Once after the war the small boy went from the city in a new blue Buick convertible and skated a frozen river in a forest preserve with his favorite uncle who was like a father to him.
Uncle Stephan was a soccer player, a soft ball player, an archer, a photographer, a singer, and a speed skater. He was married to Aunt Edith who always complained about her health. Uncle Stephan had a thin mustache and wore flashy shirts and pants the boy’s father called race track clothes. The blue Buick convertible, the family suspected, was bought on the black market after the war when new cars were almost impossible to buy. Uncle Stephan, who worked for his family’s business, which he hated, was a neighborhood butcher who provided for the family during the war when food was scarce. Packages of meat wrapped in pink butcher paper and tied in coarse string would miraculously appear once a week behind their kitchen doors.
Click to read the rest of Skating Backwards, the latest of Norbert Blei’s NOTES from the UNDERGROUND (No. 167 | January 27, 2009)