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Born in Brooklyn, NY where trees actually grew, front yard and back and all along the streets. I grew up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, walking to both elementary school and high school (PS 217 and Midwood High School). My footnote in Brooklyn history is that I was a member of the last 8th grade graduating class in Brooklyn. Jr. High Schools were the educational rage of the day.
My early childhood was one of motion. I was born in Maimonides Hospital and was brought home to Prospect Place above the subway station. It was in walking distance of Prospect Park. Then in fairly quick succession we moved to the New Ponsit Section of Belle Harbor Queens, right across the Marine Parkway Bridge, a bridge I once bicycled across from my home to impress a red-headed beauty of my dreams (she was 12). I got a flat time and arrived looking like a grease monkey. But she did kiss me hello and goodbye at moment her older brother did not have an eye on her. From there is was back to Prospect Place and then around the corner to a larger, more modern apartment building 500 Ocean Avenue. It had a terrace from which one could see the Trolley Cars on Church Avenue and the occasional Organ Grinder with monkey in tow looking for money.
My final destination, before leaving for college, was to Waldorf Court. A 1906 3 story house with basement on a dead-end street. Now more idyllic place for city life could be found. We could walk four blocks to Avenue H, the local BMT stop, and drop in at Lou and Al's Candy Store, which sold a limited amount of candy but lots of most anything else a kid could want. Here I learned about lime rickeys, cherry cokes, and egg creams. The house was sold at first for about 8 grand. We bought it for maybe 20, sold it for maybe 40, and find out did I that about 10 years ago it went for a million bucks!
Graduating from Midwood in '60, I attended The George Washington University in the District of Columbia twice, BA and MA.
My work life started like my childhood. I spent two and a half years in Johnstown, Pa and 1 1/2 in Boulder, Colorado, then 4 in Stamford, Ct before beginning a 33 year stint with the American Jewish Committee followed by a 2nd career of 8 years with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
My mother was one of those who believed that little pitchers should be seen and not heard. I've been writing then since I could hold a pen. I wrote probably 800 love letters to one girlfriend and finally had my first piece published in the 1970's by News Day Newspaper. And I haven't stopped since. Mostly an op ed columnist I've written from most of the major newspapers in the southeastern United States. I had four articles published in USA Today and a 3,500 word feature in the Sunday Magazine of the St. Pete News.
I'm married, have 3 children, two grandchildren, and a cocker spaniel named Jax.
That's all folks.
on April 22, 2017 :
Review by mwiner on April 22, 2017
Bill Gralnick shares his unique insight, humor, and verve in his new book Mirth, Wind, and Ire. A collection of essays on various subjects of contemporary concern, the book exhibits Bill’s “one of a kind” combination of exuberance, skepticism, and wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of careful observation of the world around him.
For most of his life Bill was a Jewish civil servant, working as executive in regional offices of the American Jewish Committee, working with large numbers of lay leaders and rabbis. From my fifty years as a rabbi, I know for sure that every one of the rabbis and lay leaders “knew better than anyone” what Bill and his organization should do. As one of them, I guarantee that the rabbis possessed enormous egos, while trying to act humble and holy. How Bill survived as a “civil servant” among those lots, I could never imagine.
After reading his book, I understand a lot better how he did it. First of all, as in his book, Bill weaves together personal life experience, an educated and fine-honed mind, and a whipsaw sense of humor. No matter what issue Bill addresses, his combination of qualities kept those around him throughout his career, as it still does his readers, on their toes. What next will he say or do? It will invariably be tinged with humor, balanced with unpretentious intelligence, and open to the responses of others.
A magic brew indeed.
(reviewed 66 days after purchase)
on April 21, 2017 :
Bill Gralnick is an author with something to say. His insights are penetrating and worthwhile. Moreover, he writes with great clarity and ease. Overall, this is a book that will, b turns, enlighten, challenge, and reward you. As a published author and a reader, I heartily commend "Mirth, Wind, and Ire."
Professor Alan L. Berger
Newest book: Third Generation Holocaust Representation:
Trauma, History, and Memory (Northwestern University Press)
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on April 16, 2017 :
"Mirth, Wind and Ire" entertains and challenges the reader non-stop. Bill Gralnick's keen eye for the world around him combines with a rare talent for reporting in direct, clear and concise language. Agree or disagree with his points of view, this book will help you to see your world from new and rich perspectives. I LOVED it!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on Jan. 09, 2017 :
Bill Gralnick's E-Book "Mirth, Wind and Ire" is an in-depth tour de force in the craft of essay writing. He becomes clear through the eyes of others; others become clear through the eyes of experience; all becomes interesting, educational, amusing and worthy through the eyes of a gifted observer and writer. As both a gift or for personal use, it's a good investment.
(reviewed the day of purchase)