Unfortunately, our favorite Spector descendant named Walter (Sam/Bessie -> Rosie/Phil -> Walter) had to leave the 7/11/15 Reunion early. However, he passed along his prepared remarks for publication –
SPECTOR FAMILY CIRCLE REUNION
comments by Walter Weinstein to have been delivered at the home of Michael and Victoria Eisner, Reisterstown, Maryland, 7/11/15
Some of us remember clearly our own interactions with the 2 Katie’s, Izzie, Gussie and Rosie and their 5 spouses, the people who organized the Spector Family Circle about 3 score and 5 years ago. Along with the rest of our country, by then our earliest American Spectors and Schwartz’s headed households that had lived through the dark days of the depression and the challenges of WWII. Marvin Schwartz and Ralph Spector had come home unscathed from wartime military service. Israel had been founded. The US economy thrived. All seemed generally ok in our world. The Schwartz and Spector seniors decided to organize for ongoing meetings and events to have fun. And they did.
They partied and celebrated pretty regularly 12 or so times yearly for more than a decade. At today’s reunion, our conversations revealed new clues about the possible location of our original European hometown. We have a family tree recently assembled by my brother Dave, newly digitized typed minutes of all Spector Circle meetings and about 20 rolls of 8mm party films, also now digitized – all accessible in a web site assembled by Adam. Ideas are afloat about enhancing the web site material and adding to it.
My personal view of our family history story starts in Eastern Europe with my great- grandparents, the parents of the oldest 2 Spector brothers, Joseph and Samuel (my maternal grandfather). Like so many others parents in those times and places, the Spector boys’ father and mother did not leave Eastern Europe themselves. But many sent their children, including my grandparents, away forever on a hazardous one-way voyage to an uncertain but promising new life here. What it must have taken to do that! Had decisions to say these goodbyes not been carried out, it is very likely that not one of our immediate family ancestors would have lived through 1945, and no single one of us would be here today with our extended families, or anywhere else, to reunite in the shadows of our American family ancestors.
Joseph Spector was the father of Kate Schwartz (nee Spector). His younger brother Samuel was the father of the 3 Spector sisters and their brother. I have silently thanked the parents of Joe and Sam Spector many times for making their wise but heart-wrenching choices more than 100 years ago. I am especially inclined to thank them when yet another news report in our time reveals how little the quality of the humanity of the old country has improved even through today. So as we celebrate now and in the future, my gratitude extends back at least to the late 1800’s, when courageous decisions made then laid the foundation for the blessings we experience here in our lives each day.
With whatever liquid you sip here today, I join you in thankful toasts to these unnamed ancestors’ foresight, selflessness and stubborn determination. L’chaim!
This leaves not yet told again more stories such as the committee for a family shore, the pot of gold at each meeting, undefined branches of our family tree extending into Cuba, and many comments made when we review the family films and minutes, and our personal memories. These are held for another time, possibly including an encore reunion in 2016.