Tales From the Old Oak Table: A Family Memoir
Susan Beck Korman
Many people think about legacy when they are in a certain season in their lives. Sometimes this reflection leads to creating a written record. This seems to have been the motivation which prompted Susan Beck Korman to take up pen and preserve her family’s history. Although legacy may have been Ms. Korman’s primary intent, she achieved a much larger purpose. She opened a window into a specific time and place for all of us.
Ms. Korman’s childhood in the Bronx (NY) was not perfect–and neither was her family. With gentle honesty and acceptance she describes the foibles of each member; by doing so she enhances the legitimacy of her tale and the value of her memoir. This book will no doubt be treasured by generations of family. For as long as that, I am confident it will also enrich readers who who come upon it and see in its characterizations reflections of their own imperfect families.
Ms. Korman has a talent for description. Some of the scenes she paints are hilarious; some are touching. Together, all unite in a book that is enjoyable, informative and memorable.
Below is a picture of the Bronx Speedway, circa 1900. This thoroughfare for horse traffic later became the Bronx River Drive and accommodated automobiles. The Drive runs approximately along the Southwest perimeter of the borough