.html



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