For years I've been busting Jackie Feldman's balls for the influence of his family on my life. Jackie has two brothers and a sister. Both his brothers are veterinarians. Bernie his older brother graduated from South Shore in 1955. His younger brother, Eddie, graduated South Shore in 1965.
Bernie, his older brother, was my idol. As kids we worked for Bernie delivering newspapers, the Southeast Economist. Bernie persuaded me to become a veterinarian. He got me my first job at Lake Shore Animal Hospital. Bernie flew airplanes so I became a private pilot. Bernie had a husky so I got a malaute.
Bernie and Eddie became renowned in veterinary medicine. Bernie who died a few years ago in a car accident was a leading researcher in the cascade theory of coagulation. Bernie's work led to many advances in the treatment of hemophilia.
Eddie has become a leading authority in endocrinology. Its embarrassing to have to call your best friend's little brother for help with a difficult case.
I enjoyed our brief discussion a few days ago and wish everyone in our class well on the upcoming occasion. As I mentioned on the phone, I have a trip planned through the Australian Outback at the time of the event in August, but if it doesnŐt come off, I would certainly be inclined to find my way to Chicago for the occasion.
You queried the circumstances that led me to live in Melbourne, which has been my home since 1975. As I pointed out on the phone, I think of Melbourne today as being much like the Chicago that I grew up in. The cityŐs layout and some of the urban aspects are obviously different, but it is a very beautiful city with extensive gardens, wide tree- lined boulevards Đ including downtown -- and expensive beach frontage to Port Phillip Bay (Pacific Ocean) as Chicago is built on Lake Michigan. It provides a gentler environment than a large American city but in a broader sense, itŐs very much the same culture. My moving here has been like half circling the globe and going nowhere.
As to the specific circumstances. I was teaching at the University of Illinois in 1967 when I was offered a full faculty teaching position at the University of Melbourne. For various reasons the offer appealed to me and I would have been able to write a doctoral thesis here as well as I would have been in the US, retaining all of the same advisers. I therefore came to Melbourne for 2 years.
As it turned out, the community was surprisingly similar to the American-Jewish community that I was familiar with in Chicago, except that many of the people here had, in fact, come from Europe or had been born in transit camps. I found a number of distant relatives, who have become the core of my Melbourne family. I also met my wife, Helen, and we married here.
I taught for 2 years, but also became more and more professionally active as an accountant, creating an association with Arthur Andersen. Helen and I returned to Chicago at the end of 1969 and I stayed with Arthur Andersen until 1975. Our first child, Robin, was born in 1973. We decided to return to Melbourne in mid 1975 for me to join my wifeŐs familyŐs real estate brokerage firm. I took over the firm some ten years later and have been practicing as a commercial agent ever since. Indeed, it is now 35 years.
My second daughter, Lesley, was born in Australia in 1976. My beautiful wife, Helen, died in 2006. We had been married 37 wonderful
Day to day aspects of living here are very similar to the US. I have a couple of major charitable endeavours; The Royal ChildrenŐs Hospital, one of the best known clinical paediatric facilities anywhere in the world. I also serve on the State GovernmentŐs Advisory Board for the real estate profession. And the restÉ.
Australia provides wonderful recreational facilities, including bush walking, diving, surfing, fishing, resorts, outback exploration, just about anything you could think of. ItŐs generally less expensive and more accessible than in the US, with a bit more privacy and smaller crowds
I return to the US every 2 or 3 years. I most recently visited in October last year with my wife, Sue Selwyn, who I married in April 2009. Sue has 3 delightful children and we have 4 grandchildren between us.
My best regards to all at the reunion. I hope it is a wonderful, successful occasion.