Another Very Strange Family, Prequel

May 8, 2009



I started to say once that my family is strange, and then I changed it to odd. Once, years ago, I saw Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take It With You, and it made me think of my family, though they’re not quite as charming and romantic.

One person in my family was very musically talented, my mother’s brother, George Perle, and because of his talent became obscurely famous. I just glanced at the web and learned that he had died four months ago at age 93.

Another person in my family, the daughter of my father’s sister Naomi, my cousin Joanna Nichols, became a millionaire. A descendant of Eastern European Jews, she became a millionaire by moving to Taiwan and becoming fluent in Chinese and marrying into a Taiwanese family. Very rich, she became obscurely famous by creating and funding a foundation that helps deaf children; a library is named after her at a school in Taipei



Here are three stories about a strange family. They’re all second-hand stories. Once there were four of us in my training job, and then we were all laid off and then I was the only one rehired. There was no good reason for the layoffs, and I’m still bitter about it, and I’ll leave it at that.


This is about a person I worked with in that group. As usual, I’ll change names. I’ll call him “Mark.”


We had a bit of similarity in our backgrounds. We had both worked for software start-up companies, though neither of us are “propeller heads.” We both had done computer training for some years.


Next: How Mark Divorced His Parents


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