Steven, what was your grandpa like?
Episode #
Thursday, March 14, 2024

Steven, what was your grandpa like?

The Storyworth Podcast
Episode Description

This week, Krista is joined by Steven Steinberg, who reads a touching letter written by his Grandpa Jake more than 40 years ago, just after the birth of Steve's son Michael. Steven shares stories about his resilient and imaginative grandpa, showcasing the enduring love Jake had for his family.

The wit and wisdom of venerable Grandpa Jake is part of me right down to my very marrow. He was deeply and emotionally invested in family. We corresponded via letter from time to time. Each letter was heart to heart and poignant. I saved every one of them.

Here is one from my memorabilia box that I particularly cherish about parenthood and our then seven-month-old son, Michael. I used his wording verbatim to preserve the old world Eastern European charm.

September 15, 1983
Patterson, New Jersey

To my dear Barbara, Stephen, and son, Michael:

I'm reading your last letter to me with the enclosure of your seven-month-old son's photo. Please let me, in my poorest translation, send you a few lines from a poem which was written a long time ago by one of our Jewish poets by the name of Morris Rosenfeld. His book of songs was translated by Professor Leon Weiner from Harvard under the name Song of the Ghetto. Here's the passage:

I have a beautiful little child, but I'm very old. I have a chance to see him, but I'm out of the house early every day. But when I see him, I feel the whole world is mine. My darling wife tells me how lovely the child is playing, and he keeps saying, when can my papa come home? I found him asleep. I kiss his blue eyes.

Oh, dear Stephen, I wish I had better knowledge of English. It's really a beautiful song. Just fits to your darling son, Michael. I hope to see him soon. Everything is OK with me. I can't complain. I have a good appetite, sleep good. What can you expect at my age? Kiss my darling Michael for me.

Grandpa Jake
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