Dad always said: The best gifts in life are the ones you don't ask for...

How I Learned To Love The In Laws
by Jeffrey Zankel

Back in the times when the only Chester whose acquaintence I had the pleasure of was Simma, I was made to understand that she was preceded in the birth canal by an elder brother of apparently formidable stature and wisdom he having pursued both scholarship and research in the physical sciences. I was cast into further awe when upon entertaining the company of this highly regarded scientist I was informed that it was not merely Physics that he explored but low temperature Physics. Up to that moment I had existed in ignorance, unaware that Physics existed below room temperature. So ignorant was I of low temperatures that I didn't even own an overcoat.

Due to the unusual events of Simma's childhood I had understood that she came unencumbered of the requisite "Machetenim". So it appeared that I had little to fear from this quarter. Understand that I had only recently escaped from a shotgun wedding! However after meeting with and experiencing the intimidating erudition of my then potential brother-out-law, I was prepared for instant extramarital hostility.

The next time I met Marvin, Simma and I had landed back in the States after months on the road in Sri Lanka -she was six months pregnant and I had amoebic dysentary. Between us we looked like a couple of Ellis Island rejects and felt accordingly. We needed a safe harbor to get back on our feet. Marvin and Elfi immediately offerd us the run of their Venice house. Now the true measure of a man's nature is how he deals with overstayed guests. Here is how Marvin dealt with it. Week 1 - very welcoming lends us housewares, towels, Bathrobes Wine .Week 2 - very friendly, lends us the car. Week 3- instead of throwing us out, throws us a party.Weeks four and five warm and loving tells us to stay as long as we need we. Thus my fears were proven groundless and far from being intmidating, my now brother-in-law revealed himself as a Mensch, a brother, and a friend.

An anthology of personal naratives regarding our beloved Marvin Chester