My Father

I read in the daily press about New York state bar authorities ordering that Rudolf Giuliani, once (and maybe still for all I know) Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, be suspended from the practice of law. Soon he will be disbarred.

That brought back memories of the disbarment of my father. He was a practicing lawyer in Oakland, California, where I grew up. When I was a child, he was tried for the embezzlement of $40,000 from one of his clients, convicted, and sentenced to San Quentin state prison. Needless to say, he was disbarred. When he was released from prison, he came home to live with me and my mother but continued to get into trouble with the law and went back to prison. While I was working my way through college, he forged checks against my bank account. I cut all ties with him and went to great lengths to assure that he didn’t know where I was or how to contact me. Years later, local police telephoned me to tell me that he had been killed in a bar brawl.

Because my parents failed to care for me (my mother was an alcoholic), I learned from early childhood to depend on myself. To avoid going hungry, I got part-time jobs as a child, everything from delivering newspapers to waiting on customers in a drug store. I continued working, as much as twenty hours a week, through grammar school, high school, and college. I missed my college graduation at the University of California, Berkeley, because I was in the university’s Cowell Hospital, on campus in Berkeley, recovering from exhaustion.

More next time.

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