Life in Pictures

A Life in Pictures

Roy Lisker

Author, Editor of Ferment Magazine

Born September 24, 1938 , in Northern Liberties Hospital Philadelphia, Pa. Of Leroy S. Weber, Jr.,and Sara Starekow Original Name: Leroy Savery Weber, 3rd.

Age 6 months.Clearly I'd made a quick recovery from my recent hospitalization!

Age 2. My mother had separated from and divorced Leroy Savery by then, and moved back to her parents house and grocery store at 2nd and Cumberland in the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia.

Another candid from the same period. I begin to think about thinking.

Age 3. At that age I knew the value of a dollar, a gift that has since been lost.

Age 3. The grandmother claims possession. I was raised by mother, grandmother, aunt and grandfather. The combined craziness has given me all the material I will ever need as a novelist.

At age 3, I was afraid of nothing. Only much later would I worry that I might fall off the donkey.

Age 5. Summer at Camp Hoffnung, Bucks County. The grandparents had been subscribers to The Forward and paying dues to the Arbeiter Ring (Workman's Circle), since coming to the US from Russia in the 1920's. This was the organization's summer camp for children.

Camp Hoffnung, age 6. A group photograph of my bungalow. I am second from right, bottom row.

Age 8. On Cumberland Street, outside the grocery. Then, as today, one of the worst neighborhoods in the filial metropolis. Too far away from the center to be eligible for urban renewal.

Age 10, 1948. My mother was re-married by this time, as one can see from the torture instrument my new father harnessed me to.

Age 10. The book is probably a novel by Mark Twain. His complete works got me through a long misdiagnosis of rheumatic fever.It's made me suspicious of doctors ever since, and probably inhibited my already limited abilities in sports.

Age 12, 1951.Sister Carol, mother and self. On the upper deck of the Holland-American ship, the Veendam, bound for France, Austria, Italy and India.

Age 13, 1951. Bog Road, Saidepet, in Madras (now Chenai), India. I am standing on the rented grounds of our home, a large house/studio. My new father,Leign Lisker, a specialist in the languages of South India, brought the whole family with him on his year-long Fulbright scholarship. The house was the studio of the dancer, Uday Shankar, from whom it was rented while he was on tour.

Three views of Bog Road: (a) Father and sister (b)Three contemporaries from the local village (c) The estate.

Age 13. Group photo of the 8th grade class, the American school at Kodaikanal, India. I am against the wall, far right.

Age 13. With sister Carol, Trafalgar Square, September 1952

On the RMS Queen Elizabeth, September 1952

Age 15, 1953. Newtown Square, PA. A intense, albeit brief, immersion in suburbia and the natural world. 1953-55

Age 16, 1955. Mathematics whiz-kid at the University of Pennsylvania. A most 'un-Savery' mix of depression and devilishness.From the period 1955 and 1965, I do not seem to have retained a single photograph.Perhaps none were taken.

Age 27. Draft-card burning demonstration in Union Square, November 5, 1965, to protest the war in Vietnam. From left to right: Tom Cornell, Mark Edelman, self, David McReynolds, Jim Wilson. At (not of !) far right, A.J. Muste.

Age 34, 1972. With fiancée, Genevieve Manseau, Paris. She is French-Canadian. The marriage was put off for 2 years,and finally faded away.No pictures are available from the 5 months in federal prisons, August-December 1972, in the US for participation in the draft-card burning demonstration of 1965.

Montreal, 1974. Taken shortly before my descent into a total psychotic breakdown which lasted a full year ,August 1974-75.

Age 45, 1983 Street Poetry performer, Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley

Music, poetry, theater, Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA.

A salute to Berkeley, the marketplace of ideas.

Age 47.1985 San Francisco Dada Festival, in a performance of "Monologue for Gerald Debreu,who, in1983, won the Nobel Prize with his proof of Reaganomics by pure mathematics."

Age 56, 1994. Cuddling "Scratcher". House guest and au pair for Steve and Susan Allison, Frazer Avenue, Middletown, CT.

Age 62. At around the time of the launching of Ferment Magazine,the On-Line version of Ferment. Middletown, CT 2000

2002. Age 63. At the 100th birthday of Tom Scott, pediatrician, a friend of 40 years standing.He died a few years later, and is survived by his son Robert, daughter Carolyn, and grandchildren. His wife, Dwight, testified as a character witness at my political trial in 1966.

Age 66."Dr. Albert", the commencement speaker at the Wesleyan University graduation ceremonies in the 2005 Miracle Year.

Age 69. The Christmas Eve 2007 reading of "Sam the Messiah Man", Shakespeare and Company, Paris.

Age 70. With Alison Henrick, mathematics post-doc, and Lou Kauffman, knoted knot theorist, University of Illinois, Circle Campus, Chicago IL, February 2009

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