Blog, schmog!  So, now I’m a guest blogger?  What do I know about this blogging?

Well, here goes: I’m nothing if not adaptable.  Warsaw.  London. New York.  Israel.  I’ve made my way for 96 years.  Pretty successful in business.  Personal life?  A few relatives, friends, a lot of acquaintances.  I stayed busy.  After I lost Elisabeth, no one could compare, so there was never a wife, no children.  But at least I had Lily; I could be like a father to her.  And a grandfather to her kids.  Such a blessing that’s been in my life.

So, that night, when Lily came over to the house and told me, who could believe it?  I was stunned.  All of a sudden, after so many years, the di Salamone Seder plate shows up in front of her eyes at an auction?  Then–poof–just like that, it’s gone again?

Such memories came back to me, memories of Elisabeth, Lily’s mother, my darling Elisabeth.  That Seder at her house in 1937, the night I brought the Seder plate.  What do they call it now?  A hostess gift?   That Jack, her obnoxious husband, thought it was for all of them, but, no, only for Elisabeth.  That jerk didn’t know what a prize he had in her.  A Seder plate?  I would have given her the world, if only…

What could I do?  One thing you learn when you’re 96 years old: you can’t look back–it’ll drive you meshuggah.  You don’t make it to 96 looking back.

Lily came to me a wreck.  She wanted me to help her.  What could I do?  I’m nobody in the collector world now, a has-been.

We sat down, we had some Chinese, I listened.  She wanted to go after the Seder plate.  I thought it was a bad idea, dangerous even. She doesn’t know  what it was like–those Nazis.  Of course, she saw them take away her father and the Seder plate. Granted, her parents and grandparents were killed in the Holocaust.  But she thinks that’s ancient history now, all wiped away.

Me, I’m not so sure.  One thing I could offer was to connect Lily to Simon Wiesenthal.  Now, there’s a guy totally wrapped up in the past, but doing something about it.  Personally, I don’t know how he can stand it: embroiling himself day after day in those files, following up on leads, hearing people’s stories.  I admire the guy. But I could never do it.

I’m not usually a paranoid type, but the whole Nazi connection–the art looting, this Bucholz name, Wiesenthal’s report that Bucholz vanished after the war–it scares me.  I don’t want Lily getting mixed up in this.  I couldn’t stand to lose her, too.  I warned her, “This isn’t child’s play like looking for the Afikomen,” I said.  So, what does she do?  She says, “Great, Uncle!  Afikomen.  That’ll be the code name for my search.”  A code name she has to have!

OK–so I can’t stop her.  She’s sixty years old.  I’m glad she met Simon Rieger.  Maybe he’ll go with her on this wild goose chase. At least maybe she’ll have a little romance out of this, if nothing else.  She’s too wonderful to sit home alone every night.  Young, vibrant, like her mother.  If I were 30 years younger…

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