Alter's Family Album

Alter Esselin's union card. This one must date from the years of the Second World War because there is a faintly legible statement regarding FBI approval of the card holder. All through the years of my childhood there were periodic "crises" that came about because Alter had to find his union card. He was always mislaying it, and he would have to find it in order to be able to bring it to the scheduled Union meeting…failure to bring it and getting it stamped would result in a fine. In those years of poverty stricken Depression, a two dollar fine could be legitimately regarded as a catastrophe. As I remember it, my mother usually was the one to find the bedraggled thing, hiding under a stack of manuscript versions of his poems

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