102-year-old David was born in Philadelphia in 1915. His father was from Poland and his mother from Russia. They immigrated in the late 1800s and met each other in a horse blanket factory. It was truly a hardscrabble life for the family as immigrants, and David’s life only became harder after his father passed away when he was only 13 years old.
David was the only male in the family, so he had to drop out of school to find a job to help support everyone. David’s first job was as a Western Union telegram messenger. He would ride his bike every day and deliver messages. It was very hard work—David even said he had to eat while riding his bicycle because he never had time to sit down.
David was also trying to become a carpenter at the time so that he could get a Union job, but it was very difficult. He found himself getting fired on several occasions and on one occasion fell off a roof and cracked his back. These were hard times for David, and everyone for that matter, as America was in the middle of the Great Depression. David kept his head down and took odd jobs here and there until FDR created the Works Progress Administration as part of the New Deal. David saw that the NYC School District was looking for shop teachers. At the time, most carpenters couldn’t read or write, so David had finally found his niche. He eventually got his GED and a degree from CUNY in the early 1970s when he was in his late 50s, and was promoted to an administrator.
David made sure that his childrens’ lives weren’t as difficult as his and that they valued education. While he had to drop out of school at an early age, two of his children went on to get PhDs in Science. David’s entire life has been devoted to his family.
Now 102-years-old, David is virtually blind. You can rarely find him in his room without Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert playing. David’s Wish of a Lifetime was to have a concert at his community and meet professional classical artists. Wish of a Lifetime was happy to grant David’s Wish on January 14th, 2017. Professional violinist Jessica Stinson and professional viola player Patti Gouvas played some of David’s favorite pieces. He was smiling ear to ear and humming along with the women as they played. As David’s grandson Noah said, “My grandfather won’t stop talking about it….He keeps asking when the next show will be!”
A special thanks to the Atlanta Federation of Musicians, Jessica & Patti for the wonderful music, Barbie of Gaki Media for the great photos and Yvonne and Elaine of CURO Health Services for making this wish extra special for David.