Bob Flicker







And Then--Then We Were Two


(from left to right) Bob, Ted and Marvin Flicker


This was the last picture taken of we three brothers together. November 9, 2013

Ted died September 12, 2014


Winter 1934

A Bob and Ted Shared Memory


     Ted and I were the last to remember. Ted was the victim and I was the observer as well, I suppose, as the cause of what happened to him.


     Ted was four years and a couple of months old. I was almost six years old. We were both old enough to remember and talk and laugh about (and, perhaps, embellish) that event for the rest our lives.


     We were exploring our grandparents house. Our explorations lead us to the attic with me leading the way. As I remembered it, we had to open a door that led into a dark attic. The next part of the memory is a bit hazy as to who entered the lightless attic first. I think it was Ted. What I do recall is that he was talking to me and then—he wasn’t.


     There was, unbeknown to us, an airshaft that was open from the attic floor to the cellar ceiling four stories below. Ted was little and fit quite nicely into the airshaft. Our conversation in that dark attic ended abrupty and was replace by screaming from somewhere down below. My little brother had fallen into and down the airshaft.


     What happened between the time I stood alone in the attic to my standing in the cellar where I observed Ted dangling from the airshft opening in the cellar ceiling, I cannot recall. My brother’s overalls had caught on to two nails that protruded from the shaft’s opening in the ceiling of the cellar. There he was flailing about and crying. I remember my uncle Howard standing on a cement block so that he could reach Ted and bring him down, mostly unhurt. How many family members were present at Ted’s rescue, I have no memory. The event was, however, a subject of family conversation for many years until there was only Ted and myself remaining who could remember and laughed about the event.


         Now, there is only myself and I remember—alone.


Bob Flicker



An afterthought (another memory) 

When We Were Young and Suspicious


      Ted and I would joke about the fact that one suspected, distant member of our family was (rumored to have been) a member of Murder Incorporated during the early 1930s. Whether the story was true or not, it was intriguing for the two of us to contemplate. We even thought we knew who it might be.


(from Wikipedia)

Murder, Inc. (or Murder Incorporated) was the name the press gave to organized crime groups in the 1930s through the 1940s that acted as the "enforcement arm" of the American Mafia, the early organized crime groups in New York and elsewhere. The groups were composed of largely Jewish-American and Italian-American gangsters from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, East New York, and Ocean Hill.


     It was an inside, half serious, half joke between us. Was there, at present, a family member who had inherited the Murder Inc. genes or characteristics (if that’s possible) from our suspected, older, mafia-connected relative? Who could that 1930s hit-man have been if there was, indeed, such a person? We never did figure that one out for sure. Did we see a bulge in his jacket outlining a gun the few times we saw him, when we were children, at family gatherings. It was good for a few nervous laughs.


         Who now (besides myself) will remember? Nobody. Were all the others that our mafia(?) relative suspected of knowing his identity rubbed out? *


* Rubbed out was a 1930’s term for bumped off.





      Our brother Marvin wasn’t born until 1935. Unfortunately he missed those exciting events I described. However, he had his turns in later years. Events that I will describe at another time, such as the time I was a lifeguard at the local lake and he, at the age of twelve, was my refreshment stand manager and enforcer.


     Enforcer? Hmmm... Could he have inherited—? My baby brother? No! Absolutely not!

Bob Flicker




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 © robert 2014