OP-ED: You Are My Daughter

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.

Dear Shelly ~

There is a blanket of snow over everything outside.  It is great for making snowballs and temporary fortifications, also igloos.  Chucky is going to take the car out for a spin on the slippery highways.  He is looking for a job, but the whole trouble is that the job is not looking for him.  Well, maybe his luck will change.

President Ford is busy twisting the arm of congress so that he can give the taxpayer a slight reduction or rebate for money supposedly already collected.

You will remember the bookshop opposite the bank building.  Well they are not going broke.  They have plenty of possibilities selling every new writer’s reading material.  Chicago is the only hope for writers who are wearing knee pants.  Located at the crossroads of the nation, it is bound to be the best hope for every type of industrial complex or cultural renaissance.

Last week, I took Chucky with me to see the Museum of Science and Industry.  He was very happy and he studied the magnetic generators and leverage principles that were shown.

I am looking forward to see you coming home again.  Uncle Jack is in California with Aunt Libby.  They are coming back this week.  He has been associated with a man who has a large stock of Old Master paintings which he claims are revolutionary in execution and most interesting.  He can probably send you on a mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina where you can help him sell the paintings.  With all expenses paid by him.

I see by the papers that Nancy Kissenger has changed her hair from blonde to brunette.  Arthur Rubinstein is shown in a photograph with his wife and daughter.

Nelson Rockefeller has a double who can sit in on congress for him on weary days when he should be asleep.

Love, Dad

March 14, 1975

Dear Shelly ~

It’s about time now that you have arrived at the conclusion that all New York City is founded on quicksand with special attachments drilled in to hold the tall building up.  It’s all a pack of lies, bluff, uselessness to beat the system.  The money you make and take with one hand is taken away from your other hand.  And you don’t have to climb five flights of stairs and live in a roach infested apartment and pay nearly $200.00 a month for the privilege of doing it.  

So why don’t you liberate your lungs and come back to the great Midwest where the air is free and the garbage does not languish in the streets?  Your talents will be much more readily appreciated here in Chicago because your heart is pure.  

You probably have learned by now that nobody gives away anything for nothing, and you cannot burn a candle from both ends and get anywhere.  You are my daughter and I will stick by you and if you need any money just let me know.


Dad & Mom

April 8, 1975

Dear Shelly ~

I think you have had enough of New York City and it’s time to reconsider.  You can make a success of your life in Chicago where everything is available.  Publishers, artists, businessmen, jobs, and it has a good climate compared to N.Y.C.

Mother read your book and she thought it was great.

Love, Dad

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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