"My Father", by Bruce Magidson
Where Do We Begin...
I would like to take the occasion of Father’s Day 2020 to tell you about my father, some history, and a few fond memories. My dad's name was Matthew Magidson. Dad grew up on 9th Street in Brooklyn, New York City. He was athletic and very handsome. He married my mom, Estelle Bloom in 1950. Matt and Estelle had two sons - Jory and Bruce. As a young father, dad worked during the day and went to school in the evening. He graduated in 1951 from Pace College; 1955 from Brooklyn Law School; and 1962 from New York University with an LLM (Master of Law) in taxation. Dad was a self-employed tax attorney for 45 years. Dad was a busy, but devoted father. My brother and I never lacked his love nor attention.
Shopping with Dad was Never Dull...
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must point out that dad experienced some difficulties with the nuances of purchasing clothing for his boys. One day dad took us to Robert Hall to buy shorts. While the result was a pair of shorts that lasted for 8 years (pure success), it also took 8 years for my brother and I to grow into those shorts. I dare say - that it all worked out in the end.
Whether for clothing, or other interesting shopping needs, dad was a spirited shopper. I recall the time he took my brother and I to the boat show in Manhattan. We walked around the show floor for a while. Eventually dad purchased an inflatable sailboat. What’s crazy about that you might ask? Well, we lived in a small two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Jory and I knew about city games like stick ball, stoop ball, and Johnny on the pony. Sailing – not so much. When we returned to the apartment, my brother and I quickly made our way to the relative safety of our shared bedroom while dad explained to mom what just happened. We did enjoy the sailboat... moving right along...
From Brooklyn to California...
With the support of our parents, my brother and I were able to attend graduate school. We eventually made our way to California. Jory was completing his residency at UCLA and I was attending law school at Southwestern University School of Law. In the late 70’s mom and dad moved to California to be near my brother and I. They eventually moved to a large retirement community in Southern California called Leisure World. Dad was elected to a governance board and so began his passion for public service. Dad would tirelessly assist other residents with mundane things like maintenance issues or parking problems. However, his greatest impact was in leading Leisure World to city-hood. In 1999 Leisure World became the city of Laguna Woods. City-hood enabled residents to have a stronger voice against the possible construction of a nearby international airport.
From California to Florida, via NJ ...
Our parents moved from California to NJ to be closer to grandchildren. The cold winter months were not a wonderful thing after living in California for so many years - so off to Florida they went. Dad continued to remain involved with local governance once he arrived in Florida. He would help other seniors with their estate planning, tax prep and other quasi-legal affairs. He was always engaged and always there to help if he could.
The Love for Family & Friends ...
As dad’s health declined, his concern for others was undiminished. During his final days under hospice care, dad gave a demonstration to the hospice nurses about the use and maintenance of his insulin pump - which was new tech at that time. He had special expertise in this area because he suffered from juvenile onset type-1 diabetes and bravely endured 36 major surgical procedures during his lifetime. Dad died on May 7, 2007 at the age of 79. Of course, it was too early to lose dad. We can honestly say that he lived far beyond the projected life span of a juvenile onset type-1 diabetic born in 1928.
The Love for my Dad...
I had a great dad. I think of him all the time and miss him very much. He had a quick wit and boundless love for me, my mom, my brother, and his grandchildren. I wish he were with us today. Happy Father's Day dad! Love, Bruce
Hi Bruce , this is Howie Levine from Southwestern. How are you ? It’s been many years but somehow your name came into my head while sitting at my desk watching history channel , so I searched your name and this statement in your Dad’s honor came up. My Dad was born in 1927 and passed from complications of Alzheimers in 2014, at the age of 87. He was a WWII veteran and fought in the Pacific Theatre. Like your Dad he grew up in Brooklyn on Christopher Avenue aka Brownsville and was a member of the Brownsville Boys Club. He married my Mom Marilyn in 1950 and they honeymooned in Acapulco, Mexico. My Mom currently lives in South Florida and if you recall my two sisters and I along with my maternal grandmother lived in the Canarsie /. Flatbush until 1967, when we joined the Flight out of Brooklyn to Plainview , Long Island., where i attended high school at JFK. Later went to Oneonta, met my wife Alisa, had three kids, Melanie Ross and Alexis, who are now grown and out there working and living. I remarried in 2006, to Patti had a beautiful little girl Lana and currently we live in the hills of Sherman Oaks. I think of my Dad every day and have nothing but good memories of our time together both alone when we watched Star Trek and went to sporting events and car shows and with the family at the bungalow colony in the Catskills or traveling throughout the East Coast and in California and Nevada. I hope you get to read this and fell free to contact me by e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce, you are such a nice man and I see now that you were raised by such loving parents and then found an equally lovely wife.
Stay healthy and enjoy your “shelter in place” time.
I love the stories you and Diane have posted about your Dads! They sound like wonderful people…..just like you both! 💗
What a lovely tribute to your Dad on Fathers Day! Best to you and Diane. XO Adele
Hi to both of you.
Bruce – a great letter.
We miss our dad also – from many years ago.
Love to you both.
Allen and Maxine
Touching ♥️ . Makes me think of both my Dad and the father of my children. I hope to be able to give Diane a hug in the near future.