Monday, October 6, 2008

A Jumper's Grandson

While the stories of people jumping to their deaths during the Crash of 1929 were mostly apocryphal, there were a few, and and Roger Graef's grandfather was one.

My grandfather was not a captain of industry. He was selling insurance, he was I suppose more like Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman if anything. He was a sad man who was trying to make his way, support his family, had invested in Wall Street with the hope and belief that that was going to do what he wanted to do which was create a safe and better future for his children.

As you can imagine, this had a considerable effect on the family, particularly Roger's father.

So suddenly when his father committed suicide he was left having to look after his mother and his brother and sister were not doing well enough to share the burden. That was part of what he resented about the suicide.

My grandfather was apparently a gentle warm nice man. My father regarded gentleness as weakness.

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