On this, the evening before the 37th anniversary of my father’s death, I light a Yahrzeit memorial candle just as my dad did for his parents and just as I have every year for him at sunset. Invariably I think back to those first days after he died when his good friend Dick flew from California to our cottage in New York becoming our voice when we could attach no thought to words. But then he had to go back to L.A., leaving behind what he would say at the West Coast memorial service:
“It’s been said that Rod worked hard and played hard. That isn’t so. He played with the enthusiasm of an innocent. And the work, in fact, came naturally. Relatively speaking, of course. For the dramatist’s craft is a highly sophisticated one, and surely he was one of its most gifted and innovative practitioners. But where his peers may have anguished over the creative process, Rod woke up each day saying, ‘Let me tell you a story.’ This was his badge, his thrust, his passkey into our lives. He was eternally the new boy on the block trying to join our games. And he penetrated the circle by regaling us with those many fragments of his Jewish imagination…intellectual stories, fantastic stories, hilarious stories, stories of social content, even one-liners about man’s lunacy. However they were always seen through his prism, becoming never less than his stories. And because he came to us with love…seeking our love…we invariably let him tell us a story. And how much richer we are for it.”

Posted June 27,2012



06/30/2012 10:01pm

He left a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy. Although my father wasn't famous like yours, I also light a Yahrzeit candle for him yearly. I might be a "lapsed Jew," but it's my way of honoring his memory.


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