Chuck Dvorkin

June 25, 2019 Share

Childhood Memories


The Neighborhood

I grew up in Union, New Jersey. Address Terrace. It was a bunch of Cape Cod houses – mostly Jewish, the street was. Most people moved in around the same age, so there were a lot of kids roughly my age, so you were able to go outside and play.

We used to play baseball in the middle of the street. There was one woman who lived on the street that didn’t have any kids, and she used to yell at us all the time. The ball went on her lawn, and you went to get the ball or something like that, and she’d say, “Get off my lawn!” But that’s what it was like.

Im age Source: John Bignell c.1960


Stamp Collecting

I collected stamps for a while. It was a different era. People used to write letters then. You used to get stamps from the post office, and they’d come in different denominations depending upon what you wanted to send and have. And, you’d collect them. You’d collect them from different countries.

It was actually kind of boring, so it didn’t last too long.

A double picture of a red 2-cent US stamp featuring a portrait of young Thomas Jefferson
A pair of 2-cent US stamps from 1954 featuring a young Thomas Jefferson. The hobby of stamp collecting is also called philately. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


Don’t Interrupt the Movie!

I was not a great music lover. I listened to the radio. The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, that kind of stuff. The Moody Blues.

But I did watch TV.

There was an early show on, a movie, that ran from five to seven. A lot of times, I would watch it, and my father would walk in the house at 6:45 and start talking.

At that time, the TV was in the kitchen where everybody was, and he’d interrupt the ending and that would start a big fight a lot of the times. That was I think the biggest fight that I used to have with my father.

A family huddles around the television, c. 1958. In 1950, only 9% of American households had a television set. By 1960, 90% did. Image Source: National Archives and Records Administration


Marriage & Kids


Meeting Helene

Mom and I started dating in New York City. I was living in New Jersey, but nothing goes on in the suburbs, you know? We’d go into the city to hang out, not to see each other. To hang out, to meet people.

We used to visit aunt Lucy and go to Stanley’s in Union, New Jersey. They used to have these great pizza burgers. But it’s not there anymore.

Coca-cola Advertisement With Eight Different Burgers – (1971)
Image Source: VintageAdBrowser


Mischievous Boys

“One of our most joyful days, was when you guys were born.”

A favorite story about Scott

I remember coming home from work one day, this was when we were in Atlanta, and saying to Scott, “Scott were you a good boy today?” And he said, “Yes, but don’t ask mommy.”


A favorite story about David

I always remember you David, being mischievous with Scott. And then when they were older, Mom told me that the TV kept changing channels and Scott was saying, “The TV’s not working.” And Mom said, “Well where’s the remote control?” I asked, “Where’s David?And David was outside with the remote in his hand, jumping up to the window and pressing the button.





The Safari

I really wanted to go on the safari in South Africa. I knew so many people who said, “It’s the best trip of your life.” The best thing they’d ever done. And mom didn’t really want to go. She was… for whatever reason.

I said, “Listen, people that I play bridge with who don’t look like they belong on a safari have gone and loved it. This is really something that we should do.” And that’s how it happened.


It’s just very different than anything else you’ve ever done. You know, as opposed to seeing places, you’re seeing animals it’s just really, just different.



Living through History


The San Francisco Earthquake, 1989

I was in San Francisco during the earthquake in 1989. I had called Mom right before.

What happened was, they evacuated the hotel. We were all in a parking lot outside the hotel. We were standing there and we could actually feel the ground move under our feet. It was like an aftershock which was kind of creepy. I never experienced anything like that before.

I think the main road is the 101 in San Francisco, that runs up and down. What we discovered was on the side that we were, there was no electricity. On the other side of the 101, there was electricity, so we got our car and went to a bar. There was only a pay phone there, and I couldn’t get to it because it was backed up.

Then they were showing the earthquake on TV, and I said, I better get to the phone because she’ll think I’m dead. So I called and told her I wasn’t. Yeah, I think she was disappointed…

The destruction of the Marina district of San Francisco following the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Because it happened during a national live broadcast of the the 1989 World Series, it is sometimes referred to as the “World Series earthquake“. Image Source: Flickr



When I think hero, Superman sort of comes to mind, but that’s not real. Real heroes, I’d go with the 9/11 – all the men who went into the towers.

I remember sitting in my office that morning at 45th and 3rd at a staff meeting, and somebody came and said a plane hit the World Trade Center. And at first thought, we said, “Wow!” And, then somebody – Joe Kerner – said, “You know, it’s a bluebird day, you got clear skies”, and then he started questioning it and then somebody came in and said a second plane hit. And, then we knew.

US Flight 175 Hits the World Trade Center South at 9:03 am on September 11, 2001. All 65 people aboard were killed. The hijacked plane hit the tower just 17 minutes after the North tower was struck by American Airlines Flight 11. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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