The Lelewer Legacy
Behind the Book
When I was a young child I often went to my father’s parents’ home and heard stories about experiences my grandfather had in his youth, how he worshiped his father and he and my dad would show me the autobiography my great grandfather, David Lelewer wrote in 1910. It was a big book and I didn’t understand their enthusiasm for it. I enjoyed more the camaraderie that my parents and I shared with my grandparents, the humor, laughter, good food and nurturing environment.
As the years went on I began to appreciate the stories in David Lelewer’s book, that were read to me, and the percepts that he was anxious to pass on to future generations which I frequently heard repeated by my grandfather and my father. I also became aware that without his book I would not know anything about the generations that came before him or my great grandparents and how life was for them in the old country and after they arrived in America.
In 1980 my father had copies of David Lelewer’s autobiography made for each of my four children and one for me. It was the first time I’d read the book cover to cover. I knew then that I would write a book to cover stories about my grandparents, parents and me so future generations would have a more complete picture of our family. I tried to engage my father but I could never get him to be serious about writing a book with me. I did record my parents over a five year period, from 1988 to 1993. The stories that ended up in the The Lelewer Legacy: Traditions of a Loving Family are a composite of what I recorded and my memories of a wonderful family.
In the early eighties I was thinking about writing another book but being dyslexic I’d stayed away from literature and writing courses. In school, other than fulfilling requirements, I took courses that didn’t necessitate a lot of reading because large books or several to be read in a short time overwhelmed me and I wanted to get good grades. Becoming an author during my formal educational days was never on my radar screen. Thus, I didn’t have good writing skills or any idea about what was involved in writing a book. I proceeded to go through an agonizing learning curve beginning in 1982. SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT: One family’s struggle with learning disabilities, my first book, was finally published in 1994.
The Lelewer Legacy has been germinating in my mind since 1980. While I liked the autobiography of David Lelewer it took on an entirely new perspective when my father died. With my father gone, the autobiography and family pictures were my only tangible links to my heritage and my past. For the first time I truly understood why my father and grandfather had so revered my great grandfather’s autobiography.
The Lelewer Legacy is my gift to my children, their children, those who follow, to my friends and anyone who in this day and age of so many dysfunctional families will be happy to read about the fascinating adventures of a loving family who nurtures one another, enjoys family relationships, gives back to society and passes on a set of precepts to live by from which every family could benefit.