Longtime Fathers & Families supporter Arnie Robbins, MD talks about his father:
When my father was 22 he left Minsk in Belarus–then, as now, a vicious monarchy–rather than be drafted into the Czar’s army and be persecuted. He was turned away at the Western border and thus traveled thousands of miles across Russia, all the way to Vladivostok, and from there into Japanese-occupied China. He embarked from Harbin, leaving behind a brother in China, whose wife was about to deliver and couldn’t continue.
He entered the US in Seattle, and made his way to Cincinnati where he had an uncle, only to find his uncle had died in a fire, thus leaving him utterly alone. He went on to Pittsburgh where there was work and took any menial job he could, and slowly, working 16 hours a day, made his way forward. He got a decent job in a dry goods store and after some years started his own business and succeeded. My dad was honest to a fault, and totally loyal to my mother, who he supported all his life. He became a philanthropist working for his country–America–and for those who were impoverished. Anyone in need could come to him and, if sincere and honest and down on their luck, he would help them–even at great expense to himself. He adored me and gave unceasingly and was there whenever I needed him. He stood by my mother when she had to have at that time terribly destructive and disfiguring surgery for cancer. He was even more with her than ever after that, always shoring up her confidence and self esteem. With his last breath when he was dying he patted my cheek and adjusted my tie and smiled warmly at me.