Traditions & Culture of Collecting Articles by and about Collectors, Librarians, and Booksellers

Hfnorman Photo by Herbert S. Kaufman, M.D.

Wisdom and Achievements—
A Celebration of Haskell F. Norman (1915–1996) Jeremy Norman

Why do people collect? The easiest answer is “for the fun of it.” However, as both a born collector and a life-long student of personality, my father was accustomed to probing beneath the surface. Motivations for collecting always interested him, and the subject continues to interest me. Readers of his and my introductions to the catalogue of Dad’s library (1991), also posted on this web site, may also wonder about motivation. If so, this highly personal eulogy, which I first delivered to a memorial dinner for Dad held by his wine and food society, and later delivered at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute in March 1997, may provide some answers.

Lest we take my efforts in analysis too seriously, we must remember that Dad also collected fine and rare wine. However, the difference between Dad’s cellar and his book collection is that he consumed much of his wine collection with his friends! After his death we did find a number of major wine treasures mainly because the cellar was so jammed full that no one could reach its deeper recesses for years! Great wines and fine food gave Dad a different kind of pleasure than books, but it was all about pleasure of the senses and the mind. Dad truly knew how to enjoy life!

More than two years after I delivered this speech I reread it, and found that it needed only minor revisions. It is a highly personal statement, revealing perhaps as much about myself as about my father. But I believe it is a valid statement. In July 1999 I decided to publish it on our web site in the hope that it will interest those who love books.

—J .M. N.

“You will always be my hero. I will love you forever!” Those were my parting words to Dad as I hugged him and kissed him for the last time. These words, and the thoughts we shared during his final days, have been reverberating in my head since his death on December 11, 1996. Dad died courageously and decisively, consistent with his whole life. Dad was all about achievement—both his own achievement, and helping others achieve more. He was a born leader. He was also a great fan of those who achieved things he admired in any field. He certainly admired what many of you have accomplished and he wanted to show how much he appreciated what you have done. When he could he tried to help you do more. Maybe that is why so many of you cared enough about him to celebrate his memory today.

This will not be an objective, balanced discussion of Dad’s life. He was the predominant influence on my life, and I cannot be objective. I will talk about him from my perspective as his son. It was not always easy for me to agree with him, or to accept that he was right so much of the time. I will cover briefly what I think are the major events in his life, and I will talk about things he said about his own parents, since, for example, his relationship with his own father was enormously influential upon his own development.

If ever anyone had a work ethic it was Dad. I think he worked on projects that mattered to him up to within about 5 days of his death. He was driven to work from a force deep within, and he could never stop working. Rather than work with his hands, Dad worked with his intellect, and with the tools of the intellect—books. He admired fine craftsmanship of any kind, but he didn’t really like to get his hands dirty. Working in the garden was not for him even though he majored in botany as an undergraduate. As a student, his handwriting was so legible that he never had to learn to use a typewriter, even for term papers in college. Over the years he never expressed, as far as I am aware, the slightest interest in understanding the way mechanical things, like typewriters or computers work. But I believe that towards the end he may possibly have mastered programming the VCR.

Collecting was, however, a very predominate personality trait. First and foremost he collected knowledge and information, beginning early on in primary education at the Boston Latin School with its rigorous stressing of learning fundamentals. As his education progressed, he continued his lifelong process of collecting information, and medical training until he eventually became a superb clinician, and a gifted teacher of psychoanalysis. Along the way he collected a large library, both of reading material, and of collector’s items. Eventually he assembled during 40 years of concentrated collecting, a library of first editions of the writings of Sigmund Freud, and of landmarks in the history of science and medicine that was of world class importance.

Dad always regarded education as the road to personal advancement. He did not see learning as an end in itself. Yet, like many of us, he did not always know which road to follow. He began his college education at M. I. T. because he received a scholarship there. However, he transferred to Johns Hopkins where he completed his pre-med requirements, graduating in 1935. Whether or not he applied to medical school after that is unclear, but if he did apply he was not accepted at the medical schools he wished to attend. Instead he turned to graduate work in the neurophysiology department at Harvard under the famous Karl Lashley. There he performed experiments on the brains of large aggressive wild rats in found in the steamy hot basements beneath the Harvard Laboratory.

Dad recalled these lab experiments with less than great enthusiasm, and I do not know for sure how much he actually worked on them. He left Harvard without completing a graduate degree. Somewhere around this time Dad also became, for a brief interlude in this pre-War period, the leader of an anti-Hitler student organization. Like many Jewish students he wanted to do something to stop Hitler, and his natural leadership qualities began to express themselves. Many years later he recalled that the group he briefly led, had turned out to be, unbeknownst to him, a communist front organization, but not a very much remembered one apparently, since the experience never affected Dad’s career, even during the anti-communist paranoia of the McCarthy period.

It was toward the end of his graduate school experience, in those pre-war years, that mutual friends introduced Dad to the woman he was to marry. Mom was then an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College. She was young and beautiful, and full of imaginative enthusiasm for art and literature—interests which Mom and Dad shared intensely at the time. Both secretly harbored fantasies of becoming great writers, and Mother said that Dad’s interest in literature was one of the reasons she was attracted to him. Favorite authors included Faulkner and Thomas Mann. They were married after a relatively brief courtship in 1938, and rather than continue his graduate studies, Dad went to work to support the two of them. For a time they lived in an authentic 17th century pilgrim home in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Later they moved to New Haven, Connecticut. They were early patrons of the now famous American satirist, realist painter, Jack Levine, whom Dad persuaded to paint portraits of both Mom and Dad’s father, Isaac.

Having worked summers in the shoe industry to pay his way through school, it was logical for Dad to seek employment in that field. Dad’s father, Isaac, had emigrated from Poland to the United States at the age of 13. Isaac had found employment with relatives who owned shoe factories in Massachusetts and Maine. He eventually completed his high school education, and became the trusted manager of various shoe factories, then an expanding industry in New England. Isaac was a hard worker, a steady, capable provider, but never his own boss. Like many loyal managers he had deep unrealizable dreams of controlling his own destiny, of running is own company, dreams that his wife would not quite let him forget. This dream of independence would eventually be realized by his son.

Isaac was also an outspoken atheist, who nevertheless sent his son daily to Hebrew school, and had him Bar Mitzvah’ed according to Jewish tradition. This religious hypocrisy was not missed by Dad who resented the excessive time he was forced to devote to what he perceived as boring religious education when he might have been playing outside in the afternoon like other children.

Dad resented Isaac’s hypocrisy about religion but he enthusiastically adopted his father’s atheism. Later on Dad did not send either Carol or me to Sunday school.

In spite of his atheism, Dad did have a strong sense of Jewish identity which he expressed chiefly through generous annual contributions to the Jewish Community Federation. As he grew older, however, Dad became increasingly tolerant of religion in others. He observed how his atheist father had been more accepting of religion in his old age, and the immense cultural value that religion could offer. He respected Jane’s and my decision to give our young children, Alexandra and Max, a good Jewish education, but he never expressed any personal interest in or belief in God, or any interest whatsoever in the Hereafter, even on his deathbed.

Dad’s mother, Ida, had also imigrated from Poland, meeting her husband in the Jewish immigrant community of Boston. Without much education, she was a capable mother for Dad and his sister, Helen Atkins, and also an accomplished east European Jewish cook and seamstress, specializing in elaborate cross-stitch patterns. She selected Haskell, a Yiddish version of the Hebrew name Ezekiel, as Dad’s first name. Presumably in Yiddish the name does not have the raspy sound it carries to English ears. Dad never liked his first name, but he never disliked it enough to change it. The middle name his mother selected for him, Field, an English version of the family name, Feld, never seemed appropriate to Dad. But having chosen to retain the first name, Haskell, he had to retain his equally strange middle name as well. Ironically, the raspy-sounding Haskell, derived from the Hebrew for wisdom, was an appropriate name for Dad, who eventually came to personify wisdom to some of us.

The family name, Norman, strangely was not Anglicized from a Polish or Russian form. On several occasions I heard Grandfather Isaac tell how, as a boy, he had visited the cemetery in his home town of Vilejka, today across the river from Russia, in Poland, but which was then part of Russia, itself. In the cemetery Isaac saw numerous tombstones with the name, Norman, which, he said, was the most common name in this small Jewish community. Thus he did not have to change the name when he arrived at Ellis Island or later. Yet one has to suspect that sometime in centuries of wanderings, members of this Jewish family had lived in Normandy.

Dad certainly gained his love of fine food from his father and mother. As long as I can remember, the whole Norman family looked forward to a fine meal with great gusto. Isaac Norman had even taken to the informal study of various ethnic cuisines by visiting the homes of his factory workers and sampling their native recipes from various European countries. What began for Dad as a simple childhood pre-occupation with good, home-cooked food, led to eating in good restaurants, to eventual study of fine food and wines, to traveling to visit the best restaurants both here and abroad, to numerous Atlantic crossings on the S. S. France, to the foundation twenty years ago of his wine and food organization, the Marin County chapter of the International Wine and Food Society. Just as Dad viewed education as the key to personal advancement, he continued to research, collect, study, and above all, to enjoy fine food and wine, never content with his experience or his knowledge, until illness made further experience impossible.

Returning to Dad’s brief career in the shoe industry after marriage, I believe that this was formative in a negative way. Dad worked as a salesman for a shoe company. Naturally aggressive, he was successful in this trade, and made a good living for a few years, but his sense of ethics was continually offended by the compromises that it was necessary to make to conclude sales in the fashion industry.

More importantly, Dad did not find the work intellectually stimulating. Intellectual ambitions deep in his psyche remained unfulfilled. Once or twice he told me the story of how as a little boy in grammar school one of his women teachers had rewarded his excellent work by presenting him with a copy of the children’s story, Jack, The Giant Killer. Years later in his personal psychoanalysis this event, and the unconscious significance of the oedipal story it entails, was seen as a symbol of how Dad could use the educational process to achieve success. After his unfinished graduate studies, and his dissatisfaction with the shoe business, Dad resolved to gain an honorable profession that would allow him both intellectual and financial independence. This profession was medicine.

However entering medical school was easier said than done. Dad’s grades at Hopkins had been very good but not great. His work at Harvard was incomplete. He was 27 years old, very late in those days to apply to medical school, but apply he did to many schools, and with considerable anxiety.

The only medical school that accepted him was St. Louis University, a Jesuit school. When Dad enrolled there in 1942 he resolved to establish such an outstanding academic record that he would never have to worry about obtaining further training again. Over the three years of the accelerated war time program, Dad did essentially nothing but study with ferocious intensity. He received a straight A in every single class, graduating with a perfect 4.0 average. As far as we know, this record may never have been equaled at that school.

I consider this one of the significant events in Dad’s life because Dad was understandably immensely proud of this achievement, and he was not above repeating it to Carol or myself in our childhood. He would use it to explain how his career had drifted before an incredible investment of hard work in medical school put him on the path to success, or something else like that. But in spite of his often stellar performance, Dad never considered himself particularly brilliant. As examples of brilliance, he always held out the great scientists and physicians of the past—Newton, Einstein, Freud, for example. Dad was a rapid learner, but mostly he was motivated from deep within to work harder, and more consistently than almost any others. This deep internal motivation to work hard, and never relent in his efforts, continued until the end of his life.

The effect Dad’s example had on both Carol and me was different. Carol followed his example and achieved superb grades, ultimately graduating from Stanford Medical School second in her class. I was more threatened by Dad’s seemingly unobtainable level of excellence, and in adolescence I was driven to make my own way rather than be a copy-cat. It was a relief to both Dad and myself, when after more than a decade of mostly aimless adolescent rebellion, I began to achieve success in business at the age of 25. Throughout the confusion of my adolescence Dad stood by me. No matter how absurd my youthful viewpoint might have appeared, he remained constant and steadfast. I never knew him to bend on an issue that he considered important. But even if he did not agree with me (and he always made that unambiguously clear) he always stood by me. The instinct to nurture was deep within his spirit. This nurturing, curative character made him an excellent physician.

Dad graduated from medical school in 1945 at the age of 30, just about the same time I was born in St. Louis. He had such a high scholastic rating that he pretty-much selected his own internship at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, where the clinical work of the charismatic and somewhat iconoclastic psychoanalyst Max Gitelson, inspired his eventual specialization. At this time psychoanalysis was riding the crest of an accelerating wave in the psychiatric communities of America. Though limited in its efficacy like any other treatment modality, and time-consuming, not to say expensive, it could achieve results then unobtainable through other means.

Gitelson must have recognized Dad’s outstanding abilities, because, according to Dad, Gitelson did something that was unheard of at that time or since-- he let Dad, then an intern, sit in on actual analytic sessions that Gitelson was having with patients.

The year after his residency Dad was drafted into the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and was eventually stationed at Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio of San Francisco. Recognizing that he ran great risk of being sent to Korea, Dad became drinking buddies (whisky and not wine, for sure) with the Colonel in charge of the psychiatric service at Letterman. The Colonel put Dad in charge of a locked psychiatric ward at Letterman before Dad had time to complete his psychiatric residency at the Langley Porter Clinic. Thus Dad was able to stay in San Francisco with his family while some of his friends and colleagues were sent overseas. Carol was born in San Francisco in 1948.

Dad was discharged from the Army as a Captain in 1949. Some of my earliest memories are of him smiling in his army uniform. He always seemed to be smiling, like a cheshire cat. I emulated this smile. Almost immediately Dad began psychoanalytic training at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, and he also began to establish his private practice of psychiatry.

Then, just as a whole world of opportunity was opening up, Dad was struck down by illness—the first of several. Around 1950-1951 when I was five or six Dad was hospitalized for bulbar poliomyelitis, the most severe form of polio, which paralyzed his throat. Usually this was a fatal disease. There was no cure. Fortunately no one else in the family caught it. But my hero was gone. I still remember the time Mother, Carol and me stood on the sidewalk outside Children’s Hospital to look at Dad through his hospital room window. It was not safe for us to go inside. My shock at the loss of that big cheshire cat smile in my life expressed itself in an incident in which I forgot how to smile for several days. But Dad’s smile eventually came back and so did mine.

Possessed with immense power of will, Dad fought off the disease. It took him several years to recover, and he retained the scars from it for the rest of his life. That gravely voice of his was the result of polio, as were his unpredictable coughing fits when food became stuck in his throat. The disease had left his throat muscles significantly distorted. Dad rarely talked about his experience with polio. He felt that no one wanted to hear about it. Ironically he had suffered an earlier attack of polio when he was a very young boy. It had been a mild case, but it affected the way he walked, and if he ever had any boyish athletic inclinations, and they would not have been great, the first polio limited them.

Interrupted by the polio, Dad completed his psychoanalytic training in 1955. He was then 40 years old. In those days candidates saw patients during the day and went to classes at the Psychoanalytic Institute at night. Dad also taught classes at night. He worked six days a week. The result was that he spent relatively little time with Carol and me during our early years. But when he had time we used to go swimming in our backyard pool, play tennis, and go fishing for salmon or bass on Dad’s 35 foot twin engine Chris Craft. I learned to pilot that boat long before I could drive a car, and it gave my early teenage hormones a thrill to rev up those huge twin engines. In my adolescent rebellion I sometime thought of mutiny.

Dad never had any confidence in his health after he survived the second bout of polio. He worked with a vengeance like a man who felt that he had to get a lot done in a hurry. Concerned that his health would fail and that he might not be able to make a living, he began a successful period of first stock market and later real estate investing.

Dad also had lots of good ideas about expanding the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute. Among his projects were establishment of the Institute’s Extension Division, in which social workers and other non-analytic candidates could be trained in psychoanalytic principles. This was a major step in spreading the impact of psychoanalysis in the medical community. Dad also recognized the value of the Institute owning its own building. In spite of remarkably stubborn opposition, Dad helped raise the money to acquire the land, found a young architect who would design it at reasonable price, and chaired the committee to build and pay for the building. Later he built up the Institute’s library, initially stocking the shelves with gifts from his own collection of psychoanalytic books. As long as his health held out, Dad devoted much of his energy to his psychiatric practice and to the Psychoanalytic Institute. He was appointed a Training Analyst when he was 47. This was another major professional accomplishment in his life, and probably the one of which he was most proud after his graduation from medical school.

Dad never shared much about his psychoanalytic career with me. The issue of confidentiality was always a factor, and the technical nature of the work did not make it a topic of casual conversation. But I continue to hear good stories of his useful work as a clinician and his effectiveness as a teacher. His practice was huge for an analyst. When his health permitted he saw as many as 10 patients a day, working from about 7 AM till 6 or 7 at night. It sort of happened over the years that he developed a sub-specialty of analyzing physicians. These were not just analytic candidates but physicians of all kinds. He was a “doctor’s doctor” and he rarely had a free hour.

Dad typically saw a lot of his patients back to back without taking more than a minute or two between patients. I know because I used to see him do that while I was in the waiting room. He also did not usually take any case notes. His memory was remarkably retentive, and it remained so until very near the end of his life. Like any energetic analyst Dad began his career keeping careful patient records. But when he had the unpleasant experience of having some of these subpoenaed in a legal case he decided to abandon the practice, keeping his case records essentially in his head. He did not have total recall. However his ability to recall significant information was very impressive and unnerving to some.

Dad was analyzed by Emanuel Windholtz, who became his lifelong friend. Many years later, Windy was also my analyst. Their offices were separated by a 6 inch thick wall upstairs, and of course they shared the waiting room. I would often see Dad while I was waiting to see Windy. Occasionally in my anxiety during an analytic session I would imagine that Dad might be able to hear me through the wall. Only after about 5 years of this did Windy decide to see me at his home. He concluded that the incredibly close proximity to Dad might be slowing down my analysis, and at the same time he admitted that when I had imagined that Dad could hear me through the wall I might not have been so far from the truth.

Whenever I would visit Dad at the Institute in those days, if he had a cancellation or some other free time, his office was rank with cigar smoke. This was an era when nearly everyone smoked. Dad enjoyed those little Dutch cigars called Schimelpennicks that came in the little tins. While in his office he would drink at least 8 or 10 cups of coffee and smoke those little cigars incessantly. Remarkably, few patients complained. If they did he would air out the office a little.

Dad’s office was always full of books. His analyst friend, Bernard Diamond, had started him on the road to collecting medical books in the 1950’s by showing him some first editions in Diamond’s personal library. As Dad was fond of recollecting, his first antiquarian book purchase was a copy of the first edition of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams for $75. Dad was hooked! Never one to take a moderate approach to anything, Dad collected persistently and constantly until we published the 2-volume catalogue of his library in 1991. At the peak of his activity, packages of books were arriving at his office and at home 6 days per week, and they would have arrived every day if the post office had worked on Sundays.

A portion of the books Dad collected he used as source material for the courses he taught on the history of psychiatry. Dad found that it was easiest for him to understand a subject if he approached it historically, and he applied this approach to most of the things he studied or collected. He was fond of reminding me that psychoanalysis, itself, could be viewed as a kind of historical research, in which the patient’s earliest inner conflicts could be resurrected and studied, or perhaps excavated in the archaeological sense. Freud, of course, had seen it in that way, drawing parallels between some of his scientific observations and his archaeological interests in the classical names he chose for his most famous discoveries, such as the Oedipus complex. Freud had also been a collector of classical antiquities.

Beyond this historical attitude which dominated Dad’s intellectual approach to most subjects, Dad was fond of using the historical approach to view what he called “the big picture.” It was the goal of historical research to apply the lessons of history to current events or even possibly to try to anticipate the future. Similarly one should occasionally try to apply the personal insights gained through psychoanalysis to deal with immediate problems. He would often tell me that in the thick of a problem or confrontation one should, if at all possible, step back mentally from the immediate scene and try to put the problem in perspective. Was it really worth winning this battle? If you won the battle what would you really accomplish? Were you really accomplishing what you consciously were hoping to or were you fooling yourself? Would that immediate goal help you achieve your long-term goals? What were your long-term goals? Often, I admit, these insightful suggestions were lost on me in my youth, but you can see that his philosophy, repeated often, and at critical times, eventually sunk in to some degree.

A born collector, Dad found another outlet for his historical approach through book collecting. Both Dad and I discussed in detail the various important scholarly and educational influences on his book collecting in our introductions to the catalogue of his library, which I published in 1991. This is an 1100 page work in 2 volumes. It has become accepted as the standard reference in its field worldwide. Dad’s library, since dispersed at auction, was one of the most important private libraries of rare books in the history of science and medicine ever formed by a private collector.

My own career as an antiquarian bookseller, publisher, and bibliographer began when Dad’s health reached another crisis in 1964. Struggling to find my identity in my late teens, and grappling unproductively with Dad’s formidable scholarly example, I had returned from a confused freshman year at college. In contrast, Carol was continuing her very successful high school studies at the Katharine Branson School in Ross. Always the one to accept responsibility, Dad wondered how he could help my floundering education when he was suddenly diagnosed with polyps of the colon. Speculation was that the polyps might be malignant.

In those days before laparoscopic procedures polyps in the colon could only be reached by an incision through the gut. This was major surgery with its inherent risks. Rather than worry much about himself, Dad’s chief concern was with what would happen to his family if he died from cancer. He prevailed upon his friend Warren Howell, the proprietor of the famous old antiquarian bookstore at Union Square, John Howell–Books. Would Warren offer the son of his good customer a job?

Fortunately for me, Warren’s answer was yes, but the job he offered was not much. I would begin as the assistant to the packing room boy for the minimum wage. And, as they say, so began my illustrious career. But this is not the time to talk more about my life. I mention this just to illustrate Dad’s enormous sense of responsibility even while facing the possibility of his own demise.

As we all know, Dad survived his gut operation. The polyps were benign. But what few of you know is that the distinguished surgeon who performed the operation nicked Dad’s spleen in the process and had to remove that too. Because the spleen is the source of immunity, for the rest of his life Dad had, in addition to his other health concerns, to worry about a weakened immune system. Is it any surprise that he wanted to enjoy each day as if it could be his last?

After that operation Dad once again went back to work, and he did not reduce his work schedule. I continued at Howell’s bookstore for a year and a half before returning to college at Berkeley. Carol graduated from Branson’s as valedictorian, and went on to Stanford where she met her future husband, Steve.

My strained adolescent relationship with Dad began to improve when I worked at Howell’s store. Books were one of Dad’s greatest passions, and while I could never match Dad’s scientific skills, my growing expertise in the book trade, and in the history of medical and scientific literature, eventually enabled me to confront him intellectually on an equal footing, at least in this area. I believe that this was necessary for both of us. Dad did not really want to teach a boy; he wanted me to stand up to him like a man. He wanted me to be independent and figure things out for myself just as he had done.

As I reflect upon it now, in order to really communicate with Dad you had to share his passions for psychoanalysis, for books, or for wine and food. He was not very big on small talk. The deep and abiding interest in books, which we shared, held Dad and me together even when my adolescent rebellion or differing viewpoints might have kept us apart.

Dad began to retire from medical practice in 1985 when he was 70 years old. At the age of 69, while attending a meeting of the Institute for Advanced Psychoanalytic Studies in Princeton, he had suffered a major heart attack. The cause had been, not surprisingly, smoking. Obviously scared to death, Dad quit smoking for good the next day, ending an addictive habit of perhaps 50 years duration. Dad wanted to phase out his medical practice before he made any mistakes with patients, and he was undoubtedly wise to do so. He was proud of his clinical record. He refused all new analyses at age 70, with the plan, later carried out to the letter, of concluding all casework by the age of 75.

When Dad reflected upon his medical career he told me that he felt privileged to have been able to devote his professional life to the care and training of others without concern for money. His professional income had largely taken care of itself, and as I have mentioned before, he did make a number of successful investments. He was proud that he had never compromised his integrity, and that he had structured his life so that he could do what he felt was right.

Only a few days before his death, Dad stated his wish to me that the Haskell F. Norman Foundation make a bequest to the Psychoanalytic Institute. As he lay dying in his hospital bed I asked him several times what he intended this gift to be used for. He had no definite answer. It was as if he wanted me to decide. When I mentioned this intended bequest to Dad’s old friend and confidant, Stanley Steinberg, Stanley asked me what ideas I had for the use of the endowment. Among them was a prize that might reflect Dad’s lifelong appreciation of excellence and his wish to foster it in others. Stanley and I developed this idea into The Haskell F. Norman Award for Psychoanalytic Excellence. The first prize was presented in 1998. We hope that this award, endowed in Dad’s honor, will eventually gain international recognition.

Rather than saying more about Dad’s psychoanalytic work, I would like to talk a little about Dad’s great love of fine wine and gourmet food and the camaraderie associated with great culinary experiences. I will talk a little about Dad’s wine and food organization that grew to about 700 members before he died. There were 431 people in attendance at the memorial dinner on February 23, when I first gave another version of this speech.

As I mentioned before, Dad’s interests in fine food, if not wine, went back to his earliest childhood, and remained one of the most abiding loves of his life. Following his consistent and never-ending desire for continuous personal advancement in all areas of importance to him, Dad had begun a wine cellar and had dined with Mother in many of the great restaurants both in the United States and Europe before he started this organization twenty years ago.

He was then 61. He had accomplished most of what he could expect to in psychoanalysis. As you all know, psychoanalysis requires considerable personal restraint by its practitioners. The analyst is supposed to be a kind of neutral mirror on which the patient’s inner conflicts are reflected. In order to maintain this reflective neutrality, so to speak, the analyst needs to be personally anonymous to his patients. That is, the analyst cannot lead a public life that would make details of his personal life widely known. Because of this need to suppress the public persona we outside of professional analysis assume that most psychoanalysts are introverted intellectual types who prefer to listen and reflect rather than take an active extraverted leadership role.

In this respect Dad was paradoxical. On the one hand he was the most marvelous and sympathetic listener who spent most of his professional life listening to his patients in the anonymous manner. On the other hand he was a born leader whose natural instinct was to take charge of various projects at the Psychoanalytic Institute and to get things done while other people sat around complaining or arguing about it. Dad would sometimes call this quality an “exaggerated sense of responsibility.” He instinctively felt responsible, and he needed to take charge, even in some instances where his leadership was not wanted.

When Dad was 61 both Carol and I were grown. Collecting his wonderful library gave him considerable personal satisfaction, but it was an inner satisfaction that he shared chiefly with me and with other book collecting friends. Mother did not share his interest in psychoanalysis or in collecting. What she did share was his interest in wine and food.

Hoping to learn more about the subjects and to make new friends who Mother could also enjoy, Dad applied for membership in the San Francisco chapter of the International Wine and Food Society. Here mother disagrees, stating that Dad never really applied to this organization. The San Francisco chapter did not accept women at that time, and Dad had undoubtedly heard that it was an “exclusive” group with a very long waiting list. That meant it could take many years to join.

Rather than wait around for the impossible, Dad felt that it was time to start a Marin Country chapter of the same organization. Beginning as a group of about 20 of Dad’s physician friends, the organization grew through the efforts of Dad, Mother, and numerous others, too many to mention, into the group of about 700 members that Jack Rubyn is chairing today. Of course, Dad always criticized what he perceived as pretentious snobbery in the so-called exclusive wine and food groups. Though he eventually joined most, and was honored by many, he felt that he strength of his Marin County Chapter was in its diverse membership because it is open to all.

Like every other activity that he pursued, Dad built his wine and food society with determination and a continuous striving for excellence. Only the very best would do when it came to producing events, and after that, it had to get better. Accustomed to working long hours all of his life, and unable to break himself of the habit, Dad turned increasingly to this organization as a creative outlet as he gradually retired from medical practice. Nothing Dad had done ever seemed to have given him more pleasure than this group. He produced about 30 wine and food events for his society nearly every year for twenty years. Not only did he love producing all of the varied events, held in the best restaurants and hotels, with the finest chefs and the greatest wines, but he and mother made so many wonderful friends, and in that organization he truly felt that his leadership efforts were appreciated.

For his continuing efforts in the field of wine and food Dad received numerous awards. He received the bronze and silver André Simon Medals of the International Wine and Food Society. He was a Governor of the Medical Friends of Wine, a Chevalier of the Confrérie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, and a Supreme Knight of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Bacchus America, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole from the French government. This last award, which he received in 1995, was the one that impressed me most since it is rarely given to non-professionals in the wine and food industry.

While he developed the wine and food society in his retirement Dad also developed his library and began to take the time to write—something he had always wanted to do, but for which he had never been willing to devote the time. At the age of 78 he finally decided to pursue an idea for a major book exhibition of classics in the history of medicine.

The exhibition at the Grolier Club was a major success. Out of it came a splendid book of over 500 pages entitled One Hundred Books Famous in Medicine. It was conceived, and largely written by Dad and numerous other co-authors, including myself. This book, published by the Grolier Club of New York in 1995, was also selected as one of the 50 Books of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. It is an impressive book by any standards and it fills me with admiration that Dad had the imagination and the energy to carry this project through to completion at the age of 80.

Occasionally Dad and I would discuss the satisfactions that he had gained from collecting a famous library. It gave him the opportunity to own wonderful things and to meet many interesting friends in the rare book trade. It had also been a long collaboration of the two of us, a project we had shared since my entry into the book trade at the age of 19. Publication of the 2-volume catalogue in 1991 gave him intense and enduring satisfaction. I felt that with the publication of this huge work that I co-authored with Diana Hook, and which required seven years to compile, I could begin to repay Dad for his years of patient nurturing of my life and career. Reflecting our shared interest in book collecting and bibliography, in 1995 Dad and I endowed The Haskell F. and Jeremy M. Norman Lectureship in the Bibliography of the History of Science, Medicine and Technology at The Grolier Club of New York.

Concerning his motivation for collecting rare books, Dad felt from the psychoanalytic point of view that his abiding interest in the work of the great scientists and physicians of the past, many of whom were represented in his library, reflected his need to find satisfactory father figures for himself. As he pointed out to me on more than one occasion, he had been dissatisfied with his own father, and was, in the psychoanalytic sense, always looking for a better one. It was not that his father, Isaac, had been a bad man; he had been a good, steady provider, a faithful husband and father, and a great, if not educated, enthusiast for fine food. But Isaac had not been a sufficient achiever for Dad. I think Dad felt that Isaac had been afraid to do more.

As we have seen, what Dad admired above all else was achievement, especially that accomplished through the intellect. But he also admired successful businessmen, and athletes, he could respect those who advanced themselves socially, and he recognized that a good marriage was truly an achievement to be valued. Dad admired what he knew of the achievements of many members of the Psychoanalytic Institute, and of his chapter of the International Wine and Food Society. One could say that in a certain respect Dad’s therapeutic role as a psychoanalyst enabled him to help his patients, and occasionally even a few of his friends, achieve more in their personal and professional lives. He once told me that the goal of psychoanalysis was to allow a man not to be afraid to be a real man. Instead of the expression “real man” I think he would have preferred to use the yiddish word, mensch. Accomplishment in relationships and in deeds was what Dad was all about. The masterworks of science and medicine represented in his library were records of magnificent achievements by great minds. For Dad they were also records of accomplishments that all of us should aspire to as best we could.

As Dad grew older he would occasionally tell me that in old age a man should figuratively put the pieces together, to solve some of the problems that had been vexing him in earlier years, to come to peace with the forces that drove him. I believe that Dad was able to accomplish this feat to some extent.

The first clue Dad had that he might be seriously ill appeared in a mysterious way. His beautiful, small, neat handwriting, which had remained consistently legible since his boyhood, began to become smaller and smaller until it was illegible. This was in November of 1996 when Dad was trying to complete a paper on the relationship between two of his book collecting heroes, Harvey Cushing and Herbert M. Evans. Cushing, the neurosurgeon had been one of Dad’s heros since his boyhood. Evans, discoverer of vitamin E and the growth hormone of the anterior pituitary, he came to know later while I was working at Warren Howell’s store. In a sense Dad was trying complete one more long unfinished project. His thought process was clear, but he was having increasing trouble expressing himself on paper and in speech. Eventually we learned that he had a brain tumor affecting his speech center. This tumor had metastasized from a primary lung cancer.

Even as Dad lay dying last December he persisted in giving me advice, just as he had done in nearly all our previous contacts over my whole life. On that last evening I had the precious opportunity to sit at his bedside with him alone for about three hours in his hospital room. Just like the textbooks predicted, the symptoms of his old enemy, bulbar paralysis, had returned. He was no longer strong enough to compensate for his old injuries. At this stage Dad could not even swallow liquids. He had developed an aspiration pneumonia while trying to eat. It was left to Carol and Dad to decide whether a feeding tube should be inserted, and upon learning of this Dad had demanded without any ambiguity whatsoever in front of Mother, Carol, and myself, that all life support be disconnected. Even so near the end of his life Dad was just as courageous and decisive as ever.

Withdrawal of the intravenous steroids and fluids caused expansion of the tumor that was impairing Dad’s speech center. Though he experienced increasing difficulty articulating his words, his actual thought process was still intact. Earlier that day he had answered obscure questions on crossword puzzles, and seemed amused that he was still able to do so. What time was left he spent with his family. He had also asked to see Jack Rubyn in his hospital room to give Jack one final show of support. Jack’s efforts to continue his wine and food organization moved Dad greatly.

As the evening progressed, it became increasingly difficult to understand Dad, so I kept my ear very close to his head. In his final hours Dad was chiefly preoccupied with what would happen after he was gone. He seemed to be fading in and out of consciousness. His faintly audible remarks developed an oracular quality. We reviewed plans for the eventual dispersal of his library, for the completion of the scholarship at U.C. Davis and for a new one at the Culinary Institute of America. He asked about Jane and the children. His grandchildren, Alexandra and Max, appearing his they did in his very old age, and been a delightful and rather unexpected surprise. He worried about Mother, and wanted to make sure that Carol and I could take care of her. I told him that my greatest disappointment was that my then two year old son, Max, would not remember him.

Dad said that he felt that I had a balanced life, meaning, I think, that I had a good balance between my work and my family life. Above all he repeated his belief, expressed so many times over many years, that, no matter what happened, I should never, never, never give up. I must keep on fighting. Through persistence and determination I would prevail over nearly any obstacle.

My concentration grew more and more intense to understand Dad’s increasingly unintelligible comments. He worried why Mother, Carol, and Steve were so late in returning from dinner. Had something happened to them? I reassured him that they would be all right. We discussed his planned foundation bequest to the Institute. What was its purpose? He could or would not say. He tried to tell me something about a vertical wine tasting but I could not understand the names of the wines. He tried to spell out their names for me.

Another final concern of his was what to do with his ashes. As he put it, “I have still not figured out my cremation.” I asked his preference, saying that Carol thought she might plant him in a vineyard in Bordeaux. That brought a smile to his face.

It was about 9:30 PM. Mother had returned with Carol and Steve. Carol was planning to spend the night with Dad to see him through this final passage. I hugged him and kissed him and told him that he would always be my hero. I will love him forever. He will always be with me.

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