Tag Archives: Cambridge

On Tom Lehrer and the World of My Father

Tom Lehrer turning 90 last week brought back more memories of my late father Morris, the subject of the previous post. The two were temperamentally quite distant: Morris’s East European “yekke” earnestness couldn’t really be reconciled with Lehrer’s New York slapstick meta irony. But they were obliquely connected- overlapping both at Harvard and MIT where Lehrer, for years, attempted to complete a math PhD. I remember hearing second hand stories about him and I have vivid memories of the cover of his first record which was on my parents’ shelf long well before I was able to operate our phonograph. When I could, I commandeered it and wore it out-though not before getting banned from my Irish Catholic friends’ houses for imposing on them the Vatican Rag.

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