Looking back, I am so aware and sorry for lost opportunities in my life. But as the world has turned recently, I am choosing to reposition my appreciation for the people who are in my life.
As a young child, my parents would often include their friend, Dr. Jonas Salk, at family dinners. Dr. Salk’s polio vaccine was crucial in the elimination of polio in the United States by 1979, when the U.S. was declared polio free. In my dreams, I occasionally return to my parents’ table and talk with Dr. Salk, wanting to know more, and expressing my appreciation for his huge contribution to our world’s health.
In the Ellman’s catalogue showroom my father, Howard Gold, was the vice president in charge of catalogue production. He brought me into the office to be mentored by Yaap Groen. Yaap taught me the ins-and-outs of writing copy, reviewing first drafts at the printer, and selecting photographs for the catalogue pages. Numbers tattooed on his arm were in front of me and yet I never took the opportunity to ask him why they were there. The Holocaust story never was shared with me and to this day I regret being so unaware.
I am older now, and I cherish listening to people in my life as they share their life stories. What a wonderful opportunity.
Susanne Katz writes for the AJT and has curated exhibitions for the High Museum of Art, Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art and the Breman Museum.