Book Signing for “In Sunshine and In Shadow: We Remember Them”

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

October 14-15, 2006

 

“At 12:30 P.M. of the first day, I entered the hallowed halls of a most unique museum

of remembrance I had visited before with special awe and a bit of apprehension. Seated at the author’s table, I had an excellent view of the comings and goings of visitors from every corner of the globe.

 

“To help pass the time between signings and keep count on books sold, I started compiling a list of the people to whom I was dedicating my family memoir and their relationship to the purchasers. Engaging the buyers in conversation, I began to see a panorama of origins. They came from Massachusetts and Colorado, Indiana and New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada and Hawaii. Of the two Hawaiian students who bought their own copies, one went to the “Datillo family”, the other to a tall middle-schooler, Jin; the third copy was dedicated to the library of the Montessori School on the Island of Kauai. A father asked for a dedication to his sons Leo and Luke; a mother chose to dedicate her copy to daughter Sarah, a poet. The fascinating human tapestry continued with a fifth grade teacher from Alabama who earmarked her purchase as a teaching tool, dedicating it to her class. Douglas, a young actor, purchased it as a psychological companion piece to deepen his understanding of the current New York City production of “Anne Frank” in which he portrays the role of Peter. A second generation survivor requested that I encourage her 82-year-old mother to break her silence and share her Holocaust memories before she, too, dies, as did her father, taking her story of suffering and survival with her.

 

“Members of the international contingent representing several European and Latin American countries generally just wanted their copies personalized with a signature – with two notable exceptions. One prudent pragmatist from Holland had hers dedicated to a friend, assuring me she would read the gift before surrendering it. Finally, my favorite: a proud father from Costa Rica had his copy dedicated to sons Alejandro and Diego. When asked how old they were, he responded, “Six months and seven years.” Never too soon to start building their home library.

 

“The icing on my cake came while getting on the Metro on Sunday and seeing the young woman from Kansas, whose copy I had signed the day before, reading my book. She looked up, smiled and showed me how many pages she had already completed.”

 

 

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