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

Don't Bump the Glump
by Sharon Weiss

For my dear Uncle Marvin,

Where to begin. There are so many times when you were a giant figure in my life. Whenever you came to visit us in New York you brought with you a new adventure. I remember visiting the Museum of Modern Art with you to see an exhibit of Lautrec and then going downtown to Greenwich village for dinner and pie "a la mud" as you oh so correctly pronounced. You gave me my first guitar on one visit because I expressed an interest in playing. That gift sparked an interest in acoustic music that exists to this day. If you didn't come bearing gifts, they would mysteriously appear after you were gone. The list is endless and not just for Steven and me but for Mom and Dad too. You noticed things that were needed and appreciated and you would provide them. Steven was learning to type and you sent an electric typewriter. Mom expressed a longing for a rocking chair all to herself and that arrived by truck. Then there were the "cultural" gifts. You sent me a London Symphony recording of the Brandenburg Concertos that quickly became my favorite music to listen to and to study by when I was in college. You provided a love for the odd and ridiculous by sending me a copy of poems by Shel Silverstein called "Don't Bump the Glump".

But it wasn't always the tangible that left an impression. It is the image of you with your long yellow legal pads in quiet contemplation of some grand formula, furiously jotting down notes that were incomprehensible to me, not because of the handwriting but because of the subject. It was the time you gave to me and the way we talked. I remember the discussion we had about my studying Psychology as a college major. Your opinions were valid and when I told you I had decided to major in psychology anyway, you listened and didn't object too strongly.

And now I want to thank you for your life long support and the love and caring that you've always shown me. I especially want to thank you for being there for Mom and me when we needed your support over the last few years. The daily phone calls while Mom was in the hospital and recovering made a huge difference in both of our hearts.

So Happy Birthday dear Uncle Marvin and may you go on being just who you are, learning and growing and always becoming more. I love you!


An anthology of personal naratives regarding our beloved Marvin Chester