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The Fate of Heinrich Kirschen

Heinrich Kirschen was a son of Eva and Peretz Kirschen.  Peretz was a grain merchant who had lived in Focsani and then Iaşi, at the time cities in Romania.  Iaşi was a cultural center with a large population of Jews.  At one time in the nineteenth century there were over 100 synagogues in the city. … Continue reading The Fate of Heinrich Kirschen

The Exiles

My parents left Vienna in April 1939 and spent the next year and a half in London, awaiting permission to enter the United States.  When the war began in September 1939, the British interned those who had German passports, and as Austria had become part of the Third Reich in 1938, my parents fit the… Continue reading The Exiles

The Hazelton Library

I can recall from my childhood in Stockton that my parents attended Friday evening services at Temple Israel.  Temple Israel was a reform congregation that went back to the Gold Rush.  The adult male members were almost entirely merchants: furniture, clothing, musical instruments, agricultural produce, jewelry, and the like.  There were one or two physicians, but no lawyers… Continue reading The Hazelton Library

To Whom I Owe My Life

In 1909, my mother’s father, Adolf Kalman, died in a pogrom.  His widow, Beile Kalman, was forced to flee from their hamlet, Wojnilow, then in the Galician portion of the Habsburg Empire.  After World War I, Wojnilow passed to Poland.  Today, as Voinyliv, it lies within Ukraine.  Perhaps two thousand people lived in Wojnilow, half of them Jews.  A nearby… Continue reading To Whom I Owe My Life

Making a Living

My father, Frank Lindner, did not want me to be a college teacher.  On the other hand, when I asked him about becoming a certified public accountant, as he had become, he promised me that if I followed his path, he would disown me.  My mother, Clare Lindner, had wanted me to become a physician, or, barely… Continue reading Making a Living

Life with Charlie

I met Charlie Ehrmann in early January, 1970.  I had just returned to Istanbul after two weeks of vacation in Italy.  I had been ill during almost all of December, 1969, and I returned to Istanbul while recovering from pleurisy.  There was little heat in the American Research Institute in Turkey, and the floors were cold marble, nice… Continue reading Life with Charlie

The Culture of Stockton

I have been thinking lately about culture and the signs of culture.  When my parents lived in Vienna, the capital of the Habsburg Empire, there was no doubt that they were surrounded, even hemmed in, by high culture.  As a child my father lived in the Majolica House, one of the monuments of modern architecture, built around… Continue reading The Culture of Stockton

Summer Camp at Silver Lake

There were certain advantages to life in Stockton, California.  One was that it was only two hours away by car from San Francisco, known only as “the city.”  Another was that it was only two hours away by car from the Sierra Nevada mountain range, as John Muir called it, “the range of light.” The “range of… Continue reading Summer Camp at Silver Lake

Early Istanbul Evenings

I arrived in Istanbul on September 25, 1969, and spent my first night at the Kennedy Hotel.  I flew in from Rome via Turkish Airlines, “the dolmuş in the sky,” and arrived at Yeşilköy Airport.  It had the looks of an airport, but once you entered the passenger area you were reminded of the Chisholm Trail on a… Continue reading Early Istanbul Evenings

The Torch of the Lindners

Between my graduation from high school in June, 1961, and my departure for College in September, I took an introductory college mathematics course at the College of the Pacific in Stockton.  It was a good course taught by Professor Henry Osner, whom I knew from the Stockton Astronomical Society.  After class, which met five mornings a week,… Continue reading The Torch of the Lindners

How I Got My Name

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, radio station KGO in San Francisco presented “The Damon Runyon Theater” each week.  Each episode of this syndicated series concerned an aspect of life among the guys and dolls of Manhattan.  A picaresque character named “Broadway,” ably played by John Brown, introduced the program.  He would set the stage, describe the… Continue reading How I Got My Name

Leaving Istanbul

For what follows, the reader should be prepared to read a certain amount of criticism of affairs in Turkey a generation ago.  I confess that I had my part in all of this and that I have slowly come to recognize that my Turkish friends must have found my behavior laughable at best and, at worst,… Continue reading Leaving Istanbul

High School

I suppose that my high school was an average school.  Originally there was Stockton High School, towards the north end of Stockton at the end of World War I.  Then, after World War II, Edison High School emerged.  Edison’s clientele was the Hispanic and Asian population, and the reputation of the school, especially in athletics, was not much… Continue reading High School

Graduation Lunch and Dinner

In 1959, my mother, Clare Kalman Lindner, earned her Master’s degree in Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. But let me set the stage.  In April of 1941 my parents arrived in Stockton, where my mother’s sister, brother-in-law, and twin sons were already settled, my father got a job as the night janitor at… Continue reading Graduation Lunch and Dinner

Istanbul, June 1970

I arrived in Istanbul on the 25th of September, 1969, and I left on the first of August in 1970.  My father visited me in June.  He found Istanbul enchanting and said that it reminded him of the Habsburg cities and spas, Vienna and Franzensbad, that he knew before World War I. During his time in Istanbul he… Continue reading Istanbul, June 1970

Learning from Stockton

My home, Stockton, California, had a number of educational facilities, not all of which were intended in the first place to render you learned.  I would like to discuss a few of them. The one that first impressed itself on my mind was the Miracle Drive-In.  It was located on Pacific Avenue, a street that grew from… Continue reading Learning from Stockton

How I Became

When I entered college, I planned to become an astronomer.  I had become interested in the stars in 1952, just after we moved from 1735 West Rose Street to 1804 Oxford Way in Stockton.  I’m not certain why; I do know that when we lived on Rose Street my father took me outside to see a lunar… Continue reading How I Became

Good Eats

During the decade that my wife spent teaching at Kent State University in Ohio, I used to visit her every other weekend, and at least once during my time in Stark County we would dine out.  It did not take long to plumb the depths of northeast Ohio cuisine, where you can have anything you want… Continue reading Good Eats

Gifts of the Magi

From 1943, shortly after I was born, until 1952, we lived at 1735 West Rose Street in Stockton.  In 1952 our landlord, Mr. Kidd, decided that he wanted to have his son’s family live there, and my parents, after a lengthy search, bought a house at 1804 Oxford Way, on the southwest corner of Oxford Way… Continue reading Gifts of the Magi

Yours to Use and Enjoy

I have already written a memoir about browsing, but I did not exhaust the rich memories that came to mind.  So I return to the scene of the crime, the Stockton and San Joaquin County Public Library, the finest library, for the size of the community, that I have ever known. It was the habit of… Continue reading Yours to Use and Enjoy

Flying Saucers

From 1953 until 1957 I was besotted with the literature on flying saucers.  I spent hours in the Stockton and San Joaquin County Public Library (“yours to use and enjoy”) looking up articles in the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature and angering the librarians with my endless requests for bound serials from storage across the street.  “Across the street”… Continue reading Flying Saucers

Finger Woman

Return with me now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear, and in particular, to early 1968.  To set the stage, my mother, Clare Lindner, died in November of 1967.  A few months before she died, my mother said to my father, “Franz, du wirst nicht verhungern, aber du wirst shrecklich einsam.”  (“Frank, you shall not want for food,… Continue reading Finger Woman

Black and White

After my parents received a television set as a gift, probably in 1953, I slowly weaned myself from the radio and began to develop an addiction to the new addition to our living room.  At the time, there were only three stations to be seen, KNBC, KCBS, and KGO, all San Francisco stations.  In a year or… Continue reading Black and White


The okapis pictured above are related to the giraffe, although their markings remind the viewer of the zebra.  Okapis browse for their food, that is, they feed from the trees and shrubs that grow between the canopy and the floor of a forest.  This manner of sustenance distinguishes them from sheep, goats, and horses, who graze.  Thus browsing,… Continue reading Browsing

Around and About

Stockton, California lies pretty much in the center of the state, and in the center of the Central Valley, which extends from the volcanoes of Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta in the north to the Tehachapi Mountains in the south.  The Tehachapis separate the Central Valley from the Los Angeles basin.  Some two hours to the east… Continue reading Around and About


I would like to offer some reminiscences of Berkeley in the early years of my life.  I spent weekends there between September, 1957 and June, 1959; I spent the summer of 1964 there as an undergraduate student; and I was a graduate student at Cal from January, 1967, until 1974.  I divide my time there into two… Continue reading Berserkeley

An Afternoon in Istanbul

Grande Rue de Pera, Istanbul, 1920s In the summer of 1978 Molly and I flew to Europe.  We spent a week in Paris, where we met Molly’s oldest friend, Cindy Wallace.  Cindy and Molly then drove south to visit Romanesque churches, while I flew on to Istanbul.  Molly joined me after two weeks, and we spent a month… Continue reading An Afternoon in Istanbul

A Visit from the FBI

1948 was an important year for the Lindner family.  My parents had become citizens and the 1948 presidential election was the first national contest in which they could cast a ballot.  There were four choices before them.  On the Republican ticket stood governors Thomas E. Dewey of New York, lampooned as “the man on the wedding cake,” and… Continue reading A Visit from the FBI

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