Snippets from My Life Story
It is difficult for me to reconstruct my earliest years. My earliest memories are based on some photographs we had showing me as a 6-months old baby sitting in my baby carriage with my father sitting alongside me on the boardwalk at Coney Island. I believe I had whooping cough, which was a terrible illness. It was believed that sea air was good for it, so my father would get on the subway with me in my carriage on weekends and we would spend the day on the boardwalk.
I remember that one of my pleasures as a child was when the Good Humor ice cream man came around each day on his bicycle which had a large case of ice cream on wheels in front of it. I would run into the courtyard of our building and shout up to my mother to throw me down money for ice cream. She would wrap a nickel in a handkerchief and throw it down so that I could enjoy an ice cream.
At the age of five or so, my father brought home a bunch of used books that he had purchased from a pushcart on Blake Avenue for about a nickel each. One of them was Tarzan of the Apes. Recently, Easton Press republished a 6 volume set of Tarzan of the Apes for $50 each book. I snapped them up and devoured them. What a joy that was!
Later, when I could read, my father would bring home each Wednesday the latest issue of Argosy magazine. It would contain serialized issues of great fantasy stories, such as the Moon Pool and other stories by A. Merritt. I would walk the half a mile or so to the subway station to meet my father so that I could grab the latest issue and hold it as we walked home together.