Updated: Jan 13
I was asked to print some informational material for a provisional school that was opening for children whose parents were essential workers during the COVID-19 lockdown.
I decided to save time and money and do the printing at home on my own ink-jet printer.
When I delivered the print job to the school, the director, who was a personal friend of mine, noticed quite a few errors such as some blurry pages, spelling mistakes and inconstancies with the formatting.
I told my friend that I did the formatting and printing at home to save time and money and while he was sincerely appreciative of my efforts, said they would have to be done again, this time by a professional printer. He told me he had a reasonable budget and asked me to take care of it.
I remembered there were a couple of print shops in the area, but then it occurred to me that my good friend, Boro, had a printing press nearby and that he'd be glad to do the work and surely offer me a good price.
Remembering that Boro had closed his family's stationery shop in Valencia's city center after more than 100 years in business and moved the printing press out of town to a nearby village, I decided to go to the local synagogue to see if I could find him there.
I arrived just as religious services were coming to an end and while I was waiting for Boro to emerge from the inner chapel, my great-grandfather walked up to me and said hello.
I was both shocked and elated as it had been many years since I'd last seen him.
He wore a sharp, grey and white suit with broad designs, a crisp, white dress shirt and dark blue tie with some geometrical patterns. He also wore thick-rimmed, dark-colored eyeglasses that were more stylish and modern than the glasses I'd remembered him wearing.
We spoke for a few minutes and Boro came over to greet us, I was surprised to see that he seemed to know my great-grandfather very well and the two exchanged pleasant greetings.
I told my great-grandfather I needed to speak to Boro and we said goodbye. He turned around and I watched him as he walked away very slowly, trying to calculate how old he must have been and coming to the conclusion it was well over 100.*
Then I woke up.
*Today commemorates the 130th anniversary of my great-grandfather's birth in 1890 in the Zhytomyr Oblast, in what is modern-day Ukraine.
[PHOTO: My great-grandfather, Sam Satin (nee Usatinsky), c. 1972].